Welcome to Holburn Gospel Hall Website
Thought for the Month- September 2014
Thoughts on Bible Study
I’ve never been good at studying my Bible and struggled for many years to have the discipline of reading God’s Word on a daily basis. In recent years it has been better although I still struggle to make the time when travelling.
Over the last year I have been reading the whole Bible from Genesis book by book. Some books are easier than others but I have found spiritual blessing in all of them.
What does constantly surprise me is that, even with being brought up in a Christian home, years in Sunday School, Ministry meetings, Conferences and personal study, is that I find passages or incidents I don’t remember ever having read or heard read before.
The importance of studying and knowing God’s Word has been brought home to me over the years as opportunities to witness to others have been more frequent and answering questions of those of different faiths especially in my time working in Israel have meant that I need to not only be able to justify my belief but be able to explain why the verse they rely on is taken out of context.
When we were giving out tracts recently I ended up in a discussion with two Mormons and during the discussions on our differing beliefs we discussed the fact that they believe in baptism for the dead. I was greatly challenged when they quoted 1 Corinthians 15 v 29 “Otherwise, what will they do who are baptised for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptised for the dead?” I was stuck to answer immediately as I was not familiar with the passage but studying it later it is clear that this is, again, where context is critical. Paul was not advocating this practice, he was challenging those who did not believe in resurrection of the dead and was highlighting that even those who practiced this erroneous practice believed in the resurrection of the dead. The key word here is “they”. If Paul had been advocating this practice he would have used the word”we”.
To have an effective witness and to be able to challenge others then we must study and retain the Word of God and be able to explain why we believe what we believe.
Also, daily study, along with daily prayer, gives us an anchor in our life and a focus on how we should live and protects and strengthens us against Satan’s attacks and the temptations of life. My daily study and prayer time is at night whilst others will advocate a morning devotional time. The key is to spend time daily.
Lamentations 3 v 22-24 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”