By Jim Miller
1Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. From this short verse we learn several things that are important to remember,
(A) Watch your life and doctrine closely-they are inseparable.
(B) Ask yourself which is more important, life or doctrine? Your answer should be neither, Just as an airplane with only one wing cannot fly the doctrine you live by can not be separated from the life you live.
(C) Why is it so important to learn and to teach and to live the right doctrine? To save yourself and those who hear you. You must not only teach the proper doctrine but you must live it be the example of what you believe.
Where many people go wrong or miss the boat so to speak is that they listen to men preach and teach but they fail to study. How can you know what is being taught is right if you do not study for yourself. Perhaps the best example of this is when Paul and Silas were sent to Berea. Look at Acts 17:10-11.
Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Not only are we given examples but we are told to do so in no uncertain terms.
2Timothy_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
This is the only way you will know whether what your being taught as Gods word is the truth or not. So, (A) Must check what religious leaders say and (B) Your challenge is to: Read and study the Bible every day!
The Bible you use to study is Gods instruction manual for how to live and be pleasing to Him. It is the path you follow to enter an eternal home with Him when our time on this earth is through. We must also note here at this point that it is not enough to just sit in the pew and hear the word proclaimed we must act also. We must put these principles into action daily. Read what James says about this.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
James 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
James 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
In these verses we learn that…………….
(A) The Word of God is a mirror, What we see in that mirror should be a reflection of what God would have us to be and do.
(B) Do not forget what you see. We must remember that the reflection we want to view is that of a doer not just a hearer only and we must after learning what to do be diligent to “do what it says”.
Finally, we need to understand the “WHY”, far to often we forget the principles of basic study. We do not treat the Bible like we do other books for some reason. But just as you would with say a spy novel or text book you have to always be asking the who, what, when, where, why, and how. So now we are at the (why) of the word. Look at what is stated in the book of John.
John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
This is by far in my mind the most important reason why we study the Bible. The Word will judge us, Our eternal home depends upon how we follow the word of God. We all have a decision to make. Will I live by the Bible or my feelings, traditions, needs, etc.? Will I study to show myself approved? Will I be as the Bareans? Will I be able to tell when the preacher or teacher is telling me the right things and proper applications from the word? Will I be able to spread the Gospel in a way others can understand it? Will I be a doer and not just a hearer?
As we look into the word of God we see all that He wants us to be. We learn the proper attitude. We are better equipped to handle the slings and arrows used against us. We become teachers so that others can come to know the saving grace of God. We are better able to stand against the whiles of the Devil.
The word give us the ways and means to live Godly lives. Remember always the words of Paul…………………
Romans_1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
I leave you with these words from Paul and pray you will open the word and study it for yourself……….
Eph 6:10-17 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: