Life on the Highest Plane
The Word of God is the Medium in Regeneration
The Word of God is a Seed and Matures and Multiplies
One day on the road to Damascus the young Hebrew, Saul of Tarsus, saw the Lord Jesus Christ. Then and there he was not only converted but captivated. "One figure enraptured him, captivated his being, bound him as with chains, and that figure is Christ Jesus, the Lord. One passion reigns, one motive dominates, that the Lord, in love, devotion and service should be his all-in-all. Everything else is subservient, everything else is counted, as refuse that this one object may be altogether his. Nothing of earth is comparable to Him, nothing of earth is desired beside Him. All that once was counted gain is discarded as loss for the priceless possession of the eternal treasure - Jesus Christ the Lord."
Paul, having caught a vision of his risen, exalted Lord, having been captivated by His grace and glory, was consumed with the passion to make "a non-stop flight" to the perfect possession of all his glorious inheritance in Christ Jesus, His objective - "That I may win Christ" - so big, so worthy, so challenging that it made the things of time, sense and earth sink into utter insignificance. His objective - "that I may know him" - so constraining that it carried him away into Arabia for three years where he received the God-inspired revelation which has come down to you and me through his Epistles.
What is your objective in Bible study? Is it merely to satisfy intellectual curiosity? Is it only to know the contents of the Bible and to appreciate its literary value as one of the great books in the world's library? Is it even for a purely selfish enrichment of your own life? Or do you come every day to the written Word of God that you may better know the eternal, incarnate, risen, living Word of God as He is revealed in its pages? Your goal will very largely determine your gain. Will you today enter the company of those who, emulating the Apostle Paul's example, approach God's Word daily saying, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord ... that I may win Christ and be found in him." There will surely be a divine response to such seeking and God will give "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
2 Corinthians 4:6, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
The second essential in Bible study for personal spiritual growth is the right attitude. What we get from the Bible is determined very largely by what we bring to it. If we approach the Bible in an attitude of doubt we shall probably leave it in doubt.
A Christian worker whose faith in the Word of God had been so undermined and poisoned that she said she disbelieved and doubted everything in the Book before she even opened it, came one day to me in great distress. She had been asked to give an Easter message and she had none to give. She came to ask that we might read together the accounts of the resurrection in the four Gospels. As we read Matthew 28:17, "And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted," she just dropped her Bible and said, "Oh! it is no wonder they doubted!" I said, "Oh! is that the way you read it? As I read it it is no wonder that they worshiped!" "I see," she replied, "it all depends on the attitude you bring to the Bible; if you bring doubt, you will doubt: if you bring worship, you will worship."
The first secret of Bible study is faith born of humility. He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He does. He must come believing that through the Word of God speaks and therefore he must come humbly and reverently.
Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Psalm 119:161, "Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word."
But we must not only approach the study of God's Word in faith but in love. It will not yield a very abundant harvest to the one who comes to it merely from a sense of duty. To enrich the life Bible study must be regarded as a delight. How well the Psalmist knew his Lord. The secret is not hard to discover.
Psalm 1:2, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
Psalm 119:47, "And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved."
(continued with # 16)