I want to master the bible. Its part of my religious checklist. I do it to appear Godly, to feel acceptable to God. But there’s one problem with this: it’s unbiblical. The Bible is not an end, but a means. We should not master the bible, but be mastered by it.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” When the bible talks about the bible, it does not request us to study it for it’s own sake, but rather for our own good. God commands us to let his word shape our lifestyle, correct our sinful habits, draw us to his glory, and train us in the gospel. The Bible is always a means to increase our love for God and our personal holiness, not an ends to meet our religious checklist. What does this mean for us?
1. Allow the bible to convict: As you read, begin by asking what this passage teaches you about God, and about mankind. Ask how it shows the fallen nature of humans; ask how it shows your need for divine satisfaction; then take an honest look at how this passage convicts you of your fallen nature and your struggles with sin.
2. Allow the bible to heal: Next look to see how God provides the grace to meet our fallen needs. How does God take the penalty for your sin? How does God provide for your needs? What grace does Christ promise? What promises does God make? Apply God’s prescription to your needs.
3. Apply it: Live all of it out! Allow your joy in God’s provisions to guide you in a holy lifestyle. Grow in wisdom. Walk by the word.