We are champion excuse makers. We can come up with a thousand different reasons why something won’t work or why we simply can’t do what we’re suppose to. And it’s also true when it comes to Bible study. So in an effort to debunk the internal voice within you as to why you can’t study the Bible, here is part two in the top three excuses we give for why we simply can’t get into Scripture.
The first excuse is Time. We are a busy people. I get it. Truly, I do. But even the busiest person on earth still has time to Saturate on Scripture. If you find yourself making excuses not to study because of your crazy schedule, then you need to read Excuse 1 and how Saturation Bible Study is the cure for every reason you think you can’t dive within the Truth of the Word.
Which leads us to the second excuse we give for not studying the Bible:
I have heard it said over and over
- “I never got good grades in school”
- “I don’t know Greek“
- “I can barely spell grammar, let alone know what to do with it”
Most of us would love to be more formally trained, especially when it comes to the Bible. I have a friend who can pick up a Greek New Testament and not only read it in Greek but actually know what it says. I wish I could do that! Seriously. I have to use tools and resources (like blueletterbible.org) to gain access and understanding to the original language.
Many of us have tried to block from our memory the grammar lessons we learned in sixth grade. Some of us may have enjoyed School House Rock with the classic song “Conjunction junction, what’s your function?” but those simple grammar lessons have all been forgotten.
Even if that was all true, even if you flunked out of school or had to leave at age 14 so you could get a job and help support your family, even if you are dumber than a rock and ugly too, you can still study the Bible! Again, Saturation Bible Study is the solution.
Truth vs. Truths
Our society is all wrapped up in getting as much knowledge and information as possible. Just look at these statistics:
- Google reports there are 34,000 searches per second (which is more than 3 billion searches per day – what a month’s total was in 2010)
- The weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than a person in the 17th-century England would have come across in their entire lifetime
- More information has been produced in the last 30 years than the previous 5,000
- Over 4,000 new books are published every single day
- Information is doubling every 18-24 months (in 2010, there was over 32 times the amount of information that we had in 2001). Some estimate within a few years information may be doubling every 11 hours.
We are obsessed with information.
And sadly, most people come to the Word for the same reason: information. They think the Bible is a guidebook, a user manual, or a road map for life. While there may be elements of those concepts that are true, they all presume that God is separated from us. What they forget is that God’s Truth is not separated from Himself.
In John 14.6 Jesus declares: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus is Truth. Anything outside of Jesus is a lie. It may be a truth (a fact) but Truth is a Person whose name is Jesus.
We don’t come to the Word to gain truths (facts) but to know Truth (Jesus). Therefore you don’t need to know Greek or grammar or have good grades,
because we are after a Person not info. Sure the facts are important to know but that is not the purpose of Bible study. It is great if you know Greek and grammar – and it will allow you to go deeper into the Word – but that is not the end goal, the end goal is knowing Jesus.
A Revelation of Truth
In John 14-17 Jesus and His disciples are in the upper room. Jesus had washed their feet and gave a great discourse on the realities of the Christian life (vine and branch stuff). In chapter sixteen, Jesus says that it is better that He go away because He will send the Holy Spirit. Jesus then states that “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth … He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16.13).
We discover that the Holy Spirit (aka: the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Jesus) will come to us. But get this, He doesn’t just come to us, He lives within us! This is a whole new reality! This is the fullness of Pentecost – the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth coming within!
Jesus says that the Spirit of Truth will guide us into all truth. The word guide means to take by the hand and lead. Do you see what the Holy Spirit does in our lives? The Holy Spirit, who lives within us, takes us by the hand and leads us into all truth – which is Jesus. So the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Truth leads us into all Truth!
Jesus goes on to say that the Spirit will glorify, lift up, magnify, highlight, extol, and celebrate Jesus within our lives. And all that Jesus is and has will be declared to us.
Yes, knowing Greek, grammar, and having good grades might be a help in Bible study but you don’t need those. Why? Because if you have the Holy Spirit living within you (which is the reality if you are a Christian) then you have the Spirit of Truth living within your life who is going to take you by the hand and reveal Truth (Jesus) to you!
You can be dumber than a rock and still get it – because Bible study is not based upon your intellect or your education or how well you did in school or if you know what an aorist, active, participle is (it really is okay if you don’t). The only way you’ll be able to discover Truth is to be guided into it. You can learn a lot of facts and data and information through your own ability, but it takes the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus. Which is why there are a lot of Christian college professors who can teach the Bible and reveal great truths but it lacks passion and substance because they don’t allow the Spirit of Truth to guide them into all Truth.
Maybe it is actually good to be dumber than a rock. When we think we have the smarts, we assume we can handle the Word and pull off “Bible study.” But when we know we are inadequate, when we realize that we don’t have the ability to gain deep wisdom and insight, we end up doing what we should do all along – rely and depend upon the Spirit to take us by the hand and lead us into all truth.
So relax. The pressure for truth is not upon you but upon Him. Trust Him. If the Spirit lives within your life, it is guaranteed that He will lead you into all truth. And you don’t even have to be smart.
Comment: we’d love to hear you share about how the presence of the Spirit in your life removes your Bible study excuse of no training or little education – or for those of you with lots of education and talent, how you must purposely rely not upon your intellect or ability but upon Jesus. Comment in the section below.