A good salesman helps his prospect to see what his product will mean to him.
Once the benefits are understood, closing the sale is fairly easy. This lesson
will help readers see the personal advantages that come from Bible study. Wilbur
Smith ** has set forth seven important things Bible Study will do for us.
• It Uncovers and Convicts Us of Sin. Before a sick person can be helped, his condition must be diagnosed; whatever is causing his trouble must be removed; a wholesome diet must be followed and suitable exercise must be engaged in. The same is true of moral and spiritual ills. The Word of God is able to "discern the thoughts and intents of (our) hearts" (Heb. 4:12). Again, the Word of God is like a mirror, reflecting the true nature and condition of our soul (Jas. 1:23-24). John Calvin wrote: "No human writings, however sacredly composed, are at all capable of affecting us in a similar way. Read Demosthenes, Cicero, read Plato or Aristotle, or any other of that class. You will, I admit, feel wonderfully allured, pleased, moved, enchanted, but turn from them to the reading of the Sacred Volume and see whether or not it will so affect you, so pierce your heart, so work its way into your very marrow, ...making it manifest that in the Sacred Volume there is a truth Divine, something that makes it superior to all the gifts and graces attainable by man." (Institutes of the Christian Religion).
• The Bible Cleanses Us From the Pollution of Sin. The Psalmist asked and answered the universal question: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word." (119:9). Jesus assured his disciples, "now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:3). Izaak Walton penned these truth-filled words of eulogy to the Word of God: "Every hour I read you Kills a sin, Or lets a virtue in, To fight against it."
• Bible Study Imparts Strength to the Soul. As food provides strength for the physical man, the spiritual man receives his strength from the Word. The Scriptures are milk for the babe and meat for the mature Christian (Heb. 5:12-14). But we must expend the effort to consume them (Jer. 15:16). Alexander Maclaren wrote, "...If you want to be strong, let Scripture truth occupy and fill and be always present in your mind. There are powers to rule and direct all conduct, motive powers of the strongest character in these great truths of God's revelation."
• Scripture Study Instructs Us As to What We Are to Do. The wise man whose house stood the stormy test had heard the Word of God and obeyed it (Matt. 7:24-27). God's ways are not man's ways (Is. 55:8-9). Had God not revealed His will to us, we wold never have known what we should do to please Him.
• A Sword for Victory Over Sinful Temptations is Provided by Studying God's Word (Eph. 6:17). This is the Christian's only offensive weapon. When the Lord was tempted by Satan, the Sword of the Spirit drove the Evil One back (Matt. 4:1-11). The Psalmist wrote, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee" (Ps. 119:11).
• Our Lives Are Made Fruitful by Bible Study. The man who delights in the law of the Lord and meditates thereon day and night is like an evergreen tree, planted by a water stream that bears fruit and prospers (Ps. 1:1-3). God promised Joshua that meditation upon God's Word and obedience thereto would bring him prosperity and success (Jos. 1:8-9).
• It Provides Us Power in Prayer. Jesus promised, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7).
Surely no more profitable pursuit is available to man, with benefits so immediate and accruing even into eternity. Search the Scriptures!
By Dr. Wilbur Smith, Profitable Bible Study
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