Which is more important: listening to a biblical sermon, personal Bible study, or studying the Bible in a small group? Trick question.
Obviously I believe in the importance of good biblical sermons. I’ve spent over forty years trying to craft them and deliver them. When Paul asks, “How shall they hear without a preacher,” I believe he’s stressing the importance of hearing the Word of God proclaimed.
However, when he tells Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved to God,” I think he has personal Bible study in mind. And when Luke commended the Bereans for “Examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so,” he was commending them for studying the Scriptures together. So all are important, and the question that needs to be asked is, are you doing all three?
The value of group Bible study was again made very evident at last week’s Wednesday night Bible Study. We are studying Romans, and are currently in the 7th chapter. When we got to the statement, “When the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;” Casey spoke for most of us when he said, “I don’t get it!”
That led to a lot of productive discussion about what it meant, and a conclusion that did make sense. That discussion then led to a discussion about the distinction between the Law and commandments, which was concluded when Chris noted that Paul was still talking about a specific commandment, “You shall not covet,” not making a general statement about the Law and commandments. And that led to Carole sharing something she found online about the supposed distinction between God’s Law and the Mosaic Law. We agreed the statement was off- based because it ignored the fact that Moses didn’t write laws, he simply relayed God’s Law to His people.
I hope you get the point. If you are not currently studying in a group, you need to get in one.
God Bless, Rick