In many parts of Christendom, serious study of God’s Word has been given a renewed focus. It is commonplace to read articles deriding the “Christianity lite” that was popularized in many youth groups and that began infiltrating the American church at large. Studious ingestion of Scripture, and the commentaries that explain it, has become the “cool thing” to do. Careful exegesis of passages, contextual understanding and deliberate meditation on Scripture have gained in popularity. People recognize that serious understanding of God’s Word requires serious study of it.
This is a good thing. Scripture makes it clear that studying and dwelling on God’s Word is commendable. However, the Bible also makes it clear that there is a reason for it. We shouldn’t study Scripture merely as a means of increasing our knowledge or in delighting in our own understanding. Our pretense for acquisition of biblical knowledge isn’t so that we can glory in our own obtainment of it. Instead, as Joshua 1:8 indicates, the reason we are to study Scripture is so that we may increasingly obey it. Studying God’s Word should effect our heads, and our hearts. Our lives should increasingly conform to the pattern that Scripture articulates. If not, if we are studying merely as a means to win debates or to make erudite points in discussions, if in other words, our study is mostly about us, and not about God, than we have missed entirely the point of Scripture to begin with. After all, God’s Word is mostly (and rightly) about Him. We should study in to know Him more, and as a result, our lives should increasingly look as He desires.
Our study of Scripture should increasingly lead to more obedient lives. And as it does, our lives should increasingly bring glory to the One in Whom Scripture delights.