“Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
Today’s verse passage is part of Paul’s farewell address the to the Ephesian pastors. Here we see the great importance Paul attached to learning and applying the entire Bible. No doubt he was familiar with the Lord’s command to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19b-20a). To do this requires that we acquire some kind of working knowledge of the entire Bible. That this is pleasing to the Lord ought to be our chief concern. Nevertheless, there are other, obvious practical benefits of being a diligent student of the Scriptures. To begin with, when we are studying the Bible we are not engaged in some lesser activity, much less some sinful activity. The Bible begins to rewrite our minds, giving us a better understanding of God, the world, and ourselves. When we talk to God during our study time, our relationship with Him deepens and so does our faith. “Faith cometh by hearing,” wrote Paul, “and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Our faith is one of the pieces of spiritual armor that we are to put on every day as we do battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our faith is a shield, “wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16). The equation is simple: more scriptural knowledge means a bigger shield. As we read the Bible we are amazed at God’s brilliance, power, and moral goodness. We are captivated by His personality and we are drawn to Him. The more we read about God in the Bible, His mighty acts, His matchless wisdom, the more we want to know and submit to Him. The more we study the Scriptures, the more we see God’s powerful, guiding hand in their very composition. No human work whose composition involved more than 40 writers, spanning some 1500 years, in different languages and covering a wide range of controversial topics could ever achieve the unity, power, and beauty of the Bible. This is not to mention the countless themes that wind their way through the Scriptures, which unfold to reveal a great cosmic drama that culminates in the redemption and glorification of lost souls, and of the Divine Redeemer receiving the rewards of His sufferings. Studying the Bible, we are moved to love the Lord Who loved us first (1 John 4:19). It is our love for Him that finds expression in faithful obedience (John 14:21), for His glory and for the good of others. May we study our Bibles with renewed enthusiasm today!