Have you ever felt you should spend more time learning God’s word but the distractions of everyday life always seem to get in the way? Does studying scripture feel more like a chore than a joyful experience? If this sounds like you, and most of us have been there at one time or another, then I hope these thirteen benefits of learning God’s word encourage you to make bible study a regular and frequent part of your life.
Benefit #1: To be approved by God
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.Those who understand and teach God’s word correctly are approved by God. Of course, this means that those who interpret and teach the word of God incorrectly (either unknowingly or knowingly to fit their own beliefs or agendas) are not approved by God. Pray that you will always handle the word of God correctly so that you'll be blessed and approved by the one whose approval we all need the most… the Lord God Almighty.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
There was apostasy (false teaching) in the early church in the Apostle Paul’s day (see 2 Peter 2:1 and 1 John 4:1-3) and there’s certainly far too much apostasy in the world today, just as Jesus prophesied it would be in the last days. The best way to prepare yourself to correctly interpret God’s word, and not be deceived by false teaching, is to study it for yourself. Just going to church and hearing a sermon once a week isn’t enough. You need to also read God’s word yourself every day.
Benefit #2: To grow in Salvation
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.Just like infants need milk to grow, we all need spiritual milk (the word of God) in order to grow spiritually. Without regularly consuming God’s word, a new believer cannot grow but instead begins to die spiritually. God expects His children to grow spiritually (Hebrews 2:1-3 NKJV) but not all of us do, as you’ll see in the next section.
1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)
Benefit #3: To grow in righteousnessGod expects Christians to be righteous (in right standing with God) just as Christ is righteous. We’re expected to become more and more like Christ which means that we learn to obey the commandments that God breathed into scripture through the prophets, apostles, and other God-fearing people who wrote them down for us. The way we grow in righteousness is by learning the word of God and then doing what it says (James 1:22 NKJV).
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.The author of the book of Hebrews directed the following rebuke to a group of first-century believers who were on the verge of giving up the Christian faith due to fierce persecution.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.This verse draws a sharp contrast between milk (which refers to a fundamental understanding of the Christian faith) and solid food (which refers to a deeper understanding of the faith that only those who mature in their walk with Christ attain).
Hebrews 5:12-13 (NKJV)
These Hebrew believers had been in the faith long enough that they should have moved beyond the Christian fundamentals to a deeper understanding of God’s word which results in growing in righteousness. But tragically they never grew in their knowledge of God's word and because of that, they needed to be taught the first principles and oracles of God all over again.
Benefit #4: To be happyI like to be happy, don’t you? I’ve found that the more I study God’s word, the happier I am. I think that once you understand who God is, and the more you understand that He’s in control of everything and that He loves you, you’ll become happy and bask in the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7 NKJV).
To emphasize the point that studying the bible brings happiness, consider this Psalm.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,Here’s a man who delights in the law of the Lord and thinks about what God’s word says day and night. Now that’s a happy and blessed man! The next time you talk to someone who’s miserable, ask them if they’ve read the bible today. Chances are they haven’t opened one for a while.
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2 (NKJV)
Benefit #5: To learn to avoid sinConsider this: If God had not given the ten commandments, would we know what sin is? The Apostle Paul didn't think so.
… I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”You might be thinking, “wait, we’re no longer under the law but under grace through faith in Jesus Christ”. That’s true but God still expects us to obey His commandments so that we don’t sin against Him. We learn God’s commandments by hearing and reading His word. But just learning God’s commandments isn’t enough. To avoid being ensnared by sin, we need to also obey them.
Romans 7:7 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
Benefit #6: To obtain God’s guidanceWho’s a more capable councilor than the Lord God who knows all things, is in control of all things, and never tells a lie? I haven’t thought of anyone, have you? Here’s what the psalmist said about God’s guidance.
Your word is a lamp to my feetSee also Psalm 23.
And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)
If you want God’s guidance, you’ll find plenty of it in his book: The Holy Bible.
Benefit #7: To gain spiritual wisdom and understandingGod said that the fear of the Lord is wisdom.
And to man He said,Proverbs 9:10 tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. Did you catch that? We can’t even begin to become wise until we know the Lord and fear (have reverence for) Him.
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’
Job 28:28 (NKJV)
What do we do if we know and revere the Lord but we still lack wisdom? Luckily the bible tells us exactly what to do.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.I’ve prayed for wisdom many times because I see great value in it. We’re not talking about the so-called wisdom of secular philosophers but the wisdom that’s beyond our human ability to gain on our own. The wisdom that comes only from the all-knowing God.
James 1:5 (NKJV)
Friends, we should ask God to grant others wisdom as well, just as Paul the apostle did in his day.
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:9-10 (NKJV)
Benefit #8: To gain faithDo you need more faith? Who doesn’t, right? Here’s how to increase your faith.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.It’s as simple as that. When you hear the word of God and believe in your heart that what it says is true, then you gain more faith.
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
Benefit #9: To be blessedThe Bible says plenty about how to gain God’s blessings. For example, the well-known Beatitudes that Jesus spoke to the multitudes (Matthew 5:1-11) tell us what kind of people will be blessed which gives us the keys we need to unlock blessings from God. For example, Matthew 5:7 tells us that those who are merciful towards others will obtain mercy for themselves.
Many other blessings that are worth mentioning are found throughout the Bible. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”If you go to church on Sunday or listen to the word of God on your favorite TV or radio show and don’t apply what you’ve learned to your life, then you’re missing out on blessings from God.
Luke 11:28 (NKJV)
Here’s another one. The psalmist tells us that those who avoid bad company but instead delight in the law of the Lord and also meditate on it day and night will be blessed. We’re not talking about the kind of meditation that’s so popular in the world today in which you clear your mind of all thoughts and do deep breathing exercises to center yourself. The biblical definition of meditating means to think deeply about God’s word.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,There’s also a blessing for those who become wise and gain understanding.
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV)
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,On a similar note, Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”.
for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
Proverbs 3:13-14 (NKJV)
And here’s one that’s far too often over-looked: which is the promise that we’ll be blessed for hearing the prophecy written in the book of Revelation.
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophesy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.Far too many people give the excuse that the book of Revelation is hard to understand because it’s filled with figurative language and symbolism. But truly, it’s a book that can be understood by anyone with a little effort. And even if you don’t understand all of it the first time you read it, at least you’ll receive the blessing that God promised us. That should be motivation enough to invest a little time to read it, don’t you think?
Revelation 1:3 (NKJV)
Benefit #10: To have prosperity and successWe all want to have success and prosperity, don’t we? At least most of us do. But the biblical definition of prosperity doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a lot of money in the bank. For example, in biblical times being prosperous could mean that you’ve been blessed with children because they’re the ones who would take care of you in your old age.
One way to obtain the blessing of prosperity and success is to know God’s laws and to frequently meditate on them. Of course, you also need to be careful to obey them as well. Being blessed for our obedience to God’s word seems to be a reoccurring theme, doesn’t it?
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.Another path to prosperity is to fear the Lord, which means to revere Him.
Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
Who is the man that fears the LORD?Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that these scriptures mean that if you do these things that God will rain down jewels and luxury cars and mansions from heaven. That’s essentially what’s taught by many in the church today who teach the prosperity gospel which is a false gospel.
Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.
He himself shall dwell in prosperity…
Psalm 25:12-13 (NKJV)
If you decide to become a Christian, thinking that you’ll receive financial gain from heaven as the prosperity gospel declares, then you won’t receive it because God knows what you’re thinking and what’s in your heart. He knows everything, so you can’t fool Him with wrong motives!
Benefit #11: To gain the desire to do God’s willWhen we know God’s word and meditate on it, we get to know God and what he’s done for us. The natural result is that we learn to love Him and that love results in the desire to do His will, even to the point that we happily obey His word.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”
Psalm 40:8 (NKJV)
Benefit #12: Knowing God’s word affects what we sayIt’s so important that, as Christians, we live our lives as ambassadors for Christ. People notice what we say and do. So if we act and talk like the ungodly, how does that differentiate us from unbelievers? How does that glorify Christ? It doesn’t. We need to live our lives in a way that glorifies God so that others notice there’s something different about us. This opens up opportunities to share God’s word.
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.In order to bring forth what is good from your heart, you have to put good things in there. So, it’s vital that you learn to guard what you allow to go into our eyes and ears. Most of us are living in a culture that’s in a downward spiral of moral decay. So we need to be careful about what we choose to watch and listen to for entertainment. If we listen to music that’s full of vulgar lyrics or listen to shock jocks on talk radio, guess what’s likely to cross our lips? You guessed it… the same kind of filth.
Luke 6:45 (NKJV)
So, how do we fill our hearts with the good things that bring forth God’s blessing? You guessed it. The best way is to hear, read, and meditate on the word of God. Discussing the Bible with a friend or loved one is also very beneficial. The more you fill your heart with good things and the less you take in the worldly things, the more blessed you’ll become.
Benefit #13: To be prepared to help othersBeing able to help others is one of my favorite benefits of knowing and meditating on God’s word. I love to study the bible so that I can help others to better understand it. The knowledge that I gain from doing this prepares me to give sound biblical advice to others. This has been a wonderful blessing for me and the bible tells us that this is exactly what we should do, which is to teach the word of God to others.
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.We’re also told that we should always be ready to defend our faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:2 (NKJV)
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;One of the things that have really motivated me to study God’s word is having been challenged in the past to defend what I believe and not being adequately ready to do so. I imagine that experience felt about the same way an athlete might feel who almost won a championship game or a medal in the Olympics but fell short of their goal due to inadequate training. I hope this never happens to you but if it does, I pray that it motivates you, as it did me, to fervently study the scriptures so that you’ll be more prepared the next time you have an opportunity to share God’s word with someone.
1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)
May you be richly blessed by God Almighty who reigns from His heavenly throne!