I’m sounding off today on the importance of systematic Bible study in the local church! Many churches have abandoned it, believe it or not! You should see the faces of many pastors when I ask them, “When do you offer systematic Bible study in your church?” … I get blank looks and “stammering lips” 🙂 Tragic!! (No, more than that… Pathetic!!)
Yet this is what Apostle Paul declared: “All Scripture is inspired (i.e. it comes from God) and is PROFITABLE for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man (or woman) of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) And it’s not just an adult thing either… a few verses earlier he said, “From CHILDHOOD you have been acquainted with the sacred scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15) Do we REALLY believe those Scriptures?
Here’s what I’m advocating for… Systematic Bible study (so the entirety of Scripture and sound doctrinal truth is covered); developmentally appropriate Bible study (cradle to grave); Christ centered Bible study (after all, He is the focus of everything!); Applicationally oriented or life related Bible study (dealing with the living of the Christian life every day); and Holy Spirit sensitive Bible study (after all He inspired the writers)! It needs to be led/facilitated by trained teachers/leaders and delivered in a context of small groups that allows for a high degree of fellowship and discussion. It should be offered regularly (weekly is probably preferable) and can be offered in a variety of contexts (you’re not limited to just having it in the “church house.”
I don’t care what you call it in your church (Sunday school, Bible study, School of the Bible, Growth groups, etc)… when you have it… what day of the week you have it…or where you have it… (in fact, I love a “full menu of Bible study options). Here’s my point…Just have it!!! Systematic Bible study!!!