Adventure * Service * Faith

Why Read the Bible?
September 23, 2003

Opening Discussion

Like last week I want to take a little poll before we get started. Be honest, because this is just for information, not to make anyone feel guilty. Raise your hand if you have a personal Bible reading time seven days a week. 5-6 times? A few times a week? Once a week? Rarely or never?

Would anyone like to share why they answered the way they did?

Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:14 - 4:5

Background: Paul, near the end of his life, writes this letter to Timothy, a young man who he has mentored over the course of his life and who is currently ministering to the church in Ephesus. Although this passage is often used to encourage pastors, it can be useful to all of us, as we are all called to represent God on this earth.

Who did you first learn about the Bible from? What was it that made you trust that it is the Word of God?

What is Paul's first instruction in verse 14? What is this that we "have learned and become convinced of", and how did we learn it and become convinced of it? What is the significance of the phrase "continue in"? In terms of our personal study of the Bible, why is verse 14 an important first thing to keep in mind?

Why does Paul emphasize that "you know those from whom you learned it" (v 14)?

Discuss each characteristic of Scripture in verses 15-16:
(What does each mean? How does each affect us? Why is each important? According to each, why should we read the Bible?)

  • Make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ
  • God-breathed
  • Useful for teaching
  • Useful for rebuking
  • Useful for correcting
  • Useful for training in righteousness

What is the best way to use Scripture to be "thoroughly equipped for every good work" (v 17)?

What do the instructions in chapter 4, verse 2 mean to us and how can the Bible help us follow those instructions?

  • Preach the Word
  • Be prepared in season and out of season
  • Correct, rebuke, and encourage

Verses 3-4 address an issue that can be a complete discussion by itself. We'll skip them for tonight.

(Possible questions regarding verses 3-4 if time allows:

Is the situation Paul describes in verses 3-4 something that happens today? If you can think of a specific example, please share.

What can we do to counter this type of situation? How can we prepare ourselves for it?)

Look at each of the instructions in verse 5. Does this apply to us or not? (Why or why not?) How can we equip ourselves to follow these instructions?

  • Keep your head in all situations
  • Endure hardship
  • Do the work of an evangelist
  • Discharge all the duties of your ministry

What are some answers this passage gives us for the question, "Why Read the Bible?"

This passage gives us a lot of reasons why we should read the Bible. After studying this passage, is there any reason you can think of as to why you still wouldn't have a regular personal Bible reading time? What can we do to encourage each other in studying God's Word?

Memory Verse: 1 Peter 3:15.


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Jenn Raley Miller