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#1b WHY STUDY THE WORD OF GOD?

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#1b. WHY STUDY THE WORD OF GOD

Introduction 1b

When we first become believers in salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, studying the word of God is essential in order for us to grow, to be set free from sin, and to consolidate our faith. The malefactor on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) died within a few hours of becoming a believer in Jesus, and had no time to study the word of God or do anything more than confess his belief, and endure to the end. Although this was God's will for him, it won't be for most of us, so when God, by his grace, gives us more time than this, he will undoubtedly expect us to use it to find out his will for our lives, and to do it. Our sincerity will be proven by our willingness to study God's word and conform our lives to be obedient to it. Six hundred thousand Israelite men came out of Egypt with the promise of the promised land (Exodus 12:37), and all except two failed to receive it because of disobedience (Numbers 14:26-30). In the same way, those of us who are saved out of the world and given the promise of the kingdom of God, will fail to receive it if we are disobedient. All of us who can see, read and hear, will be expected to use our abilities to enable us to grow spiritually by studying the word of God, so that God can fulfil his purpose in our lives. Our fate if we do not is revealed in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:11-27), so we need to consider carefully these reasons for studying the word of God. This bible study gives us numerous biblical reasons why we should study God's word.

#1.32 IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND JESUS

HOSEA 6:6 (God)
6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

PROVERBS 2:1-6 (Solomon)
1 My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you;
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek for her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then shall you understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.

MATTHEW 11:29 (Jesus)
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.

EPHESIANS 4:20 (Paul)
20 But you have not so learned Christ;

Note: All knowledge of God is revealed to us by the spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-12), and God clearly wishes us to receive this knowledge (Hosea 4:6; 6:6); but Solomon made it clear that we need to diligently seek for it, by studying God's word, in order to obtain it (Proverbs 2:1-6). If we wish to obtain knowledge about Jesus, then we also need to study the scriptures and learn about him:

(John 5:39) "Search the scriptures; ... they are those which testify of me."
(Matthew 11:29) "learn of me;"
(Ephesians 4:20) "you have not so learned Christ;"

The knowledge of God and Jesus ensures eternal life:

(John 17:3) "And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

The knowledge of God is part of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:11), so it is very important that we study the scriptures to obtain this knowledge.
How do we know when we know God? The apostle John gave a very good definition:

(1 John 2:3-4) "And by this do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
He who says, I know him, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

As we need to study God's word in order to know him and keep his commandments, then how can we ensure our salvation if we do not study the word of God?

#1.34 IN ORDER TO AVOID DESTRUCTION

PROVERBS 13:13 (Solomon)
13 Whoever despises the word shall be destroyed: but he who fears the commandment shall be rewarded.

ISAIAH 27:11
11 When its boughs are withered, they shall be broken off: for the women come and set them on fire; for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he who made them will not have mercy on them, and he who formed them will show them no favour.

HOSEA 4:6
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.

Note: These verses make it clear, that when we become believers, if we then reject the word of God, or choose to do our own things instead of seeking for the knowledge that God so wants us to have (Hosea 4:6; 6:6), then we will end up destroyed along with the unbelievers. Our punishment will then be worse than that of the unbelievers, because wilful disobedience is worse than ignorant disobedience (Luke 12:47-48).

#1.36 IN ORDER TO LOVE GOD

JOHN 14:15 (Jesus)
15 If you love me, keep my commandments.

JOHN 14:21-24 (Jesus)
21 He who has my commandments, and keeps them, is he who loves me: and he who loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 And Judas said to him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?
23 Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.
24 He who does not love me does not keep my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.

1 JOHN 2:5
5 But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected: by this we know that we are in him.

1 JOHN 5:2-3
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

2 JOHN 6
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

Note: These scriptures show that God's definition of loving him and others is that we keep his commandments. This can only be done by having God's word in our hearts, "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3). Scripture has shown that total obedience other than from the heart is impossible. The Israelites could not attain to the law of righteousness, "Because they sought it not by faith" (Romans 9:32). They sought to obey the letter, but they should have sought to, "serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6). This was because, "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Corinthians 3:6). The words of Jesus in our heart are Spirit (John 6:63). Jesus said, "This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." (Matthew 15:8), and this type of lip-service has never been God's plan for his people. Loving God with all of our hearts is one of the conditions to inherit eternal life (Psalm 91:14-16; Luke 10:25-28; James 1:12; James 2:5). If we cannot love God and others without obeying God's word from the heart, and we cannot get God's word into our hearts without studying it, how can we ensure our salvation if we fail to study the word of God?

#1.38 IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND GOD'S WILL FOR OUR LIVES

ROMANS 12:2 (Paul)
2 And do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

EPHESIANS 5:17
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Note: God's will is revealed through the scriptures, by "the renewing of your mind," (Romans 12:2) with the word of God, and doing God's will is a condition to obtain salvation:

(Matthew 7:21) "Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
(1 John 2:17) "he who does the will of God abides for ever."

As we cannot even know God's will for us without studying the word of God, let alone do it, how can we ensure our salvation if we do not renew our mind with the word of God?

#1.40 IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO DO GOD'S WILL FOR OUR LIVES

JEREMIAH 4:22
22 For my people are foolish, they have not known me; they are stupid children, and they have no understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

JAMES 1:22
22 But you be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Note: The things that we do come from the wisdom and knowledge that we have (Jeremiah 4:22). If we are not doers of God's word we are deceived (James 1:22), and obedience to God's word is one of the ways to ensure salvation, because Jesus said, "if you will enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17), and he became "the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey him;" (Hebrews 5:9). John said, "Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life," (Revelation 22:14), showing how essential obedience is. As we cannot obey the word of God without studying it, how can we ensure our salvation without studying it?

#1.42 IN ORDER TO AVOID BEING ASHAMED WHEN JESUS RETURNS

PSALMS 119:4-6
4 You have commanded us to keep your precepts diligently.
5 O that my ways were directed to keep your statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect to all your commandments.

PSALMS 119:80
80 Let my heart be sound in your statutes; that I be not ashamed.

Note: Jesus said, "For whoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels." (Luke 9:26; also Mark 8:38), showing that if we are ashamed of Jesus and his words we will be lost. Having respect to all of God's commandments, that is obeying them, is the way for us to avoid being ashamed (Psalm 119:6), and this requires our hearts to be sound in God's statutes (Psalm 119:80). As we cannot do this without studying the word of God, how can we ensure our salvation without studying it?

#1.44 IN ORDER TO GROW IN GRACE

PROVERBS 3:21-22 (Solomon)
21 My Son, do not let them depart from your eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22 So shall they be life to your soul, and grace to your neck.

EPHESIANS 4:29 (Paul)
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.

COLOSSIANS 4:6 (Paul)
6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

2 PETER 1:2
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Note: Although grace is a gift from God (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 3:10; Ephesians 4:7; James 4:6), the amount of grace given to different individuals varies (Romans 12:6), and it grows (Ephesians 4:7; James 4:6; 2 Peter 1:2; 3:18). Jesus is full of grace (John 1:14), and it comes by Jesus (John 1:17). We are called into his grace (Galatians 1:6), and when his spirit dwells in us we have grace according to how much of his spirit we have (Ephesians 4:7). His grace gives us our belief (Acts 18:27), saves us (Acts 15:11), justifies us (Titus 3:7), and enables us to overcome sin (Romans 6:14-15). We can obtain grace by learning God's word (Proverbs 3:21-22; 1 Peter 1:2), by being obedient to it (Proverbs 1:8-9), by faith (Romans 5:2), by obtaining God's wisdom (Proverbs 3:21-22; 4:7-9), by being humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5), by being lowly (Proverbs 3:34), and it does not just come to us without any effort on our part. As all these things come through studying and knowing God's word, and we are saved by grace (Acts 15:11; Ephesians 2:5; 2:8), how then can we retain our salvation without studying it?

#1.46 IN ORDER TO CONFESS JESUS

MATTHEW 10:32-33 (Jesus)
32 Whoever therefore shall confess1me before men, him will I confess1also before my Father who is in heaven.
33 But whoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.

LUKE 12:8-9 (Jesus)
8 Also I say to you, Whoever shall confess1me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.
9 But he who denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

ROMANS 10:9-10 (Paul)
9 That if you shall confess1with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
10 For with the heart man believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession1 is made to salvation.

1 JOHN 2:22-23
22 Who is a liar but he who denies Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whoever denies the Son, the same does not have the Father: [but he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.]

Note: What does it mean to confess Jesus? Is it just to say that "Jesus is my Lord and saviour"? No, although it is important for us to confess that Jesus is our Lord and saviour, there are also other ways of interpreting this scripture:

(1) The word translated confess1, confession1 (Gr. ὁμολογέω, Gtr. homologeō) is made up from two words, "homos" meaning "same", and "legō" meaning "I speak". Literally it means "I speak the same thing", or "I agree with". Thus when we speak the same things that Jesus spoke, we are confessing him, and when we contradict the words of Jesus we are denying him:

(2 Peter 2:1) "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

As we cannot know what Jesus said, or know what the true teaching is without studying the word of God, how can we continue to confess Jesus and avoid heresy without studying it?

(2) Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1; 1:14; Revelation 19:13), and when we confess the word of God we are confessing Jesus. When we contradict the word of God, we are denying it, and thus denying Jesus. As we cannot know and confess the word of God without studying it, how can we retain our salvation if we do not study it (Matthew 10:33; Luke 12:9)?

(3) Another way of denying Jesus is with the deeds that we do:

(Titus 1:16) "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, to every good work reprobate."

This scripture shows that we need to avoid disobedience and do God's work in order to avoid denying him, but how can we do this without studying the word of God?

#1.48 IN ORDER TO OBTAIN HEALING

PSALMS 107:20
20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

PROVERBS 4:20-23 (Solomon)
20 My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

PROVERBS 14:30 (Solomon)
30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Note: We have already seen that faith comes by hearing the word of God, so when we know that everything we receive from God comes by faith (Matthew 21:21-22; Mark 11:23-24; James 1:6-7), then it is no surprise to find that many people obtained healings through their own faith (Matthew 9:2; 9:22; 9:29; 16:28; Mark 10:52; Luke 7:9-10). We could conclude from this, that we may have to study God's word in order to get the faith to get healed, if we do not have it already. As faith is the presence of God's word in our heart (Romans 10:8), then it is no contradiction to find that it is the presence of God's word in our heart that is health to all our flesh (Proverbs 4:23). "A sound heart" is surely one that contains God's word, and this also is "the life of the flesh:" (Proverbs 14:30). As we need to study the word of God to get it into our heart, how can we expect to get healed without studying it?

#1.50 BECAUSE IT WILL LEAD US AND LIGHT OUR PATH

PSALMS 119:105
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

PROVERBS 6:20-23 (Solomon)
20 My son, keep your father's commandment, and do not forsake the law of your mother;
21 Bind them continually upon your heart, and tie them about your neck.
22 When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it shall keep you; and when you awake, it shall talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

Note: These scriptures show that when God's word is in our heart, it will lead us (Proverbs 6:22), and light the way for us to go (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23), but is there a contradiction here with the scripture which says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)? Should we be led by the word of God, or by the spirit of God? In fact there is no difference. We know that, "the Spirit is truth." (1 John 5:6), and the Word of God is truth (John 17:17). Jesus said, "the words that I speak to you, they are spirit," (John 6:63), and as he only spoke God's words (John 3:34; 8:28; 8:38; 12:50; 14:10), that indicates that the Word of God is the Spirit of God doesn't it? When Jesus returns, he will destroy the wicked with "the spirit of his mouth," (2 Thessalonians 2:8), which is "a sharp sword," (Revelation 19:15), which is the "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;" (Ephesians 6:17). When Jesus cast out demons, he did it "with his word" (Matthew 8:16), and "by the Spirit of God" (Matthew 12:28), again confirming that the Word of God is the Spirit of God. Also the Spirit quickens (John 6:63,) and the Word quickens (Psalm 119:50), the Spirit leads us (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18), and the word of God leads us (Psalm 17:4; Proverbs 6:20-22), the truth leads us (Psalm 43:3), the Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6), and the word of God is truth (John 17:17), all effectively indicating that "the Word, and the Holy Spirit: ... are one." (1 John 5:7). One what? "one spirit." (Ephesians 4:4). As the word for "one" (Gr. ἓν, Gtr. hen) is neuter gender in the Greek, so the word for spirit is neuter. So we can conclude that Word of God is the Spirit of God. Just as "the Word was God." (John 1:1), which means that "the Word is God", as he doesn't change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), so "God is a spirit:" (John 4:24). As God creates everything by his Word (Psalm 148:5; John 1:3), so he creates everything by his spirit (Psalm 104:30), and just as he sends his word to do his will (Psalm 107:20; Isaiah 9:8; 55:11; Acts 10:36), so he also sends his spirit (Psalm 104:30; John 14:26; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:12). We can see how words are spirit from the writing of the apostle Paul:

(2 Corinthians 3:3) "written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart."

When we write words with ink, the ink is the substance of the words, and the words are the form of the ink. If we rub out the words, the ink disappears, and if we rub out the ink, the words disappear. Why? because ink and words are two ways of looking at the same thing, one describing its form, and the other describing its substance. So it is when God writes his words in our heart, his word is the form, and his spirit is the substance, which is equivalent to the ink. Therefore, whether we are led by the spirit of God (Romans 8:14), or by his word (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:20-23), it amounts to the same thing. How then can we be led by God's word (or spirit), and become sons of God (Romans 8:14), if we do not study the word of God, and allow him to write them in our hearts? Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would, "bring all things to your remembrance whatever I have said to you." (John 14:26), but how can he do that if we have never read or heard his words?

#1.52 IN ORDER TO BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF OUR MIND, AND BECOME LIKE JESUS

ROMANS 12:1-2 (Paul)
1 I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed1by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:3 (Paul)
3 Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:18 (Paul)
18 But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:16 (Paul)
16 For which cause we do not faint; for though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

EPHESIANS 4:23-24 (Paul)
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

COLOSSIANS 3:9-10 (Paul)
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

1 PETER 2:2
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby.

Note: From the day that we first believe, our Christian life ought to be one of continual transformation, from "the old man", which is our sinful self, into "the new man", which is Jesus Christ. This process sees Christ growing in us from "a babe" (1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Peter 2:2), until we become like Jesus. The fact that this is God's will for each of us is revealed through several scriptures:

(Matthew 10:25) "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his Lord."
(Romans 8:29) "For whom he did foreknow, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,"
(1 Corinthians 15:48) "as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly."
(1 Peter 2:21) "For even for this were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:"
(1 John 2:6) "He who says he abides in him aught himself also to walk, even as he walked."
(1 John 4:17) "as he is, so are we in this world."

It is no quick transformation, but is a process that takes place over a long period of time. The word translated be transformed1 (Gr. μεταμορφοῦσθε, Gtr. metamorphousthe) is the second person plural, present imperative passive, of the verb "metamorphoō", I transform. We have a similar word in English, "metamorphosis", which physically would mean "a change of shape", but spiritually "a change of character". A physical example of a matamorphosis would be a caterpillar when it is transformed into a butterfly, while a spiritual example would be a sinner, with the character of the devil, when he is transformed into a saint with the character of Jesus. This would see us transformed from a life according to the flesh (Romans 8:1; 8:5; 8:8; 8:13), to a spiritual life of total faith. The present imperative indicates a command to continue to do something (DFH p92; JWW p74; WP p51), while the passive voice indicates that something is being done to us, rather than us doing something ourselves (DFH p69; JWW p69). So this word "metamorphousthe" would be more accurately translated "keep on being transformed", confirming that the transformation is a long process, rather than an instantaneous one. So as we study and read the word of God, "we all with open face beholding ... the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18). We grow from "faith to faith:" (Romans 1:17), as the word of God is "written ... with the spirit of the living God; ... in the fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3). How is all of this possible if we do not study the word of God?

#1.54 IN ORDER TO BE A PARTAKER OF THE NEW COVENANT

ISAIAH 59:20-21
20 And the redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD.
21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD; My spirit that is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed's seed, says the LORD, from now on and forever.

JEREMIAH 31:33-34
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall no more teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

HEBREWS 8:10-12
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Note: The redeemer who comes to Zion (Isaiah 59:20) refers to Jesus, and it was prophesied that the spirit of God would be upon him (Isaiah 61:1-2), in a prophesy which Jesus attributed to himself:

(Luke 4:18) "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;"

This anointing with the spirit occurred at his baptism (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:33), when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power;" (Acts 10:38). After this he was tempted in the wilderness by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13), and returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14). Jesus went on to fulfil the other part of this covenant, "my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth," (Isaiah 59:21), by speaking only those words which his Father gave him to speak (John 8:26-28; 26:38; 12:50; 14:10). There are three requirements here for us to become partakers of the new covenant:

(1) The seed of Jesus, referred to as "your seed," (Isaiah 59:21), would be the apostles and others who believed in him when he was alive upon the earth. We today, come into the category of "your seed's seed", because we believe the written record that they have left for us. Not only do other scriptures show that we ought also to be like Jesus (Matthew 10:25; 8:29; 1 Peter 2:21-22; 1 John 2:6; 4:17), but to become a partaker of the new covenant, we need to speak only God's words also (Isaiah 59:21), and how can we do that if we do not learn what God has said by studying his word?

(2) The words that we speak come from our heart (Job 8:10; 33:3; Isaiah 59:13; Matthew 12:34; 15:18-19; Mark 7:21-23), so as part of the new covenant God has promised to write them in our mind, and our heart (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16). This is not unconditional. We need to meditate in God's word (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:15-16; Philippians 4:8), keep on hearing God's word (Proverbs 8:15; 23:12; 23:19; Ezekiel 3:10; Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12), and keep on seeing God's word (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 11:18-20; Proverbs 4:20-21; 23:26), and as we cannot do any of this without studying the word of God, how can we become partakers of the New Covenant without studying it?

(3) We can see another indication here of a partaker of the new covenant by what God has said:

(Jeremiah 31:34) "they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,"
(Hebrews 8:11) "all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."

How do we know when we know him? The apostle John gave us a very good definition:

(1 John 2:3-4) "And by this do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
He who says, I know him, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

If all partakers of the new covenant know God, and that requires us to keep his commandments, then how can we become partakers of the new covenant without studying God's word and finding out what his commandments are? How can we even claim to have eternal life?

(John 17:3) "And this is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

#1.58 CONCLUSION

The manifestation of our salvation (See #1.04 Note) depends upon the life we live between when we first believe and when we die. In order to ensure that we do receive that salvation, studying the word of God must be an essential part of our life. The more we do it, and put it into practice in our lives, the more certain we can be that we will be a part of that blessed first resurrection when Jesus returns.

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