We cannot properly honor and serve God or His Son, Jesus Christ, unless we have knowledge of His will (Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
American King James Version×; Colossians 4:12 Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
American King James Version×; Hebrews 10:36 Hebrews 10:36For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
American King James Version×) . We acquire that knowledge through regular, diligent Bible study. Paul says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
American King James Version×, New American Standard Bible).
He explained to Timothy, “You must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15 2 Timothy 3:14-15 14 But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;
15 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×).
What makes the Scriptures so necessary to our salvation? Paul continues, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
American King James Version×).
We learn God’s ways by carefully reading and reflecting on the meaning of His instructions. Consider the attitude toward God’s Word and His law expressed in Psalms 119:97-104 Psalms 119:97-104 97 O how I love your law! it is my meditation all the day.
98 You through your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies: for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep your precepts.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep your word.
102 I have not departed from your judgments: for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
American King James Version×:
“Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.
“I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.”
Notice this criticism of some who had not taken the time to accurately discern God’s will from diligent study of His Word:
“Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14 Hebrews 5:12-14 12 For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
American King James Version×, HCSB).
Growing spiritually through regular and meaningful personal Bible study is vital. As Paul summed up:
“This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11 Philippians 1:9-11 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
American King James Version×, NIV).