We cannot properly honor and serve God or His Son, Jesus Christ, unless we have knowledge of His will (Romans 12:2; Colossians 4:12; Hebrews 10:36). 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, 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).
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).
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 Psalm 119:97-104:
"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, 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, NIV).