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Some teens might reason, “If I obey my parents and church teachings, why do I need to study the Bible? I’m busy with school and social activities. What benefit would it be for me to make the time for personal Bible study?” This discussion guide is for those who ask such questions. It is designed to help you discover what the Bible itself says are the benefits for putting forth the effort to read and study the Word of God. As you come to understand this important principle, you will also learn how to study the Bible.

1. What are some common beliefs and attitudes towards Bible study?

2. Have you ever tried to study the Bible? If so, did you find it difficult? Was it hard to do it daily? What hindrances to Bible study do you face?

WHY Study the Bible

Daniel 7:27 Daniel 7:27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
American King James Version×
– “Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”

1. What is God’s Plan concerning the future?

2. Who is a “saint”? Explain Psalms 50:5 Psalms 50:5Gather my saints together to me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
American King James Version×
and Revelation 14:12 Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
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.

Comment: In what time of man’s history would you like to live? Would it be in the time of Noah? Or when David was king? How about being there when the pyramids were built?

How about the time of the great crusades? Or any of the other eras or kingdoms of man? All these had their shortcomings, and in any of them you would more than likely have been a slave, dying in your 20s or 30s with hardly enough food or decent shelter and with sickness, injury and hardship tearing into you with every step. With that in mind, maybe you are thinking that “this is the age that I want to live in.” Hatred and violence everywhere, wars, killing continually knocking at our doors… So many varieties of cancer, heart problems, AIDS, hundreds of other illnesses… All out of control. Let’s go back to that question, why study the Bible? It speaks of a time where people will be healthier and wealthier than at any other time. Do you know of that kingdom, where there is no war to be fought, and where people will live fulfilling, healthy, beautiful long lives, not worrying about the problems of the eras and kingdoms of man? God is challenging you to not only know of it, but live it! So one reason to study the Bible is to know the future and know how to train and prepare for it.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 Ecclesiastes 9:3This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
American King James Version×
– “…Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live ….”

3. What is the nature of man?

4. Do you think after about two or three hundred years of living you and your friends would make the world a better or a worse place? People did, at one time, have the opportunity to live very long lives – hundreds of years, in fact. What was the outcome of that era? Read Genesis 6:5 Genesis 6:5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
American King James Version×
and answer.

Jeremiah 10:23 Jeremiah 10:23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.
American King James Version×
– “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”

5. How many people instinctively know how to live properly?

6. What man can tell you how to live?

Deuteronomy 8:3 Deuteronomy 8:3And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.
American King James Version×
– Man is supposed to live “…by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.”

7. If no human being knows on his own how to live successfully (that is, fulfill his potential, become a saint, and beneficently rule in the Kingdom of God), how is man to learn?

8. What source has God provided mankind for this vital knowledge? Where can we find God’s words?

2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
American King James Version×
(NIV).– “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

9. How can studying the Bible help us? What does it mean that the Bible is useful for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness?” Consider 1 Corinthians 3:19 1 Corinthians 3:19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness.
American King James Version×
before answering.

Comment : It’s in man’s nature to do what is evil in God’s sight. There is nothing we can do to change the fact that the world will do evil. So, the world is going to continue on its path to destruction — but we have in our hands the tool that shows us how to stand out and set an example for the rest of the world of the right way to live.

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×
– “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

10. What can we do to find favor in God’s sight?

Acts 17:11 Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
American King James Version×
– “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

11. How was the attitude of those in Berea different from citizens of Thessalonica towards hearing the Scriptures expounded?

12. What are we to do when someone (including a minister in church) instructs us? Read also Isaiah 8:20 Isaiah 8:20To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
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and comment.

13. What reasons for studying the Bible do you find in the following verses:


Proverbs 1:1-4 Proverbs 1:1-4 1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
American King James Version×

John 5:39 John 5:39Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
American King James Version×

Romans 15:4 Romans 15:4For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
American King James Version×

1 Corinthians 10:11 1 Corinthians 10:11Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.
American King James Version×

1 Peter 2:2 1 Peter 2:2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby:
American King James Version×

Revelation 1:3 Revelation 1:3Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
American King James Version×

How to Study the Bible

Now that we’ve considered why study the Bible, let’s see how one properly studies the Bible.

James 4:6-7 James 4:6-7 6 But he gives more grace. Why he said, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
American King James Version×
(NIV) – “…’God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God…”

1. In order to understand the Bible, what is the most beneficial mindset? What do you think is the right attitude to have in order to really understand how God wants us to live?

2. What is humility? Why is this important when we want to learn something?

Comment: Do you remember what the purpose of scripture is according to 2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
American King James Version×
? How many people do you know who like to be rebuked and corrected? It’s not so much our method of studying that’s important – this isn’t something as easy as reading a chapter before bed each night – but our attitude.

3. Would prayer before studying be a good idea? If so, for what would you pray?

Psalms 111:10 Psalms 111:10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures for ever.
American King James Version×
– “… A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.”

4. How can we have understanding?

5. Is it possible to obey God with the wrong attitude? What attitude did Jonah have?

Comment: Think about Jonah: he eventually obeyed God and went to Ninevah to tell all the people they were going to die because they were doing evil in God’s sight. The Ninevites repented and God spared the city, which made Jonah mad because he wanted God to destroy the over 120,000 Ninevites.

In order to understand the intended purpose of a verse (or verses), there are certain questions that need to be answered about the passage. These include: (1) to whom the passage was directed; (2) when it was written; (3) what the historical or cultural context was when the passage was written.

6. What Bible “helps” (e.g. Bible commentary, Bible dictionary, atlas) contain such information?

Isaiah 28:9-10 Isaiah 28:9-10 9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, and there a little:
American King James Version×
– “’Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? … For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.’”

7. What is this scriptural passage telling us about how the Bible was written? What must one do to understand God’s will concerning a particular subject?

8. How can a concordance be of use to one seeking understanding of God’s Word? Do you think the Bereans (Acts 17:11 Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
American King James Version×
) would have liked to have had a concordance? Why?

9. How would having more than one translation of the Bible help in understanding the Bible?

Summary

1. Why does God want us to study His Word?

2. What reason for Bible study do you find to be the most motivating for you?

3. What must be our attitude while studying the Bible in order to understand it?

4. Explain why obedience to God’s Word is necessary for understanding it.

5. Of what value are “Bible helps”?