You can study the bible whether you are a business person or a bus driver; a plumber or a pharmacist; a student or a senior citizen.
The first time I attended a Bible-teaching church, I was blown away. Pastor Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa stood up, opened the Bible, and taught. It was simple, clear, and powerful. I remember thinking, I wonder if God would ever use me to do that?...Naaah. But I saw the impact of God's Word and I wanted to impact others, as well. I'm still amazed that, as my life verse says, "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise" (1 Corinthians 1:27). I love studying and teaching the Bible.
The Bible provides principles, poetry, narrative, parables, and predictive prophecy to teach us the grand message that God has loved us from the foundation of the earth. The language in Scripture is simple and down-to-earth. The people who wrote it were regular people: Peter was a fisherman from Galilee, Luke was a Gentile doctor, Amos was a herdsman, Nehemiah was a cupbearer to a Persian king. David was a simple shepherd, who became a musician, who became a warrior, who became the king of Israel. He wrote very simple analogies and words the commoner would understand. These were people from various walks of life. For the most part, they wrote about simple subjects: water sources, farming, sowing and reaping, love and war, family matters—all things common people are familiar with.
We know the New Testament was written in Greek. Most of us have the idea that Greek is the scholar's language. But New Testament Greek is koinon Greek, from which we get the word "common." This was the common, marketplace, street lingo of ancient Greece. Peddlers, housewives, and soldiers spoke this language.
Studying the Bible is for everyone. You don't have to be a pastor or scholar to study God's Word. You can study the Bible whether you are a businessperson or a bus driver; a plumber or a pharmacist; a teacher or a tender of the home; a student or a senior citizen. The key is to develop 8 SKIPHEITZIG.COM a thirst for God's truth and to know God personally through knowing His Word.
Paul wrote to the young Thessalonian church that "the Word of God...effectively works in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The Amplified Bible puts it this way: "The Word of God exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it." Did you catch that? Superhuman power.
One of the most significant claims of the Bible is that it's effective—it changes lives. God said, "My Word...that goes forth from My mouth...shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11). One of the greatest joys of teaching God's Word is that I know my "product" (for lack of a better term) will work. It's not going to return void. It's guaranteed to have incredible results. God's Word changes lives when people listen and are open to His message.
You may have heard the story of the vacuum cleaner salesman who went into the country to a little old lady's house. The salesman was aggressive in his sales pitch, "Ma'am, I want you to know this beats all other vacuum cleaners." He went on and on with his spiel until he weaseled his way into the living room. He walked to her fireplace, removed some ashes, and threw them on her carpet. Then he went outside and took dirt from the garden, came back in, threw it on the carpet, and rubbed it in with his feet. She stood there aghast. He said, "Madam, if this vacuum cleaner won't suck up every bit of this dirt, I'll eat it all with a spoon." She put her hands on her hips and said, "Sonny, you better start eatin', 'cause we ain't got no electricity." There's nothing more worthless than a product with no power. Thankfully, the Word of God is powerful. Let's look at some of the mighty ways God's Word can work in your life.
Scripture can bring you to faith for salvation. Paul said, "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 3:15). One psychiatrist said that if he could convince his patients their sins were forgiven, 75% would need no more treatment. The Bible assures you of forgiveness of sin through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The Word of God prepares you for service. Paul said, "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). In other words, Scripture equips you for life. You can go to college, which trains you for a vocation. The Bible teaches you to live the way God wants you to live.
The Word will help you grow spiritually. Peter said, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2). Take a diet from the junk food of worldly wisdom, get off the perspective of humanism, beware of the doctrinal trends and whims that sweep through the church that are not founded upon Scripture. Stick with the Word and grow.CONNECTION—THE MAGAZINE 9
The Bible will give direction for your life. The psalmist wrote, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105). I have found that when I have questions, God answers them in His Word. I find that the need for outside counsel diminishes as my appetite for God's Word increases.
The Bible brings joy to life. David said, "I rejoice at Your Word as one who finds great treasure" (Psalm 119:162). I can't recount how many times I've read a passage of Scripture that resonates in my heart, makes me smile, and comforts me from the depths of my being. It can do the same for you, regardless of what you're facing.
The Word of God will bring victory to your life. You might find the enemy coming against you: tempting you, telling you lies, accusing you, pressuring you to participate in things you don't want to do. When Satan tempted Jesus Christ, what did Jesus do? He said, "It is written" over and over again until Satan left. His weapon was to quote the Word of God. Paul called the Bible "the sword of the Spirit" (see Ephesians 6:17). This weapon can be the source of your victory, too.
When Sir Walter Scott, the Scottish poet and novelist, was on his deathbed, he said to his son-in-law Lockhart, "Bring me the Book." Lockhart asked, "Which book?" Scott answered, "There is but one Book for a dying man, the Bible." This man of letters died listening to the comforting words of the Holy Bible read by his son-in-law.
In the end, it's not how many times you go through the Bible, it's how many times the Bible goes through you. As you live out God's principles and receive His promises, God's Word becomes more and more the joy and the rejoicing of your heart.
My desire for all of us is that we would, in increasing measure, know and experience the power of the Word of God!
Skip Heitzig is the founder and senior pastor at Calvary Albuquerque. His teachings are heard across the country and around the world on The Connection. Skip and his wife, Lenya, and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Janaé, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Skip and Lenya are the proud grandparents of Seth Nathaniel and Kaydence Joy.