SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

"A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD!"

Introduction

1. An important element involved in our walk with God is BIBLE STUDY.

2. Some new Christians find difficulty getting started in this area.

3. But this is an important duty, one which the Bible emphasizes:

Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

1 Peter 2:2 “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word,

that you may grow thereby,”

 

I. WHY BIBLE STUDY IS IMPORTANT.
A. BECAUSE THE BIBLE POSSESSES THE POWER OF “SANCTIFICATION”.

1. “Sanctification” means “to set apart” as used in the Bible, to set apart for God's purpose.

2. The Word of God is the means by which God does this…

a. As praised by David in his Psalm – Psalms 19:7-11.
b. As mentioned in the prayer of Jesus - John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

-- IF WE ARE GOING TO BE USEFUL TO GOD , THEN WE NEED TO STUY HIS WORD!

 

B. BEAUSE THE BIBLE POSSESSES THE POWER OF “PRESERVATION”

1. A lack of knowledge has always destroyed the people of God - Hosea 4:6.

2. But the YOUNG can keep their ways pure by the Word of God - Psalms 119:9.

3. And the ELDERS were exhorted to keep the church by the Word – Acts 20:28-32.

-- ONE OF THE FIRST STEPS TOWARD BACKSLIDING IS TO NEGLECT GOD'S WORD!

 

C. BECAUSE THE BIBLE POSSESSES THE POWER OF “SALVATION” AND “CONDEMNATION”…

1. Received properly, it can save our souls - James 1:21 “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

2. It will be the standard by which we will be judged. – John 12:48.

 

[Will the Word save us, or will it condemn us? Careful study and application of the Bible will make the difference!]

 

II. WHY BIBLE SUTDY IS OFTEN NEGLECTED.
A. SOME PEOPLE JUST “TAKE THE PREACHER'S WORD”…..

1. For the reason, they do not study for themselves.

2. Most preachers are good men, but they can still be wrong – Acts 18:24-26.

3. It is our responsibility to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1-2) and to be able to identify “false apostles” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

 

B. SOME PEOPLE SAY “THEY CAN'T GET ANYTHING OUT OF THE BIBLE”…

1. This may be because they read it so little, or because they do not know how to go about studying it.

2. Most have simply made little effort to understand it.

3. Yet Paul assumed that people could understand it if they read it - Ephesians 3:3-4.

 

C. SOME PEOPLE SAY “THEY DON'T HAVE THE TIME”.

1. People who DO study are busy too, but they leave off things that are less important.

2. As Jesus commanded, we must put the things of the kingdom of GOD First

Matthew 6:33.

[There is really no excuse for neglecting the Word of God, In view of its importance, we would be foolish to do so. But how shall one study the Word of God? There are several different approaches….]

 

III. METHODS OF BIBLE STUDY.
A. THE “PLANNED-LESSON” METHOD ….

1. “A Closer Walk With God” is an example of this method.

2. Someone prepares lessons on a subject, then it is studied in a class or at home.

3. This is a good way to study, but one's study should not be limited to this method.

 

B. THE “SUBJECT” METHOD…

1. This involves selecting some subject (baptism), then collecting and studying each passage in the Bible on the subject.

2. This method has its advantages, but it can be easy to take things out of context and draw the wrong conclusion.

 

C. THE “BOOK” METHOD ….

1. This consists of an intensive study of a single book of the Bible.

2. Since the Bible was written a book at a time, this is probably the best way to study the Bible.

3. DAILY BIBLE READING programs can very easily utilize this approach to the Scriptures.

a. Follow a program to read through the entire Bible each year.
b. Taking a chapter each week to read and study daily, you can cover the New Testament in depth over a five year period.

-- Doing all of these will give a person an OVERALL understanding of the Bible and an INDEPTH understanding of the New Testament.

 

IV. SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR BIBLE STUDY.
A. SET A REGULAR TIME…

1. Regularity is a key to success, so set aside some regular time for study.

2. Family study is a good practice, but each person needs also to have a regular time in which he or she can come face to face with God's message ALONE.

 

B. PRAY AS YOU STUDY.

1. Begin your study with prayer – Psalms 119:18.

2. As you study, ask God for the wisdom and strength to understand and obey His Word - Psalms 119:5-6.

 

C. UTILIZE VARIOUS HELPS…

1. Using various translations can help make understanding the Bible easier.

 

D. DICTIONARIES.

1. Not knowing the meaning of words is the most common cause for not understanding the Bible.

2. An ordinary English dictionary can be used, but there are special Bible dictionaries that are more useful and accurate.

3. A good one is “Vine's Expository Dictionary”.

 

E. CONCORDANCE.

1. This useful work contains words in alphabetical order along with a list of verses in the Bible where they are found.

2. It can be a great time saver in finding verses based on a given subject.

3. If possible, use a concordance based upon the translation you use.

 

F. ENCYCLOPEDIAS.

1. This type of reference gives detailed articles on the people, places, and things mentioned in the Bible

2. A good one to use:

a. "Zondervan's Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible".

 

G. COMMENTARIES.

1. These are books written by scholars commenting on various books of the Bible.

a. One must be careful, as these scholars are not inspired and are subject to mistakes.
b. But their insights and the fruit of their own study can be helpful.

2. It might be good to ask mature Christians what commentaries they can recommend.

 

[These and other reference helps are often found in church libraries and may be available for your use; in time, you should gradually develop your own library of Bible study aids]

 

Conclusion

1. Such aids can be a great help, but make sure that the conclusions you draw are based upon your own careful study of God's Word!

2. What is mot important is that we are engaged in some sort of consistent, systematic study of the Bible so that we are ever being blessed by the Word of God!