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 Tim. 2:15
by John MacArthur, Drawing Near: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith
Key Principle: The Holy Spirit protects you from false doctrine, but that doesn’t eliminate the need for diligent Bible study.
For the next few days we’ll consider several benefits of Bible study. Today we’ll address the broader question of why Bible study is necessary at all.
Perhaps you know believers who think Bible study is unnecessary. Bible reading, they say, is sufficient because we have the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things. Often they cite 1 John 2:27 in support of their view: “As for you, the anointing [the Holy Spirit] which you received from [God] abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”
That passage, however, isn’t implying that Bible study or Bible teachers aren’t necessary. On the contrary, John was exhorting his readers to abide in what they’d already learned (v. 24) and to shun only those teachers who deny Christ and try to deceive believers.
The Holy Spirit is the believer’s resident lie detector, granting discernment to shield him or her from false doctrine. Although a Christian may be temporarily confused by false teachers, ultimately he can never drift into apostasy or deny Christ. If anyone does depart from the faith, his departure is proof that he was never a true believer in the first place (v. 19).
The Spirit protects you from error, but you must fulfill your responsibility as a student of the Word. Even a man of Timothy’s spiritual stature needed to study the Word diligently and to handle it accurately (2 Tim. 2:15).
I pray that the psalmist’s attitude toward Scripture will be yours as well: “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97).
Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for His precious Word. Ask Him to give you a deeper love for its truths.
For Further Study: Read Titus 1:7-16 and 2 Timothy 2:2. What skills must an overseer have regarding God’s Word? Why are those skills necessary? Do those skills apply to church leaders only? Explain. Are you skilled in handling God’s Word?