THE DUTY AND DELIGHT OF STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD
1.One of the most difficult lessons to learn is that we can find joy in that which it is our duty to do. Many go about with a sad countenance and fuss and complain about what they have to do. Think how much more pleasant life would be if all homemakers and workers in various occupations would find joy in that which it is their duty to do!
2. This lesson has a two-fold purpose: 1) to emphasize that God has made it the duty of all mankind to know His will and 2) to stress the fact that we can obey God with a joyful spirit.
3.We demonstrate our love for God by keeping His commandments, "and his commandments are not burdensome," 1 John 5:3, or heavy to be borne. The commands can be kept with a joyful spirit.
4. It is very important for us to develop an attitude of finding delight in doing God's commands.
"I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart," Psalm. 40:8.
"Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments," Psalm 112:1.
"I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word," Psalm 119:16.
5. The idea and much of the material in this lesson is from Elam's Notes for 1922.
I. GOD HAS GIVEN ALL MANKIND THE DUTY OF STUDYING HIS WORD
A. It is the "whole duty of man" to fear God and keep his commandments. Ecclesiastes 12:13. Of course, this cannot be done without studying the bible.
B. Real joy in life comes from doing the commandments of God because all of God's commandments are "for our good." Deuteronomy 10:13
C. "It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God," John 6:45.
Those who receive the teaching learn the truth, John 8:32.
When the truth is obeyed, the soul is purified from the defilements of sin, 1 Peter 1:22.
This freedom from sin brings great joy but this joy could not have come without first beginning a study of the Word of God.
D. Wouldn't it be fine if all people found delight in their duty to study God's word! From this study we learn:
1. where we came from,
2. what our mission in life is
3.and what lies beyond the grave.
E. Indeed, all the world needs to study the bible the learn the basis upon which God will one day "judge the world," Acts 17:31.
II. THE DUTY OF SINNERS TO STUDY THE WORD OF GOD
A. Those who know nothing of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, or their responsibility to God, need to study the bible. These are sinners because they have fallen short of glorifying God, Romans 3:23, and because they have transgressed God's Word,I John 3:4 and Acts 17:30,31.
B. Some say that the unconverted cannot understand the Bible. This is not so, as shown by:
1. Luke 8:9-15. The parable of the sower indicates that the seed (Word) was sown or preached to all and all were expected to understand.
2. Mark 16:15;,16. The command here is to preach the gospel to all and it is necessarily inferred that sinners could hear and obey the gospel and be saved.
3. Acts 17:11,12. The people of Berea were sinners when they heard the gospel and they "searched the Scriptures" to see if what they heard was so. They could understand the Scriptures and "many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men." The unconverted can understand the bible.
C. When sinners did their duty of hearing, studying, and obeying the gospel they found great delight and their lives showed it. This is seen in Acts 2:38,41,46 and 8:39.
III. THE DUTY AND DELIGHT OF CHRISTIANS TO STUDY THE BIBLE
A. As Christians, our duty is to:
1. hunger and thirst after righteousness, Mt.5:6
2. continue in the apostles' doctrine, Acts 2:42
3. examine ourselves whether we be in the faith, 2 Cor.13:5
4.be careful lest we believe a lie and be damned. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
5. grow in grace and knowledge, 2 Peter 3:18
6. teach the word to others, 2 Timothy 2:2
B. Obviously, all of these duties require diligent study of the bible and when these duties are faith fully done there is a deep and abiding joy and peace that comes to our spirits.
Conclusion: Thank God for His Word, which we have in the language wherein we are born. While it is our duty to study, to learn and to obey the Word of God, we find great joy and delight because we realize that we are the benefactors of God's grace, mercy, and loving-kindness.
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