Bible Study Mistakes to Avoid

Text: 2 Timothy 2:15

Studying the Bible is an important part of being a Christian. Yet we sometimes make mistakes when it comes to Bible study. When we do, our study does not benefit us as it should. In this lesson, we will notice some common mistakes that are made in studying the Bible so we can avoid them.

Not Studying

  • The first and most basic mistake people make in studying has nothing to do with how they study – they make the mistake of not studying at all
  • We must study the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) – we are commanded to understand God’s will (Ephesians 5:17); this will not happen without study
  • Excuses made for not studying – too busy (Matthew 6:33; Luke 8:14); believe it is not important (2 Timothy 2:15); think we cannot understand (Ephesians 3:4)

Misunderstanding What Studying Is

  • Not just reading the Bible – reading is important (1 Timothy 4:13); but some passages require more study than just reading (2 Peter 3:16)
  • Not just sitting in a Bible class – collective Bible studies are important (Proverbs 27:17); but this should be a supplement to our individual study, not a replacement (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Not just being taught the Bible – oral (sermons) and written (articles) teaching are both important (2 Thessalonians 2:15); but one may be taught for years and never mature (Hebrews 5:12); we must practice with the word and become accustomed to it (Hebrews 5:13-14)
  • Not just looking up passages as we listen – this is important (Acts 17:11); but more than just verifying that a verse is used in the Bible, we must be sure it is used correctly (Matthew 4:5-7; Acts 17:10-11)

Studying the Wrong Way

  • Forgetting that the Bible is from God – inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), not of man (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
  • Ignoring the context – the sum of God’s word is truth (Psalm 119:160), so it all harmonizes (John 10:35); we cannot pit two verses against each other (Romans 5:1 & James 2:24)
  • Failing to make application – God expects us to not just learn, but obey (James 1:22)
  • Studying with a closed mind – we must be open-minded to the truth (Acts 17:11-12); not have our minds clouded by bias or tradition (John 5:39-40); not use the Bible only to prove a point (“prooftexting”)

Why Bible Study Is Important

  • To understand God’s will (Ephesians 5:17) – cannot understand without studying
  • To obey Him (James 1:22) – cannot obey if we do not know what to obey
  • To be prepared for judgment (John 12:48) – cannot be ready if we do not know the standard

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