The Bible Teaches and Excites
I remember my days as a seminary student with fondness and thankfulness. By God’s grace, I was able to focus three years of my life on one solitary thing—the study of God’s word. I don’t know when I have been more thankful and motivated by anything in all of my life.
I was obsessed, thrilled at what I was learning. It got me up early in the morning and kept me up late at night. It was just about all I thought and talked about. My mind was blown away by the word of God in a way that it had never been before.
I soaked it all in, and to the suffering of my wife, at the end of each day, I repeated, in great detail and length, each lecture I had heard. I read long portions to her from dense biblical theology books. One day after class, I ran up the steps to our third-floor apartment and said to Luella, “It’s not just that I’m learning the content of the Bible and learning theology, but for the first time, I’m learning to think!”
Not only was the Bible opening up to me; the whole world was opening up to me, with levels of meaning and understanding I had never known before.
As I sat day after day studying the word, I was sitting at the feet of the Creator of the world and everything in it. Yes, the word was the tool, but it was held in the hands of the ultimate teacher—my Lord. I was being taught as I had never been taught before, not just by wise and seasoned professors, but also by my Master through the majestic wisdom of his word.
I love how David expresses the teaching power of Scripture in Psalm 119:97–100.
Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
The Bible has been my best professor by far. The Bible is God’s constant curriculum, and it has no graduation ceremony. No matter how long you have been a Christian, you will need its instruction today as much as you needed it on your first day as an infant Christian.
You will find yourself going back again and again to passages that had previously taught you, only to realize that they are so deep that they have many more fresh and new things to teach you. None of us knows everything that the Bible has to teach us. If you think you have mastered this book, it probably means you haven’t been mastered by it.
Has biblical literacy changed the way you approach your friendships, the way you parent your children, your conduct in your marriage, the way you use your money? Has theological understanding caused you to live with greater hope, courage, love, and joy in those places where you live and relate?
Where, right now, are you struggling to apply your biblical and theological understanding to your everyday life? Is your biblical knowledge producing street-level, practical, agenda-setting wisdom?
Do you still find joy in the study of God’s word that you once had? Is the Bible your most esteemed, sought-after, and influential teacher?
Paul David Tripp
1. Identify a time in your life when you were most excited about reading the Bible? Why were you so hungry? Did you leave each reading feeling satisfied? What prompted you to dive into the word of God regularly?
2. If your passion for Scripture is not the same as it once was, why not? What has changed over time, or what are you experiencing in these seasons or cycles that lack excitement?
3. Identify other things that excite you, either as much or potentially more than reading the Bible. Why are you so hungry for them? Do you leave feeling satisfied? What prompts you to pursue these things regularly?
4. What are some passages that you have gone back to again and again, only to discover their depth with fresh and new things to learn? Select a few of your favorite passages (or books of the Bible) to study again this year and look at them with renewed eyes. What can you learn?
5. Are there ways in which you act as if you have mastered the Bible? Do you think, even subtly, that you have graduated from the study of Scripture? What evidence have you given recently that you need its wisdom as much today as you did on your first day as an infant Christian?