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2 Timothy 2:15 teaches us to handle God's word properly. One may have an excellent arithmetic book, but he will not understand it if he does not study it properly. So it is with the Bible. So, what are some principles that we should follow in proper Bible study?
In the first place, we must love the truth enough to obtain it no matter what the cost may be. In Matthew 13:15 Jesus warned that some did not understand what He taught because they had closed their eyes and ears. They did not like what they were hearing, so they just refused to accept it. Proverbs 23:23 says, "Buy the truth, and sell it not." We must want the truth, even if it tells us we have been wrong.
In the second place, if we are to study the Bible properly, we must be willing to accept everything it teaches as being from God. It is very dangerous to take part of what God said on a subject and then conclude we have all we need, even though other passages say there is more to it. For example, some people realize that faith is essential to salvation, but they overlook the passages that teach that baptism is also essential to salvation. In Acts 3:22 we are told that we should hear Jesus "in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you."
Finally, we should remember that God's word is truth (John 17:17), and truth never contradicts itself. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says that "God is not the author of confusion." So, if one view of a passage contradicts what is taught in another passage, we should look for another idea by which the passages harmonize.
These are just a few of the many principles we need to understand in order to study the Bible properly. For a more thorough examination of proper Bible study, see our free article at www.gospelway.com/bible/how_to_study.php.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2018
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.