Study and Commitment

This is the tenth and final message in our Long-Form series called “Learn to Study.” It asks us to consider the discipline we need for studying the Bible.

The entire manuscript of this 40-minute lesson can be found below. Learn more about this podcast here.

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Am I disciplined enough to study?

  • We’re in our final “Learn to Study” lesson tonight
  • We’ve addressed…
  • Study and Theology, asking: why is study important?
  • Study and Growth, with the question: what can study do for me?
  • Study and Discipleship, where does study fit into my relationship with Christ?
  • Also, Study and Education, asking: what can I learn from study?
  • Study and Fellowship, answering: who else should be involved with my study?
  • Study and Trial, with the question: how does study help in difficulty?
  • Study and Affections, can study change what I want?
  • Study and Convictions, will study help with grey areas?
  • Study and Ministry, asking: how can I use my study to reach others?
  • And finally today, Study and Commitment, and the question: am I disciplined enough to study?
  • We address this theme and ask this question because of passages like Joshua 1:8
  • In that passage, Joshua, the leader of Israel readies himself to take on God’s special mission for his life
  • To lead the people of Israel into the promised land
  • We have been given a special mission too
  • And while it is not as specific as Joshua’s mission, it often presents dangers and difficulties of a similar sort
  • And so, God’s words to Joshua are a reminder to us…

Joshua 1:8

8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

  • Our great commission must be undertaken with a similar “day and night” commitment to the word of God
  • For we know success is not possible without it
  • We’ve read numerous passages that lead us to believe this
  • How then, can we maintain a commitment like Joshua did?
  • Day and night meditation, combined with action
  • There is a passage in 2 Timothy that might help
  • In it, the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy
  • He calls Timothy his “son” in the faith
  • And he says that Timothy knows the way in which he believes and lives
  • Timothy aslo knows the trials Paul has faced
  • They have been significant trials
  • But the Lord has granted deliverance all along the way
  • And Paul lets Timothy (and us) know that this is not unusual
  • The fact is, anyone who lives in a Godly manner will face persecution
  • Paul also reminds Timothy that things are getting worse, not better
  • But he encourages him, by providing key instructions
  • They are, to follow closely the teaching of scripture, and look to it as his rule of faith and practice
  • Joshua was ready to face some difficult things when God’s instructions came to him
  • He was going to need the scriptures
  • Not just the words of scripture
  • But the character development that would come from obeying the scriptures
  • And Timothy was in a similar place
  • His mentor, Paul, was facing persecution
  • And he would face it too
  • He needed a commitment to scripture
  • And Ithink there are some components of the passage that will help us gain or maintain that commitment oursleves
  • Let’s begin…

2 Timothy 3:10-11

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

  • In the Christian life, it is always good to have a faithful example
  • A person, or people we look to that model Godliness
  • Of course, we are always looking to Jesus, first a foremost
  • But He intends for His people to help and disciple one another too
  • Paul was an example for Timothy
  • His doctrine, the way in which he lived, his purpose, his behavior, and his disposition all represented Christ the right way
  • But that did not mean – because he was doing the right things – that his life was easy
  • Quite to the contrary, he had faced (and was facing) fierce persecution
  • This is a prominent and key sub-plot in Paul’s life
  • But these trials, wherever he went, also served as an example
  • Both of how we should react to persecution – and of the faithfulness of God
  • For he had protected and delivered Paul, or given him the means to endure
  • If we desire a commitment to scripture
  • And a commitment to obedience
  • And example isreally helpful…

2 Timothy 3:12

12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

  • Paul is not the only one
  • If we follow His example – as he follows Christ’s example
  • We, like Timothy, will face persecution too
  • At times when it becomes clear that this will be the case
  • We need the comfort and the clarity of truth
  • That is found only in the Bible
  • What’s more…

2 Timothy 3:13

13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

  • Those hoping for some sort of a reprieve should think again
  • Evil men are getting worse
  • Those who deceive others are getting worse
  • They continue to deceive and often have a greater and greater degree of success
  • The battles will be hotter
  • The troubles will be deeper
  • The persecutions will be greater in number
  • As we look toward the future
  • We fight the seducing spirits and the deception with truth alone
  • That means we must know the truth to recognize the lie
  • And to have embraced it with our hearts
  • Eager to teach others
  • Living it out
  • Being an example to others
  • That’s where Paul goes in the next two verses…

2 Timothy 3:14-15

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

  • How then was Timothy – how are we – to proceed?
  • Holding fast, continuing in the things we have learned
  • In Timothy’s life, this was (of course) continuing in the scriptures
  • The implication is the same for believers today
  • Those who have come to know Him as Savior, should be walking with Him
  • Growing in His word – and as His disciple
  • As part of a local New Testament church
  • Where we may have fellowship and accountability together
  • And strengthening ourselves and others in the scripture
  • Which testify of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior
  • It was the scriptures that taught us of Him
  • And the scriptures that will exhort us to continue in Him
  • It is our relationship with Him that will keep us there
  • For nothing else tells us who He is
  • And how He would have us to think and act
  • We must realize what we have in the Bible…

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

  • This is what we know about the scriptures
  • First they come directly from God
  • They are God-breathed
  • And they are profitable
  • For teaching us exactly what God wants us to know
  • For often reproving us (because we so often need it)
  • For correcting us, getting us back on the right track for Him
  • And for giving us the tools we need to continue on a righteous path
  • Because it is the scriptures that perfect us
  • That provide what we need to have victory
  • They give us a foundation and enable us to know Him
  • And to walk successfully with Him
  • How do you have commitment to study?
  • Start with these things
  • Have an example
  • Understand that trouble is coming
  • Know the scriptures come from and speak of Christ
  • Realize what the scriptures are and can do
  • And know that they are designed for you
  • Do you have the commitment to study?
  • If you know and take these things into account, you will
  • He will empower you to do it