Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Bible Study Is Both/And


"We study the Bible because it is the whole counsel of God."

Is exercise an individual effort or a group effort?

This question cannot be answered with a strict either-or, of course. There are some people who prefer to exercise alone, and there are some who prefer to exercise in a group. Most people prefer some sort of a mix, as opportunities to work-out within a community of people committed to fitness provides for some encouragement and accountability.

Like exercise, Bible study is both an individual and group endeavor. As Christians, we are called to do both. For our personal spiritual growth, it is necessary that we hear from God in His word by reading the Bible on our own. In this way, He teaches, guides, and directs. To aid that growth and offer us an opportunity to share what we've learned, studying the Bible in a community of people committed to learning it provides for encouragement and accountability, much like group exercise. God continues to teach, guide, and direct us within the company of Christians; some might even say He especially teaches, guides, and directs us in that setting.

As we're considering this exercise comparison, we do well to think of how the group effort is only profitable if the individuals are putting in the effort apart from the group, too. Imagine a local chapter of Crossfit where six of their twelve members gorged on fast food all week and didn't care to move much between meetings. Their gathering for group fitness would be laughably disjointed, as half of the group would not be able to participate at the level they should. In the same way, group Bible studies -- whether Sunday morning, Wednesday night, or something else -- are made much more profitable when each one has been renewing his mind (Romans 12:1-2) and becoming equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17) on his own. The effort of the one contributes to the profitability of the many.

So, if you're joining us for fellowship, be sure to sharpen your mind at home, too, before you come. We need your help. And if you're studying at home, be sure to join us for community encouragement and mutual accountability. We need each other.

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