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 BIBLE APPROVAL OF PERSONAL STUDY

                                  WHAT did Christ say concerning the study of the Scriptures?

                            "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me." John 5:39.

For what were the Bereans commended?

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11.

    NOTE.-"If God's Word were studied as it should be," says a modern Bible student, "men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times. But there is but little profit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty or comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained."

EASY AND MORE DIFFICULT PORTIONS

By what comparison is it indicated that some portions of God's word are more difficult to understand than others?

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Hebrews 5:12.

In what way is this comparison further explained?

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Verses 13, 14.

What writings are specifically mentioned as containing some things difficult to understand?

"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:15, 16.

    NOTE.—Some scriptures are too plain to be misunderstood, while the meaning of others cannot so readily be discerned. To obtain a comprehensive knowledge of any Bible truth, scripture must be compared with scripture, and there should be "careful research and prayerful reflection." But all such study will be richly rewarded.

What did Christ say concerning the book of. Daniel?

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)." Matthew 24:15.

What other book of the Bible is especially commended for our study?

"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the word of this prophecy [the book of Revelation], and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Revelation 1:3.

THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THE BIBLE

Who alone comprehends the things of God?

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:11.

How thoroughly does the Spirit search out the hidden treasures of truth?

"But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." Verse 10.

What is one purpose for which the Holy Spirit was sent?

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26.

Why cannot the natural man receive the things of the Spirit?

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14.

PLACE OF PRAYER IN BIBLE STUDY

For what spiritual enlightenment should everyone pray?

"Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law." Psalms 119:18.

For what spiritual gift did the apostle Paul pray?

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him." Ephesians 1:17.

Upon what conditions is an understanding of divine things promised?

"Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:3-5.

ANOTHER CONDITION OF RECEIVING LIGHT

What is promised him who wills to do God's will?

"If any man will ["willeth to," R.V.] do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself." John 7:17.

    NOTE.-It is proper to repeat again and again the eternal truth that if any man will search the word of God for light, with a heart fully submitted to do the will of God as it is revealed to him, that man will receive light. It was the seed of the word of God that fell into an honest heart that brought forth fruit unto everlasting life. (Luke 8:11-15.)

When asked by the rich young man the conditions of eternal life, to what did Jesus direct his attention?

"He said unto him, What is  written in the law? how readest thou?" Luke 10:26.

RESULTS OF SINCERE BIBLE STUDY

What are the Scriptures able to do for one who believes them?

"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." 2 Timothy 3:15.

What great blessing did Christ confer upon His disciples after His resurrection?

"Then opened He their understanding, that they might under- stand the scriptures." Luke 24:45.

How did Christ reprove those who, though familiar with the letter of the Scriptures, failed to understand them?

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." Matthew 22:29.

Whom did Jesus pronounce blessed?

"But He said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." Luke 11:28.

How READEST THOU?

"IT is one thing to read the Bible through, Another thing to read to learn and do. Some read it with design to learn to read, But to the subject pay but little heed. Some read it as their duty once a week, But no instruction from the Bible seek; While others read it with but little care, With no regard to how they read, nor where. Some read to bring themselves into repute, By showing others how they can dispute; While others read because their neighbors do, To see how long 'twill take to read it through. Some read it for the wonders that are there,— How David killed a lion and a bear; While others read it with uncommon care, Hoping to find some contradictions there. Some read as if it did not speak to them, But to the people at Jerusalem. One reads with father's specs upon his head, And sees the thing just as his father said. Some read to prove a preadopted creed, Hence understand but little that they read; For every passage in the book they bend To make it suit that all-important end. Some people read, as I have often thought, To teach the book instead of being taught; And some there are who read it out of spite. I fear there are but few who read it right. But read it prayerfully, and you will see, Although men contradict, God's words agree; For what the early Bible prophets wrote, We find that Christ and His apostles quote. So trust no creed that trembles to recall What has been penned by one and verified by all."

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                                                                                            - Alpha and Omega © Jesus Christ