When you begin to think about Bible study, a question that arises would be, “Why is Bible study even important?” It is a valid question. Why should one devote the time, energy, and brainpower to deeper Bible study? Paul’s inspired prayer from Colossians 1 provides us with an answer.

The church at Colosse was a congregation not established by Paul, nor one that he had visited. Still, because of their threats, he penned a letter to them to provide divine help. The church had doubts and confusion because of some individuals who were messing with the Colossians’ minds. Jewish teachers claimed that they were not faithful followers of the Lord because they were not keeping portions of the old law. This theme is especially seen in 2:4, 8, 16, and 18.

Paul writes to give them faith and hope. He wants them to see that all they need is Jesus and His gospel, not the additions these false teachers imposed. He begins this letter with a prayer that he begins telling them about in 1:3, though what he has been praying for on their behalf is not expressed until verse 9. In the words of this prayer, verses 9-14, we see why Bible study is so important. It is so because of two fundamental reasons. We will examine the first of these reasons in this article, and the latter we will look at next time.

Bible study is important because the Lord wants us to study. He inspires Paul to write this desire in verse 9, “…that you may be filled with…” three critical ideas linked to study. First, though, notice he wants them to be “filled” with these three things. Not only is “filled” a keyword in Colossians (used ten times), but it is also a powerful concept for this section. It means to be completely full. So, this is not a request for a little or a part. This is Paul asking for a complete fullness in these areas.

First, he wants them to be filled with the knowledge of His will. What is God’s will for our lives? Only within the pages of the Bible can we find that answer. This word for knowledge, used 13 times in the book, has to do with experienced knowledge. In other words, this is not just an academic exercise. This knowledge is that which is put into action.

Second, he wants them to be filled with spiritual wisdom. The word here means to be able to understand and function accordingly. There are many sources of wisdom, yet it is specified here. This is the wisdom that values spirituality. It is the wisdom that comes from God. It is, therefore, the ability to distinguish between what we should and should not do. One could not know to make those distinctions without studying the Bible.

Third, he wants them to be filled with understanding. This is the ability to comprehend and apply concepts to specific situations. Again, one cannot figure out how to make the right decisions and apply God’s standards without first knowing His standards. That necessitates our studying the Bible.

Later in Colossians, the inspired apostle will write of his desire for them to “reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is in Christ” (2:2). He will say that our new self is “being renewed in knowledge” (3:10). He will also write of the necessity for followers of Jesus to “walk in wisdom toward outsiders” (4:5). The Lord, through Paul, indicates he wants us to have knowledge and wisdom, to use it for our salvation, to use it for our edification, and to use it to teach others.” Is it any wonder, then, that He desires us to study His word for these to become a reality?

Bible study is important! In a few weeks, we will study together again and note the second reason in this prayer that Bible study is important. Until then, keep striving to excel in Bible study because the Almighty expects, demands, and deserves no less from us!

Corey Sawyers
+ posts

Corey Sawyers is the preaching minister at the Martin (TN) Church of Christ and an adjunct instructor with Bear Valley Bible Institute. He began preaching at the age of 15, filling in throughout Northwest Tennessee. He has been in full-time ministry since 1998 and has served with congregations in Tennessee and Colorado. He and his wife, Melody, married in 1996, and both are graduates of Bear Valley Bible Institute. They have three sons. Garrett is the youth minister at the Greenfield (TN) Church of Christ and is soon to be married to Bailey Jones. Gordon is the preacher for the Knob Creek Church of Christ in Dukedom, TN, and is soon to be married to Lauren Kelly. Gannon is still at home and wants to go into ministry when he grows up. Corey loves his family, ministry, the Tennessee Vols, the Andy Griffith Show, drinking coffee, and banana pudding.