The Signs of the Times


January 30, 1893

Benefits of Bible Study


“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” In the word of God is contained everything essential to the perfecting of the man of God. It is like a treasure house, full of valuable and precious stores, but we do not appreciate its riches, nor realize the necessity of equipping ourselves with the treasures of truth. We do not realize the great necessity of searching the Scriptures for ourselves. Many neglect the study of the word of God in order to pursue some worldly interest, or to indulge in some trifling pleasure. A passing affair is made an excuse for ignorance of the Scriptures given by inspiration of God. Oh, we might better put off anything of an earthly character than the investigation of the word of God, which is able to make us wise unto life eternal. ST January 30, 1893, par. 1

“Given by inspiration of God,” “able to make us wise unto salvation,” rendering “the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”—the Book of books has the highest claims to our reverent attention. Superficial study of the word of God cannot meet the claims it has upon us, nor furnish us with the benefit that is promised. We should seek to learn the full meaning of the words of truth, and to drink deep the spirit of the holy oracles. To read daily a certain number of chapters, or to commit to memory a stipulated amount of Scripture, without careful thought as to the meaning of the text, will profit but little. To study one passage 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. We cannot obtain wisdom from the word of God without giving earnest and prayerful attention to its study. It is true that some portions of Scripture are, indeed, too plain to be misunderstood; but there are many portions whose meaning cannot be seen at a glance; for the truth does not lie upon the surface. In order to understand the meaning of such passages, scripture must be compared with scripture; there must be careful research and prayerful reflection. Such study will be richly repaid. As the miner discovers precious veins of metal concealed beneath the surface of the earth, so will he who perseveringly searches the word of God as for hid treasure find truths of the greatest value which are concealed from the careless seeker. ST January 30, 1893, par. 2

You must dig in the mine of truth till you find its richest treasure, and by comparing scripture with scripture you may find the true meaning of the text. But if you do not make the sacred teachings of God's word the rule and guide of your life, the truth will be nothing to you. Truth is efficient only as it is carried out in practical life. If the word of God condemns some habit you have indulged, a feeling you have cherished, a spirit you have manifested, turn not from the word of God, but turn away from the evil of your doings, and let Jesus cleanse and sanctify your heart. Confess your faults, and forsake them wholly and determinedly, believing the promises of God, and showing your faith by your works. If the truths of the Bible are woven into practical life, they will bring the mind up from earthliness and debasement. Those who are conversant with the Scriptures will be men and women who exert an elevating influence. ST January 30, 1893, par. 3

In searching for heaven-revealed truths, the Spirit of God is brought into close connection with the sincere searcher of the Scriptures. An understanding of the revealed will of God enlarges the mind, expands, elevates, and endows it with new vigor, by bringing its faculties into contact with stupendous truth. No study is better to give energy to the mind, to strengthen the intellect, than the study of the word of God. No other book is so potent in elevating the thoughts, in giving vigor to the faculties, as is the Bible, which contains the most ennobling truths. If God's word were studied as it should be, we would see breadth of mind, stability of purpose, nobility of character, such as is rarely seen in these times. ST January 30, 1893, par. 4

But the study of the word of God is made a secondary consideration, and a great loss is sustained thereby. The understanding takes the level of the things with which it becomes familiar. If all would make the Bible their study, we would see a people who were better developed, who were capable of thinking more deeply, who would manifest greater intelligence than those who have earnestly studied apart from the Bible the sciences and histories of the world. The Bible gives the true seeker for truth an advanced mental discipline, and he comes from contemplation of divine things with his faculties enriched; self is humbled, while God and his revealed truth are exalted. It is because men are unacquainted with the precious Bible histories that there is so much lifting up of man and so little honor given to God. ST January 30, 1893, par. 5

The Bible contains that which will give the Christian vigor of spirit and intellect. The Psalmist says, “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” The Bible is a wonderful book. It is a history that opens up to us the past centuries. Without the Bible we would have been left to conjectures and fables in regard to the occurrences of past ages. It is a prophecy that unveils the future. It is the word of God unfolding to us the plan of salvation, pointing out the way by which we may escape eternal death and gain eternal life. Of all the books that flood the world, however valuable, the Bible is the Book of books, most deserving of our study and admiration. It gives not only the history of this world but a description of the world to come. It contains instruction concerning the wonders of the universe, it reveals to our understanding the character of the Author of the heavens and the earth. In it is the revelation of God to man. ST January 30, 1893, par. 6

The searching of all books of philosophy and science cannot do for the mind and morals what the searching of the Bible can do, if its teaching is made practical. He who studies the Bible holds converse with patriarchs and prophets. He comes in contact with truth clothed in elevated language, which exerts a fascinating power over the mind and lifts the thought from the things of earth to the glory of the future immortal life. What wisdom of man can compare with the revelation of the grandeur of God? Finite man who knows not God, seeks to lessen the value of the Scriptures, claiming that their supposed knowledge of science will not harmonize with the word of God; but the word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. ST January 30, 1893, par. 7