One of our deepest convictions at Whitton Avenue Bible Church–so deep it is embedded in our name–is the centrality of the Bible to our faith and practice. When questions arise about our beliefs or church government or approach to outreach, we do not go first to tradition or creeds but to the Bible.
This conviction makes the faithful study of God’s word one of the most crucial disciplines we should develop. For this reason, our next Sunday morning training course will be “How to Study God’s Word.” We will use the book of Philippians as our focus and work together on basic skills of observing what the author is saying, asking what that means, and applying it to our lives.
Why should you attend this training course? Hopefully the label of “training course” hints at the answer. The aim of the study is not to fill our heads with more knowledge but to equip us to glorify God through worship, nurture, and mission (reaching up, reaching in, and reaching out). It is the careful study of God’s word that fuels our worship of God as we see his greatness and gospel love revealed. It is the careful study of God’s word that puts words of conviction, encouragement, hope, and affirmation into our mouths when we interact with one another. It is the careful study of God’s word that trains us how to live and speak with unbelievers in a way that points them to Christ.
Such equipping comes not from skimming through the Scriptures but through diligent, prayerful meditation on what God has said. When Paul wrote Timothy, he challenged him–“Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7). On the one hand, insight into God and his ways is only gained when we “grasp or comprehend something on the basis of careful thought” (the fuller definition of the Greek word translated “Think over”). On the other hand, mental exertion is not sufficient for gaining spiritual insight, which only comes because “the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” Thus we think hard through the text and pray hard for God to unveil the message he means for us to understand.
This training course begins on Sunday, March 11th, will run for 8 weeks, and will be led by Don Vander Giessen, Ben Burdick, and myself. We will meet in the Fireside Room at 9:30AM, and hope you will join us.