New is often exciting but in matters of faith, it should be carefully tested as warned in 1 John 4:1 (HSBC) “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”. The foundations of the Christian faith have already been fully laid after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writes to Timothy: “From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3: 15 – 17). This clearly shows us that the scriptures are enough for all generation. It is true that we need pastors, teachers, books, seminars, etc but these have to be based 100% on the scriptures. Unfortunately over the centuries many extra-Biblical teachings and false doctrines have tried to creep into the church.
The term ‘extra-Biblical’ refers to: (1) Any form of information, knowledge or experience concerning God, His Work or His Will, which is not directly quoted in scripture. (2) Teachings, concepts and practices claimed to be supported by or taught in the Bible, but are based on incorrect interpretation.
Bible study is very important for the growth of a Christian. Early in the Bible, we read this command: “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NKJV). Unfortunately many Christians treat Bible reading and study casually. They go to church and and may even pray regularly but if you ask them if they have read the entire Bible, sadly the answer is often negative. Then there are other Christians who have read the entire Bible, maybe more than once, but they really don’t seem to know what the Bible really teaches. This is why there has to be regular Bible studies in churches and people should attend these diligently.
The lack of adequate Bible study is probably an universal problem but personally I see it as a problem in the churches in South India. I grew up attending the church The Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship (LEF) in Chennai, India. They had Bible studies on Monday nights, but the attendance was poor and it has been discontinued for more than 10 years. The people who attend the Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship (LEF) will often claim that they have special revelation from God but they seem to be blissfully ignorant that God expects people to diligently study His Word and not run behind extra-Biblical revelation. During the missionary journeys of St. Paul, the Jews generally rejected his preaching and created trouble. But the Jews in Berea were different and God commends them in Acts 17: 11,12 (KJV). “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. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” The result of diligent Bible study is clear: faith leading to salvation. This is re-iterated in 2 Timothy 3:15 (KJV). “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.”
Yet Christians do not understand the importance of Bible study and the necessity of reading and meditating the scriptures. Many are satisfied with the Sunday morning sermon and some look for preachers and “prophets” with “extra” revelation. There is a burden in my heart and a few other Christians from Chennai that the Bible will be correctly taught and people will take the effort to study it. Please pray with us that this will happen. If you have never seriously studied the Bible please do find a church where the Bible is correctly taught.