The Studying Christian

An important and necessary challenge from from Mark Driscoll:

In following Jesus’ command to love God with “all our mind,” the Christian life is supposed to include regular times of study and learning. The goal of such study is to have what Paul called “the mind of Christ” so that we can live the life of Christ by the power of the Spirit of Christ. Therefore, this month we will examine the contemplative spiritual discipline of study and the correlating active spiritual discipline of obedience.



In John 17:17, Jesus prayed that we would study our Bible. He said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” Therefore, to become more and more like Jesus we must have regular time in God’s Word. The Scriptures have much to say about the benefits of regular study.

Scripture regarding study

“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)

“Give me understanding to learn your commands.” (Psalm 119:73)

“Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)

“Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” (Proverbs 10:14)

“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23:12)

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.” (1 Timothy 2:11)

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls [books], especially the parchments [Scriptures].” (2 Timothy 4:13)


To help us learn Scripture, we are told to:

Hear God’s Word (Luke 11:28; Romans 10:17), which means that listening to sermons, lectures, and audio Bibles is very beneficial.
Read God’s Word (e.g., Revelation 1:3) as Jesus often did.
Study God’s Word (e.g., Ezra 7:10; Acts 17:11) as Jesus often did, which caused people to be amazed at His insights (Matthew 7:28–29).
Memorize God’s Word (Psalm 119:11; Proverbs 22:17–19) as Jesus did, which enabled Him to freely quote Scripture as needed (e.g., Matthew 4:1–11).


Because Jesus humbly entered into history as a human being, He had to grow and learn just like we do (Luke 2:52). Subsequently, when we see Jesus frequently quoting Scripture from memory throughout His life, we must infer that He spent considerable amounts of time hearing Scripture, reading Scripture, studying Scripture, and memorizing Scripture.

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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