This book consists of 52 Bible articles published for the spiritual growth of our young people. This book may also be used as devotional material for the family. I pray this material will be a great source of encouragement for everyone who takes the time to read these articles. To God be the glory!
Willie A. Alvarenga
3 Characteristics of a Diligent Student of the Word
Willie A. Alvarenga
How can we tell if a person is a good and diligent student of the Bible? Are there any distinctive characteristics in his or her life that may give us a hint that such is the case? Personally, I think we can actually tell if a person is a good student of the Word. His distinctive characteristics are obvious in his or her life. With this in mind, let me suggest a few characteristics a diligent student of the Bible must have in his or her life.
Characteristic #1: A diligent student of the Bible will have a deep love for the Word of God. This was actually the case with David, who in Psalm 119:97 said, “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” A person who loves the Word of God will consider the Bible more than his necessary food. This is what Job expressed in Job 23:12. How do we know if a person has a deep love for the Scriptures? Well, if such a person enjoys studying the Scriptures, then you can tell that he or she has a sincere love for the Bible. If a person always looks for opportunities to study the Bible, then you can tell that such has a genuine love for the Bible. Do you love the Scriptures? Do you long for the moment when you can sit down and read and study the Bible? If so, then you have a great characteristic that shows people and God you are a diligent student of the Bible.
Characteristic #2: A diligent student of the Bible has a deep respect for the Word of God. To this student of the Word, the Bible is the greatest Book ever written. When a person has a deep respect for the Bible, such will always strive to live his or her life according to the commandments of God. The Bible will become a priority in his or her life. This person will always make every effort to uphold the authority of the Scriptures (Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11). If a person does not care what God thinks concerning a certain conduct of life, then such a person does not have a deep respect for the Bible. We must remember that at the end of the day, the Scriptures will judge our actions in this life (John 12:48-49; Ecclesiastes 11:9). Do you have a deep respect for the Bible? I hope and pray that you do!
Characteristic #3: A diligent student of the Word of God will make sure his or her heart is pure so that God’s Word can find a special place in it. Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. This is the case with God’s Word. We cannot have sin in our hearts and then expect for the Word of God to be in the same place at the same time. We must follow the prescription given by God in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The phrase “keep your heart with all diligence” denotes the action of making sure our hearts are free from sin. Once we sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, then we will be ready to treasure God’s Word in our minds (1 Peter 3:15; Psalm 119:11). Keeping our hearts free from sinful practices is something we must do on a continual basis. Are you working hard on keeping your heart pure for the Lord? I hope your answer is an emphatic, yes!
These are three great characteristics that describe a diligent student of the Scriptures. Do you have these in your life? If so, then glory be to God! If not, then let me encourage you to work hard in having them present in your life. The rewards will be great for you in this life, and the next to come!
The Importance of Sound Doctrine
WHAT is sound doctrine? This phrase comes from the Greek words, ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ, HUGIAINOUSE DIDASKALIA. The basic meaning is doctrine which is right, correct, sound, and without any error or perversion. This is the kind of doctrine that Paul wanted Titus to speak continually, since the verb “speak” is found in the present tense and imperative mood. This means a continuous action and a command to obey. Now we ask the question: Why is sound doctrine so important? Why should you and I emphasize sound doctrine in our preaching and lives? Let us examine the following reasons why:
Sound doctrine is important because it comes from God. Yes, my brethren, sound doctrine only comes from God, since it is inspired of Him. The Apostle Paul wrote the following concerning the inspiration of the Scriptures, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Sound doctrine is important because it is inspired of God, since holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, we, as faithful Christians, must respect the doctrine of Christ at all times.
Sound doctrine is important because God expects us to proclaim it. The Apostle Paul commanded Titus to speak those things which were proper to sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). Even the young evangelist Timothy was commanded to uphold the patter of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13). Sadly, there are many who are showing no respect for the authority of sound doctrine, and refuse to proclaim it just the way we find it in the Scriptures. As faithful children of God, we must take heed to the command to emphasize sound doctrine in our lives and in our teaching and preaching of God’s Word.
Sound doctrine is important because it can help us grow spiritually. False doctrine cannot help us in any way to grow spiritually. The only Word that can help us grow the way God wants us to grow is His Word. God’s Holy Word is able to make us wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15; cf. 1 Peter 2:1-2), and is able to build us up (Acts 20:32).This is why the Apostle Peter exhorts us to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word (2 Peter 3:18). May the Lord give us the wisdom to always uphold sound doctrine in our lives.
Sound doctrine is important because it can help us to refute error. Yes, my brethren, sound doctrine can help us to refute the error of false doctrines that are being promoted in our days. Sound doctrine can help us to know that baptism is essential to salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38). It can help us to know that there is only one true Church of Christ (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47; Ephesians 4:4). It can help us to know that salvation can be lost (Philippians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Revelation 2:10). The more we study sound doctrine, the better off we will be regarding defending the doctrine of Christ (1 Timothy 1:3; Jude 3).
Sound doctrine is important because not to obey it will bring terrible consequences. A careful study of the Bible reveals that not to obey the doctrine of Christ will result in divine punishment from God. The Apostle John wrote in 2 John 9-11 that those who do not keep the doctrine of Christ will not have God nor Jesus on their side. If you do not have the Father nor the Son in your side, then you cannot be saved. Those false teachers in the context of 2 John were denying the incarnation of Jesus Christ (v. 7). Anyone who perverts the doctrine of Christ will not spend eternity in heaven! Therefore, sound doctrine is important!
Sound doctrine is important because it can help people know the right way to make it to heaven. False doctrine cannot teach a person the right way to make it to heaven. Only sound doctrine can accomplish such a task. The wrong address will not guide you to the right destiny! Any honest person who studies the New Testament will learn what he or she must do in order to be in a saved condition in the sight of God. The Bible teaches that an honest person will be able to discern the right doctrine (John 7:17). The plan of salvation according to the New Testament is for a person to hear the gospel (Rom. 10:17), believe in the gospel (Mark 16:16), repent of his or her sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as the Son of God (Rom. 10:9-10), be immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16), and live a faithful life in Christ (Rev. 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Philippians 2:12). False doctrine only teaches error regarding salvation. We must uphold sound doctrine because this doctrine is the only one that can show people the right way into heaven. May the Lord help us to always uphold sound doctrine in our lives!
Willie A. Alvarenga
P.O. BOX 210667
Bedford, TX 76095
(817) 681 4543