13. Apply the Virtues in Bible Study
In Psalm 119 (see BELIEVE pages 216-218), we see in almost every one of the 176 verses something that we can gain from studying the Word of God. But it is not enough to read the virtues of God’s word, or even to hear them taught, as we see in the two foundations of rock and sand, found in the Sermon on the Mount. No, we must not only hear but also do what the word of God says.
Adrian Rogers illustrates how we need to apply the virtues of the Word of God: Imagine a person who says, “Oh, pastor, I’m just so physically weak, I can hardly get out of bed. I’m so worn out.” After the pastor asks a few questions, he finds out that the man only eats one day a week, but only when it’s good weather and only when he feels like going to the restaurant. He doesn’t eat again until the next Sunday afternoon. No wonder he is physically weak.
In the same way, some only eat spiritual food on Sundays. They not only don’t read or study the Word of God the rest of the week, they also do not apply the virtues found within the Word of God throughout the week. As a result, they have no spiritual vitality.
What are some virtues that we need? First we need to be anchored in the walk found and prescribed in the Word of God. Look at Ps. 119:10, “Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments,” (KJV). I mentioned earlier the two builders on foundations of sand and rock. The house built on the hearing and doing of the words of Christ is the house that will stand against the storms of life. Anchor your path on the firm rock of Christ’s teachings by studying His word. Proverbs 2 speaks about another pair, but these, like Robert Frost’s two roads found in the yellow wood, will make all the difference between a path to destruction or a path to deliverance.
Secondly, we need to be built up in our faith through Bible Study and practical application. The Bible says Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Studying the Scriptures will not only anchor you with a firm foundation, it will also build up your faith. Are you wavering in your faith? Study the Word of God. Are you weak in your beliefs? Seek out Godly counsel with others who have travelled the road a little further along than you have. Are you weary in well doing as it says in Galatians 6:9? It is probably because you are reaping what you have sowed and if you are not building up your faith in God’s Word, your faith will not grow strong.
Thirdly, we need to cleanse ourselves by the washing of the water of the Word. King James reads Psalm 119:9 this way, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” Paul said that the water of the word of God washes, cleanses and sanctifies us (Eph. 5: 26). In John 15:3, Jesus said, “You are clean through the word which I have spoken to you.” God’s word reminds us we are cleansed at salvation, it refreshes us in the present and will reward us in the future when we are ultimately cleansed from our sins at the resurrection.
So how can we apply the virtues of the Word of God? It’s as simple as ABC. Let the word of God Anchor our walk with His firm foundation, Build our Faith, and Cleanse our past, present, and future.