The State of the Bible 2018 report, commissioned by the American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research, found that Americans could be divided into five categories:
- (1) Bible Centered daily readers (9%),
- (2) Bible Engaged weekly readers (17%),
- (3) Bible Friendly (15%);
- (4) Bible Neutral (5%).
- The fifth category, Bible Disengaged, was by far the most populated at 54 percent, those who rarely interacted with Scripture at all.
The Word of God is absolutely essential to our spiritual maturity in Christ.
How we approach our study of the Word is very important.
James 1:21 says this:
“In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”
We must approach all Bible study with a humble spirit, knowing it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us.
We should accept submissively what God has revealed in His Word.
We need His Word to be implanted deep in our subconscious mind through reading, memorizing and mediation, so we can respond cooperatively in the Spirit’s power.
The Word of God will then have good soil in which to grow, and it will yield an abundant harvest of righteous in our lives.
The phrase, “which is able to save your souls” is not talking about our initial salvation experience.
It is referring to our spiritual growth and victory we have in Christ.
Our soul, which is our mind, will, and emotions, is where spiritual growth takes place.
In Romans 12:2 we read:
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The Holy Spirit uses the Word to renew our mind and as we choose with our will to regularly study the Word and yield to the Spirit’s power, He transforms us from the inside out to the image of our Savior.
Years ago during the Vietnam War, a GI was gripped with terror, as mortar rounds whistled overhead, rifles cracked, and the Vietcong closed in.
Suddenly he felt a ripping pain as a bullet tore into his chest and arm.
But it didn’t kill him, according to an article in The New York Times; the bullet was slowed by a New Testament he was carrying in his shirt pocket.
Years later, the young man still treasured the blood-stained book with the ragged hole through the middle, because it saved his life.
Just as this New Testament was a priceless treasure to this young man because it saved his physical life, so the Bible is a priceless treasure for us because it saves our spiritual lives.
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries