God in His wisdom has provided everything that we need for “life and godliness” (2Pet 1:3). God has given us: His Son as the only way of salvation (John 3:16); His Holy Spirit to guide us (John 16:13); and His Word to instruct us in righteousness (Psalm 119:105).
For Christians, our desire should be a renewed mind that seeks to be led by the Spirit of God. As our minds are renewed, we will be transformed more into the image of Christ.
But what tools does God use in this transformation process? Let us look at some of those now.
- Bible Study for Information and Revelation
The importance of the Word of God for personal transformation cannot be overestimated. The Bible is God’s complete revelation for mankind, and is NOT to be added to or taken away from (Rev 22:18,19).
We can read or study the Bible in two basic ways. The first is to gain knowledge. This can be referred to the logos Word or written Word. The word logos is Greek for “word”.
To gain knowledge is to learn facts and information found in the Bible, such as:
- Divisions of the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament; prophetic books, historical books and poetic books)
- The names of the books of the Bible
- Dispensations or ages of the Bible
- The Covenants of the Bible
- Stories and parables of the Bible
- Personalities and characters of the Bible
- Chronology and history of the Bible
Learning the things listed above will help us to gain the proper perspective on, understanding of and reverence for the Bible. We will learn about the nature of God, His holiness and sovereignty. We will become familiar with His promises and provisions. At the same time, we will learn what God expects of us. We will learn that we are to be holy and set apart for His purposes.
When we study the Bible in this way, we are gaining knowledge from the “logos” Word (written) and laying a foundation for the next level, which is understanding.
Understanding of the Word of God comes through illumination (revelation). There is another Greek word for “word” and that is rhema, or the spoken word. This refers to the spiritual nature of the Scriptures.
The Word of God is not just a collection of religious-sounding words. It is Spirit-breathed, living, powerful and spiritual. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12).
Because of the spiritual nature of the Bible, the Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to “speak” to us – Spirit to spirit! As we are reading or studying the Bible, the Scriptures can suddenly come alive to our understanding. It is as if God by His Spirit is speaking directly to us through His Word about something specific that concerns us.
God speaking to us through the Scriptures should be common among born-again Christians, because they are spiritual and the Scriptures are spiritually inspired (2Tim 3:16). Theologians like to say that the Holy Spirit “illuminates” the Scriptures to give us understanding that is not simply intellectual, but spiritual. It becomes a personal, and often life-transforming, revelation of truth to us. A natural man (one not born again) is unable to receive this spiritual understanding (1Cor 2:13-15).