Benefits of the Word of God
The Bible is a living instruction book that brings blessing and hope to all who read it. Hebrews 4:12 describes the Word as “alive and powerful” and 2 Timothy 3:16 says it is “God breathed.”
2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us the Bible was written by men, but God is the author. Below are a few prerequisites to receiving benefits from the Word, followed by a list of the benefits we can receive.
How to Benefit from the Word of God
Be saved. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23). When the Word is preached we are convicted of sin (John 16:8-9), see our need of Christ, and accept Him as Lord and Savior. God’s spirit unites with ours bringing it to life. None of the benefits of the Word apply to us unless we are born again.
Read the Bible. “Blessed is he that reads” (Revelations 1:3). Many Christians do not study the Word of God regularly. You may have a Bible laying on your coffee table that you never open. The blessings of the Word are only for those who read it. Can you remember the last time you read the Bible?
Listen to the Word. “Blessed is he that reads and they that hear the words of this prophecy” (Revelation 1:3). This is why church is so important. Hearing the Word refers to it being taught or preached. If we want to receive a blessing from God, we must hear the Word proclaimed. Paul said only then will our faith grow (Romans 10:13-17).
Apply the Word. “Blessed is he that reads and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written therein, for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3). To receive the full benefit of the Word we must put it into practice. When we do, we will be blessed in all things (James 1:25, Joshua 1:8). Otherwise, we are deceiving ourselves (James 1:22).
Meditate on scriptures. “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night” (Joshua 1:8). There may be times when you focus on a verse or phrase and repeat it over and over again, like when memorizing Bible verses. God wants us to constantly meditate on His Word (Psalms 1:2-3).
Memorize verses. When it comes to the Word of God, we must do more than a casual reading. We need to study it, know it, and be able to use it as needed. It’s great to know where to find certain passages, but it’s even better to memorize them. Below are a few good verses to get you started.
- “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart” (Psalms 119:11).
- “I have written unto you young men because you are strong and the Word of God abides in you” (1 John 2:14).
- “If you abide in me and my words abide in you” (John 15:7).
Exercise faith. “For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them, but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). When God reveals something to you through the Word you must step out in faith and apply it to your life. Otherwise, the Word will not benefit you.
Use the Word. The Bible compares itself to a sword in Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:17. The Sword of the Spirit is part of the armor of God and our main offensive weapon. A soldier won’t last very long in battle if he doesn’t use his weapon. Jesus used His sword when He was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Every time Satan came to him He used his weapon, eventually driving the devil away (Luke 4:13).
Benefits of the Word of God
- Answered prayer (John 15:7, Proverbs 28:9). Jesus said if we continue in a vital relationship with Him and His Word is in us, whatever we ask will be given to us. If His Word is in us, we must conclude that we will be praying in His will (1 John 5:14-15). However, if we turn our ear away from hearing His Word, our prayer is an abomination to God (Proverbs 28:9).
- Victory over sin (Psalms 119:9-11, 1 John 2:14, John 8:31-32, Psalms 37:31). The Word of God makes us aware of sin and keeps us from sliding down a slippery slope. It doesn’t mean we will never fail, but we won’t continue to slide down. Like Peter, we will rise up victorious over failure. After denying Christ, he ministered with power on the day of Pentecost. The Bible will keep you from sin as sin will keep you from the Bible.
- Spirit filled living (Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16). There’s no easy way to stay filled with God’s Spirit. We must read the Word and spend time with Him in prayer. The context of these passages is nearly identical. One refers to being filled with the Spirit, while the other talks about the Word of Christ dwelling in us. The secret to being filled and remaining full of the Holy Spirit is to saturate yourself with His Word.
- Purpose in life. “Sanctify them in your truth, your Word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:17-18). Jesus came into the world a fulfill a purpose. Likewise, as we study His Word we find purpose in Him. Sanctification is not only setting us apart from sin, but also setting us apart for His divine purpose. Want to know God’s purpose for your life? Dive into the Bible until He reveals it to you.
- Spiritual growth (Romans 10:17, 1 Peter 2:2). We cannot grow spiritually apart from the Word. If we don’t eat we won’t grow and will eventually die. We grow from the Word in two ways:
- Maturity. Peter said we must desire the milk of the Word to grow, but we can’t thrive on milk alone. We must also eat solid food to grow to maturity (1 Corinthians 3:1-2, Hebrews 5:12-14).
- Increased faith. All Christians want to have more faith. Even the disciples desired this (Luke 17:5). The best way to increase faith is by spending time in the Word. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word” (Romans 10:17). Our faith will never grow through personal study alone – we must also hear the Word proclaimed in church (Romans 10:13-17).
- Fruitfulness (Psalms 1:2-3). The Psalmist gives us a picture of a tree planted near a river with its roots going deep into the ground drinking water. Every time we immerse ourselves in the Word of God we are filled with His Spirit (John 15:16). Just like the tree planted by the river, the result is fruitfulness.
- The Word defeats the enemy (Matthew 4:3-11, Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The Bible is the main offensive weapon for every Christian. We have victory over the enemy through the Word. We are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus said Satan desired to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31) and he desires the same for us. Jesus used the Word to defeat Satan and so should we. It equips us and makes us strong for battle (1 John 2:14). Knowing it isn’t enough. A weapon must be used or it is worthless.
- The Word brings success (Joshua 1:8, Psalms 1:2-3, James 1:25). God told Joshua the Word must not depart from his mouth and he must do all that is written in it (Joshua 1:8). The principles in the Bible work. Meditate on them day and night (Psalms 1:2-3). God promised if we put the Word into practice He will bless us in all things (James 1:25).
- The Word makes us competent counselors (Romans 15:14, 2 Timothy 3:16). Biblical counseling is listening to a person’s problems or struggles and applying God’s Word to them. Concerning the children of Israel, Moses said, “When they have a dispute, I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws” (Exodus 18:16). This is exactly how we are to counsel. What I think does a person little good, but what God says is of infinite value. It’s the Word that has the power to change lives.
- The spoken Word is powerful (Isaiah 55:10-11). Don’t be afraid to say Bible verses out loud. When going through difficulties or ministering to someone, speak His Word with authority. It will be released into the spiritual realm and continue to work until it fulfills God’s purpose. Like rain watering seed in the ground, it may take a season to come to fruition, but it will come to pass.
- Bible verses are cleansing agents (Ephesians 5:25-27, John 15:3). The Word has a cleansing affect in our lives. Have you ever done something wrong, confessed it as sin, knew God had forgiven you (1 John 1:9), but still felt guilty? It’s during these times we must allow the Word to cleanse us. It is both a mirror showing us our sin (James 1:23-24) and a wash basin to cleanse us from impurities.
- The Word brings comfort and hope (Romans 15:4, Hebrews 6:17-20). Many Christians can testify to being discouraged and hopeless, and after reading a few verses or hearing a message preached were filled with hope, comfort and encouragement. During times of despair we usually don’t feel like reading the Bible, but this is exactly when we need to. Get into the Word and let God encourage you.
- Scripture gives guidance and direction (Psalms 119:105). “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105). The Bible shines a light on our path so we know which way to go. However, the light shines only so far in front of us. As we walk forward, it shines further out. We must walk in the light we have before we receive additional light (Matthew 25:29).
- The Word of God brings joy (Jeremiah 15:16). Jeremiah said God’s Word was the “joy and rejoicing” of his heart. Why? Because he was called by His name.
I wonder about people who claim to be called by Jesus’ name but have no desire for His Word. Jeremiah did more than casually read the Word, he devoured it. Devour and absorb the Word of God. When you do, it will fill you with “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).