Four Reasons You Need Women’s Bible Study
Our church has a women’s Bible study that meets on Monday morning and Thursday evenings. The Monday group has been meeting for over twenty years; the Thursday group for ten. This year, other than the fact that we are studying the book of Galatians instead of Exodus, there is nothing new. We will study the Bible on our own, meet to hear an exposition, and then discuss the passage together.
And yet…it’s hard to capture the excitement associated with starting again. When we met this morning, everyone was so happy to see each other and to catch up that it was hard to settle down. Some women who are new to our church were thankful to get to know other women. Almost everyone said that they love studying the Bible. One women admitted that she’d “gone to pot” in the summer and needed our time together. Another, who recently recovered from a serious illness, shed tears of joy that she got to come back. Best of all, my friend said, “Women’s Bible study will seriously change your life forever.”
Why is women’s Bible study so meaningful? Here are four reasons. My hope is that they will prompt you to study the Bible with the women in your church this year.
Grow in your knowledge of the Bible
I have been studying the Bible since I was about two years old, and yet I have so much to learn. Just thinking about the book of Galatians reminds me of both the simplicity of the message of the gospel – salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus alone – and the complexity of the story of Scripture. In one week, I’ve had to think about God’s covenants with Abraham and Moses. I’ve had to wrestle through how much continuity there is between those covenants and the new covenant inaugurated by Christ. I didn’t know that there is a South Galatian theory and a North Galatian theory. For the first time, I’ve been wrestling with the timeline of Paul’s life in Acts and in Galatians. Who knew there was so much I didn’t know?
No matter which book of the Bible we study, I always find that there is more that I don’t know than that I know. When you meet with women in your church to study God’s Word, you will grow in your knowledge of Scripture. Bible study gives the opportunity to delve into the details of a text that aren’t typically covered in your Sunday morning sermon. And because Scripture is God’s authoritative revelation about himself and his plan of redemption, it is the most important thing you could ever study.
Apply the gospel
Studying the Bible is never merely an intellectual exercise. As Christians, we believe that God’s word, contained in Scripture and applied by the Spirit, has the power to bring the dead to life. It affects and completely changes, not only your thinking, but your innermost being.
The message of the gospel is powerful for salvation. It is what God uses to convict you of sin, so that you could turn from it. It is the truth that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin through his death on the cross, so that you could be given eternal life just by believing it. As it is proclaimed in your Bible study, the Lord will use it to save women who come.
The message of the gospel is also powerful for transformation. The message of God’s grace is what you need to hear every single day.
- Hearing it will fill your heart with love for God and others.
- Being reminded of it will teach you to trust the Lord and to run to him in dependence.
- Your sin will be exposed, and the gospel will be the remedy.
- As you suffer, the message of the gospel will bring you comfort.
Although it is necessary and beneficial to remind yourself of the gospel, there is also a need to hear it from others. As you gather for women’s Bible study, you will apply the gospel to your daily life as you hear it from the lips of women, and it will change you.
Connect with your sisters
From the beginning of the Bible it is clear that people are not meant to live in isolation. The Triune God, whose very being is one of fellowship, created his image bearers to need one another. We can confess our sins to one another, share our struggles, and rejoice together. God has called us to remind each other of the gospel and to pray for one another. The only way we can do it is to gather together regularly. A women’s Bible study provides the perfect setting to meet weekly and to get to know people in a deeper way.
Remember my friend who recently recovered from an illness? Her tears came because she was so thankful for our love and support. Although it was no burden to pray for her and to care for her, those were the very things God used to bring her back to health. If she hadn’t been a part of our group, we would never have had the privilege of loving her. As Christians, we truly are a family.
Meet with the Spirit of God
It would be easy to overlook this benefit, but it’s one that must not be missed. Before Jesus died, he told the disciples that he would not leave them as orphans, but would come to them. This is one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit who dwells within God’s people.
The Lord is with you when you meet with him by yourself. And he is also with you when you meet together with your sisters. Time and time again, God makes his presence known to me when I am at Bible study. He is the one who applies the truth of Scripture to my heart and to the hearts of my sisters. He helps us understand the Bible together; he hears us when we pray; he moves our hearts to respond to him in worship. He unifies us.
Does reading this make you wish you were part of women’s Bible study? If there’s already one at your church, I hope this is the encouragement you need to dive in. If not, you can pray that the Lord would provide one. Perhaps, if you’re gifted to teach, he’s even prompting you to start one at your church. Or even if you’re not ready to teach yet, you could gather a group of women in your home to discuss the Bible. You can ask five friends and either read a book of the Bible together or order a study to go through together. Either way, given the nature of what you’re doing, it will change your life.