1. Bible Study and the Energy of Faith
Strong and healthy faith is the production of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. According to St. Paul,
“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the words of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).
Considering the context, the word hearing here refers to listening to evangelistic preaching. Paul says, sinners are converted to Christ because the spiritual light of the glorious gospel penetrates into their darken hearts (Romans 10:13-17 cf. 2 Cor. 4:3-4). But in the general sense, it could also refer to heartfelt attention to God’s word. Thus, when a believer reads and studies the Bible, his ability to trust in the Lord grows also. But how is this happening? Is this just some sort of psychological conditioning made by positive thinking? No, rather, this is a spiritual work of the Holy Spirit in the heart. We must understand that the Bible is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16); it is inspired by God. It is both a sacred and supernatural book because the Holy Spirit who is the divine author of its grammar, propositions, logical relationships, literary style, and intention is working through it. Of course, people in the world are skeptical about the supernatural origin and nature of the Bible. They don’t experience its supernatural truth because the Holy Spirit is not in their hearts (1 Cor. 2:12-14). But to a Christian, the Bible is a holy and living book because through it, he hears the voice of God. Thus, every time he meditates upon its words, his faith is energized because the Holy Spirit speaks to his whole being. Through the Scriptures, the Spirit can strengthen his affection (heart) for holy things (Eph. 3:14-17). When the affection is strengthened, then his attention (mind) receives determination to focus on spiritual reality (Col. 3:1-2). And finally, when the heart and mind are energized by the Spirit, then the believer becomes evangelistically strong and healthy in living out his faith in Christ with confidence and intelligence. St. John said,
“…you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” (1 John 2:14)