How Can I Change? Scripture

Part of the “How Can I Change?” series. See parts onetwothreefourfivesixseveneight, and nine.

This is a guest post by Joshua De Leon. Here he walks through principles found in Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Immersing Ourselves in Truth, Part 1

Reading the Bible will not change you! It is God’s grace that transforms you when you immerse yourself in the truth of God’s Word! We do need to read the Bible, but more importantly, we need to understand the reason for a disciplined lifestyle of Bible reading. The answer is found in John 17:17

John 17:17 – “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”

Sanctification – literally means, “to make holy; set apart from ungodly things.” This does not mean “different.” Not all different is good. We are set apart from what is ungodly to be like Christ!


What is this Passage Saying?

  1.  I am made holy by GodGod is the one who sanctifies us! (John 17:17; Acts 26:16-18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11;  Gal 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Jude 1:24; Heb 2:11)
  2. I am set apart in TruthGod’s Word is the instrument of sanctification! (Romans 10:17; 1 Timothy 4:13; Luke 11:28; Revelation 1:3; Matthew 4:4)


How is this connected to grace?

(1 Thessalonians 2:13 – “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”) When we expose ourselves to God’s Word, we open ourselves up to receive His grace to change and to make changes.


What steps can I take?

  • Discipline yourself to hear God’s Word – attend a Bible-believing and teaching church
  • Discipline yourself to read God’s Word – use a Bible plan; mark what you’ve read
  • Discipline yourself to study God’s Word – the only difference here is a pen and paper


What does this look like?

  1. Desiring God’s Word Intensely – 2 Timothy 4:13
  2. Searching God’s Word Consistently – Acts 17:10-11
  3. Living God’s Word Faithfully – Ezra 7:10


R.C. Sproul – “Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.” (Knowing Scripture, 17)

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t.” – Mark Twain

Reading the Bible won’t make you stop sinning. Reading the Bible won’t change you. God is the one who changes you and transforms you by His grace to become more like Christ when you immerse yourself in the truth of God’s Word!



Mahaney, C.J., and Rovin Boisvert. “Chapter Five: Tools of the Trade (1).” In How Can I Change?: Victory in the Struggle Against Sin, edited by Greg Somerville, 53–68. The Pursuit of Godliness. Gaithersburg, Maryland: Sovereign Grace Ministries, 1993.
Whitney, Donald S. “Chapter Two: Bible Intake (Part 1).” In Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 27–40. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1997.
Williams, Jarvis. “Acting the Miracle in the Everyday: Word of God, the Means of Grace, and the Practical Pursuit of Gospel Maturity.” In Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification, edited by John Piper and David Mathis, 89–105. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.