An Edifying Activity of the Church: The Concentrated Bible Study (CBS) Program

By Steven Chan

1. The Bible tells us what our objective should be when we come together: “let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel… How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together… Let all things be done for edification.” (1 Cor 14:12, 26).  Edification means ‘the promotion of spiritual growth’ (Vine’s).

2. During the annual inter-congregational Church Growth seminar held on May 1, 2018 at the premises of the Subang Jaya congregation, bro John Quek proposed one important suggestion to help the church grow spiritually. 

3. The Bible tells us in Psa 119:11: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” But how does one hide God’s Word in one’s heart if one does not make a conscious effort to do so?  Similarly in James 1:21, the Bible says: “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” How are we to “implant” God’s Word in our hearts?

4. On May 1, 2018, bro John Quek shared with us the benefits of adopting the Concentrated Bible Study (CBS) program whereby students will study a certain number of chapters of the New Testament every day for one week, summarize the main points in those chapters and review them daily, commit certain passages to memory (as suggested by the facilitator) for easy recall, and then be tested at the end of the week to ascertain whether the students have succeeded in remembering what they had read during the past week. After the assessment test, the facilitator will discuss the materials in those chapters and clarify for the students any parts of the scriptures that they may not have fully understood.

5. During the recent May 1, 2019 Church Growth Seminar, bro John Quek was pleased to share with the participants the exciting news that seven (7) brethren from Klang had successfully completed the CBS program for the 27 books of the New Testament.  They took 2 years to complete the program.

6. The amazing thing was that the youngest participant was about 17 years old while the most senior member was 64 years old. I often hear excuses offered by senior members that they are old and cannot remember very well. But that did not stop the 64-year-old sister-in-Christ to successfully complete her studies of the 27 books of the New Testament. 

7.She said: “It was my happiest moment when I was called to receive my hard earned CBS Certificate.” She shared how she had persevered in pursuing the course of study: 

“The moment I woke up, before breakfast, while lying down on my pillow, and during free time, I tried to memorize the Bible verses as hard as I could”. 

This reminded me of what our Lord said to His people in the Old Testament as regards how they were to teach the Law to their children: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deut 6:6-7).  

She said that the regular and persistent study of the Scriptures has helped her in her spiritual faith.

8. Another sister in Christ of about 18 years of age had a very major school examination for 2018 but that did not deter her from committing herself to the CBS program. Not only did she successfully complete the CBS, she scored nine (9) A’s in her major school examination (i.e. excelling in all her subjects). So the excuses given by students that they have their school studies to focus on do not really carry much weight. It is a question of whether they truly “desire the milk of the Word that they may grow thereby” (2 Pet 2:2).

9. Brethren, please be encouraged by these seven (7) brethren to make the effort to have a programme for the regular and persistent study of the Word of God so that you may truly have the Word of God implanted in our hearts that we will be edified by it (Acts 20:32), guided by it (2 Tim 3:15-17) and be blessed abundantly (Psa1:1-3). 

10. Many brethren, both from Klang as well as from various congregations in Malaysia, have contacted bro John Quek, expressing their desire to pursue the CBS program of Bible Study. If you wish to join them in the study, please contact bro John at his email address: He will be very happy to assist you in any way possible to help you study the Bible, the CBS way.