Ephesians 6, Philippians 1,2

"Therefore my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12, NIV 

This particular passage lets us know why it is so important for every individual to study the Bible for himself: It is because we have a direct command to work out our own salvation!

It is important to realize that this Scripture is not telling us to come up with our own plan of salvation - God has already come up with the only one that will do - but it does show that we have a part to play.

Imagine kneeling before God at the Judgment and finding out that you had been following someone else's plan of salvation that was not from God! Maybe that person was someone you trusted or loved or admired, but it turns out that they were wrong. What can we say in such a situation? That we were misled? I know that is exactly the defense that we will want to give, but I don't think that it will be an acceptable defense because God has commanded us to work out our own salvation for ourselves.

May I say it one more time? Thus is why we study!

"With many other words he warned them; and pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."  Acts 2:40, NIV