Why study the Bible? Previously we discussed why all the Bible translations and how to read the Bible effectively. The assumption behind writing those articles is that you like to read the Bible and want to do so effectively. Yet that may not be the case for you. Maybe you are a person who has a servant’s heart, but reading the Bible seems foreign to you. Maybe you know that you should read the Bible, but are having a hard time motivating yourself to get started. I wanted to give some reasons why we read the scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, today.
- Jesus read the scriptures. The Gospels each tell us that Jesus taught in synagogues. Normally a rabbi would have been asked to give comment on the scriptures read publically in the synagogue. Jesus engaged in this. In Luke 4 Jesus specifically picked the Isaiah scroll on proclaiming good news to the poor and releasing the captives to interpret his ministry. When tempted in the desert, Jesus utilized scripture (specifically Deuteronomy) as a defense against the Tempter's schemes.
- We encounter God in the scriptures. The Bible is a book about God. The Bible is not God. We do not worship the Bible. The Bible is however the place where we learn that God created the world, that even though humanity rebelled through sin, God stuck by us, that God gave Israel to be the blessing to the world, and that blessing culminated in Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again that we may have life in him. Where do you find out about this God, who is still active in our world? The Bible.
- We are exposed to who we are in the Bible. The scriptures remind us that we are not God, but we are created in the image of God. They remind us that we are prized by God, but also unworthy of God’s love. The scriptures call us to remember that we are but dust, yet held together in the hands of the Father’s love. They expose our brokenness, and proclaim redemption.
- God uses the scriptures to form His character into us. Spiritual formation happens all the time. Anytime we spend time reading, watching tv, listening to music or the radio, surfing the web, or aimlessly wandering through social media, we are being formed spiritually. Reading the scriptures, with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, forms and feeds your soul. What would you rather form your soul? The unnatural ways of the fallen world, or the Word that endures forever?
I hope those reasons encourage you to be a Bible reader in 2019. Fall in love all over again with the God of the Bible through the reading of the written word.