Why Study the Bible?
Do you avoid the Bible? Perhaps the Bible was a part of your past, but it’s spent years on your shelf collecting dust. Perhaps you’ve tried reading it and you’ve given up. You may be saying, “The Bible puts me to sleep. I can barely understand it. Will it really do anything for me?” The short answer is yes! The Bible can change your life.
Let’s back up from that question for a minute and consider what the Bible is. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives” (2 Timothy 3:16). This means that the message of the Bible comes from God himself. To understand what kind of book the Bible is, we need to look at who God is.
God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He created all of humanity, and it is God who defines the moral laws that govern humanity. He is very close to us in his care and attention and yet far beyond us in his wisdom and power. There is no one like him. It’s no accident that people call it the Holy Bible. As the unique communication from our mysterious and all-powerful King, it is sacred. For that reason alone it deserves our respect and attention.
But the Bible was written for our benefit, and it benefits us in a number of ways. For one thing, since it’s the Word of God himself, the Bible is a source of truth. In fact, it is the yardstick of truth. It gives us an anchor so we will not be lost on the sea of public opinion. The truth it reveals is primarily about God and our relationship to him. With this knowledge we are able to love, serve, and worship him.
The Bible also provides us truth on a very personal level. It gives us principles to live by, guidance for our everyday decisions, and motivation to follow God’s ways. In that sense the Bible is not passive like many other books. It has the capacity to change us. “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12).
The Scriptures are one of the keys to spiritual growth and vitality. In Psalm 1, the psalmist writes about true believers, “They delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (Psalm 1:2-3).
-We should feed our spirits as regularly as we feed our bodies. If we don’t, we may be in danger of spiritual starvation. Let the articles and studies on this website be your guide to living a life that is nourished by God’s Word.
This article is adapted from “The Importance of Bible Study” by Clark H. Pinnock and “What Will the Bible Do For Me?” by John Perkins, in Practical Christianity, edited by LaVonne Neff, Ron Beers, et al (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1987).