To some just a book of rules. A list of do’s and don’t’s designed to squelch our own thoughts and lifestyles. To others, it’s a book of moral platitudes; great advice to live by. It can be a cute acronym… “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” But what is the Bible really? Just a well-written collection of historical documents or the powerful and authoritative word of God himself?
For Christians, staking our faith on the validity of the Bible is an all or nothing endeavor. I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of the God I worship and he has given us his word for some very important reasons.
- God has given us his word to teach us about Him. All events in the Bible are centered around God. He uses his word to teach about who he is. We can learn about God’s love, kindness, faithfulness, power, justice, and mercy. And best of all, there’s no room for conjecture. We leave knowing who God really and truly is.
- God has given us his word to teach us about ourselves. In God’s word we find instructions and advice about who we are as human beings. We can see our fleshly shortcomings and learn why we’re in need of a God who will save.
- God has given us his word to help us live righteous lives. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). When we read the word of God, it changes us. We don’t simply gain knowledge of who God is, we gain everything we need to live by.
- God has given us his word to glorify Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible shows how God loves us so much that he would send us his Son Jesus (John 3:16). He is our example, our Savior, our Lord and our friend.
- God has given us his word so we can share Him with others. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). While we have a personal relationship with God, our mission also includes being his servant. We help deliver his good news to the lost of this world.
As you can see, it’s imperative that we read God’s word and learn about him and his love for us, his plan for us, and his mission for us. But we must read it all. We cannot just take what suits our needs and create a God that we’re comfortable with. Laying our own agenda aside, we must read God’s word with humility, allowing it to teach us and shape us into the likeness of Christ.