Why should we study the Bible?

Why should we study the Bible?  Second Timothy 3:16 gives us four reasons.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

Teaching

The first reason is the fact that it teaches us about God.

We can learn some things about him from other sources.  The Bible itself mentions two ways we can know about him.

The existence and power of God can be seen through what he has created.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Romans 1:19-20

Everyone is born with an innate sense of right and wrong.

When Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts.
Romans 2:14-15

Because these sources of knowledge are universal everyone has some knowledge of God and all religions contain some truth.  Unfortunately this knowledge by itself isn’t enough to enable people to really know God because it is incomplete and is often mixed with false beliefs.

In the Bible we can find out everything that God wants to reveal to us about himself.  It is the only source of information that is complete and free from any error.

Reproof

The Bible does more that simply give us information about God.  It also tells us how he wants us to live.  Jesus has given us a summary of what God requires from us.

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31

Perhaps you love God but do you love him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength?  God created us and every good thing we have is a gift from him.  He deserves first place in every part of our life.  Any time we put anything else ahead of him we are violating the most important commandment he has given us.

The best way for us to show our love for God is to obey his command that we love our neighbor as ourself.  Most of us have some love for our neighbor and are willing to do good for him but how many of us love him as much as we love ourself?

If we examine our lives honestly and compare them with what the Bible says we will be forced to admit that we haven’t lived up to what God requires of us.

Correction

God knows that none of us can meet his standards by our own efforts but he loves us and so has made a way for our sins to be forgiven.  He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save us from our sins.  Jesus lived a perfect life and completely fulfilled God’s requirements.  He then allowed himself to be crucified so that he could bear the punishment we deserve.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.    All we like sheep have gone astray;  we have turned—every one—to his own way;and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:5-6

Anyone who will acknowledge his sins and his inability to meet God’s standard and put his faith in Jesus will have his sins forgiven.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Romans 10:9-10

Training in righteousness

Finally the Bible tells us how we are supposed to live after we have been forgiven.  Forgiveness brings with it a new life and a new relationship with God.  This change must be reflected in the way we live.   If we obey God completely our life be radically different from what it was before.

God will be the center of everything we do.

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33

We will realize that this earthly life is temporary and we must use it to prepare for the heavenly life that is ahead of us.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

There is one mistake some people make when they read what the Bible says about living the Christian life.  They think that this is what we must do to be saved.  The Bible plainly says that we aren’t saved by living a good life but by faith in Christ, but after we are saved we will begin living a life of service to God.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10

If you have tried to live a Christian life and failed you should examine your life and see whether you have become a Christian by believing in Christ.  You need to first be saved by faith in Christ and then God will give you the power you need to live a life that pleases him.

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Posted on December 14, 2012, in Bible study and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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