How necessary is reading the Bible in the living of our lives? Many people do not see the Bible as necessary, therefore they don’t read it. Even people who claim to be a Christian, do not see the fundamental importance in reading God’s Word.
In fact, I recall a Catholic gentleman once asking me about the Church I pastor. I told him that we preach and teach the Bible. His response was, “Us Catholics don’t read the Bible. We leave that up to the Priests.” Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon response for Catholics and Protestants. Many people who claim Christ do not see the need to read the Book about Christ.
In Matthew 4:4 we see the high value that Jesus puts on Scripture, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” First we should recognize that Jesus does not say, “Priests (or Pastors) shall not live on bread alone” he said, “man” as in mankind…as in everyone. Second, Jesus connects the reading of the Bible with something that our lives depend upon…food. Food is what sustains us. If we stop eating, we get weak and eventually die. Jesus sees reading the Bible as comparable.
Why is this?
First, and most important, the Bible is necessary to lead people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Every person is sinner and is destined for Hell. Only Jesus is the cure to this problem. How do we know this? The Bible, specifically the Gospel contained within the Bible, tells us so. The Apostle Paul says this in Romans 10:14, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” It is the message of Christ that gives us life. This message of Christ is found in the Bible, not in the world.
Second, after someone hears the Gospel and places their faith in Jesus, they will have a desire to live according to God’s will, not because they have to in order to earn salvation, but because they want to out of their love of God and trust in His design for creation. Where is one to find the will of God? One place, the Bible. The Psalmist in Psalm 119 nails it. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
So in summary, the Bible is necessary to 1) live and 2) live rightly. Without the Scriptures, we remain dead in our trespasses and sins and we continue to grope about in the darkness of this fallen world.
This blog is a part of a series of blogs that are based upon Wayne Grudem’s book titled, Systematic Theology. Each week the title of the blog and the Scripture of the blog are taken from Grudem’s book. Readers are encouraged to read Grudem’s book along with these blogs.