Why should you study the Bible? It’s old. It’s long. There are a lot of weird names in it. And a lot of people don’t like it. Well, I have nine reasons for you, encapsulated in a nifty little acronym: KEYSTONES. Check ‘em out:
1) Knowing God
There’s a kid song we all know: “Jesus loves this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” It’s brilliant! Work the logic backwards: it is because of the Bible that I know Jesus loves me. Guys, that’s a big deal. All we can know about God – even the reality of Jesus’ love for us – comes from the Bible.
So, if you were to take away the Bible, what would you be left with? Instincts, opinions, and wandering thoughts. A common battle cry today is, “I don’t need the Bible. Just give me Jesus!” But . . . who in the world is Jesus? How can you know Him if not for Scripture?
As Zach Eswine has said, “To access him, we have to read pages of stories about people whose names we cannot pronounce from places we’ve never heard of. To know him, we have to do context and background into the specifics of mundane life among people who at first glance are irrelevant to us.”
2) Everlasting truth
Why do we study the Bible? Because “The word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Peter 1:25).
Why do we submit to its teachings? Because “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11).
The beliefs of our culture will change. Rapidly. Soon, it will contradict itself. It doesn’t even matter what the specific topic is. Eventually, it will contradict itself. Current beliefs will, along the way, get updated, recycled, or forgotten.
This is not so with the Bible. What God revealed thousands of years ago still stands. It’s still true. That’s something that will never change.
So, what’s your foundation? Something is.
3) Younger generations are blessed
We protect doctrine by passing it on. Every Christian bears this burden. That’s why discipleship exists. This is also a core mission of parenting. In a post-truth age, younger generations are longing for more than the next YouTuber’s opinion. They need fact, substance, truth. They need the Bible.
Listen to a 3,000 year old statement from the Bible: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).
4) Salvation comes through it
Without the Bible-based gospel, salvation is impossible! It is only by knowing and receiving the real, biblical God that rescue can come. No non-biblical fantasy god will save you. “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
Paul explains that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Check the logic: The Word of Christ heard is what produces faith.
We get a snapshot of Timothy’s upbringing: “and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Again, the logic: faith in Christ produces salvation, made possible by the wisdom found in the sacred writings.
5) Thriving life
This is what we’re all on the lookout for, isn’t it? All of us are on the desperate hunt for happiness. As Blaise Pascal wrote, ”All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”
What surprises people (even Christians) is that the thriving life of happiness, pleasure, and joy does not come by deleting rules, but by following the right ones. God’s, actually.
When we can see His heart behind his rules, everything begins to make sense. Like, why did He command us to not kill? Because He treasures life! Because He knows exactly what sort of earth this would be like if killing was morally OK.
All of a sudden, it makes sense: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). And “In your presence is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).”
6) Obedience to the Lord
Ouch. That’s not an exciting word these days, is it? Obedience. Yuck! Who wants to obey? Ew, nobody.
Well, that can’t be said of Christians. Jesus says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Our duty in studying the Bible is to learn how best to obey our King. That is a sign of love towards Him. Even if the Bible was the worst to read, comprised only of genealogies, it would still be our duty to read, study, and delight in it. It’s what Jesus has commanded of us.
But, hold up. Let’s get a bigger vision here. Obeying Jesus not only leads to the happiest lifestyle (check out Point #5), it leads to the most missional lifestyle. Why? Because we’re walking with Jesus! The vertical relationship we’re having with Jesus through the Bible impacts how we impact others horizontally.
7) Nations responding to the gospel glorifies God
Piggy-backing off that last point, we study the Bible for others. I know that’s a strange concept. But it holds true. What we do in secret matters publicly.
As we study the Bible, we are changed. We are shaped into arrows, which Jesus fires into the countless zip codes of earth. And as we faithfully follow and share Him, others are brought into the Kingdom. And this brings much glory to Him (Romans 16:25-27).
8) Equips us for service
The Bible prepares us for following Jesus. Our King advances rather aggressively into this world; and it is therefore difficult to follow Him if we aren’t prepared. That’s why Paul explains that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy3:16-17).
The Bible is both our sword and our sword-sharpener in battle. It is how we learn how to serve our neighbors. It is how we win the day. And the race.
Satan hates the Bible. And if you cherish the Bible, he hates you, too. We have him on record despising the proper interpretation of Scripture. At the beginning of the world, he tricks Adam and Eve with, “Did God really say . . . ?” And at the beginning of the Jesus’ ministry, he misquotes it several times.
How did Jesus fight off Satan? By properly quoting the Bible. Christian, we can’t forget that!
I love what R.C. Sproul writes: “If I were the devil, one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible. Knowing that it is the Word of God, teaching men to know and love and serve the God of the Word, I should do all I could to surround it with the spiritual equivalent of pits…to frighten people off…I should try to distract all clergy from preaching and teaching the Bible, and spread the feeling that to study this ancient book directly is a burdensome extra which modern Christians can forgo without loss.”
These are 9 reasons out of a million that you should study the Bible.
Copyright © 2019 by Justin Talbert @ getgroundedministries.com. Used with permission.
No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.