Why is it important for us as Christians to read the Bible?
Well, throughout the Bible, there are many reasons that I could give that tell us why it is important to read the Bible; but, here’s the question that I would like to ask you as you read this post: Why are you reading the Bible? Are you reading the Bible for understanding and guidance from the Holy Spirit?
In this blog post, I will be discussing several points that I feel, we as Christians should remember when we read the Bible.
In Matthew 13:10-11, the disciples ask Jesus why He speaks to the people in parables but it’s Jesus’s response to the question that should give us as Christians a better understanding of the importance of reading the Bible.
In Matthew 13:15, Jesus said, “15. For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.”
What I took from this verse was the need for us as Christians to have a changed spiritual heart. As fallen human beings, we love to close our ears and eyes off to the teachings of Christ that bring us discomfort, but by closing our hearts, eyes, and ears to the Word of Christ; how are we able to grow as Christians and live according to the purpose God has for us?
When our hearts become hardened and grow dull to the voice of God, we will not be able to discern if the voice we are hearing is God; thus, we won’t be able to understand His Word for ourselves.
In Proverbs 2:1-3, the author (presumably King Solomon) writes about how we, as children of God should treasure and listen to the voice of God, so that we can then apply the teachings to our lives; gaining wisdom and understanding from it. Proverbs 2:1-3 says, “1. My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2. So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3. Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding”
I like these verses because for me; it talks about how we as people and Christians should not only learn to listen to the voice of God but also learn how to incline or lean our ears to the wisdom of God. When we incline our ears to the wisdom and voice of the Lord, we can ask Him for guidance through the Holy Spirit in understanding what we have read from the scriptures.
1). Understanding God’s Word
In her blog post entitled, “Why You Need to Read the Bible | Believer 101”, T.R. Noble of Inside Cup, she talks about this subject.In the blog post, T.R. stated, “When we choose Christ to be in our lives, we are telling Him, “I will follow You. I will listen to You.” Basically, we are making a verbal commitment with Him. And guys, Bible reading is part of that commitment.”
As Christians, we are telling Christ that we will listen to Him and one of the only ways that we can listen to Him is by reading the Bible and not only reading His Word, but studying and asking the Father to give us an understanding of the Scriptures. When we learn to lean on Christ and ask for understanding from the scriptures, He is more than willing; all we have to do is ask.
In the blog post, T.R. made several quotes that I feel can apply to our individual walks with Christ.
- “For Christ to be the center of our life, He needs to be the center of our focus. We need to be diligent to Him.”
- “If we are not diligent to Christ, myself included, we are choosing ignorance.”
- “We may think our relationship with Him is strong. We may think we are walking the right path with Christ. But know this, Christ has said the path to Him is narrow. FEW will truly find it.”
- “We Give God Our Time And Devotion”
- “… this is physical way of showing God we love Him. We want Him to guide us. We want Him to be active in our relationship with Him. It can’t just be God doing things in our life. We need to be active to Him too. It can’t be one sided.”
- “We Grow As Believers”
- “The Bible provides so much direction and instruction in how we need to walk.”
- “Our Eyes Are Opened To The Truth”
- “We will know what the Bible says. We will know when we meet false prophets (believers) and teachers (pastors) in our life. We will not be led astray. We will not be a foundation made of sand.”
- “We Will Have Roots In Christ”
- “When we listen to Christ, our spirit will be pricked with conviction. Did you know Jesus Christ is the True Vine and we are His branches?”
- “We Will Not Be Shaken”
- “We are leaky vessels. We need God daily, and we need to hear from Him daily. Scripture is an offense and defense.”
- “… we also have answers to people’s questions about our faith, and relationship. We have the words to rebuke Satan, darkness, and sin.”
T.R. Noble said, “God prunes us so that we grow. The more we know of His truth and apply to our life, the more we seek God, we feel Him, and most importantly, become a part of Him.”
I like these quotes because each one can apply directly to our walk with God and why we need to read the Bible. One of the quotes in T.R.’s post that I really liked was when T.R. stated, “If we don’t read the Bible on our own time, we are leaving Christ behind. We are telling Him, “My time is more important than You.” And as I write this, I feel the Spirit convict me. All we really need to do…is start. Have the willingness to seek God. Pray for His guidance in understanding scripture.”
In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, the Apostle Paul is telling Timothy of a time where people will close their ears off to the Truth of God’s Word and start following false doctrine and their own desires. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4. and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
As Christians, we have to realize that not everyone is going to listen to the Word of God and will find someone that will tell them only what they want to hear; but for us as Christians, sound teaching is essential for spiritual maturity. In order for us as Christians to mature spiritually, we have to have the right teachings; which only come from reading God’s Word daily.
Mike Mobley of Before the Cross, wrote an article on this subject called, “How To Hear From God Every Day” and in the article, Mike Mobley said, “When we say we don’t have time to read the Bible, we are saying God is not first in our lives.” I like this quote because this has probably happened to a lot of us and how we sometimes place other important tasks over God’s Word, and while those other tasks are important; it should be secondary to our walk with God.
When we begin to understand God’s Word for ourselves, it’s then that we will be able to apply the teachings of His Word into our everyday lives.
2). We can understand God’s Word through Bible study
In order for us to understand the scriptures we read, we have to first be diligent enough to study God’s Word in the context that it was originally spoken for and how it applies to our lives.
In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul is telling his “son” Timothy to be diligent in walking in his faith in Jesus saying, “15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightfully dividing the word of truth.” The Truth of God defines the nature of Scripture. It is a beacon of truth in the darkness of all kinds of falsehoods.
Teachers of the Bible should make every effort to handle His truth accurately. In his blog post entitled, “How To Deal With So-Called Contradictions In The Bible”, SpaniardVIII of Spiritual Minefield stated, “The Bible does not contain contradictions, all we have to do is apply certain rules so you won’t be swayed by the enemy in believing that the Bible cannot be relied upon because of contradictions.”
I like this quote because this applies directly to 2 Timothy 3:16 which says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine and correction. If the Bible had contradictions within it; it wouldn’t have been given to man by God through the Holy Spirit for correction or sound doctrine.
In the book of Psalms, the author (presumably David) speaks as though God is speaking directly to us in Psalms 32:8 saying, “8. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” In this verse, we see that the Lord God is willing to instruct and teach us the way we should go. As we continue to study God’s Word, we should be willing to let God guide us where He wants us to go in scripture in order to show us how it can be applied to our lives.
In the Gospel of John, the Apostle John says in John 16:13, “13. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” The Holy Spirit will guide us in truth; meaning that He will never lead us astray and contradict the teachings of Christ.
“By studying the Word of God (the Bible), we should always begin with prayer. When we study the Bible, we ought to study it with an open heart, open-mind, and allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide us.”
The Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 4:13 implores Timothy to pay attention to the reading of scripture and to inspire and encourage other Christian churches and people to read the sound and true doctrine of Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 4:13 says, “13. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine”.
As Christians, we should do the same; we should pay attention to the scriptures we read because there is false doctrine that will try and distort our view of God’s Word and if we are not careful we can get swept away into the false teachings of humanity.
In the end, though; reading the Bible is an essential part of our walk with Christ and can bring encouragement at our lowest points in life and humility at our highest moments. By reading, studying, and learning to understand the Bible through the lens of the author (Jesus Christ) instead of our misguided view of the Bible, the Bible will help give us as Christians and as people a fuller and deeper understanding of who God is and how His Word applies to our everyday lives.
So, how important is reading the Bible to you?
Do you read the Bible from a distorted view or from through the eyes of the author?
Do you pray and ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit before reading?
Stay tuned because next week; we will continue to discuss the importance of reading the Bible with points 3 and 4!
Mobley, Mike. “How To Hear From God Every Day”, beforethecross.com, https://www.beforethecross.com/devotionals/how-to-hear-from-god-every-day/ . Accessed 20 Mar 2018.
SpaniardVIII. “How To Deal With So-Called Contradictions In The Bible”, 17 Nov 2016, spiritualminefield.wordpress.com, https://spiritualminefield.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/how-to-deal-with-so-called-contradictions-in-the-bible/ . Accessed 23 Mar 2018.
T.R. Noble. “Why You Need To Read The Bible | Believer 101”, 13 Jul 2017, nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com, https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/why-you-need-to-read-the-bible-believer-101/ . Accessed 23 Mar 2018.
Author Unknown. “Lesson One Exploring the Riches of Romans” modified over 2 years ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/5151348/ . Accessed 06 Apr 2018.
Author Unknown. “Psalms 32:8”, https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/scripture-pictures/scripture-pictures-by-verse/verse/e/14364/t/psalms-32-8 . Accessed 13 Apr 2018.
Floyd, Ruby. “Genesis 22:9-14 FAITH LIKE ABRAHAM.”, modified over 1 year ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/10366927/ . Accessed 30 Mar 2018.
Furniss, Tatum. “Matthew Chapter 13”, modified over 3 years ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/2807439/ . Accessed 06 Apr 2018.
Jennings, Duane. “DIVINE JUSTICE.”, modified over 2 years ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/5804535/ . Accessed 12 Apr 2018.
Sparks, Nathanial. “INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE”, modified over 2 years ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/4249021/ . Accessed 13 Apr 2018.