Why should we study the Bible?
Bookstores are filled with books attempting to help us figure out this life. Books on marriage, parenting, relationships, and personal growth fill countless shelves. Others claim to aid in addiction recovery and explain the meaning of life. Still more give views on life after death, good and evil, and the origin of human existence. But only the Bible gives us answers to those questions, and more, directly from the God who created us. The Bible is God's inspired words to us. No speculatory self-help book can come close to the words of our Creator.
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Because the Bible is the direct Word of God, breathed out by His Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16), it is accurate, reliable, and inerrant. The science in the Bible is accurate because the Bible was given by Him who created the world. Scientific, geological, and historical evidence are consistent with biblical accounts. We know the Bible is reliable because God gave affirmation of the writers by empowering them to perform miracles. We also know it is accurate because of the myriad prophesies and their consistent, specific fulfillments. No other holy book has such substantiation. Because of these obvious, visible proofs, we can trust that the un-provable words in the Bible are also true. A book with so many physical truths can be trusted with the spiritual, as well.
Although societies, cultures, and technologies have changed over the years, God's character remains the same. God's universal truths do not alter. The Bible, written over the course of 4500 years, shows this. A mere 2000 years later, God's Word is as relevant to us now as it ever has been. Mankind is still sinful, we all search for meaning and happiness in vain ways, and God is always patient, waiting for us to acknowledge Him (2 Peter 3:9). The Bible shows that this has always been the case, and then shows us that God is always the answer.
This is an unpopular message, if all those volumes in bookstores are taken into account. Each one is written by a person, using human intellect and speculation to try to make sense of the world. Only the Bible is inspired from God, and studying it will so fill us with truth that we will be able to better recognize the lies around us. Only the Bible is God's own description of Himself; every other account is human hubris or deception from the enemy. Only the Bible contains God's description of how much He loves us (Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16) and how we are designed to love Him (1 John 4:19). And only the Bible shows how we can join God for eternity, be freed from our sins by the sacrifice of His Son, alone, and not by any effort on our part (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:1-10; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-18, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-13).
Then the Bible shows us how to respond to God's love and grace by serving Him (2 Timothy 3:17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12) and living the life He meant for us to live (Joshua 1:8; James 1:25). It teaches us how to reject sin in ourselves (Psalm 119:9, 11) and in the world (Romans 12:2; James 4:4). How to focus on what really matters (1 Timothy 6:17). And how to actively participate in God's plan (1 Corinthians 9:23).
The Bible also gives us examples of what happens when people live according to God's will—and what happens when they don't. Adam and Eve, Ananias and Sapphira, and the children of Israel show that sinning may seem prudent at the time, but rebellion against God always ends in harm. Joshua, Jeremiah, and Paul demonstrate that following God is often difficult, but leads to rewards in the end, and joy in the moment. And David and Peter are classic examples of how a humble heart allows God to work through an imperfect character.
The Bible is the only book inspired by God, filled with what He wants us to understand. To read it is to read a personal message to us, written by God Himself. To ignore it is to reject His primary method of communicating with us. God wants us to understand Who He is, who we are, how we can be reconciled with Him, and how we can live fruitful, joyful lives. To that end, He gave us the Scriptures. The more we study the Bible, the more we will gain.
Is the Bible still relevant today?
Is the Bible really the Word of God?
Should the Bible be interpreted literally?
Is it important to believe in biblical inerrancy? Why?
I want to start reading the Bible. Where should I begin?
Truth about the Bible