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Why Read the Bible?

     In today’s hi-tech world reading has become passé - that’s old fashioned, out dated. Though you can get the Bible on-line and on many other tech devices, the best way to get its benefits, believe it or not, is to sit down and read The Book. The problems that most people have are that they are just plain lazy, distracted, or dumbed down by the sound bite forms of communication in our day. It’s not only the Bible that gets unread; it’s become rare that anyone reads anything other than the abbreviated text on their phone. This leaves lives to be lived in foolishness and ignorance, and the whole nation/world is left in jeopardy.

     More than likely this article, like all articles, will be read by a very small group of people so my admonition will probably be taken by those that don’t need it. However, please consider the following train of thought; you might encourage someone else.

     Two Bible verses should give us something to think about. First – the Bible shares the fact in Genesis 1:27 that “. . . God created man in His own image. . .” The second passage is found in

2 Timothy 3:16. Paul writes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God . . .” I’m taking for granted that my readers are like those of us that accept and believe the Bible to be God’s Word and that He is our Creator. If you don’t share these beliefs maybe you’ll realize something in this article about our unique intellectual ability as human beings compared to the rest of earth’s sentient creatures. Our intelligence sets us apart from all the rest of the animal kingdom – of this there can be no opposing argument. The evolutionist finds that he is left with a serious problem as how to explain such things; in fact, there is no serious explanation in that “theory” as to how we became so knowledgeable.

     The two verses previously mentioned tell us some very important things about ourselves, our abilities, and responsibilities. As stated in Genesis, God has created us and we are created in His own image. This does not mean that God was once a human being and evolved to become God. Nor does it mean that we are little god’s created by a big God. At the core of this idea of being created in God’s image is the idea that we are able to think to a great extent like God and also have the abilities of communication. I’m sure there can be a larger discussion on this subject; however, my intent is to help us better appreciate our ability and need for reading what our Creator has given us.

     As I’ve said, we have a unique capacity to think, comprehend, to evaluate and to process information because of the intellectual capabilities God has placed within us. Even in our fallen state we still have substantially huge potential. This is seen in the very technologies that help us and too often distract us. God gave humans this intellectual ability for mankind to help himself and those around him but more importantly, that we might know Him.

     So, it goes to reason, God created us to think and also communicate with languages both verbal and by written symbols. This is obvious by the numerous ways that humankind has chosen to write, such as cuneiform, hieroglyphics, Sanskrit, etc., all showing the God given ability to write, read, and comprehend. This should tell us that God untended His human creatures to read as a tool to broaden their understanding. When you consider that our Creator not only revealed Himself to us in the creation around us, but also “breathed” out words and had the prophets and apostles write them down, we are left with the obvious consideration that He expects us to use this attribute of intelligence to know and understand Him. Yet, in our contemporary environment, people remain in ignorance about God and His will for them. Add to this the fact that we here in America have endless books about God, the Bible, and numerous translations in English; it goes to show that we have abundant encouragement and opportunity to know Him and understand His will for our lives. Our neglect to use these opportunities shows our rebellion against our Creator who has graciously sought our response.

     The fallen condition becomes very obvious when we see this lack of concern for spiritual things, not only among the world in general but among those that claim to be Christian. Churches everywhere have gone to entertainment rather than helping people seek the content of what God has revealed in His Word. As I said, reading has become passé and, I add, Bible study is near extinct.

     I contend that true Christianity and true Christians are concerned about truth and this, of course, can only be found in the God of truth. The world hates God so truth has little respect among the unsaved. When we consider the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to the Christian by the Father, we come to an even greater realization that God wants us to know truth and live by that truth. This means something to the born-again heart and mind. The natural person, Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:14“. . . does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him and he is not able to understand them. . .”So, we are to believe that beyond the natural God given abilities to read, write, speak, and even comprehend, there is the unique ability, given by God to His chosen people, to understand beyond the common human ability. The first set of intellectual tools was given under the first, physical creation which we all are part of; however, the second set of tools is given in the new creation of which only the child of God can appreciate. Paul tells Timothy that this God breathed scripture is “. . . profitable for teaching, for reproof (conviction), correction (improvement), for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent (complete), equipped for every good word” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The word of God is taught to the Christian by the Spirit of God, thus, truth is understood.

    The world has no use for such information. As Paul says, these things are foolishness to them. However, for those of us that know Christ as Lord and Savior, His Word is of vital importance to us. So, the challenge must be – are we paying attention to this Book of all books in which God has revealed Himself and His will? It was once said that certain employers would advertise, “Send me a man that reads.” Pastors who care about God’s will for their flock will be saying, “Send me people that read – their Bibles.” This makes for a more knowledgeable, teachable congregation; and I might add, a more mature, individual Christian who needs less maintenance and can “teach others also.”

     It’s all about gaining the content of God’s Word in our hearts and minds so that our lives will bear fruit for His glory!

- David Parker

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