As a Christian blogger, I do spend a fair amount of time talking about how to read the Bible, how to study the Bible, tips and tricks and different Bible study methods. But sometimes it’s easy to skip over the why. We assume that people know why it’s important to read the Bible, why it’s helpful, why Christians read the Bible and have done for so many years.
Understanding why Christians read the Bible is also so helpful in motivating us to read the Bible. By knowing why we should be doing something, we are much more likely to want to do it and drive ourselves to do it on a regular basis.
So, why should Christians read the Bible?
To know who God is
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”Hebrews 13:8
The Bible reveals so much about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Through how they act, what has been written about them, what they have said to people, what Jesus did during his time on Earth. In pretty much every passage in the Bible, we can learn something about God’s character. So, as Hebrews tells us that he is the same today as he was then, this information about who God is – still applies right now, that is who God is today.
So that we can share & defend our faith
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”1 Peter 3:15
The Bible reminds us of the need to be able to give an answer when questioned about our faith. When someone asks why you believe, what do you say? Also, as we are called to make disciples of all nations – telling other people about God, how do you know what to tell them?
The Bible is how we learn about our faith, and about God, in order to share this good news with other people! I know one reason that people get nervous talking about their faith to others is that they don’t feel like they know enough. One way for us to feel more confident in our evangelism, is to study the Bible more deeply, and to understand it better.
So that we know God’s will
The Bible is full of guidance on how God wants us to live our lives. Rules, you might say. I tend to think of it more as advice, from a God who cares for us and knows what is best for us.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”Luke 6:36
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”Proverbs 3:7
My reading the Bible, we are shaped in character, and we are guided in how we act, how we make decisions, how we live our lives.
So that we can discern false teaching
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”Matthew 7:15
False teachers are something that the Bible warns us of, and they are pretty much what the name says: they teach a false version of the gospel. It is important that we are able to recognise such teaching, so that we do not simply believe everything we hear – which would make us very easy to lead astray and away from the true God.
By understanding the Bible ourselves, we are able to listen to what we are told, compare it against the word of the Bible, and discern whether or not it is true.
To be equipped to serve God
As well as advice for how we live our lives, the Bible equips us to be able to do that. The Bible is more than a book, more than just words.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
The Bible does more than advise us. It changes us. Encourages us. Speaks to us. Convicts us. Shapes us. Directs us. It can give us courage, and encouragement, bravery, and boldness.
Why do you read the Bible?