We know we're supposed to read our Bibles. We hold the deep conviction that this is God's special revelation to us. But let's be honest, sometimes it's hard to nail down what reading God's Word is actually supposed to accomplish.
Fortunately, the Bible isn't silent on matters of its own effectiveness.
In The Gospel and Scripture: How to Read the Bible, Pastor Mike Bullmore has compiled a "representative sample" of what the Bible, itself, claims to do:
- It initiates faith: “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”
- It gives new spiritual life: “You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23).
- It helps us grow spiritually: “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation”
(1 Pet. 2:2).
- It sanctifies: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
- It searches the heart and convicts: “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
- It liberates: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).
- It refreshes and renews: “Give me life according to your word!” (Ps. 119:25).
- It revives and enlightens: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Ps. 19:7; see also Ps. 19:8–11).
A Few Questions:
- Has the knowledge of these claims made it down to your heart yet?
- If you know these claims to be true, are you truly expecting them from Scripture?
- How could this change your approach reading the Bible?
We need to read the Bible with it's grand mission in mind.
Living for the Lord is tremendously difficult at times. Owen Strachan gives three exhortations to keep in mind as you strive for personal holiness.
When reading God's Word, it is essential that we pay close attention to the broader ideas and themes at work in a particular chapter or verse.