Why Read the Bible?
Grant van Boeschoten
March 13, 2011
Most people who know about Christianity and Church take for granted that reading the Bible is one of the things that Christians do. Not everybody knows why.
What are some of the reasons that you have heard for why we should read the Bible? (USE WHITEBOARD)
Which of these reasons seem to make the most sense?
Here is a very brief set of reasons why the Bible tells us to read the Bible.
John 17:17 (NLT)
17Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.
I heard the story of a missionary who gave out Bibles as he was traveling in the back country of a third world nation. Whenever someone asked for a Bible, he would say that he would give it to them as long as they promised to read it.
One day the missionary ran into an interesting person. He asked for a Bible because it’s pages were the perfect size to roll his home made cigarettes. The missionary said to him, “I will give it to you on this condition, you have to read the page before you rip it out to roll your cigarette. The fellow was happy to make the deal.
Years later the two ran into each other once again, the missionary was delighted to find that instead smoking the Bible, this man was now teaching the Word of God to others. The missionary asked, what happened. THe man said, “I smoked through Mathew and Mark. But half way through John the truth of the Bible changed my life and I couldn’t bear to rip out another page. It has been changing my life ever since.” That is just a small picture of the power of the Bible to bring about life change.
Psalm 119:11 (NLT)
11I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Have you ever gotten in trouble for something that you didn’t even know was wrong. I can remember when I was only 5 or 6 years old and I heard somebody else use a naughty word. No one told me that it was naughty, and so I used that word one or two times until my mother heard me. She then proceeded to wash my mouth out with soap. I felt like I was getting in trouble for something that I didn’t even know was wrong.
Has that ever happened to anybody else?
In life, there are still consequences if you do the wrong thing, even if you didn’t know that it was wrong. If you think that the speed limit is 80 but really it is 50, then you can’t just say to the police officer that you thought the speed was 80. If you speed you have to pay the ticket.
The same is true of God’s laws. Maybe you could argue that you honestly didn’t know it was wrong to dishonor your parents. But that doesn’t mean that you will be excused from the consequences of that action.
By reading the Bible and putting it into your heart, you save yourself from sinning against God and bearing the consequences.
James 1:25 (NLT)
25But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
The Bible teaches us what true freedom is. There is a message that is popular in today’s culture that tells us that freedom is having no rules and answering to no one.
But the Bible shows us how to live life in such a way that it opens up our lives to do more than we could ever have dreamed.
Let me give you an example to help you understand. Let’s say that you were given the gift of a brand new car. What does freedom with a car really look like. Does it mean that you don’t have to follow any rules or answer to anyone? Obviously the answer is no.
What you need are good instructions and a good trainer. You need a license and registration. If you have a car, the way to get the most out of it is to follow the rules and get some instructions. FOr example, you need to know the importance of oil changes and regular maintenance.
In a similar way, the Bible helps you to get the most out of life. It shows you how to steer clear of danger, and how to live life in a way where you aren’t doing damage to yourself. What’s more is that God gives the Holy Spirit to Christians to help us learn and understand the Bible, and to be our guide and our comforter through life.
So the Bible helps you to get far more out of life and how to make a far greater difference with your life than you could do without.
Psalm 119:105 (NLT)
105Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Have you ever tried to walk through a forest in the pitch black? If you were in that situation you would probably go very slowly with your arms out in front of you to keep you from falling. But without any light, you probably won’t have any confidence.
However, if you were to have a flash light with you, you could see where you were going no problem. You might even be able to run.
Light Brings confidence in darkness. God’s words brings confidence to your life as you are able to do what you KNOW is the right thing to do. You don’t have to second guess yourself.
Today I want to help you to learn how to read your Bible in a helpful way on a regular basis.
Where do you get the Scripture from? 2 Ideas.
Read through a book of the Bible.
Take notes during message on Sunday and use those Scriptures through out the week when you read the Bible.