2 Timothy 3.15-17:
Ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serve God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.
Reason 1: To find salvation
“The Holy Scriptures… are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”
I.e. the Bible is a handbook of salvation. It speaks of a God who loves the world he has made and who sent his Son to be its Saviour.
- John, for instance, said that that he wrote his Gospel “in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life” (John 20.31).
- A friend of mine became a Christian in prison – simply by reading a Bible. He is now a Baptist minister.
- Timothy became a Christian as a result of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice teaching him the Scriptures.
We need to read the Bible to find out what God has done for us in Jesus
Reason 2: To learn what to believe
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth (and) rebuking error.
Our world is like a supermarket of beliefs. Or to put it another way, we live in a ‘pick and mix’ society, where we can choose whatever we want to believe. The truth is whatever you want it to be.
But the Bible makes it clear that there are certain things which are right, and certain things which are wrong. For instance:
- The Bible teaches that this is God’s world. “In the beginning… God created the universe” (Gen 1.1). The world didn’t just happen to come into being. God created the world. How precisely God created the world, the Bible doesn’t say.
- The Bible teaches that because God created the world, the world belongs to him. In the words of the Psalmist: “The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his” (Ps 24.1). Why? Because he made it, he made us. I.e. this isn’t our world, it is God’s world.
- The Bible also teaches, that because it is God’s world, one day we shall have to give an account to God of the way in which we have lived our lives: “Every one of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God” (Rom 14.12).
The Bible teaches us what to believe. It shows us what is true, and what is wrong.
The sad fact is that we can’t always believe what our teachers say
We certainly can’t always believe what the newspapers say
The Bible alone is trustworthy
Reason 3: To discover how to live
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for correcting faults and giving instruction for right living .
I.e. The Bible is concerned not just for right believing, but also for right living.
Sadly, we live in a society where anything goes
- Where, for instance, over 42% of births take place outside marriage
- Where for many people abortion is just another means of birth control
- Where politicians are often more concerned for spin rather than truth
- Where money, sex, and power seem to be the dominating values
The Bible, by contrast, teaches
- That families are the key to a stable society
- that life is sacred – we are all made in the image of God – that it is not for us to take the life of the unborn, of the weak, or of the aged
- that we should tell the truth, however costly that may be to us
- that we make shipwreck of our lives when money, sex and power become the driving force in our lives.
The Bible may not be a rule book, but it does contain very clear principles for how we should live our lives.
God has a pattern for our living, and that pattern is to be found in Scripture.
There is a right way to live, and a wrong way to live.
Reason 4. To become useful to God
All Scripture is inspired by God … so that everyone who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed. . Peterson: “Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us”
As a result of right believing & right living we will be in a position to be of use to God.
Here then are four good reasons for reading the Bible
So let me encourage you to read your Bible – to read your Bible on a daily basis.
Parents, let me encourage you to help your children read the Bible
Children, ask your parents to help you
There is no book more important to read than the Bible.