In a previous article, we warned against four insufficient reasons to read the Bible. Here, we’d like to offer four good reasons to read Scripture. We pray that you take them as great reasons to read Scripture and are motivated to read God’s Word by what you read here.
4 Good Reasons to Read the Bible
1. Read the Bible to Fall in Love
The Bible is not a rulebook. A lot of people view the Bible as a list of do’s and don’ts that prohibits us from doing what we want. The Bible is not a rulebook, it’s a treasure map that leads us to a special person.
Hebrews 1:1-2 says that “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (ESV), and then it goes on to give us wonderful descriptions of Jesus.
In other words, the Bible is all about a person and an all-satisfying relationship, not rules that keep you from joy. So this week, this month, this year, read the Bible to discover who God is—and to fall in love with the Author.
2. Read the Bible to Kill Sin
Our souls, already predisposed towards sin, easily make idols out of good things. Something as simple as food can become an idol that we worship above God. Relaxation can become a savior we rest in above God. A relationship can become a refuge we trust in above God.
Behind all these idols is a very powerful, are two very sly enemies who uses these to coerce us into sin—our selfish sinful heart and our Enemy, the devil.
So we need something to help us fight sin. On our own strength, we’re dead meat. We need something very, very, very powerful to uproot sin, and not just snip off its branches.
Have you ever noticed how much more power you have to resist sin when you are letting Christ’s Word dwell in your heart? It has a unique power. No wonder – its God’s Word!
But maybe you’re saying, “Wait a minute Joe, didn’t you just say an insufficient reason to read the Bible was to learn how to live rightly?” Well, there’s a difference between “moral living” and sin-killing.
When the Spirit moves through the Word and makes it alive for us, something very significant happens. We get a new power that not only helps you to say no, but it actually transforms your desires. The difference is this—it acts on us; we don’t merely act in our own strength in response to it.
This is really important. The Word of God does not only cause reformation in your life but transformation. It not only gives you power to say no to sin, it gives you new affections for Christ. What sin do you want to be rid of? Ask the Spirit of God to use his Word to help you overcome it.
3. Read the Bible to Know Yourself
The Bible tells us about God mainly, but God in his Word tells you more about you than you know about you.
This means God uses his Word to convict you of sin in your life. Do you have sin in your life? Do you know all the sin in your life? The way God generally works is to expose sin. He helps us to see it so we confess it, receive his cleansing from it, and rely on him to conquer it. The way he exposes this sin, the way he lets us know who we really are, is through his Word. God’s Word searches us and shapes us. The author of Hebrews tells us,
For 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 marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13 ESV)
Read the Bible to know who you are before God.
4. Read the Bible to Rest in Jesus
After the Bible has exposed your sin, you need to go to the same source to find rest. You can rest when you read God’s Word and find Jesus.
In Galatians 3:2, Paul says, “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?” (ESV).
What is being contrasted with works of the law? Hearing with faith. You don’t find rest in Christ from the burden of your sins by working harder, but by hearing of Jesus, through the Word, and believing in him!
Read the Bible to find your rest in Jesus as your Savior, Lord, Treasure, Refuge. The same book that exposes your sin will be your refuge because it reveals the satisfying solution to your sin—your wonderful Savior!
The Bible Is for Your Good
God has provided his Word for your good. Consider reading Psalm 1 and what life looks like when you delight in God’s Word. Pray that you’d find “wondrous things” in God’s Law (Psalm 119:18). It is good for you to read it. Take up, read, and find life in the One who gives it to you through his Word.