Centuries roll by, nations rise and fall, thousands of characters pass in review, every human emotion from stark raw hate to a martyr's love is encountered. Hope, beginning as a faint spark, grows to absolute assurance. A perfect government is to reestablish the beautiful home.
Its ruler is the King, Christ Jesus.
The government, the Kingdom of God.
The family, the human race.
The book is the Bible.
Why study the Bible?
The very words of God are contained within the covers of the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is God's mind put in human print. Therefore, the Bible is a rich source of Godly guidance and God will often direct you as you read his Word. In a great many places the Bible tells us that, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105.) Look at that last line again and think for a minute just what is meant by that one small little sentence.
The Bible holds all of the answers. If you want healing, the Bible will show you how to achieve it. If you want peace, then the Bible will tell you how to get it. If you want prosperity, then the Bible will lead you to it. The Bible has all the answers to all the questions. It is the recipe for life. It is the manual for living.
When the way seems dark, allow the Scriptures to illuminate your path. When you want knowledge about God or you just want to understand God better, then turn to his very words. When you want answers to questions then turn to God's own instruction manual. As you read you will soon find that he is beginning to guide you. The life experiences the biblical writers chose to record weren't randomly selected. They were divinely inspired to be used as instruction for the generations of believers who follow. The Bible is a wonderful sign of Godly love becasue it was God's love for humans that moved him to inspire the writing of the Bible. The Bible was inspired by God for the main purpose of telling mankind that there is hope. This message was expressed by all the Bible writers, but I think John and Peter describe it best when they write:
1 John 5:13 "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."
2 Peter 1:16 "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty."
The Bible forces a person to choose whether the words in the Bible are from God or not. However all through the Bible the following terms are used over and over again. "Then God said", "Then the Lord said to me", "Hear the words of the Lord God". As mentioned above every single word found in the Bible was inspired by God himself as 2 Timothy 3:16 says, " All scripture is inspired by the Word of God", and the amazing thing is that it was written in a way that there is absolutely no situation you can encounter, or circumstance you can experience, for which you cannot find guidance in God's word.
The words of Jesus are often startling. The words of the Bible often make a person pause to examine one's heart, attitude, and ideas about what he considers "true" or "good." The characters in the Bible have all kinds of strengths and weaknesses, pretty much like any man. So as you read about them, it is like looking into a mirror. The Bible is phenomenal. Solved mysteries and unsolved mysteries lie side by side. Life changing messages are found jammed on each page of these divinely inspired Scriptures. The words of Jeremiah 33:3 constantly come to awesome and tremendous life, "Call to me, and I shall answer you and readily tell you great and incomprehensible things that you have not known".
More and more questions are answered the more one reads through this wonderful book. Entire new meanings are given to passages once thought fully explained. The readers eyes are opened to new discoveries and even greater understanding. Yet, there are still many mysteries that exist within the pages of the Bible. Mysteries that philosophers, theologians, and believers have wrestled and pondered with for centuries.
Actually the Bible tells the story of our lives, only it uses different names. If you and I had lived in those days, most of us would have fit right in with Israel's "on again" and "off again" relationship with God. The Bible is truly an amazing book because it describes the present human condition with a thousand different parallels from the past. Paul shows us the meaning of this when he says,
Romans 15:4 "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope."
When I study the Bible, I realize my own human nature is not that much different from those who scoffed at Noah as he built the ark. Sometimes I am rebellious, like Israel. In some ways I am blind like the Pharisees. Other times I am like the disciples, because I do not understand the words of Jesus. In some ways I am like doubting Thomas and impetuous Peter. When I am totally honest with myself, I realize that I have a lot in common with most of the Bible characters. In good ways and bad ways, they are like me, and I am like them.
Thus, I believe that the entire Bible, from the very first verse in Genesis to the very last verse in Revelation, can be summed up in 5 short sentences.
1--There is a tremendous spiritual battle going on between satan and Jesus Christ.
2--Every single human being is involved in this battle.
3--Each one of us are either on the side of Christ or on the side of satan.
4--Jesus Christ is going to win this battle.
5--The most sacred place on the face of the earth is at the feet of Jesus Christ.
One of the very last things that Our Lord said before he ascended into heaven was something about the Bible. Jesus knew the struggle was going to be very difficult and that each person was going to need a great deal of help if they were going to be victorious.
And so to help all of mankind in this life and death struggle he gave to his disciples and to everyone reading his word this message.
And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere".
WHAT IS IN US, COMES OUT OF US
Do you realize that every time that Jesus was tempted by satan, the very first thing he would do was recite a Biblical passage from the Word of God. Likewise, all through the New Testament Jesus quoted The Old Testament over and over and over.
Why did Jesus do that? Because he had the very Word of God within him. He was full of his Father's beliefs. He knew those Godly truths that were in the Old Testament forward and backward, and the beliefs of God were what he based his entire life on
We must get the Word of God in us because during those times when trials come, when the pitfalls suddenly materialize, when we are being tempted by satan, when our faith is being tested, when the worldly pressures are crushing down on us, that is the time that whatever is in us, is what is going to come out of us. If we don't know the beliefs of God then the only way that we can respond is the way that this ungodly world responds. However, if we know and understand the beliefs of God then we will respond in an entirely different way. Instead of worldly responses like anger, hate, violence, vengeance, and getting even, we will respond in a Godly way with understanding, compassion, gentleness, intelligence, and peace. We follow that extremely important command to obey God when we read, understand, and follow what is in the Word of God. The plain and simple truth is that God wants each of us to go from reading the Bible, to being the Bible.
Purposes of the Bible
There are a great many purposes that the Holy Word of God offers to each and every one of us but I think the most important are the following.
1) The Bible tells us all about God. It tells us what he is like, what his characteristics are, what he expects from us and what we can expect from him. Without reading the Bible we would have no way to understand such things as how God can be so loving, so merciful, so just and fair. In fact without the Bible, we would have absolutely no knowledge about God at all.
2) Without reading the Bible we would have no way of understanding our sinfulness. We would travel through this life with the world and satan leading us and never realize that many of our actions are ungodly and sinful. Without reading and understanding the Bible we would live out our lives on a path to eternal destruction.
3) Without knowledge of the Bible we would have no way of knowing that God is constantly watching over us and that his greatest desire is to save each and every one of us and to give us salvation and eternal life.
4) The Bible tells the reader how to live a Godly life. The Bible shows us what is Godly and what is sinful and evil. What to do and what not to do. How to lead a life that is pleasing to God and a life that Jesus Christ would be proud of.
5) Not only is the Bible a teaching tool for us, but we are to use the information found in the Bible to teach others about God so that they too have a chance of achieving eternal life. The true gift of miracles is the effort that you make to win another for Christ. Can you name any greater miracle than getting aother person saved for all eternity?
Man could not have thought up the Bible because no man could write a book about what the Bible says. What man would write a book that condemns all of mankind? What man says that every human being is a sinner and that each and every one of us is hell bound? What man would write that no one could ever do enough good works so that they become acceptable in the eyes of God? What man could possibly write that all of mans righteousness is like filthy rags in the sight of God? What man would ever say that eternal destruction and eternal death is what awaits all those that do not receive and accept Jesus Christ into their lives?
The Bible therefore is not made up of man's thoughts but of God's thoughts and God's messages, and these thoughts and messages were put into the hearts and minds of human beings and then those human beings put those thoughts down in print using there own words and in their own styles. I think the apostle Paul said it best in his second letter to Timothy.
2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God."
How much importance does God place on his word?
The following couple of verses should give you an idea of just how much importance God places on his Word.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Joshua 1:8 "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.
Most people ask the question, How do I build up my faith in Jesus Christ? How do I manage to get a rock solid belief in Jesus? Jesus tells us how in verses like Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of God." You acquire faith by reading and studying the Word of God. The only thing we really have from Jesus is the Bible. It is in the Bible where we learn how to conduct every aspect of our lives. The Bible is our instruction booklet that came with us when we were born. We need to study the Bible because the answers to all the questions are all there.
The Bible is our gift from God himself, and it is a gift that shows each one of us how to attain salvation, achieve eternal life, and be able to be with God in paradise for all of eternity. Many shun this wonderful gift, others mock and ridicule it. But the Bible contains a message for those who have disrespect in their hearts for the Word of God. It can be found at Proverbs 13:13 where it says, "He who despises the word, will be destroyed".
The importance that God places on his word is described a great many times all through the Bible. One example is at Psalms 138:2 where the psalmist tells us a most startling piece of information. He tells us that God places greater importance on his Word, than on his very own name. And he describes this importance when he writes, "For You have magnified Your Word above even Your name."
You fill yourself with the beliefs of God by reading his word and finding out how he wants you to handle all aspects of your life. You learn as much about God as possible by reading the very word of God and by spending time in prayer and worship. That is why James 4:8 is so very important.
"Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you".
What is a person really saying when they don't take the time to read the Word of God.
When a person says that they don't have the time to read the Bible, then what they are saying is that their faith is just not important. That their faith is not valuable. When a person doesn't make the effort to read and study their Bible, they are saying that don't want to develop a strong faith or grow spiritually. When a person doesn't pick up the Bible and read it, it's telling God that there is no desire to have a relationship with him. The person who will not take the time to read the Word of God is telling God that they do not wish to have eternal life as the following verse tells us.
Proverbs 4:20-22 "My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them."
Has the Bible made an impact on civilization?
Whenever and wherever the Bible is received the aspirations and the spirits of men are lifted. Try to imagine what would have happened to mankind without the Bible. Take away its teaching about human dignity and individual worth and see what is left. Eliminate the moral impact of the great preachers and Christian reformers, and then consider the plight the world would be in. Remove from our art galleries the paintings inspired by Jesus Christ. Take down from our library shelves the books that find their inspiration and theme in the Scriptures. Empty the world of the lofty oratories and uplifting music of the church. Eliminate from the cities and villages of the earth the magnificent cathedrals and little white framed church buildings that have been centers of hope and peace for troubled lives down through the ages.
Or take from mankind the high moral code of the Bible. What happens to our laws, our police, and our judges? What happens to the weak, the defenseless, the downtrodden, the lonely, and the despairing? One shudders to think of the tribulation that would fall upon our world without the Bible. Without the Bible we would all be living in a world of complete heartlessness, cruelty, and unrestrained deprivation.
It was those many glorious messages found within the pages of the Bible that influenced Godly men to establish the first hospitals and orphanages. It was the Godly lessons on loving your fellow man that inspired God loving men to create the first care centers for the elderly, the mentally sick, the abused. It is the Bible that teaches all men to help all those in need. It is the Bible that instructs us to right all injustices. It is the Bible that tells us to do all that we can when we see another that needs help. Every single charity, every single organization that strives to help others, every single group that attempts to alleviate pain, hardship, and suffering, can all find the original spark of its creation, somewhere within the pages of the Word of God. Without the love and compassion that is found in the pages of the Bible, this world would truly be an extremely cold place.
The Bible has saved countless millions. Think of the despairing, helpless, wicked men and women on the brink of madness who have found rescue upon hearing and believing the messages found in the word of God. The Bible has provided new hope to the despondent. It has brought quiet peace to the restless. It has lifted lowly people strait out of the gutters of society, and out of the gutters of their own minds and raised them to incredible hights. It has brought those deemed worthless to absolute greatness. It has taken human miserable messes and transformed them into masterpieces. It has raised morality to its highest levels. It has brought amazing deliverance and change to the lives of countless millions. And most importantly, it brings unlimited hope.
An extremely intriguing mystery
Do you want to know how important the Bible really is?
All through the Bible we are told that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Also, Jesus Christ is spoken of as being the Word. And we know that Jesus is God. Therefore not only is the Bible the Word of God, but the Bible is God.
It is very interesting to see how often Jesus is referred to as the Word of God in the Bible.
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Psalms 107:20 "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions."
Hebrews 11:3 "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."
Revelation 19:13 "He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God."
If you look at the first chapter in Genesis you will find that before God does anything regarding the creation it always says, "And God proceeded to say", or "God went on to say", or God said". You will find the words "he said", nine different times in the first chapter of Genesis. In verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, and 29. Not only is it incredible to think that the very Words of God brought the entire universe into existence, but just as incredible is the fact that Jesus Christ is spoken of as the Word of God. This means that the will of God, is the Word of God. That Jesus Christ is the very will, of God the Father.
It is absolutely amazing, but that Bible that you have laying over on that shelf is God. We cannot understand it, nor can we even comprehend it. We can't even visualize it. But that Bible that you rarely ever pick up and seldom read, is somehow, someway God. What an incredible mystery the Bible is.