The Bible is the inspired Word of God, totally true and absolutely reliable. Which makes it the final authority for Christians. Above all else, the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. This is why we refer to the Bible as God’s Word. The Bible instructs us in all areas of life. For nonbelievers, the Bible presents God’s law, causing them to identify sin and then discover the gospel. God’s Word directs God’s children and guides them into God’s way of life as it transforms their attitudes, speech, and actions to be more like Jesus Christ.
The Bible is God’s only written message to mankind, for all of time. It is made up of 66 books, all written by men as they were led by God to write (2 Timothy 3:15-17). When first written, the Bible did not contain any mistakes and it has only one true meaning as intended at the time of writing (John 17:17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). The Bible is able to meet a person’s every spiritual need as they read, believe, and obey it (Proverbs 2:1-10).
David speaks of the supremacy of God’s Word many times as he tells of its greatness, …you have exalted above all things your name and your word (Psalm 138:2b). The Lord places His Word above all else, therefore it is worthy of our highest attention and diligent study.
The Bible is:
- Perfect (Psalm 19:7, Proverbs 30:5)
- Inerrant, that is, it’s without error (Psalm 119:138, 144)
- Authoritative (Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 33:9,119:4)
- Eternal, it stands throughout all ages, and is just as relevant and applicable today as it was when written (Isaiah 40:8, Psalm 119:89, 160).
- Immutable, that is, it’s unchanging (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Hebrews 6:17-18).
We can rest assured in God’s Word because God remains faithful to His Word and fulfils all His promises. Through His Word He makes it possible for us to know Him.
IT IS ESSENTIAL TO READ GOD’S WORD
God’s Word tells us that when we put faith in Jesus Christ, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we are born-again, which means we are spiritually regenerated (John 3:3, Titus 3:5). Spiritually, immediately following salvation, we are like an infant who needs to begin to grow to maturity. God’s Word is the spiritual food for our new lives. The Word of God tells us; like new born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2:2).
The milk referred to here is the Word of God, the Bible. We need to read this regularly, meditate on it, and obey it. This is basic for Christian growth and maturity. Without it we will remain as spiritual babies and never grow.
The Christian life is a walk with the Lord, that’s why God’s Word is described as: A lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105).
The Bible is our Creator’s handbook. It gives us instruction, plus it helps us understand God and who we are from His perspective. It shows us how to please God in every area of our lives and how best to serve Him. God speaks to us through the Bible and He guides us as we read and meditate on it. Therefore, take time to read and study God’s Word daily.
REASONS WE NEED TO KNOW THE WORD OF GOD
- It makes us wise (Psalm 119:98-104).
- It gives us the light of understanding if we receive it (Psalm 119:130).
- It gives us peace and prevents us from stumbling (Psalm 119:165).
- It builds us up and gives us an inheritance in Jesus (Acts 20:32).
- It enables faith (Romans 10:17).
- It teaches us, gives encouragement, and enables hope (Romans 15:4).
- It is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in right living (2 Timothy 3:16).
- It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow (Hebrews 4:12).
- It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
WAYS TO KNOW THE WORD OF GOD
HEARING: For example, take time to attend Bible teaching/preaching, listen to recorded Bible teaching, through personal or group Bible reading, and gospel witnessing.
READING: When we read we need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us understanding. It can be helpful to follow a Bible reading plan, attend a Bible teaching Home Group, or get in a Discipleship relationship.
STUDYING: Aim to study your Bible. Once again, ask God to bring an older Christian into your life who will be willing to disciple you. It may be helpful to follow a Bible study lesson. Write key notes into your Bible so that you can relive the learned truth repeatedly. Write down anything that God reveals to you. God wants to build your knowledge of Him, but you should be able to remember and share with others whatever God reveals to you.
MEDITATING: This is taking a verse, or verses, and spending time prayerfully contemplating and reasoning through the passage while making application to your life. Ask yourself questions like:
- What does this passage say about God?
- Is there something God says is true of you?
- Take note of how God sees you?
- Is there a command to be obeyed?
- Is there a sin identified that you should turn from?
- Spend time talking with the Lord about what you’ve been meditating on
MEMORISING: Memorise Bible passages for the following reasons:
- To use when being tempted. I have hidden your word is my heart that I might not sin against you – is what David said in Psalm 119:11.
- To help you remember lessons learned from Scripture.
- For use when meditating without a Bible.
- For quoting to others, including witnessing to nonbelievers.
- For quoting when praying.
God wants us to know Him and His will correctly (John 17:3). That is why we should study the Scriptures to understand the intended meaning.
John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth, Your Word is truth.
Truth is God’s revelation given through the Scriptures by prophets of the Old Testament (Hebrews 1:1) and the disciples and apostles of the New Testament.
Galatians 1:11-12 I want you to know brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
The Bible doesn’t specifically describe truth in a form of a definition in any one given passage. But throughout the Bible it does deal with specific attributes, standards, and the origin of truth. In fact, in Scripture we find only two forms of knowledge, TRUTH and ERROR. Truth originates from God (Exodus 34:6, Psalm 96:13, James 1:17-18) while error and wrong attitudes originate from Satan and human wisdom (John 8:44, James 3:15, 1 John 4:1, 4-6).
It is God’s design for your life that you develop your faith and grow your trust in God’s Word by placing your confidence and reliance in the Bible. This growth is accelerated by regarding His Word as authoritative, absolute, and literal truth. Your relationship with the Lord will flourish as you discover more of Him through His revelation of Himself in the Bible.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7). The law of the Lord (The Bible), is uniquely able to revive you through the work of regeneration carried out in your spiritual heart. Likewise, the statutes of the Lord (The Bible), equips you by producing wisdom. Wisdom, in itself, is the actual applying of the Scriptures to every area of your life. Therefore, it is imperative that you regularly store up God’s Word in your heart.
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