Why Read the Bible

Introduction:

  • The Bible remains the most widely distributed and best-selling book in the world. Over 100 million copies of the Bible are sold or given away for free throughout the world every year.
  • In 2013, the American Bible Society commissioned the Barna Group to conduct a study titled, “The State of the Bible, 2013.”
  • Just some of the findings from that study:
    1. Four out of five adults (80%) mention the Bible when asked to name books they consider to be sacred, or holy books.
    2. Nearly half of Americans (47%) agree that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life.
    3. The clear majority of adults (88%) say their household owns a Bible. American Bible owners have an average of four Bibles in their home.  A large number (24%) have six or more Bibles in their home.  The KJV is still the most widely read (36%).  Next is the NKJV at 14%.
  • Now consider the following:
    1. Approximately one fourth of adults (26%) say they never read the Bible.
    2. 12% say they read the Bible less than once a year.
    3. 10% read the Bible only once or twice a year (not counting times they read or hear it read at church.)
    4. 9% read the Bible three or four times a year.
    5. 7% said they read the Bible once a month.
    6. 8% said the read the Bible once a week.
    7. Only 13% said they read the Bible daily.
  • When you hear these statistics, does it seem to you that the number of persons who read the Bible regularly seems quite low in comparison to the number of persons who own a Bible?
  • Why is this number disappointing? From another standpoint perhaps we should ask, “Why should I read the Bible daily?  Or why should I even read the Bible at all?”

Discussion:

  • The Bible is the word of God.
    1. I Thessalonians 2:13 – “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” Note: Those at Thessalonica heard the word from the apostles, but recognized it as the word of God.  Don’t discount the apostles’ teachings!
    2. II Timothy 3:16-17 – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
    3. The Bible is how God reveals himself to man. The Bible answers questions no other book can answer.
  • Impossible to grow spiritually without reading the Bible.
    1. Hosea 4:6 – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Note: It would seem from this verse that knowledge was available to them, but they failed to avail themselves of the opportunity to receive it.  When the y rejected knowledge, they rejected God.
    2. I Peter 2:2 – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” Note: We do not grow spiritually by delving into pop psychology but by delving into the scriptures.
    3. If a child does not grow physically, the parent realizes something is wrong. The parent becomes troubled, distraught.  How much more do we disappoint God when we fail to grow as we ought.
  • Reading the Bible gives guidance to our lives.
    1. Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
    2. Matthew 22:29 – “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Note: As long as we do not know the scriptures we will live in error.  We make a choice.  We either know the scriptures or we walk in error.
    3. Countless number of self-help books are written every year, yet none are more helpful than the Bible.
  • Helps us in overcoming temptation.
    1. Psalm 119:11 – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
    2. Ephesians 6:17 – “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Note: A sword is a weapon, both offensive and defensive.  Some say the word is the weapon the Holy Spirit uses.  Wrong!  The word is a weapon the Holy Spirit has given us to use!  You are in a spiritual battle.  You need to know how to use your weapon.
    3. Remember the statistics we looked at earlier? 88% of households say they own a Bible.  But only 13% said they read the bible daily.  Where is their Bible?  On a nightstand by their bed?  On a coffee table?  A bookshelf?  The scriptures need to be kept in our hearts.
  • The Bible is the standard by which we will all be judged.
    1. John 12:48 – “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
    2. Romans 2:16 – “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” “According to my gospel” means according to those things Jesus (and the apostles) taught.
    3. You and I are going to face the judgment one day. Doesn’t it only make sense that we ought to know the standard by which we will be judged?  Hint: It’s not at all what you have heard from men!

Conclusion:

  • Why read the Bible?
    1. It is the word of God.
    2. It is impossible to grow spiritually without it.
    3. It gives guidance to our lives.
    4. It helps in overcoming temptation.
    5. It is the standard by which we will all be judged.