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Why Should We Read the Bible? - Forward with Back to the Bible - January 3

  • 2022 Jan 03

Why Should We Read the Bible?

January 3

Read 1 John 4:9-10 (ESV)

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Reflect

Why do you think reading the Bible is an important spiritual discipline?

If you asked someone “Why should I read the Bible?” you will get a variety of answers. American history tells the story of a skeptic surprised to see Abraham Lincoln reading a Bible. Lincoln’s response was, “Take all that you can of this book upon reason, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier man.”

John Piper once said, “I have never met a mature, fruitful, strong, spiritually discerning Christian who is not full of Scripture, devoted to regular meditation on Scripture, and given to storing it in the heart through Bible memorization—and that’s not a coincidence.”

It is true that there are a variety of reasons why reading the Bible is valuable and important. But I propose to you that the most important reason to read the Bible is because it is God’s special revelation to man and what He reveals to us is beyond amazing.

The Bible contains the greatest love story ever told. About how God made us even though He didn’t need us. About how He wanted a relationship with us. But we sinned. We ruined our relationship with God and His perfect creation was tarnished. But still, He loved us and wanted that fellowship restored. So He sent His Son, Jesus to sacrifice His own life on our behalf—to pay the penalty for our sins and to give us life in His name. Those of us who call upon His name will be saved, our relationship with God will be restored, and we will receive life everlasting. He will come again to finally end sin and death with judgment and to establish His eternal kingdom in the new heaven and the new earth where His saints will reign with Him.

Today’s verses summarize the main storyline of the Bible. John wrote that it’s not about how we loved God but rather how God loved us. After all, He created us out of His great love and yet, we disobeyed Him. Throughout the Bible (and human history), humans have disobeyed and even displayed hatred for God more than we’ve loved and obeyed Him. We sinned and we deserved eternal punishment.

But still, John says, God loved us! So much that He made His love manifest, or tangible by sending Jesus into the world. Jesus was God in the flesh. But He went even further to demonstrate His love for us. He became the propitiation of our sins. The NIV says God, “sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (v. 9). That is what propitiation means— an atoning sacrifice or a sacrifice given to right a wrong in the eyes of God. Because Jesus paid the due penalty for our sins, John says that we can have life in Him instead of the death we rightfully deserved. The storyline of Scripture is the creation, fall, redemption, and restoration of mankind by a God who loves us.

Friends, if you are wondering why it is worth the time and effort to read the Bible, here’s my answer. Read the Bible so that you can get to know the God who loves you. It is the most important love story ever written. True story!

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).

Pray

God, thank You for Your abundant, steadfast love. Thank You for dying for me, even as I was dead in my sins against You and for raising me up to new, eternal life in You. And thank You for sending us all a message about this great love all throughout Scripture so that we can know You. Amen.

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