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The Bible

The Bible is the inspired word of God. It is the Book of books. There are sixty-six books in the entire Bible. The Old Testament is compiled of thirty-nine books and the New Testament of twenty-seven. Those sixty-six books were written by more than thirty men who lived in different provinces, were from different cultures, came from different social groups which included kings, prophets, legislators, shepherds, publicans, priests and fishermen. They lived in different environments and governments. The period which spanned their writings, was about fifteen-hundred years; yet there was a harmony which characterized their teachings. Therefore, we can safely conclude that the Bible had to be inspired by the eternal God Who gave unity to the entire volume.

The Bible is unquestionably the most influential book in the world. It has been a source of inspiration to unnumbered multitudes throughout the ages. The words of artists, musicians, sculptors, scientists, poets and statesmen have been drastically affected by the Bible. I wonder if the words of Shakespeare, Whittier, Longfellow and Tennyson would have been such enduring pieces of literature, had there been no Bible to influence their lives and writings.

The Bible is still a best seller and considered exceptional literature. It is such because it is an incredible book which lifts and inspires its reader. Therefore, the Bible is the most dynamic book of all time. All this is true because it reveals God in all His glory and power. It begins by introducing men to the great Creator of the vast universe, saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Though our minds cannot begin to fathom His diverse being, He is revealed as a Triune God. John wrote, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7). God was declared with no explanation given for His nature and being. He eternally exists and all that He reveals through the Scriptures, must be embraced by faith which is implanted within us by the Holy Spirit. Not only does the Holy Spirit live within each person who is born again, but the Spirit also reveals Jesus as the Son of God through the testimony of biblical teachings. So then, if we desire to know Him better, it will come through the many revelations which are found in the pages of the Holy Bible. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

As the written and inspired word of God, the Bible not only declares the presence of God, but also reveals His many and varied purposes. He said, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Clearly, God has a purpose in giving the Bible; therefore, we need to open our minds to the truths set forth in its sacred pages. We should spend much time in reading and studying the Bible and encourage others to do so. No other book can make such a difference in mortal existence. It is an irreplaceable book, if we want to understand God’s will for our personal lives. I cannot recommend it too highly, nor praise it too much. Once you can absorb its truths, your outlook will never be the same and the more you retain, the greater its blessings will be. Recognizing that God has a purpose for the Bible, let us consider some of those benefits.

Paul wrote, “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” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Paul stated four purposes for Scripture, which make it a profitable book: (1) Doctrine (which here means teaching): The Bible is a text book that teaches us about God and ourselves. We see God in His work of sovereign grace, and view ourselves as we really are; sinners saved by grace. The Bible says, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (Ephesians 2:5). (2) Reproof (which is conviction): We are taught that certain actions are wrong and those sins should convict our hearts and conscience, as those described in John 8:9. (3) Correction (which is a setting right): Once we see sin and are convinced that it is wrong, we are told how to set things right, thus correcting the wrongs. Jesus said, “repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). (4) Instruction (which is to nurture): It means to rear, bring up, train, or educate. Once we are corrected and get our lives on the right track, headed in the right direction; we are then educated so that we may grow spiritually through righteous living. Peter wrote, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). All these benefits are provided in the pages of the Bible and is intended to help us become more perfect before God. Thus, the Bible completely furnishes us with the good works, which God commands us to perform daily.

These good works will: (1) Glorify God. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Every saved person is capable of performing good works, because we were born again and God lives in us through the Holy Spirit. He implanted many spiritual qualities such as faith (Galatians 5:22), which enable us to perform good works. The Bible also tells us what actions constitute good works, so that we may look to God for the power to do them. Paul said “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). Therefore, all glory belongs to God, for we cannot succeed on our own. Paul said, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:20). (2) Bless lives. James 1:25 says, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” Living obediently to the word of God will bless and enrich our lives; in other words God gave His word for our good. Moses said in Deuteronomy 10:12-13; “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good.” It should be evident that God gave His word to ancient Israel and to saints in every age, to bestow blessings on those who live by it. God’s word was not designed to deprive us of joy, make us miserable or unhappy; instead, the Bible was given to teach us ways to live rich, full and meaningful lives.

The teachings of the Bible really are for our good, because they help us become better people. In the Scriptures, God teaches us His path for our lives. While there are many varied ideas of men, there are basically only two ways to live, God's way and man's way. They are described in Matthew 7:13-14, which says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” God's way is good and beneficial, but the sinful ways of men bring shame and destruction. God gave the Bible to point out the ditches and pitfalls of life so that we can evade them and discover the ways which are most beneficial for us. When we come to understand the teachings of the Bible, they are like God saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21). Walking in God’s ways help us “cleanse” our lives of sins. The question is asked, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalms 119:9). If we take the teachings of the Bible to heart, they will also help prevent further sins. The Psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

The Bible is also intended to shed light upon the experiences of life, so that we may better understand them. It enables us to understand how we can get through bad times and how to enjoy more fully the good times. Psalms 119:105 states, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” The light of the sun shines during the sunny days of life (good times) and we joyfully look ahead. Yet, when night and dark scenes come (bad times), we still have God’s lamp to help us to see what lies before us and find the path by which we can safely pass through life’s trials. Thus, both words were used, a “lamp” and a “light.” Paul also describes the “gospel” as a light, which shines to enable us to see life and immortality. He said Jesus “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). The gospel does not give life and immortality, but it does give light so that we may better understand them and put our trust more completely in God.

Comfort is another purpose of God’s holy word. Troubles are a real part of life and we must all face some afflictions. Job wrote, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). However, the Bible is designed to give us comfort during such difficult times. God said to Isaiah, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God” (Isaiah 40:1). This is done as God’s people are reassured of His love, mercy and grace. Apparently, Paul was comforted when God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” In response to God’s words of comfort, Paul said, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Psalm 30:5 says, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Oh, the comfort of His word!

Hope is also included in the purposes of the Bible. Paul said, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). We need to be able to hope for better times, in this life and for eternity to come. God’s word gives us hope, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” (Hebrews 6:19). As an anchor holds a ship driven by the winds; even so, hope as our anchor holds us steady during the storms of life. A natural anchor reaches down to the unseen and holds the ship and our spiritual anchor reaches up into heaven, to the unseen God above and holds us secure by His power. God’s word affords this blessed hope to those who search its sacred pages. Psalm 42:5 says, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

There are so many benefits derived from the Bible, that it is impossible to mention all of them. However, I do want to list a few more benefits for your prayerful consideration. (1) We are taught how to worship God (Psalm 29:2). (2) We are taught what God has done for us (Isaiah 1:18, Ephesians 2:8-9). (3) We are taught that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Mark 1:1). (4) We are taught what to believe (Luke 1:1). (5) We are taught what true religion involves (James 1:27). (6) We are taught how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13) and (7) We are taught how to live in this present world (Titus 2:11-12). On and on the list could go, for the Bible is inexhaustible. None of us have begun to tap the full potential of blessings which God stored for us in His word; therefore, let us search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014