Thursday, February 10, 2011

Should Christians read their Bible's on a Consistent Basis?

Let me say at the forefront that in no way does reading the Bible justify a person before God. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. My question is for those who claim the name of Christ yet never have a desire to read his Word. I have been pondering the question: Should Christians read their Bible's on a consistent basis?

First we must understand what the Bible is all about. The Bible is God's story of redemption through his Son, Jesus Christ, for the sake of his glory alone. Through the Scriptures we can know the will of God. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). These are things we need on a consistent basis: teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness so we may be equipped daily. We also need to be in the Word so we can be reminded that these transformations take place because of the glorious gospel. We are saved by God's grace through the hearing of the gospel and we are sustained by God's grace through the hearing of the gospel. The only way to go deeper into the glories of the gospel is through reading God's Word.

Two examples from Scripture of men who loved the Word of God because they loved and wanted to know God: David and Paul. If you want to see David's love for God's truth just go read Psalm 119. This is a beautiful Psalm where David just continually speaks of his delight in God's law. "I will praise you with an upright heart,when I learn your righteous rules" (7). "With my whole heart I seek you;let me not wander from your commandments" (10)! "I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word" (15-16). "My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times" (20). "My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word" (25)! This is how David talks for 176 verses. God gracious saved his soul and now David finds in delight in knowing God.

We see Paul's love for God throughout his life once God saved him on the road to Damascus. Paul taught stronger than anyone that a person is justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Near the end of his life he wrote his spiritual son Timothy to give him instructions about the structure of the church. At the end of his last letter (2 Timothy) Paul tells Timothy to do his best to come and see him. Paul was in prison waiting for his execution and wanted to see Timothy for a last time. He requested a few things for Timothy to bring him but he told Timothy ,"Above all the Parchments" (2 Timothy 4:16). Paul wanted to read God's Word. He wanted to know more about the God he was about to see face to face. It was also as if he could not live without them.

Sadly many of us, who claim to be Christians, can live without the Book. Our delight is not in knowing God. We have Bibles upon our shelves that have never been open or have not been opened for a long time. We care nothing about the Bible unless we want to win a debate or answer a question correctly at church. The desire is just not there. If this is you I've got good news: The Gospel.

If you have lost your desire to know God through the reading of his Word, repent. Confess your lack of love for your great Savior and he promises to forgive you and restore you. If you have never had the desire to know God then I have good news for you as well. The Bible is clear that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead then you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Through faith in Jesus you can have fellowship with the God of the universe. This is an amazing promise!

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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