Questions About the Bible: What is so important about the Bible anyways?

This is the post last in a series covering the FAQ’s about the Bible. I have already answered the questions (1) How can we know that the Bible is the Word of God? HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE (2) How did we get the Bible as we know it today? HERE In this post, I am going to be answering the question: What is so important about the Bible anyways? This is the so what question. In other words, so what if the Bible is the Word of God…what does that mean? We can know all those other important things about the Bible, but if we don’t understand how the Bible applies to us individually then it becomes another piece of irrelevant literature. However, the Bible is extremely important to the lives of Christians. In fact, it is absolutely essential to three areas of the Christian life—spiritual growth, maturity, and effectiveness.

The Bible is essential to our spiritual growth. Just as we grow physically in life, we grow spiritually in our Christian life. First Peter 2:2 explains how the Bible is essential to our spiritual growth: Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. Peter understood that when it comes to the Word of God, we must first have a certain kind of attitude. We should have the attitude like that of a newborn baby. If you haven’t noticed, newborns aren’t really concerned with much. Their main concern is eating, sleeping, and well you know the other thing. Here the point is that our main concern should be with that which nourishes us spiritually—the Bible. Newborns not only have a certain attitude, but they have an appetite. When they are hungry, they cry. They have a desire for nourishment, for milk. We are supposed to have a desire to read and study the Bible. We are to “crave” the Word of God in our lives. Life is hectic, it is busy, and it is full of things that take us away from reading and studying the Bible. Yet, whenever we go through a period where we have not been able to regularly spend time in the Word, there should be a desire and a craving to slow down and get back into the Word that wells up within us like hunger pains. While we may think babies eat just to eat, there is an aim. Just as there is an aim for babies, there is an aim for us when spending time with the Bible. That aim is for us to “grow up in [our] salvation.” If we don’t regularly encounter the Word of God, then we will not experience real spiritual growth.

The Bible is also essential to our spiritual maturity. Spiritual growth is growing in the knowledge of the things of God. We gain that knowledge through the Word of God. Spiritual maturity is learning to apply that knowledge to our lives. As we experience spiritual growth, we should in turn experience spiritual maturity. Hebrew 5:11-14 explains this process beautifully:
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The teaching about righteousness is that as we grow in our understanding of God’s Word, we grow in our ability live out that knowledge in our daily lives. How do we go about this process? We begin growing in our spiritual maturity through “constant use” of God’s Word “to distinguish good from evil.” Consider this, a person who has recently given their life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior struggles with questions regarding sin. They want to be obedient to Jesus and express their love for him, but they are not sure how to do this. So they may ask questions like: Is it okay for Christians to smoke? Is hell, damn, etc. curse words that I shouldn’t be using? Should I hangout with this person? There are an almost endless number of questions that new believers ask, but they all come from the fact that they still don’t know much about the Bible and what it says about how we should live. As Christians spend time reading and studying the Bible, these questions become easier to answer and almost second nature. The things which new believers often struggle with in theirs minds are not difficult for mature believers to resolve in their minds. The point of Hebrews though, is that we should all be maturing in our faith.

Finally, the Bible is essential to our spiritual effectiveness. There are four ways that the Bible aids us in becoming spiritually more effective. These four ways are listen in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The first way that it is useful is for teaching. This word more literally translates to doctrine. The Bible is useful for forming our core of beliefs. What do we believe about God? What do we believe about sin? What do we believe about __________(fill in the blank)? The Bible is useful for forming doctrine. The second way that the Bible helps us become spiritually effective is that it its usefulness for rebuking. Now, this doesn’t mean that we use the Bible to browbeat ourselves or anyone else. The Bible rebukes us all by itself; it doesn’t need our help. How does the Bible rebuke us? It tells us when and where we are out-of-bounds in our lives. It reveals to us when our lives have left the realm of obedience. The third way the Bible is essential to our spiritual effectiveness is that it not only rebukes us, but it corrects us. It tells us how to get back in-bounds when we have stepped out. It explains to us how to turn from sin and conform to God’s will. Finally, the Bible is essential to our spiritual effectiveness because it provides training in righteousness. The Bible explains how we can stay in-bounds to begin with, rather than simply showing us when we are out-of-bounds (rebuking) and how to get back in-bounds (correcting). These four things come together to make the Bible absolutely essential to our spiritual effectiveness.

Maybe you have wanted to be more effective for the kingdom of Jesus Christ. But I have to ask, what have you been doing to prepare yourself to be more effective? If you have not been spending time in the Word of God, you may well not be at a point where God can use you. Imagine that you have grown in the understanding of your profession by the same amount that you have in your Christian growth after the same number of years—what would be the outcome in your job? Oh, we spend a lot of time growing in our understand and effectiveness in every other area of our lives except the Bible. Lord, forgive us all for neglecting Your Word and strengthen our self-discipline that we might correct the error of our ways.

Do you have other questions about the Bible you would like for me to answer? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below or email them to me at MrHydesBlog@gmail.com
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