Statistics tell us that there is growing lack of biblical literacy in America. According to LifeWay Research, “only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week.” Many people view their Bible the same that they do their vehicle owner’s manual. They only open it up when something in their life is falling apart. However, the Bible is so much more. It is vital to any spiritual growth and knowledge of God.
In Romans 15:4, we see a fourfold purpose of Scripture. It says, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we might through patience and comfort of scriptures might have hope.” This verse explains to us four reasons why we must read the Bible.
We see first that the Bible was written for our learning. This doesn’t just apply to historical facts, moral ethics, and systematic theology. The Word of God has all these, but it goes much deeper. The Word of God does not merely satisfy a curious intellect. Its truth enters the deepest part of a man’s heart and benefits him spiritually. It is through the Scripture that we learn about our separation from God, our need of reconciliation, and our only hope of eternal life- Jesus Christ. A man can know all the facts of the Bible, but if he never knows Christ in a saving relationship, he will never know life eternal.
We also see that the Bible is given for our patience. Patience is a calm, even-tempered, and untroubled spirit that guides the Christian through the trials of life. Noah is a great example of patience. He simply determined to obey God in the midst of a godless culture. We must be like Noah and patiently wait on God and serve Him with our lives. It is the Word of God that grants us the patience that we need.
Third, we see that the Scripture is given for our comfort. Our comfort is found in the pages of Scripture. We ought to find comfort in the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the sure promises of God, and in the unchanging character of God.
Lastly, we see that we find our hope from the Word of God. We are called to a life of faith. And faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). We live in hope when we look for the return of our Lord. We live in hope of receiving our glorified bodies and being conformed to the image of Christ. We live in hope of our eternal abode in His glorious presence.
Why should we read the Bible? It is our only source of true knowledge. The Bible is also our only source of patience through the trials of life, comfort in our innermost being, and an abiding hope that we constantly anticipate.