Christian Living

The Purpose of the Bible

Explore the Reasons Why We Should Read Scripture

I write a lot about the Bible. And I advocate that people read and study the Bible. I encourage them to explore Scripture daily. But why? What is the purpose of the Bible? Without knowing why we’re doing something, it’s hard to persist in it and turn it into a habit. But that’s precisely what we must do.

Reasons to Read the Bible

The Bible is the most popular book ever written. It has lasted through the centuries. It’s been translated into many languages; I suspect more than any other book. People have given their lives to preserve the Bible so that we can read it today.

Many households have at least one copy of it. They may even read it. But why?

Here are some common reasons why people read the Bible. They read Scripture to:

  • Avoid feeling guilty if they don’t read it.
  • Obey what they’ve been told they should do.
  • Embrace a daily discipline.
  • Experience classic literature.
  • Read epic stories.
  • Guide them in right living (righteousness).
  • Discover spiritual truth.
  • Learn about God.

These are all reasons to read the Bible. Some of them are even good ones. But they’re not the best. What then, is the ultimate purpose of the Bible?

The Real Purpose of the Bible

The Bible provides the foundation for my faith. I need a basis for what I believe that is greater than me. I need something that transcends me and precedes me. The Bible provides a greater authority for my faith in spiritual practices. That’s why I love the Bible.

Yet it’s popular these days for people to pick what spiritual practices they want to follow. They take a little bit of one religion, mix in a bit of another, and add what seems right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6).

When they do this, they’re making up their own religion. More to the point, they’re making God into their image, not the other way around (Genesis 1:26).

A manmade religion may make them feel good, but it will do nothing more. It can’t save them. Only Jesus can do that (Acts 16:31).

The Point of the Bible

My friend Luke says, “The point of the Bible is to point us to Jesus.” He’s so right. His succinct, pithy one liner captures the essence of the Bible and gives us the real reason to read it.

The Old Testament of the Bible anticipates Jesus.

The New Testament of the Bible reveals Jesus to us.

First, we have the four gospels. These biographies of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell us about Jesus’s life and ministry.

The rest of the New Testament (Acts through Revelation) tells us about his followers. It reveals their reaction to what he did when he died as a human sacrifice to cover all the things we did wrong—and will do wrong. In this way he makes us right with Father God and prepares us for eternal life.

This is why it’s important that we study the Bible, because it points us to Jesus.

As we follow Jesus and become his disciple (Luke 9:23), we should make what the Bible says about him a priority. We must study the Bible, and we don’t need someone to teach us. We can study it ourselves. As we do this, we must read it with an open mind.

This is because the point of the Bible is to point us to Jesus. And nothing else matters.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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