Wrong Ways to Read the Bible

We always encourage people to read the Bible but how often do people get bogged down in some of the chapters that appear to have nothing to do with real life?

Because the point of the special revelation of the Bible is to illuminate God’s plan for redemption of the world and to glorify Christ, this means there are ways we ought NOT to read the Bible. Here are a few bad ways of reading the Scriptures:

  • Treating its stories as morality tales, where we rush to apply the stories of God’s people to ourselves as if WE were the heroes in God’s story of redemption, not Jesus.
  • Taking parts of the Bible out of their narrative contexts.
  • Reducing the epic story of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a disjointed list of statements, propositions, principles or practical tips.
  • Treating the Bible like it is Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, or worse, a bag of fortune cookies.

Also, because the point of the Bible is to glorify Jesus and to capture our hearts in worship of Him, we need to be careful we don’t worship the Bible itself. We are to honor God’s Word, trust God’s Word, treasure God’s Word, and believe God’s Word, but we are called to worship God. This means the only Word we ought to worship is Jesus the Word.

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Why Study the Bible?

Life can be hard and confusing. Our culture seeks to draw us farther and father away from traditional values in favor of more modern, up-to-date lifestyles and behaviors. We have bowed to the altar of tolerance and have many times compromised out Christian beliefs. Those traditional values many times can be traced back to biblical truth!

Christians have a reference point for their journey through life, the Bible. When we stake our lives on its teachings and principles, God gives us guidance on how to live. When we love, trust, and obey God and his Word, we will enjoy the abundant life He has promised every believer (John 10:10).

What is there about the Bible that has given it such power to influence and enrich the lives of many millions of believers throughout the centuries around the world?

  • Psalm 119:91 tells us, “Your laws remain true today, for everything serves your plans.”
  • Psalm 119:138 says, “Your decrees are perfect; they are entirely worthy of our trust.”
  • Hebrews 4:12 emphasizes how the Bible works in our lives, “The word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.”

By studying and applying God’s Word, we will see our world and ourselves through God’s eyes.

  • We will be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
  • We will get to know the author, the living God.

I’m going to write much more about why it is so vital for us to read and study God’s Word on a consistent basis. There are principles that work in the lives of believers and faithful readers and studiers of the Bible can discover practical ways to live and apply the teachings we read in the Bible.

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