The Bible was written in three languages over a span of fifteen hundred years by more than forty human authors from all walks of life. Hailing from the Middle East, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Southern Europe, these men were kings, farmers, historians, fishermen, prophets, apostles, free men, and slaves. For all their differences, they shared a distinctive connection: The Spirit of God guided them so that the words they recorded were nothing less than the very words of God. When we study the Bible, we are reflecting on God Himself.
There is simply no other explanation for the Bible’s accuracy and coherency. Dr. Henry Morris wrote, “The individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into such a Book, but each nevertheless fits perfectly into place and serves its own unique purpose as a component of the whole. Anyone who diligently studies the Bible will continually find remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout its fabric, with an intricacy and symmetry incapable of explanation by chance or collusion.”1
The Bible is a perfect book, written by God for our instruction.
The Bible is a powerful book, designed to transform our life in nine ways.
The Bible is a personal book, given to impart wisdom when we study it.
God’s eternal Word has withstood countless campaigns to silence it. In A.D. 303, Rome’s emperor, Diocletian, ordered the burning of Bibles and the martyrdom of Christians. Twenty years later, a new emperor, Constantine, proclaimed the Bible the infallible judge of all truth. In the eighteenth century, the French philosopher Voltaire predicted God’s Word would lose its voice within fifty years. Half a century later, eyewitness accounts suggest the Geneva Bible Society was printing Bibles in Voltaire’s former house on his very own printing presses. Today, the Bible is difficult to obtain or illegal in 52 countries, but in keeping with history, each new wave of persecution spreads the Gospel further.2
Each time someone sounds the Bible’s death knell, it rises from the ashes. Moses has outlived Voltaire. Isaiah has outlasted Ingersoll. The apostles have outsmarted the agnostics. And the prophets have overpowered the professors. In the words of Isaiah, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (40:8).
The Bible Is a Perfect Book
The Bible has always been a difference-maker for those who study it. Over the years, I have watched this Book and the Savior it represents permanently change people’s lives. But do not take my word for it—Scripture has plenty to say for itself. Consider Psalm 19:7-11:
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
This psalm, written by David, combines some of the most splendid Hebrew poetry with some of the most excellent theology you will find in one place. It is a picture of parallel structure, symbolism, and poetry. At the same time, it gives us great insight into the power and influence of God’s Word.
Let’s peel back the poetry for a moment and examine the grammar. It lists six different names or synonyms for the Bible: “the law…the testimony…the statutes…the commandment…the fear…the judgments.” Any one of these could replace “Bible” in a sentence, but they provide additional information about its Author and its purpose. All six of them make it clear that the Bible is “of the Lord.” Scripture comes directly from Him. They also tell us that we cannot study the Bible and put it back on the shelf. The Bible is a book for us to obey.
David gives us seven adjectives to describe the Bible. He calls the Book “perfect…sure…right…pure…clean…true…[and] righteous.” All those lengthy genealogies? Perfect. The end-times prophecies? Surer than death and taxes. The commandments? Right and true. God’s judgment? Righteous and pure. From cover to cover, the Bible is all of these things.
The Bible Is a Powerful Book
Once we understand the authority and perfection of God’s Word, we can unleash its power to transform our life.
Studying the Bible will restore our soul.
Earlier in Psalm 19, David explains how God’s creation reveals who He is, but the Word teaches us how to respond to God. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The Bible is uniquely able to bring people to salvation.
Studying the Bible will renew our mind.
Whether we are looking for relationship advice, business principles, or money management, we can find it by studying the Bible. Scripture also gives us a way to withstand our world’s secular, often perverse influence. As Christians, we can choose to “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” instead of conforming to the world (Romans 12:2).
Studying the Bible will rejoice our heart.
We all know people who spend their lives searching for happiness in the wrong places. Whether they look to their careers, relationships, or finances, they always come up empty. Those things cannot provide true satisfaction, but God’s Word can and does. Even Jeremiah, who was known as “the weeping prophet,” managed to find joy in its pages. Jeremiah 15:16 says, “When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies” (NLT). That’s what studying the Bible will do for you and me. It will restore our soul, renew our mind, and rejoice our heart.
Studying the Bible will refocus our vision.
Anyone who has visited an optometrist has experience with a phoropter. It is the machine that clicks through different lenses to determine which one provides the most optimal vision. In the process, some lenses improve our sight while others make it fuzzier. Spiritually speaking, we need to ask ourselves if we perceive things as they truly are. We look through the wrong lens when we view the world through our prejudices, experiences, or background. But with the Bible as our lens, we can discern the reality about ourselves and the world around us.
Studying the Bible will refresh our life.
It’s hard to understand unless you have experienced it, but the Bible is a cleansing agent. Studying God’s Word shows us our impurities and helps us eliminate them. It will wash our heart and renew us. In the words of Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.”
Studying the Bible will replace our doubts.
There are very few certainties in this life. But every word in God’s Book is true, from the beginning to the end. Psalm 18:30 proclaims, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Throughout history, many brilliant minds have tried to destroy the Bible, and they have all failed. Several ended up becoming followers of Christ because they could not deny the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and inspiration. Some books are worth doubting, but the Bible is not one of them.
Studying the Bible will reorder our values.
We can determine a lot about our priorities by the way we spend our time, money, and effort. C. S. Lewis wrote, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.”3 We need to ask ourselves where we are aiming. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus describes our proper priorities: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The best way to keep our aim sure is to study the Bible.
Studying the Bible will redirect our path.
Not too many people enjoy hearing the word “No,” but Scripture’s warnings will keep us from experiencing painful disasters if we will follow them. People have told me, “Well, Pastor, sometimes it’s easier to receive God’s forgiveness than His permission.” Don’t do that. When the Bible tells you not to do something, it is a warning for your protection. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” We cannot see the consequences of our choices the way God can. Listen to the One who knows the end from the beginning.
Studying the Bible will reward our obedience.
Of all the people I know, the happiest are those who know Jesus Christ and have committed to following Him wherever He takes them. They understand God’s Word is their source of instruction for life. James 1:25 tells us, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
Nothing in life is more important than studying the Bible. It draws us closer to the Lord and positions us to receive His blessings. I pray you will make the study of God’s Word a priority in your life. In the words of Peter, “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2, NLT).
You Might Also Enjoy:
• Bible Reading Plan for 2022
• 3 Ways to Read Your Bible
• Daily Scriptures for Finding Inner Peace
The Bible Is a Personal Book
The challenges of living an authentic Christian life call for more than an initial experience with God. We need His wisdom every day. Colossians 1:9 records Paul’s prayer for the church of Colossae, a prayer that makes a valuable distinction. He prays that the Colossians will be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” As we study the Bible, we receive wisdom. But Paul reminds us that there is more to our faith than wisdom; we also need to gain spiritual understanding by probing Scripture’s instructions consistently. How do we maximize our reception of God’s Word?
Before studying the Bible, select a quiet location and take the time to pray. Ask God to remove all the distractions that could detract from your time with Him.
With a pen, pencil, or highlighter in hand, actively read each verse of your chosen passage. Do not be overly concerned with the length of the passage you are studying. Your goal is to gain instruction from the Word, not scan large amounts of information.
Transformation occurs one step at a time. Identify one concept you can apply to your life. Ask God how He wants to change you right now in your present circumstances and always.
As you study the Bible, read and reread what God has said about those things that need to change in your life. As you apply this new concept to your life, note the changes that need to occur in your attitudes, outlook, and conduct.
Transcribe a particularly impactful part of your Scripture reading onto a notecard or an app on your smartphone. Make it your goal to memorize that portion of your study.
Translate your study from words into actions. Find one person who needs the encouragement you have received from the passage and share it with them.
If you are looking for a respite from this world and hope for the future, you only need to study the Bible. Its pages glow with grace and provide hope and meaning for all who will heed it. Books that Christians often flip past, like Numbers and Lamentations, are just as “profitable” as well-worn favorites (2 Timothy 3:16). I hope you will challenge yourself to reach beyond familiar stories as you immerse yourself in the whole counsel of God’s Word.
1Henry M. Morris, The Bible Has the Answer (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2019), 17.
2“A Bible for Every Believer,” The Voice of the Martyrs, accessed July 2, 2021, https://www.persecution.com/bibles/.
3C. S. Lewis, The Joyful Christian (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1977), 138.