Why is understanding the Bible important?
Understanding the Bible is important because the Bible is God’s Word. When we open the Bible, we read God’s message to us. What could be more important than understanding what the Creator of the universe has to say?
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a man seeks to understand a love letter from his sweetheart. God loves us and desires to restore our relationship with Him (Matthew 23:37). God communicates His love to us in the Bible (John 3:16; 1 John 3:1; 4:10).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a soldier seeks to understand a dispatch from his commander. Obeying God’s commands brings honor to Him and guides us in the way of life (Psalm 119). Those commands are found in the Bible (John 14:15).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a mechanic seeks to understand a repair manual. Things go wrong in this world, and the Bible not only diagnoses the problem (sin) but also points out the solution (faith in Christ). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a driver seeks to understand traffic signals. The Bible gives us guidance through life, showing us the road of safety and wisdom (Psalm 119:11, 105).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason someone in the path of a storm seeks to understand the weather report. The Bible predicts what the end times will be like, sounding a clear warning of impending judgment (Matthew 24-25) and how to avoid it (Romans 8:1).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason an avid reader seeks to understand his favorite author’s books. The Bible reveals to us the person and glory of God, as expressed in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). The more we read and understand the Bible, the more intimately we know the Author.
As Philip was traveling to Gaza, the Holy Spirit led him to a man who was reading a portion of Isaiah. Philip approached the man, saw what he was reading, and asked this very important question: “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:30). Philip knew that understanding was the starting point for faith. Without understanding the Bible, we cannot apply it, obey it, or believe it.
Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test:
Q. Have you ever told a lie?
Q. Have you ever stolen anything?
Q. Have you ever used God’s name in vain?
Q. Have you ever lusted over someone?
Q. Have you ever hated someone?
If you have done these things, God sees you as a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, an adulterer-at-heart, and a murderer-at-heart. And this is only 5 of God’s Ten Commandments (a/k/a “God’s Law”). And the Bible warns that on the Day of Judgment, God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But, there is “good news”! God is not willing that any should perish. Sinners broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid their fine by shedding His sinless blood on a cross ~2,000 years ago. This means that God can legally dismiss their case (and yours!): “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Then Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, repent (turn away from your sins), put your complete trust in Jesus, and confess Jesus as your Lord & Savior… and God will give you eternal life as a free gift.
Contrary to popular belief, being a “good person”, doing “good deeds”, or being “religious” will not get you a ticket to heaven! Many people are hoping God will dismiss their sins because their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. They further hope that because God is “good” he will let them go unpunished and enter heaven. However, because God is “good” he must by nature punish sinners (i.e., God would not be a good judge if he let criminals go free). The Bible states: “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) The Bible also states: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) And finally, think about this, if your goodness could save you, Jesus would have died in vain (i.e., for no good reason). The Bible states: “I (Jesus) am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. (John
14:6) Friends, please don’t “roll-the-dice” and gamble your eternal life on the life-threatening lie that being a “good person” will get you to heaven.
Here is a prayer you can use to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior. It is a suggested prayer – the key is that you are speaking from your heart.
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me turn away from sin going forward. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus into my heart and I confess him as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for sending your Holy Spirit to help me obey you, and to do your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
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