The Bible is the most influential book in history. No other book comes close to its print numbers, translations, or the number of lives and even cultures that have been radically changed by it. The message is more important, and more transformative, than anything ever written before or since. But although this book is the ultimate best-selling, world-shaping classic of literature, it can’t be fully understood if it is read like other books. It is not one more textbook to study, or history to appreciate, or how-to guide to follow. It is unique: it is God’s revelation of who he is and what he has done, and of who we are and what our lives are for. It does not present us with a religious or philosophical system to assent to, it presents us with a personal God to respond to. Reading it, hearing sermons about it, and studying it are all great things to do, but if you really want to understand the Bible, it’s not enough to listen to it. You have to respond to it. You have to obey it.
You won’t know the “peace of God that surpasses understanding” until you “present your requests to God” in prayer (Philippians 4:7).
You won’t experience the truth of Jesus’ promise that he will “give you rest” unless you accept his invitation to “come to me, all who are weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28).
You can read that “godliness with contentment is great gain” but you’ll never understand that gain until you are growing in godliness and contentment (1 Timothy 6:6).
You won’t know how it is “more blessed to give than to receive” until you start giving (Acts 20:35).
You won’t experience the joy of not having to “worry about tomorrow” until you trust God enough to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:28-34).
You won’t taste the goodness, wisdom, and freedom of following God’s commands until you actually follow them (Psalm 119).
You won’t know how faithful God is until you step out in faith.
The list could go on and on. All through the Bible, the blessings of faith are for those who trust. The blessings of obedience are for those who obey. The generosity of God is for those who admit their need and come to him. The wisdom of God is for those who listen. You can start now: you don’t have to know everything about God to start responding to everything you do know. As the Apostle Paul put it, “only live up to what you have attained” (Philippians 3:16). The key to understanding and experiencing the transforming power of God’s word is not mysterious or mystical: just do what it says. You’ll learn more about God by trusting and obeying him than you will by any other means.
9 thoughts on “The Key To Understanding The Bible”
Responding to God’s Word is proof that you truly believe it.
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Love this, I put this in my favorites so I can easily access. This is a perfect thing to send to people who don’t think they need to read the Bible or who don’t understand why they should. Thank you for making this clear and such a loving and encouraging way!
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Thanks so much!
>> [The Bible] does not present us with a religious or philosophical system …
I do no understand what the author saying by that. Sounds like uneducated nonsense.
>> [The Bible] is unique: it is God’s revelation of who he is and what he has done, and of who we are and what our lives are for.
Every religion that deals with these matters makes that claim. So those religions’ writings would make the same claim.