By Herman Mason
The Bible is a great book. In fact it is The Great Book. It came from God and contains the very things God wants us to know so that man can prepare himself for heaven. This alone ought to be reason enough to cause man to study the Bible. However, let us consider a few other reasons:
1. Ignorance (Lack of Knowledge) Leads to Error. God said to His people through the prophet Hosea many years ago, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Jesus said to the Sadducees, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” (Matt. 22:29). There are two reasons why people do not do God’s will. (a) They do not know, or (b) They do not have the proper respect for what God says in His word. We need to accept His word as the word of God, and not as the word of man (1 Thess. 2:13). Since it is necessary to do the will of God in order to get to heaven (Matt. 7:21; Rev. 22:14) our desire to know what God’s will is ought to cause each one of us to diligently search the word of God so that we might know. We cannot do until we know. Any substitute for God’s word is error and will not be acceptable to God.
2. One Must Know Before He Can Teach Others. What is taught must be what the apostles and other inspired men taught (2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 4:11). In fact, he who teaches otherwise will “be accursed” (Gal. 1:8, 9). All Christians ought to be teachers. The writer of Hebrews rebuked those to whom he wrote for not. being able to teach others (Hebrews 5:12-14). This, I am afraid, is the sad spectacle of too many professed followers of Christ today. Peter says we are to give answer for the “reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). The only way this can be done is by having a knowledge of God’s word. This comes by study.
3. Because God’s Word Is Eternal (1 Peter 1:23-25). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). God’s word is the only reliable source to which man can go for information concerning spiritual matters. Our faith needs to be not “in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:5). The statement by Solomon, “Fear God, and keep his commandments” is just as true today as when Solomon penned the statement (see Acts 10:34, 35). We hear David saying “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:104, 105).
4. We Shall Be Judged by God’s Word. Jesus said, “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). This happens to be one of my “pet” verses. I emphasize it at all times in my preaching. We know exactly what the standard of judgment will be. We therefore, should have a desire to know what it is. Paul also informs us that the gospel of Christ will be the standard of judgment (Romans 2:16). Since he taught “the commandments of the Lord” he taught what the Lord had spoken. We know then exactly what the Lord will hold us responsible for. It will be the word of God as contained in the New Testament scriptures. This ought to be reason enough for anyone to study God’s word. It will be indeed a poor excuse for you or me to say on the day of judgment, “I didn’t know” with so many Bibles in this land.
Let us then take advantage of the privilege we have now to do as Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God” (2 Tim. 2:15). This is the way we come to know God’s word.
Truth Magazine XXII: 47, p. 754
November 30, 1978