Why read the Bible? (Part 3 of 4)
The word “Bible” comes from the Greek word “biblia” which means “scroll” or “book.” Some people have called it the “book of books.” But what if I told you the Bible is not just a book, but a living sword? Let me explain.
In a sermon which was circulated by the early church, one preacher said that the Bible is ‘alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword’ (Hebrews 4:12).
The Bible is ‘alive.’ It’s not just some dusty, ancient book, written by a bunch of dead people. Rather, as we read it, God speaks to us through his Spirit today (individually, but also — importantly! — collectively in community). But not only does God speak to our daily existence in the here and now, but these Words bring “life” in us — through the words, God’s Spirit fills us good things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc (see Galatians 5:22–23). God’s word makes us alive as he speaks to you here and now.
The Bible is also a ‘double-edged sword.’ As a sword it cuts us to the bone. It’s double-edged because it speaks in two ways. Firstly, God’s Spirit speaks “the Law” — commands which tell humanity how we should and are intended to live. The Law not only guards and guides humanity, but also reveals that humanity is broken and that we need help. Secondly, God’s Spirit also speaks “the Gospel” — this is the “good news” that Jesus is God’s Son who has come to heal, restore, change, transform, and buy back all creation, including you and me.
Lastly, the Bible is ‘active.’ As we hear the two types of word (Law and Gospel), the words do stuff in my heart, mind, and body. They transform me into a new person. The Law points me to Jesus, and the Gospel tells me what Jesus has done for me.
And that’s one of the reasons why I read the Bible. It’s a living sword that does stuff in my life.
If you’ve never read the Bible, why not give it a try? The Gospel of Mark is a good place to start. If you’ve read the Bible before, but not picked it up for a while, why not try it again? You could try the Letter to the Ephesians. If you’re local to the Sunshine Coast, Immanuel Church would love to help arrange someone to sit down with you to read the Bible — contact us to arrange.
If you already read the Bible regularly, have you given thought as to why you read this book? We’d love to hear why you read the Bible!