Let God, via the Holy Spirit, tell us why the bible was given unto man (1 Cor. 2:6-16). If we know why the Bible was written, we shall know how to use it more effectively (2 Tim. 2:15). To understand the reasons why the word of God was written will assist us in receiving its intended benefits and blessings (2 Cor. 2:4).
That You Might Believe
(Jn. 20:30, 31)
Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). That is why the devil does not want the word in your heart (Lk. 8:11, 12). He knows that it produces faith. A child of God is sired, fathered, begotten by the word of God (1 Cor. 4:15 ff; Jam. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:22-25). One trusts in Christ “after” (not before) he hears the word of truth (Eph. 1:13). Rhetorically, Paul asks, “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:14) Obviously, they cannot believe without hearing the word of God.
An eloquent man, fervent in spirit, who speaks boldly with enthusiasm may lull you into receiving “good words and fair speeches” as gospel preaching (Rom 16:17,18). Faith is attained and maintained by the word of God (1 Pet. 1:22-25; 2:2), not by the congenial wit, winning smiles and personal grace of men.
Men will not sit still for plain, old-fashioned preaching. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3,4). What was Paul’s prescription for this condition? Paul said, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2). “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
For Our Admonition
(1 Cor. 10:11)
The Bible is given for our learning, for our warning (1 Cor. 4:14). Paul catalogs the sins of Israel in 1 Corinthians 10, citing everything from murmuring to immorality. This follows the exhortation of 9:24-27 and concludes with “these things . . . are written for our admonition.” Note the “wherefores” of verses 12 and 14. 2 Peter 2 and the book of Jude are of the same nature. Preaching that does not alert and warn with Scripture is not Bible preaching. Count the number of times the words “warn” or “warning” are used in Ezekiel 3:17-21. Are you hearing the Bible preached as a word of warning (Heb. 3:7-4:1)? Listen very carefully, and you may hear preaching that belittles Bible warnings against sin and damnation. It seems that the only warning some will give is a warning against preaching that warns. These men are dangerous to your soul.
How You Ought To Behave Yourself
(1 Tim. 3:14,15)
God has a plan, a pattern of behavior that he expects of us. The Bible was written to tell us how we ought to behave ourselves in the church. “These things command and teach” (1 Tim. 4:11). “These things teach and exhort” (1 Tim. 6:2). The Bible is not a book of suggestions; it is a book of “ought,” “How you ought to behave yourself.” Be wary of the man who decries and derides the use of what men “ought” to do. If the Bible is not used to tell men how they “ought” to live pure, holy, godly lives, it is not being applied according to its purpose. Rejection of the word of God often occurs among those who want to walk after their own lusts and not after the conduct demanded by the Lord (2 Pet. 3:3,4 f; Rom. 1:21-28).
That You Sin Not
(1 Jn. 2:1)
“Sin is the transgression of the law” (God’s law – 1 Jn. 3:4). “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). The remedy for sin is the blood of Christ (1 Jn. 1:7 f; Rev. 1:5). When Jesus met the temptation of the devil, he appealed to the Bible, to the word of God, saying, “It is written” (Matt. 4:4,7,10). Jesus was tempted in all points, in all ways, as we are, “yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). He escaped the snares of the devil by relying on the word of God. But what of us? “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to your word. With my whole heart have I sought you: O let me not wander from your commandments. Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psa. 119:9-11). If we hate sin, if we want to overcome sin, let us hear and heed the Bible, for it was written that we sin not (1 Cor. 15:34).
That You May Understand
Man has a duty to understand “what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). The Bible was given that we might see, know and understand the will of God. One must have a “desire” and “give diligence” to know the truth (1 Pet. 2:2 f; 2 Tim. 2:15). Faithful preaching will give the sense of Scripture and cause the eyes of understanding to be opened (Neh. 8:8). Jesus did this in his teaching (Lk. 24:25-27,45).
The Bible is the only book that can give man insight and understanding as to his place and purpose in creation. If one would know the will of God for his life, he must turn to the Bible for light, for guidance, for understanding (Ps. 119:105).
Not To Go Beyond What was Written
(1 Cor. 4:6)
One’s faith must be rooted and grounded in Jesus and in his Word. Men will disappoint us; men will fail and confound us with their sins; men will mislead us with their doctrines, whether they mean to do so or not. Christians have one head and that is Christ (1 Cor 11:3). Christians are commanded, not suggested, to speak the oracles of God (1 pet 4:11). They are forbidden to add to or take from God’s Word (Rev 22:18,19). Paul warned anyone who perverts (changes) the gospel of Christ shall be accursed (Gal 1:6-9). Christians continued in the doctrine of the apostles, (Acts 2:42) which also is the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn 9), which is the doctrine of God (Jn 7:16,17). This is why Paul wrote, “That in us you might learn not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Cor 4:6). “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col 3:17).
That You Might Know The Certainty Of Those Things Wherein You Have Been Instructed
“Have I not written to thee . . . that I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth?” (Prov. 22:20, 21) “But continue thou in the things which you have learned and has been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them” (2 Tim. 3:14). The wisdom of this world requires constant revision. There is no certainty in it (1 Cor. 2:6). The churches and councils of men even now are debating changes in their creeds. What is true today was not true yesterday. They have no certainty, but the Bible is given that we might “know the certainty of the things wherein” we have been instructed. “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23).
That You Also May Have Fellowship With Us
(1 Jn. 1:3)
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. ” One may have fellowship with the “unfruitful works of darkness” and “with devils” (Eph. 5:11 f; 1 Cor. 10:20), but the only fellowship worth having is that which we have with God. The Bible provides us with the necessary information to achieve and acquire that blessed relationship of fellowship in Christ (Eph. 3:6,9). One cannot have fellowship with the apostles if he has not heard, believed and obeyed their word (Jn. 17:20). You may have a wonderful “church fellowship,” but unless you have accepted that which is written in the Bible, you have no fellowship “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” Finally, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 Jn. 1:6).
That Your Joy May Be Full
(1 Jn. 1:4)
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Joy is an overlooked aspect of the Bible’s purpose. It is through “comfort of the Scriptures” that we have hope (Rom. 15:4). “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). The word of God is a balm, an oil of gladness to the bowed back, the furrowed brow and the broken heart. In sorrow and suffering, in anguish and affliction, in trouble and torment, we have the sweet and soothing words of the Spirit to provide us help and hope. He who neglects the Bible neglects the only avenue of true peace and everlasting joy (Phil. 4:4-8).
That You May Know That You Have Eternal Life
(1 Jn. 5:13)
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hasthe Son hath the life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life” (1 Jn. 5:11,12). Eternal life is “in his Son.” Eternal death is out of his Son (Jn. 3:36). Grace, salvation and eternal glory “is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1,10). Wrath, damnation and eternal misery are out of Christ Jesus. The Bible was written that we may know that redemption is ours in Christ. Do you know that you have remission of your sins? “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn. 17:3). “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:3,4).
Do you know him? Have you obeyed him? Have you been “baptized into Jesus Christ” (Rom. 6:3 f; Gal. 3:27)? “And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:20).
Conclusion: Since the Bible was written for the ends and aims listed above, are we using it for those purposes? Are we using it to accomplish the goals for which it was given, or are we using it selfishly to carry out our own human schemes and hidden agendas? Use the Bible as God intended for it to be used. Only in this way can we save ourselves and them that hear us. Only in this way can we glorify its Author and Finisher.