While visiting a church in the south, I noticed in the bulletin that the men’s Bible class was ready to study a book, Game Plan for Life, by former football, Super Bowl winning, head coach of the Washington Redskins, Joe Gibbs. In preparation for the study, the book could be purchased for $15.99.
Then, during the church service, another announcement was made. The ladies Bible class was also about to embark on a group study. They too would be using a popular book that could be purchased following the service.
Now, I am not opposed to the buying and reading of the book by Joe Gibbs, and other Christian authors. I encourage it. Mr. Gibbs is a fine speaker, and a good writer. He is a Christian man and solid in the faith. I am not opposed to the ladies buying good Christian literature and reading religious books. But my heart does ache when I remember that God has given to His people 66 inspired books, and all of them have yet to be read, and studied by the local church. Jesus opened the Scriptures in the synagogue and expounded them at the beginning of His ministry, and at the end of His earthly ministry, beginning at Moses and the prophets, the Lord taught His disciples.
So, my question is this, “Why not just study the Bible when the church gathers formally?”
If some persuasive reasons are needed, let me suggest the following.
First, the Bible claims to be the Word of God. Certainly the prophets believed God spoke through them. This means that the Bible is the most unique book on planet earth. Why not study it completely? 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Second, the Bible claims its authority to be from heaven. The authority of the Bible is intrinsic and inherent. Good men might have a good game plan for living, but the Bible is the final authority for all of faith and practice. So, why not study the Bible? Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Third, the Bible claims that it contains no errors. It is inerrant. There are no mistakes in any of its parts. Therefore, why not study the Book that is infallible and cannot be questioned? Why not study the Bible, precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little (Isaiah 28:10)? Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Fourth, the Bible claims it can be comprehended. While some parts of the Bible are “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16), the Scriptures are clear and can be understood by the ordinary Christian regardless of human intelligence or academic achievement. Even children can understand doctrinal truths, for parents are commanded to teach the Scriptures to their children. Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. The simple man can understand the Bible and be made wise. Therefore, why not study the Bible? When the Word of God is replaced with the words of the world, the church will suffer.
Fifth, the Bible is necessary to make the soul wise unto salvation. Why not study the Book that can make a person wise unto salvation? 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Finally, the Bible is essential for knowing the will of God. Why not study the only Book that can tell with certainty what God’s will is? Why not study the Bible? 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
I plead with all pastors, let this be your congregation’s motto: “We are a Church of One Book – The Bible”.