Reading books is something I LOVE. And for the longest time, I hated reading anything but Scripture… or comic books as a kid. (And the season read through of encyclopedia sets). OK, I have always loved to read, but only what I loved to read. To the point. I get questions related to what books Christians should be reading nearly every week. So, my thoughts, in brief, is that we should be reading the Bible more than anything else. If I spend an hour reading other material (even about Scripture), I should be reading the bible three times longer.
Everywhere we look we see the idea of studying the Bible. Well maybe not everywhere, but in every Circle of Christianity it seems that there’s always someone talking about studying the Bible. As a matter of fact, most likely every religion in the world has some writing that requires being studied. From study comes knowledge, and from knowledge comes belief. While every truth claim cannot be true. For the Christian, we believe that the Bible is truth. Jesus says in John 17 when he prays that eternal life is knowing the one true God and knowing the son whom he has sent. So in this line of thinking, studying the Bible is actually the study of God which is actually the knowledge of God which is actually salvation.
For many churchgoers, however, the study of God’s word has been relegated to just mere pragmatism or topical investigation. Sadly, this type of study that we find very normative in our culture, is not sufficient for salvation. Neither is it sufficient for a right understanding of the gospel of grace. And because the right study of God’s word is waning in our present economy of faith, many pastors and teachers have gone the way of teaching moralism and humanism and calling it Christianity. All of this type of teaching results in a different type of learning. So that the believer or the professing Christian if I can, have no idea what they’re talking about because they are listening to the wrong information. Now we could go on and on and discuss types of interpretation and different ideas related to what the Scripture is actually teaching. But if we are honest, the simplest syntax of the holy writ is very easy to understand. So when I ask the question, “are you. listening?”, I am asking if you are truly listening to the word of God.
Let’s all be very honest, every day we hear thousands and thousands of words. We see hundreds and hundreds of images that teach us something. We are inundated in our society by information overload. Some of which we go and seek and others that are just imposed upon us without our knowledge or permission. Because this is true, many people have developed a worldview that is so foreign in comparison to Scripture, that it’s no wonder that so many congregations do not look like the people of God any longer. The remedy to this is not more teaching about how to be or how to look like God’s people from a humanistic point of view but is direct and simple teaching straight from the Bible.
If many pastors were to poll their congregations they would find very few congregants actually read their Bible every day. Now many people may do a small devotion or read a short paragraph related to some scriptural teaching. And these things are not bad in and of themselves, but they are not sufficient for the knowledge of truth. So often when I make a statement like this, people will say, “I’m not a theologian.” To which I respond, well you should be. A Christian that is not learning is a Christian that is not growing. In the Christian that is not growing, is a Christian that is not living.
There’s much to be said about this particular dilemma and there is plenty inside the Bible that give us a clear picture that Scripture is necessary for the health and joy of every Christian and in turn every congregation. So as we consider this idea today let us take a moment and hear the word of the Lord written by the apostle Paul to Timothy.
2 Timothy 3:14–17
 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (ESV)
This text shows us that the Bible is enough for a successful Christian life and it’s also sufficient for the knowledge of the truth. No one needs extra-biblical revelation or extra-biblical instruction in order to rightly live for the glory of God. And Sadly, those who look to other sources find themselves in a very precarious position. Either weak and immature in their faith or at worst, totally unregenerate. But we’ll talk about that in future discussions. From this point let me encourage you to pick up your Bible and read it. It is through Scripture where you will find peace in the midst of frustration and it is there that you will find intimacy with Jesus Christ, the eternal God of Heaven, the creator and savior. So guard your heart and mind to the power of the Holy Bible. And you will begin to experience what Scripture teaches as the peace that surpasses all understanding.
If you would like more information about how to study the Bible or if you have questions related to Bible passages or theological issues, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help you. We look forward to hearing from you. soon and until then rest well in the gospel and grace of Jesus Christ who lived a life of obedience and died a substitutionary death for the glory of God the father in the redemption of his people.