Why is reading the Word of God so important?

Why is reading the Word of God so important?


God’s Word is the expression and essense of the Trinity. Each member of the Trinity participates in revealing the gospel. Reading the Bible is not just part of Christianity; it is Christianity.

God the Father:

The power of God’s word creates what was not into existence. The historical account of creation teaches, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… and God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3). The Jews remembered this truth in their Psalms: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made (Psalm 33:6),”

Creation testifies God’s power and authority, so that even to those who do not have the written revelation will still be accountable to God (Romans 1:18-20).

The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech,and night to night reveals knowledge.There is no speech, nor are there words,whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth,and their words to the end of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)

Jesus the Son:

But the importance of God’s Word goes farther than its power and testimony. The works of great authors define to us who they are, as it is a deep expression of what they believe about themselves and others. However, it is one thing to say our words express who we are, versus our words are who we are. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. John’s gospel begins with a focus on Jesus’ divine, eternal being. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made,” (John 1:1-3). The OT use of “word” refers to God’s “powerful self-expression in creation, wisdom, revelation, and salvation,” (John MacArthur Study Bible, 1533). The Jew believed the word was a tool of God. Greek philosophy understood the term as the “impersonal.. rational principle of ‘divine reason,’”(John MacArthur Study Bible, 1533). God’s word is not just a compilation of true ideas or a mere tool of the divine, but is his very self: Jesus Christ, the second member of the trinity, the son of God.

Though we can see God the Father’s attributes in creation, we only know Him because of Jesus Christ who became a man. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God; the only god, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known,” (John 1:14-18).

For salvation, we must know the Father, which is only accomplished through Jesus Christ who reveals the Father.  To the pharisees, Jesus said, “ ‘You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you have life,’ ” (John 5:38-40).  Jesus preached to the disciples, “ ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. …The words that I say to you I do not speak on own my authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works,’ ” (John 14: 6-11). Though the Scripture is about Jesus, the teaching is not his. So it is God speaks the Word, but Jesus is the Word.

The Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit carries out the work Jesus began on earth: teaching God’s truth. Jesus explained the meaning of the OT to his disciples while with them, expositing the truth of God’s word (John 17:6-8, 14). When Jesus was on the road to Emmaus, he taught “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself,” (Luke 24:27). Before ascending into Heaven, the risen Lord told his disciples, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,” (Luke 24:44-45).

Before his crucifixion, Jesus promised his disciples, “ ‘When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare you the things that are to come,’ ” (John 16:7-15). Jesus prayed to God the Father,  “ ‘I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them and I in them,’ ” (John 17:26). Jesus continues to teach the church with the Holy Spirit after he ascended.

When Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, the result was evangelism and teaching (Acts 2). Jesus had prayed to the Father,  “ ‘As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world,’ ” (John 17:18). Even though the world is without excuse for sin because of creation, only the gospel found in the Scripture can save souls: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? An how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15).

The Lord is able to sanctify us with the truth of Scripture. Jesus, in his high priestly prayer, asked the Father, “ ‘Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth,’ ” (John 17:17). Hebrew 4:12 states, “The word of God is living and active sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Since it is the Holy Spirit who causes us to understand God’s word, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin, continuing Jesus’ work.

In the New Testament, Jesus was able to know the thoughts of one’s heart, despite how people may tried to hide it. When “the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words” they asked  “ ‘is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ Jesus was “aware of their malice and said, “ ‘why put me to the test , you hypocrites?’” (Matthew 22:15-18). When Samaritan woman was asked to call over her husband, she answered accurately, but less that truthful, that she had no husband, but Jesus knew her past; she had had five marriages and was living with a man (John 4). Peter went against Jesus, after Christ told of his future suffering and resurrection; “ ‘Far be it from you Lord! This shall never happen to you.’ Jesus’ replied, ‘Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on things of God, butt on the things of man,’ ” (Matthew 16:23). Even when large crowds followed, Jesus knew who really believed in him, as he still does today (John 2:23-24). When we are convicted and rebuked by the Holy Spirit in us through reading and studying the Bible, it is as if Jesus is on earth rebuking us.

The Holy Spirit is only able to rebuke us if we are reading the Bible. Psalm 19 teaches that he commands and accounts of Scripture are completely true and trustworthy; their effect is “reviving the soul… making wise the simple… rejoicing the heart… enlightening the eyes the eyes.” The fear of the Lord that is learned from reading Scripture will endure and warn believers against sin. The Psalmist asks, “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. The pslamist recognized that the Lord was “rock” and “redeemer.” God’s has saved us and gives us a firm foundation with his Word, so we what we say and think to be acceptable is acceptable in sight.

We can only be blessed by the Holy Spirit’s teaching when we meditate on the Word. There must be a complete consumption and internalization of the Scripture. In Psalm 1, the blessed man is one who delights in “the law the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Because of this consistent delight, the effect is like “a tree planted by a stream, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers..” Our fatih cannot grow unless we are continually watered by the Word; this water must penetrate deep into the roots of our hearts and desires.

Conclusion and Application:

When a believer reads his Bible, he is communing with the God who saved him from condemnation. Not only one person of the Godhead, but all three person. Jesus revealed to us the Father and brought us into reconciliation with Him. The knowledge of God and his gospel is made known to us through the Holy Spirit by opening our hearts and minds to the truth of Scripture. We are saved and are continued to be made holy by submitting to what has been revealed. We then share, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the the Father’s teaching from Scripture like Jesus. Reading and studying the Bible is our salvation, sanctification, and our duty share to others as Jesus did. The Word of God is not just an aspect of Christianity but is our very faith;  therefore, must be and is consumed by all believers.

Post by Elsa Braun