Why Should I Study the Bible? (01) - It is Light
Why Should I Study the Bible? — It is Light
There are several passages comparing the word of God to light: “The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130); “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). Notice some of the properties of light and see how the word of God possesses these same properties.
The rising of the morning sun reveals a beautiful world that God has provided for man’s welfare. That same light, however, may reveal very ugly scars which man has inflicted upon nature.
God’s word reveals much about man and his life on earth. Without it we would be groping in spiritual darkness. Without it we would not know our origin; but in the Genesis record there is the most logical, reasonable account that has ever been given of the origin of the physical universe and of the human family. It is far more reasonable to believe that man was created by an all wise, and all powerful God than to believe that he evolved from some lifeless particle of matter, the origin of which has not, and cannot, be explained. Apart from the Genesis record the origin of matter and life cannot be explained, nor can the whole evolutionary process be substantiated by human effort.
The word of God, in its absolute honesty and truthfulness, reveals the fall of man in his transgression in the garden. But as the word of God reveals the fall of man through transgression, it also reveals the outreaching of God’s love in providing for man’s salvation through the sacrifice of God’s own dear Son. As early as Genesis 3:15 God let it be known that the seed of the woman would prevail over the evil one.
In Genesis 12:3 God made a promise to Abraham, “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” In this promise Paul said that God preached the gospel to Abraham (Galatians 3:38). Step by step through the ages the prophets foretold the coming of the Savior of man. When the fulness of time was come John the Baptist introduced the Son of God, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Christ, as the pure innocent lamb died on the cross for us, for our redemption through His blood. Concerning this sacrifice Paul said. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Corinthians 5:21).
The word of God reveals the right way of life. There are many ways that lead in the wrong direction, even to destruction. Jeremiah said, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). Though there may be many ways, there is only one good way, the Lord’s revealed way, wherein we can find rest for our souls. It is the way of obedience to God’s laws. Therefore it is the way of salvation, of purity, of usefulness, of happiness, of hope. It is the right way for the individual, the family, the church, the nation, the world.
Further, God’s word reveals our destiny. All men will hear Christ the judge of all mankind say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” or “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:34,41).
Washed clothes hung out in the warm sunlight are not only dried, they are purified. Spiritually, the word of God has the property of purifying. It is “very pure” (Psalm 119:130). Peter said, “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls” (1Peter 1:22). In obeying the truth people are made free from sin (John 8:32). The heart is turned from the love of sin by faith in Christ Jesus, Concerning the Gentiles Peter said that their hearts were purified by faith (Acts 15:9). Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17) they were led by their faith to obedience and thus to purification from their past sins.
The practice of sin is destroyed by repentance, by the change of mind brought about by godly sorrow (2Corinthians 7:10), a sorrow that leads to a reformation of life, a life patterned after the life of Christ (1Peter 2:21,22).
The guilt of sin is removed by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7). This precious purifying blood was manifest in the death of Christ (John 19:34). God has made possible our reaching this cleansing blood in the act of baptism (Romans 6:3).
The heart of the Christian is kept pure by keeping it filled with that which is pure “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever
is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Light Is Clear
The word of God is clear. Peter did make a statement concerning the writing of his beloved brother Paul in regard to “some things hard to understand (2Peter 3:16), however, God has made his will to us clear so that there is no reason for misunderstanding. While Jesus was on earth, he set forth the conditions of salvation. He plainly taught that faith in Him is essential to man’s salvation (John 8:24). He plainly taught that men must repent (Luke 13:3). He plainly taught that men must confess Him (Matthew 10:32,33). He plainly taught that men must be baptized, must be born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5). These same conditions were set forth in the great commission as his last words, which he gave to his disciples after His resurrection and before He returned to be with the Father in heaven (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16; Luke 24:46,47). All the records of conversion in the book of Acts show that those who obeyed the gospel specifically met these conditions of faith, repentance, confession, and baptism for the remission of sins. This way must be plain for in some cases those who obeyed the gospel did so after hearing only one sermon (Acts 2;8;10;16).
Light Makes Beautiful
Without light the world would be in darkness without the beauty of nature. The seed of the flower may not be beautiful, but when it has gone through the processes of nature and when it has been brought from the moist soil by the warm sunlight, the plant may be seen in all its beauty and glory. There is a “beauty of holiness” brought about by obedience to the word of God (Psalm 96:9). The gospel is powerful to save (Romans 1:16), and to turn the ugly sinner into the beautiful saint. Behold the transformation! Once this man was wallowing in the mire of degradation, but now by the gentle rays of the light of God’s word penetrating his heart and changing his life he has become a beautiful character.
Light Is Universal
The light of the sun covers the earth. So, the word of God is universal in its scope. The light of God’s word has been provided for the salvation of all men, of whatever color and language, in whatever place on the face of the earth. May we through constant effort study it, live it, teach it, and help it reach, with all of its beneficent properties, into the hearts of all men everywhere.