by Bill Lambert

    The Bible is the best seller, always has been, and probably will continue to be in the future.  But, many people who have Bible in their possession fail to understand its message to men.  These people may have several copies of the scriptures in their homes.  Much of the difficulty in understanding the message of the Bible would be eliminated if these people understood why the Bible was given.

    If the Bible has no design, then it is a useless book, and it does not make any difference whether it is understood or not.  Why, then, did God give the Bible?

    The Bible claims to have come from God.  Paul says that “all scripture is inspired of God...” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The word “inspired” as used in this passage, carries with it the idea of being God-breathed.  Bible writers were not merely “inspired” such as a poet is, to write what they wrote, just having some urge to write an impression of their own.  The very words which God wanted them to use in the message were given unto the penmen of the scriptures.  Paul says that the Holy Spirit gave the words which were used (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).  Those who wrote the Old Testament were also inspired of God (2 Peter 1:21).

    Yes, no matter what kinds of ideas are being peddled in the name of religion regarding the origin of the Bible - God did give it!

    To serve merely as an ornament or decoration.  This is the use a great many people make of it.  It serves as a center piece for some article of furniture in the house.  Many people pay a great deal for a Bible which has a lot of useless material added to it -- pictures, so called “helps,” and numerous other additions.  Usually, these serve no useful purpose, except to make a Bible a conversation piece.

    As a textbook on science.  Although the Bible is accurate in every reference it makes to fact of science, God did not give it to serve as a textbook on any aspect of science.  There is no contradiction between true facts and God’s word - do not be deceived by the atheistic teachers and preachers who say there is.

    Not only is the Bible scientifically accurate, but it is also a factual record of history.  It does not purport, however, to contain all the history of mankind.  What it does contain is accurate.

    Simply for its literary value.  The scriptures are highly regarded by true literary critics for the great literature contained therein.  While this is true, God did not give it merely to fill up pages for literary enjoyment.

    As a supplement to other books.  Many religious people claim to believe in the Bible as the word of God, but they accept other books in addition to the Bible.  These are uninspired books - books which have their origin with men.  They contain the ideas of men, not of God.  God did not merely supplement the ideas of men with His own book, the Bible.  God left no room for men to inject their own ideas into religion.  The Bible reveals the mind of God.  What could men, the creatures of that Mind, impossibly add to make the Bible mean more or be better?

    There are a number of reasons outlined in the scriptures as to the reason for God’s giving the OLD TESTAMENT.  Paul says that the Law teaches the extreme sinfulness of sin -- it shows what sin is and how God deals with it (Romans 7:7-13).  The Law of Moses served as a tutor to bring the Jews to Christ (Galatians 3:19-24).  The record contained the in the Old Testament is for our admonition, for our learning (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Romans 15:4).  In it can be seen God’s attitude toward His law and toward those who respect it, and toward those who violate it.  It, therefore, serves to show men today examples of God’s dealings with men.

    God had reasons for giving the NEW TESTAMENT, also.  Luke, in his inspired account of some of the acts of the apostles, says that his first treatise (the book of Luke) told the things Jesus did (Acts 1:1) The inspired record is also given to produce faith in the hearts of men (John 20:30-31; Romans 10:17) It also warns of false teachers, gives the standard by which they are detected and tells how to deal with them (1 John 2:26).  Only through a study of God’s word can men know the proper way to walk before God.  The scriptures tell us how we are to behave as God’s children (1 Timothy 3:14-15).  The gospel plan of salvation is revealed in the scriptures - the means whereby men are made righteous before God (Romans 1:16-17).  By the righteous principles given by the Lord, men may know that they have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

How about the use YOU make of the Bible.  Do you respect the Bible as being from God?  Do you believe that the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice authorized by the Lord?  If so - have you obeyed the gospel?  Do you live in harmony with its precepts?  If not -- why not?