The Bible is not a mediator to God. Jesus is our mediator. Through his death and resurrection he opened the only way to God. Don’t read the Bible because you think it will make God love you and don’t feel like God is upset with you for not reading the Bible. However, you must read the Bible if you want to grow as a Christian. Without Scripture you will be a stunted, anaemic, defeated, broken, confused, weak shadow of the man or woman in Christ you should be. It is your choice how much of it you will digest. Growth in Christ your choice. No one else’s. You do not need it to be saved but you need it to grow.
Many people don’t read, study and memorize Scripture because they don’t realize the power of what is available to them in the Holy Bible. Until we discover the infinite, life altering power of Scripture, the majestic truths it can unlock in your life remains hidden from you. And for many of us the extraordinary is masked by familiarity. It’s like owning a golden compass, or magic sword with time travel capabilities, but you don’t know it’s potential because it’s just there all the time.
So this begs the question what is the Bible? And what does it promise its readers? Consider what the Bible says about itself. In 2 Peter 1:16-21 Peter is defending the gospel. That’s the context. He does so by verifying his account saying that he was an eye-witness.
16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”[a]
Then he does something insightful. He places greater credibility for the gospel on the Old Testament prophets or Hebrew Bible than on his own eyewitness account of Jesus.
18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
He says “and we have the word of the prophets made more certain…” vs. 19. In other words I saw Jesus being declared Son of God, I actually was there. This is not some story that was made up. But don’t believe me alone you have the more reliable testimony of Scripture. Pay attention to the Old Testament and you will see Christ in them. Why does Peter have such a high view of Scripture?
Because the Bible is not mans interpretation
The first claim of the Bible is fascinating, because people still say this today; the Bible is just man’s interpretation. Have you heard this? We can’t believe the Bible because it’s just someone’s interpretation. It always fascinates me how the Bible answers contemporary questions because it’s a prophetic book. He goes on to say:
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.
The Bible is not manmade. It did not originate from people. Moses and Joshua, Paul, Peter and the other authors aren’t giving you their interpretation of events.
It’s from God
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The guys who wrote the Bible were carried along by the Holy Spirit. The origin of the Scriptures is God himself through people. That is why 66 books, written by more than 40 very different authors, over a period of 1500 years, in three different languages, over three different continents carries the same message. Consistently the Bible proclaims that Jesus Christ is the great Messiah, Lord and Saviour. How did it achieve such consistency? Because God carried people along as they wrote.
Do you see that what we have here is more valuable than any of us can fully comprehend? We are sitting with the words of truth. The power for a transformed life, changed behaviour, freedom from depression, all of this is before me and you. This is why we should, read the Bible daily, study the Bible constantly, hear the Bible taught, and most importantly, memorize Scripture. Memorizing Scripture is in my view the best way to read Scripture.
Why memorise Scripture?
1 For meditation – Psalm 119:13, 15, 23, 27, 97, 148
I must memorise Scripture if I am to meditate on the Scriptures day and night, then I must have it hidden in my heart, readily accessible to my mind. I am able to recall every word and allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation at any time while meditate on Scripture.
2 For warfare – Ephesians 6:17
I must memorise Scripture for with it “I can strike the Devil in the face, with the only force strong enough to injure him” (Quote from John Piper). What will you strike him with? He is a million times stronger than you, a million times smarter than you. He started planning your demise before you were born, he knows your every weakness better than you do. He knew your parents weaknesses better than they did. He knew your grandparents. He hates you and wants to kill you. How anyone can walk through this Devil ruled world without a sword, I don’t understand. He will not wait until you have your Bible open in front of you before he tempts you, before he taunts you.
3 For Faith – Romans 10:17
I must memorise Scripture because faith comes from hearing the Word of God. I hear the Word of God when I read it and recall it, repeat it, speak it, sing it, whatever means you choose to get the Word into you. Your faith needs sustenance. You will grow spiritually anaemic without internalizing the Scripture.
4 For holiness – Psalm 119:9, 11, 45, 127-128, 133
I must memorise Scripture to overcome my flesh, sin nature with truth. You don’t overcome sin by trying to stop it. You overcome it by spending time with God. The way to keep your flesh dead is through considering, thinking about, weighing up the promises and warnings of God in his Word.
5 For practical wisdom and council – Psalm 119:24, 69, 98 – 100, 130
Jesus said my sheep they know my voice. So he speaks to me. If I know the Bible I can recognize his voice more easily. If I know his voice, he can speak to me and I can speak to him in prayer. We can communicate.
6 For a complete worldview – Romans 12:2
I memorise Scripture because it acts upon my mind, renewing it, reshaping it, conforming it to God’s patterns not the world’s patterns. My entire worldview must change, the whole system of thinking must change, you are born again and you grow up through learning Scripture.
7 For protection from false teaching
I must memorise Scripture in order to more readily detect and guard my heart from false teaching.
8 For teaching and ministry – Colossians 4:6; 2 Timothy 3:16
I must memorize Scripture so that I am never unprepared for ministry and teaching. If you are a parent or you are going to be a parent you must always be ready for questions your kids may ask. If you are a young adult or a student or a working person you must always be ready with Biblical answers to people’s question. Paraphrasing things in your own words does not have the same effect as direct quotations with the Scripture reference.
9 For perspective – Psalm 119:81-83, 105
I must memorize Scripture to maintain perspective on my life and my mission. Everyday brings me down, and then I must rise up on wings like eagles and see afresh God’s higher perspective. The word is a light to my path, it is a guide.
10 For powerful prayer – John 15:7
I must memorize Scripture so that I can pray in line with God’s will so that my prayers will be answered favourably. I ask God for what I know I will receive so I ask confidently.
11 For joy – Psalm 119:1, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 35, 40, 47, 50, 52, 72, 103
I memorise Scripture because it is a great source of delight. Our hearts long for God and Scripture helps you experience God. Just like worship music, or sermons, or someone with a prophetic gift. I love his Word, I long for his word, when I meditate on his Word it makes me happy, it fills me with joy.
12 For refuge – Psalm 119:114, 147, 165
I memorise Scripture so that I may find refuge in it. I hide myself in God’s word. When I am fearful, when I am persecuted, or ridiculed, when I feel insecure, I hide in God’s Word. I remind myself of His promises to protect me, to vindicate me for righteousness, of his steadfast love for me.
The Scriptures will feed you and strengthen you like nothing else but it’s your choice. What you will do with this?