Do we need the Bible? And if so, why do we need it?
We Need Scripture
Without the Bible, we would have an incomplete understanding of who God is, His work of salvation, and how to live a life that pleases God.
The Bible is necessary to know God, salvation, and how to live a holy life.
We need God’s word for all of life. We cannot live without God’s word. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This was in the context of His temptation from Satan. Jesus needed and we need to use the Bible to live life. The Bible is necessary.
We Need Scripture to Know God
There is much we know about God from creation. (Ps. 19:1; Rom. 1:19-20) This is what is referred to as general revelation. Paul says that God’s revelation through creation is clear. In fact, he says that it reveals God’s invisible attributes. God’s power is on display through what He made.
But if all we had was God’s revelation through creation, general revelation, we would have an incomplete picture. God is not only the Creator He is also the Redeemer. Jesus came and revealed God to us (John 1:18) but we know about the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus through the Bible, special revelation.
We would not know that God is love if we did not have the Bible (John 3:16; 1 John 4:7-11). We would not know that God is gracious to save (Ex. 34:6-7) without the Bible.
The Bible is needed for us to have a more complete understanding of who God is. We can never have an exhaustive understanding of who God is, only God possesses that. The Bible takes what is incomplete through the creation and makes it complete.
We Need Scripture for Salvation
Paul makes this clear in Rom. 10:13-17. “Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ” (v17). It is not possible for faith to exist without the Bible. There is a process here to what Paul says.
Faith comes from hearing. This spiritual hearing comes from the word of Christ. Everything Paul mentions must be present in order for faith to be genuine. For faith to be created.
In a few of our other lessons on the Bible, we have leaned heavily upon 2 Timothy 3:16. The context for that verse helps us understand our need for Scripture for salvation. One verse earlier Paul wrote to Timothy, “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.” One implication of Paul’s statement is that without the sacred writings, the Old Testament, in this case, Timothy would not have been made wise for salvation without them. We need Scripture to know that we need to be saved and how to be saved.
Without Scripture, there is no hope for salvation.
We Need Scripture to Live a Holy Life
John 17 is commonly called the High Priestly prayer of Jesus. Out of the many requests Jesus makes to His Father is the request that God would sanctify His disciples. To understand the importance of this, hear Jesus in His own words:
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Jesus asks the Father to sanctify His disciples and to do it through truth then He adds the qualifier that the Father’s word (the Bible) is truth. God sanctifies us through His word and it is through His word that God shows us how to live a holy life.
We need the Bible to know God, His way of salvation, and how to live a life that honors and glorifies Him.
In our next lesson, we’ll look at the truthfulness of Scripture and see how the Bible makes good on its claims. It is without error. We can trust the Bible.
May God open our eyes to behold wondrous things in His Word.