Updated: Aug 2, 2019
By Josie Child, PAX Producer
What can the Bible really offer me today? It cannot offer me the instant gratification of technology. It cannot offer me the secret to ‘health, wealth and happiness’. It cannot even offer me an easy read because it is full of challenges and high standards!
But what it can offer me – the same thing that it has offered people for thousands of years – is revelation of the love of God. As Christians, we read the Bible to know who God is, to understand his character and his heart, his good plans for our lives and the lengths he is willing to go to be in relationship with us.
Ultimately, we read the Bible to learn about Jesus, ‘the author and perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2), the one to whom all the scriptures point.
So here’s our top four reasons why, in a culture which tells you that you already have everything, the Bible still has something unique to offer you today.
1) God’s voice crosses generations and geography
In the Old Testament, one people group – the nation of Israel – is God’s chosen people. They have the privilege of carrying the tabernacle of God’s presence wherever they go, and of enjoying God’s blessing throughout their lives. But in the New Testament, we learn that God’s presence and blessing becomes available to all through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus: ‘there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). God’s love is inclusive. Because of the cross, no man-made division can keep us from receiving this love.
2) God is personal and active
God knows each of us as individuals. Jeremiah 1:5 says: ‘before I formed you in the womb I knew you’. We are creatures made in His image, designed to live in relationship with the one who created us. Psalm 42 describes this relationship as the deepest parts of our hearts crying out to the deepest parts of his, the satisfaction of being wholly known and accepted by our creator. This is what it means to be united with God, a relationship that no family or friend can substitute. Through the person of Jesus, God offers this relationship to us now, a daily walk with Him as our friend, parent, mentor, support and guide. In Him we are sustained now and always.
3) The Bible liberates us
Freedom is an important theme throughout the Bible. In the whirlwind of 21st century life, it can often feel like we are carrying heavy burdens of weariness and responsibility. Worse, we might be burdened by shame, guilt or fear. The Bible often uses the metaphor of slavery to explain how the cares of this world can entrap us and steal our joy. But this is not how God wants us to live. As St Paul writes, ‘it is for freedom that Christ has set us free’ (Galatians 5:1).
In Jesus we find freedom from all slavery. He says ‘come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
When we follow Christ, we get to exchange our burdens for His. Instead of identifying as busy, burdened, weary people, we can identify as beloved and free children of God.
4) The Good News is still good news
The message of the Bible, the unrelenting love of God for his people, has remained the same for thousands of years. In our complicated, constantly changing world, it can be hard to see the place for God’s still and gentle voice. Yet in the simplicity of Jesus, we find rest for our restless souls.
What a privilege to know this God!
Watch our video on this topic here: