1. To detect the misuse of Scripture.

There are two reasons people might misuse Scripture. The most obvious reason is simple human error. The Bible is a big book with much information. If we do not gather all the relevant information about a topic we will likely come to a conclusion that is not balanced and even wrong. No one is above making mistakes. Sometimes mistakes can take root and so many people believe it that it seems to be true. Remember the scares about Y2K? Many believed what was untrue.

Another reason people might misuse the Bible is to gain something from others. Religions often have the unfortunate reputation of only being out to gain power, money, or both.

Sometimes that is an unfair stereotype, but sometimes religions deserve that reputation. Paul, one of the greatest men in the New Testament, wrote about such men who were impostors. In 1 Timothy 6:5, he mentioned unscrupulous men, men of corrupt mind, who thought that “godliness” was a means of “financial gain”. Jesus even warned of false teachers who come to us as wolves in sheep’s clothing. To know these people, we must know the Bible. We should carefully compare what people say with what we read there.

2. To be ready to answer tough questions.

In 1 Peter 3:15 we are told to “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense (answer) to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and respect.” The word “defense” is the word from which we get our English word “apologetics”. It means to make an orderly defense of a position we hold to be true.

Christians should know what they believe and why they believe it. A good way to help in that is to attend good Bible classes that will help give the reasons for faith. Classes also give us the ability to learn how to give answers when people ask us difficult questions. No one can learn everything, but we can all learn something more.

3. It has all we need to guide us.

Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that God’s Word is given by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. You might be surprised how often the Bible has something to say about our lives! God’s ways are the best ways and He has shared them with us in the Bible.

4. It fills our minds with good things.

Philippians 4:8 says that one key to joy is to meditate on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. The Bible certainly gives us many great lessons on these topics.

5. To show God we care.

We should follow this advice, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We cannot be perfect people because we all make mistakes, but we can be faithful. Anyone who would be called faithful must show himself or herself faithful.

– via White Rock church of Christ, Dallas, TX

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