I am so glad you asked that question! The Bible is important for many reasons, but first, one has to understand how it was written and laid out.
The first five books of the Bible and Old Testament have to do with the introduction and installation of the Jewish law or Pentateuch. The next 12 books are historical in nature, which are followed by five poetry books. The last 17 books of the Old Testament are books by the prophets, the first five of which are the major prophets, followed by the minor prophets.
The New Testament also has an order to it. The first four books of the New Testament are the Gospel records. In other words, the “life and times of Jesus.” Acts is a history of the early church, followed by 21 Epistles, or general letters. The last book of the Bible and New Testament is Revelation, which is prophetic in nature, and many believe is written in a type of poetic nature.
All of this is important to understand in order to know the purpose of each of the books of the Bible. One cannot fully understand the Bible, though, without God’s help.
Believers in Jesus know that it is actually God speaking to us when we read the Bible.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT states, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our inner- most thoughts and desires.” For this to work in one’s life, one needs to have a personal relationship with God.
Far too often, though, believers will rely on going to church, or past experiences, instead of spending time daily reading God’s word. This is the equivalent of one expecting to physically live on last week’s supper. We don’t expect to do that, yet we expect God to work and do things in our lives even though we haven’t been in contact with him in over a week, month, year, or more. We need God’s word in our lives because we are leaky cups.
I had a favorite coffee mug that I would drink coffee out of every morning. One morning I work up, got my mug out of the dishwasher, filled it up with coffee and realized I was dripping coffee all over the floor. I ended up throwing it away. Fortunately for us, God doesn’t throw us away, but we do leak. That is why we need to be refilled each day by reading the Bible and asking God to speak to us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT: All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
Do you remember the old chili commercial that asked when was the last time you had a bowl of that particular chili, then the voice says, “Well that’s too long”? Well, when was the last time you spent time in God’s word? Is God telling you, “Well that’s too long?”
William Campbell is pastor at First Baptist Church of Port Aransas.