I think most evangelical Christians think the Bible is very important for their lives. We know it’s God’s word and that it’s our final authority. But, I wonder if every Christian really understands how necessary the Bible is for their life. Do we really believe that the Bible is essential for us?
When I talk about essentials, we immediately think about things like food, shelter, clothing, air and water. These things are without a doubt essential for our physical existence. But, I wonder- do I believe that the Bible is as necessary for me spiritually as water is for my physically? I believe Psalm 19:7-9 is one of many places in the Bible in which this vital truth is taught:
The Bible is more necessary for the believer than even physical nourishment.
Psalm 19:7-9 (ESV)
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
From this passage, we see four reasons why the Bible is more necessary for the believer than even physical food.
The Bible is necessary for…
- Knowing God. The first six verses of Psalm 19 extol the beauty and majesty of creation, or general revelation. But, as wondrous and beautiful as it is, our sin keeps us blind from truly seeing creation pointing to our creator. Every person needs special revelation from God Himself if we are to see our sin and our savior. The Bible is this special revelation given by God Himself. This is why David calls the Bible “testimony,” “precepts” and “commandments”- they are God’s instruction to us.
- Overcoming Trials. The passage above talks about the Bible’s work in “reviving the soul.” The Bible is the source of nourishment God provides to restore us, especially in difficult seasons of life. One thing is clear- believers will face trials and tribulation in this life. The Bible is God’s provision we desperately need to endure these trials with a growing trust in Christ.
- Experiencing Joy. David also talks about the Bible’s work in “rejoicing the heart.” True joy is not a feeling, but choosing to rest in the goodness of God. If the goodness of God’s grace is the lens through which I see every success and failure, it changes how I look at the world. With this perspective, nothing can overshadow God’s grace. David tells us the Bible is the tool that God continually uses to remind us that nothing is greater than his grace.
- Developing Wisdom. Finally, David also talks about the Bible’s work in “enlightening the eyes” and “making wise the simple.” The idea of wisdom in this verses refers to skill in living out the truth. It’s one thing to believe God’s grace is greater, it’s another to know how to live it out in my time and my response to difficulty. The Bible is the tool God uses to mold and shape my discernment and understanding. It’s not just that the Bible gives me answers to difficult questions, as I read the Bible, God sharpens and strengthens my ability to discern.
Church, let’s remember that the Bible is more necessary for us than even food itself. For more on this idea, click here for this past weeks sermon.