I t is amazing how much people talk "about" the Bible without knowing much of what it actually says. I am reminded of what the Spirit had Paul write in Romans 10:1-3:
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and
prayer to God for Israel is, that
they might be saved. For I bear
them record that they have a
zeal of God, but not according
to knowledge. For they being
ignorant of God’s
righteousness, and going about
to establish their own
righteousness, have not
submitted themselves unto the
righteousness of God.”
T his passage reminds us that it is possible to be religious (even extremely religious) and still be ignorant of God's will. Ignorance cannot save, only the truth does that (John 8:32).
P aul also ties this ignorance of God's will directly to their ignorance of God's word. Our faith can never go beyond our knowledge of what God has said. So if great faith is what one desires, then great knowledge of the Bible is what is required as a prerequisite.
A gain in Romans we read, "...for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (14:23). When we also note Romans 10:17: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.", we can draw the following conclusions. Since it is the case that true biblical faith only comes from the word of God and it is a sin to engage in (or believe in) that which is not of faith. Then, the conclusion is—I cannot have faith in what God has not said. It is imperative that we know what the word of God teaches (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; John 8:32; 12:48, et.al.).
I t is likewise true that we must come to know the God of the word. Most of the earth's population believes in some type of God (gods). But for one to be saved, he or she must believe in the one true God (Hebrews 11:6).
T he totality of the Bible gives us great insight into the nature of God. We learn that God is a triune being (made up of three distinct personalities); God the Father; God the Son; God the Spirit. Each having differing role to plan in the saving of man.
T he attitudinal nature of God is also revealed. He created us (Genesis 1,2); He loved/loves us all (Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:23; John 3:16); He cannot abide nor fellowship sin (Isaiah 59:1-2); He died for our sins (Isaiah 53; Matthew 26:28); He saves us through the instrumentality of His church (Acts 2:47; 20:28); He guides us into all truth (via the inspiration of the Apostles (John 16:13; Ephesians 3:3ff); and it is to Him we must turn to be saved (Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
O nly through study of the Bible can we gain knowledge of the facts which are essential for our salvation. Once we have gained the knowledge we must apply/live what we have learned (Luke 13:3; Hebrews 5:9). And to properly grow and develop, we need to meditate deeply and often on God; to truly see and appreciate Him as He is…. Not as we wish He were.