You might wonder what the purpose of the Bible is. Well, that is a great question! There is actually not just one but several purposes the Bible fulfills.
Let me summarize it like this:
The general purpose of the Bible is the revelation of God. Moreover, it corrects, convicts of sin, and reveals Jesus as Christ and Savior. If we follow its teachings the Bible is life and hope-giving and equips for every good work. It is a weapon in spiritual warfare and reveals God’s future plans for His creation.
Those in a nutshell make up the main purposes of the Bible.
Many people think the Bible is a mere tool to manipulate gullible people into religion to sacrifice their lives and resources to the church.
I can attest: This is not true.
When I gave God a chance, the Bible became more than just a book. The words and stories I read still to this day come alive. What I read in the Bible I suddenly saw happening all around me in church. I saw people get healed of sicknesses and infirmities and saw how demons were cast out.
A little later, I myself was even healed from cancer. You can learn more about my personal testimony on my about page.
I believe the Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21). When we give it a chance it can be more powerful than any self-help book could ever be.
That’s because it’s not just a collection of some ancient writings. It is the creator of the universe, the God, writing you a love letter with instructions that have a purpose.
As I said before, the Bible actually has more than just one purpose. Let me list and explain them below.
The Bible reveals God and His character
“In the beginning God created …” (Genesis 1:1 NKJV)
From the very first to the very last sentence God reveals Himself and His character.
If you read the Bible to find out who God is, it will ignite a barrage of revelation.
Some might be amazing and some might frighten you.
Just take the first sentence for example. There, God reveals Himself as The Creator of everything that exists. One of the main questions of humanity – Where do we come from? – answered!
And so it is throughout the whole 66 books of the Bible.
The Bible corrects and convicts us of our sin
Only because of the Bible, we know what God doesn’t like: sin.
Sin in its essence is rebellion against God.
But again, we only know that because of the Bible.
It is the source of divine correction. This correction sometimes cuts to the heart (Acts 2:37, 7:54). You might feel a feeling of conviction and maybe even regret.
Hebrew 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.“
The Word of God can uncover our thoughts and intents in our hearts. That sometimes can feel like a sword went right through us. More on than later.
But hey, that’s a good thing! God wants us to know what separates us from Him so we can deal with it. God is not telling us these things to shame us.
Constructive criticism always suggests an improvement or a solution for the problem.
So does God’s Word.
“How can a young man cleanse his way?Psalm 119:9 NKJV
By taking heed according to Your word.“
The Bible declares Jesus and His sacrifice
The main solution for our problem with sin and its consequence of eternal separation from God in hell is our salvation through Jesus Christ.
It weaves like a red string through the entire Bible – even in the Old Testament.
Jesus illustrates this reality in the gospel of Luke chapter 24.
It says, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He (Jesus) expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (…) Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:27, 44-48 NKJV)
Jesus shows His disciples from the Old Testament who He really is and what He has done for all humanity. The purpose of these written recordings is our trust in Jesus as the promised Savior, the Son of God, and that in His name we would have life. (John 20:30-31, 1 John 5:13)
“(…) from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 3:15 NKJV
There is even one whole book in the Bible dedicated to the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is the last book commonly known for its apocalyptic prophecy. But it is really the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:1)
The Bible instructs how to restore us back to God
While “believing in Jesus as our Savior” can be an abstract concept, the Bible clearly was written to show us exactly how we restore our relationship with God.
It starts with repentance, which is to turn from your sinful behavior. This you express obviously through your actions, but also through prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14, Ezekiel 33:11, Mark 1:15, James 4:8). You tell God that you are sorry for what you did wrong and how you made excuses for your wrong behavior.
Only then, the Bible instructs us we can live a life with and for God (Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 2:20).
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; (…)”
Psalm 19:7 NKJV
“You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.”
Deuteronomy 5:33 NKJV
The Bible guides us and gives hope if we follow it
Another purpose of the Bible is to pour life, hope, and good counsel into our lives (Romans 15:4, Jeremiah 15:16, Psalm 19:8).
Obviously, that is bound to a condition. Oversimplified it would be: We must follow what the Bible instructs us to do.
Though there are “instructions” we don’t need to keep anymore in Jesus (the law), there are still many commandments we should keep.
Only then do we receive the blessing (Deuteronomy 8:1-3).
This is a simple principle of life. If we follow the good guidance and the healthy rules of the Bible we will end up in a better place than before. If we ignore them we end up in a mess.
Jesus is very adamant when He talks about His commandments: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 NKJV)
He wants us to follow Him as proof of our love for Him.
As the saying goes: “Works speak louder than words.”
See, His commandments and the commandments of the Bible are not difficult (1 John 5:3).
The instructions of the Bible might seem that way sometimes, but only because in our stubbornness and self-will we make them hard.
God gives His Word to lead and guide us on a good path in life. That’s why He gives us healthy guidelines to follow.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105 NKJV
The Bible teaches us God-given belief concepts
“All Scripture (…) is profitable for doctrine (…)”
2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV
This might seem obvious, but the Bible’s purpose is to show us how we should live out our faith.
In theology, you would call this dogma or doctrine.
There are so many doctrines in the Bible. Just like in my point before, God gave them to us in written form so we would have life, hope, and ultimately would become more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).
“The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;Psalm 19:8 NKJV
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;“
Where it usually fails is our application. There are so many Christian practices that are not even in the Bible. That’s why our application of doctrine needs to be thoroughly researched and as close to God’s Word as we can.
Otherwise, it will lead us into religion we’ll be slaves to our own “faith”.
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.“Romans 15:4 NKJV
The Bible equips us for every good work
Did you know that the Bible was written to equip you for good work?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, (…) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.“
God had His Word written with you and your life in mind. He knew you needed some helpful instructions. Just like you, millions needed it too.
So, here we are with 66 books that make the canon of the Bible filled with helpful content to help us produce good work in our lives.
The Bible is a weapon in spiritual warfare
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
This might be news to some people, but the Bible can be used as a weapon!
See, in this world, we are in a constant spiritual battle. There is a power, or rather a being that all it wants is to kill, steal, and destroy God’s creation (John 10:10). I am talking about Satan or the devil as some call him.
You can learn more about that in my article “What Does The Bible Teach”.
Because we are in this war, God provided us with spiritual weapons in His Word. In fact, His Word itself is a weapon. Ephesians 6:17 says, His Word is a sword!
“And take (…) the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.“
Ephesians 6:17 NKJV
You should read the whole chapter of Ephesians 6. It explains more about this warfare and shows you a whole armor God has for us to fight in this war.
Even Jesus was attacked and used God’s Word of the Bible as a sword to counter Satan’s barrage. You can read the whole story in Matthew 4:1-11.
In the gist of it, Satan used God’s Word to trick Jesus. But Jesus countered with God’s Word Himself and so dumbfounded Satan.
More on spiritual warfare and to find out if you are in spiritual warfare you can find out in this article: 7 Signs You Are In Spiritual Warfare
Hebrews 4:12 describes how the Bible is actually sharper than any physical two-edged sword. It uncovers our thoughts and intents in the heart.
That’s why we sometimes can feel cut to the heart (in a good way) when we get convicted of our sins.
God’s Word is powerful and spreads like a fire. It crushes arguments like a hammer smashes a rock into pieces (Jeremiah 23:29).
“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?Jemeria 23:29 NKJV
Again, mixed with faith the Bible is a powerful weapon.
The Bible reveals God’s future plans for the world
Lastly, the Bible’s purpose is to show us God’s plan for the future.
I don’t mean the future for just you or me, but for the whole world.
Several portions of the Bible describe Jesus’ return to this earth. One day, He will come back and establish His kingdom. Then, about 1000 years later heaven and even God Himself will come down to live with us.
It’s a fascinating subject. I believe we are closer to Christ’s return than we might think.
You can read more on this topic in the book of Revelations, the last book of the Bible, in Isaiah 65, 66, and in the book of Daniel.
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