John 20:31, NASB
In the very last verse of His Gospel, the apostle John declares His twofold purpose in writing the book: (1) so that people might believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and (2) that by that faith they might receive eternal life in His name.
John’s two stated motivations in writing are really one — that we might receive eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, John wrote His Gospel to reveal Jesus Christ as the Savior and author of eternal life for all who will believe.
Let’s look at another Scripture portion that affirms this central truth.
Some Jewish leaders (vs. 16) were opposing Jesus. He replied to them that they were indeed studying the Scriptures seeking the key(s) to eternal life. That is certainly a good thing to do. However, they entirely missed the whole point of seeking the Scriptures’ truths about eternal life. The Jewish leaders failed to grasp the central point, and Jesus made it very clear to them: “These [Jesus said] are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”
The Jews of Christ’s time were well instructed in the Scriptures of the Old Testament (the New Testament, of course, had not yet been written during Jesus’ time on earth). The religious leaders especially were well versed in the Scriptures. They were properly looking into them seeking the pathway to eternal life. But they missed it entirely!
Jesus told them (my paraphrase): “Oh, you’re searching the Scriptures, yes. But you’re missing the reason why the Bible was written and given to you. The Scriptures of the Bible were written to testify about me.” If the antagonistic Jewish leaders had only set aside all their biases and allowed the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures to them, they could have fulfilled the apostle John’s motivation in writing down God’s Word — (1) they could have believed that Jesus is the promised Christ, the Son of God; and (2) they could have found in Him the eternal life they were seeking in the Scriptures.
And that is just as true today. I encourage you, each time you open your Bibles, in both the Old Testament and the New, to look for Jesus. Throughout the 66 books of the word of God there is an ongoing revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of all who will believe. As Jesus said, the Scriptures testify about Him. And as the apostle John declared, the Scriptures will lead people to faith in Jesus and to eternal life in His name.
In sum, why was the Bible written? Why did God give us His magnificent written revelation, the Bible? It was to (1) reveal to us Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to earth, lived and ministered, died on a cross to take away our sins, then rose again from the grave and ascended back to heaven, having made a way for us to become born-again children of the Lord God Almighty. Believe in Jesus, receive Him, repent of your sins, and (2) inherit the eternal life that He sacrificially bought for you in His death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection.
A personal note in closing: I myself came to saving faith in Jesus Christ in 1969, primarily by reading the Bible night after night after coming home from work. The Word of God showed me the loving Savior Jesus, and faith arose in my heart. I turned my life to Him in faith and repentance (Acts 20:21) and began to follow Him, and I still do joyfully as I approach my 75th birthday this month. As I walk in these later years of my life on earth, it is a daily joy to know that the Savior Jesus, whom I discovered in the Scriptures in 1969, is awaiting my arrival at the gates of heaven when that time comes. And you will find the same Jesus revealed to you in His Word the Bible. Read it, devour it, believe it, receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and enter into your inheritance of the eternal life Jesus bought for you at the cross. May God bless you as you serve Him and His Son Jesus. And keep seeking more revelation of Him every day in your study of the Bible.
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©2018, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.