Whenever you open your Bible, from its first book to its last, pray that God, by His Holy Spirit, will bring you to greater knowledge of and relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ. He is the main reason — not the only reason, but the all-important one — why we should be reading the Bible. He is the Source of eternal life. As Jesus Himself said while speaking to God the Father (John 17:3), “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Eternal life! — knowing, really “knowing” God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. And remember, we come to the Father through Jesus His Son (John 14:6).
So how can we come to “know” this Jesus, God’s Son whom the Father sent from heaven to redeem lost, sinful men and women back to God? Simply this: by the Scriptures of the Bible, as the Holy Spirit of God illuminates them to us. The 39 books of the Old Testament are filled from front to back with typology, symbolism, prophecies, and at times clear revelations of the coming Messiah (the “Anointed One”), the Son of God, who would save lost sinners and bring them to God.
Then the 27 books of the New Testament give us a crystal-clear revelation of the identity of that promised Messiah and Savior — the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the divine Trinity. They show Jesus coming from God the Father in heaven, born of a virgin, living and ministering on earth. In His early 30s Jesus was taken and crucified for our sins on a Roman cross. On the third day He rose from the dead, spent some final weeks on earth with His close disciples, then ascended back to heaven. There He sits to this day at the right hand of God Almighty. And He will come “a second time” to earth (Hebrews 9:28) in His glorious Second Coming to gather the believers of all the ages to Him forever. This is a brief summary. The Bible gives the details, and they are thrilling! And they are promises to everyone who will come to God the Father through the Savior Jesus Christ. I trust that you are seeing more and more clearly why it is so important to read the Scriptures, so that we may truly come to know the Savior in a sincerely committed, salvation-providing way.
There is only one Gospel, only one “Good News.” All others are imposters. The Gospel that Paul and the other faithful followers of Christ preached (and still preach!) was that Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross … was buried … and on the third day rose again unto eternal life. And His resurrection after His death and burial is the guarantee of resurrection to all who accept Him in the simple way that the apostle Paul preached: “that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21).
Oh, there is so much more that could be said about our wonderful Lord, Jesus Christ! But I must not fail to share a few closing thoughts on why Jesus is the #1 reason to read the Bible. Basically, in His very own words, He Himself said so! Check out the two Scripture portions below to see Jesus’ words on this:
There it is: the Scriptures of the Bible point to Jesus! And keep in mind that, at the time Jesus spoke this, the New Testament had not yet been written. The Scriptures that Jesus spoke of that “point to Him” were those of the Old Testament. These words of Jesus should be a wakeup call to any Christians who may be ignoring the Old Testament and only reading the New.
The 39 books of the Old Testament are a treasure trove of references to the eventual coming of the One we know as the Lord Jesus Christ. We see Him prophetically as the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12 with 1 Corinthians 5:7) … as the great “Mechizedeck … priest of the most high God” (Genesis 14:18 with Hebrews 7) … as the virgin-born son (Isaiah 7:14 with the Gospel accounts) … as the Son of God (Psalm 2:7 with Hebrews 1:8 and Acts 13:33) … just to name a few Old Testament revelations of Jesus Christ.
On the very day of His resurrection from the grave, the risen Jesus met and walked with two men on the road to Emmaus. They had not yet recognized Him. Jesus gave them what I think might have been the greatest Bible school in recorded history! Going back to Moses and the Prophets — all Old Testament books — Jesus began to expound the many things the Old Testament Scriptures said concerning Him! Again, this could not be clearer, my fellow Christians — read the Old Testament as well as the New for a fuller revelation of Jesus Christ. He permeates the pages of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
The Prophets of old shared great insights into the Redeemer to come. I have heard it said that there are in the Old Testament about 300 prophecies of the first coming to earth of the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Savior. Don’t miss those 300 beautiful insights by reading only the New Testament.
Or how about the five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy)? They contain priceless typological, symbolic, and prophetic insights into Jesus Christ in teachings by Moses about the tabernacle, the offerings, the priesthood, Israel’s holy feasts, and much, much more. And now one more verse in closing.
The Law was found in Moses’ writings, the Pentateuch, that is, the first five books of the Bible. The inspired apostle Paul tells us that the Law served as a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. As noted above, so many things in Moses’ Law pointed us ahead to Jesus Christ. He may be seen in the Passover Lamb, the tabernacle, the offerings and priesthood, the feasts of Israel, and many more insights from the Old Testament.
In closing, let me repeat our opening title: “Why Read the Bible? Here’s the #1 Reason.” And the answer, as the Scriptures clearly show, is to give us insights into the Lord Jesus Christ, to help us to know Him better as our Lord and Savior. As I have shared in my written testimony, in 1969 I personally came to saving faith in Jesus simply by reading His Word the Bible. A Christian young lady friend who had talked to me about Jesus encouraged me to buy and read a Bible. I did so, and after some weeks of doing that, I had a profound saving encounter with Jesus Christ. That was 53 years ago. From that day to this I have felt a great love for the Word of God. Back then, in 1969, it led me to the Savior Jesus. And now, in my later senior years, the Bible continues to show me more and more each day about our wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I take Jesus’ words as all-important: “The Scriptures point to me,” He said. The Lord Jesus continues to be for me the most compelling reason why I read the Bible — in order that they may point me to Him: my Lord, my Savior, and the soon-coming King of Kings. I encourage you to share that same mindset. As you open the Scriptures (any of the 66 books of the Bible), I suggest first praying something simple like this: “Heavenly Father, please shed light upon your Word by the Holy Spirit. And let me see more and more of your wonderful Son, my Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Perhaps some have read this far and God has touched your heart with the realization that you don’t yet “know” Jesus personally as your Lord and Savior. The Good News is that He is ready and willing to receive you to Himself and eternally into the family of God. The late, highly respected evangelist Billy Graham has left a short, excellent aid in praying to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord. You’ll find and be blessed by his help at Peace with God: the Secret of Happiness
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©2022, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons &
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Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.