The Bible is no ordinary book. It may affect us in one of two ways: properly studied and applied, it will affect us for good in time and eternity; improperly handled, it will cause one to lose one’s soul.
The Bible is every man’s book. It is not intended for a special group (clergy or scholars). It is written for the average person. Scholars may study it and marvel at its depth, but common folks may study and joy in its simplicity.
No one ever outgrows the Scriptures. The more one studies them, the wider and deeper they become. The Bible is the one book which enables one to look eternity. The best evidence for the Bible’s inspiration is found between its covers. No one will ever be a useful Christian unless he knows the Bible. Matthew Henry said, “The Scriptures were not written to make us astronomers, but to make us saints. ” It is no wonder that Paul urged Timothy to study the Scripture, “rightly dividing,” or handling aright, the word of truth, that he might be an approved workman before God (2 Tim. 2:15). There is no higher ambition on earth. The Bible acknowledges man’s faults; it is patient with man’s weaknesses; it is severe with man’s sins; and it is honest with his virtues and his hopes.
To own a Bible is to be rich. To study, to know, and to trust the Bible is to find life. To study the Bible is to be wise; to obey it, to be strong. To know the Bible and to handle it aright is the greatest accomplishment within the reach of any person. One may know English, astronomy, literature, music, sociology, and philosophy; but if one does not know the Bible, one has failed in the only subject that brings all things into their proper relationship and that enables one to know life at its best. One seeking to know the Bible will endeavor to study its contents book by book, meet its characters as they unfold through its pages, study its types, its doctrine, its topics, paragraphs, sentences, and words. This is the work of a lifetime.
The Bible can save many a heartache. The following was found on the fly-leaf of a Bible placed by the Gideons in a motel in Birmingham Alabama: “May God bless the man who placed this book here. I am a young lady twenty-one years old, fatherless and motherless. Tonight this book saved me from taking a wrong step. May the next reader find in it the comfort that I did.”
There is no greater accomplishment in life than to be able to rightly divide the word of truth. It is worth all the sacrifice necessary. One can never be truly great who does not know the Word, love it, live it, delight in it, and teach it without perversion and without misrepresentation. The one who knows how to handle it is in a position to render the greatest service to the world.
The Bible is a mirror that enables us to see ourselves as we really are. It is food which supplies the strength we need, a lamp to guide our way, a hammer to break and to build, a sword to fight and to defend, a seed to plant and to grow, and a goal to own and to attain. There are no experiences in life for which the Bible does not furnish a passage. May these thoughts lend encouragement to all of us to become diligent students that we may know the way of life and find the life that is life indeed.