The Bible is central to the Christian faith, providing wisdom, guidance, comfort and truth for billions of believers over thousands of years. But have you ever wondered why God gave us this sacred text in the first place?
In examining this question more closely, we come to better understand God’s purposes and plans for humanity.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: God gave us the Bible to reveal His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ and to equip believers to live godly, fruitful lives that bring glory to Him.
In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore the many reasons God gifted His written Word, including to testify about Jesus Christ as Savior, teach us God’s commands for righteous living, prophesy future events, record God’s past faithfulness, bring people to saving faith, equip Christians for ministry, and more.
To Reveal His Plan of Salvation Through Jesus Christ
Old Testament Prophecies of a Coming Messiah
The Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. These prophecies span hundreds of years, with the first one in Genesis 3:15 foretelling that the seed of woman would crush the serpent’s head.
Other key messianic prophecies include Isaiah 7:14 predicting the virgin birth, Micah 5:2 foretelling Jesus’ birthplace, Isaiah 53 describing the suffering servant, Psalm 22 paralleling Christ’s crucifixion, and Zechariah 9:9 prophesying Jesus’ triumphal entry.
Taken together, the Old Testament prophecies painstakingly reveal God’s astonishing plan for salvation through the promised Messiah. Their fulfillment centuries later in the life of Jesus powerfully confirms He is the long-awaited Savior and the Bible is God’s true Word.
New Testament Testimony About Jesus Christ
The New Testament gospels provide detailed, eyewitness accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John testify that Jesus claimed to be God’s Son, performed many miracles, was rejected and crucified, and rose from the dead – accomplishing salvation for mankind.
The book of Acts records the early spread of Christianity. The epistles or letters explain the theological significance of Christ’s sacrifice. And Revelation anticipates His glorious second coming.
From His incarnation to His ascension, the New Testament finalize the biblical narrative about the long-promised Savior. It makes clear that salvation comes through placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Scriptural Plan For Salvation Through Faith
The Bible lays out a clear plan of salvation by grace through faith (Gotquestions). Key elements include:
- All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23)
- The wages of sin is death, but Christ died for our sins (Romans 6:23)
- By grace we are saved through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- If we confess and repent, we will be forgiven and saved (Romans 10:9-10)
This straightforward plan summarized across Scripture reveals God’s amazing grace. Though we deserve death for our sins, He offers us salvation and eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. What an awesome, loving God!
To Equip Believers for Godly, Fruitful Living
Guidance for Righteous Living
The Bible provides clear guidance on how believers should live to honor God and reflect His righteousness. Its teachings help Christians develop godly character and make wise choices that align with biblical principles.
For example, verses about loving others, practicing self-control, caring for the poor, being truthful, and maintaining sexual purity give instructions for living righteously (Micah 6:8, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 6:18).
Applying biblical wisdom protects believers from destructive mindsets and behaviors.
In a world filled with immorality and compromise, the Bible keeps Christians grounded in God’s standards of holiness and virtue. Its exhortations to flee from sin and pursue justice steer us along an upright path.
Scripture gives us a moral framework to evaluate decisions and discern right from wrong in gray areas where the wisest choice is not always clear. Following biblical guidance leads to a life of integrity that honors Christ.
Wisdom for Decision Making
The Bible brims with practical wisdom that helps believers make God-honoring choices in all circumstances. Its principles for godly living apply to every sphere of life – from choosing friends and a spouse, to managing money, to relating to authority figures, to excelling at work in an ethical manner.
For any decision a Christian faces, the Bible offers perspective on how to apply God’s truths and determine the option that best reflects His values.
Scripture teaches believers to adopt God’s mindset and develop discernment to understand His will (Romans 12:2). As we study the Bible, our judgment aligns more closely with God’s perfect wisdom. His Word warns against foolishness and teaches prudence.
Proverbs especially gives much helpful advice for daily living and finding success the right way. Applying biblical wisdom leads to purposeful, fruitful decision making.
Instructions for Christian Ministry
The Bible thoroughly equips Christians for fruitful ministry and impacting the world for Christ. It teaches believers how to effectively share the gospel, make disciples, care for the needy, use spiritual gifts, defend the faith, and resist false teaching (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19-20).
God’s Word also instructs the church to be unified, to submit to spiritual leaders, to exercise church discipline when necessary, and to manage various practical matters in a God-honoring manner (1 Corinthians 14:40, Hebrews 13:17, Matthew 18:15-17).
Scripture outlines qualities to look for in elders and deacons so churches can identify and appoint suitable spiritual leaders (1 Timothy 3:1-13). It provides guidance for important church practices like baptism, Communion, corporate prayer and worship.
The Bible thoroughly prepares Christians for powerful ministry that advances God’s Kingdom and brings Him glory.
To Give Us Hope Through Biblical Prophecy
One of the main reasons God gave us the Bible is to provide hope through the prophecies it contains. Biblical prophecy shows how God is actively engaged with human history and gives us confidence that His promises for the future will come to pass.
Fulfilled Prophecies Build Trust in God’s Word
The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies that have already been fulfilled exactly as predicted. For example, the Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies about the coming Messiah, all of which were fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The accuracy of already fulfilled prophecies builds our trust that God knows the future and will fulfill the prophecies that are still unfulfilled.
As the apostle Peter wrote, “We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
Fulfilled prophecy is like a light shining in this dark world, giving us confidence in God’s truth.
Unfulfilled Prophecy Shows God’s Sovereignty Over History
Many end times prophecies in the Bible have yet to be fulfilled, such as those concerning the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom. The fact that God predicts major future events shows He is not a distant, uninvolved deity.
Rather, He is sovereignly orchestrating human affairs toward His desired conclusion.
As we see prophecies being fulfilled around us, such as the rebirth of Israel and increasing natural disasters, our hope grows that Christ’s return is drawing near. “Christ was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20).
Though times are difficult now, we can have hope that all things are headed towards God’s glorious and triumphant end.
God’s Promises Provide Hope in Difficult Times
In a world full of pain, suffering and uncertainty, biblical prophecy assures us that God has good plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He promises to wipe away every tear, destroy death forever, and dwell with His people in perfect peace and justice (Revelation 21:4-5).
What amazing promises! No matter what trials we face today, we can have unshakable hope because we know God is faithful and His promises are sure. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Clinging to God’s promises provides strength to persevere now, along with hope that our pain is temporary and glory awaits.
To Record God’s Faithfulness to His People
The Bible serves as a written testimony of God’s enduring faithfulness and steadfast love for humanity throughout history. Through its pages, we see the Almighty’s compassion and care for His creation despite people’s frequent mistakes and failures.
The scriptures reveal how God patiently works to restore broken relationships and draw humankind back to Himself time and time again. They provide encouragement that He who was faithful in the past will remain faithful in the future.
Several key biblical stories and themes highlight God’s faithfulness. First, His covenant relationship with Abraham and the nation of Israel demonstrates His commitment to keep His promises. Though the Israelites repeatedly turned away, God continued to pursue them, delivering and restoring them when they repented (Exodus 19:4-6).
Centuries later, He sent Jesus to perfectly fulfill His side of the covenant through a new, everlasting promise open to all people by faith (Luke 22:20).
In addition, the Bible records God’s protection over those who trust in Him. During Israel’s wilderness wanderings, He provided manna, quail, and water for their physical needs (Exodus 16-17). Throughout the Old Testament, God raises up judges and prophets to turn His people back to Himself amidst their idolatry.
His faithfulness shines through as He spares those who humble themselves and cry out to Him, such as during the reigns of evil kings like Manasseh and Ahab (2 Chronicles 33, 1 Kings 21).
The life of Jesus Christ epitomizes God’s unwavering faithfulness. Though rejected by the world, Jesus maintained perfect obedience and entrusted Himself to the Father. His sacrificial death for humankind’s salvation culminates centuries of God patiently working out His redemptive plan (Romans 3:21-26).
And Christ’s resurrection defeated death’s power, proving that not even grave could diminish the Almighty’s steadfast love (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Furthermore, the Bible offers reassurance of God’s continuing faithfulness within the lives of believers today. Through Christ, we have direct access to Him and all His promises (Hebrews 4:16). The Holy Spirit works constantly to transform us into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We now relate to Him not merely as Lord but as Abba Father, experiencing His tender care and guidance each day (Romans 8:15-16). What an amazing, unchanging God we serve!
To Draw People to Saving Faith in Jesus
The Bible serves as an invaluable guide to lead people to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Through its pages, God reveals His plan of salvation and how one can have a right relationship with Him. Here are some key ways the Bible draws people to faith in Jesus:
It reveals our need for a Savior
From Genesis through Revelation, the Bible paints a sober picture of humanity’s separation from a holy God due to sin. Passages like Romans 3:23 and Isaiah 59:2 confront us with the reality that all have sinned and face eternal consequence.
This drives us to recognize our need for forgiveness and grace.
It points to Jesus as the only Savior
While revealing our problem, the Bible also provides the solution – Jesus. Verses like John 14:6, Acts 4:12, and 1 Timothy 2:5-6 teach that salvation is found in Christ alone. The entirety of Scripture also testifies to Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah who alone reconciles us to God.
It calls for a response of faith
The Bible calls all people to place their trust in Jesus, not just know about Him. Verses like Romans 10:9-10, John 3:16, and Ephesians 2:8-9 connect trusting in Christ with salvation. Scripture invites belief in who Jesus is and what He accomplished for us through His sinless life, death for sins, and resurrection from the dead.
It transforms those who believe
The Bible teaches that saving faith is evidenced by a transformed life. While not the means of salvation, good works demonstrate genuine belief, as passages like Matthew 3:8, James 2:14-26, and Ephesians 2:10 show. The Spirit empowers believers to joyfully obey and honor Christ through moral change.
In these critical ways, the Bible draws people into the grace of the Savior. Through its honest diagnosis and gracious prescription, Scripture leads one and all to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
In examining Scripture itself, we find the Bible testifies to many purposes behind its God-breathed words. Through its pages, God reveals His magnificent plan for humanity’s redemption through Christ. He equips those who follow Him for lives of meaning, purpose and holy impact.
And He gives glimpses of future glory and victory secured by the unfailing promises of God.
The Bible is an astounding, divinely inspired gift to humanity. In its words, we discover the power to be saved, the path to walk, the Provider to trust. May its truths permeate our hearts and minds as we seek God’s kingdom first, confident that He who gave His Word will also accomplish His purposes through it.