Do I Have to Read My Bible?

November 16, 2009

In response to this question, I would say, “No, but yes, yes, and yes!” (In case you didn’t catch it, that was a triple “yes.”)

Is reading the Bible necessary for growth as a Christian? Yes! This question would be the equivalent of asking, “Does a baby need food to grow?” Like a baby needs milk to grow, a Christian needs God’s Word to mature. (1 Peter 2:2)

Is reading the Bible something a Christian is commanded to do? Yes! While the Bible does not say “read your Bible” in as many words, it does say things like “crave pure spiritual milk” (1 Pet 2:2) and “let the word of Christ dwell in your richly” (Col 3:16). These commands are more at the level of desires, so if a Christian is obedient to long for God’s Word (and has access to it in his/her language the ability to read), he/she should read the Bible.

Finally, will a born again Christian have such an unquenchable thirst for and delight Scripture that they are compelled to read it? Absolutely yes! A Christian should not view reading the Bible as a “got-to” but a “get-to.” Once a redeemed soul has “tasted that God is good,” (1 Pet. 2:3), that taste should create such an uncontrollable craving for his word, that this person HAS to read it.

Is reading the Bible a requirement for salvation? Absolutely not. Salvation does not rest upon whether one checks the box of Bible reading off; it rests upon Jesus Christ. Also, reading your Bible is not a legalistic obligation. The act of sitting down with your Bible and reading it does not somehow earn you righteousness or favor with God.

Let’s sum it up. Do you have to read your Bible to be a Christian? No. But as a Christian, do you have to read the Bible because you need it, God wants you to, and you want to because you have tasted that God is good? Yes, yes, and YES!