God’s Word teaches;
That the Holy Bible, consisting of 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament, is the inspired Word of God. We take the Bible as final authority in all matters concerning Christian conduct and work – 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Proverbs 30:5,6; Revelation 22:18,19.
The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the only source of knowledge of the Almighty God to all mankind. It is the contact point between finite man with the infinite God; and its prime purpose is to give mankind the revelation of God (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The Bible is severally referred to as the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2; 2 Timothy 3:15), the oracles of God (Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12), the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the word of God (Mark 7:13), the word of Christ (Colossians 3:16) and the word of life (Philippians 2:16). It is in two major parts: the Old and the New Testaments. It consists of 66 books: 39 of which are in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. The Bible was originally written predominantly in Hebrew and Greek. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, while the New Testament was written in Greek language. Over 40 authors drawn from disparate generations spanning a period of over 1600 years, were used by God to write the Bible. Even though their occupations, education and social classes were divergent, their theme was the same as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:20). The inspiration of the authors can be attested to by some peculiar characteristics of the Bible, which are not found in any other book written by man. Such characteristics include its wonderful unity despite the fact that the authors lived at different ages; its versatility as it meets the needs of all people irrespective of race, and language (Matthew 4:4); its superiority to other books, the influence on individuals and nations; its preservation over the centuries, its fulfilled prophecies (Isaiah 7:14; Ezekiel 36:19; 2 Chronicles 7:19,20) and its perfection (Psalms 19:7; James 1:25).
The pre-eminence of the Bible (Isaiah 8:20; Psalms 119:89) makes it indispensable to all men today. While other books have limited influence on man, because they are products of finite minds, the Bible which is God’s revelation to man has solution to every problem today. Therefore, no man’s education is complete if he is ignorant of the provisions of the Bible. No Christian can live successfully without an adequate grasp of the Bible, and no Christian minister is really qualified for the ministry of the church of Christ without a thorough knowledge of the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15). Without a ready knowledge of the Bible, the Christian worker cannot be effective.
The central theme of the Bible is CHRIST and HIS WORK OF REDEMPTION (John 20:31; Luke 24:25-27; Revelation 1:1). He is the Old Testament concealed, and the New Testament revealed. To fully understand the Bible and to rightly interpret its messages, we must first receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and have a clear and definite experience of conversion. Those who do not know Christ and those who have wrong conceptions about Christ cannot interpret the Bible appropriately because the carnal man cannot understand the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).
The Bible has a ministry to unbelievers as well as to believers. To unbelievers, the Bible brings conviction of sin which leads to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. To believers, the goals of the Bible are various. It is to make believers perfect (Psalm 119:9,11), to reveal the condition of their hearts (Hebrew 4:12; Jeremiah 17:9,10); it is a light to the believers’ feet or way of life (Psalms 119:105;130), food for the soul (Deuteronomy 8:3, John 21:17; Psalm 19:10; Matthew 4:4), a medicine to the body and soul (Proverbs 4:20-22; Psalm 107:20; Matthew 8:8) and the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17; Matthew 4:1-11). It is a mirror to reflect (James 1:23); a hammer to convict, and fire to refine (Jeremiah 23:29); seed to multiply (I Peter 1:23); water to cleanse (Ephesians 5:26; John 15:3); rain to refresh (Isaiah 55:10); gold to enrich (Psalm 19:7-10); and power to create life and faith (I Peter 1:23; Romans 10:17).
The Bible is God’s inspired revelation of the origin and destiny of all things. It is the power of God unto eternal salvation and it is the source of present help for the body, soul and spirit (Romans 1:16; John 15:7). It is God’s will and testament to man in all ages, revealing the plan of God for man here and now, and in the next life. It is the record of God’s dealing with men; past, present and future. It contains God’s message of eternal salvation to all who believe in Christ and of eternal damnation to those who rebel against the gospel (John 3:18,36).
The purpose of the Bible then is to reveal God to man, reveal man’s need of God and show man the way to God. Man, by searching, cannot find God except God makes Himself known to him (Job 11:7). The Bible also reveals to man how to live, and through the fulfilment of its prophecies, all human needs are met. We receive salvation, sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism, healing, deliverance, protection, etc.
To profit maximally from the study of the Bible, we must remove all hindrances to spiritual receptivity, such as hardened heart (Matthew 13:3-6, 18-21), double mindedness (James 1:8; Mark 4:15-17), pride (Deuteronomy 8:11-14; Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 18:12), carnality (I Corinthians 3:1-5), and unbelief (Matthew 13:58).
Every believer in the church today can benefit from the hidden treasures in the Bible. But this would require sacrifices on our part. Treasures are not found except by searching or digging earnestly. Likewise, deep Bible truths need be sought for, and in doing this, we will discover Christ the more (Colossians 2:3; John 5:39). Certain spiritual preparations are required from believers in order to discover these treasures that would make them develop into the fullness of the stature of Christ. There must be earnest love for the truth for its own sake (Psalm 119:40,47,54,72,103); supreme love for God (Matthew 22:37; Deuteronomy 30:6; Psalm 73:25); and an intense desire to know more of Him (Psalm 42:1,2; 63:1). Also, there should be a strong desire to make Him known to others (Proverbs 11:24-26; Romans 9:1-3), willingness to make personal sacrifice to study (Matthew 13:44-46; 12:42), a fixed purpose to know, and a willingness to practice the whole truth you have learnt (Psalm 119:60,101,106; James 1:22-25; Ezra 7:10; Psalms 119:63; 57:7: 108:1), and cultivating a state of mind that will not be diverted to make provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14; Matthew 26:41).
Above all, you need too, a regular habit of prayer, resignation to the whole will of God and His word that will make you discover the treasures hidden in the Bible.