In Matthew 4, when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus fired back by saying, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (v. 4). What did He mean? Jesus was pointing to the soul-transforming, soul-satisfying Word (more on that later). All the pleasures of the world can provide only partial and temporary comfort, but the Word of God regenerates, illuminates, ingratiates, and motivates. Let’s look briefly at a few ways the Scriptures can change and satisfy you.
The Bible makes the exclusive claim to be the means by which people are saved through the message of the gospel.
We read, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). We understand that we aren’t saved by doing works but by hearing and believing the gospel by faith (Gal. 3:2). But, what is the gospel? The gospel is the good news regarding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The good news is that, because of the sacrificial work of Jesus, we can be forgiven of our sins, reconciled to God, and ushered into the kingdom of heaven.
Ephesians 1:13 affirms to us that, “after listening to [or reading!] the message of truth, the gospel of [our] salvation—having also believed, [we are] sealed . . . with the Holy Spirit of promise.” The Spirit regenerates our souls; we are “born again” (John 3:3–8), given a brand-new life in Jesus Christ. The message of the gospel in the Scriptures carries with it the power to give new spiritual life to those who believe (Rom. 1:16). For a person who has not yet been saved, reading the Bible can bring them from death to life through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
According to Proverbs 2:6, “The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” The Bible is clear that true knowledge comes from God. The apostle Paul prayed that the believers in Colossae would “be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). In short, the Lord desires us to know Him, and studying the Bible is the primary way we come to know Him.
“The Bible is powerful and able to change your life from the inside out.”
Further, the Word of God not only provides knowledge and wisdom, but also has the power to renew and change your mind (Rom. 12:1–2). In studying the Bible, we learn to think God’s thoughts after Him. In other words, we learn to think in biblical categories. Even the most childlike believer can read the Bible and receive wisdom and understanding from the Lord (Ps. 119:130). And while our sinful minds will ultimately be set on trivial and evil things, a biblically informed, Spirit-filled mind will set itself on life and peace (Rom. 8:6).
Do you want a changed mind, a mind that is renewed by the things of God?
Read your Bible.
The Word of God can not only regenerate your soul and alter the way you think, but can also change the way you feel. We are emotional creatures, and while we don’t want to be beholden to our emotions, a growing relationship with God will certainly affect the way we feel. One of the most common expressions of emotion tied to the knowledge of God is joy. David exclaimed, “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97). Jeremiah declared, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). After learning the Scriptures from Jesus on the road to Emmaus, the two disciples said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).
Of course, learning the Bible can also produce feelings of sorrow, especially over sinfulness. We read in Hebrews 4:12 that “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” When this happens and sin is exposed, the Word produces godly grief. For example, when the unbelieving crowd heard the gospel in Peter’s sermon, Acts 2:37 says that “they were pierced to the heart”—they were sorrowful and longed for forgiveness. Studying the Bible should produce no less in us. But the changes shouldn’t stop at our emotions.
Once we have received new life in Jesus Christ, have had our minds enlightened to the things of God, and have been affected emotionally, we are compelled to act. The Bible exhorts Christians toward godly action. The Lord desires us to become conformed to Christ’s image (Rom. 8:29). We are to be sanctified. In fact, Jesus prayed to the Father that He would “sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). What does it mean to be sanctified? It means we are cleansed spiritually, presented to Christ as holy, set apart, and made blameless before Him (Eph. 5:26–27). In other words, our lives should be changed by what we know about God.
“The Spirit of God, who is at work in the hearts of Christians, uses the Word of God to transform them into Christlike people.”
In fact, Paul tells us that having our minds renewed by God’s Word produces a lifestyle of worship (Rom. 12:1–2). We think, talk, and act in ways that bear spiritual fruit and therefore please God (Col. 1:10). We aren’t just meant to know the right answers about God; He desires us to obey Him with our lives. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Knowing the Bible should ultimately lead us to a greater obedience to the Lord in all things.
In short, the Bible is powerful and able to change your life from the inside out. No other means is given by God to accomplish such a task. The Spirit of God, who is at work in the hearts of Christians, uses the Word of God to transform them into Christlike people. And so, to neglect the discipline of Bible reading and study is to cut off the very source of spiritual food that you need to live a Christian life. But if you’re like me and have experienced the frustration of not knowing how or where to begin, I pray that this book encourages and instructs you.
Now, if you realize that you’re not a Christian, then I’m really glad you picked up this book! It’s my greatest hope that you would see your need for the Savior, turn from your sins, and trust in Jesus Christ today. Nothing in the world is more important than that!
But if you are a Christian, yet you’re struggling to read and understand your Bible, this book was written for you. It’s a book about how to not just read but truly feast on Scripture. My hope is that you would learn how to eat your Bible.
Summary: The Word of God is sufficient to minister to every part of our condition and has the power to transform us in all the way of godliness. Furthermore, it has the power to change your spirit, mind, emotions, and will.
by Nate Pickowicz
Loving God means loving His Word. If you’re feeling distant from God, could it be because you’re ignoring His Word? But maybe you...
Sign up for our weekly email and get a free download
Sign up for learning delivered to your inbox weekly
Sign up for our weekly email and get a free download