by Rick Warren — February 16, 2017
I was once asked what the best translation of the Bible is. My answer was, “When you translate it into your life.” That’s what Bible study is all about. If you’re not translating God’s Word into your life, you’re not studying the Bible the way God intended.
God gave us the Bible to transform us, not simply inform us. It should give us a bigger heart, not a bigger head. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (NIV).
In other words, God wants our beliefs turned into behavior.
God makes his purpose for the Bible even more explicit in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (NLT).
The purpose of the Bible is more than just showing us what is wrong in our lives or how we should live. God gave us his Word to radically transform our lives.
The Bible describes itself in different ways. For example, it calls itself a hammer, a sword, and a scalpel. All of these are tools designed to make radical changes. God intends for the Bible to dramatically change our lives.
The Bible also describes God’s truth as milk, water, bread, and meat. What do all those things have in common? If you don’t eat or drink them regularly, you’ll die. We were never meant to live without the Bible.
The Bible is essential to our lives because it gives us life. In fact, the Bible also talks about Jesus as the Word of God. John 1:14 says, “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (NLT). God gave you the Living Word, Jesus, to be the author and finisher of your faith, and he gave you the written Word to prepare you to live out your faith.