Only 1/3 of Americans read their Bible once a week.
That means even fewer than 1/3 of all Americans read their Bible daily or make Bible study a regular practice in life.
This statistic is very telling.
What’s even more telling is that only 1/4 of Americans believe that you can take the Bible literally, word-for-word. As a nation we have ceased to believe the Bible is the literal word of God.
That God’s holy mouth spoke into the ear of the saints old who copied those words down that now comprise our Bible.
And yet, so many people who call themselves Christians today have somehow drifted away from the notion that the Bible is more than just a good book to read once in a way, but that it is central to our faith. It is what our entire faith rests upon.
But is reading the Bible enough?
Is simply reading a few verses, or even a chapter a day, enough to keep a spirit thriving and growing?
The answer is no. It is not enough for a person to read the Bible. If reading alone, or even study of the Bible, were enough to change a life and help the spirit thrive and grow, Jesus would have had no reason to rebuke the Pharisees.
As a matter of fact, many atheists and followers of cults have actually read and studied the Bible. And yet they remain in their delusion.
Furthermore, the devil himself can quote portions of the Bible.
Here are 5 reasons why Christians should not read the Bible
1. Reading the Bible does not make you a Christian
Reading the Bible no more makes one a Christian than reading a user manual will make you a Buick. It may make you more informed about Christianity, it make even make you more aware of God, but it will not make you a Christian. Acknowledging your sin, allowing the blood of Jesus to cleanse your heart, and accepting Christ to govern your daily life makes you a Christian.
To that point, reading the Bible will not make you a better Christian or a growing Christian. While growing Christians read the Bible, reading the Bible will not make you grow.
What makes you grow is when you apply what you’ve read in the Bible and invest in your daily relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Reading the Bible will not make you a better person.
There is great power in the Word of God, but reading the Bible will not make you a better person.
If you want Jesus Christ to change your life, you must become born again.
Reading God’s Word may open your eyes to understand the power of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but a true life change comes when repent, put our faith in Jesus Christ and then begin actively molding our lives to the truths and principles of God’s Word.
James said that we must be doers of the Word, not just hearers. When we start putting the Word of God into action, we become fully aware of how lost we really are and how much we need grace for every minute of our day!
3. Reading the Bible will not protect you from suffering.
There are many bitter and ill-informed people out there who, for some reason, believed that reading the Bible would be their talisman against suffering.
The Bible is not a magic charm that wards off suffering in our lives. The Bible is filled with stories of heroes of the faith who endured suffering: Job lost everything, Joseph spent time in prison, David was hounded by Saul, Paul was beaten, shipwrecked and imprisoned, and all but one of the apostles were martyred.
This pattern of suffering in the Christian life continues throughout history, even to today where Christians are being persecuted and martyred for their faith.
The difference between Christian suffering and the suffering in an unbeliever’s life is that we have faith that God is using this suffering for a greater purpose.
Furthermore, we know that while God allows suffering, He does protect us from the strategy of the enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy us.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28
4. Reading the Bible will not earn your brownie points with God.
God does not have a holy ranking system in heaven, by which He measures the level of your spirituality by the things you do. Reading your Bible, prayer, and other Christian disciplines will not earn you points with God.
Reading the Bible is the first step in spiritual growth.
We don’t read the Bible for God, we read the Bible for us – so that we will get to know God on a deeper level, so that we will know how we are to live, so that we will learn how to make wise choices based on Scripture, and so that we will recognize deception when it comes our way.
There are no brownie points with God.
Ephesians makes it clear that God chose us, even before He created the world. Even when we were still walking in sin, He chose us. He loved us. And He can’t love us anymore than He does right now.
5. Reading the Bible wont make God do something for you.
Have you ever done this? “God, if you will just give me that job I’ll read my Bible every single day for the rest of my life!”
Chances are, even if you do get the job, you wont follow through with your end of the bargain.
Reading the Bible wont make God do things for you. God can’t be bartered with and reading His Word isn’t a bargaining chip with Him.
Even more, God wont give you special favors because you read the Bible everyday. If you’ve read through the Bible each year for the past 10 years, God still wont give you special favors. He doesn’t work that way!
Anytime God causes something to work in our favor, it is His grace. We can’t earn that favor by anything we do, because there are not enough righteous things that we can do that will ever tip the scales in our favor! There is not enough good that will ever outweigh the bad we’ve done.
The only thing that gives us favor with God is the blood of Jesus Christ.
So, no, reading the Bible is not enough for a Christian to thrive and grow spiritually.
We must do so much more!
A thriving, growing Christian is a Christian who takes what he’s read, applies it to His life, and allows the Word of God to be the final authority for how he should live.
More than a guidebook
More than an instruction manual
The Bible is more than just a suggested way of life. It is what God expects and commands of every person who dares call himself by Christ’s name.
This is why each month I make available for you the Read Through the Bible in 365 Days Challenge.
This Bible reading and prayer journal does more than just offer a reading plan.
It provides worksheets that will help you take God’s Word and plant it deep in your heart until it becomes a lifestyle for you.