QUESTION 1: What is the purpose of the Bible?
Do you know this? Does the answer come flowing out of your heart and mouth with confidence and ease?
Honestly, if you have been listening to the preaching of the Southwest Church of Christ for the last year and half and can not answer this question, I have failed you.
You knowing this is SO IMPORTANT to me. Why? Because you knowing Jesus is so important to me. My love for God and my love for you wants you to know Jesus - his heart, character, mission, priorities - and his gospel message SO BAD. And the Bible is the authoritative, Holy Spirit inspired guide to him. But if you approach the Bible for some purpose other than what it is meant to give you, you will miss it.
So…memorize this answer. And more importantly, remember it as you read scripture. Need a verse? There are legions, but my favorite is John 5:39-40.
ANSWER: To point people to life in and like Christ.
QUESTION 2: How are you to read scripture?
Do you know this? Are the lenses through which you are to approach the Bible embedded in your mind?
This, too, is SO IMPORTANT to me. Why? Because if you are going to engage the Bible in the way that the God wants you to, you need to know. If you are going to extract from the Bible what the Bible intends, then you need to read the Bible in the way that it instructs.
One of the worst things ever (not an exaggeration) is when people committed to the Bible and doing what it says read the Bible through incorrect lenses. Why? Because then they think the Bible says something that it doesn’t, and it is not because they did not read actual words in the Bible, it is that they interpreted them incorrectly, and are going around teaching these unintended, erroneous conclusions with the zeal and force of someone who thinks they have gotten a word from God. Empty religion comes from this, but authentic Christianity does not.
So... memorize this answer. And more importantly, use it as you read scripture and unlock a world of goodness, joy, righteousness, peace and life. Need a verse? Again, my favorites are Matthew 22:36-40, Luke 24, 27, and 2 Timothy 3:15-16.
ANSWER: With the lenses of story, wisdom, and love.
Today, I'll model this for you using a parable of Jesus.