The Bible Should Be Read for Practice

“I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-28, NASB)

The Bible should be read for practice. It is a love letter from God, and we must read it to understand His will in order to obey. In today’s passage, Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Thessalonian believers with the final appeal to have it read among them. He writes,

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

The Bible should be read for practice and not theory. There have been way too many Christians who used the Bible for knowledge gain rather than for understanding and doing the will of God. When you read the Bible for anything other than what God had intended then you end up with a distorted view of the Christian life. In the final section, Paul instructed the Thessalonian believers, “I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.” Here is a clear indication that Paul intended his writing to be practiced and not to be theorized. It says that Paul wrote these words to the “brethren” (believers) as a “letter” and not some book, thesis, dissertation, textbook, or novel. What does it mean to read it as a “letter?” What is your purpose for writing a letter and how is it different from writing a book? How does today’s theology change when we study the New Testament as a letter rather than academic literature? It means that the Bible is more practical than we realize. If Paul had written it as an academic work, then we can discuss and critique it. We can put the Bible in a museum to admire it, research it, and write about it. We can even study it as archeology, ancient wisdom, historical document, or a myth. But since Paul wrote it as a letter, we need to simply read it with an open mind to obey it. You can argue about its authenticity, its original Greek, its deep meanings, and its translation and grammatical problems until the cows come home. However, if you do not read it as a letter from a fatherly spiritual leader urging us to be right with God then we have missed the point. We read the Bible for transformation and not just for information. If the Bible simply informs us then it does not help us. James 1:22 says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” And Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Thus, we need to read the Bible for information and it should transform us so that we can be formed into the image of Christ. Information leads to transformation which helps us with our spiritual formation. We read it to practice its teaching and not come up with theories, doctrines, rules, and regulations. The Holy Spirit gives us insights into these words, not to be puffed up in knowledge, but so that we can examine ourselves and become more like Christ. Thus, you do not have to be a scholar, a priest, or a saint to read the Bible. It is a letter of love from God and if you love Him then this letter is for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s