Young men and young ladies, I urge you to read the Bible as the guide of your life. American education originated in the desire to equip young people to read the Bible. Please consider a few reasons this is so important for your life.
1. I urge you to read the Bible because it is the only book in all the world given to us by the guidance of God. “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Every word God gave in Scripture is true and right. The Bible is the infallible Word of God.
2. I urge you to read the Bible because it is the only book in all the history of the world protected and preserved by the providence of God. Both the Old and New Testaments contain God’s promise that he will protect his Word. “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:24-25; Isa. 40:7-8). God preserves his Word so that each generation can have the opportunity to read it. He wants you to read it.
3. I urge you to read the Bible to learn the way of salvation. That is its main theme. We learn in Genesis 3 that our greatest problem is sin. God promised to send a Savior through the seed of Abraham: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). The Old Testament further explains God’s promise of a Savior:
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:4-6).
In the New Testament, read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to learn about the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31).
To better understand the way of salvation, read the Great Commission and the book of Acts. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). The book of Acts records how the gospel was first spread and how men received it. Read Romans through Revelation to learn how we are to live, worship, and serve God in the way of salvation.
4. There are many other reasons to read the Bible. Read Genesis 2:24 and other passages to learn God’s plan for true married love. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” If you make God’s Word the foundation of your marriage, your home will be one of the greatest blessings of your life. Read Proverbs to learn words of wisdom which apply to every aspect of life. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (1:7). “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (14:34). “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (20:1). Read Ecclesiastes to learn the true meaning of life. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (12:13-14).
I urge you to read the Bible with confidence that you can understand the one book in the world given by your Creator to guide you through life and to give you eternal life. God designed the Bible so that when we read it, we can understand his Word (Eph. 3:4). Young man, young lady, read the Bible as your guide in life!
(This article gives the gist of my remarks as one of the speakers on the Baccalaureate Program at Columbia High School on 21 May 1995. Our second son, David, graduated on 26 May.)
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Truth Magazine Vol. XLIV: 24 p1 December 21, 2000