It’s finally starting to get colder! My favorite season of the year is undoubtedly fall, but I also really enjoy the cold weather of winter. I always have a test to see if winter is really upon us. When I go outside and it feels cold enough to be winter, there is only one way that I can know for certain that winter is truly here: I can see my breath.
There is something innate within us that desires for us to see our breath. I believe this is because we are spiritual beings and even our flesh desires to see the power behind the very breath that we release. The Bible records God’s breath on two distinct occasions. First, God breathed into man and gave him life. The second instance can be read below:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
One of the most common questions asked to pastors by new believers is “Where do I begin reading in the Bible?” Honestly, it really doesn’t matter. You can start anywhere. Then, you may get a puzzled look along with “Well, over what period of time should I read all this?” Sometime. I know some people read the entire Bible in a year while others spend years studying one passage. “Hmm. Okay. Well, what translation should I read then?” I’ll admit some translations are more accurate to the original wording, but the best translation to read is the one you will actually read. All scripture, regardless of language or dialect, is beneficial to us because it is breathed out by God.
Breathed Out by God:
Recall that the first time we read of God breathing he breathes into man and gives him life. Unfortunately, sin entered man’s life not long after this moment and robbed man of eternal life. So what did God do about this? He breathed again. This time, he breathed out Scripture which contains the power to be born again, to obtain eternal life once more.
We believe that the Bible in it’s original form is inspired (written by the Holy Spirit through men) and infallible (without error). Fortunately for those of us living in modern times, the early church went through a process known as canonization to determine what letters (or books) were Scripture. Sixty-six books made it in. Essentially, all we need to know today is that if it’s in, it’s in; if it’s out, it’s out.
What’s the purpose of continued reading of the Bible? Paul tells us that reading the Bible is important for every believer of God as we are intended to be messengers of this good news to others. Paul says that reading the Bible is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training. Teaching in this context refers to the doctrines or instructions on what is true about life. The Bible provides God’s direct testament of what life should look like for his creation. Reproof, or you may have heard it as rebuke, means that Scripture is capable of fighting off the enemy. With the Bible, we can tell the enemy this is the truth as God has said and it becomes your choice what you do with that. Correction in its truest sense means restoration. We are called to a ministry of restoring believers to whom they were created to be by God. We rebuke the enemy and restore the believer; don’t get it confused. Finally, training can be thought of as disciplining the body or conditioning our flesh. My favorite definition of this word is to create a mental culture. Reading the Bible renews our minds for us. As you can see, reading the Bible is paramount in every area of life for a believer.
Scripture speaks. God speaks (rhema) through his written word (logos). Every page turned gives way to an encounter with the living breathing Word of God. That’s why you can read a passage 1000 times, but today God is saying something to you today. My prayer is for you to receive the spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:17) so that when you read the Bible it doesn’t appear as any other book, but that God would speak to your direct circumstances in life through his written word.
Pastor Zac Breckenridge