Understanding the Bible is important because the Bible is God’s Word. When we open the Bible, we read God’s message to us. What could be more important than understanding what the Creator of the universe has to say?
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a man seeks to understand a love letter from his sweetheart. God loves us and desires to restore our relationship with Him (Matthew 23:37). God communicates His love to us in the Bible (John 3:16; 1 John 3:1; 4:10).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a soldier seeks to understand a dispatch from his commander. Obeying God’s commands brings honor to Him and guides us in the way of life (Psalm 119). Those commands are found in the Bible (John 14:15).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a mechanic seeks to understand a repair manual. Things go wrong in this world, and the Bible not only diagnoses the problem (sin) but also points out the solution (faith in Christ). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a driver seeks to understand traffic signals. The Bible gives us guidance through life, showing us the road of safety and wisdom (Psalm 119:11, 105).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason someone in the path of a storm seeks to understand the weather report. The Bible predicts what the end times will be like, sounding a clear warning of impending judgment (Matthew 24-25) and how to avoid it (Romans 8:1).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason an avid reader seeks to understand his favorite author’s books. The Bible reveals to us the person and glory of God, as expressed in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). The more we read and understand the Bible, the more intimately we know the Author.
As Philip was traveling to Gaza, the Holy Spirit led him to a man who was reading a portion of Isaiah. Philip approached the man, saw what he was reading, and asked this very important question: “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:30). Philip knew that understanding was the starting point for faith. Without understanding the Bible, we cannot apply it, obey it, or believe it.