As you set your reading goals for this new year, please remember there is only one book you must read. As John Piper writes:
I have never called any book a “must-read” except one, the Bible. I suppose that’s because I take the word “must” so seriously. I mean, “Must,” or you perish. “Must,” in order to make it to heaven.
Now there you go, turning salvation by grace into salvation by works. Salvation by Bible reading!
Probably anyone who responds like that is not very saturated with the Bible. For the Bible makes plain that there is a practical, ongoing “holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14), and that this holiness is produced by the Holy Spirit through the word of God. Hence Jesus prays for us, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
This is how we confirm that we are truly his disciples, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31). And if we are not found to be his holy disciples in the end, we will perish. This is what Paul meant when he said, “I warn you . . . that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).
The truth of God, rising continually through the roots of faith planted in God’s word, is the way God keeps Christians alive and enables them to bear the faith-authenticating fruit of love, so that they will not be castaways in the last day. This is the essence of why I say the Bible is a “must-read” — the only must read.
Piper then goes on to give 7 inspiring reasons to read the Bible. I can’t list them here, as most of them consist of a long sentence. But Piper’s reflections are motivating and worth considering.
HT: Andy Cimbala