Hopelessly adrift in the fog of your own opinions, the waves of unproven theories and the latest speculation beating against your boat, you float aimlessly in an ocean of doubt. This would be your spiritual experience if you didn’t have the Bible. We have many wants which we often describe as needs. You can live a meaningful life without your phone, social media, coffee, or even a comfortable bed. But if you live without the truth of God, you are in serious difficulty, adrift without a paddle.
The Scriptures are an absolute necessity, because there is no way for you to know God apart from divine revelation of truth. Romans 1 says that nature testifies to an awareness of God, but that is different from a personal knowledge of God. Creation (general revelation) tells you there is a God; but the truth revealed in the Scriptures (special revelation) is required for you to know Him personally, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. “You have been born again… through the living and abiding word of God” (1Peter 1:23, ESV). You cannot enjoy life from God without the truth of the Scriptures. It is the blood of Christ that has secured your redemption and it is the Word of God that provides you with certainty. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1John 5:13, ESV).
First Corinthians 2 speaks of God’s “hidden wisdom.” “No eye has seen, nor ear heard.” “But,” Paul says, “God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit” (1Cor 2:10). That revelation of God’s hidden wisdom has been recorded in the Scriptures. In the Scriptures, “we have the mind of Christ” (1Cor 2:16). This is why Calvin spoke of the Scriptures as spectacles, because, by them, we see ourselves, the world around us, and God Himself more clearly.
The means of your receiving life from God, then, is also the means of your growing in that life from God. You need the Bible. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4, ESV). The Spirit that lives within you will use your reading and knowledge of the Scriptures to make your life more pleasing to God. “When we hear the word spiritual, we may think of being quiet and contemplative, or demonstrative in worship, or spontaneous, or full of God-language …These are fine characteristics, but on their own they certainly don’t make you spiritual, not by the Bible’s definition. The spiritual person understands spiritual truths (1Cor 2:13), whereas the natural (unspiritual) person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, ‘for they are folly to him’ (v14) … No matter how much you like angels … or how much you believe in miracles, if you do not understand, cherish, and embrace the cross, you are not a spiritual person … Only by listening to the Spirit speaking through the Scriptures can we know the love of God and be truly spiritual.” The Scriptures are enough (April), authoritative (May), and necessary.