Purposes of Scripture

What is the purpose of the written Word (scripture)?

  • To testify of Christ, revealing Him as both a sinless man who tabernacled among us and as the eternal God who was there in the beginning and who created all things. To describe his attributes, nature, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. These things were written so that we can know and identify Him and know and identify His voice.
    • You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me – John 5:39
    • The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. – Revelation 1:1-2
    • John 1:1-18, Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-20, Rev 19:11-16, John 10:27
  • To provide us eyewitness accounts of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection
    • For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. – 2 Peter 1:16-18
    • What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. – 1 John 1:1-3
    • “For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.” – Acts 22:15
  • To give wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus – 2 Tim 3:15
    • and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
  • To lead us to belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God – John 20:30-31
    • Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
  • Spirit-breathed and Living words to constantly lead and redirect us to the Life who is Christ:
    • It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. – John 6:63
    • Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” – John 6:68
  • To guide us and prepare us with faithful and true words, for He Himself is called “The Word of God” and “Faithful and True”. All that He says is true and will come to pass.
    • And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” – Rev 21:5
    • And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. – Rev 22:6
    • And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True – Rev 19:11
    • He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. – Rev 19:13
  • To teach, reprove, correct, train in righteousness, to help the man of God be complete, and to equip (prepare) the man of God for every good work – 2 Tim 3:17
    • All Scripture is inspired by God (God-breathed) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
  • To nourish our faith
    • In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. – 1 Tim 4:6
  • As written instruction for us so that we would not make the same mistakes Israel did during the exodus and wilderness when they ate the same spiritual food and drink (Christ) – namely that we would not crave evil things, not be idolators, not act immorally, not try the Lord, and not grumble – 1 Cor 10:1-12
    • For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
  • To divide the soul and spirit and judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. To help us know and identify what being led of the Spirit looks like vs. what the deeds of the flesh look like.
    • For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. – Hebrews 4:12-13, Galatians 5:19-21, Galatians 5:22-23
  • To instruct us and encourage us so that we might have hope – Romans 15:4
    • For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
  • To comfort us – 1 Thes 4:18
    • Therefore comfort one another with these words
      To feed and nourish and sustain us so that we may grow and mature in our relationship with the Lord and our dependence upon Him. His words are life-giving.
    • like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord – 1 Peter 2:2-3
  • To provide a standard of sound doctrine for the church to follow – 1 Tim 6:3-5
    • If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
  • To hear the words of Christ so that we may act on them in order to wisely build the foundation of our lives
    • Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall. – Matt 7:24-28
  • So that we might not sin
    • My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin – 1 John 2:1
  • As part of the armor of God to help us stand firm against the schemes of the devil and resist in the evil day. The word of God is a sword and an offensive weapon, however it is double-edged and capable of cutting the holder as well when being used. It should always be used in love – Eph 6:10-17
    • Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
  • To communicate the apostolic tradition, commands, and teachings for the church to follow, given to and spoken through the Apostles but from Jesus Christ Himself and His authority – 2 Peter 3:1-2, 2 Thes 2:15, 1 Thes 4:1-2, 1 Thes 4:15, 2 Thes 3:14-15
    • This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
    • So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
    • Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
    • For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
    • If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
    • (Footnote) – Paul as an Apostle sent from Christ and his authority, by default uses the authority of Jesus through the Holy Spirit to give commands and instructions in his letters to the churches which make up our scripture and Bible (Peter affirms Paul’s letters as scripture in 2 Peter 3:16). All scripture is God-breathed. Paul reaffirms in many places that his commands are from Jesus himself (1 Cor 14:37, 2 Thes 3:6, 2 Thes 3:12), however Paul is also careful to point out instruction that he did not receive from Jesus as a command (1 Cor 7:25, 2 Cor 8:8, Cor 7:6).
  • As instruction on how to conduct oneself in the church, the household of God – 1 Tim 3:15
    • but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
  • To bless those that read, hear, and heed/observe the prophecy of Revelation of Jesus Christ – Rev 1:3
    • Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
  • To enlighten the path that we should walk – Psalms 119:105
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