Those in my faith tradition take the Bible very seriously.  We believe that God the Spirit inspired it-that it is infallible, authoritative and without error.   While we don’t worship the Bible (we worship God) we do revere it.  And we devote a great deal of time to understanding it and attempting to live in light of its teaching.

          Why is the Bible so important?    We may learn of God through our intuitions, our consciences, through general revelation and the insights of wise people.  These can be helpful, but they also contain a mixture of truth and falsehood.  The Bible, on the other hand,  is completely true and has a high level of clarity.  Furthermore, it's illumined in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit.  And it contains so much vital information that we would never know without it.  Yes, we do sometimes disagree about its meaning in a particular passage, but the main message is clear.  We need that clarity-our lives and eternities depend on it.

          It’s also important because it’s transforming.  As the writer to Hebrews says:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)

          Filling our minds and hearts with Scripture (with an open attitude) will transform who we are.  The Spirit uses Scripture to show us ourselves truly, to purify us, to strengthen us, to enlighten us, and so on.  Scripture can melt a hardened heart.

          Scripture is also protective.  In a world full of lies and distortions (the ruler of this world is the “father of lies) we can be easily mislead and distracted.  We’re just not as smart as we think we are.   Scripture pulls us back in safe pasture.  It keeps us on God’s path and shows us sin for what it is (and righteousness for what it is as well).  That’s why Paul calls it “the sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6.

          Finally, Scripture is empowering.  It empowers us to victory over the world, the flesh and the devil.  When God’s Word is used in God’s power it can blow past barricades.  That’s because the Spirit empowers it and because it represents the truth.  God stands behind His Word.  It will not “return to Him empty”.