By The CSB Team.
We need God’s Word for discipleship. In the first part of this blog post, we discussed how God works through the Bible to powerfully change our hearts, reveal our spiritual need, and showcase his redemptive love for us. But what about practical issues? Yes, God’s Word is the ultimate resource for learning about God, but what about learning to follow him?
We’ve been blessed with an abundance of helpful resources about living out the Christian life. But that all needs to flow out of God’s Word. Here’s why.
God’s Word provides a firm foundation
When we disciple others or seek counsel from another person, it’s going to be limited by that person’s experiences and biases. That’s part of being human: we have all lived through different experiences. The perspectives we hold are shaped by the culture we live in, the family we grew up in, and the churches we have or haven’t been part of.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s part of how God created us, and it can foster beautiful connections, moments of empathy and learning. We even see this individualism reflected in the four different gospel accounts or the differences between Paul’s letters and Peter’s.
But there’s a difference: the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible. He inspired Peter and Paul. He inspired Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The unchanging, all-knowing God was guiding and molding their words. So, while their words reflect their individual backgrounds, they’re reflecting the same eternal truth through their varying perspectives.
This makes the Bible a trustworthy foundation for our lives. It’s not built on an unknown viewpoint or bias. It’s not limited to a single human perspective. Instead, it shows the truth and the priorities of God.
Hear how Jesus describes our response to God’s Word:
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).
God’s Word trains us in righteousness
When we read, study, and memorize the Bible, we are soaking up the words of God spoken to us. And, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God continues to speak to us through the Bible.
In 2 Timothy, Paul was writing both to someone he had discipled and to someone who discipled and ministered to others. Hear how he instructs Timothy both for his own growth and for his ministry:
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Notice the range of situations for which Scripture is profitable: “for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.” These are not simply synonyms listed together to sound impressive—this list highlights the range of discipleship needs for which we should run to God’s Word.
- God’s Word is profitable for teaching. It is not too complicated for teaching children or too simple for church leaders.
- God’s Word is profitable for rebuking. Where could we better learn to identify and warn against the lies of sin than by contrasting them with the truth of God?
- God’s Word is profitable for correcting. Consider how many of the letters in the Bible were written for exactly this purpose—to remind a struggling church of the glorious truth of the gospel.
- God’s Word is profitable for training in righteousness. Jesus tells us that we bear fruit as we abide in Him. Where could we begin the daily work of living in obedience to him better than in his Word to us?
God’s Word sustains us
Discipleship that is not rooted in the Word of God will be parched and brittle. We weren’t made to live off of human opinion or human approval. We were made to live in the love and instruction of God, and we experience that most fully through his Word.
In Matthew 4:4, Jesus rebuts the devil’s temptation with these famous words:
“He answered, ‘It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Are we living like this is true? Are we living as if we are dependent on the Word of God even more than we’re dependent on food?
We have God’s Word, a glorious gift, an opportunity for rich relationship with our God.
May God sustain you today through his great gift!
Learn more about the Christian Standard Bible.