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All people everywhere at some time in their lives recognize that they have spiritual needs. They need guidance and direction to find hope for eternity and answers to the questions of life.
Many learned men do not even attempt to provide answers for the meaning and purpose of life and other serious spiritual questions. If they do try, they cannot prove their answers are right or wrong, and they often contradict one another.
Jeremiah 10:23 - The way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
You need to find and study a source of spiritual direction and guidance from someone who really knows the answers. [Isaiah 55:8,9]
Psalms 119:105 - Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
John 17:17 - Your word is truth.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Bible teaching affirms that belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ and Christian teaching will give the spiritual direction you need to show you the meaning and purpose of life. It claims that you can find these answers in God's word if you will diligently study the Scriptures.
Why should you spend your time and effort to understand Bible teaching?
Consider these reasons why belief in Bible doctrine is important to you:
Note: See the links at the end of this article for more free studies of topics regarding Bible doctrine, spiritual guidance, and Christian teaching.
Most people wonder about the origin of the earth and mankind. But often they are confused because they have been told we evolved from "lower animals," which came from simpler organisms, all the way back to some original life form.
Evolution requires that non-living matter produced the first life form by chance where there was no life before. But what we see around us is that life comes only from life. This is called the "Law of Biogenesis."
Evolution says that all life forms evolved from the first life. But human experience and the fossil record both confirm that living things reproduce "after their own kind." The offspring of a fish is another fish, not a snake, bird, or man. The "missing links" - fossils of organisms halfway between the kinds of plants or animals we have now - are all still missing!
Why do we appreciate beauty in art, music, and poetry? Why do we have a conscience and a sense of morals? Why do we possess rational thought so superior to animals?
Acts 17:24,25,28 - God made the world and everything in it. Life came from the living God.
Genesis 1:11,12,21-28 - The different kinds of life exist because God created them with the power to reproduce after their own kind (cf. Ex. 20:11; Heb. 4:4).
Genesis 1:26,27 - Man is different from the animals because we did not evolve from animals. We were made with unique characteristics that God possesses.
The Bible agrees with what we see around us. Surely it deserves your serious study.
When people think no one cares, they may become discouraged or even think life is not worth living. Consider what the Bible says about God's care for us.
Matthew 10:29-31 - God cares for even the least animal, so that He knows everything that happens to it. If so, think how much He must care about what happens to us. He knows even how many hairs you have.
Matthew 6:25-33 - God values us more than He does birds and flowers, yet He feeds and clothes them. Surely He will care for us, if we will serve Him.
James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from the Father. Every blessing we receive shows that God cares about us.
Hebrews 13:5,6 - God will not fail nor forsake us. Men may fail, mistreat, or disappoint us. Not God. He always remains faithful to us, provided that we remain faithful to Him.
The Bible clearly affirms that God loves every human being (John 3:16). Surely you need to understand what the Bible says about God's care for you.
[Matt. 7:7-11; Psa. 23; Rom. 8:28; Phi. 4:6,7.]
Most people would think it a great honor to be a child of some important person in history. Consider then how great a blessing it would be if you were a child of God Himself.
1 Timothy 3:15 - The house (family) of God is the church. [Ephesians 2:19]
1 John 3:1,2 - God is willing to make us His children. This indicates His love for us.
Matthew 12:47-50 - Whosoever does the will of the Father is Jesus' brother, sister, etc.
1 Peter 1:22,23 - We are born again (into God's family) by obeying the truth, the word of God.
Galatians 3:26,27 - To become children of God we must believe in Jesus enough to obey in baptism (cf. John 1:12; 3:3,5; Rom. 6:4).
How wonderful to be a child of the King of the Universe! Surely we ought to study the Bible to understand how to receive this great blessing.
Surely everyone wants to understand the real purpose for life. Why do you exist, anyway?
Some pursue riches and material possessions: a bigger house, newer car, nicer clothes and furniture.
Some pursue pleasure - entertainment, recreation, travel, etc. Life has no higher purpose than "fun, fun, fun." "Wine, women, and song." "Be a party animal." "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
Some pursue education. They seek to accumulate knowledge and worldly wisdom.
There may be some wholesome activities in these areas, but is there really no higher goal in life? Surely the benefits are temporary and incomplete at best.
The average American has achieved these goals to a greater degree than most people in history, yet our society is filled with crime, suicide, mental illness, drug addiction, and unhappiness. Are these the signs of fulfillment? There must be something more.
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; 12:13,14 - Solomon experienced the pinnacle of enjoyment in every aspect of life: wealth, pleasure, and wisdom. Did it satisfy? It was all "vanity and vexation of spirit" (2:11).
Then he learned the real purpose of life: "Fear God and keep His commands" (12:13).
Matthew 6:19-24,33 - The real goal of life is to work in God's kingdom and be right before Him. God created man for a purpose. Life is meaningless unless we fulfill that purpose.
Each of us can fulfill the purpose for which God created us, but first we must diligently study the Bible.
Most people know they have done wrong. At times we all feel a strong sense of guilt.
Romans 3:23 - God is also concerned about the wrongs we do. In His eyes, we have all sinned (Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:8,10). For our sins, we deserve to be punished (Rom. 6:23).
Luke 19:10 - God cares about us so much that He sent His own Son to earth to seek and save lost men.
Romans 5:6-9 - Sinful men deserved to be punished, but because He loves us, God sent His Son to suffer so we could escape punishment. Jesus paid this price for all men (1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; John 3:16).
Every one of us needs our burden of guilt removed, but there is no way to accomplish that except through Jesus (Acts 4:12; John 14:6). And the Bible is the only book that can tell us how to receive God's forgiveness. Surely this book deserves our attention.
People often wonder what comes after death. Will we be rewarded eternally, or is death the end of our existence? The Bible also answers these questions.
Hebrews 9:27 - It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.
2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. [Acts 17:30,31]
Someday Jesus will return and all the dead will be raised (John 5:28,29; 1 Cor. 15:12-26). Then we will face the consequences of our lives.
Matthew 25:31-46 - As a result of the judgment, the wicked will go into everlasting punishment but the righteous into life eternal.
1 Peter 1:3,4 - Those who please God will receive an incorruptible, undefiled inheritance, reserved for us in heaven. To receive this reward we must be "begotten" as God's children.
How does one become a child of God? By faith, repentance, confession, and baptism (Gal. 3:26,27; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 1:16; 10:17; 6:3,4). Then one must remain faithful to make his calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:3-11).
Surely these are questions that should concern every one of us. The Bible claims that it is the guidebook given by God to answer these questions.
The Bible is a book worthy of your study. We urge you to be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures daily with a ready mind (Acts 17:11).
Copyright 1998, David E. Pratte
Local churches and individuals may, within limits, distribute this Bible study guide for free, but not for sale. Web sites may link to this page but not reproduce it. For details click here for our copyright guidelines.
Why Do We Need
Forgiveness of Sins?
The Meaning & Purpose of Life
The Claims of the Bible
Why So Much Religious Confusion and Disagreement?
Divine Authority vs. Human Authority in Religion
Can We Understand the Bible?
Evidences for God, Jesus, & the Bible
Life after Death, Resurrection, Judgment
The Consequences of Evolution
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.