Two More Benefits to Reading the Bible Sequentially

This summer I wrote a post on benefits of sequential Bible reading and got a lot of  help from the comments on it. It’s still true that the Bible is the source of our faith and needs to be read daily.

Now that winter break is here I’ve had time to read a bit more. I’m currently reading Life Together, a short book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Christian who lived around the time of WWII.

Bonhoeffer  clearly presents two more reasons to read the Bible consecutively that weren’t mentioned in my first post (although the second point was brought up in the comments).

I thought you’d enjoy reading them:

1. Sequential reading is first and foremost for our salvation.

Consecutive reading of the Biblical books forces everyone who wants to hear to put himself, or to allow himself to be found, where God has acted once and for all for the salvation of men. We become a part of what once took place for our salvation.  Forgetting and losing ourselves, we, too, pass through the Red Sea, through the desert, across the Jordan into the promised land. With Israel we fall into doubt and unbelief and through punishment and repentance experience again God’s help and faithfulness. All this is not mere reverie but holy, godly reality. We are torn out of our own existence and set down in the midst of the holy history of God on earth. There God dealt with us, and there He still deals with us, our needs and our sins, in judgment and grace. It is not that God is the spectator and sharer of our present life, howsoever important that is; but rather that we are the reverent listeners and participants in God’s action in the sacred story, the history of the Christ on earth. And only in so far as we are there, is God with us today also…In this light the whole devotional reading of the Scriptures becomes daily more meaningful and salutary. What we call our life, our troubles, our guilt, is by no means all of reality; there in the Scriptures is our life, our need, our guilt, and our salvation. Because it pleased God to act for us there, it is only there that we shall be saved. Only in the Holy Scriptures do we learn to know our own history. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God and Father of Jesus Christ and our Father.

2. Sequential reading is for others’ sake.

It might be asked further: How shall we ever help a Christian brother and set him straight in his difficulty and doubt, if not with God’s own Word? All our own words quickly fail. But he who like a good “householder…bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old” (Matt. 13:52), he who can speak out of the abundance of God’s word, the wealth of directions, admonitions, consolations of the Scriptures, will be able through God’s Word to drive out demons and help his brother. There we leave it. “Because from childhood thou has known the holy scriptures, they are able to instruct you unto salvation” (2 Tim 3:15, Luther’s tr.)

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