Part 1, 2, and 3.
Q: What do the scriptures principally teach?
A: The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
Joshua 1:18 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
I have always loved to read. Growing up, I would read just about anything that had words. If we set down for breakfast, I read the cereal box. I loved reading mysteries, fantasy, and science fiction. Today, I love reading about history, political theory, and biographies. Reading for me can be a way to unwind, to be entertained, or to just past the time. Some of you might be able to relate to that. Others may think I am nuts. Reading is always a chore to them. They hated it in school and they don’t read unless they really have to now. Whether you love to read or hate to read, some of it comes down to natural temperament and some of it comes down to training
Unlike other books which may serve to entertain, to inform and educate, to unwind, or to spark your interest, the Bible is different. It is not that it can’t do all of the things mentioned, but rather it has a greater purpose. Its purpose it to show us what we ought to believe. It is designed by God to be our foundation. It teaches you what to believe about God. Because it teaches us that He is creator, it also teaches us what to believe about creation and, therefore, what we ought to believe about ourselves. The Bible has a purpose and our reading it should be with that purpose in mind. We read it to learn what to believe and that means we must read it with faith looking for faith. Though we do not deserve it, God has not left us to grope about in darkness trying to figure out what we ought to believe. He has given us His word.
Notice in the catechism that belief comes before duty. This is because without belief, without faith, it is impossible to please God. Our belief leads to what we do. And we can only do our duty if we believe what God has told us. Therefore, because the Bible is this foundational, then we ought to heed the words of Joshua. We must not let this book depart from us. It does not matter whether you are naturally disposed to reading or not, the Bible should never be far from you. We ought to read it, dwell on it, and think about it both in the day and at night. In doing so, we will know what to believe and how to live. It comes with this promise: Read it, believe it, and do it, and then you will know true prosperity and have real success.