Summary: This sermon is designed to encourage seekers and believers to read the Bible.

The Owners Manual

Living by the Book Series #1 / January 9, 2000 /

Dr. Marty Baker

The importance of proper vehicle maintenance is no secret. Every owner’s manual has a section entitled "Maintaining Your Car," which provides an upkeep schedule designed to assure optimal performance and longevity. Periodically, the oil and air filter should be changed, the tires rotated, the undercarriage lubricated, and various parts routinely replaced. The list goes on and on, and people who want to maintain their cars conscientiously heed such advice.

But maintenance is the key to more than optimal car performance. It’s also essential to optimal human performance. And if a car needs an owner’s manual to define proper maintenance, so do we. Fortunately, we have one - the Bible. This owners manual provides a "Maintenance Law" which tells you how to maintain a level of peak performance in your lives through a wisely designed upkeep schedule.

But the problem is that many people do not take advantage of its direction. The Barna Research group says that 93% of Americans own a Bible, but only 12% read it every day. Only one in seven read it at least once a month.1 Why don’t people read the Bible?

The Reasons People Do Not Read the Bible ...

1. People think the Bible is archaic and out of date.

They say that it may speak to another generation, but here’s a serious question whether it has anything to say to this present generation.

People do not read the Bible because

2. People doubt the Bible’s Credibility.

No other book has stood the test of time like the Bible. Year after years, people have tried to stamp out its message, but its power is still progressing.

The Bible it has been banished in countries; It has been burned; and skeptics have criticized it. But, these skeptics have come and they have gone, but the Word of the Lord still stands forever.

In the 1800’s, Voltaire, the French Atheists said that within a 100 years after his death that the Bible would cease to exist from the face of the earth. The beauty is that the home in which he made that statement is owned by the Geneva Bible Society and they use it as a printing press to send Bibles all over the world.

No matter who stands against it, no matter what is said against it, Karl Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people. The Communist countries banned the proclamation and the reading and the study of His Word. But, now we see Communism fall, but the Word of the Lord still stands in the earth. I believe in the Bible is credible because of the

Historical Accounts, Testimony of Fulfilled Prophecy, Superiority of its teachings, and it has Revolutionized my life

The Reasons People Do Not Read the Bible ...

3. People do not know how to read the Bible.

I am speaking about technique. They do not understand the history, the figurative nature, or the setting of the Bible. Somewhere along the line, they decided to leave the deep study to Ministers.

4. People do not have time.

Where does the Bible fit in your list of priorities? It takes the average reader about 80 hours to read the Bible through. Just think if you read 30 minutes a day, you would complete the entire Bible by June 1st.

I have been through periods of my life where I have been very lacks in my Bible study and at other times I have been very disciplined. For the last five years, I have been very disciplined. The Bible continues to change my life.

This morning I want to share with you several reasons why I believe that the reading the Bible can change your life too.

Why I Study the Bible?

1. Teaches me about God and his plan for my life.

The Bible is God’s written revelation of his will to men. Its central theme is salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible contains sixty-six books, written by forty authors, covering a period of approximately sixteen hundred years.

The authors were kings and princes, poets and philosophers, prophets and statesmen. Some were learned in all the arts of the times and others were unschooled fishermen. Other books soon are out of date, but this book spans the centuries.

The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew (with a few short passages in Aramaic). About a hundred years before the Christian Era the entire Old Testament was translated into the Greek language. The New Testament was written in Greek.

The Old Testament begins with God.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The new Testament begins with Christ.

Matthew 1:1

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

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