Is The Bible Still Relevant Today?


I was having a conversation one day with someone who told me their mother was religious, they felt, to a fault.

I asked them what they meant by that and this is what they said.




For example, when I was younger, if I ever had any kind of problem in life, my mother would say: “Are you reading the Bible for the answer to that problem?” I couldrelationships have been having relationship problems and my mother would say: “Are you reading the Bible for the answer to that?”  It would make me so mad.  What kind of advice is that?  How is the Bible going to help me with relationship problems I'm having in the real world right now?

relevanceI would try to read the Bible, but nothing I read ever had specific relevance to my problem.

I thought long and hard about that conversation. I read the Bible every day and I find amazing and specific relevance to my life. Why is my experience with Bible reading so different than this person’s experiences?

There are several answers to that question and those answers are also found written in the all too relevant pages of the Bible.
We are an impatient society that wants a series of shortcuts to everything in life, particularly when something goes wrong. If we are ill we just want a miracle cure, if we have a relationship issue we want it solved with a single sentence. We look for shortcuts to wealth, health, and happiness, and are frustrated if we are told we cannot get there from here unless we follow a carefully planned out set of procedures that may take a while to accomplish.



Think about an incredibly complex piece of machinery. Let's say that piece of machinery has stopped running and needs to be reset.  That is representative of a problem we may face in life.


We have an operator’s handbook for the machine that gives detailed instructions on how to reset the machine. The instructions detail 20 steps over several pages. We don’t care about any of that though. We just want our machine to run again. Instead of following the reset steps, we skip to the end of the instructions, the last step that says push the power button. We start there and push the button but nothing happens. We get frustrated and throw the manual away, considering it to be meaningless and irrelevant to our circumstances. We say, I guess the problem I’m having with this machine is different than the one they are describing. I tried what the instructions said and it just didn’t work. Maybe that’s how the machines used to function but my machine doesn’t work that way anymore. Those instructions need to be updated, they are no longer valid for us.

That’s how we often approach the relevance of the Bible to the problems we face in life. We hope to just open the book, to any page and the first thing we read gives us the specific answer to our life’s problem, but life doesn’t work that way, the Bible doesn’t work that way, and life in Christ does not work that way.

startThe Bible seems to have no relevance to our lives because we are reading it from a starting point of a wrong perspective.

2 Corinthians 3:14

14 … their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away.

The Bible teaches that the very words written within it cannot be understood by someone who has not opened their heart to Jesus. Without genuine faith in Christ, faith defined the way the Bible defines it, the scriptures cannot be understood.


There must first be a spark of faith when we approach our reading of the Bible, before any relevant gems of wisdom can be garnered from it.

I asked a new Christian if he had been reading his Bible since he became a Christian. He told me, no he hadn’t, he doesn’t like to read it, it’s so difficult to understand and it doesn’t make any sense at all. I said: Why didn’t you tell me this, I’d be happy to read the Bible with you. We sat down with a Bible and I asked him to find one of the passages he didn’t understand. He found one and began to read it. Wait a minute, he said, that makes sense to me, I understand it now. Then he turned to another set of verses saying, this one has never made sense to me. As he began reading, he suddenly stopped again and declared that it now made sense to him as well.

I told him he we were witnessing a relevant example of the Bible coming true right before our eyes because it teaches that it cannot be understood unless we first turn to Christ. Now that you have turned to him, that relationship is providing the understanding and the relevance to the scriptures; just like it said would happen.


The Bible seems to have no relevance to our lives because we don’t know where to find the salient answers.

When a new king took the throne in Israel, the directive from the Lord for the king regarding the scriptures was as follows (Deuteronomy 17:18-20):

18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

In order to fulfill his role as king, he was to first make his own personal copy of the scriptures, written in his own hand, and then read from those scriptures every day. Reading them every day would then begin to change him. He would learn to honor God with his life. He would learn what pleased the Lord in his life. It would keep him in a humble state where he wouldn’t start thinking of himself as better than those he ruled over because of his authoritative position. It would prevent him from making wrong decisions in life, decisions that would lead to heartache and failure.

If you are reading the Bible every day, you gain a fuller understanding of what the whole of God’s directives are saying to you. It’s virtually impossible for someone who is basically unfamiliar with the scriptures, to flip through the pages and hit upon one key verse that solves the current problem they are facing. But an everyday familiarity with it will allow the Holy Spirit to bring to our remembrance a greater range of solutions to the questions we are asking him.

You can’t just flip through the user’s manual and randomly find the instruction to fix a faulty part of that complicated machinery. Life’s problems are often quite complicated and may require a series of steps to fix. Those steps are in the Bible, but must be arrived at in the proper sequence and from the proper starting perspective.

know it all
The Bible seems to have no relevance to our lives because we believe we know more about life than some outmoded text does.

I often think that we feel we are the experts about our lives because we are living those lives; but that is not always true. We often find ourselves facing issues that we have no idea how we got into our how to get out of. The Bible teaches us that if we ever hope to solve those kinds of problems in life, we need the help of the scriptures and the help of the Spirit of God.

Following our own course of action or wisdom is probably how we got into the troubles we face.  We need a greater intellect whose knowledge of life far exceeds our own, to lead us out of the problems we find ourselves faced with in life.


1 Corinthians 2:14

14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Without a relationship with Christ, that frames our perspectives on life, finding solutions in the Bible for the problems we face will seem like a fruitless exercise.

Without a relationship with Christ, the solutions the Bible offers may not make sense or may seem unreasonable for us to follow.

These answers may involve us doing things we don’t want to do or are uncomfortable doing.

They may even seem foolish to us.


That's when the Holy Spirit whispers to us: Just trust me, I know what I'm doing. The Scriptures hold proven solutions to time-tested life’s problems which work every time they are applied and followed.

The pages of the Bible hold relevant answers to all of life’s problems when you know how to look, where to look, and why to look for them in its pages.