Have you ever heard the saying “Do the bible”. If you have never heard of it, it is short-form of saying ‘Do what is in the bible’. While this advice comes from a good place and is well-meaning…how do I put this gently…it is not right. Let me explain.
The Holy Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus – 2 Timothy 3:15
According to 2 Timothy 3:15, the bible is there to make us wise to deliverance through faith in Christ. Said another way, we are not meant to do the bible, we are to allow the bible to build our faith in Christ so that we may be wise to salvation (deliverance from everything evil and deliverance to everything good).
When we allow the bible to point us towards Christ and grow our faith, we find that the Holy Spirit gives us God’s doctrine, corrects us, gives us a conviction of who we are in Christ (identity and position), and instructs us in the way of righteousness – what God desires to do / guidance from God (see 2 Timothy 3:16).
The bible is there to point us towards intimacy with Christ and is not a rule book for us to try to follow in our own strength
Those who think they can obey the Scriptures in their own strength think they can fulfill the law of God on their own (for the bible contains God’s laws). I have seem many believers try to follow what is in the bible in their own strength to the detriment of their own mental well-being.
To try to fulfill the law of God in our own strength is an exercise in futility that leads to disappointment and allows the enemy to bombard us with guilt, shame, and condemnation – leading to oppression, repression, and depression.
If we could fulfill the law of God in our own strength, then Jesus would not have been needed. Therefore trying to do the bible (to fulfill its laws) is akin to playing Jesus and saying to God that Jesus’ sacrifice was not needed. Indeed, this is prideful and arrogant.
Only the flesh tries to fulfill the law of God in its own strength
The bible describes the flesh as a part of us that desires to do things in our own strength. It neglects God’s strength operating in us through the Holy Spirit and wants to make something of itself. Therefore, the flesh is prideful and arrogant. Without knowing it, its desire is to take the place of God. The flesh substitutes grace through faith in Christ, for works through self-effort.
The flesh works but faith rests
It is tempting to want to rely on the flesh. This is because the flesh does not always want to do evil, it also desires to do good. The problem is that it can never do the good it desires to do. While it may desire to do good, it ends up producing evil. That’s why nothing good lies in the flesh.
Apostle Paul warns us about the folly of relying on the flesh. He says not to be bewitched and foolish. He tells us that there is no way we can be perfected through the efforts of the flesh (See Galatians 3).
The purpose of the bible is to lead us to faith and not to lead us to self-effort. Therefore, don’t try to do the bible BUT let the bible build your faith in Christ. The choice is yours: Flesh or Faith.
If you are try to do the bible, you are trying to rely on your flesh. If you allow the bible to build you faith, you won’t try to do the bible for the Holy Spirit will do the bible for you and through you.