As you’re spending time learning apologetics, it’s crucial that you never stray from reading the Bible. There are many reasons for this (see here and here, for example), and at this year’s Desiring God Conference, John Piper gave this one: “[A]ll the God-exalting joy that we hope to experience now and in the age to come hangs on the truth and power of the Bible.”
Here’s a summary of the five ways he says our joy in God depends on the Bible:
First, there can be no fullness in our joy in God where there is no fullness in the revelation of God’s excellencies. And that fullness is in the Bible. You can’t love him if you don’t know him. And the more fully you know him, the more fully you can love him and treasure him and delight in him. And God knows what kind of revelation and what fullness of revelation is needed to ignite and sustain the fullness of joy that glorifies him most. And that fullness of revelation is in the Bible….
Second, the story of how God acted in history to purchase our release from spiritual deadness, and the bondage of the will, and the wrath of God is only known because of the inspired record of it in the Bible. The power that this story has is possible only because God ordained that it be preserved by his inspired spokesmen in the Bible….
Third, that historical account of God’s saving work in Christ is the instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit by which he makes us alive to the all-satisfying glory of God….
Fourth, the joy of faith is created by the word of God…. The reason there can be no saving faith apart from the Scriptures is they are the only reliable portrait of the Christ of faith. Saving faith is faith in Christ, and Christ is only known through the inspired Scriptures….
Fifth…this joy is attacked and embattled everyday of our lives, until we die or until Christ comes, and its endurance — its perseverance — is only possible because of the Scriptures. We owe not only the creation of the joy of faith to the word, but also its daily survival.
Read, listen to, or watch the rest.