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If we study Scripture for the wrong reasons, we risk pride and self-righteousness. Reading the Bible through the lens of the cross helps us understand Scripture in context and teaches us humility and hope.
What is your motivation for reading the Bible?
The first and correct answer of course is to know God. However, perhaps more than any spiritual discipline, Bible study can become a blind pursuit of self-righteousness. Our quest for the knowledge of God can subtly become a way in which we compare ourselves to other Christians. We can come to believe that our great knowledge of Scripture means that we are spiritually mature. J.I. Packer, in his classic work Knowing God, writes,
We need to ask ourselves: What is my ultimate aim and object in occupying my mind with these things?