Why do I Need to Read Spiritual Books Besides the Bible?
Some people have the concept that they only need to read the Bible; and there is no need to read other spiritual books. If the Bible alone is good enough for you then that is great. But that isn’t the case for everyone. The Bible should always have the highest place among all books. The spiritual books we are talking about should open up the Bible and bring us back to the Bible. There are so called "spiritual books” that fall short of this. Some are a mix of our concepts and advice and they are more self-help than spiritual. We aren’t saying these other types of books shouldn’t be read, but they are not the books we are defining as spiritual. We are talking about books that are spiritually weighty in scriptural exposition, in the light of the truth, or in the supply of life.
In the Bible itself there is a very good example of a person needing help to understand the scriptures. In principle this shows the role of spiritual books in relation to our reading of the Bible. There is an example of a person needing help to understand the scriptures. In Acts chapter 8:26-31 there is an Ethiopian man who came to Jerusalem to worship and he was reading the book of Isaiah. An apostle of Jesus, Philip, was led by the Spirit to this man reading and said to him "Do you really know the things that you are reading?". The Ethiopian man replied to him "How could I unless someone guides me?".
This passage shows us that the Bible alone may not be enough for us to really know what we are reading in the Bible and we may need some help. We all desire to have revelation from God when reading His Word and the first step is understanding of God's Word. For this we may need help. This help may come in many forms, one of which is spiritual books.
We are broadened by other people's perspectives and experiences. As believers, we all don't have the same portion, function, and gift from the Lord and we need each other. This is why Paul likens the believers to members of Christ's Body [1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30; Rom 12:4] and the experience of a "foot" is different from that of a "hand".
We are also warned that there are some who may lead us astray and to be watchful of these ones [Matt. 24:4, Matt. 24:11]. So this leads us to consider how do we know which spiritual Christian books we should read. We cover some principles on finding good spiritual books to read in this next article.