Scriptural Literacy

A devotion on Romans 15:4

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through perseverance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
–Romans 15:4

One-tenth of the world’s population — over 775 million people — is illiterate.

They’re not unable to read or write or do basic mathematics because of any inherent mental deficiency. Instead, poverty, or gender (6 out of 10 illiterate people are women), or systemic prejudice have made education inaccessible.

Illiteracy impacts these people’s daily lives. Children of literate mothers are fifty percent more likely to survive infancy and live past the age of five. Literate people enjoy better health, are more involved in their government, and — according to numerous studies — have more self-confidence than illiterate people.

Today’s verse not only addresses the importance of literacy but also underscores the importance of Scriptural literacy. It is part of a letter Paul wrote to the church in Rome. The three verses immediately preceding it remind the reader that the strong have an obligation to help the weak, rather than focusing solely on themselves.

If you are reading this, you are fortunate. You are literate. God has called you to help the weak (Romans 15:1) and to build up your neighbor (Romans 15:2).

Never stop educating yourself in God’s Word; there you will find all the hope and encouragement you will ever need (Romans 15:4).


Dear God, Thank You for the privileges I enjoy. May I never forget that I have an obligation to those less fortunate than I. Please expand my understanding as I dive deeply into the Scriptures, saturating myself with Your words. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


How Scripturally literate am I? How can I improve my Scriptural literacy?