About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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 No Knowledge No Understanding


When I came to a real saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in February, 1970, the very first thing the Lord impressed on me was the importance of the Bible.  So, the very next day I bought myself a brand new Bible and started reading it immediately.  I soon discovered that just reading wasn't sufficient.  To properly understand what I was reading I needed to get my nose right into the pages of the Bible and study it.  For me, because I am legally blind, that's literally what I did, and still do.  The tip of my nose often turns black with ink as it scrapes its way across the printed page as I read.


The simple fact is that one can't understand anything without first knowing what needs to be understood.  First comes knowledge, then comes understanding.  Biblical knowledge which leads to Biblical  understanding can't be obtained from a casual reading of the Bible.  


I maintain that too many Christians and church groups are Biblically  illiterate these days.  In many respects Christians have afflicted themselves with the "dumbing down" mentality that has infected the world around us.  This infection is killing us as Christians and as the church.  If this infectious disease is allowed to spread, those Christians and church groups so infected can certainly expect a shortened spiritual life span.   


I recently encountered a non-Christian who had never heard of the Biblical account of David and Goliath.  For me, that was hard to believe.  I grew up in an age where even non-Christians knew of such Biblical accounts, but that's no longer the case.  We've pretty well pushed all Biblical content from our societal consciousness.  


A Christian of 20 years once asked me if he should start reading the Bible.  After talking with him for a while, it was obvious that he had no Biblical knowledge, let alone Biblical understanding.  How one can claim to have given his life to Jesus and ignore what Jesus says is beyond me.  My guess is that he really didn't give his life to Jesus.  He only chose to believe what was preached to him, and I wonder what that was.  I felt like screaming at him but didn't.  I politely told him that it was definitely time for him to start reading the Bible.     


The Bible is our spiritual food, our road map for life, the source for hearing from the Lord, and more.  It gives the knowledge base that leads to understanding the way our Lord wants us to live. 


Not all people view the Bible in this light.  So-called liberal theologians took all aspects of the supernatural out of the Bible decades ago.  For this reason they don't believe the Bible is God's inspired Word.  That means they can't believe in the Deity of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, and His resurrection and ascension.  Instead, they view Jesus and the Bible as just one of many sources of  moral teaching.    


There's a growing number of Evangelicals that have now taken the same stance as these liberals.  They don't view the Bible as a knowledge base to live by.  They question the historical accuracy of the Biblical record.  They read the Bible for inspirational value only, thinking it to be a book of poetic literature.  Those holding to this post-modern view of the Bible simply extract moral teaching from the Bible without worrying about the details.  I suggest that if you ignore Biblical details, you ignore much of the knowledge base that forms Biblical truth, and any understanding you might derive from the truth.  Beyond that, you will fail to live as Jesus wants you to live.       


Hosea 4:6 speaks to this issue.  It says, "my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge".  That makes it clear.  Having no Biblical knowledge of God and His ways of doing things leads to the destruction of God's people.   


God doesn't end there.  The last half of Hosea 4:6 says, "because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you as my priests".  God called Israel to be a nation of priests who were to represent Him to the nations of the  world.  Because Israel rejected godly knowledge, God took both their priestly responsibility and their nationhood away from them.  They just ceased to exist.    


Christians are a nation of priests as well, representing Jesus to the world. (1 Peter 2:9)  If we ignore Biblical knowledge, we should expect the same fate as Israel.  We too will lose our priestly calling and eventually cease to exist, as some parts of the church have already experienced.    


I often hear people say we need another Holy Spirit revival.  That may be true, but I've seen Holy Spirit revivals turn into self gratification spiritual parties.  Some of the partiers talk about getting "high on the Holy Spirit" as if He was some kind of Christianized LSD.  He is not that.  He is God, and He commands us to submit to His Word, the Word that many of us know little about.  A Holy Spirit revival that does not lead to an appreciation of the Bible is a waste of a good revival.  


Those who ignore the Bible need to repent and join the remnant of God's people who take the Word of the Lord seriously.  History proves that there is always such a remnant of people.  May you be found in that remnant.     


I remind you of what Jesus said in Matthew 24:15.  "He who reads, let him understand". 



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