July 28, 2016
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:” Ephesians 1:17.
Knowledge is something that most people try to gain. Knowledge abounds in many areas of our life, but most of it is useless when compared to knowledge of God. We follow sports teams and know the statistics of the various players. We pursue a hobby and usually we know more about that hobby than our friends want to hear. We send our children to school and are so very proud when they receive honors for the knowledge they’ve gained, even if that so-called knowledge is in direct opposition to God’s truth. In the above verse, Paul was not congratulating the Ephesians for secular knowledge, but praying that God would give them the “…spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him”. This should be our dearest pursuit too. Knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour is of great value.
It might take time and effort on your part to study God’s word, but it’s really a choice of how you want to spend your time. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. Like anything we learn, it can be overwhelming at first, but start with small steps. You might start your study in the Gospel of John. Rather than rushing through to get to the end, stop and think about what is written. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1. What does that really mean? Study will show you that the “Word” is Jesus Christ and He is God! Further study will show you how this verse relates to Genesis 1:1, and so the treasure hunt begins. God’s word is a treasure to be pursued. Don’t be afraid to search out the treasure.
Knowledge of God doesn’t just drop into our heads once we’ve accepted Christ as our Saviour. Quite often when a person is sitting in a revival meeting or listening to a sermon, conviction of the need for salvation through Jesus causes them to answer the altar call. Then they leave the service with no mentoring from Christians who should be able to teach about Jesus. Do you really understand what Christ died to save you from? “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. If you study about sin and where it came from you will begin to understand why it separates us from God and brings death. From there you will understand that only the pure blood sacrifice of God could take sin away, but He had to be human in order to bring salvation to humans. That fact alone should encourage you to study more about what His sacrifice did for you. The more you study and gain knowledge of Him, the more you will love Him and desire to serve Him.
As you seek knowledge of God’s word, remember to filter everything through Scripture. There are many opinions out there, and some people will twist Scripture or take it out of context in order to justify a specific idea. It’s always a good idea to look at all Scripture references and pay attention to context. Many Scriptures can take on a completely different meaning when the context is ignored. Twisting of God’s words began in the Garden of Eden when Satan lied to Eve. She believed his lies instead of God’s truth and we are still suffering under the curse that resulted from that bad choice. Another important point is to study all of God’s word. Yes, that means to study the Old Testament too. Paul encouraged the study of Scripture, and in his day that meant the Old Testament. “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” Acts 17:10-11. Jesus even confirmed the importance of studying the Old Testament. On Resurrection Sunday He joined two of His followers as they were traveling to Emmaus. They didn’t recognize Him but were discussing the events surrounding His empty tomb. Jesus then explained to them how important knowledge of Him is. “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:25-27. What a study that must have been! You can do it yourself by studying the Old Testament “… beginning at Moses and all the prophets“. In this paragraph alone I’ve touched on some subjects that should pique the interest of every Christian. Study to find out what God says happened in the Garden of Eden, and why the Bereans were commended for their study of Scripture. As you pursue knowledge of Him you will be richly rewarded.
When a person first accepts Christ, really accepts Him and not just giving lip service, the Holy Spirit is sealed within that person. The Holy Spirit will lead you in your Bible study because God wants your knowledge to increase, but we need to take an active part. If you’re willing, a great adventure will begin…gaining knowledge of Jesus. Prayer is always the best place to start when you begin to study God’s word. Paul prayed that the believers in Ephesus would gain knowledge and understanding of God. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18. Christians sometimes lose track of God’s truth because they get distracted by false teachers. It’s easy to be led astray if you don’t study. Listening to sermons is good, but the preacher may not be correct in what he preaches. Only your own study of God’s word will stop you from being deceived. The Holy Spirit will lead you in your quest for knowledge of God, but you must study to know what God’s word teaches.
Peter was a disciple, an Apostle, and a person whose life was changed for the better as he grew in the knowledge of Jesus. He encouraged others to also grow. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18. In his younger years, Peter usually said and did the wrong thing. When he saw Jesus walking on water, Peter was the one who got out of the boat to walk with Him, but sank when he became distracted and took his eyes off of Jesus. When Jesus asked His disciples who people said He was, it was Peter who blurted out the right answer. “And Simon Peter answered and said Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16. It was also Peter who denied knowing Jesus on the night of His arrest and trial. In spite of all of his mistakes it was Peter who stood up on the day of Pentecost and so eloquently delivered such a stirring and profound sermon that people were convicted of their sin and turned to Jesus for salvation. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41. Study the life of Peter and use that knowledge to help you witness to others.
No matter how much you study God’s word, there is always something new to learn. Nothing new is added to our Bible, but as we near the end times our understanding increases. Daniel was given a prophecy of the end times. Prophecy is a very interesting study, and will answer a lot of questions about the crazy times we live in. After the prophecy was given to him, Daniel was told “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4. There are things we can understand today that could not be understood in times past. Technology and advances in science are not new to God, but until these latter days it was a mystery to people. Throughout time people have only been able to interpret God’s word by knowledge and understanding of the day. Today it’s easier to understand how the whole world will be able to see the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 lying in the street dead. There was no satellite TV in John’s day, but now we can see how this can happen. When studying prophecy be sure to study with the knowledge we have gained.
We are living in the last days and there are many tools that Satan uses to turn people away from God. Sin is glorified and secular governments make laws that promote everything that God abhors. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16. Unless you study God’s word you will easily be influenced by Satan to accept sin as normal. It isn’t normal. God has ordained marriage as being between one man and one woman, yet Satan has perverted that beautiful relationship. God loves babies, but Satan influences many to sacrifice their unborn baby. Study God’s word to know what God sees as sin, then apply His truth to your life.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-13. The Holy Spirit is a willing teacher. You, dear Christian brothers and sisters, need to be willing learners. Avidly seek knowledge of Him, apply it to your life, then share that knowledge with others. Your rewards in Heaven will be great.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.