Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing, Baby: We Must Know Scripture!

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Romans 16:17-27 — In this final passage of Romans, Paul gives the church at Rome a final warning about those who will cause division among them and teach a false gospel. In this passage, Paul speaks to us as well about our church today. The filter we should use for the words we hear and the actions we see must be the Bible. Everything must be compared to it. We must know Scripture so that we are not deceived into believing that which is just not the truth.

There are those today just as there were those of whom Paul speaks directly in his day that will twist the gospel to suit there own needs. Christians who study God’s Word, asking Him to reveal His universal truths, will note be fooled by smooth talk. Superficial Christians who just sit in church on Sundays but do nothing else can be easily fooled and manipulated. There are many examples today of smooth talkers who subvert the truth of the gospel. There are those who espouse a gospel of prosperity. There are those who using this philosophy indicate that your financial blessings are an indication of how close to God you are. There are those who subvert the gospel by picking and choosing what parts they want to obey to further their own agendas. For example, there are those who wish that there were not prohibitions in the Bible against homosexuality and rationalize with modern logical arguments that that’s not what the Bible really says by imposing modern sensibilities of the current day on an eternal text. If we do not know Scripture, and I mean more than just reading topical devotionals, we can easily be taken in.

We need to know Scripture. There is no substitute for it. Although it is great and wonderful to read books by Christian writers. There are many awesome writers out there today. Many have great insight into what the Scriptures say. However, we can never let these things be a substitute for God’s great and perfect Word. The Word of God is ageless, timeless and is the inspired Word of God. The canon is complete because God caused it to be so. It is the collection of 66 books that He desired to be the final and lasting Word. If we read books about the Bible but never read the Bible itself, it is like reading a book review of a book without reading the book. It is like reading a movie review but not seeing the movie and then acting we have seen the movie. We miss the full richness. We miss what the author’s intent of writing an entire book of the Bible was. When an author of today references Scripture, he may well have good intentions but to not know the context of a verse or passage that an author uses, we cannot be discerning as to whether he or she is twisting the gospel or at the very least using Scripture out of context. If we do not know, Scripture but only accept others’ views about it, we can be easily deceived.

We need to know Scripture. There is no substitute for it. We must measure peoples actions by it. We must measure our own actions by it. There may be those who claim that they are acting in consistency with Scripture but do not know it words. We must discern people’s actions by the very Scripture that they claim to know. We are not to be judgmental but we are to be discerning. If we know Scripture, we can gently correct those who are acting opposite to it and do so in love. We should never use our knowledge of Scripture to condemn but only correct in love. We should use our knowledge to discern the truth from lies. We must use our knowledge of Scripture to discern that which is of God and that which is of someone’s ego-driven agenda. At the same token, we should compare our own actions to Scripture. If we have sufficient knowledge of Scripture and through the action of the Holy Spirit to illumine its pages in our heart, our own transgressions and sins will be brought to our mind and heart. We will struggle and wrestle over our own sins and the Holy Spirit will cause us to be revolted by them and repent, turn away. Sometimes this is very hard because we are imperfect, sinful creatures by nature. However, we must constantly be in God’s Word so that our own sins are revealed to us. We must do more read. We must meditate on God’s Word. We must chew on it. We must read whole books of the Bible in sequence and chew on it. We must read the Bible topically to see what it says on a certain subject and chew on it. We must digest the Bible. Otherwise, we will be easily deceived by the actions of others and, what’s worse, we will be deceived by our own thoughts and actions. Let us not be a people where our Bible gathers dust. Let us be a people who has to by a new Bible because our current ones are literally falling apart from overuse.

Subverting Scripture to make it say what we want it to say in the modern world. Making Scripture say what it doesn’t in a modern world that is bent on justifying our own immoral behaviors. Making Scripture espouse a investment/payoff lifestyle of the prosperity gospel. Ignoring what Scripture has to say about certain lifestyles. Making Scripture suit our own agenda. Taking Scripture out of context. Satan loves all of this stuff. He loves it when people teach things as gospel that are not gospel. Satan loves it when people ignore or downright throw away certain parts of the gospel so that they can say they are saved but really aren’t. Satan loves it when people make the gospel say what they want it to say. Satan loves it when we use Scripture in ways that are different from its original and eternal meaning in context. In all of these ways, Satan wants us deceived so that when the pressures on, he can prove our beliefs to be lies. We must know Scripture without fail. We must study. We must learn. We must take Scripture, all of it to heart. We must know it so that we cannot be deceived. We must know it so that our hearts will be convicted by God’s eternal truth. Do you not want to know God? The way that we know Him is through His Word. Without studying God’s Word, we are like athletes who show up at the field on Saturday but don’t do all the hard work of practice, practice, practice during Monday through Friday. We must put in the hard work. We must make time for Scripture. There is no excuse. Otherwise, we set ourselves up for Satan. We are a soft pitch for Satan to knock us out of the park. We must know Scripture. There is no substitute for it.

Father, help me to know your Word. Help me to be confident in your Word. Help me to know it so well that I discern the world through its pages. Help me to discern my own actions through its pages. Help me to use it in real life because of knowing it. Help me to draw others unto you through your Word. Help me to discern falsehood from truth through the lens of knowledge of your Word. Help to use my knowledge of your Word to give you glory in a world that seems like it is trying to forget you. Help me to know Scripture to praise your name in my heart and in the world around me. Amen.

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