“What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” (Luke 11:52 NLT)
The last few days we’ve been looking at what it means to live a holy life. We’re using 2 Peter 1:5-8 as our guide and today we’ll look at the role of knowledge in God’s plan to enable us to live a separated life. In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul wrote: “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”
The role of knowledge is critical in walking in a way that honors and glorifies our Father. Paul instructs Timothy to “work hard,” but how? The context suggests that he must study carefully so that his understanding of the truth will guide him as he shares his faith with others, especially in what and how he teaches.
Whether you like it or not, as a Jesus follower, virtually every conversation we have with someone reflects our knowledge of God’s Word or lack thereof. To the extent that what we share aligns with the truth of Scripture, to that extent we’ll guide others to Jesus. But how will we know that unless we know what God’s Word says?
In Scripture “knowledge” refers to our general intelligence or understanding as it relates to the Christian Faith in general, but it also signifies our “moral wisdom” that is evidenced in right living. What is the implication? Right knowledge is reflected in right living. That’s why it’s so critical we read and study God’s Word for ourselves.
Yes, of course, it’s helpful to listen to godly men and women who have studied the Scriptures for years. Read their books and listen to their sermons, but understand that they have drawn their own conclusions, which is what they’re sharing with you. But God doesn’t hold us accountable for understanding what someone else believes. He’s more interested in what WE believe, because ultimately, that’s what will guide our steps and spill out of our mouths to others.
Knowledge involves much more than learning facts about a subject. It entails applying what we learn to the way we live, which becomes a reflection of who we are, and Whom we are following, or not. And it’s important that we understand that we don’t have to “make” that happen, it’s a biproduct of being a human being.
Whether we realize it or not, what we learn either gets discarded or applied to what we think about, which becomes what we talk about, which becomes what we base our lives upon, which ultimately becomes the lifestyle we adopt and follow. That’s the “view” of ourselves others see and hear when we speak with them.
As a Christ follower, our knowledge must align with what is true as defined by the Bible, thus leading us to live a life that honors and magnifies Jesus in everything we think, say, and do. The teachers of religious law to whom Jesus spoke in the verse at the top of the page, were very intelligent and were well versed in religious law. But their brilliance blinded them to the Truth, which was and is Jesus. When that happens, we not only miss heaven, but we also lead others away from Jesus, instead of to Him, as is God’s will.
That’s why we must supplement our knowledge with self-control, which is our topic for tomorrow’s post.
Blessings, Ed 😊