Growing up as a christian one of the things I learned early that helped me greatly was to stop seeing the Bible as a theoretical book where it’s level of understanding is determined by who speaks more eloquently using high sounding phrases that make little meaning in the consciousness of people.
I came to understand this, the Bible was never meant to be a theoretical book neither are doctrines academic in nature.
What is the purpose of Scripture? Paul answers this in his letter to Timothy
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”
All Scripture, and not some, is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in order that the man of God maybe perfect i.e mature and furnished on to good works. So the end goal of God in giving us His word is producing good works in us. It is not to improve us intellectually, even though it does, but to produce good works in our lives. The more we understand scriptures, the more the works of God are demonstrated in our lives.
Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Matthew 5:16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The idea that I am right on doctrine even though I am short on works is simply erroneous. “They that know their God shall be strong and do exploits” the prophet said. The one who understands what the Scriptures say about prayer will be seen to get their prayers answered always bearing much fruit. Their knowledge will not be limited to correcting those who are getting great results from their prayers by saying “you are not doctrinally sound…..the Greek word for supplication in the verse means…….”
No wonder Paul referred to the man who engages the word as a workman. He is a man at work and the scriptures are his tools in building a great family, marriage, church, business, raising children etc. If he rightly divides the word concerning what he is engaged in, he will be seen to be approved by God with wonders and miracles.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
You can’t claim to have a superior knowledge of God yet it doesn’t show in your works.
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
I heard T.L Osborn say this of the Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa at his memorial service “if you brought any revelation to him, he will want to see the practicality of your understanding. Will it lead to him being able to do more for God? If he raised two from the dead, will your insight lead him to be able to raise ten next time?” If not T.L Osborn said he will have nothing to do with it. He wasn’t open to a theoretical perspective of God’s word.
What did Paul say about the power of doctrine to influence behaviour?
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness”
There is nothing like doctrinal soundness but we are just short on works. Many go about with this idea. What they are really saying is this, many are more academic with the Bible but with fewer results.
Right doctrines change one’s lifestyle and output. The word wasn’t given for fables and theories that only generate strife within the Body and questions in people’s hearts.
1 Timothy 1:4- Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
What am I saying, study the word of God with a view to understanding how you can cooperate better with Him in fulfilling His will in your life. Don’t come for biblical scholarship but to learn the wisdom of God.
Don’t let any unfounded theory supposedly from the scriptures nor false prophecy about the future steal you from following after them who through faith and patience have inherited the promises.
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