J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Ignorance is Miss

ignorantChristianity is a religion based on faith, and scripture defines that faith as the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).  And consistently throughout scripture, one finds there is no real hope for relationship with God apart from faith:  As Ephesians 2.8-9 say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Although Christianity is faith-based, that does not mean that it should not also be an intellectual and researched faith.  In fact, researching and understanding Christianity actually reinforces the truths gifted by faith.  We see this explained in the beginning of the book of Luke:  Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Unfortunately, because Christianity is based on faith, many believers in Jesus spend little or no time pursuing depth of knowledge in the scriptures, in pursuing theology, or understanding the history of the church.  When those outside the church criticize Christians for this, they are completely justified in their comments.  The scriptures command a deep, organized Biblical theology in 2 Timothy 2:15

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

The phrase “rightly handling” or as some older translations phrase it “rightly dividing” is a tent-making term which makes sense as Paul made tents for a living.  It meant to cut all the tent fabric properly and carefully so that they would fit together to make a tent. The emphasis in this verse then is that one should study the scriptures diligently and have an educated and consistent theology.  Biblical convictions must fit within the greater framework of the scriptures.  Doing this hard study is an act of affection to God.  Studying is not a cold, hard academic endeavor.  It is an act of love.  The editors of the ESV Study Bible emphasized this when they said:

Knowledge without devotion is cold, dead orthodoxy. Devotion without knowledge is irrational instability. But true knowledge of God includes understanding everything from his perspective. Theology is learning to think God’s thoughts after him. It is to learn what God loves and hates, and to see, hear, think, and act the way he does. Knowing how God thinks is the first step in becoming godly.

Again, I will say that unfortunately, many Christians don’t purse a deep level of understanding the scriptures.  In fact, right now, many may know more about the President’s proposed health plan, the stats of the their fantasy football team, or the plot lines of their favorite TV show than they do about piecing together the truths of Scripture into a consistent, God-honoring theology.  This is sad and should not be.  Make no mistake:  every believer is a theologian.  They are either good ones or bad ones.

As always, and definitively consistent with the themes of the book of Romans, Paul makes the case that one of the things that God does is help us in this weakness.  One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to lead God’s children into deeper Biblical truth.  God always equips those to which He calls.  In light of that, let’s ask this Big Picture Question this week:

Big Picture Question:  How does God help His children know Him better?

If you would like to join Sovereign King this Sunday, we meet for worship at 10:30am, and you can find directions to our space at http://www.sovereignkingpca.net/1.2.html

If you would like to see a video preview for this sermon, you can find it  below or at http://bit.ly/mVoWd

September 11, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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