Today, we continue our series on the importance of studying the Bible. It is no great wonder that unbelievers do not enjoy reading the Bible and have trouble making sense of it all. The Christian however, need not feel despair in this area. It matters very little about your level of formal education. Education is wonderful, and by all means, every Christian should take advantage of every opportunity to further their education. But nothing compares to the spiritual lessons, one can be taught by the Holy Spirit. We read this in I Corinthians:
1 Cor 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.(NKJ)
We often speak and hear about "the anointing" when it comes to the Holy Spirit. One of the purposes of God's anointing, is so that we can understand the truths of God's Word. John, writing to a community of believers struggling with various issues, addresses this purpose of the anointing. It becomes obvious that there was a sect of teachers (John calls them "antichrists") who sought to seduce true followers of Christ. John made it clear to them, that they (the believers in the Johannine community) didn't need some special revelation from a second-hand mediator. They had the best teacher already living within them.
I Jn 2:26-These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.(NKJ)
This is not to say that there is no value in Christian education, seminaries, or other venues of education. The Scripture plainly teaches us that God has gifted specific men and women in the area of teaching.
Eph 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,(NKJ)
This is important to remember, because there is always the temptation to say "I have the Holy Spirit, therefore I can glean nothing from other men." Perhaps there are many we have run across in our Christian experience who share this sentiment. In order to show the fallacy of this line of thinking, I'd like to use the Apostle Paul as an example. Paul had intense training as a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5-6) and had been taught at the feet of the renowned Gamaliel (Acts 22:3)....and this was before he even came to Christ (of which past he referred to as "dung" or rubbish). He had a dramatic conversion on the Damascus road, he had numerous visions of Jesus Christ, and had even been caught up to the third heaven to hear things "unlawful for a man to utter." If anyone could have felt the temptation to be a know-it-all, certainly this man had good excuse- but notice his attitude:
1 Cor 8:1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.(NKJ)
We can come to the Scriptures with a sense of hope and encouragement because we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, teaching us the great truths of God's Word. We have the benefit of those within Christ's church whom He has gifted in the area of teaching and expounding God's Word. And if you are reading this blog today, you already know that there are tremendous resources in print and electronic media that will assist you in your studies (we'll get to those later). Let us always be open to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and show us wonderful things out of the Word of God. Regardless of how many times you have read a particular passage of Scripture, God can always give you that "light-bulb" moment that makes all the difference! I encourage you to pray these words as you open up the pages of your bible.
Ps 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.(KJV)