CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Learning What You're Taught
Be Responsible for your own Bible Study
By Laurel J. Davis
See Laurel's blog at The Reluctant First Lady
A church fellowship is most effective when the people are not just being taught but are learning what they're taught. That's why, after every sermon or bible study you ever hear, ask yourself: Did I learn anything?
Just showing up in church a few times a month is not enough. Learning is cumulative. Consider school. Teaching goes on no matter what, but with all the teaching in the world, you still won't do so well at the next level if you're not understanding and applying what you learned at each previous level. You'll do so much better if you take what you're taught, review, study and research it further on your own until you understand it, and then apply it and practice it.
Learning the things of God has the added grace and power of the Holy Spirit to illuminate those things to you and help you grasp them. Take what you're taught in church or Bible study, review it and research it by reading it in context and comparing it to the final authority of God's Word, study whatever part of it stands up to that test so that you can increase your understanding of it, and then apply what you've learned and practice it in your relationship with God, your fellowship with other believers, your own Christian walk, and your witness to babes in Christ and the lost.
Really, the first and most important thing we all need to learn is the fear of the Lord, for it is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:1-7; 9:10). Too few churches properly teach on this. But people can still learn about this and so many other crucial things about God and Christian doctrine and holy living simply by going beyond what's taught in church and opening up their Bibles on their own (Deuteronomy 31:12-13; 2 Timothy 2:15). After all, fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7), and you're no fool.
The lesson is this: Your relationship with God is personal. That means that ultimately what you learn, as opposed to what you're taught, is no one else's responsibility but yours. It's between you and the Lord and no one else. God looks to you, not your pastor or Bible study leader, to draw your own self near unto Him. The teacher should be pointing you in the right direction, but your understanding and growth depend ultimately on you and God.
To accomplish that, two hours a week in church is not enough. Think about it. How can you get close to someone you take little time and effort to get to know?
The more you spend time in God's Word, the more you learn about your heavenly Father. The more you learn about Him, the closer you'll be to pleasing Him in terms of your thought-life, attitude and conduct as His disciple. And the more you please Him, the more of His grace, power and peace He will manifest in your life until He comes again.
Do your homework and "extra credit" research even on this subject. Begin with the following passages (in context), then look for more: Proverbs 6:20-23; Romans 15:4, 14; Ephesians 4:17-24; and 2 Timothy chapter 3.
In Acts 26 the Apostle Paul was told too much learning had made him crazy. He replied, I am not crazy but speak forth the words of truth. Those words of truth made King Agrippa say to him, You almost persuade me to be a Christian. If only we were all as "crazy" as Paul, learning as much as we can about God's Word to strengthen our witness for the truth of the Gospel — enough to persuade the lost!
King Agrippa was being sarcastic. But Jesus did say (John 6:45) that every man that has heard, and has learned by the Father, comes unto Me.
Image Credit: Kersley Fitzgerald
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Published on 11-19-14