Christian Essentials, The Bible

The Importance of Knowing God’s Word

“Why should I study the Bible?”  “What does it matter what I believe as long as I am sincere?”  “Why should I bother studying when I know what is true by my feelings?”  “What’s the big deal anyways, is there really one ‘truth’?”  These are questions that people ask everyday, maybe even ones that you have asked yourself.  The fact is that these questions need to be answered.   We, as Christians, have a responsibility to have an answer.  But, in order to do that, we need to study God’s Word, just as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy  2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” The more we study, the more equipped we will be for those questions that we need to answer.

How many times have you said “I wish I would have had an answer when that person said….” or “I’m afraid to witness to people because I don’t know what to say” or “I’m not the right person to witness because I don’t know enough of the Bible”.  The reason why we say these things is because we don’t know enough or we are afraid of what people will say about us.   We will be persecuted by others who are not Christians, that is true Paul verifies this in 2 Timothy 3:12-13 “12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”  But unless we have the courage to speak out for God, others will be deceived.  Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15 “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always {being} ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”  We need to sanctify God’s Word in our hearts so that we are able to give an answer or so that we are willing to go and witness to others.   We need to stop hiding behind excuses and learn the truth.  If you think that you don’t know how to study, just pray and ask God to help you and start reading His Word and He will show you what you need to learn.  The Bible is the ultimate resource book.  Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  The Word of God is our weapon against everything and everyone that comes against us.  God has given us a “guidebook” for our Christian Walk, and it is the Bible

What is the importance of knowing the truth?  Jesus said in John 8:31-32 “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”  How will the truth set us free?  Knowing the truth means knowing Jesus and He came to earth to set us free from death.   Therefore if we know the truth we will be free!!  The Bereans are the perfect example of people searching for the truth.  Luke writes about them in Acts 17:10-11 “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily {to see} whether these things were so.”  These Bereans listened to Paul, who was a well known apostle of Christ.  But even though he was said to be such a great apostle they still tested what he said.  We need to do the same thing.  We listen to people teach all the time.  But just because they are our pastor, a respected teacher or something we read in a magazine, it doesn’t mean that everything they say is truth.  We still need to check everything we hear with what the Bible says.  If it goes against the Bible then we should not believe it because it is not the truth.

The Bible warns us of false prophets and teachers that will come and try to deceive us.  Paul describes these people in 1 Timothy 6:3-5 “3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”  Paul also warns us about them in Galatians 1:8-9 “8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” The word “accursed” in this passage is the Greek word “anathema” (Strong’s #331) which means ‘to separate, ban or excommunicate’  A person who comes to you with a false gospel is out to deceive you and you should not fellowship with that person, but you should show them the truth so that they will not deceive others.  As Paul says in Galatians, a false prophet can even come in the form of an angel and try to deceive you.  He also says that Satan can come in the form of an “angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 “12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” Therefore, if someone comes to you and says that they have been visited by an angel, be cautious of what they say and test it with what the Bible says.  If anyone comes to you with anything other than the Bible, you need to be cautious of what they are saying.  There are groups out there that say they have “another testament of Jesus Christ”, this is an example of “another gospel”. In Proverbs 30:5-6 it says “5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.”  There is only one testament of Jesus Christ and that is the Bible, anything else is not from God and it will be proven to be false.  This is especially why we need to concentrate on studying the Word of God so that we will be able to know when someone is coming to us with a false gospel.  In the Old Testament false prophets were dealt with very harshly.  It is stated in Deuteronomy 13:5 “that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God”  The punishment of false prophets was very strict in the Old Testament because God does not condone people who are false prophets.  Our enemy, the devil, is trying hard to deceive us at every possible chance.  We need to be on guard and watch out for such instances so that we can defend the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now there are people that will say that they believe in something because they feel that it is right.  We are warned about feelings in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”   We cannot go by our feelings, but there is one way to judge if something is true and that is by testing it by the Scriptures and by praying to God for the answer as well.  Paul instructs us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 “But examine everything {carefully); hold fast to that which is good;”  If we don’t take the time to check it out, we are taking the risk of being deceived.  Jesus Christ gives a warning in Matthew 7:21-23 “21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'”   Those are four words that we never want to hear from our Savior.  We need to make sure that we are walking in the truth so that we will not be deceived.  Jesus states that “but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter”  What is the will of the Father?  Jesus tells us in John 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”  All of us who are true Christians will be with Jesus Christ one day.  Jesus also states that these people who claim to know Him have performed miracles “in His Name”.  There are people out there who believe they know Jesus but yet they have a different view of Him than what the Bible says.

It is so important for us to know the truth.  Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life, He is our only way to heaven.   The Bible tells us how important it is to know the truth and to tell others about the truth.  They only way we can do this is if we study the Bible daily so that we will be “equipped for every good work”.  I encourage everyone to read their Bible and see what God has in store for your life!  The Bible encourages us in Proverbs 3:5-6 to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”  This is a verse that we need to live by daily!

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