(Warning…this is a sermon. Read at your own risk!)
A few of you know that I’ve been reading a book entitled “Forgotten God,” by Francis Chan.
I am nearly finished with the book and have found it interesting that his experience sounds so much like mine. I grew up in a Christian tradition that basically teaches that Holy Spirit gave us the written word and is now finished with His work. And He has now left the planet and left us to figure it all out on our own. (Not everyone in that tradition believes that way, but that is the concept I came away with in my early years and having spoken with many from that tradition, that is the concept they came away with.)
From all the divisions within just that particular denomination it would seem apparent we are incapable of understanding the written word on our own! We need help…divine help, not human help. And we need to get over ourselves!
I have over 15 different English translations, a Greek NT, literally hundreds of volumes of Theology Books, Reference Books and Devotionals. I have one bible that has 26 different English translations in it. (Yep..it is a pretty big. I don’t carry it to Sunday School.) Yet, gaining that knowledge could indeed be sinful! How? Read on…
About thirty (30) years ago I was going to go into full time ministry to teach all the other denominationalists what they were all doing wrong. Yes sir, I was going to go to school to learn more about leading others to the “right church.” Do you see the fallacy in that? I was going to lead them to the “right church,” not the Savior! How arrogant on my part! No wonder God blocked me from entering full-time ministry.
He doesn’t need my help to lead His people to Him, they are already His:
31£ £ The Lord said: The time will surely come when I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and Judah.
32It will be different from the agreement I made with their ancestors when I led them out of Egypt. Although I was their God, they broke that agreement.
33£ Here is the new agreement that I, the Lord, will make with the people of Israel: “I will write my laws on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34£ “No longer will they have to teach one another to obey me. I, the Lord, promise that all of them will obey me, ordinary people and rulers alike. I will forgive their sins and forget the evil things they have done.”
—– Jeremiah 31:31-34
Now a passage from Francis Chan’s book:
“Our scriptures teach that if you know what you are supposed to do and you don’t do it, then you sin. (Jas 4:17) In other words, when we stock up on knowledge without applying it to our lives, we are actually sinning. You would think that learning more about God would be a good thing…and it can be. But when we gain knowledge about God without responding to Him or assimilating His truth into our lives, then it is not a good thing. According to the Bible, it’s sin.” Francis Chan “Forgotten God” page 156-157.
What are you doing with the knowledge of Jesus that you have gained? Are you keeping it to yourself? Are you trying to tell other disciples what they are doing wrong? Or are you “doing good?” Are you bearing good fruit in your own life? If you have not seen any growth in your own spiritual life, perhaps it is time to take a new approach.
Perhaps it is time to quit gaining knowledge and start putting that knowledge into practice. Get out into the trenches and seek the lost.
In His loving grip of truly amazing grace,
P.S. Please buy, borrow or check the book out at your library.