Growing in Knowledge and Faith

Lack of biblical knowledge is not only an issue for individuals who seek solutions to the problems in their lives, but unfortunately it is also prevalent in many counselors who advertise themselves as Christian counselors. This can lead to distorting or even abandoning Scripture as a primary source to help individuals recover over a solution developed by man (Galatians 1:6-12).

An example of this is the oft-quoted Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (ESV).

Jeremiah is telling the exiled Jews that God will not forget them and after a period 70 years, He will remember the faithful and take care of them, both physically and spiritually and restore them to their land.

As I’ve noted previously, this prophecy has nothing to do with us—but about a generation that would follow those who were sent to captivity as most of these individuals would die during the 70 years that followed. It is still a very powerful piece of Scripture and one that offers a universal message of hope and the faithfulness of God. It’s not, however, about achieving personal wealth or about personal fulfillment.

Lack of knowledge can also produce a superficial belief. The thinking that as long as we have walked the aisle, prayed a prayer, and ask Jesus to come in our hearts, we are a Christian and salvation is secured.

This should concern any of us enough to want to not only study Scripture more thoroughly ourselves, but seek to guide those who hold to these incorrect beliefs. When we are around another believer and are unable to recognize an un-Scriptural belief, or worse yet, recognize a wrong statement and do not offer any correction, we are in essence affirming their belief.

Something as basic as explaining the Gospel to someone else should be a fundamental ability of EVERY born again believer—but in reality how many can? How often is it practiced?

Can we articulate that the Gospel is the Good News that Jesus Christ, the Righteous Son of God came to earth, lived a perfect life of obedience, died upon the cross at Calvary for sinners, and rose from the dead. Through His work, Jesus Christ alone provides both forgiveness from one’s sins and presents one as righteous before God the Father.

Without our own discipleship established, it will be difficult to lead others to Christ and to remind them of the need for continual growth in the grace of Christ. We can accomplish this through a growth in their respect for God as the One who is infinite in His holiness (Leviticus 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:15).

Our evangelical goals should be: (1) to help them understand that, outside of Christ, they are sinners in the hands of an angry God (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3: 10-23, 6:23); (2) admonish them to find their sole hope in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-41; Romans 1:14-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11); (3) instill within them the necessities of faith and repentance (Ezekiel 18:30; Acts 16:31); (4) help them understand the urgency of following Christ today (James 4:14; Luke 16:19-31).

But before we can do this, we must commit ourselves to our own discipleship. This needs to be understood that we are the owners of our own growth. We should not rely on our pastor, our Sunday School teacher, or any other church leader—and most definitely not a TV evangelist—to be the primary source of our development as Christians. There is no time served, nor is there any resting in grace because one has been a Christian for 40+ years or more. Unless we realize that as long as we are drawing breath, which in itself is only by God’s grace, we have work to do for Him. Someday we will all have to give an account of our actions and inactions. I’m guessing that to tell our Lord we were too busy with the things of the world to study God’s Word will not prove to be a good excuse.

Commit yourself in your daily walk to find time to study, to pray, and focus on sharing the Gospel wherever He has planted you.