Skip to main content

You Don't Know What the Bible Says, Do You?

It is my experience that Bible literacy is all but dead in many evangelical churches. What do I mean by that? I mean I am shocked at how little many 'Christians' know about what the Bible teaches. I've been in church all my life and over and over again I meet people who don't know primary people, events, themes and doctrinal truths in the Bible.

Why does it matter? Isn't it the job of the pastor to teach the Bible each week? Yes it is. Partly. But not mostly. There are some major problems with the mindset, 'I know all I need to from what my pastor tells me.'

The first problem is that YOU are accountable to live in accordance with Scripture. And to do that effectively you'll need to know more about what the Bible teaches than one sermon a week can teach you.

Remember, it is YOU, not the pastor, who...
- sits next to John Doe at work and is responsible to share Jesus with him.
- engages other mothers at neighborhood parks.
- has to explain to your children what is right and what is wrong and what the standard is for determining that.
- is called to defend truth in the face of assault and error.
- will face personal setback and suffering and trials of all kinds.
- has to decide if you will steward what you have or consume more and more on the back of credit.
There is a vast array of decisions that need to be made in life and your knowledge of, and commitment to, the words of the Bible will determine if you walk in the narrow ways of Jesus or in the wide paths of the world. Here's how the Bible puts it,
- All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
- Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 ESV)
- Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. (Proverbs 13:13 ESV)
- Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6 ESV)
- Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21 ESV)
Here is a key verse on the subject of knowing the ways of Jesus as revealed by Scripture and living by them.
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
(1 John 2:3-6 ESV)
On this side of heaven no one will be perfect in keeping the commands of God. But here is the grace of God: we don't have to be perfect. We just have to be willing to admit we're not, ask Jesus Christ to save us from our sin, and then try our best everyday to follow his teachings.

The way we follow Jesus is reading his word and putting it into practice.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12:2 ESV)
The way we renew our mind is not by reading the books and blogs of men, debating with non-believers and false teachers, soaking in hours of reality TV, harvesting our Farmville crops on Facebook, or drinking away the weekend. It is by taking a Bible, opening it up and reading it. Day after day after day.

Its like I tell my kids when they don't want to eat something new for dinner: try it, you might like it!

Popular posts from this blog

5 Reasons I Won't Let My Kids Wear Clothes with Skulls on Them

Yesterday I threw out a poll question on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  The poll question asked, "Should Christians wear attire with skulls on it?"  I received some great comments from people with a variety of opinions.  You can read the comments on my timeline from 8/8/13.

My opinion is that Christians should not wear clothes with skulls on them.

I don't have one specific Bible verse that I can use to prove my point.  Jesus never said, "Thou shalt not wear clothes with skulls."  I do however think there are number of conclusions that can be drawn from Scripture that support my opinion.

1.  Jesus does care about the clothes we wear.
I don't believe God's people are free to wear whatever they want.  From the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament you can find Biblical language related to clothes.  There are laws in Leviticus about clothes.  God instructed the OT priests on what to wear don't believe God's people are free to wear wh…

How Stephanie and I Celebrated 15 Years of Marriage

Yesterday Stephanie and I celebrated 15 years of marriage! 
To kick off the festivities, on Wednesday afternoon Stephanie bought a new car from Harry Browns in Faribault. She said good goodbye to the minivan and bought a 2014 Dodge Journey. She picked out a great new vehicle and her dad Ralph channeled his inner New Yorker to haggle us a great price.
We started the day Thursday driving to St. Peter to pick up Isabelle from the "Gustie" Basketball and Leadership camp. She spent 4 days there learning, practicing and having a blast. We celebrated together as a family with some Godfather's Pizza!
After getting back to Northfield I dropped the kids off at some friend's houses so Stephanie and I could be alone together. Having great friends who help with the kids is such a blessing. 
Stephanie had the idea that we should get tattoos together. She didn't have to work hard to convince me! After asking for recommendations on Facebook we decided to check out  Guns and Nee…

Lessons from Mt Everest

It would be great is life was all fun and easy and exciting like glissading down a mountain side.  However life is actually much more like climbing up the mountain.  It is difficult, painful, dangerous and exhilarating all wrapped up into one.
Last Sunday I preached at a church in Northfield and I shared some thoughts about this.  I compared lessons I've learned studying mountain climbing to lessons I've learned living life.  Here are the five things I talked about, along with some accompanying Bible verses.
1. You have to have a goal and you have to work hard towards achieving it, sometimes for a long time ---> Jer 29:10-14  2. You have to expect setbacks (injury, weather, enemies, catastrophe) and roll with them ----> 2 Cor 4:8-10  3. You have to push yourself beyond what you thought possible ----> Phil 4:13  4. In most cases, you need others to help you (guides, logistics, cheerleaders, friends, expedition leader) ----> Heb 10:15   5. You have to acknowledg…