July 14, 2015
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 14 July 2015
First Corinthians 8:1 asserts, “knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.” The “knowledge” that “makes arrogant” is found within the context of Christian liberty. Certain believers can become “arrogant” in their knowledge of Christian liberty by not considering weaker Christians who do not have such knowledge. Scripture instructs the church to be certain that love motivates all our actions (cf. 1 Cor 13:4) toward fellow believers so that one does not “become a stumbling block to the weak” (8:9).
While some might read the above passage and conclude that they can force the Bible to say whatever they desire, such a conclusion would be gravely mistaken. Indeed, there is a profound difference between the use of the intellect (God-given reason and logic) and intellectualism (mere human knowledge as the ultimate standard of reality). Scripture warns against intellectualism which is the “wisdom of this world” that is antithetical to the cause of Christ (1 Cor 3:18-23).
First Corinthians 3:21 - So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you,
Scripture does record that Peter and John “were uneducated and untrained men” (Acts 4:13). The context is that those men were uninstructed in the formal rabbinic school. Both men were private in life and were trained in its livelihood. They were not ignorant in the common sense of the word since their spiritual knowledge came from direct teaching with Jesus so that they were well trained for serving God. Of course, no one today is able to receive spiritual knowledge from God through experience and a relationship with Jesus Christ as the first century of disciples did.
In these times, God's people rely upon the Holy Bible, which is God’s initiative whereby He revealed all truth through the Holy Spirit, who impelled erring humans as penmen, yet miraculously superintended them as they wrote thereby preventing any error or omission in Scripture. Scripture is “God-breathed,” and can be trusted as being inerrant and infallible. The trustworthiness of Scripture means it is credible and is worthy of belief. God gave his Word to reveal Himself and his will for humanity. Scripture makes errant humans wise unto salvation, and hearing and heeding it will certainly grant you the strength and wisdom needed for your life.
First Corinthians 2:12 - Now, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may known the things freely given to us by God,
What is the best method for understanding the Bible? I am glad you asked. First, one must be in proper relationship with the God, the Author (cf. 1 Cor 2). Secondly, one engages Scripture in a fourfold manner: (i) observation, which is the role of being a detective; (ii) interpretation, which is the role of a decision maker by heeding rules of grammatical and historical context; (iii) correlation, which is the role of a coordinator; and, (iv) application, which is the role of an implementor.
Scripture, “the word of truth,” must be handled with skill, called “accurately handling” (2 Tim 2:15). Second Timothy 2:15 provides a biblical mandate for proper interpretation (hermeneutics). Remember that God gave the Bible to humanity in language with the intent that it is to be understood in the normal sense of words and combinations of words. Christians search for the intent of the authors, that is, the human writer in addition to God who revealed it (2 Tim 3:16-17).
Second 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 skillful handing of the Word of Truth, the Bible, is challenging work and especially requires mental discipline. God expects those who are “approved” by Him to engage in such discipline. We can be assured that what we learn in Scripture is from the Lord God! Surely our goal should be lives characterized by accurate and effective usage of the Bible. Scripture is powerful and life changing because the Bible is inspired by God!
If I can serve you in any manner, through the ministry of the Word of Truth, please do not hesitate to contact me for it would be my delight.
Pastor to Georgia's Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia