Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Handling the Word of God

When my daughter was growing up she believed most anything she heard on commercials. She was always telling me which were the best products to buy and why they were the best, When I would ask her how she knew, she would say because they said so on the commercial. It's sad to realize that you must expect an element of deception in advertising and be on your guard for it.

While most of us have wised up about the reliability of commercials, many adults are still quick to believe something simply because another person says (or writes) it's so. Countless emails get passed around cyberspace claiming to be a warning of some sort that will protect you from harm and urging you to pass it along to everyone you know. There are places on the internet where you can verify if that information is correct or not but few people either know where to verify it, how to verify it, or take the time to verify it.

When it comes to scripture we should not simply take another person's word (or written work), for what the Bible says or means, and we should be teaching our children not to either. We should be in the habit of verifying scripture ourselves, and teaching our children how to do the same, prayerfully researching it out. A concordance and bible dictionary are very useful tools for helping to understand scripture as well. We gain more insight into and understanding of God's Word when we look at the original text and it's meaning.

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11 (emphasis mine)

Why is it important to know scripture for ourselves? First and formost is that studying God's Word for ourselves is the best way to develop a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus.

Another reason is that there are those who would deliberately teach wrong doctrine to draw us and/or our children into their "religion" or cult. The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the original.

Even with people we can trust, our friends, parents, pastors, reputable authors, etc, we need to remember that they can make mistakes. We are imperfect humans and we all make mistakes. As teachers of God's Word, we are held to a high standard to teach it accurately. So it is important that we use reliable references, research out what we are being taught, and teach our children to do the same. We need to keep in mind that popularity and opinion are not proper guages for reliablity, accuracy is.

One way to teach children to develop the habit of verifying scripture is to have them verify the scriptures and meanings you are teaching them. Who knows, they might come back and teach you something you didn't know.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (emphasis mine)

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. James 3:1

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2 (emphasis mine)

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1 (emphasis mine)

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Sharon Sloan said...



Jody said...

As we read and study God's written word to us, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us, He will.

RCUBEs said...

His Word is the Truth! I love the fact that it is inerrant. So, if it is. Then why prove it? He is the Truth! Period. And how do we know that Truth if we don't even try to seek it in the first place? We oughta' be careful in this evil days. Great post! God bless and protect you sister.

Tami and Bobby Sisemore Family said...

great word today! :)


Jackie said...

Great posting, Edie!!

It is of the utmost importance to rightly divide the Word of Truth!!!

Hugs and Sweet Blessings!

KrippledWarrior said...

I am particularly fond of Matthew Henry's Commentaries, when I run into a tough passage in the bible.

2Thinks said...

I am reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. He notes where in the Bible he gets whatever it is he is trying to drive home. Makes it pretty easy to look up and from there, decide if I agree.

I'm finding I agree w/a lot of what he's saying in his book. But. It is ever encouraging to read the word of God b/c I find God is so faithful to reveal some new angle or point that I have previously missed. I am actually surprised by this time and again. I shouldn't be.

Kelly Combs said...

This is a great post Edie. When I took ownership of my faith was when my parents faith became my own.

I try to double check everything, to ensure it is God's truth. Great post!

Sue J. said...

We did a Jen Hatmaker study a while back now, and she included a verse from 2 Peter that I have taken for justification for "doing my own homework"--

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness THROUGH OUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIM who called us by his own glory and goodness." (my CAPS)

I'm emphasizing knowledge there, but it's God's power, through His Spirit, working in us that we know the Truth. We also shouldn't miss that He calls us. He calls us to know Him and gives us everything we need for godliness.

That Truth has set me free to study, learn, share and grow. And the more we grow in Him, the more we grow in our understanding of Him. And our children need to know that it's a lifelong journey of understanding! (And, yes, the false prophets and teachers will continue to rise, because that's what Scripture tells us...tells me!)

Stacy Wittkamp said...

Yes! If we don't dig into the word ourselves, we rob ourselves of a deeper revelation of God and his special rhema word that He speaks into our heart!

Sharon Sloan said...

Edie -- I just read this and thought you'd like it.

"The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner." – Cameron Townsend

Sharon Sloan said...

Edie -- I just read this and thought you'd like it.

"The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner." – Cameron Townsend

Edie said...

I love that Sharon. I will have to add it to my favorite quotes list.

Townsend, isn't this the man who began Wycliffe Bible Translations?