By Roland W. Keith
As we begin part two of our study, we do so with the understanding that our primary duty as obedient Christians is to proclaim God’s word to the lost (Mark 16:15). There are many ways we can be involved in our church’s evangelization efforts, but none are more important than being able to simply explain to another person why we believe what we do about Jesus Christ and God’s plan of salvation. To do that we must be well-studied in the gospel and the other New Testament writings. It is a matter of common sense that to educate others in a subject we must be well-educated on the topic ourselves. In John 8:31-32 we read, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."”
To know the truth, we must abide in God’s word. To abide in the word is to conform to or comply with it. To do that we must first be intimately familiar with the word and comprehend its meaning. Faith, as Paul wrote, comes through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). It is a noble thing to proclaim God’s word, for as Paul wrote to Timothy, God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Timothy 10:17). It is by that knowledge that we are able to receive the blessings that God so desires to bestow upon us, for as Peter noted: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence” (II Peter 1:3).
Jesus said His word was truth, as already noted; He also said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). The Holy Scriptures are not just another collection of worldly wisdom. Their power and insight are from a much greater source than that, as Paul wrote, “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 complete, equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17). The scholarship gained from being a student of the Bible is superior to all the worldly forms of enlightenment gained by man on his own, because it comes from the source of all knowledge.
There is something else that is unique about the word of God. It was written with a laser-like focus designed to penetrate and effect one thing with spiritual truth— and that one thing is the human heart [intellect]. Regarding its power to do so Paul wrote, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13). So powerful and precise is this word that it is the final arbiter of our fate on the day of judgment (John 12:48). Given its unique nature it is a prudent person who harnesses its power to enlighten their path in life (Psalm 119:105).
Seen from a proper perspective the Bible is the greatest guide to a worthy life ever written. No philosophy of man, no style of life or life path guru, no self-help book, nor any other path devised by man can do what the Bible does for us. Moreover, it is not just a guide for a life well-lived on earth. As Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17). As Christians we are sanctified by the word (John 17:17) and saved by the word. Considering all that the word has to offer us we, like the Bereans, should receive and examine the scriptures with all eagerness (Acts 17:11). However, our examinations into its truths should be made with a sober-minded and critical determination to test all that we are being told against the word itself with the intent of discovering all of its goodness and to separate out all error from our understanding (I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1-3).
Our goal as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Bible is to incorporate its teachings into our lives, as Paul wrote to Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). For James to rightly handle the word was to live according to the Lord’s teachings and to obey His commands, as he wrote, “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22-23). Next, we are to teach and admonish one another as Christians in order to build the church up and strengthen it (Colossians 3:16).
Ultimately, our goal is to not only grow in our own faith, and not only to strengthen our brethren, but to be able to proclaim God’s word to the lost of the world. Whether its from a pulpit or one-on-one with family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers on a plane it doesn’t matter. We should want to share our salvation with others. That is a part of being a member of the Lord’s body. It is a part of the doing that Jesus spoke of when He said, “Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:24-26).
Hi! I'm Roland. I began writing after retiring from the Navy in 2015. I believe that we each should strive to learn from one another, by sharing our thoughts and ideas. As a writer my goal is to help other seekers of truth to find and grow in Christ.