I was reminded today how important it is that we study the Word of God. I was sharing with someone how I had heard a guest on a Christian talk show suggest something to non believers watching the show that was definitely non scriptural. I had to hear him say it twice before I realized that that is indeed what he said. I don’t share this to disparage him or the host that should have corrected him, but to emphasize to every one of us that it is critical we stay reading our Bibles. We live in a time, that the Bible warns us, where strange doctrines and a different gospel are also preached. 1 Timothy 4:1 NIV 4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. We need to be able to discern the truth from the false and the only way of doing that is to know the truth in the first place. We who live in a time of Bibles being readily available to each and every one of us ( in the free world), have NO excuse.
Our studying of the Word should be taken seriously. We can’t count on tv evangelists, our Pastors, teacher etc. to be the main source of our studying. They are all a blessing and offer us guidance, protection and leadership but we alone are responsible to God for how we handle His Word in our life. After all, if you don’t know the Word of God, how can you tell if a leader is leading you off track?
We are accustomed to having knowledge readily available to us. We can search the internet for just about anything today and have a response within seconds. We need to be careful that our spiritual growth is not dependent on the same type of quick answers. We need to study and meditate on the Word of God for it to be hid in our hearts! It will not come from just listening to sermons, or watching Christian tv shows.
2 Timothy 2:15 KJV 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In order to ensure we are not deceived by strange doctrines, or another gospel we have to study God’s Word. There is no shortcut. There are no excuses. It is not our mother, our brother, our Pastor or our grandmother’s sole responsibility for our spiritual growth. It is ours. There are many verses in the Bible that show us just how important it is.
Jesus told us in Matthew 4:4 NIV 4 “It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Hebrews 4:12 NIV12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Romans 15:4 NIV 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Paul warned us in the book of Galatians of the dangers of being deceived. Galatians 1:6-12 NIV 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
As time passes, I believe we will see more and more strange doctrines and other gospels! Without personal study of the Word of God, we leave ourselves very vulnerable to deception. Challenge yourself to read the Word of God daily. Write it out, meditate on it, hide it in your heart so that you won’t sin against God, as the Bible tells us to do. Psalm 119:11 NIV 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
The best way to protect ourselves from being deceived is to know the truth! As Paul wrote in Ephesians, the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is a necessary defense weapon in our walk with Christ. We can’t take it up and use it if we don’t know it!
Ephesians 6:10- 17 NIV 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We all want to be victors when we come before Christ! Let’s arm ourselves with the Word of God so that we will be!