People of the Book

By Jeremiah Tatum — God has always wanted His people to be “people of the book.” He had Moses write down the book of genealogy so that man could trace himself back to Adam and thus remember his Creator (Genesis 5:1). He had Moses read the book of the law to the Israelites so they would vow to keep every word (Exodus 24:7). Joshua also read the book of the law to God’s people, including every blessing and every curse (Joshua 8:34). Providentially, God allowed Hilkiah, the priest, to find the book when it had been neglected and lost (2 Kings 22:8). Later, after the Jews had returned from captivity, the book was read once again to the whole congregation by Ezra, the scribe, instigating a national revival (Nehemiah 8:1).

In every circumstance, God required that his people take an oath that they would know the book. He made them promise to obey every word in the book. God promised that they would be blessed or cursed based on their keeping or not keeping the words of the book. Every step, every ounce of success for God’s people was always directly related to the book. You can check the book itself.The success or failure of mankind still rides on the knowledge of and keeping of the book. But in our day and time, there are only a few people in existence who are truly people of the book. Consider the facts: Continue reading

#bible, #knowledge, #people-of-god

Add knowledge: 2 Peter 1.5 VOTD

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge;”

2 Peter 1.5

Peter suggests that the best way to counter false teaching is by growing and adding essential virtues to one’s faith.

There is no ignorant Christian. What type of knowledge does Peter have in mind here? How can it be added?

#knowledge #spiritual-growth #VOTD

The place of knowledge

“… gnosis [knowledge] becomes the ability to discern faith’s requirements. In effect, knowledge becomes the means by which faith’s convictions are transformed into effective practices (see 2 Cor 8:7; Phil 1:9; 2 Pet 3:18).

—S.J. Kraftchick, Jude, 2 Peter, p. 96, commenting 2 Pet 1.5-7

#faith #knowledge #2-Peter

Love and be known

knowledge-booksAn old song says something to effect that “to know you is to love you.” They must have gotten that from the Bible, with a twist. Paul says, “But if someone loves God, he is known by God” 1Cor 8.3.

The apostle to the Gentiles was swatting down those who touted knowledge as the great value of the Way, who said that what you know makes you important. The only thing that knowledge does, by itself, is to puff you up, or, as we say where I grew up (which is where I am now), give you the big head. It makes you conceited. It does nothing for your brother in Christ. Continue reading

#bible, #corollaries, #knowledge, #love, #new-testament-pattern

Depends on whom you’re talking to

We call little girls big girls and they are proud. I suspect calling big girls big girls would not elicit the same reaction. (I have not tried it personally and do not recommend attempting it, at the risk of one’s health and well-being.)

Words must be measured. The person to whom we address ourselves determines our approach. Continue reading

#evangelism, #knowledge, #mission, #obligations, #speech

What is the Value of Knowledge?

KnowledgeBetter1

#inspiring, #knowledge, #learning, #motivational

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3-2-2015             Raising “Stupid”

Proverbs 12:1: “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.” “Instruction” is discipline by truth, “knowledge” is acceptance of truth. A good student thirsts for “knowledge,” so Jesus Christ taught: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).  There is no learning where there is no discipline. Children whose egos are fed more than their desire to be taught are “stupid” (i.e., “brutish,” like an animal, with unused human ingenuity). “Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge” (Proverbs 14:7). “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). “I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You” (Psalm 73:22 NKJV)

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#brutish, #hunger-and-thirst, #instruction, #knowledge, #stupid, #wise

ETHICS

In Romans 9, the apostle Paul deals with a problem that many Israelites, through the years, have surely thrown up to him concerning the ethics of God and the nation of Israel. Did not God promise Israel a land of inheritance? He did. If He did, why is it that God now is dealing differently with the nation? To this Paul addresses his words. He makes clear that in the writings of the prophets, God made distinction between the physical land and national promise to the collective people and those who God specifically chose through whom He would bring His messiah.  Those who paid particular attention to His words would see this, but those who did not would begin to cry aloud that God is not fair. In part, this was the problem, and Paul said as much in this words: “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (10:2; NKJV). APPLICATION: let us be sure we have a clear understanding of God’s standard of right as we seek to help others understand and make application themselves.

 

#ethics, #knowledge, #understanding

A lesson in learning

We enjoyed hearing Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon, speak at the Faulkner Benefit Dinner Thursday evening in Montgomery. Procedures are being done today in pediatric neurosurgery that he created. Lives are being saved because of it.

Dr. Carson told quite a bit about his life, and how they didn’t have much. He said his mother worked two jobs, but she encouraged her children to read two books a week, and then write a book report on what they had read. She marked the reports with yellow markers and underlined things as she checked them. He said they didn’t learn until much later that she couldn’t read! She did learn to read later and went on to get her GED, and holds an honorary doctorate, and he proudly said, “She is Dr. Carson also.”

Near the end of his one hour speech, Dr. Carson encouraged us to read 30 minutes a day about something that would help us learn, something more than just for entertainment. With an acrostic, Dr. Carson spelled out his philosophy of living.

T – Talents/time: Recognize them as gifts.
H – Hope for all good things and be honest
I – Insight from people and good books
N – Be nice to all people.
K – Knowledge: Recognize it as the key to living.

B – Books: Read them actively.
I – In-depth learning skills: Develop them.
G – God: Never get too big for Him.

What if we set aside 30 minutes a day to read the Bible? How much spiritual growth would we increase in a year? What if in the church we started to “think big?” What if we used our talents; were honest in everything we do; if we invested our time in good things; if we were nice to others; if we tried to grow in knowledge? What if we were just ourselves, and didn’t pretend to be someone we are not? What if we made a concentrated effort to grow the church as the Lord would have us do? Soon our building couldn’t hold the people.

John Wesley stated it this way: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

#christian-living, #god, #knowledge

Some people just never mature

I’ve met several Christians throughout the years who are exactly what I try to avoid being – too “smart” for their own good spiritually speaking! Their “Bible knowledge” is so complete they have no room for growth…and it’s a major turn-off to the majority of people around them without them even knowing it, or caring enough to realize it.

But can’t you know the truth, some may ask? You sure can according to John 8:32! But that knowledge, in its completed form, comes from continuing in the truth – it comes from growing in it (John 8:31; 2 Peter 3:18).

Does that mean we can never know the complete the truth about a particular topic from day one? Absolutely not. Just think about the nameless eunuch of Ethiopia (Acts 8:35-37). But at the same time remember the growth process that the apostle named Peter of Galilee had to experience concerning the possibility of salvation for gentile people years (literally years) after publicly preaching that the benefits of the gospel would reach “those who were afar off” (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 10).

My advice, which I strive to remember to follow myself, to anyone who gets asked a Bible-based question from someone who tells you that they’re not trying to be argumentative but simply asking a question that they’re curious about because of a statement or position that you’ve publicly proclaimed is for you to take the question seriously and try to recognize the validity of the point that the question is raising. Phew! Talk about a run-on sentence. But I suppose run-on’s are needed when you talk about a marathon length problem.

Concerning the sum of the situation, this one thing I have learned: when you are going to ask people to recognize their error you have to be able and willing to do the same with yourself! And the failure to do so reveals a lack of spiritual maturity that becomes obvious to everyone other than the person who stares back at us in the mirror. That’s why we’d all do well to be an Apollos-minded person, and not a Diotrephes.

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:24-26)

#attitude, #knowledge, #learning, #spiritual-maturity

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(#164) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:3-6-Wisdom Builds Houses and Lives

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 24:3-6: “Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Building a house is an illustration of applied wisdom: the dream is expressed, detailed plans are made and then followed. Every house follows this procedure, therefore every house is an expression of wisdom. “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). “Wisdom” shows the thoughtfulness of the plan; “understanding” shows the application to the materials; “knowledge” completes the details of the plan in building a house.

When wisdom is applied to life, itself, it’s a strengthening exercise that makes one “strong.” A truly “wise” person first “knows” what should be the right course of action; second, realizes his/her personal, individual responsibility in “war;” third, knows to gather various opinions from “counselors” (advisors) to see if there may be other factors to consider.

“Knowledge” gives “strength” to overcome many situations when “fools” don’t know what to do: “They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed” (1 Peter 2:8).

“War” should not always just be associated with violent conflict between nations, but also with the spiritual “war” each one of us must fight: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12).

It does no good to just follow the majority opinion, for the majority is not always right, as those who recommended sailing against the inspired prophetical advisory of Paul (Acts 27:9-21) found out!

Another proverb teaches this same principle: “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).

A wise man/woman will build a strong house, preparing for the storms of life by obeying the wisdom of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24-27).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #houses, #knowledge, #life, #lives, #proverbs, #strength, #strong, #understanding, #wisdom

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(#146) The Proverbs of Solomon 20:15-What’s It Worth To You?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 20:15: “There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”

In the old song, “the best things in life are free,” and it certainly seems that way. Even a credit card commercial contrasts the price of things bought with the card, with the human emotions that are generated but are “priceless.” The thing that makes the “best things” “free” are what God provides and our God-given abilities to value them!

No one questions the universal value placed on “gold,” or “a multitude of rubies,” but this proverb  places these “things” in a scale of values along with something that’s “free” which should be considered as a valuable. The Book of Proverbs keeps this consideration before us, for: “wisdom” is “more precious than rubies” (Proverbs 3:15); “wisdom is better than rubies” (Proverbs 8:11); and “a virtuous wife’s” “worth is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). Wisdom’s “gain” is better “than fine gold” (Proverbs 3:14); it is better to receive “knowledge rather than choice gold” (Proverbs 8:10); it is “much better to get wisdom than gold” (Proverbs 16:16); “loving favor” is to be chosen “rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). All of these “free” things are either equal or superior to gold and rubies.

The most impressive appearance anyone should have is not the gold in the pocket or rubies on the body, but a mouth with knowledge, for “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Solomon had asked for “an understanding heart” and God gave him that plus “both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days” (1 Kings 3:11-13), and there was not, until “a greater than Solomon” came in the form of Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:42). Jesus’ Wisdom helps millions of people long after gold and rubies would have been spent. Men who exude Wisdom remain appreciated and useful long after age and gravity have affected their outer appearance.

A Christian woman should make an impression on someone with her true, timeless, inner beauty, not with gold or rubies. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4). Worldly women, by their lack of clothing, draw attention to bodies, not their “hidden person of the heart.” The Red Carpets of the Award Season are all about “who” they are wearing, and not “who” they are following.

What’s it worth to you: gold and rubies worth money, or God’s Wisdom in the Bible—priceless!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #gold, #knowledge, #priceless, #proverbs, #rubies, #wisdom

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(#143) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:27-Don’t Miss A Word!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:27: “Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.”

The way to be lost is to not listen to directions. The way to forget “the words of knowledge” is to quit listening. There is discipline in listening, and there is no learning without it. This has already been stated: “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days” (Proverbs 19:20).

Just because some people quit listening doesn’t mean the sermon is over. “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek,’ of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:9-14). Bible truths need to be learned, and it is not the Bible or the sermon that needs shortening, but more often, there are some in the audience who need to grow in understanding!

Jesus Christ used parables, not to disguise spiritual truth, but to give “milk-drinkers” something to understand until they could handle “meat” of the Word of God. “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them’” (Matthew 13:13-15).

It is difficult enough to lead the disinterested to study the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), but there many who make the path to faith even more difficult, even impossible. Jesus condemned such people in His day: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13); “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered” (Luke 11:52).

“Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word” (John 8:43). When people are children of the Devil (John 8:44), they hear him, but they don’t want to know (“understand”) the manner of Jesus’ teaching, therefore, they “are not able to listen” to what He taught! No Holy Spirit intervention needed here, but the sinner must desire to know Jesus Christ, as Paul’s first recorded sermon indicated: “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him” (Acts 13:26-27). The people who crucified Jesus Christ were guilty of the same attitude toward truth as everyone today who has not obeyed the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16). Don’t let this be your undoing!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #discipline, #knowledge, #listening, #proverbs, #truth, #understanding, #wisdom

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(#61) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:23-A Fool is a Blabbermouth!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:23: “A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.”

“Knowledge” is based upon facts, certainty, and insight. When “knowledge” involves Bible truths, we must all be as David, who said, “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know” (Psalm 40:9). Though Peter confessed Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), Jesus was not ready for this to be widely known at that time, so “He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:20). However, when this truth was fully revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul had “not shunned to declare…the whole counsel of God” in Ephesus (Acts 20:17, 27). In dealing with the judgments of our daily lives, the “prudent” (sensible, wise, judicious) don’t need to tell everything at once! Since “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12), this principle is applicable to Christians (1 Peter 4:8). Solomon later would say, “There is a time to keep silence, And a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Those with good judgment will make timely conversation, hence, Christians must “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

When blabbing anything and everything one knows about others with the excuse that, “I’m just being honest,” one becomes a fool who is without good judgment! Other proverbs that add to this truth are: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19); “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly” (Proverbs 13:16); “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2); “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28). There is a common saying based upon this truth: “Better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” One who is “slow to speak” (James 1:19) is either “wise” or a fool who is mistaken as wise! Meanwhile, “a fool” will use a “multitude of words” to lay “open his folly” and pour forth “foolishness.” Running off at the mouth is never good, while shutting up the mouth in good judgment can be “perceptive!” When our heart is in our mouth, truth may be lost in the moment! God gives us a mind with which to filter what we say: “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips” (Proverbs 16:23). Since God’s people are now the Christians, Solomon’s wisdom is timeless: “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #fool, #foolishness, #grace, #knowledge, #mouth, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudent, #seasoned, #words

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(#51) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:1-How to Raise “Stupid”

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:1: “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.”

Instruction limits a person if followed, thus “instruction” is discipline, correction, or counsel. True “knowledge” comes to those who are willing to learn by “instruction. A good student knows the thirst for “knowledge,” and Jesus Christ emphasized this: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).  Every schoolteacher will tell you, there is no learning where there is no discipline. Parents who raise their children’s egos above their desire for learning are making their children “stupid” (brutish, like an animal, with unused human ingenuity). Animal intelligence is content to be that animal, and, like an ox, may kick against the goad, or refuse any instruction to follow! “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge” (Proverbs 14:6-7). Don’t hang around those who are “stupid” because they “hate correction” (or despise the discipline of knowledge!), and “stupid” rubs off! “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). Children who are taught disrespect for teachers, and disdain for knowledge, are raised to be nothing but a herd of slaves!

Other proverbs that teach this thought are: Proverbs 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise;” Proverbs 13:1: “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke;” Proverbs 13:18: “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored;” Proverbs 15:5: “A fool despises his father’s instruction, But he who receives correction is prudent;” Proverbs 15:10: “Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die;” Proverbs 15:12: “A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, Nor will he go to the wise;” Proverbs 15:31-32: “The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise. 32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.”

There is a saying in the Medical Profession: “There is no cure for stupid.” Fighting against learning shows determination to remain ignorant, and nothing could be more ignorant!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#animal-intelligence, #bible-study, #disdain, #disrespect, #ignorant, #knowledge, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #scoffer, #student, #stupid, #wisdom