The Need for Students of the Word
Posted by Nathan
The world waits in anticipation for the students of the Word of God to arise again. There are many in the world today with the questions and many of them are seeking the answers. If the church cannot adequately meet the questions with clears answers from the Word of God they will look elsewhere. Whether it is science, Islam, Buddhism or whatever the people are longing for “truth” even if it is tainted or false. For the one seeking intellectual/scientific proof of the existence of God the church must be ready to meet them with answers to their question. If the one is looking to find peace in a chaotic world the church must be there to meet them lest Buddhism or something else tries to. For some it could simply be why believe in Christianity when we have so many contradicting doctrines like Calvinism vs. Arminianism. This is why we must become students of the Word.
In an age where information is at the tip of your fingers, the need for students of the Word is grave. We can no longer live by quoting another’s point, but must search out the truths of God’s Word and know it for ourselves. I find that one of the reasons why atheism and religions like Islam are growing so fast is because believers are not grounded in the Word. Many in the western church have sought the excuse of “not being called” to not be ready or for others they just quote the pastor or another without knowing it for themselves. For the latter this is quite dangerous because when confronted with the questions and not being grounded in the Word, one not only will lose a chance to be a witness of the Truth, but can be susceptible to stumbling or even losing faith. For the former, though I do not believe all are called to be preachers or evangelists; I do believe that all are called to know God and when asked about Him all should able to respond. “…be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2 Loving God is inseparable with knowing Him and talking to Him.
Loving God, being a man/woman of prayer, and being a student of the Word are one in the same. One cannot say that they love God but aren’t called to be a student of the Word nor pray. The idea is simply absurd. How can one say they love someone and not want to get to know them or spend time with them? We get to know Him by reading His Word for it is out path into knowing Him. The blessed scriptures are letters from God to us that we would know about Him and prayer is simply talking to Him about the letters and so much more. Well for the one who thinks that they just need to pray and love Jesus you still can’t do it without His word to spring-board you into deeper prayer. I have found for myself personally the more I read and study the word as well as the context of the scriptures my heart just explodes with love and affection for Him. Many times I have sat studying the context of a passage and before I even got into the words of the scriptures my heart was already overflowing just by understanding the context of the audience and the issues of the setting.
It would seem that two of the biggest struggles for many believers are that they don’t have the Word of God and many others they either take it for granted or twist its original meaning. What I mean by this is that they might either twist things to fit their own ideas, spiritualize the meaning, or seek to personalize it by saying “it is all about them.” The first gives us doctrines that promote universalism, the second gives us ideas saying the book of Revelations is not literal and the latter takes away the context of the passages, which for many they either begin proof-texting or not seeing that the Word had a specific audience. One example is obvious is if we don’t know why Paul says women should be silent in church then we will miss the point and hold women back from entering into their calling in God. The book of Song of Solomon was written as a love story between one man and one woman, then it became canonized by the Jews and was seen as a depiction between God and Israel and finally it became seen as a depiction between Christ and His Church. Now we have taken the book of Song of Solomon and say it is just about Christ and us. Though we can apply the truths of the book to our individual selves we must acknowledge that the context is Christ and His Church as a whole as well as it is Solomon and the Shulamite, without that view we miss much.
My desire is to see people giving themselves fully the knowledge of God, that men and women would become students of the Word. O’ that believers would begin to dig deep into the treasure of God’s Word. What would it look like if the Church knew the Word of God and even some of the context behind it more than the Muslims do the Koran? What would it look like if believers knew the Word of God clearly and contextually more than scientists their books of science? For this I am sure the witness of the Church would be powerful. We would no longer have contradicting doctrines concerning God. The message of the church would no longer differ from denomination to denomination, allowing the World to clearly understand the message. It is always really hard to receive directions to a couple’s house when the husband says one way and the wife says another. Or rather when you ask someone what an elephant looks like and one says it has big ears and the other says it has a long nose, both are true but are lacking and not clear. But if you go to one who has studied elephants and they describe them as large grey mammals, with long noses, tucks, big ears, small skinny tails and weigh over a ton; then your audience will actually know, understand and believe. We must become students of the Word that we may be a clear witness, ready to confidently meet the questions of the world and even more that we would know this One whom we love.