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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Colossians 1:9-10 – Pleasing Jesus requires more than knowledge

Today we are bombarded with knowledge about a whole range of subjects  information overload, it is called. What is done with such knowledge? Some merely learn it, some misinterpret it, some apply it to others but not to themselves, and some use it correctly. The same responses are found with regard to knowledge of God’s revealed will in the Bible. In order to use our knowledge in a right way, Paul says we need spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Where can we get this wisdom and understanding? One answer is to pray for it, as James the Lord’s brother says in his letter: ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him’ (James 1:5). This is a straightforward way of attaining wisdom.

Second, we can use a key that explains the whole Bible, and that key is Jesus himself. Remember the incident on the way to Emmaus: the two disconsolate travellers were in need of a proper understanding of the facts they already possessed. Jesus took them through the Old Testament, and ‘beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself’ (Luke 24:27). Jesus was the key for these two persons.

Later on, in the Book of Acts, we find a very intelligent, religious man reading the Bible and not understanding it. If we had asked the Ethiopian official about the details, he could have recited them word perfect. But he did not have the key to its meaning. So God sent Philip to tell the man about Jesus, and he now had the key and could travel home to Ethiopia able to understand the revealed will of God.

The way to have wisdom and understanding is by prayer and using the key. We combine both when we ask God to use the Holy Spirit to teach us about Jesus from his Word.

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