I want to clarify a few things about my last post Thinking and God’s Will. I used an example to demonstrate that we often define things based upon our own understanding. That example had to do with Scripture and the knowledge of it. I asserted that just because someone knows the Bible well doesn’t mean that God loves that person. To demonstrate my assertion I used Matthew chapter four where Satan is tempting Jesus. In this scene we see that Satan knew the Bible well. Satan’s knowledge of scripture was being used to convince Jesus of things contrary to the Bible.
Does God love Satan? No. He is an enemy and will one day be cast into the lake of fire. Does Satan know scripture better than most people? It seems to be so because Jesus never argued that Satan wasn’t using scripture correctly. Instead, Jesus demonstrated that Satan was focusing on a few texts, a few verses, and ignoring other sections. Did Satan know this? I have a feeling he did, but being the father of lies he tried to deceive by focusing on that which would cause Jesus to sin. Essentially using scripture to tempt Jesus to do what scripture as a whole teaches.
I then made application referring back to the reason for the post: Let God define who his children are, not man. A Christian isn’t just someone who knows the Bible. That’s not how the Bible defines a Christian. That’s not how God’s Word defines a Christian. We don’t judge a Christian based solely off their understanding of what God has revealed in the Bible. A Christian is primarily someone who the Holy Spirit has transformed by hearing and believing with faith the preaching of the gospel.
Now, for clarity sake I want to say what I was not saying, and I want to affirm things I believe.
I was not saying that a Christian shouldn’t know scripture. A Christian will want to know what God has spoken. A Christian is someone who obeys God’s words, which we know via the Bible.
I was not saying that a Christian shouldn’t seek to know God by His word.
I was not saying that knowledge is evil and wrong.
I was not saying that a Christian should have sound understanding.
I was saying that doctrine doesn’t save. Knowledge doesn’t save. Knowing the Bible doesn’t save someone. It’s only the person Jesus Christ who saves, by the power of the Holy Spirit, by grace through faith, and that even faith is a gift of God so that no one can boast because the whole work of salvation is by God alone for God alone.
However, part of the fruit of the Christian life will be a desire to know God’s word more: what He has said, what He loves, what He hates. The Holy Spirit produces within a Christian the desire to know the Bible more because it is God’s Word and in it we find all we need to know about our God and savior Jesus Christ.