Back to the Bible Concerning the Knowledge of God's Word
By Willie Alvarenga
It is indeed a great honor to be part of this gospel meeting. I thank my heavenly Father for the opportunity to preach His Word. I also thank the elders for allowing this unprofitable servant to come and proclaim the Word of God to you. May God be with us as we study from His Word!
As we begin this gospel meeting; I want to lay before you my responsibility as a gospel preacher. I promise to speak only the Word of God; for this is what the Bible tells me in I Peter 4:11 “If any man speaks, let him speak according to the oracles of God”. It is my conviction that we, as gospel preachers, must speak only what God has told us to preach (I Kings 22:14). We have a responsibility to speak only that which is in harmony with sound doctrine (II Timothy 1:13; Titus 2:1).
But, at the same time, you, as members of the body of Christ, and as visitors, also have a great responsibility to search the Scriptures to make sure that what you are hearing from me is the Word of God (Acts 17:11). You need to take the time to prove all things, and hold fast that which is good (I Thessalonians 5:21). We live in difficult times today; and therefore, we must try the spirits to see whether they are from God (I John 4:1). I will try to emphasize these great truths throughout the following days. I want people to have confidence in the preaching of God’s Word and not on my opinions, or what I think or like. I’m pretty sure that none of you came this day to hear what I like, but to hear what God says. And, once again, I promise to tell you a “Thus saith the Lord”.
Our central theme for this meeting is: “Back To The Bible”. Yes, brethren, it is imperative that we, as children of God, go back to the Bible and do things the way God would have us to do. I am convinced that today, more than ever, the people of God, and the entire world, need to go back to the Word of God. This is the only way to survive and not be lost.
Therefore, we will emphasize the need to go back to the Bible in all of the different areas that we will discuss in this gospel meeting. It is my prayer that those of you who have not been living the Christian life the way God would have it, to please repent from this evil action, and return to God to be saved. Also, if you have not obeyed the gospel of Christ, we encourage you to do so, before it is eternally too late.
On our first lesson entitled: “Back to the Bible concerning our knowledge of God’s Word”, let me discuss with you, a few principles that I believe we need to keep in mind. Concerning this topic, I want to present to you the following points:
1.Our present reality concerning our knowledge of God’s Word.
2.Why knowledge of God’s Word is so important.
3.Principles that can help us to increase our knowledge of God’s Word.
These three points will help us to take seriously the study of God’s Word. May we go back to the Bible, and be known once again, as people of the Book. I believe we have the potential to accomplish this.
Let us notice our first point:
OUR PRESENT REALITY CONCERNING OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD
There is a famine in the land concerning the knowledge of God’s Word. This is what the prophet Hosea said. Today, many Christians are not interested in the study of God’s Word. Many Christians are not interested in memorizing Bible verses; many are not interested in reading the Bible; many are not interested in teaching the Scriptures to their children; many have not taken the time to be familiar with the Bible. I believe that many Christians have come to a point in which they are not able to teach the Word of God to other Christians, or to the lost of this world. Many Christians have come to a point in which they cannot defend the Word of God against those who teach error. Many Christians have not taken the time to strengthen their faith so that they can be firmly planted in the Word of God. I believe that this is a sad reality we are living today.
We must do whatever it takes to make sure that this does not happen to us. God will not be pleased with those who have no desire to grow in knowledge of His Word.
WHY IS OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD IMPORTANT?
Please consider some of the reasons why the knowledge of God’s Word is so important. I also ask you to please share this information with your friends and family. All of us need to be aware of the importance of knowing the Word of God.
Reasons why knowing God’s Word is important:
1.God expects us to grow in knowledge (II Peter 3:18; II Timothy 2:15)
It is important for us to acknowledge the fact that God would have us to grow in the knowledge of His Word. A careful analysis of II Peter 3:18 concerning the word “grow” reveals some interesting truths. One of these truths is the fact that this word is found in the imperative mood. This means that God requires, commands us to grow in the knowledge of His Word. Also, the other truth that we learn from this passage is the fact that this word is found in the present tense. This means that God expects us to continually grow in knowledge. This is an ongoing process in which we, as Christians, must be involved.
Also, in II Timothy 2:15, the word “give diligence” denotes the act of striving to do what God would have us to do. We as Christians must have an attitude of diligence concerning the study of God’s Word.
Not to obey what God says will result in an attitude that is not well pleasing in the sight of God. If He expects us to grow in knowledge, then, it is our responsibility to do just that. The question is: Are you obeying this command of growing in the knowledge of God’s Word? It is my prayer that we are!
2.Knowledge of God’s Word helps us to not be destroyed (Hosea 4:6, 14; Isaiah 5:13)
This is one important reason of why you and I must strive to grow in knowledge of God’s Word. This knowledge will help us to be prepared to defeat our enemy. Satan wants to destroy us (I Peter 5:8; Matthew 13:39). He wants us to be ignorant in the knowledge of God’s Word. He knows that if we are not knowledgeable in the Scriptures, this will make his job a lot easier, that is, as far as destroying us is concerned.
The prophet Hosea said it clearly. A lack of knowledge of God’s Word will cause us to be destroyed. Sadly to say, many Christians have become a casualty in the Lord’s army. The reason for this: Lack of knowledge and preparation from God’s Word. Also, the prophet Isaiah said that a lack of knowledge will result in captivity. How many Christians do we know that are no longer faithful to God? I know several people that once were faithful, but now are members of the denominations. The reason for this: Lack of knowledge from God’s Word. Brethren, this may happen to you, and may happen to me. If we are not careful, we may end up being a slave of error and of Satan (I Corinthians 10:12).
3.Knowledge of God’s Word helps us to not sin against God (Psalm 119:11).
One of the strongest weapons that a Christian has is the Word of God. Our Father describes His Word as:
The sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrew 4:12)
Fire & Hammer (Jeremiah 22:29)
God’s Word has the power of helping us not to sin against God. This is what David said in Psalm 119:11. Therefore, if this is the case, then, it follows that every Christian who wants to defeat sin must keep the Word of God in his heart. This is the only way to be more than conquerors over sin and Satan.
How did Jesus defeat Satan when he was tempted at the wilderness? A careful reading of Matthew 4:1-12 reveals that God’s Word has the power to defeat Satan. Jesus made reference to the Scriptures in order for Him to be more than conqueror over Satan. Brethren, we can do the same. We can make reference to the Bible in our daily living, and by doing so, we can overcome every single temptation that comes our way.
The reason why many Christians are falling in sin is because they are not taking the time to keep the Word of God in their hearts. May I encourage each and every one of us to study and keep the Bible in our hearts? Brethren, this is the only way to survive the attacks of Satan.
4.Knowledge of God’s Word helps us to be saved (James 1:21; II Timothy 3:15).
We must be knowledgeable in the Scriptures because this knowledge, when put into practice, can help us to be saved. God’s Word has the power of being able to save us. This is what James, the brother of Jesus, said: “Received with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). If this is the case, if God’s Word can save us, then it follows that we must strive to the best of our ability to know God’s Word. The study of God’s Word can help us to be wise unto salvation. Only God’s Word can show us the way to salvation. Men cannot do this (Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
Therefore, let us consider this important reason of why we must grow in the knowledge of God’s Word. Do you want to be saved? If your answer is yes, then, please consider every possible way of how you can know God’s Word. Let us also share God’s Word with others so that they also, may have an opportunity to be saved.
5.Knowledge of God’s Word helps us to be ready to give an answer and refute error (I Peter 3:15)
This is another important reason of why we must grow in knowledge of God’s Word. Error abounds in this world. We have to fight against the forces of Satan. These evil forces can be seen in the following: Atheism, Gnosticism, Materialism, Unbelief, Humanism, etc. We as Christians must be prepared to give an answer concerning what God thinks in His Word. Are we prepared to deal with Atheists and Humanists? Are we prepared to give an answer of the hope that is within us? (I Peter 3:15). Are we prepared to answer the arguments that are being made against the essentiality of baptism? Are we prepared to teach people about the one true church? Are we prepared to teach people about the New Testament worship?
Brethren, we must take seriously the study of God’s Word. God expects us to be ready to give an answer. May God help us to study His Word in such a way that we grow in the knowledge of it.
Having consider some of the reasons why we must grow in the knowledge of God’s Word; let us now consider some advices of what you and I can do to accomplish the task of knowing God’s Word to the fullest.
THINGS WE CAN DO TO GROW IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD
1.We must have the proper attitude towards the Scriptures (Psalm 119:97; Job 23:12; Jeremiah 15:16; I Peter 2:1-2).
What is your attitude concerning the study of God’s Word? Is the study of God’s Word a priority for you? Brethren, we must have the proper attitude towards the Scriptures. We must love and cherish the Word of God in our lives. If this attitude abides in our hearts, we will be able to make the time to study and learn God’s Word.
2.We must take time to read the Bible (I Timothy 4:13).
How often do you read the Bible? When was the last time you picked up your Bible and spend some time reading it? The Bible commands us to read the Scriptures (I Timothy 4:13). Let us spend some time with God, studying His Word. But, at the same time, don’t just read the Bible, but also make plans to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only (James 1:22). Notice the following poem:
“READING THE BIBLE”
It is ONE thing to “read the Bible through;”
ANOTHER thing to read to LEARN and DO!
SOME read it as their duty”—once a week,
But no instructions from the Bible seek.
One reads to “bring himself into repute”
By showing others how he “can dispute!”
While OTHERS read “because their neighbors do;”
To see how LONG `twill take to “read it through.”
SOME read it for the wonders that are there—
How David killed a lion, and a bear.
While OTHERS read with uncommon care—
HOPING to find “some contradiction” there!
One reads “with father’s specks upon his head,”
And “sees” the things just as his father SAID!
Some read to “prove” a pre-adopted creed,
Hence understanding but LITTLE what they read;
For every passage in the Book they bend
To make it suit that “all important” end!
So MANY people in these latter days
Have read the Bible in so MANY ways
That FEW can tell which “system” is the best;
For EVERY party contradicts the rest!
But read it PRAYERFULLY, and you will see
Although MEN contradict, God’s WORD AGREES!
For what the early Bible prophets wrote
We find that Christ and His apostle’s quote.
SO TRUST NO CREED THAT TREMBLES TO RECALL
WHAT HAS BEEN PENNED BY ONE AND VERIFIED BY ALL!
Let us read the Bible with the intent of learning as much as we can. Ezra read the Scriptures (Ezra 7:10); Jesus read the Scriptures (Luke 4:16-17). And we, as Christians, should do the same!
3.We must take time to memorize the Scriptures (Psalm 119:11, 16; Deuteronomy 11:18).
How many Scriptures have you memorized so far? Do you love the Scriptures so much to the point that you commit them to memory? You, as a Bible teacher, do you encourage your students to memorize the Scriptures? We, as parents, do we encourage our children to memorize the Scriptures? It is my prayer that all of us take the time to memorize the Word of God.
Memorizing God’s Word
God’s Word, Holy Word
We must treasure in our hearts
For this is what the Bible
Tells us all the time.
With much prayer and meditation
We can accomplish this holy task
Of committing to memory
The oracles of God.
Our minds have the ability
To memorize the Word of God
So put aside all of the excuses
And start memorizing the Law of God.
Brethren, we need children mighty in the Scriptures. We need young people mighty in the Scriptures. This will help them to survive in a world full of error. We need more elders mighty in the Scriptures so that they can refute error when this is presented by those who have no respect for the authority of the Scriptures. We need more preachers mighty in the Scriptures so that they can fill their sermons with Bible, instead of their opinions. We need to go back to the Bible and be known, once again, as people of the Book.
4.We must spend money buying tools that will help us to understand God’s Word.
How many Bible dictionaries do you have at home? How many Bibles, Commentaries, Lexicons, and tools that can help you in your study of God’s Word do you have at home? Brethren, we must be willing to spend money buying those tools that can help us to understand the Word of God. It is interesting how Christians do not think twice about buying a CD that contains worldly music, but will not spend a few dollars buying a Bible dictionary. How many parents buy things that will not help them grow in the knowledge of God’s Word, but refuse to buy a Bible for their children when they ask for one? Brethren, this is not right. We must be willing to spend money buying those tools that will equip us to be better prepared to face our enemy—Satan.
5.We must pray to God for wisdom (James 1:5-6).
When was the last time you prayed to God asking for wisdom? The Bible says that if we pray for wisdom, God will give it to you! We must pray to God and ask Him to create in us an attitude of humility to accept our wrong doings, and to change for the better. I believe that through prayer and the study of God’s Word, we can become knowledgeable in the Scriptures. Therefore, let us take time to pray to our heavenly Father, and ask Him to help us have the right attitude towards the study of His Word.
It is my prayer that God continues to help us to grow in the knowledge of His Word. Brethren, let us go back to the Bible concerning the knowledge of God’s Word. May these truths that have been emphasized in this lesson be in your heart always! God bless you!