Coming to the Knowledge of the Truth
Coming to the Knowledge of the Truth
By Larry Winn
We must ask ourselves, how do we feel about our religion? The apostle Paul said this in 2Timothy 3:7, "Always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." People may learn many things, but the true nature of religion they do not learn. There are many such persons in the world, who, whatever attention they may pay to religion, never understand its nature. Many obtain much speculative acquaintance with the “doctrines” of Christianity, but never become properly saved or acquainted with the system; many study the constitution and government of the church, but remain strangers to practical piety; many become familiar with the various philosophical theories of religion, but never become truly acquainted with what religion is; and many embrace visionary theories, who never show that they are influenced by the spirit of the gospel. Nothing is more common than for persons to be very busy and active in religion, and even to “learn” many things about it, who still remain strangers to the saving power of the gospel. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. Jesus said the way is narrow (Matt. 7:13-14), not everyone will inherit it (Matt. 7:21-23). It is a place where only the faithful in Christ and those who are protected by the power of God through faith can obtained (Rev. 22:14; Col. 3:23-24; 1 Peter 1:2-5). May we always study (give diligence) God word (sword of the Spirit) that we may come to the knowledge of truth and be approved by Him (2Tim. 2:15; John 8:32). “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Enjoy your day in the Lord!
A Hedge of Safety
By Scott Black
Several weeks ago, I made some Wednesday evening comments about the security we can each feel while being in God’s protective care and what a blessing it should be for us. Specific mention was made of several Bible references of familiar physical terms that we can all easily picture and appreciate. In that talk, I mentioned how Satan accused God of “building a hedge” of safety around Job (Job 1:10), but how that negatively intended comment actually accrued to Job’s benefit. I have liked that term and actually use it in my prayers when asking God for his protection of various ones and also for security in certain circumstances: “Please ‘build a hedge,’ Lord.”
The psalmist in Psalm 34:7 states: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.” Imagine dwelling in the wilderness and God encircling our vulnerable party and providing continuous protection for us. Whether we think about it or not, He does this for us all of the time.
Also in Psalm 139:5, we read: “Thou hast enclosed me behind and before and laid Thy hand upon me.” Think of the security that pets and farm animals depend upon each evening when they are placed in a protective shelter to keep them safe from the perils of darkness. We can feel that same security as God’s children and feel the presence of His loving arms surrounding us.
The protective nature of a mother bird gathering her young under her wings is another example found several times in the Bible, among those is Psalm 17:8; 61:4; and 91:4, and how desirable it is to be with the Lord “in the shadow of His wings.” An interesting contrast is made by Jesus in Matthew 23:37 of how He wanted to provide that same type of protection and support for Israel like a hen with her chicks, but the people of that day wanted nothing to do with it.
There are numerous other descriptive examples in the Bible of God’s protective care (such as being a “shield” and the relationship of a mother with her child, as well as other like terms and situations). We should all deeply desire the blessing of that much needed security in this unsure world of troubles and temptations. Some find it difficult to accept the confines of dependence on God, but miss the fact that He is actually providing His love and security to us in wanting us to submit to Him and accept it. There is no better and safer place to be.
In these present times, as well as in all the difficulties that we must always face, let us each take comfort that God can protect us and let us be willing to draw near to Him and let Him surround us with his loving care. Let us continue to pray for each other. I hope these thoughts can help provide comfort and encouragement to each of us.
For a scripture of comfort and in keeping with my above comments, I want to also provide you with Psalm 61. Notice the other physical terms that describe how God is our protector ("rock," "refuge," "tower," "in Your tent," along with the previously mentioned "shelter of Your wings"). David, as the king of Israel, wrote verses six and seven in "the third person" referring to himself as king, so I am making some revisions to those two verses to help make that part of the reading even more personal for each one of us. I think you will find this psalm of hope to be very appropriate now and for any time of difficulty.
Psalm 61:1-8 (NASB) “Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name. You will prolong my life; My years will be as many generations. I will abide before God forever; Appoint lovingkindness and truth that they may preserve me. So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.
Test Your Knowledge of Short Books of the Bible
1. I was the “Beloved friend and fellow laborer” of the apostle Paul.
2. I wrote God’s message to the Edomites.
3. I told disciples to “earnestly contend for the faith.”
4. I am the elder who wrote to “the elect lady and her children.”
5. I wrote to Gaius “whom I love in the truth.”
4/26/20 AM - Who Wants You to Be Baptized?
PM - Chasing Scapegoats
5/3/20 AM - The Faith of Abraham
PM - The Faith that Made Our Worship Hymns (Sermon in Song)
5/10/20 AM - The Gospel Train
PM - God, the Avenger
5/17/20 AM - The Four-Fold Purpose of the Gospel
PM - The City Whose Builder and Maker is God
5/24/20 AM - Jesus Healed Ten Lepers
PM - Some Bible Sevens
5/31/20 AM - “Moreover, I Declare Unto You the Gospel”
PM - The Rich Man and Lazarus