Text: “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”
Good morning, Christian unashamed! You can sing with the hymn-writer, ‘I’m not ashamed to own my Lord, nor to defend His cause; maintain the honour of His Word, the glory of His Cross...”. Praise the Lord!
How can you sing such sentiments? Why are you unashamed of what you believe? How did you become so fully persuaded in your conscience that you are indeed a child of God, and on your way to Heaven? The answer? One way only. Read on, beloved friend, read on.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you FREE...” (John 8:32)
“...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
So often in my travels I meet Christians and church-goers who are full of zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. In other words, they want so much to know and serve the Lord God, but seem pulled this way and that by ‘...every wind of doctrine...’; and tossed about like corks on a constant sea of doubt, faithlessness; and luke-warm commitment. (Ephesians 4:14)
Zeal of God, enthusiasm to know God and to know how to serve Him best, is a wonderful thing to possess. However, if that zeal is not firmly instructed from the Word of God, then it can lead the individual, and groups of individuals, into a merry maze of extreme, and often bizarre practices. Unashamed Christian soldiers in the army of Christ Jesus must always travel the road of Salvation guided by God’s Map alone - His own infallible Word.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
But, how does knowledge of God’s Word help the Christian to be strong in his/her beliefs and sure in his/her practices? What does study of our Bibles do to help us maintain certainty and full persuasion amid so much all around us that would cause us to constantly fall into confusion and doubt? Read on, beloved friend, read on - there is good news for you today. Praise the Lord God of Good News!
“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.“ (Proverbs 25:25)
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me (Christ Jesus); for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
Faith in God is the key to a life of unashamed witness and testimony to the greater glory of the Lord Jesus. “...Without faith it is impossible to please Him...” (Hebrews 11:1;6)
In order to please God and to be fully persuaded in ones beliefs and daily Christian practice - one must, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
We need that unique substance, faith, if we are to even commence in a fully committed relationship with God, in His Son Christ Jesus. So, how do we obtain faith? Well, again the Word of God gives us the vital knowledge: “Faith cometh by hearing (reading) and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) What could be more easier understood than that?
For example. We come into a room and sit immediately down upon a chair we have never seen before, having faith (confidence) that the chair will indeed hold our weight, and not allow us to fall to the floor. Right?
Okay. Now the more we study the chair, how it is made; what materials it is made from; if it is jointed or welded together, etc., the more confidence (faith) we will have to sit, or even stand up on, that chair. Right?
Now bring the above illustration into the Spiritual realm. If the great Object of our faith (confidence) is the finished work of Christ Jesus upon the Cross at Calvary, then it follows that the more we study and learn about Christ, His Person and His Work of Atonement, the more faith (confidence) we shall have to put our full trust in Him. Hallelujah! What profound simplicity indeed! Bless the Lord, oh my soul! Amen?
With the above exposition in mind therefore, we can now more clearly see that, while zeal for God is wonderful, zeal WITH KNOWLEDGE is what is required for the Christian to be unashamed in his/her daily life of service to the Master. Knowledge of God’s Word makes the vital difference.
Go to then, Christian, study God’s Word, gain the necessary knowledge to be totally unashamed of what, and of Whom, you believe. Amen.
Thought: Make sure your zeal is supported by true, Scriptural knowledge of Christ.
(For help in understanding the 'knowledge' Christians need to have, please click on to the Basic Christian Doctrines section on our website www.ulsterchristians.org)