devotional

13AUG
2014

There are no Secrets to Growth

 

Paul reminds his son Timothy, "that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus,” 2 Timothy 3:15. Salvation alone depends on the mercy of God. It is not based on one’s knowledge of the Bible. Before there was a Bible men were saved. Since it has been given, however, we know that it is through the written revelation that God has chosen to make Himself known throughout the ages in His church. Being wise unto salvation isn’t just “something” Christians do; it’s what they do. Being wise in this way does not necessarily have anything to do with one’s natural acumen or predispositions toward intelligence. Scripture makes Christians wise.

            Let me give you an example of biblical wisdom. I read it recently in a puritan devotional. It reads, “Ungodly men have their quarrels with their favorite sins on various accounts. But these are like children's disputes with one another–soon over, because they come from passion, and not from principle.” – Charles Spurgeon. This is very true. Hatred of sin for the believer is one based on principle, not mere emotion. A real hatred from sin comes from a solid knowledge of God’s calling it sin in the Bible. Knowing Scripture is like knowing any living, breathing person. It takes time to get to know them. With time that knowledge grows. Like with any communicative person, that knowledge really only comes with two way talk. As the redeemed reader absorbs the text their questions shoot forth into it. The text answers. More questions come and with them more answers. It is communicative, of course, because it is the given communication of God. That is God talking. It is God the Spirit who is revealing Christ on the page.

            This growth Paul reminds Timothy of is no mystery then. It comes with knowing the word. The wisdom is no mystery. It is this same Scripture-based wisdom of which God speaks in Hebrews when He says, “solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil,” Hebrews 5:14. That discernment isn’t based on someone’s spiritual thumb being licked and lifted into the winds of mystical divination; it’s judging everything off sound biblical insight. Wisdom from above is always a gift, but it is no mystery. If we neglect a diet of Scripture then God will seem far from us. If we are full on His precepts then we wll feel closer to Him, and be wise. It is no mystery.

 

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