A few weeks or so ago I was on the Internet and happened to read a question a believersent to a fairly well known Bible teacher. In the questioner’s next to last sentence he stated, “Imagine the confusion we laypeople go through. We don’t have time to become famous Bible expositors.” The “We don’t have time” has been ringing in my ears since then.
On numerous occasions in various articles I’ve written, I have tried to help other Christians realize that they do have time for their own personal Bible study. Once I even broke it down in specific hours of the day, trying to show that we actually waste a lot of time each day. Bear with me while I delve into this subject matter once more.
Does Christ expect all of His followers to become “famous?”
Peter, James and John are certainly more “famous” than say Bartholomew, Thaddeus and Simon, but were they any less important? For that matter, Judas is really “famous,” but who would want to be in his shoes?
Each of the original disciples of Jesus was expected to know and grow within his own God-given spiritual abilities; i.e. gifts. (See 1 Corinthians 12.) Each of these disciples was expected to fulfill his ministry assigned to him by Jesus, but that could not be accomplished if he didn’t know what Jesus taught. We can’t share what we don’t have. We can’t build if there is no foundation.
Since the days of Jesus’ original disciples to the 21st century, there have been hundreds of very well-known names that followed Jesus and have become “famous.” However, millions over that span of years have also been faithful and no one but God knows their names.
In today’s world there are certainly many famous men and women who seem to be well-versed in God’s Word and teach the Bible. The problem however is; some of those are teaching the Truth, but many of those are teaching a lie, which can only come from Satan. How are we going to know, from all the “famous” Bible teachers, who is speaking the Truth and who is not teaching the Truth, if we ourselves are not students of the Bible under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit?
Being “famous” means nothing.
Does Christ expect all of His followers to be “Bible expositors?”
When we see the words, “Bible expositor,” perhaps we’re thinking of one who has spent years in the seminary. If we are able to attain that kind of training, especially in the Greek and Hebrew languages for example, that would be wonderful. However, only a small portion of Christians are academically trained in the study of God’s Word. Unfortunately, many of those have been educated by false teachers.
One definition of a Bible expositor is, “One who makes an attempt to express the meaning and purpose of a given writing or text to convey information and explain that which is difficult to understand, in this case, the Bible.” In other words, “One who explains the Truth of God’s Word to another.”
So the short answer to the above question is, “Yes.” God expects us to learn and grow in His Word, being always ready to give an answer to those who seek Him.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Also read Acts 8:29-40.
Does Christ expect all of His followers to study His Word?
The obvious Scripture that comes to mind is, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Also, consider what King David had to say, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:11, 105)
To grow in the Christian life and face life’s challenges, we absolutely must be a student of the Word. But let us not just be a student for knowledge sake, but reach for it as a drowning man would a life raft, drink it as one dying of thirst, and eat it as one who is emaciated.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
I don’t have time?
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
“But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Matthew 8:22)
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:26)
“This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.” (John 21:19)
Over and over Christ said, “Follow me.” To follow Him obviously means we must listen to Him, so how does He speak to us? He speaks to us through the Bible. The Bible is His Word and He is the Word of God. The Bible is God speaking to us.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
How can we say, “We don’t have time” when we waste so much time in our lives? When we say that, aren’t we actually saying, “I have no time for God?” Of course we are. Surely we don’t mean that. Perhaps we should take a closer look at how we spend our time, and re-evaluate that statement.
How can we recognize the fact of our salvation in Christ and have no interest in reading what He says? How can we sing, “Oh How I Love Jesus” when we don’t even care about what He says? If we receive a letter from our loved one, don’t we love them enough to read it? Of course we do! We’ll eagerly rip the envelope open to read what they have to say. The Bible is Christ’s letter written to us. Shouldn’t He be loved even more than our loved ones on earth?
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
Now obviously Jesus is not saying that we are to hate our loved ones on earth, but He is saying that He should be our priority. Is He?
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html