Seven weeks into my first Greek class at school, and if ever there was a way to a humble someone, Greek is the way to humble anyone. It is challenging not just to learn another language but to realize that my command of the English language is pretty sorry, too. Ha-ha. I admit, whatever I understand of my native tongue is more passive and comes from years of writing while in prison. Before Greek, I could have told you what a noun was, but I would not have been able to tell you the difference between an adjective and an adverb off the top of my head. The understanding that I had was just in my brain, mixed in with all the bad habits I picked up over the years from sheer laziness and texting.
But that made me wonder. As important as understanding our language is for writing business emails, newsletters, and policies in our workplaces, how many of us have a real command of the language we use? Off the top of your head: What is a prepositional phrase? When is it appropriate to use a semicolon? What does a verb do? Obviously, I do not expect answers in the comments section. But, if you spaced like I did when I tried to answer any of those questions, you have to ask yourself how often you butcher the English language!
That led me to another question, how often do we have the same approach with our faith in Christ? We have some basic concepts of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We go to church, we drop a twenty-dollar bill in the offering every so often, and we speak the Christianese lingo. But how well do we understand the faith that we proclaim to follow? Do we know that we are called to make disciples, who make disciples? Do we realize that we are supposed to take up our cross daily and follow Christ? Do we understand why Christ died for us? Do we know that He was fully human and fully God? Do we know that the Trinity is made up of three independent beings who are of one essence? Are we aware that we can see God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Word—that is Christ before He became flesh—even in the opening chapters of Genesis, with a foretelling that He would be born of a virgin to defeat Satan? Do we know and embody how we are supposed to treat one another as believers? What about those that we call our enemies?
I used to think that I understood the Bible and Christianity. As a practicing heathen back in the day, I used the Bible out of context and twisted Scripture to “prove” it was incorrect. I did with the Bible what we see happen in the media a lot these days, grab a sentence, and present it out of context to fit the narrative that is desired to be pushed. Convincing others of the error of Christianity was great, but that was never really the goal. The goal was always doubt. Reasonable doubt. If we can cast reasonable doubt on something, we are conditioned as a culture to disregard it.
We see how significant doubt can be when people trash-talk and gossip about others behind their backs. Their words bring the person they are talking about into question. This can then cause people to become ostracized, left feeling unsure why there is such a shift in their friendship-circles and cause them to sink into depression as they are suddenly being treated with disdain and contempt. This was also the tactic of Satan in the Garden with Eve when he told her that she would not surely die if she ate of the fruit, and this is his tactic still. Satan brought God’s Word into question. He painted God as being a liar and selfish for keeping the tree’s fruit from Adam and Eve. Satan made it so that Eve shifted her position toward God, which then involved Adam and the rest of us. All it took was casting doubt.
Yet, as believers, Peter encouraged us to grow in the grace and knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18). We are told that the Word of God is alive and active, that it judges the thoughts and the attitudes of the heart, as well as having been God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (Heb. 4:12, 2 Tim. 3:16). The way that we come to know God is through His Word. King David, a man after God’s own heart, told us that God’s Word was a lamp for his feet and a light to his path (Ps. 119:105).
It is through studying the Word that we get to know who God is, not what the world says He is, not what we have picked up along the way that isn’t right, and not what we want to project onto Him because it makes us feel better in our own sinful filth. Yet we get to know Him, and we can start getting to know Him now. But Satan doesn’t want you to know God in any real, clear way. He wants you to remain in doubt. He wants you to be hazy on God's truth and live in a way that is against the Lord. Jesus told us in Matthew 12:30, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” How can we be sure that we are with Him if we aren’t studying His Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us as we take it in? How can we withstand the attacks against our faith if we do not arm ourselves with God’s truth?
Doubting is a lot like not being okay. It’s okay to not be okay, and it is okay to have doubts. But it is not okay to stay there. In fact, Jesus told Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:27).
If you believe in Jesus Christ, are you building on your relationship with Him? Do you know Him? Do you spend time reading His Word so that you may hear His voice written into the words on the page? Or are you one of the ones who would be humbled when Jesus looks at you and says He never knew you? (Matt. 7:21-23).
Until Next Time,