Sunday, 17 August 2014
And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. 1 Corinthians 8:2
Paul now introduces a thought directly related to what he said in verse 1. In that verse, he said, “We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” It is true that everyone has a certain amount of knowledge, but for some having knowledge is believed to be an end in and of itself. They suppose the mere knowledge is a ticket to understanding everything that is necessary to control one’s life and one’s surroundings.
However, knowledge without a moral compass has led to many millions killed in war, to the falling of nations, to the subjugation of others, and to a complete lack of true goodness in the world. “If anyone thinks they know anything” then is speaking of the person who is satisfied with the head knowledge in the book, but feels there is nothing more which is needed.
In the case of the Bible, Paul would be speaking to the theologian who understood all of the mechanical aspects of the word – knowing Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek; understanding the historical background of what the writers were relaying; grasping the literary forms found within the writings; etc. Such a person may feel that he has conquered the Bible and is therefore above those around him who are less educated. However, such a person may know “nothing yet as he ought to know.”
God is certainly far more pleased with the uneducated high-school dropout who finds a heartfelt relationship with Christ than that stuffy professor who has never humbled himself at the foot of the cross. All of the knowledge in the world won’t get a person one inch closer to salvation without the heart accompanying that knowledge. Only when that increased knowledge is accompanied by faith does it take on its true purpose. As we grow in understanding, we should also grow in glorifying God, empathizing with those around us, walking in love with others, and applying the Bible to our every step. This is wisdom then – the correct application of knowledge toward the things of God.
Life application: If your heart is right with Christ, you are in the sweetest spot of all. Don’t feel your walk with the Lord is lacking just because your level of knowledge is minimal. You will learn as you study, but you will do it on the wise path of mixing your knowledge with your love of the Lord.
Knowing everything about the Bible is a good thing, we know
But without love, just what good is that knowledge to us?
So what if I know Hebrew and Greek and put on linguistic show
How much closer does that get me to Jesus?
I could know every detail of every story found in this book
And when someone cited it wrong, I could make a giant fuss
But if I never open up my heart and take a good look
How could I expect to be pleasing to Jesus?
Instead, the heartfelt faith of a child is such an important thing
Walking humbly with the Lord should be the goal of each of us
When we speak, of the Lord our voices should ring
I know that these will surely bring a smile to my Lord, Jesus
Lord, I love Your word and all that it contains. I delight in every detail and subtle nuance that can be gleaned from it. But I also know that as I learn more, I need to put my knowledge into practice and into a desire to share it with others in a way which brings You glory. If I have all the knowledge in the world, but don’t back it up with love for You and others, it is ultimately wasted. So Lord, humble my heart and help me to apply my knowledge in love. Amen.