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‘The More You Know’

From time to time network television puts on the air a public service announcement with the catchy phrase, “The more you know.” The commercial makes use of popular actors who promote the ideals of staying in school, abstaining from drugs, and other matters of health, safety, and education. The basic idea seems to be the sensible truth that “the more you know” the better off your life will be.

The same pattern holds true with matters of the soul. The more you know your Bible, the better off your spiritual life will be.

It almost goes without saying that Christians should read and study their Bibles. But we know how easily the task of Bible study is left undone. So many other activities crowd into our lives taking up our time and motivation. When a person determines to exercise regularly, he looks for some incentive to take the time and make the effort. Consequently he prods himself with the reminder that exercise will lead to better health.

When we study the Bible at home or in church, it will certainly involve the exertion of time and effort, but that exertion will pay off in real benefits that last forever.

** The more you know the Word, the more God will strengthen your faith in Him.

It’s a fact of Scripture that the Holy Spirit creates our faith and sustains it. But He does so through the means of grace, that is, through the Gospel in Word and Sacrament.

When you read the Word in home devotions or take advantage of Bible Class to learn and review the great doctrines of salvation through Christ, the Spirit is working mightily to nourish your faith and make it stronger.

You can think of your personal Bible reading and your church’s Bible study as a much-needed meal — spiritual food that will fuel a growing faith in Christ.

** The more you know the Word, the more you think in terms of God’s will.

Christian faith is a power within the believers heart, a power that leads us to live our lives in loyalty and devotion to the Lord who bought us.

But we don’t automatically know what God would have us do to serve and please Him. We need the Word to show us the way. Your faith will prompt you to ask the question, “What does God want me to do in my marriage, in my child-rearing, at my job, in my neighborhood, at my church?”

And the Scripture will give you the answers–answers that are found and applied through personal Bible study. The more you learn from your Bible, the more it will influence your heart and mind to think spiritually. That is, you will learn to base your attitudes, opinions, and world-view on the truth that God has spoken.

** The more you know the Word, the more you know the truth.

When Lutheran Christians are instructed and confirmed in the church, they confess to believe all the doctrines contained in Scripture.

They confess to believe in the teachings of infant baptism and the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. They confess to believe in the six-day creation, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Christ, the final judgment, the permanence of marriage, the divine call of the pastor, the principles of church fellowship, and so forth.

Hopefully their confession is based on knowing what the Bible says to prove these doctrines as divine truth. Unfortunately, if we fail to reinforce these convictions through Bible study, the convictions will fade. Instead of saying with confidence, “We believe that Scripture says . . . “, we may find ourselves confessing, “My church says . . . ” or “My pastor says . . . ”

Once we lose the scriptural moorings of our confessional beliefs, it doesn’t take much to lose the actual confession. We start to doubt “what the church says” if we don’t understand the scriptural reason why a certain doctrine is true.

Thankfully we are steadily reinforced in our doctrinal convictions by regular and thorough study of the Bible.

At all times in the year and throughout our lives, we can think of ourselves as students who continually enroll in the ongoing study of God’s Word. It’s always a mistake to think that we have “graduated” from Christian education.

When the Word is put to use, the Christian’s knowledge of Scripture will become more in-depth. You will also discover where the principles of Scripture can be applied to your daily lives. The benefits are there, if we make the effort and stay with it.

Let’s also remember that our study of the Scriptures will be guided and blessed by the Holy Spirit who leads us to know the truth. He’s the One who make potential benefits come true in the hearts and lives of His people.

— Pastor Steven Sippert