I Corinthians 2:14 — But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Does knowledge alone produce the fruit of the Spirit and further conformity to the image of Yeshua?
I can look up every word in this verse and get the meanings of the words in Greek. OK, now what? Yes, I’ve gained more knowledge and understanding, but what do I do with that new information? How does what I’ve just learned work in me to bring about transformation into the image of Yeshua? In other words: If I keep on learning and getting more knowledge, does that somehow produce a more spiritual outcome?
Does knowledge alone produce spiritual fruit? I mean, Satan is pretty good at quoting Scripture. We’re told that he believes in God and trembles. He’s more knowledgeable than most, but I don’t think he’s manifesting the fruit of the Spirit! .
I’m afraid we’ve been taught in our Christian and Hebraic congregations that more knowledge equals more growth. And the Hebraic movement has taken this Greek mindset of gaining more knowledge to a whole new titillating level.
I have to believe that there is more to Scriptural reading than just getting more and more knowledge. It’s great to know what the stems and roots are to a word. I love that I can get more knowledge by digging into word studies. But, in the end I’ve just come up with more words to describe more words. It all becomes so … abstract.
Where am I going with this? Do I have a point? At this point, I’m not sure that I have a point to this point.
Perhaps I do though.
I’m thinking we’ve dumbed-down the true impact of Scripture because we approach the Word from a Greek/knowledge mindset. That is: If we can know more things than we will have learned more … things. And since we’ve learned more things then we are more of what we’re supposed to be.
But, I’m wondering if knowledge alone produces a change that is really true change.
I don’t think there has ever been a generation more knowledgeable of the Word of God than our generation. We have preachers galore telling us what the Word means and says. We can find all kinds of Bible commentaries online to read. We have multiple study Bibles from which to choose.
But I’m not sure we’re really all that more Spiritual for it. Remember my Mrs. Milford blog? I doubt she even knew the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. If she did, she never pursued it and … was better off for it.
Take our verse, for example: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Simply put: Anybody can read the Word and, to varying degrees, benefit from it. But unless a person has the Holy Spirit indwelling him, it’s for naught.
Let’s take it one step further. The person that has the Spirit within benefits from his reading only as the Holy Spirit does His work in making application of the meaning of the words that are read. There is a spiritual aspect of communication that has to take place along with the knowledge aspect.
What I’m saying is this.
We have to get away from our Greek mindset that says more knowledge means more spiritual growth is taking place. Unless there is Spiritual communication going on while taking in the Scriptures, knowledge alone will fail. And the result will be just what we have all around us … a bunch of Christians/Messianics that, if anything, are far more like the world than the Yeshua they say they believe in. We “know” the Word but do we spiritually know the Word?
Let’s end this way.
You’re on a desert island. It’s just you and your Bible. You’re stripped of all your usual sources of knowledge. No internet. No dictionaries. No commentaries. No study Bible. No “original” language. No sermons to listen to. No favorite pastor/teacher guy. Just you and the plain words of Scripture sitting in your lap.
Feeling a little like you’ve lost your blankie? Perhaps that’s what it will take for us learn to draw upon the Spirit for the sustenance we need to become the Christ-like people we’re supposed to be.
How do YOU go to the Well of Living Water and receive its benefits? Is it an intellectually academic exercise? Or, is it a spiritually meaning and penetrating time of fellowship with your Abba Father?
Nothing wrong with the knowledge part. But let’s, perhaps, focus a little more on our relational fellowship with our Father. The knowledge part will take care of itself.
At least that’s the way it worked with Mrs. Milford.