Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Can Knowledge Be Bad?

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Since our youth, we are instructed to learn and grow in knowledge. Is it possible, at times, this could be a bad thing? I am not saying education and growing in knowledge is necessarily a bad thing, but can it be? I do not advocate avoiding our studies, after all scripture tells us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,” (1Peter 3:15b) and "study to shew thyself approved unto God." (2 Timothy 2:15a KJV) The bereans searched the scripture daily to see if they were taught the truth. However, how can learning and growing in knowledge be a bad thing? Follow me for a moment on this.

How can knowledge be bad?

When we go back to Genesis, in the Garden of Eden the Bible speaks of two trees by name. One is the “tree of life,” and the other is “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God commanded Adam and Eve saying they could eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. While the "tree of life" was available to them, they choose the "tree of knowledge." They gave up intimacy with God for knowledge. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the tree of knowledge, thus gaining knowledge of good and evil and the separation between God and man resulted.

When I look at my life, how does knowledge affect me in a wrong way? Because of my knowledge I believe I have no need to ask God for His wisdom and guidance, after all, I think, I have the answers. Maybe I sin and cause harm to come upon myself or someone else. Maybe I just flat out make a bonehead decision and pay the consequences for years to come. See, this knowledge props me up with pride, and the results are not good.

When I am out witnessing, some of the hardest people to witness to are the intellectual people. Maybe they have a college degree and are successful in life, but because of their pride and knowledge; they think they have no need for God. Maybe they think they are too smart to believe in a God.

For other examples of how knowledge can be bad, one only needs a quick look at the newspaper for many examples on how people used knowledge for evil. One gains knowledge of something valuable, and then steals it; another may have knowledge of bomb construction, and then use it to kill innocent people. The list goes on and on.

With all these examples of how knowledge can be bad, how then can knowledge be good?

When Jesus asked “who do you say I am,” Peter replied “you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:13,16-17) Notice the Father gave Peter this knowledge. Jesus goes on to say “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Jesus being the Christ (the Messiah), is the rock which the church is built upon. Jesus is building the church. That means, if I am a Christian, Jesus is building me; I am a part of His church. Jesus is the Rock; He is the Chief Cornerstone. If my knowledge is built on the Rock, it is a mighty thing; my knowledge may be used by God for His good purposes. When I keep my eyes focused on Him and allow Him to build me, I do not become puffed up with pride believing I can accomplish my desires apart from God. My desires may not be God’s desires and my fellowship with Him may be broken, when my knowledge is not built on the Rock. Even our studies apart from the Word of God, say in school, are used by God if our life is built upon the solid foundation, the Rock Jesus Christ. We may use what we learned to obtain a suitable job to raise our families, have the resources to give and support the church. Remember, what is a good thing may become a terrible thing if it is not built upon the solid foundation, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


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 1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court.In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. (1 Corinthians 4:1-5 NKJV)

This post was inspired by a sermon I listened to last week by a Calvary Chapel pastor, Damian Kyle from Modesto, California. This was a phenomenal sermon which he gave at a pastors’ conference. I received a copy from my church as part of a study on "Servanthood." This message ministered to in an awesome way, and I would love to share what I learned from this message with you. Below are the highlights from that message.

The Apostle Paul, a man who still praises God even after being unjustly arrested, savagely beaten and bound in chains, in a 1st century Roman jail. He was a man who rose up to his feet after being stoned and left for dead, only to make his way back to the city in which he was stoned. During his second missionary journey, he came to Corinth, “difficult nut to crack,” but he established a church there. Paul was not appreciated and was forced to defend himself. The people of Corinth did not like his simple preaching. He did not dazzle them with excellence speech or wisdom, but preached Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (See 1 Cor 2:1-2) People also did not like the fact he would not let them be comfortable in their sin. What is it that helped the Apostle Paul remain faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through all the trials and tribulations he faced? Thankfully the Holy Spirit gave us a glimpse into the heart and mind of Paul. Below are seven keys from the text in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, which gives us some insight into this.

  1. “…very small thing that I should be judged by you…” (1 Cor 4:3) Paul was more concerned about what God’s opinion was than mans. He did not allow mans opinion of him get him down. We are not to let the unjust opinions of others drive us out from where God has called us to serve.
  2. “… In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself…” (1 Cor 4:3-4) Judging ourselves can be as dangerous as someone else judging us. He is not talking about examining ourselves concerning sin and holiness. What Paul is saying here is that he is unable to make an accurate opinion about the effectiveness of his own ministry and service. For example, one may think they did a most remarkable job sharing the message of Jesus Christ, yet it was not effective. Then what we thought was downright lame, was in fact, just the opposite. This was the message used by God to change someone’s life.
  3. “…but He who judges me is the Lord.” (1 Cor 4:4) Paul trusted God to all judgments for only God knows all things and He will bring all things out into the open. (See verse 5)
  4. “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ…” (1 Cor 4:1) Paul reminded himself he was a servant. When realizing one is a servant, it protects us from self pity. We are God’s servant to be used as He sees fit, which is our reasonable service.
  5. “…stewards of the mysteries of God…” (1 Cor 4:1) Paul was a steward of the mysteries of God. A steward is not free to do as he pleases with the wealth he is entrusted with, but to do with according to his masters desires. Paul would hear the voice of the Lord, and be faithful in obeying God.
  6. “…until the Lord comes…” (1 Cor 4:5) Paul always had an eternal perspective for he knew this would all end up in heaven one day.
  7.  …Then each one’s praise will come from God.” (1 Cor 4:5) Paul was confident that at the end of his life, he would receive the greatest reward one could ever imagine. That is to hear, “well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” No life that does not hear this from Jesus can be considered successful. Think about that statement for a minute.