Summary: Ignorance is one the major causes for Christians missing out on God's best. This was true in the early church, and it is still true today.
A new bride was showing a visiting friend her first garden she had ever planted. The friend notice several
small green clusters at one end of the garden and asked what they were. The bride said proudly, "They are
radishes." "Really," said the visitor, "most people plant them in rows rather then clusters."
"They do?" responded the puzzled bride. "That's strange-they are always in bunches in the store."
Ignorance in many areas of life can be humorous and harmless, but in many other areas it is a terrible
curse. Dorothy Davis, as a young missionary wife, tells of how hard she had to work to save natives from
their ignorance. It has always been a custom for the natives she worked with to give birth to their children
in chicken coops. They let the baby drop on its head and lie on the dirty floor with the chilly mountain air
blowing in. Many have died unnecessarily. Panic reigns when twins are born, and she has collected
photos of twins that have been raised in order to persuade them that multiple births are not a calamity
brought on by a malicious demon. Several families have not let their twins die because of her efforts. The
light of the Gospel is pushing back the forces of darkness all over the world, but the fact is, ignorance is
still Satan's most powerful weapon, and there is plenty of it still around.
Ignorance is one the major causes for Christians missing out on God's best. This was true in the early
church, and it is still true today. A devout woman was sent by her Christian psychiatrist to see a man who
practiced faith healing. The faith healer upset her by telling her that psychiatrists were instruments of the
devil. Here was a case where one Christian was seeking the help of another member of the body, but that
part of the body would not recognize him as part of the body. This is the very problem that plagued the
church at Corinth. They were ignorant of the great differences that exist in the body of Christ. In their
limited view each tended to think that only those who were like them, and those who had their gifts, were
truly a part of the body. This lead to division in the church and a lack of cooperation that allowed Satan
to hinder the progress of the church.
Satan's great task in this world is to keep us ignorant and uninformed concerning the truth of God. If
the truth shall set us free, then ignorance will keep us in bondage. In Eph. 4:18 Paul writes of the Gentiles
who are, "..alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them." Ignorance is the
enemy of all men, and Paul knew it could still be a curse to God's own people. He knew that Jews had
failed to receive God's best because of ignorance. They had a zeal for God, but it was not according to
knowledge, and he writes in Rom. 10:3, "For being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God,
and seeking to establish their own righteousness they did not submit to God's righteousness."
Here were zealous dedicated people who wanted only the best, but in their ignorance they rejected
God's best. Ignorance is truly a curse, for it makes the best people do the worst things. Because it can
even make Christians miss God's best, one of Paul's most urgent statements in his Epistles is, "I would not
have you to be ignorant brethren." He uses this phrase most often in writing to the Corinthians, for their
ignorance was creating a lot of confusion. The good that came out of it is that because of it we now have
Paul's enlightening chapters on th gifts of the Spirit to be our guide, and the guide for all the church
through time. The purpose of these chapters is to inform Christians about the value and function of the
gifts of the Spirit so that they might be a blessing rather than a burden to the church.
The Corinthian church did have some excuse for their ignorance until Paul wrote these chapters, but
we have no excuse for being ignorant and uninformed. In fact, it is a sin for a Christian today to be
ignorant concerning spiritual gifts, for we have this clear revelation. Alfred North Whitehead said,
"Where attainable knowledge could have changed the issue, ignorance has the guilt of vice." No Christian
has a right to remain ignorant on the issue of spiritual gifts.
The Corinthians had all of the gifts and yet they were far from being an ideal church because of their
ignorance. This teaches us that it is not the gifts that are the key to being what God wants us to be, but