Summary: Love always pays a price. Love always costs something. Love is expensive. When you love, its benefits enhances another’s account. My love is for you, not for me. Love gives, it doesn’t grab.
study of the Word of God,
study the Word of God.
That’s deep theology. Right?
Yes, it is deep theology. Sad to say, much, even most Bible study today is not the study of the Bible. It is instead, the study of books written about the Bible, and those can be interesting, enlightening and we need many of them, BUT they are not the Bible.
As a result, Christendom is divided by whose book or theology each group is following. Christendom should be united in what we know of the truths from the Word of God, itself.
This was a basic and devastating problem, even in the early Churches. Look at what the Holy Spirit had to say on this matter, through the Apostle Paul in…
1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal.
As you remember, in the last lesson, we established, from the Word of God, that there are two main aspects to the truths in the Word of God.
1. Basic truths (milk of the Word)
2. Deep truths (meat of the Word, and here referred to a "solid" food)
In our discovery of God’s truth, we need a balance of BOTH.
We also saw that if we don’t have the "basic" things of the Word of God, we can never gain the "deep" things. However, if we don’t use the "deep" truths we’ve gained, we will regress in our understanding of BOTH the "basic" and "deep" things, and will find ourselves starting over again.
If you missed the last lesson or the mind is a little fuzzy on these things, may I recommend you reread lesson #18 that you receive this past week.
1 Corinthians 3 :3b For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
We can and should gain insights into the truths of God’s Word through the many "ministers" provided by God. However, we must keep in mind that they are only ministers, not the Holy Spirit, and their writing or sermons about the Word are only human writing and not the Holy Scriptures.
If we can maintain that balance, THEN these many ministers can "water" and "plant", BUT it is still God that gives the increase. However, if we let these many ministers become, in our minds, anything but ministers who "water" and "plant".., we bring devastation to the church, and apostasy to the teaching from the Word.
Please note, in this case at Corinth, it was not the ministers who were creating the division, it was the hearers. That is not always the case, sometime it is the ministers that cause the division, either deliberately or inadvertently.
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
There is ONLY one foundation upon which to build, and that is Jesus Christ, and the ONLY place we can access that foundation, is the Word of God.
If there is only one foundation (and there is only one foundation) upon which we can build our Christian life and only one access to that foundation, THEN it is pretty important that we have a very good understanding of that foundation, BOTH of its basic and deep things.
Each one of us are responsible for how we build on that foundation! Others, such as ministers, can be helpful by giving instructions, BUT they can not do your building for you. NOR should your foundation be based on what these ministers have said and written.
Just for the record, that includes me. I will not deliberately give you improper building instructions, BUT nonetheless you are responsible to search the Scriptures to make sure that what I say is founded solidly in the Scriptures.