Summary: We often are hearers of the Word and not doers. We learn and teach God’s Word more than obeying it ourselves. John 13: 17 says, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Introduction: In the books of Genesis and John we find that God has given us His Word – the truth and wants us to follow our freedom in Him from the evil one.
There are 5 hindrances which affect our understanding and application of God’s Word:-
1. Tendency to make Christian doctrine an end in itself: Christian maturity is not the understanding of principles but in building character. If we accept the truth in our life but it doesn’t change our love for God and man, then there is something wrong with us.
2. We can learn a lot about God from the scriptures and not know Him at all: Before Paul’s conversation, he knew the law but didn’t recognize God in Christ when he saw Him. We are not asked to fall in love with the Christian doctrine and theology but to fall in love with Christ.
3. We often encourage others to memorize scripture instead of thinking spiritually: Our model should be “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1: 14. We are to incarnate God’s Word. Our lives have to be transformed, which in turn should transform others. Our minds should be renewed, which should renew others.
Illustration: An old man walking on the beach bends down to pick up the star fish and throws it back into the sea.
4. We often are hearers of the Word and not doers. We learn and teach God’s Word more than obeying it ourselves. John 13: 17 says, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Illustration: A pastor asked a professing Christian some questions.
Pastor: Are you active in the local church?
Christian: The dying thief wasn’t and yet he was accepted. So why should I?
Pastor: Are you baptized?
Christian: The dying thief wasn’t and still he made it to heaven. So why should I?
Pastor: Do you partake in the Lord’s Supper?
Christian: No, the dying thief didn’t either and Christ still accepted him. So what’s the big deal.
Pastor: The only difference between you and the dying thief is that he was dying in his belief but you are dead in yours.
5. Like the Pharisees, we tend to neglect the commandments of God and hold to the traditions of men. Mark 7: 8 & 9 says, “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men -- the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”
This is one of the most serious problems we all face.
The youth who wanted to serve the Lord with zeal (new wine) – in the church (old wine skin) – this is rooted in traditions of men. The results are disastrous for both.
Conclusion: Lord, renew me today through Your Word. I desire to grow in my love for You, not just knowing the truth about You.