Summary: Jesus knew that ignorance of the truth is no excuse for sinning. The Lord said to the Pharisees, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Ten points)

Why Jesus Taught People to Avoid Sins of Ignorance (Matt 22:29-31)

Illustration: always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. . --2 Timothy 3:7

When Harvard University was founded, its motto was Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae--"Truth for Christ and the Church." Its crest showed three books, one face down to symbolize the limitation of human knowledge. But in recent decades that book has been turned face up to represent the unlimited capacity of the human mind. And the motto has been changed to Veritas--"Truth."

The pursuit of knowledge is praiseworthy, yet learning can quickly lead to pride and a refusal to acknowledge any limits on our mental abilities. When that happens, biblical truth is ignored.

What, then, is the truth about truth? A wise king wrote centuries ago, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov. 1:7). We must recognize the relationship between God and truth. Without the help of God’s Spirit and the instruction of God’s Word, man will be ever "learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7). When we acknowledge and obey His truth, however, we will be set free from spiritual ignorance and error (John 8:32; 17:17). That’s why we must be diligent in studying the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15). It is the only book that tells us the truth about truth. --VCG

Holy Bible, Book divine,

Precious treasure, thou art mine;

Mine to tell me whence I came,

Mine to teach me what I am. --Burton

To know Christ the Living Word, study the written Word. (Our Daily Bread)

1. Jesus knew that ignorance of the truth is no excuse for sinning. The Lord said to the Pharisees, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Matt. 22:29) Ask the Lord to help you avoid just having book knowledge of the Bible without having an experiential relationship with its author - God.

2. Jesus knew that ignorance about salvation is no excuse for going to hell. Jesus said to the woman at the well, "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews_But the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth." (John 4:22,23) Ask the Lord to help you bring people past their presuppositional objections to knowing Jesus as their Savior.

3. Jesus knew the ignorance of the highly religious people who stubbornly clinged to their false intellectual security. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "You are Israel’s teacher and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony." (John 3:10-12) Ask the Lord to give you the wisdom, patience and persuasiveness to speak through the blindness of the self-righteous.

4. Jesus knew that ignorance is usually limited by unbelief. John the Baptist said, "The man who has accepted the truth has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit." (John 3;33,34) Ask the Lord to show you how to help deliver people from the limiting effects of unbelief, mis-belief or immature beliefs.

5. Jesus knew that ignorance is even found among His inexperienced disciples. One day the disciples said to Jesus, "Rabbi, eat something." He said, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." The disciples said, "Could someone have brought him food?" Jesus said, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." (John 4:31-34) Ask the Lord to help you to bring your disciples to a spiritual level where they are satisfied only with doing the will of God.

6. Jesus knew that ignorance comes from sinful self-righteousness. One day the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? Jesus said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:3,4,7) Ask the Lord to help you be sure to take the speck out of your own eye before you try to remove the log from another’s eye.

7. Jesus knew that ignorance comes from a rush to judge, blame and accuse others. One day the Pharisees accused the guards of being deceived by Jesus when they were unable to arrest him. They said, "You mean he has deceived you also? This mob knows nothing of the law- there is a curse on them." However, Nicodemus, who has gone to Jesus earlier asked, "Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?" (John 7:48-51) Ask the Lord to help you concentrate on doing God’s will so that you can avoid the sins of judging, blaming and accusing others falsely.

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