Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21 ESV)
C. H. Spurgeon found an old Bible one day with a small hole in it. It seems that a worm had eaten its way through the Bible from cover to cover. Considering this, Spurgeon suddenly exclaimed, “Lord, make me a bookworm like that!”
We all need to pray like that too. This is because most of us are poor Bible students. We really do not want to know God too well, because we hold to the old saying that “Ignorance is bliss.” To be a Christian, requires us to be willing to seek to know God with all our hearts and minds. Do you know the difference between milk and meat? Most Christians only seem to want a small dose of God-lite. They are afraid to get too close to God because it might require too much of them.
However, relationships require perseverance. The author of Hebrews puts it this way: “. . . we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:11-14, ESV)
The Christian must realize that reading and studying the Bible – along with other Christian books, commentaries, etc. – and spending time on our knees before God should always be our “constant practice.” We must read and study until we come to a true understanding of the Scriptures. This is the way to learn more about God.
In Luke 24:45, there is a phrase at the beginning of the verse that I love. It reads, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. . .” Jesus opened the minds of His disciples so that they could understand the Word of God. James, the half-brother of Jesus wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5, ESV)
Don’t allow words such as “theology” and “doctrine” intimidate you. “Theology” is simply the study of the nature of God and religious truth. It helps us to answer questions about God. “Doctrine” is a body of teachings and principles. They help us to be consistent and logical in our understanding of God. John Owens reminds us, “The foundation of true holiness and true worship is the doctrine of the gospel, what we are to believe. So when Christian doctrine is neglected, forsaken, or corrupted, true holiness and worship will also be neglected, forsaken, and corrupted.” Such an abomination occurs because we have failed to seek to understand the God of the Bible.