Isn't it so easy to receive teaching using the intellect but not allow it to affect our hearts?Isn't it easy to think ourselves better christians because we know more, because we think we understand more?Yet what we have understood in our heads we haven't understood in our hearts?Knowledge puffs up..could a knowledge of God without any application have the same effect of 'puffing up' with pride?Couldn't we know the bible inside out and back to front and still have Jesus say to us on the last day 'I never knew you' - is that possible for a regenerated believer?...Your thoughts...... . . . . .
Dan what you say is very true. Unfortunately there is a tendency for people read the bible, go to church, even listen to hundreds of sermons because it is a past time.Then when speaking with these people they seem very annointed, but really they are merely regurgitating information they have never digested.At the same time, there are precious saints of God, who here one sermon a week, do not stand out in the congregation, and have a hard time articulating the faith they possess, and yet these saints are truely pleasing to the Lord.We should listen to much preaching, spend much time in prayer, and study, nonetheless if all it amounts to is an increase in knowledge and not sanctification it is worthless, even harmful.
Thanks jmiklovic - I am completely in agreement with you - I mean completely, particularly regurgitating info never digested/understood - heck I do that sometimes but I try to avoid discoursing on subjects which I haven't understood or have little experience of, really I am seeking to guard against a form or religious intellectualism which I have seen in others and myself that has little or no application - I agree that much learning without letting it affect us is likely to be harmful, again I speak from experience here I think - I have just been so aware of some really sound believers who don't appear as intellectual or knowledgable as some but their life and faith simply speaks volumes....They know how to serve others, they love without limitation, they give generously, they pray often and with upmost sincerity, and all this without feeling any need to express their bible knowledge or ability to do exegesis....This is an issue for me because I see this failing in myself that I have esteemed knowledge above christian conduct and lifestyle and have seen a certain pharisaical hypocrisy in myself and in others in the past. 'Faith without works is dead'I would guard against the opposite error of assuming that a christian life can be lived apart from the scriptures, that we don't need knowledge just lots of experiences instead...