There is so much to learn and understand when it comes to the Bible. If there wasn’t then there wouldn’t be so many differing opinions, Bible translations, and denominations and so on. I know for me I just had to know. I wanted to learn all I could so I could be all I knew God wanted me to be. I checked books out of the library and bought books every chance I could because I was a man on a mission. I had grown up like so many others with some vague idea about who God is and what he expected of me but now I was determined to find out for sure.
For the first few years after being born again I delved into apologetics. Biblical apologetics aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defending faith against objections. The topic of apologetics tends to fuel theological debates. Nevertheless, I wanted to have some sort of rational answers when asked why I believed the Bible. I’m not going to say I can answer every objection brought up by skeptics but I will say I am surer of the reliability of the scriptures since doing the study.
I’ve said all of this to get to my point today. I started reading Paul’s first letter to Timothy this morning and found some pretty sound advice within the first five verses. Paul of course, is writing to Timothy, whom he calls his son in the faith, who happens to be a young pastor. He urges Timothy to “instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.” There is no end to a discussion based on speculations and it tends to always be a faith drainer rather than a faith builder.
The next bit of advice for young Timothy I think I’ll adopt for myself. Paul told him “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” You see you don’t have to have all the answers in order to love someone and have a clear conscience. Endless discussions based on theory, tradition or some scientists’ logic is not the way to build a sincere faith either.
This reminds me of Paul’s fantastic “Love chapter” found in 1 Corinthians 13. He shared how speaking in tongues, the gift of prophecy, having knowledge, giving everything to the poor etc. will eventually go away but faith, hope and love will abide forever.
In conclusion, let me say I strongly push for people to study and dig deep into the things of God. I love it when someone has questions and is sincere in wanting to understand more about the Bible and God. When you boil it all down and it all settles in the end it is love, a pure conscience and sincere faith that is going to count. Studying the Bible is not about winning a theological argument. If our study isn’t building others up in love and faith we may want to rethink our priorities. I’m sure thankful Paul wrote this letter to a young preacher so many years ago.
Written by Louie