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We Exist to Build Better Beleiversby Duane Mabee on August 3, 2017
A.W. Tozer – “Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed. The purpose behind all doctrine is to secure moral action.”
Tozer was right, though his statement may not have gone far enough. Biblical truth that is known but not applied is worse than useless, it is dangerous to our souls. It is deadly to our relationship with Christ.
Without sufficient Biblical knowledge, a believer is likely to be deceived by any slick talking religious teacher that comes along, (Eph. 4:14). That’s why one of the key responsibilities of the church is to teach disciples. They need to know what the Bible says and what it means. They need to understand the central doctrines. But, Jesus didn’t stop there. He didn’t say just teach them to understand, He said teach them to obey everything I have commanded you, (Matt. 28:18-20). A person who has solid Biblical knowledge but is not obeying it shows by his actions that he does not love Christ, (Jn. 14:23-24).
Being a Christian involves both learning and obeying. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command,” (John 14:15). Obedience is not optional. If we are not teaching people to obey everything Jesus commanded we are not making disciples. We need to teach them so that they understand, but we must also teach them to obey. It’s the church’s job.
But, what is the church’s job is also your job, whether you are in a leadership position or not. You are the church. The job of the church belongs to every believer, which means it belongs to you. So, how are we as a church doing with that job? How are you as an individual doing?
Are we teaching them what they need to know? Biblical literacy is at an all-time low in the United States – even among Christians. Many Christians do not understand the basics of the faith. A growing percentage believe that Jesus committed sin while He was alive. Many also believe that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead never to die again. Worse yet, they cannot tell you what difference it would make if those two things were true. That means we have failed to teach them somehow. We cannot wring our hands at the pitiful state of their Biblical knowledge without looking at ourselves in the mirror and asking, “How did we fail to get that across to them?”
Are we teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded? It doesn’t do any good to have heads full of knowledge if they don’t obey what they know. It is deadly to collect knowledge if we don’t obey.
We exist to build better believers, by both teaching them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded. It> class="MsoNormal"