The responsibility to learn from God on our own

Published 6:26 am Friday, August 17, 2018


Religion columnist

It’s no secret there are many different ideas about religion and spirituality. I’ve studied different religions and even within my own faith of Christianity I have discovered there are many conflicting opinions concerning what God wants us to be and how we are to live. At this time I will limit my views to the Christian faith because that is where I have spent more time in research and also declare my allegiance. I must add that I have not “arrived” at some type of wisdom plateau or to be considered a Bible scholar but instead have a long way to go in my spiritual understanding. In fact, it seems the more I learn the more I realize I do not know.

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I was raised in a traditional Baptist church in the sixties and seventies. As I began to study on my own, I realized there were many other creeds and ideologies in the religious world that at least deserved careful consideration. I’ve also discovered the more time we spend sincerely praying and researching the Bible, the more questions we have about what we have been taught. It’s true, that every denomination has different ideas and uses certain Bible passages to prove their points but with so many conflicting opinions we can see why there is so much division which also explains why God advises us to seek out our own salvation with fear and trembling. I’m not suggesting that we turn away from reading and listening to other people’s views but we have a personal responsibility to seek the Lord and search for divine truth on our own. “But the anointing which you have received of God abides in you, and you need not that any person teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things and is truth and not a lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in Him” I John 2:27. Bible teachers can help us learn but it’s much easier to trust and even pay someone else to study and explain their views than it is to become a disciplined Bible student. Since we are referring to personal accountability, why would our private studies and prayers not be our highest priority?

There is a divine order to the way God wants us to live and His desires must be first and foremost. Our highest goals after we are born-again is to know and obey God’s voice, to learn and receive His word, to yield our will, develop faith, love, and live holy. The Bible was not written to satisfy or justify our carnal flesh or to make us comfortable in our sins and neither are blessings given so that we might be absorbed in pleasures which distract us from knowing spiritual truth. The disciple’s mission is not easy or a popular subject because being crucified with Christ and taking up our cross is all about surrendering our will and allowing Jesus to be our Lord and to control our lives. The life-long commitment and responsibility of a Christian requires for the mind and conscience to be renewed into His image because unless we are changed from the inside out, Christ cannot be seen in us.