Friday, July 26, 2013

Knowledge AND Understanding

"that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,"
Ephesians 1:16, 17 (NKJV)

Ephesians 1 shows us a prayer that Paul prayed for the people in the church at Ephesus.  Ephesus was a city that Paul had been to on several occasions and Paul had even taught in a school there for two years.  Still, Paul was praying for the believers there to get something.  These people already had some knowledge about the things of God, so Paul was not just praying that these Christians would gain more knowledge, Paul was praying that they would gain an understanding of what they had already learned.  It is one thing to know something but it is something else to understand it.

I may know about electricity and how to turn on a light but that does not mean I understand electricity and I am qualified to be an electrician.  We may have knowledge of some facts but what do those facts mean?  Many people know facts about God and the Bible but they do not have any understanding.  I have had several conversations with people who clearly knew something about the Bible but they did not really understand it.  If we only know facts without having any understanding we can easily be led astray by wrong teaching and have trouble living the kind of life God has planned for us.

How do we get an understanding about what the Bible says and go beyond just the facts to get the meaning of those facts and then put them into practice in our life?  We first need to read and study the Bible for ourselves; to have a greater understanding of the Bible we need to take time to learn what it says.  But, the biggest key to getting an understanding of the Bible is to look to the Holy Spirit for help.  Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is our Helper who would teach us all things (John 14:26) and that He will guide us into the truth (John 16:13).  We all need to spend time reading and studying the Bible and then trust the Holy Spirit to help us gain a greater understanding of God's Word so that we can take advantage of it and put it into use in our life.

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