How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 3:3-5)
Reading To Understand
There is no greater power a man can possess than knowledge. Everything in life comes from the seed of knowledge. When the Lord placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He gave them instructions on how to care for the garden and what they could enjoy and what was forbidden. Through the avenue of words, God imparted His will to Adam and Eve in a manner easily understood and without confusion. There were two trees in the midst of the garden: one was a tree that would give them life without end and the other tree would reveal the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life was a blessing from the Creator that Adam and Eve could eat and enjoy. God forbade His creation to take of the tree of knowledge of good and evil for in the day they ate they would die. Knowledge empowered the first man and woman to look upon the forbidden tree and know it was not to be touched or eat lest they die.
Satan came upon the woman with a plan to destroy the paradise of God. There were many ways the devil would seek to deceive the woman but he chose the most powerful tool in his arsenal. The first words out of the serpent’s mouth challenged the word of God. Satan knew that knowledge was power but he was using the knowledge of evil to deceive the woman to take of the forbidden fruit. Through the subtlety of deceptive words, he deceived Eve into taking what she knew was forbidden. The law in Eden was clearly stated and easily understood. If Adam and Eve had taken a moment to investigate the claim of Satan against the word of God, they would have immediately seen the inconsistency of the devil’s ploy. God had told the first couple they could eat of every tree in the garden but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they were not allowed to eat. There was no deep theology, difficult passages to unravel, or confusing language to decode. God’s word was plain.
Throughout the history of humanity, the struggle with man and God has always been the neglect of prideful men to accept the fully revealed word of God. There has never been a time in history where the Lord has not revealed Himself in one manner or another to His creation. When Jesus came into the world, He became the Living Word. As the New Testament church began to grow, men like Matthew, Mark, Luke, Peter, James, Paul, and John began to write letters telling the story of Jesus and the organization of the kingdom of God. Many books and letters were written and through the work of the Holy Spirit, a few were retained in canon form to become what is known as the Bible of sixty-six books. Paul best described the process of knowledge when he tells the saints in Ephesus how he had received the revelation directly from God and when they read his letters, they could understand his insight into the plan regarding Jesus Christ. It was possible to understand a mystery hidden from other ages. This knowledge came from reading the word.
There is nothing more fundamental to the life of a Christian that his ability to read and understand the scriptures. God has not given His creation a book that cannot be read. Everyone can understand God’s will. What is lacking in so many lives is the time spent reading the word of God. Paul told the Ephesians they needed to read his message. When they read his letter they could understand things long hidden. To the Romans, Paul said that faith would blossom from the desire to hear the word. If a man never reads the word of God his faith will diminish into nothing. Reading and knowledge are tied eternally together. Jesus has returned to the Father but His Word remains in the printed form so that all men can come to repentance.
Owning a Bible does not save a man. Finding occasional time to flip through the pages of the Bible will not increase knowledge. Listening to a man preach on the word will help but it will not increase the overall knowledge of the heart without an open Bible to examine the text. Greatly lacking in the hearts of many of God’s people is the time devoted to reading the word of God. There was a time the Lord’s people were known as people of the Book but those days are long gone. Fewer hearts are stirred by the stories of Holy Writ. Ignorance of basic Bible doctrines is commonplace among the saints. Like Israel of old, the church is being destroyed for lack of knowledge. Paul admonishes in a kindly manner that when one reads the word of God they will be able to understand the mystery of Christ; a knowledge that God did not reveal to previous generations, but now by his Spirit has revealed through the Bible. Take time to read the word of God. You will be amazed at what you will learn. When you read …