Why Read Other Books?

August 26, 2019 at 10:57 am | Posted in Q&A | 1 Comment
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Question: I read my Bible. What does it matter if I read other books or not?

Answer: I agree that if you are only going to read one book, read the Bible. That’s the most important book. However, one reason adults – especially Christian adults – should read other things, too, is that the ability to read is a great gift from God, and a great way to acquire information and knowledge about areas where the Bible gives principles, but might not go into a lot of detail. Also, I’m concerned about our brains. The part of your brain intended for reading comprehension will get atrophied (like a muscle that never gets any exercise) if it is not used. The result will be a decreased ability to understand concepts, to apply information or knowledge to circumstances (wisdom), a poor vocabulary, and a failure to be able to properly explain what you are trying to say when it might be important.

Also, I’m concerned about how social media and television have come to replace reading. These activities are far more mentally passive, and they don’t use the same part of your brain. Also, they are addictive in a bad way. According to studies, when you get attention on social media or achieve a goal on a video game or app, your brain releases dopamine which creates a sensation of pleasure. However, you soon develop a higher tolerance level, and you need to feed the unconscious craving for dopamine more and more, so you spend an inordinate amount of (mostly wasted) time playing silly games or checking your status for “likes,” hoping to keep your dopamine receptor engaged. It’s just not mentally healthy the way reading is.

I Corinthians: The Knows vs. The Know-Nots

March 26, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Posted in I Corinthians | 2 Comments
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Bible scholars and commentators have identified many themes in the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth: the importance of being wise, the proper use of the spiritual gifts, the correction of improper ecclesiology, and the necessity of unity within the Church, just to name a few. As I studied through the Book of I Corinthians in preparing to teach an adult Sunday School class, though, I became convinced that one of the main keys to understanding it is to see it as a letter about the knowledge of God in Christ, and the danger of operating outside of that knowledge. I enjoyed studying, teaching, discussing, and learning about topics ranging from our “calling” as Christians, to how our conscience informs our spiritual decisions, to the true meaning of Christian love, to the roles of men and women in church, to the doctrine of bodily resurrection, to the right and wrong kinds of addiction, all the while focusing on the tension existing between those who live in the light of God’s gracious knowledge, and those who do not.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.

I Corinthians 2:2

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he KNOW them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I Corinthians 2:14

KNOW YE NOT that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

I Corinthians 3:16

For I KNOW NOTHING by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

I Corinthians 4:4

Your glorying is not good. KNOW YE NOT that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

I Corinthians 5:6

KNOW YE NOT that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

I Corinthians 6:9

KNOW YE NOT that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

I Corinthians 6:15

What? KNOW YE NOT that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

I Corinthians 6:19

Now as touching things offered unto idols, we KNOW that we all have KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he KNOWETH any thing, he KNOWETH NOTHING yet as he ought to KNOW.

I Corinthians 8:1-2

Do ye NOT KNOW that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

I Corinthians 9:13

KNOW YE NOT that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

I Corinthians 9:24

But I would have you KNOW, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

I Corinthians 11:3

Ye KNOW that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

I Corinthians 12:2

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I KNOW in part; but then shall I KNOW even as also I am KNOWN.

I Corinthians 13:12

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye KNOW that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:58

Here are the links to posts in the category, I Corinthians:

1. Clear Calls for Christians: Pure Upgrade (1:1-9)
2. Clear Calls for Christians: Proper Unity (1:10-23)
3. Clear Calls for Christians: Point Upward (1:26-29)
4. How We Know What We Know (1-2)
5. Pavlov’s Kids (1:20-21)
6. What Christians Want You to Know (1:23)
7. The Foolishness of God? (1:25)
8. Knowers, Growers, and Showers
9. It’s Time to Grow Up
10. Wise Watering
11. Quarterback Commandment No. 9
12. What the Knows Have and What the Know-Nots Have Not
13. Ministers Must be Managers
14. Faithful to Him and to Each Other
(4:2; 12:14)
15. Ministers Must be Meek
16. Ministers Must be Mild
17. Pride Is Everywhere
(4:7; 5:6-7)
18. The Know-Bodies
19. Delivery and Birth
20. Beware the Fight with the Flesh
21. Spiritual Body Shaming
22. Leavenless Lump
23. Know When to Say Know
24. Mercy / Memory
25. Douglas Wilson: S.W.I.M. to be Detestable
26. Adiaphora and Analyzing Ambiguous Activities
(6:12; 8:13; 10:23, 31, 33)
27. Fooling Around with Celibacy in Marriage
(7:1-2, 7, 32-37)
28. Having a F.I.N.E. Marriage
(7:1-5, 9, 32-37)
29. Getting Busy in Marriage
30. A Concupiscible Marriage
31. Imagination in Marriage
32. Guarding the Top of the Wall in Marriage
33. An Irascible Marriage
34. A Knowledgeable Marriage
35. Know Your Real Identity
36. Having a P.C. Marriage
37. What the Knows Ought to Know about Conscience
38. Know Your Rights
39. A Prize-Winning Run
40. Know Your Limits
41. Quarterback Commandment No. 4
42. The Blessings of an Unhappy Marriage Part 2
43. Motivated by Fear?
44. Head Knowledge
45. The Cause, Confusion, and Consequences: Problems with the Lord’s Supper
46. Forgetting To Remember – Part 1
47. Forgetting To Remember – Part 2
48. The “Ways” to Remember
(11:24, 4:17)
49. Forget-Me-Nots
50. How the Knows are Gifted
51. Discipleship Lesson 6: The Local Church
(6:19; 12:14-28)
52. The Determination, Demonstration, Distribution, and Designation of the Spiritual Gifts
53. Love and Order
54. Suffering in Marriage
55. LONGsuffering in Marriage*
56. Be Kind to Your Spouse
57. Objections to Being Kind to Your Spouse
58. Jump-Starting Your Marriage
59. Performing a Biopsy on Your Marriage
60. Getting the Puffiness Out of Your Marriage
61. More Testing for Puffiness in Your Marriage
62. A C.A.L.M. and Courteous Marriage
63.A C.A.L.M. and Accommodating Marriage
64. A C.A.L.M. and Longsuffering Marriage
65. A C.A.L.M. and Merciful Marriage
66. The Right Kind of Rejoicing in Marriage
67. Practical Principles for Policing the Exercise of Spiritual Gifts in Church (14)
68. Order in the Church
69. Up from the Grave with the Knows!
70. A Major Breaking News Story
71. Put It On and Pack It On
72. Vanity Must be Expelled
73. Immortality Must be Entered Into
74. Corruption Must be Eliminated
75. Thankfulness Must be Expressed
76. Opportunity Must be Embraced
77. Reality Must be Encountered
78. Yesterday Must be Eclipsed
79. The Needs of the Knows
80. The Addict (His Characteristics)
81. The Addict (Signs of Addiction)

*most-viewed post in category

How We Know What We Know

October 27, 2016 at 11:05 am | Posted in I Corinthians | 16 Comments
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That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

I Corinthians 1:5

In the book of I Corinthians knowledge is seen as a gift. Those who have knowledge (“the Knows”) are not Knows because they are worthy. They didn’t “figure it out.” They didn’t acquire this kind of knowledge on their own.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

I Corinthians 1:17-19

Those who do not have this knowledge (“the Know-Nots”) think they have wisdom – and the world around them confirms them in this – when really they are the opposite of wise: foolish. This is one of the most tragic things about being a Know-Not: You know NOT that you are a Know-Not.

This keeps us from discounting the possibility that we are secretly Know-Nots, except when we receive the knowledge of Christ from Christ Himself.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

I Corinthians 1:20-25

Good news: Just because you wake up and realize that you are a Know-Not, you do not have to stay in that camp.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

I Corinthians 1:26

In fact, the Holy Spirit is calling you out of that camp into the tribe of the Knows.

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

I Corinthians 1:27-30

It is humbling to be a Know – even though you wouldn’t think so. The Knows have the knowledge, but it is a dependent knowledge. Our only source of so-called boasting is boasting in how great our God is and how unworthy we are.

The Apostle Paul was a know-not only in a purposeful way.

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

I Corinthians 1:16

He determined not to know the record of his past accomplishments, and not to know things that would distract from the Gospel.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

I Corinthians 2:2

This was a selective and special instance of voluntary “Know-Notism,” because the true Know-Nots crucified the Savior.

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

I Corinthians 2:8

They did it in ignorance, but it was a culpable ignorance. They doubled down on being Know-Nots by blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

I Corinthians 2:9-11

These verses apply Isaiah 64 to progressive revelation. The Spirit searches even the deep things. Don’t sell yourself short concerning what you are able to comprehend about God’s Word, since you have its Author, His Spirit, residing in you to teach you. The Know-Nots want to know less. The Knows want to know more. And the Knows have received the Spirit of God

The “flesh” has a spirit, but it is a selfish spirit, and the world also has a spirit that is not a good spirit.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

I Corinthians 2:12

Spiritual knowledge is ignorant of fleshly, worldly knowledge.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

I Corinthians 2:13

“Comparing spiritual with spiritual” is a good rule of Bible interpretation, but also a good rule to live by. Spiritual minds want spiritual truths.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I Corinthians 2:14

The Bible holds no real attraction for a lost person. A big difference between the Knows and the Know-Nots is that the Knows know the mind of the Lord, because, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, they have received the mind of Christ.

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

I Corinthians 2:15

The Knows should not be proud, but they also should not be intimidated by the Know-Nots.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

I Corinthians 2:16

Christ is knowledge and wisdom personified, so we ask not just “what would Jesus do?” but “what has Jesus done?”.

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