Today’s message summary of January 12, 2020 from Pastor Gus Brown:
People need to be educated in order to live, and the Church must continue to educate the people of the Word of God, which provides the foundation as to how to live.
Lord, you are still teaching us today as a people. We learn that the world, on its own, is inadequate in its teaching, but your Word guides us and challenges our hearts and minds to walk in the manner in which you would have us to walk–to walk worthy of your calling.
Thank you, Lord, for speaking to us. Bless us and draw us closer to You. Bring us to the place where we hunger and thirst for more of You.
The church is where we have the opportunity to have a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. It’s a word-to-word, mind-to-mind hearing and speaking with each other.
The church is the place where you hear the thoughts of others who may differ from your thought or expression, or the meaning of a verse or text. Whether there is agreement or disagreement, there is still a learning that takes place. What is taking place is the learning from one another. It should challenge the hearts of everyone to go and research what is being shared. It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to teach and even make correction where it is needed.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
We are reminded that there are always opinions to contend with, but not every opinion will lead to facts or the truth.
When a person, for example, experiences salvation outside of the church, that is certainly wonderful, but what is better is when a person who is saved growing up in the church. The root knowledge of Jesus is already present. They know the right stuff.
The teaching and learning that comes from the Holy Spirit must have the impact needed to grow a person in Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:5-7
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
What causes you to come to church? Is it a duty? Is it for religious activity? Is it to just see your friends? Is it for a family commitment, obligation, assurance or dedication? You will have to provide the answer as to why you come, and ask yourself if it is a legitimate, valid reason for coming.
Is it because you love the Lord Jesus Christ?
It is the love relationship with Jesus that should drive your effort to go.
2 Peter 3:14-18
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
It is one thing to have knowledge of things, but it is more to have wisdom…godly wisdom. We are prone to ask questions…that is digging for greater understanding even with a basic knowledge. Some things are hard to understand. This is where the church comes in. Ask questions. Seek greater wisdom. Don’t be content to sit back with your own understanding if you are uncertain about it. Let the truth of Scripture speak to you.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
If you accept teaching that is incorrect, it will stifle you and even hinder you.
Never stop growing in Christ. Learn from the Lord Jesus Christ through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Be prepared to share what you learn with your children, grandchildren, and everyone that you encounter. Continue to grow in His grace as you learn from Him.
If God were not gracious, we could not grow in His truth and in knowledge. It is all by God’s grace that He provides light within you.
Why do you want to learn? If you are a Christian you are on a collision course with the world.
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Let’s observe a person who came to church to learn:
He came a long distance.
He is a very intelligent man.
His goal was to discover truth, no matter who the truth came through.
When you come to learn, you don’t really hear the pastor, the Sunday school teacher, or the voices of others. Your learning moment is when you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to you. He speaks the words of Jesus into your mind. He speaks the words of life into you.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,'” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Do you have the faith to believe the Word?
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
It requires a measure of faith.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
You will only grow your faith when you are in the Book.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
Note that in verse 27, the Ethiopian was an important official. He went to Jerusalem to worship. Why Jerusalem? He picked up some literature–something to read on his way home. He is reading the book of Isaiah.
Take note of something here. He is going out to learn from another group of people. Muhammad was not born yet. It would be 500 years later that Muhammad was born. He was not reading the Koran. He was reading from the Greek Septuagint. This man was going to worship in Jerusalem, 15 centuries before slavery in America. What does that say to you?
In verse 31, the Ethiopian knew what he didn’t know. He wanted someone to sit down and explain what he didn’t know. He wanted clarity and understanding. (This is coming from a very intelligent man.)
It’s not a sin to not know something, but there is a problem when you don’t know something and choose not to learn. That is the worst type of stupidity and pride.
Many people today are stuck in their own stupidity and pridefulness.
In verse 34, the Ethiopian is asking who the prophet is referring to. He wants to learn who this person is. Philip answered him by starting right where the man was, and helped him along from the passage of Scripture where he was reading.
It must have been a long conversation, because it had to go from Isaiah to Jesus Christ to baptism, which prompted the man to ask about being baptized himself. Philip took him much further than Isaiah 53, and the Ethiopian understood what it meant to follow Jesus and to be baptized!
There was a lot of teaching going on (v. 36). The Ethiopian gave orders to stop the chariot (v. 38). He wasn’t driving! There were others who knew and respected the Ethiopian who witnessed these events.
The Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away (v. 39). Note that He was there the entire time as the Ethiopian was asking questions and Philip was providing answers. The Spirit recognized that the man wanted to learn.
The Spirit will open the mind of the person who is seeking after wisdom. He assures that true learning takes place through His very presence.
There was more understanding because the Ethiopian was asking questions. This is what the church can do for the person who is seeking more knowledge. As we seek after Him and ask questions, the Spirit teaches us.
What are you doing to extend your knowledge in your Christian life?
The church will help you satisfy your desire to learn more about Jesus.