The Bible Was Not Given to Increase Our Knowledge

There is a familiar Christian saying, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.” This quote, often attributed to the American evangelist D.L. Moody, captures an important truth about our relationship with God’s Word.

We don’t engage with the Bible to increase our knowledge about God. We read it, we study it, we memorize it, we think about it, and we apply it in order to know God Himself. And as we do that, God’s Word—and God Himself—transforms us.

In one of His testy exchanges with the Pharisees, Jesus pointed out the reason for their error when it came to their religious zeal: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

Were the Pharisees committed to the Scriptures? Absolutely! Were they familiar with them? They read them constantly and heard them preached regularly in their synagogues. But they didn’t really know them, and they didn’t know the power of God behind them—power that was able to change lives.

Contrast that with the way Paul described the believers in Thessalonica,   “ . . . when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The Word of God was at work in the lives of these people—transforming the way they lived.

That transformation is something we see in Navigator ministries around the world. Navigators expose people to the Bible. They teach them methods for getting into the Scriptures for themselves. They help them to discover what it says and what it means. And they teach them to learn how to apply the truth of the Scriptures to their lives in practical ways.

They do that because they know “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

It’s also why Navigators live by the words of the apostle Paul, who wrote, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

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