We’ve had a miracle over nature, a miracle over the Devil, a miracle over disease, and a miracle over death. Christ has shown His power over all four.
1 ¶ And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
The world looks at you that unless you have the world’s learning and education you can’t amount to much.
John 7:15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
But, education will not save you in eternity or from sin and its consequences in this life.
1 Corinthians 3:11 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. 12 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. 13 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.
You cannot know God or have a relationship with Jesus Christ from a textbook. It is His Bible that will set you apart for His service. A book on engineering is not going to save you from Hell or make you useful to God.
The Bible is not like Emily Post’s Book on Etiquette where you read a little dribble here and there and then you try to follow its “advice.” The Bible is God’s word, a picture, if you can take it, of the Lord Jesus Christ in written form. It will change you. You have to read it from cover to cover, over and over. It has power.
Deuteronomy 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Psalm 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
1Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Fundamentalists, whom Dr. Ruckman refers to as ‘funnymentalists’ sometimes, say they believe the Bible literally. But, do they really? You must read the Bible, maintaining a dialogue with the author of it, hearing Him speak through it and you speaking to Him in prayer. He will change your heart about sin, taking things out of you that He wants gone from your life so that you won’t even be interested in them anymore.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The mark of a Christian, a Bible believing Christian, is one who knows that God will use His printed , preached, and spoken words to change the soul of a believer. It is not for nothing that the Vaudois, those ancient Christians of the Cottian Alps said, “The Holy Scriptures alone are sufficient to sanctify the believer.” The mark of a Christian is one who believes and trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ through good times and impossible times. He also has a testimony before the world, being filled and overflowing with the fruit of, the evidence of the Spirit expressed in Galatians 5:22, 23.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
A Christian keeps His word even if it causes him difficulty. A Christian is honest even if it causes him hurt. A Christian works hard but is not too proud to admit he needs help. A Christian doesn’t hold people to a different standard than he holds himself. A Christian will repeatedly forgive even if he doesn’t foolishly restore the person who hurt him to a position where they can do further harm. A Christian wants to help others who are less fortunate than he is. A Christian isn’t like a Stoic Philosopher of Ancient Rome. He does not do right because doing right is the right thing to do. He does right because he loves the author of righteousness and cares for the person to whom the right thing is being done.
You can’t get these traits from a college education, a textbook, or a motivational seminar. They are implanted deep within you by a righteous God using the Bible He has given to you. You can’t pretend to have these traits by squinting your eyes and making a fist and wanting it to be so. You’ll fall down, no matter how good your intentions are. You get these traits by letting the words of the Bible cleanse your heart every single day and by walking with God through that Book every single day, not just on Sunday morning and Wednesday night.
Let people be astonished by you. Let them say emphatically, “from where does this man (or woman) get these things?” “What wisdom is this that is given to him (or her)?” Let them say about Christ when you should be crushed, broken, and beaten but are not because you trust Him, “such mighty works are wrought by His hands.”