Thursday, July 13, 2017

Biblical Literacy: Identifying the Good

As Christians, we are commanded to grow up in our faith and to become mature spiritually. Growth comes from pushing our boundaries. However, boundaries can be stretched in a right way or in a wrong way, and the way we stretch them will affect how we grow. It is important, therefore, to stretch our boundaries in a way that enables healthy growth. To push boundaries properly we must first perceive them correctly—that is, perceive them with discernment.

Discernment is basically the ability to separate good from evil. In order to do that, we must understand what qualifies as good and what qualifies as evil. And we can understand these qualifications only if we know the unchanging standard separating the two.

But we cannot rely on ourselves to determine that standard or what those qualifications are. While God has provided us all a general moral compass (which is why most of us agree murder is wrong), that compass has been corrupted by sin and therefore is unreliable. We cannot trust human law or our own instincts to determine what is good and what is not. Our only reliable source is the Bible, for the Bible comes from God, who alone is perfect; He alone is qualified to determine what is good.

This is why we need biblical literacy.

Biblical literacy is knowing the Bible and the truth it teaches. When you are biblically literate, you are acquainted with most of the stories in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. You have studied the doctrines the Bible teaches. You have a growing knowledge of Who God is. You have learned to feed yourself from the Scriptures rather than relying on others for spiritual nourishment.

And the more we study Scripture, the better we will be able to recognize good and evil. It is like those taught to identify counterfeit money: When we have trained ourselves to distinguish what is true, good, genuine, and right—a standard which never changes—then we will also be able to spot the evil, no matter what guise it takes.

No comments: