Copyright © 2005 J. Neely. All rights reserved.
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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 John 2:4-6
4 He that saith [lego], I know [ginosko] him [autos], and [kai] keepeth [tereo] not [me] his [autos] commandments [entole], is [esti] a liar [pseustes], and [kai] the truth [aletheia] is [esti] not [ou] in [en] him [touto].
5 But [de] whoso [hos] keepeth [an] [tereo] his [autos] word [logos], in [en] him [touto] verily [alethos] is [teleioo] the love [agape] of God [theos] perfected [teleioo]: hereby [en] [touto] know we [ginosko] that [hoti] we are [esmen] in [en] him [autos].
6 He that saith [lego] he abideth [meno] in [en] him [autos] ought [opheilo] himself [autos] also [kai] so [houto] to walk [peripateo], even as [kathos] he [ekeinos] walked [peripateo]. KJV-Interlinear
4 The one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. NASB
John has a very simple test for you to know whether you are living your life in Gods will or not. You are either obeying His commandments or your are not.
Now the big flaw with this test application is mans ability to rationalize almost anything. 'Of course I am obedient to Gods will.' When in fact you are not.
You see, lightning does not strike when you tell yourself a lie. Lightning does not strike when you convince yourself that you are doing all that you can possibly do, or that you are doing that which is necessary (in your eyes), or that you are doing all that you deem necessary.
The first test of your faithfulness is this, 'Are you committed to a daily study of Gods Word?' Not just a daily reading of verses. That will get you nowhere. Without a foundation of knowledge, then mere reading of the Bible will gain you nothing.
You have to have some foundation of knowledge with which to gain an orientation to the scriptures and to gain an understanding of them.
Of course you have to know just what Gods commands of you, are. Hummm, how doooo, we learn what that is??? Perhaps by reading, studying, learning ...maybe???
But learning is not the end of our obedience. We have to live by His commands. That means that we have to apply His commands, His principles of life, to our daily life.
So, we put together a short checklist some time ago. I know it isn't the most fabulous list, but it is a start. Have you looked it up? I'm not even going to tell you where it is now. If you are interested in your spiritual life, you'll make an effort and find it. If you're not interested, then you probably are not reading this anyway. Probably have a better plan for your own life.
Soooo, are you in fellowship? Do you know what that is? Do you check your life for sin hourly, daily, ever? Do you go to the bathroom daily? Isn't that an earthly illustration of discarding the bad stuff in the body? Can you figure out a comparison to sin? Might want to name arrogance (in confession) to God for starters. That is almost always there. Then move on to other grander flaws in your life (if they exist!!!).
Then check yourself for a daily study time. You do eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily I presume. Oh, wow, we found another illustration. Are we on a roll or what???
You see, too often people want to be entertained in life, and the Bible provides us with some of that. 'All is right with you, all is right with me, all is right with the world sort of stuff.' And people just want to avoid being held responsible in life. Excuses are always conveniently present. Then we have a disaster. You choke on a piece of food. You slip in the tub. A tsunami strikes, and suddenly everything is not as you wanted it to be.
Feeling sorry for yourself is not what God wants out of you. Feeling entertained is not what God wants of you. God will use you, but not until you are prepared. And unless you prepare yourself spiritually, you are worthless to history. Just historic filler. Now isn't that something noble???
Indifference, compromising attitudes, rationalizing your responsibility away or onto someone else is not Gods will, but your lie to yourself, verse 4.
In order to be in Gods will for your life, you have to be obedient. Just review the checklist, and then review your excuses.
Being in Gods will means that you have to live your life daily in accordance with His principles of doctrine. Again, review the checklist, and again review your excuses.
Then, you have to stick with your Bible Study, daily, for all of your life. You have to be taught. You can never learn Gods Word on your own. And, do not compare yourself to anyone else, but that person you see in the mirror. You will either stand on your own two spiritual feet, or you won't. Success is only due to Gods effort in your behalf. Failure in your spiritual life is due only to you. You have no excuse.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.