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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.

Heb. 4:2

2 For [kai] [gar] unto us was [esmen] the gospel preached [euaggelizo], as well as [kathaper] unto them [kakeinos]: but [alla] the word [logos] preached [akoe] did [opheleo] not [ou] profit [opheleo] them [ekeinos], not [me] being mixed [sugkerannumi] with faith [pistis] in them that heard [akouo] it. KJV-Interlinear

2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. NASB

Hearing the gospel (for unbelievers) or doctrine (for believers) is not enough. There are three stages in the assimilation of spiritual foods.

First you have to want to hear it. Some desire or curiosity drives you to want to listen. Then you hear or at least you will listen to what is said in the spiritual realm.

Second, you have to believe what is being taught. If you do not believe it, then the spiritual information is of little use. Believing is simply recognizing that what is being taught it a true principle of life.

Third, you have to accept it as the standard for your life and that means that you apply it to your daily function in life. This is the blending of faith with what is being taught.

To be saved, you hear the gospel of Christ, 'Believe in Christ and thou shalt be saved.' Then you recognize it. And then you accept it (faith).

There is a fine line between believing and accepting.

Assume that you are in a store and you see someone else's money on the counter. You know that stealing is wrong. That is what you have been taught. You even believe it. Which simply means that you understand the difference between right and wrong. But if you reach out and take it, then you have not accepted it as the standard for your life. You have just violated something that you believe, but you did not feel that it was that important such that you might have to deal with consequences if caught.

Such is the case with salvation. Many people hear the gospel, and they might even recognize that it is something that is important in their life. But, they do not want to deal with it right now, so they do not commit themselves to faith.

Now for this illustration do not mix up believing in Christ which is faith, with the recognition of a principle of truth. Furthermore, once a person has become saved, then you are born again. Since you cannot unborn yourself, then salvation is permanent. You can never lose your salvation.

You can however, fall away from Christ in your spiritual life by turning to some other religion or philosophy. You will still be saved, just not grown up spiritually.

Now after being saved, the issue is not 'What do you think of Christ?' The issue is now, 'What do you think of doctrine?'

Bible doctrine is something that you can learn and keep learning or you can learn and then forget it. Maintaining a daily study is the deciding factor in what you will retain in your memory or what you will forget.

Furthermore, your spiritual growth is the function of God building up inside of your soul, spiritual muscle. That muscle is constructed of faith. Faith comes from doctrine which you learn, believe, and accept. This also means that you apply Gods principles (mandates) to your daily life.

Falling away from your daily study means that you will begin to slip backwards in your spiritual growth.

Going to church once a week, or on holidays only will not give you enough time or information, or exposure to Gods Word in order to maintain your spiritual growth. The world drives hard against you everyday, and so you need the resilience and muscle to fend it off. That only comes from persevering daily in your studies.

Hearing is not enough. Believing (recognizing the principles of truth) is not enough. Accepting into your daily standards of life (faith) is what is required in order to gain the spiritual benefits of Bible doctrine in your life.

One of these days (perhaps after we finish with Hebrews) we will study this principle in the Book of James. James is the study of the 'application of wisdom' to the life. That means that you have to mix the hearing with faith in order to benefit.

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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.

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