To know much about something we believe in produces strong faith; but to continue believing in something unfamiliar to us shows its low level of importance in our lives.
Proverbs 24:5 says “A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.”
When I was twelve years old, I was at the house for a few minutes while my parents were out running errands… and I got hungry. I snooped around the cabinets and spied a bag of Ramen noodles propped up on the shelf, and it seemed scrumptious. Once I decided that the pack of noodles was going to be my pre-dinner appetizer, I crushed the noodles with the handle of a screwdriver, pulled open the bag, poured the noodles into the bowl, and “Blam!” closed it up in the Microwave and pushed the “start” button. I did not eat Ramen noodles often, but knew I had seen big brother stick them in the Microwave, and so I followed suit, naturally. The only ingredient I left out was the water that is supposed to be mixed in with the noodles. It did not take long, however, to figure out I had done something wrong when I set off the smoke detectors due to the “noodle-incineration” that was happening up inside the Microwave. I successfully nuked the noodles and turned the Microwave into just a regular storage box that doesn’t heat. Though there are easier ways to learn a lesson, I learned the hard way that you must have all the ingredients to make good food happen, or things get hazy, burnt, and broken.
The same is true in our beliefs about Jesus and the Bible. In 2nd Peter chapter 1 verses 5-7, the Bible tells us some ingredients for fruitful growth in the Spirit, and knowledge is on the ingredients list.
Why is knowledge so important? Why is knowledge a key ingredient to our faith in Christ?
Firstly, we must ask ourselves, “Do I know what Jesus teaches?” Jesus says over and over in the gospels to hear His words, and abide in them. That alone shows us the importance of knowledge, for if we are to obey Jesus and His teachings, we must know Jesus, and His teachings. Matthew 7:24 reads “Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, is like a wise man who built his house on a rock: the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew in and beat on the house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the house.”
Secondly, we must reinsure, “Do I know who Jesus is in relation to the Prophets of the Old Testament?
Who was Jesus to the people around Him while He was on earth?
Who is He to others today?
When Jesus was questioned by the Jews recorded in John chapter 8, He says in verse 56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” In Luke chapter 4, Jesus affirms that the prophesy of Isaiah was being fulfilled through Him. Again in John chapter 12 verse 41 the Bible states that Isaiah saw His glory and wrote about it.
Abraham, Isaiah, and many others prophesied about the coming Messiah, and Isaiah so accurately depicted the Jew’s rejection of the Cornerstone as the Lord moved on him to write.
True it is, that most of the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah, and that is still the case with most Jews today that believe the Messiah is yet to come. The Jews are expecting the Messiah to come to establish the earthly kingdom and help them take back what belongs to them which is their inherited land.
Whereas Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and He is giving a heavenly inheritance to all who believe in Him.
Muslims, however, believe in the Quran that was written by Muhammad that states Jesus was not the son of God, and was only a good teacher.
Hindus believe Jesus is simply one of many ways to get to heaven.
Atheists believe we are collectively crazy with no real god, only science.
There are plenty of more examples, but all of this is brings us to a conclusion that there are many perspectives to who Jesus is, but there can only be one right answer. It is imperative that we know what we believe, and why we believe it because there is a growing generation that is searching for answers, and we need to give them some very good answers.
Knowledge of our faith will give us confidence in our faith. 1st Peter 3:15 says “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks to give a reason for the hope that is within you, with meekness and fear.”
In today’s culture, our students are exposed to much more than in times past, because of public school education, acceptance of different lifestyles, the internet, social media, and a wide-spread variety of beliefs closer to home. Let us be sure to study and show ourselves approved unto God, being servants who rightly divide the word of truth. (2nd Timothy 2:15) Let knowledge strengthen our hearts as we give reason to our faith in Jesus.
Isaac Redman is a 22-year-old youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Church. He is a servant of Christ and loves music and the outdoors