Copyright © Abel Ramirez. All rights reserved.
The ability to discern right from wrong, as well as the ability to understand the Word of God and grasp the principles and truths given to us in the Bible, is a gift given to everyone who has called upon the name of Jesus Christ for salvation. “But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:24. (NLT) It is not something reserved only for those “in the ministry,” theologians, linguists, scholars, or intellectuals. Paul and Christ consistently made the case that it is every Christian’s duty to study and interpret the Scriptures rightly. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
Many people today have fallen prey to the false belief that only certain people, such as pastors, preachers and teachers for example, are anointed by God to understand the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth! For all Christians who desire wisdom, the Bible teaches us that all we need to do is ask God and He will give us wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5. This verse makes it clear that wisdom is something given to everyone who asks!! It also makes it clear that wisdom is something we must desire and seek from God before He gives it to us. He does not simply bestow wisdom on everyone automatically! Each of us individually must take responsibility for our relationship with God and actively seek His guidance by reading His Holy Word, through prayer and by surrendering to the guidance of His Holy Spirit.
Beware of any minister, teacher, scholar, or intellectual with an “I’ve got a secret” attitude. In other words, one who builds himself up and wants you to believe that without their guidance you will be lost and unable to understand the Word of God! This is not the message of the Bible! Jesus came so that each of us could have a personal and direct relationship with God. “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12. There is no middle man required for any Christian to receive wisdom from God. This is accomplished through Jesus Christ Himself! “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45. Any minister who teaches believers to depend on him is not teaching believers to depend on God!!
Rejoice in the gift of a minister who boldly proclaims the Gospel of Christ, and yet remains humble and maintains the attitude of a servant. Jesus said, “The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12. (NLT) A true servant of God empowers the church and encourages them to go directly to the Word of God for guidance. He teaches that the Word of God, not any minister, is the final authority on all things and believes that all Christians should be fully prepared with the knowledge of the Scriptures to serve God. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. (NLT)
A true minister of the Word teaches believers to be strong, mature Christians prepared for service, not weak, immature, dependant ones. “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-15. Those who truly speak on God’s behalf teach believers to test all things with Scriptures. The Bible teaches how even the words preached by the apostle Paul were verified through the Scriptures. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11. It is the responsibility of every Christian to be of “noble character” and to receive the message of God with “great eagerness” and to examine the Scriptures to see if what is being taught is true!
God gives wisdom and understanding to all Christians so that we may apply the principles and truths of His Word to our lives and allow the work of the Holy Spirit to transform us daily into the likeness of Christ. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. He also gives wisdom to all believers in order to prepare each of us to fulfill the task that every Christian is called to do, spread the Gospel! Through faith in Jesus Christ we are the children of God. “So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26. (NLT) And just like any good parent, the Lord is faithful to provide His children with what they need to accomplish their work. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
We are all witnesses for Christ by the example we set when we live as Christians. Wherever you are in life, regardless of your occupation, you are Christ’s disciple, placed there to fulfill a purpose. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24. One of the most powerful ways to spread the Gospel is by sharing your personal testimony of how you came to know Jesus, to be a witness for what God has done in your life! As children of God, we are all empowered to accomplish His will and each of us is anointed for Christian ministry in our own way. “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.” 1 John 2:27.
God sent His Son to be our Savior and to show us what wisdom is. “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself” 1 Corinthians 1:30. (NLT) Jesus Christ, who is wisdom itself, lives in the heart of every Christian, not just those called to serve as full time ministers. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20. It is Jesus who opens our minds so we can understand the Word of God. He accomplishes this through the power of His Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a gift given to all who believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” Ephesians 1:13. Jesus taught that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to teach us. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26. This is another promise He has given to us. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.
Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit to teach us and give us true understanding, we can know the Bible from beginning to end and we will still be lost and remain totally unchanged by what we read. The Holy Spirit acts as our interpreter. The Bible may be translated into many different languages, but only the Holy Spirit, living within a person, has the ability to interpret and make clear the truths and principles that are written in the language of the Spirit. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-14. There is no understanding apart from the Holy Spirit! This simple fact is why people that have not received Christ as their Savior cannot understand what is so clearly written in the Scriptures; without faith in Christ, there is no Holy Spirit, without the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding!
It is so important for each Christian to assume the responsibility for their personal relationship with God. What your pastor knows, what you husband knows, what your wife knows, what your family knows or what your friends know makes absolutely no difference in your personal relationship with God. It’s the principles and truths you know and how you apply them to your life that really matter and make a difference. Make no mistake, when we talk of wisdom, we are not merely discussing the accumulation of knowledge because true wisdom only comes from the faithful application of knowledge and understanding. Wisdom from God is available to everyone who asks for it! It comes to us on a first-hand basis through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to all those who actively desire and seek it! Ask God to give wisdom directly to you through prayer, through the reading and study of His Word and the guidance of His Holy Spirit and He will!! “If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6.
“I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:9-11. (NLT)