by Shawn Brasseaux
Someone once said that “ignorant brethren” is the world’s largest denomination. AMEN! Multitudes of people claim to be saved, but they are ignorant of what the Scriptures actually teach. These people are not stupid; “ignorance” simply means “a lack of teaching.” Pastors, Bible teachers, and evangelists should be “edifying” (maturing, building up) the Christians, as Ephesians 4:11-16 says, but it is evident that many of these church leaders are not taking their responsibility seriously.
Six times in his epistles, Paul writes, “I would not that ye should be ignorant brethren.” God does not want us to be in spiritual darkness. When we gather with fellow believers in Bible study, our inner man should be strengthened, and we should be gaining a greater understanding of God’s Word. The problem is that everything but the King James Bible is being taught in most churches today. This is why there is widespread spiritual immaturity, even among professing Christians.
As members of the Church the Body of Christ, the Lord has left us here on earth for a reason. Once we are able to get a firm understanding of God’s Word, we should be sharing it with the lost world. The devil knows this too, which is why he is attacking the Church Body of Christ. In time past, when God was dealing with Israel, the devil would send false prophets to confuse Israel, and lead them into pagan idolatry. Because God is now dealing with the Body of Christ, this is where the devil is working most heavily. If he can confuse us Christians and lead them away from sound doctrine, then there will be no one to oppose the false teaching he has his minions promoting on earth.
Let me give you an example. Most Christians are denominational, and have not been properly taught the Bible. If everyone would study God’s Word God’s way (“rightly divided;” 2 Timothy 2:15), the Body of Christ would be so effective in teaching the lost how to be saved and then grow in spiritual maturity. Instead, they are sidetracked into serving the denomination, and not the Lord. Some Christians show no interest in rightly dividing the Bible anyway; they prefer their church’s teaching instead of God’s pure Word! Denominationalism has done so much damage to Christianity, but the Lord’s pure Word is still here with us, and in the end, God will prevail!!! 🙂
In the city of Corinth, Paul dealt with “baby Christians.” Physically, these Corinthians were adults, but spiritually they were babies. They had heard plenty of sound teaching from Paul and his workers in the ministry, but they failed to apply the sound doctrine to their lives. The Corinthians were carnal (fleshly, worldly), which is why their assembly had a host of problems and divisions (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Galatia was another region in which Paul ministered. They also knew sound doctrine from the beginning, but legalism/works-religion crept in, and led them all astray (Galatians 5:7-9). They allowed false teachers to pollute God’s Word, and said nothing to fight back. Is the same not true of Christendom today?
The epistle of Hebrews speaks of the readers as being “dull of hearing;” these Hebrews needed to be re-taught basic doctrine because they failed to listen the first time, so they could not mature into the deeper concepts of the Scriptures (Hebrews 5:11-14). Instead of requiring solid spiritual food like a mature saint, they could only tolerate a spiritual diet of milk (baby food, the Bible basics). This has happened in Christendom today—too few mature Christians, and sadness fills God’s heart to see it.
Look at what Paul prayed for the Philippians (1:9): “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.” Paul wanted them to grow spiritually, having a greater understanding of God’s Word (cf. Ephesians 1:17-19; Colossians 1:9-11). The more we read and study God’s Word rightly divided, the more we appreciate Him and His Word, and we understand where we are in His plan for the ages. We are thankful in our position in Christ, blessed with all spiritual blessings, and Christ living in us. Religion and denominationalism is not what God wants formed in us—God’s goal in saving us is to have “Christ formed in us” (Galatians 4:19).
When a lost person is saved, it is analogous to a baby being delivered. Just as a baby should mature physically, the new believer should be maturing spiritually. We should be better off spiritually than when we were saved: are you? The whole purpose of sound Bible teaching in church is to have you “rooted and built up in Him [Christ], and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7 KJV). Have you sat in church for years, but learned nothing from the Scriptures there? Something is wrong, then!
I hope and pray that anyone and everyone reading this can grow spiritually. Whether it is stepping into grace by faith in Christ and getting saved, or a Christian breaking away from denominationalism and receiving God’s pure Word by faith, it is a step in the right direction, growing up spiritually, fully mature (“perfect”) to serve God whenever He needs you (2 Timothy 3:15-17). May we all abandon man-made religion and denominationalism, and fully embrace God’s pure Word rightly divided.
After all, only God’s Word counts in eternity!