A working knowledge of God's Word is like the underpinning of a house; it may not be the first thing you notice, but everything about the dwelling will be influenced by that strong foundation.
My mother, almost 96 now, has gone to church all her life. However, no one ever taught her how to study God's Word. She reads her Bible and marks it up, I'm happy to report. But one day she told me, "I just let it fall open and read there. It always seems to work out."
Now, I am not going to rebuke my wonderful mom. However, that is no way to study the Bible. One has to wonder how it would have been if decades ago, some faithful pastor had set down with the members of our rural Baptist church and taught them to focus in on one book of the Bible at the time, how to read it repeatedly until its teachings were understood and assimilated into life, and then to move on to another book. What if he had taken the time to teach members the grand sweep of Scripture, so they understood the differences in the Old and New Testaments' doctrine, the difference in gospels and epistles, and where the various epistles fit in the larger framework.
"I don't know what the Bible teaches on that," a woman said to me, "but I know what I believe!"
I said, "Then, you have just ended the discussion. Because I honestly thought we were trying to find what the Bible teaches. If this is about what you believe and nothing more, then, I suppose we're through her."
As one who had never been taught the Word, but who had had it ingrained into her the importance of standing up for her convictions, she failed to see the difference.
Pity the church with leaders who have a similar poor working knowledge of God's Word.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash