•FIGHTING IGNORANCE FOR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE• Apostle Paul states what every true Christian aim should be in EPH. 4:11-14 where he wrote: ‘And His (God’s) gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints (all true Christians) for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (edifying the church), until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God (that is, until we all have upheld the truth of the gospel in one accord), to mature manhood (to be spiritually mature), to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (we should grow to the acceptable standard in our spiritual life where our faith becomes immovable, firm, and resolute)…’. I have talked on extensively, how we should aim at being spiritually mature (2COR. 6:13; HEB. 12:14). How we should be consistent and steadfast in our spiritual life (PHILIP. 1:21-23). How there is no restriction barring us from growing spiritually (2COR. 6:3; 6:11-12). And likewise, how there are no excuses for us to be stagnant and immobile in our spiritual walk (HEB. 12:1; 2TIM. 4:6; 2:6; ECCL. 9:9). Remember the parable of the talent where the lazy and untrustworthy servant sought to give an excuse but could not find an acceptable one (MAT. 25:14-30). Remember also, the spiritually-lazy Corinthians who Apostle Paul castigated, calling them “babes in Christ”(1COR. 3:1-15; 2COR. 6:1-11). Remember all these because they will benefit you and draw up the aim you, as a Christian must always work for, which is spiritual growth. Now, one of the requirements of God through Christ for spiritual growth is knowledge, as you have read at the beginning of this message. Brethren, knowledge is essential; the true knowledge of God is most imperative for every Christian, because through it a Christian knows the precise thing he/she stands for. An ignorant Christian is prone to be misled. True enough, Apostle Paul in the same scripture of EPH. 11-14 says in respect to why we should seek to know God: ‘…so that we may no longer be children (spiritually immature), tossed to and fro and carried away by every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles’. More often than not, Apostle Paul taught in his epistles with the motive of kicking against, and dispelling ignorance. In COR. 12:1-2 he says: ‘Now concerning spiritual gifts brethren, I do not want you be ‘uninformed’ (ignorant). You know that when you were heathen (ignorant), you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved (saved by Christ)’. And then he went on to shed light about spiritual gifts. Also, he emphasised his stance against ignorance when he says in 1THESS. 4:13: ‘But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope (that is, so as to not be unnecessarily confused as God is One of peace and not of confusion (1COR. 14:33))’ He thereafter went on to teach them about Christ’s second coming. Brethren, Apostle Paul did all these perhaps mostly because he knew how dangerous ignorance was. I personally even consider that the most dangerous ignorance in this world is the ignorance pertaining to God-whether lack of knowledge about God or lack of the true knowledge about Him. Why? Because anything about God deals with either life or death; you either choose Him or choose the world; you either choose Christ or choose nothing; you either be called or be ignored; you either have eternal life or lose it, they are all one-way affairs, you cannot be found dithering between choices and be approved, you must stand for one (MAT. 6:24; 10:35-39; 12:33). Jesus said unequivocally in MAT. 12:30: ‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters’. That is the requirement brethren. You either hunger for spiritual knowledge or be lukewarm towards acquiring it, thereby getting ignorant; you either be active in the Word of God or be inactive. It is a logic, as a maxim says, “you cannot eat something and still have it”. In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15 verse 36-41, Apostle Paul rejected a certain John (otherwise known as Mark) who had been his follower but departed from him at some point. For that Apostle Paul did not consider him serious enough for being a disciple. And rightly so, considering Jesus conditions of discipleship, John proved himself unworthy; he made the choice to be inactive, to be ignorant to the Word of God. So brethren, the choice lies with you, whether to dispel ignorance for knowledge or vice-versa. Conclusively, the wise man Solomon, has written what it would cost a person to be ignorant: ‘A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead (in this case, spiritual death)’ PROV. 21:16. There is no way you can get without giving (GAL. 6:7), the Word of the Lord is a transaction, you commit yourself to learning it and you get wisdom and knowledge from it for your spiritual up-building (2TIM. 3:16-17). Jesus even went further to say the same measure of earnestness, zeal, thirst, we have for spiritual knowledge is the same measure we will be given, and still, as a reward, we will get abundant extra for our efforts (MARK 4:24). When Solomon said that ignorance leads to death, he was indeed right. By considering the examples of people who collapsed spiritually due to their choice of not learning and following God’s Word, or of not learning the genuine in God’s Word. Consider the Israelites who went up against Christ and chose Barabbas over him, Barabbas a common criminal! Perhaps if they had done that solely on their decisions that would have been better. But because of their ignorance of not knowing who Christ was they stood against Him through the influence of the chief priests and elders; these people took advantage of their ignorance and made them despise their eternal saviour-only God knows their fate after the Judgement Day (MAT. 27:15-23). Consider also those who allowed their faith to get upset because of their ignorance in the hands of Hymenaeus and Philetus who were falsely preaching that the resurrection of Christ had taken place. Due to their ignorance they submitted themselves to such a blatantly bogus preaching (2TIM. 2:16-18). Only God knows the effect of that on them.
All these and more of them are the reason why you should fight against ignorance for spiritual wisdom in its trueness. Study your Bible regularly and constantly to know more about God. Go to churches, programmes, and the likes where spiritual truths are taught in their accuracy to edify yourself. Share the Word of God with people to gain from it. Discuss the Word of God. Live in the Word, the reward is huge (speaking from personal experience) (PROV. 24:1-7; PSALM 1:1-3; 19:7-11). The consequences of making the choice to be lazy and thereby ignorant in our spiritual life are very costly. One of such is spiritual death. Another is subjecting oneself to wrong teachings. Brethren, there are no restrictions to learning the Word, so there are no excuses to being ignorant of it accordingly. Apostle Paul who so much stood for knowledge of the Word prayed for all who are genuinely after Christly righteousness ‘…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts (minds) enlightened..’ EPH. 1:16-23. THE GRACE OF THE LORD IN CHRIST BE WITH YOU (AMEN).

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