For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.– Galatians 1:12
So often we will give no credit or pay no mind to the man or woman who professes to be a follower of Jesus Christ unless they can show by title, degree, or recommendation of someone highly esteemed in religious circles that they are, in fact, who they say they are.
Who are your elders and what church are you a member of? Sound familiar?
If a person can produce the “paper credentials” it must be true that they are blood bought born again followers of Christ, right?
I can think of at least two reasons why we desire this qualifying proof of others:
1. If someone else can vouch for the person it saves us the trouble of having to discern for ourselves whether they truly are born again or not. We tell ourselves that the Higher education he obtained at an accredited seminary must certainly mean that my pastor is a true spirit filled man of God. We are spiritually lazy or unqualified ourselves to discern the truth about others. We have failed to study to show ourselves approved as commanded in 2 Timothy 2:15.
2. It fools us into thinking that we are off the hook! We have a career, children, hobbies, chores, etc. We do not have time or money to earn a seminary degree or some sort of spiritual certification. We chose rather to rely upon those who are studied and knowledgeable, according to man and academia standards, and we are happily trained in the “things or ways of Jesus” by them. We lie to ourselves and say that there is no way we could ever understand the scriptures or things of God! We are, therefore, easily deceived and led astray by false gospels and prophets.
Learning is good and the best learning comes when we are taught by God Himself!
In fact, that is the ONLY way you are able to discern truth and to stand strong no matter what comes your way. God Almighty tells us that when we seek Him with all of our hearts we WILL find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
We have not knowledge of spiritual matters because we do not ask or we ask amiss (James 4:2-3)- we must pray fervently and earnestly with a pure heart taught of the Holy Spirit.
We Must study to shew ourselves approved (pray without ceasing, and humble ourselves before God).
We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) while resisting the pull of the flesh to be slothful.
When we are taught of God, as Paul was, we will be able to stand, and having to done all stand, in the full armor of God