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RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARD TRUTH (3)
Learning the Truth
Victor M. Eskew
A. Those who love the truth will desire to learn the truth to the best of their ability.
1. To acquire knowledge of by study, instruction, or experience
2. To become informed of or acquainted with
C. NOTE: One of the definitions of a disciple is “a learner, one who sits at the feet of another.”
D. Let’s see what is associated with learning the truth.
I. THE EXHORTATION TO LEARN
A. Several times in the final speeches of Moses to the children of Israel, Moses exhorts Israel to learn (Deut. 4:2; 5:1; Deut. 31:12).
And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep them, and do them.
B. Jesus said that it was essential for men to learn the will of God (John 6:44-45).
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
II. SIX KEYS TO LEARNING
A. A person must have a positive attitude toward the Word of God.
1. We have already studied the need to love God’s Word (Ps. 119:97).
Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.
2. We must have the belief that we can ultimately understand God’s Word.
a. Nehemiah 8:8
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
b. Luke 24:45
Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the scriptures.
B. Learning takes a plan of study.
1. In my “How-to-Study the Bible” class, I talk about several types of studies that can be done.
2. One of the most beneficial is a background study of all the books of the Bible.
3. After this, it is good study the Bible verse-by-verse. If a person studies three verses a day, he can complete the New Testament in 10 years.
4. Without a plan
a. We simply read the Bible.
b. Our study is just hit-and-miss, here and there.
C. Learning takes effort.
1. Ecclesiastes 12:12
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making of many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
2. Clarke: “O how true it is! Let the trembling knees, the palsied hands, the darkened eyes, the aching heart, and the puzzled mind of every real student declare” (e-sword, Clarke).
3. Actions: read, write, think, reason, look up, write down, ponder, read, come to conclusions, organize, type, handouts, memorize, and present.
D. Learning takes time.
1. We cannot learn everything at once.
2. It takes days, weeks, month, and years to understand and see how things relate to one another.
3. Each hour of study builds on the previous one.
a. Things begin to click.
b. Things begin to relate.
c. Things begin to harmonize.
4. NOTE: You do not get a high school diploma unto you have completed 12 years of education.
E. Learning involves memorization.
F. Learning involves testing.
G. Learning involves repetition.
III. THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING
A. Learning makes one become more like God.
1. Proverbs 23:7
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
2. Since the Bible contains the words and thoughts of God, the more it permeates our minds, the more we resemble God.
3. We transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds with God’s Word (Rom. 12:2).
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
B. Learning causes one to grow into a spiritually mature person.
1. Hebrews 5:13-14a
For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age.
2. Babies eat, exercise, and grow. Christians must eat, exercise, and grow.
C. Learning allows us to tackle bigger challenges and overcome bigger problems.
1. Apollo 13, the movie
a. When Apollo 13 had an explosion, the Command Center needed to get the astronauts back to earth.
b. They were at an impasse, however. They did not think they had enough electrical power to get the nose back to earth.
c. Ken Mattingly was brought in. He found the watts necessary and helped get the crew back. It was his knowledge of the vessels that caused the rescue.
2. It was for this reason that Solomon prayed to God for wisdom (I Kings 3:7-9).
And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for a multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I my discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people.
3. We have many challenges and problems in the church. We need wise man and women who can help deal with them.
D. Learning keeps one from false ways.
1. Psalm 119:104
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
2. False ways can be made to seem and to seem prosperous.
3. Discernment is the key.
a. Discernment is discrimination and keen perception.
b. The Sadducees did not believe in spirits, angels, or the resurrection.
c. Jesus showed the fallacy of their belief about the resurrection based upon the tense of one word (Matt. 22:31-32).
But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
1) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been dead for years.
2) God said: “I am the God of…” He used a present tense verb.
3) The spirits of these three great men still lived. One day, they would be brought back from the dead.
E. Learning helps us to know exactly what God wants us to do.
1. There are passages of Scripture that say to call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved (Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13).
2. If we did not study and learn about this phrase, we might come to the conclusion that all a person has to do to be saved is to audibly cry unto Jesus in order to be saved.
3. Acts 22:16 sheds light on the phrase, “call upon the name of the Lord.”
And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
F. Learning enables one to be able to teach others.
1. Most people are like the Ethiopian eunuch who needed someone to guide them in their understanding of God’s Word (Acts 8:30-31).
2. We need to increase our knowledge so we can make certain we are able to teach others the truth (II Tim. 2:2, 24-26).
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
A. Learning is an essential responsibility we have to the truth.
1. If we do not learn, we cannot be saved (See I Tim. 2:3-4).
2. If we do not learn, we will accept teachings that are contrary to the truth.
B. There one danger Paul attaches to learning in II Timothy 3:7.
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1. Some people study and research, but never come to conclusions.
2. Truth is the end of our learning (See John 8:32).
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.