Matthew 7:24, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Discipleship involves more than just an acquisition of knowledge, this knowledge must engage the heart and will to act.
I have an IQ of 140 (that’s approaching genius). School was always a successful and friendly place for me. I graduated Cum Laude from high school. I was the Most Outstanding Math Major in college. Though my class was small in seminary, I was identified as Graduate of the Year. So when does he stop bragging about himself and get to the point? (For the sake of a moment humility, my EQ (Emotional Quotient) is extremely low – I don’t get people or emotions) My point is this, I wish there was a final exam instead of a final judgement. I’d fare a lot better.
But no such reality. God will not measure us based on IQ, SATs, grades or any other measure of our ability to acquire knowledge. While growing in knowledge is an essential part of being a disciple of Jesus, as I addressed in my last post, it is not the end goal. Growing in knowledge is a means to an end, the transformation of character.
First, to know God is more than to know information about God. To know God is to be in a relationship with him. To know God is to trust God and put all of your hope in his existence and graciousness. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Second, to know God is to walk in all of his ways. A true knowledge of God is not to just know God wants, but to do what God wants. This is what God has been looking for since he created man. Abel who offered him a pleasing sacrifice. Noah who built the ark at his command. Abraham who moved his family to Canaan at his direction. Jesus who went to the cross though he was sinless. And so a disciple is someone who turns information into action. As stated in the quote that started this post, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them” is a wise person.
Third, true knowledge only comes with right living. “They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Paul is explaining to his mentee, Timothy, that false teachers are never able to know truth because they are motivated by their evil desires. They love their desires more than the truth, so they can never find the truth.
And so love and truth must go together, love for God and knowledge of God must cooperate together to lead to growth in more of each. The one who loves God more will know God more who will in turn love God more. This is to be a disciple, to be caught up in this upward spiral of love for and knowledge of God.