There are thee pertinent Bible verses that come to mind:
- My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6)
- Where there is no vision, the peopleperish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18)
- Put on the Whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Ignorance of the law in court is no excuse. Ignorance of how a piece of machinery works, if we try to repair it can result in an injury or fatality. Yet why do people think that ignorance of the word of God will still build a strong church or ministry? Christian education in a church is just as important as preaching the gospel and winning people to God! Soldiers are given basic training, then advanced training for their military occupation. If the Church is an Army, we should be involved in spiritual combat training as well. I’ve heard much talk from churches but little action!
I agree that a good portion of this combat is prayer.
After all, the above mentioned scripture says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12)! The Bible doesn’t mince words when Paul told Timothy to “Study to shew thyself approved” or Paul told the Thessalonian church to “Study to be quiet” nor Solomon who stated “A wise man studieth to answer” our words and actions must be chosen both prayerfully and carefully!
A biblical church should be a church that teaches sound doctrine. The doctrine should also be backed up with actions to prove it as well! Moses commanded the Israelites to teach their children the precepts of God. To this day in Jewish tradition, they will read a specific passage from the Bible that asks and narrates the reason behind the Passover that it may be learned and remembered! There are other activities, but this one comes to mind the most: Do this, and REMEMBER why you are doing it!
Please note on the second point that, unlike many who quote this verse (Proverbs 29:18) I have included the entire rendering. Mainly due to this reason: A vision of God and what he expects of us requires knowing the word of God. God doesn’t operate outside of his word (Bible). The more we have on the inside through prayer and study, (once again humbly I say this, and within reason, because God can do anything) the more God can use our faculties. I say this very carefully, because the Book of Numbers tells us that God used a Donkey to speak to an unwilling prophet (Numbers 22:28). This is a good lesson to remember on humility. Even with this illustration, it does not mean a soldier can neglect his training to be ready for battle! Soldiers are given orders to “Take that hill” or “Hold this position” or something else depending on the situation. A church that supports missions, has a defined community outreach and objectives to meet that end, is evidence that they are doing something!
|No matter what age, soldiers must be dressed and trained for battle!|
Lastly, if we are soldiers, we must wear all of our spiritual armor. I call to your attention the various photos of soldiers in Iraq, who wore their helmets, flack vests and goggles. They were trained and dressed for offensive combat and defensive protection. In the scripture, the allusion is to a Roman soldier in battle gear. The first items of armor (Verses 14-17) are concerned with having our vitals protected (breast plate, loins, helmet, shield) . The helmet of salvation is on our head – where our brain is, concerns mental protection as well as the shield of faith. Any firey darts (or arrows) can be deflected if our shielding is ready. The Fifth is having our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel. This goes back to education and training! Armies have always depended on marching on their feet. How do we know the gospel if we only hear it once? The offensive weapons are prayer and the Word of God. Many times, we hear the word of God is likened to a sword, that cuts very fine. My experience is that people want to use this sword like a club and eventually become seriously injured. In other words, they step on their tongue or are caught in hypocrisy or scandal. This was all from using the word of God as a bludgeon rather than a sword!
My point is simply this: Preparation and training does not waste time or energy!
A Biblical church has a mission and diversifies it’s resources to be effective on all fronts!
Your Brother in Christ
And Senpai in Karate