All We Reformed Pharisees Locked in Our Studies


Scarecrows (Photo credit: MrGiles)

After posting this title, should you see me hanging from a tree on the side of the road (some cling tightly to that term, reform), at least wave… please (wasn’t someone looking for a scarecrow)?

It …is …all …okay (really, it is).

I just detected the desire to bring a thought into my world this morning and knew my title would make a great attention-getter (hey, it got mine).

At his conversion, Paul had a couple of questions for Jesus that I think sums well our purposed intent as believers in the risen Lord. He asked of Jesus, “Who are you?” and “What will you have me do?” He then spent the rest of his life pursuing the answers to those questions (it still amazes me that later in life, Paul would still cry out, “that I might know Him”).

To the credit of Reformed Theology, I have to tell you that I think much of the excellent stuff being published today comes through their pens. Men like Piper, Carson, and Sproul have studied to show themselves approved and then passed those studies to those of us lower on the food chain. For that, I am eternally grateful.

But what of that second question? What will the Lord have me be doing? See, reading and study often comes easy for me because it’s what I cherish spending my time doing. So much so that sadly I sometimes wonder if I can find perfect contentment locked in my study with my library of biblical resources and never recognize that I may be fully ignoring the second question.

Revisiting that disturbing title of mine; isn’t that at least a semblance of what the Pharisees were guilty of? Having the source to know and not do?

We know from his letters that Paul expected believers to be in study of the Word (learning who Jesus is); that’s a given, but what conclusion do we find the early believers coming to as what to do with the knowledge once they heard from God (what will you have me do?)? …a couple hints I graciously offer as suggestions: Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 5, 6 & 7; 28:18-20. Any thoughts from your side?

“Get away from me you dagnabbit crow! …and take the Boston Red Sox with you!”

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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16 Responses to All We Reformed Pharisees Locked in Our Studies

  1. In the words of Charles Edward Mudie . . .
    To Thee, Thou dying Lamb, I all things owe:
    All that I have and am; and all I know.
    All that I have is now no longer mine,
    And I am not my own: Lord, I am Thine.

  2. The problem is that we often study to become stuffed heads and never leave our posts.

    Peace & Grace,
    Sister Olive

  3. Michael Snow says:

    Perhaps a line from Charles Spurgeon brings out a key aspect of your title: “… it is a dangerous state of things if doctrine is made to drive out precept.”

  4. RJ Dawson says:

    Those who study do good
    And I love to study it is true
    But to know Him is the goal of study
    And by knowing Him I know you

    Study for the mere sake of knowledge
    Will steer us far off course
    And such persistence
    Entails a distance
    From Him—
    A lost connection to the Source

    For seekers of God, books will fade
    And words on paper drift away
    Properly purposed
    They lead to a surplus
    In knowing, not merely knowing of,
    The Way

  5. Although I’m sure I’d be comfortable in the office next to yours, studying and learning, but He also said be a doer. So I guess, teaching and speaking, will also have to be part of it!

    • mtsweat says:

      In the unity of the Spirit of Christ, we study next door to one another, then serve side by side in the mission field, allowing the gifts we’ve been given to bring glory to Jesus. Amen!

  6. I love to study the Word truly but to be a hearer (or a studier) only is to deny the full gospel. We are called to be doers of the Word we study. Without the doing of the Word our faith dies.

  7. Rob Barkman says:

    Hi MT,
    The Lord has called each one of us to our won individual ministries for Him. For some of us it may involve more studying than others. Such as the men you mentioned (another that comes to my mind is John MacArthur). But if you notice each of those men also then shared what they learned with others.

    Others are not called to as much research, but more practical types of service for Him. But once again to be obedient, they are also sharing what they know with those around them.

    I guess my point, and the point of your blog is this…
    There are two “musts” in Christian service… Learning His Word and then sharing what we know with others. If we concentrate solely on one or the other we have missed the boat.

    I guess, based upon my calling, I see such a need for more Biblical knowledge in today’s time.
    It is so sad to see others claiming to share the Word out of ignorance or maliciousness, teaching error instead of the truths of the Word. This, I believe, is why there is so much false teaching abounding today. Also, there are many Christians, due to a lack of knowledge fall prey to those who teach falsely.

    Great posting MT. May the Lord bless you my friend.

  8. ccragamuffin says:

    I must be about my Father’s business.

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