Mix your knowledge with your love. Search the scriptures to know of God and to examine yourself. Be humbled by the Word and apply it to your lives.
The author of Hebrews is resolute when speaking to Christians who may have been considering a departure from their faith, due in part to their immaturity. The force of the direct point could not reasonably be mistaken.
“There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers for so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5: 11-14
Earlier in Hebrews (4:14), the listeners are asked to hold firmly to their faith. And it does follow that if you are to hold firmly to your faith, you should know what constitutes your faith. God seemed to have breathed into the Word here and elsewhere that, as followers of Christ, we need to have both the knowledge of the scripture and signs of life from the scripture. The two essentials are essential to one another.
That is, knowledge of the Word is fundamental but that knowledge without intent of application to one’s life is futile. The Bible isn’t intended to be read mechanically. When it is read without purpose, it becomes on equal plane with any secular subject. And even so, when studying a secular subject, let’s say… photography, you would be diminishing your experience if you didn’t mix your knowledge with function. It’s one thing to read about the technicalities and artistry of taking photographs. With certainty, you could dialogue about your understanding of the process but without a camera in hand and the actual act of making pictures, there will be limitations to your growth. Likewise, if you buy a camera but learn nothing about exposure settings and editing, your proficiency can remain dull.
Combine compassion and truth. Study the time Jesus engaged with the Samaritan woman at the well. There you will find an exemplary example of the blending of compassion and truth. At that time, also, Jesus made a profound offer. If we drink His water, we shall never thirst and we shall be sprung into everlasting life. How can we read something that compelling in a perfunctory way? Or, for that matter, how could we express our zeal for this life from God, life anew, without studying from where it was written?
Being a follower of Christ is not a mindless walk down Lollipop Lane. We must make time to examine ourselves and grow in the wisdom we have achieved through the study of the Word and apply, apply, apply.
In Romans 2:17 – 29, Paul speaks about the hypocrisy of having knowledge of the law and scripture but not living accordingly. He emphasizes that a change of heart produced by God’s spirit is above adherence to ceremony. It’s important to know scripture but unless it has taken root in your lives, it is a book on the coffee table.