Monday: Knowledge and Experience: Part 1
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Information was an irreplaceable component of Jesus’ message. Information alone cannot transform, but every transformation includes information. Certainly, concepts possess no inherent power for initiating change; God’s Spirit, however, working through human hearts, constitutes the irreplaceable element necessary for conversion.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Read John 16:7-14. What is Jesus saying here that helps us to understand how limited intellectual knowledge is, in and of itself, in the understanding and experiencing of true Christianity?

Biblical knowledge coupled together with God’s Divine Spirit forms the spiritual combination that transforms individuals and societies. The disciple-maker must strive for both of these in faith and study.

Christianity highly regards intelligence, thinking, and imagination. The existence of reasoned thought throughout Scripture, the tremendous respect afforded teachers within Judaism, and the priceless attention that scribes devoted to preserving ancient writings all testify to the importance of knowledge.

Christianity is not an irrational faith. Nevertheless, certain elements within Christianity have elevated emotion, feeling, and experience above knowledge. This mindset declares that what people believe is relatively unimportant because experience alone is meaningful. Obedience and adherence to specific truths are deemed relatively unimportant; emotion and religious excitement become the measuring stick for spiritual genuineness.

Scripture’s very existence counters this mindless fascination with experience. Experience without knowledge becomes a supercharged missile without direction. Conversely, knowledge without experience becomes lifeless and oftentimes legalistic. True Christian leaders understood the need to cultivate both of these elements, not only in themselves but in those whom they disciple.

Think through all the good reasons that you have for your faith. At the same time, what role has experience played? Why do we need both?

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Monday: Knowledge and Experience: Part 1 — 15 Comments

  1. The thoughts expressed here are in line with what Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15 "Always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." That' why many question the beliefs and standards the have been long cherished by Adventists.

    Like(13)
  2. (We need both) in order to grow spiritually in hope, faith, trust and mercy. Love Liv. Have a safe day with The Master. ♡

    Like(5)
  3. Knowledge and information is power,the power to understand the fathers purpose for each and everyone of use, and also the power to choose between what is right and what is wrong, it is no wounder that Satan wants to keep us in the dark with misinformation! praise be to our father in heaven for sending the holy spirit with the true information!, so we can truly be free to make the right choice,praise be to Jesus for his mission on this mislead earth to save each and every one of us and give us that information so we can be truly free and and be children of the heavenly father! I know what choice I want make!

    Like(7)
  4. I think that most of us are contented to be as young birds in a nest, with eyes closed and beak open while food is ram down its throat, While the world has advance in knowledge and all science, the larger part of Christendom has remained in the dark ages and about eighteen million is intellectually lazy to think, the scripture say's Hos_4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
    I live below the equator about midway between the imaginary line and the south pole , if you ask one of our brethren where heaven is he will point upward even though he is upside down .
    We are adding to the church with out gaining a knowledge on why of the seven churches we have the worst condemnation, I was baptieed in 1972, the spiritual tone of the church has not improved from that time'.If the condemnation is to the angel (the ministry)who will carry the loud cry? See Isa 5:

    "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10), and better than all knowledge is an understanding of His word. {CT 64.3

    The great and dreadful day what will it be like , How do I survive the day, why do we look for the time of trouble instead of the sealing , the trouble is held in check until the sealing is over,

    If the stone that hit the image in Daniel two is the lord's coming , Why it came from a mountain and not heaven? and why did it fill the earth and not make it black and void and without inhabitants?

    What happen to those that have no part in proclaiming the third angels message when it swell into a loud cry? In Rev 12 we say the woman is the Christian church , how do we explain this when it was Christ that formed the Christian church.

    If the high priest in heaven is cleaning , and it was the names of the unrepentant that is blotted from the books, why do we make accommodation for sinning and repenting still. was it not the obedience of Abraham that made him the father of the faithful ?. and if we sin our father is the devil?
    Did Christ came to save us from sin, our in sin?

    How will I be sanctified if don't understand or have the truth, and be ready to give a reason of the faith.

    Like(7)
    • Lennox, you pose so many questions I don’t know where to begin so I will only comment on the second to the last paragraph.

      Even though some comments seem to suggest an accommodation of sin I don’t think that really was the intention. In the attempt to be Christ-like and accept people we sometimes inadvertently compromise on the sin they have. The problem of Christianity is often one of balance and where to draw the line.

      To me there are standards that must be kept otherwise the church will become just like the world with all of its accepted corruption. However, what we need to keep in mind is that all of us are on a long journey to Heaven which we call sanctification where every one of us have sin somewhere in our lives that has to be dealt with. Because of that we really can’t afford to condemn other people’s sin except when it becomes public knowledge. For those personal sins I think what Jesus said is important, “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Mat 7:2 NKJV) and sometimes, we, having that proverbial plank in our own eye end up swallowing a camel while attempting to strain out the gnat that might be in someone else’s eye.

      When sin does become public then the church receives a very black eye and is looked down upon by those outside. Under that condition evangelism is negated and put in the rears. That is the reason that Paul had a particular young man thrown out of the church for a while (1 Cor 5:1-5) because what he was doing was worse than what was done by sinners on the outside.

      There are even more subtle issues where there is no outward sin but rather the wrong message is given to the world and evangelism is hurt. For instance Paul had a lot to say about women in church (1 Cor 11; 1 Cor 14:34-35) not because he was against women but because of the view those on the outside would have of the church. We are to be a light to the gentiles and as such we cannot be doing what the world does. So there is that delicate balance where the church is maintained as a spiritual hospital but not as a brothel where anything goes.

      Like(5)
  5. Jesus was concerned about His disciples' continued spiritual development, after He leaves them to return to the ''Father''. So in His ''farewell discourse''. He assured them that He would send the 'Comforter' the ''Holy Spirit'' who would teach them all things. Today we are blessed to have the "Holy Spirit'' helping us to be prepared for Jesus' Second Coming. According to ,''Know Him, p 330" ''The Holy Spirit is waiting for channels through whom to work.... The Spirit of God will be poured out upon the church just as soon as the vessels are prepared to receive it''. God bless.

    Like(5)
  6. Emotional mastery intellect and theology vital for a whole christian.this enables us to have a heavenly character.

    Like(2)
  7. Lennox, You have a very curious, mind that looks into things, rather than just agreeing w/whatever is stated. I like that about you. I never heard this statement you made below, can U tell me where you draw your knowledge of this from? Thanx, I'll be watching for your reply.

    If the time of trouble is after the sealing, then that means I have nothing to worry about, I thought the time of trouble was a time of testing, a time that our choices were really questioned.

    The great and dreadful day what will it be like , How do I survive the day, why do we look for the time of trouble instead of the sealing , the trouble is held in check until the sealing is over,

    Like(1)
  8. it is reasonable that both knowledge and experience are mingled together for helping us to preach the last gospel

    Like(0)
  9. As Adventists we are hung up on knowledge and forget about the need for experience. I don't want to take away from the need for knowledge. What this is about is how we test our knowledge.

    How did you come to know God exists?

    How did you come to know God?

    How did you come to realise the Bible, our knowledge base on God, can be trusted?

    I'll tell you how, you experienced God. From your experience comes knowledge. From the knowledge comes wisdom. Wisdom and knowledge allow you to evaluate your experience. Amongst all this is God's leading in your life.

    If you have knowledge only, you are a dry bag of bones. It is experiencing God and waiting on Him that adds the flesh and blood to those dry bones and makes us spiritually alive.

    Have you experienced God lately?

    Like(11)
  10. I think we always have to be careful with what we say to others. We especially need to be always so prayerful, so that we will not say anything to misrepresent God.

    Like(2)
  11. As I think through all the good reasons that I have for my faith which is first based on the knowledge received from God through His words and the Holy Spirit revelations, I recognize that without the experiences, i.e. my experiences I could easily walk away from God because the basis of my trust would have been on head knowledge only. The experiences add substance to the knowledge and makes my Christian experience real.

    In addition the experiences form testimonies which are add value to discipleship as persons can relate to these.

    Like(1)
  12. Great Knowledge and wisdom only come from above, through prayer and study of scripture can man acquire this power “Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to
    neglect prayer and the searching of the
    Scriptures, will be overcome by his attacks“ EGW

    Like(0)
    • Henry, The Pharisees religiously studied the Word of God. They certainly didn't neglect their prayer life. Yet when Jesus walked this earth, they failed to recognise Him.

      Peter on the other hand, when asked who he thought Jesus was, called it as he saw it. "You are the Christ" he said. Jesus told Peter that it was the Father who had revealed this to him.

      Why was Peter able to get it but the Pharisees didn't? Why did Peter recognise Jesus for who He was, but the Pharisees missed it?

      Peter experienced God in his life.

      Like(0)
  13. If we could only understand the simplicity of the gospel, yet the depth of it's profound wisdom and knowledge. I love the way Christ began with the 'basics' like the beatitudes. By the time He died, He shared the most profound truths of His mission and the love of the Father with His disciples, even though they didn't understand it. The combination of their knowledge of His word and experiences with Him, they proclaimed the gospel. They understood His teachings more and more until they died. God's Word and His leading in our lives mold us into His image if we trust Him. One cannot work independently of the other. I thank Him for that.

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