The handicap that many Christians experience in their attempt to achieve spiritual growth is not because of their lack of Biblical knowledge; rather, it is a failure to implement what they know. For example, it is one thing to know what the Bible teaches on forgiveness, but quite another thing to put that truth into action. “Scriptural gluttony,” even though it is not a widespread epidemic, is an issue that needs to be addressed. This spiritual health issue is defined as people who have an overabundance of Biblical knowledge but fail to put into action what they know. The preaching/teaching ministry of the church is essential to spiritual growth, but the living/sharing ministry of the Believer is essential to Kingdom growth.
Every Believer must prepare himself to be a living example of the Word. What that curtails is studying the Word as a “workman” approved of God who has learned to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth. (II Timothy 2:15) He then seeks an understanding of the Word which is revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. Once he has grasped the content of the Word, he is ready for the Word to work in his life. As the Word builds his spiritual life, he will develop into the image that God originally planned for man to assume. (Genesis 1:26) Finally, the Believer is ready to show and share the life-changing message to the world. It is basically a four step-growth pattern: Study, Understand, Experience, and Share.
Years ago, many churches had what was called “Quiz Teams.” They were basically young people who learned Scripture through competition with other church youth groups. It was exciting to see these kids studying through the week to get ready for the friendly competition that was usually held on Saturdays. They filled up on the Word and exhibited their knowledge in the different venues. I don’t know if “Quiz Teams” are around anymore. I imagine they went the way of the “progressive change” movement. It would have been beneficial to these young people if there had been an advance program in which the teams would not only identify the Scripture and its content but also share how they would apply what they learned in everyday experiences. (I guess I have to come to grips with the fact that the church today is a lot different from the churches I once served.)
If Believers are not willing to apply what they know, what is the purpose of studying the Scripture? If a Christian loves to talk about the armor of God but is not willing to put it on and enter the battle, what is the purpose of knowing about it?
Every Believer needs to exercise the Word that is within them. Not only will they get in shape, but they will help shape the lives of others.