Cover 2019-10-13

Ron Writes

Beyond the sacred page

I can do it! I watched the YouTube video. Watching the guy on YouTube who had 20 years of experience laying tile made it look easy. How hard can it be? It was a lot harder than he made it look. How did this mortar get all over everything? You see, in most things you need more than knowledge, you need practice. This is why skilled labor is not cheap and cheap labor is not skilled. Some things take years of practice to develop the skills to get the job done right.

A person goes to school to become a surgeon. They go to class, study and learn, but there’s more. They go to the lab and dissect cadavers. But there’s more. They become a resident. They must go into the operating room itself and watch. Then they assist. They are getting the experience to put into practice what they’ve learned. A person might have extensive knowledge, but it’s not the same as having years of hands on experience.

Paul told those at Colossae that he wanted them to be filled with Epignosis, a super-knowledge (1:9). It’s a knowledge that comes from experience. God is not interested in us merely having an intellectual knowledge. He’s not creating scholars. He wants us to have the knowledge that comes from putting God’s Word into practice. The song, “Break Thou the Bread of Life” has been criticized by brethren when it says “beyond the sacred page, I seek thee Lord.” In fact, some have changed those words to “within the sacred page.” They miss the point. Certainly you learn about God by His Word. But when you put it into practice, you learn so much more.

We are told not to conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we may “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). I haven’t just learned it, I’ve put it into practice and have proved it to be good. Hebrews speaks of those “who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (5:14). Obeying God goes beyond “oh, that makes sense,” to “I know God’s Word is right – I’ve proved Him over and over again.”

May we go “beyond the sacred page” and put it into practice!