RESEARCH catches up with HOLY BIBLE!
BIBLICAL LITERACY AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH [Excerpts]
January 6th, 2012
As research shows the correlation between spiritual maturity and reading the BIBLE,
one organization is addressing the significant lack of biblical literacy within
the Christian community, as few Christians take time to make Bible study
a daily practice.
Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, says his group's findings indicate
that church members may be aware of general themes about Christianity, but they
lack the Biblical literacy necessary to better understand the FULL story of what
GOD is doing in the world.
"We did a study [and] found the number-one correlated factor to spiritual
growth and maturity was consistency in the BIBLE," he reports. "We know how
essential this is to spiritual maturity, so literacy is not just something that
kind of floats out there by itself; it is a tool. Biblical literacy is a tool
that GOD uses to grow people spiritually as well."
Stetzer also contends that part of the problem is that many believers consider it the
job of their pastor to digest and regurgitate the spiritual gleanings found in Scripture.
"And in doing so, their spiritual diet suffers -- and it's obvious by the anemic
state of many Christians," he notes. "So I think ultimately, GOD's given us
HIS Word not so pastors alone can walk through it, but at the end of
the day, it's so that [believers] might engage the Scriptures
themselves and grow from them."
GOD's Word Fuels Small Group Ministry
Some churches follow the Sunday morning sermon. Others do a
series of thematic studies. Some churches want the lead pastor to prepare
lessons for all the small group leaders, while other churches
ask their leaders to prepare his or her own lesson.
Independently of what each shepherd and church follows,
most would all agree that the people in the small groups need
GOD’s Word to grow and bear fruit. The Holy Bible is the food that
strengthens us spiritually to face the assaults of the enemy and the batterings
of this evil world. Writing to the Colossians, Paul said, “Let the word of
Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish
one another with all wisdom” (3:16).
When the people want answers and do not know how to confront a
particular circumstance, GOD’s Word gives clear Divine direction in a way
that is practical and perfect. The small group leader, therefore, must start each
morning hungering and receiving GOD’s fresh manna from JESUS. After personally feeding on
the bread of heaven, he or she will be able to impart daily bread to others. In a similar way,
GOD asked the nation Israel to feed on manna every day, with the exception of
Saturday (Exodus 16:21). God’s daily bread both nourishes everyone
and feeds the hearers. Make sure you are sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit,
so that you can receive HIS Word every day. When you do, you will be able to speak GOD’s
Word of grace and truth with power and authority. Please always remember,
you cannot give others what you do not have.
~ Dr. Joseph Grubb
January 18, 2012