As an electrician, I find that to know what is wrong, I need to test various parts of the electrical system. Even then the problem isn’t always obvious. You have to test and examine, test and examine. Of course none of that testing and examination is worth any while if there wasn’t any standard to test and examine against. As an electrician I have the National Electrical Code to use as my standard, along with Underwriters Laboratories listings for whatever item I am looking at.
Such testing and examination isn’t limited to electrical work. It happens in all sorts of professions. Vehicle repair, home repair, even clerking at a store. We do it all the time. When we see a problem, we test and examine against whatever standard is used for the problem at hand. Yet how many Christians really, honestly, test and examine not only their own lives against Scripture – our standard for righteousness in the eyes of God – but the words of others who claim to be prophets, apostles, teachers, pastors, elders, or what have you? How many people just take at face value whatever the most popular among us claims is truth, with no regard for whether or not it holds up against Scripture.
Why would we test and examine the physical, temporary things around us yet never once question teachings that could send you to hell? Is the eternal disposition of your soul not more important then what’s wrong with your vehicle or some missing money? We are commanded to study to show ourselves ‘approved unto God’, yet how many of us don’t take the time to study and rely on the ‘profane and vain babblings’ of others (regardless of the reason)?
2 Timothy 2:15-16 (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness
I’ll be honest, I’m as guilty as the next person. I have not been studying like I should be, and it is to my own shame, and the only one who can change that is me, just as you’re the only person who can study Scripture and open yourself to the groaning of the Spirit of God.
John 14:26 (KJV)
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15:26-27 (KJV)
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
God is the only reliable being to whom we can go to for truth, especially spiritual revelation on the meaning of Scripture. Without that revelation, it is all foolishness. Test and examine, study, and God will reveal. There can be no understanding otherwise.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV)
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.