1 Corinthians 8:1
We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
This passage has been taken by some to justify ignorance or lack of formal training because “knowledge puffs up”. Obviously the Lord’s intent here is not to bash “knowledge” or training. Elsewhere, particularly in Proverbs, the Bible speaks so highly of knowledge and wisdom as a treasure. Proverbs 8:10 – “Choose … knowledge rather than choice gold.” Paul even laments those who have a zeal without knowledge (Romans 10:2) and encourages study (2 Timothy 2:15). Yes, Jesus used “unlearned and ignorant men” (Acts 4:13) but he also chose Paul, one of the sharpest minds perhaps of all time and Dr Luke, a gentile, to write the vast majority of the New Testament.
Yes, God will use any available vessel, even a donkey, but Ecclesiastes tells us that education sharpens the tool and you can cut down a bigger tree with less effort if you take time to sharpen the ax.
Don’t minimize the importance of study and knowledge. It will not replace relationship but the more I know about my wife, the better my understanding of who she really is and not just who I think she is, the deeper our relationship can grow. Proper knowledge with a proper heart attitude can increase the depth of my relationship with the Lord just as it does in human relationships.
So what was Paul talking about here? The answer, as usual, is found in carefully reading the entire passage and putting this phrase in its proper context. But I’ll have to save that for my next post.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.