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​Zeal Without Knowledge

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“I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom 10:2).


As it is seen, zeal can be possessed short of effectiveness when not accompanied with knowledge (knowledge precedes understanding in learning but not in application). Though Judaism is not the way of Christianity it did teach preparation for it (Gal 3:24, 25) in types (sacrificial ordinances) and shadows (Col 2:16, 17; Heb 8:5; 10:1), but the instruction to the Jew was to go from Judaism to Christianity, as some did.


One of the greatest oppositions to Christianity since its conception is attempting the admixture of Judaism and Christianity (Judaeo-Christian?!#), which error cannot be effected but produces confusion resulting in distraction. Through the entirety of the Pauline epistles the Apostle exposed this errant concept as much as he disclosed growth in the Gospel of Christ, which explains the present terminology of "Galatianism."


“It takes more to break inertia than to ease momentum. Misdirected zeal is more easily corrected than inert sloth.” M.J.S.


“The snare with zealous, but unprepared and unbroken hearts, is to do the right thing in the wrong way. It is not enough to know the right thing, but I must know the right way of doing it. The latter is not easily learned; the former is the fruit of light; the latter is never acquired but as there is practical grace and love—the activity of the Lord Jesus’ nature in me by the Spirit.” J.B.S.


“But not according to knowledge”: it was not well regulated, it proceeded on mistaken principles, and moved in a wrong way, in persecuting the Church of God, in doing things contrary to the name of Christ, in putting to death his ministers and members, thinking that hereby they did God good service; which arose from their ignorance of their Father, and of the Son.


“Though they had a zeal of God, they knew neither God nor Christ aright; they did not know God in Christ, nor Jesus to be the true Messiah; they understood neither law nor Gospel truly and fancied that the Gospel was contrary to the Law, and an enemy to it. Therefore, in their great zeal opposed it and the professors of it, they were zealous of the law and of doing the commands of it, but knew not the true nature, use, and end of the law (Rom 10:4), as appears in 10:3 of Romans.” JG


Contemporary Christendom consists of many babes-in-Christ (1Cor 3:1 – not a rebuke but for maturity self-evaluation) believers due to lack of Scriptural knowledge (resulting in limited understanding) from having not yet read and re-read—even the NT—enough to at least be familiar with its contents. The resolution?—do not stop re-reading the NT.


I would like to suggest one Gospel (not all 4 at once) then through to Revelation (then Revelation every 3rd time through). It doesn’t matter how fast or slow as long as it is no less than the half of a page, then mark where you stopped (pencil w/eraser), which eliminates the need for deciding what to read.


I only suggest this method because it has worked well for me within the last 35 years (read OT about three times and the NT about a dozen). Regardless the method of choice the most significant issue is that of not requiring to decide what to read because you know where you stopped. (p.s. I read the OT about every four times through the NT).


As I’ve mentioned, speed is irrelevant because the prime objective is exposure to the Word, so the Spirit can do more of what He desires with you. Like the analogy of tanning under the sun, as sufficient exposure to the sun results in tanning, so does God’s teaching’s when sufficiently exposed to the Word, which is the Book of the Son, for is has been well said, “there is a scarlet thread of Christ which traverses the entirety of Scripture.”


My brotherly-love to all!

Bob (NC)

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