by Karla Hein
“The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7b NASB). For months, these words have swirled around in my heart. Comforting assurance that even I can progress from simplicity to wisdom!
I’ve been disappointed recently by popular scholars and preachers who have not accurately handled “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If those esteemed as experts lead astray, then what is a little sheep like me to do in a world of savage wolves, seeking to destroy Christ’s testimony? Then the words echo back in my heart. Even a simple sheep like me can gain wisdom! “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6).
According to 2 Timothy 3:14-17, the Word is how I become equipped. If I believe that the Bible is God-breathed and living, then it follows that I must place it as a higher authority than any cleverly devised words from a theologian or teacher. Yet Scripture also warns that in the multitude of advisers there is wisdom (Proverbs 11:14).
How do I determine between truth and error as I seek to grow in wisdom? “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus…so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14–17).
Wycliffe and Tyndale, early translators of the Bible, were both martyred. One of Wycliffe’s primary beliefs was that “he had come to regard the scriptures as the only reliable guide to the truth about God and maintained that all Christians should rely on the Bible rather than the unreliable and frequently self-serving teachings of popes and clerics” (Cavendish, 2015).
Centuries ago, Christians in England did not have easy access to the Scriptures in the English language. If they managed to secure a copy and were discovered, they were severely punished. If we revert willingly to biblical illiteracy, we ridicule the privilege of reading God’s words for ourselves. “Teacher, tell me what the Bible says. Tickle my ears (2 Timothy 4:3). I don’t feel like looking up the Scriptures today. An inspirational podcast, message, or song is enough spiritual nourishment for me.”
As we enter the cyber realm of Christian popularity, it is crucial to exercise caution. “They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but
never able come to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:6–7).
I never want that to be said of me—that I am always learning, but too hard hearted to be sanctified by truth (John 17:17). Let’s pray together that God will “open [our] eyes that [we] may see wonderful things in [his] law.” (Psalm 119:18).