How many hours a day do you study the counterfeit? Do you spend more time showing people why they are wrong? Perhaps, you receive great enjoyment not so much talking about God but feeling as if you have destroyed another person’s argument, and thus shattering their foundation if one holds to specific religious views. As I write this, I sure hope this is not you.
Second question, how often do you study the authentic? Meaning, how often do you examine the facts and evidence in which you can conclude specific points. Even more specifically, Scripture.
Christian, there is a verse I want to look at for a moment, and it is 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (ESV)2 Timothy 3:16-17
At the time this was written, Paul was addressing the access to the Scriptures of his day. However, we know all Scripture, both Old and New Testaments have something in common – they are God-breathed. Meaning, inspired and of divine origin, therefore authoritative. Scripture is powerful, and it is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training.
But here is the thing, notice it does not say it is useful to tear someone down, to destroy someone in an argument or to provide pride with knowledge. No, verse 17 is clear; the purpose of the Scriptures is to give completeness and equip the believer for everyday life and ministry or good work.
See, when we open the Bible, we are all hit with our depravity. We are equally hit with the Holiness of God and his desire for his people to be Holy. We learn how to love, how to be patient, how to walk in humility. We learn what it means to have God search our heart, to confess sin, to be restored and to have eternal peace. We are not called to study the Scriptures so that we can pummel the counterfeit, we study to learn what is authentic. This is what we want, a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.
Before I close, remember this. When a law enforcement officer receives training to recognize counterfeit currency, documents or other often forged items, they do not study all the counterfeit; they study the authentic. By this, they can pick up the fake almost immediately. So Christian, do not study the Bible for the next big match, study it so you may be an authentic believer, a sanctified person, and when your light shines before all, your argument will already be won.
I hope this helps you along in this journey.