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Church 101: Openness to Learning

Core Value #5: Openness to Learning - Recognizing there is always more to learn, we humbly seek God’s guidance as we study God’s Word and pray for discernment across all life stages and ages. We experience greater transformation when we choose the accountability of being in community with others through a Sunday school or small group. (See Romans 12:2)

“For now, we see only a reflection, as in a mirror, but then we will see face to face.

Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

(1 Corinthians 13:12, NRSVue)

One of the dangers we face in the church is the sin of certainty. When we think we are so right that we’re willing to condemn others because of our superior knowledge, we have moved from the realm of faith into the realm of knowledge. Knowledge and faith are NOT the same. Faith believes even when there is no proof. Knowledge requires proof. I would rather have faith, even faith like a little child than be so sure about what I know that my actions cause harm or injury to another. Besides, Paul said in 1 Corinthians that knowledge would pass away along with prophecies and tongues (13:8).

When it comes to God, although I know a lot about God, I am striving to know God intimately and deeply. I can only know God through a relationship. I have met some people who know a lot “about” God but seem not to know God at all—at least, the God I have met in my day-to-day relationship with him. I encounter God in scripture, prayer, meditation, worship, study, and fellowship. I learn about God in those settings, but I crave the presence of God even when I’m with others. I want to know God as fully as possible by experiencing God in every moment of my life.

The challenge we often deny is that the more we know God, the more of God there is to know. We’ll never exhaust the depths of our relationship with God because we can always go deeper. I try to stay open to whatever God reveals about himself and his ways. I want to know God’s will and the strength to do it, but the power is only available when I’m connected to God’s Spirit.

This Sunday, we’re going to look at an encounter Jesus had with the chief priests and elders of the temple in Matthew 21. At first, our passage looks like it’s about Jesus’ authority; however, we eventually learn that it’s about the faithfulness of the chief priests and elders to what they are learning about God through John the Baptist, Jesus, and the tax collectors and sinners. It’s an interesting passage that will segue nicely into celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion.

I hope to see you on Sunday, and I hope you’ll bring some friends who need a positive word about God’s love!

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