I literally just finished a 3 month intensive Bible Course. It was a crazy journey where I studied 14 books inductively, read the whole Bible, did 6 days of homework every week and rested every Sabbath.
And I'm done! Sometimes celebration needs to happen, and tomorrow I celebrate with the 20 other students who went on this journey with me.
I learned so much during my time and I'm sure as I process all of it, God will continue to reveal new things that I learned. And as God reveals, I will try to speak truth and make my life line up to what He is saying. If I can't apply what I've learned, then I don't believe I have actually learned it. If all I gain is information and knowledge and it doesn't effect my actions, then have I really learned it?
Revelation, not just knowledge.
This is where I believe revelation is important to every believer. Something that perhaps the charismatic church has takenand ran with. While conservatives don't really talk about this concept(at least where I come from). Maybe it's because the idea of revelation is scary and takes what we can understand or comprehend and puts it outside of our control. Paul is pretty clear that revelation comes from God and not from man. Therefore, revelation can't be controlled by man. It can't be put into a box that is nicely formatted and fit into what we know.
After studying Ephesians, I have come to some more conclusions on the idea of revelation. But, it starts with the groundwork that I laid in my first article dealing with revelation vs understanding. You can read it here.
To quote my last article: "I believe we serve a real and active God, and maybe that's what revelation is: real and active. Not specifically defined, but explored within relationship."
Revelation is defined through relationship with God. But, it also will NEVER contradict Scripture. Revelation should take us deeper into the truths of Scripture. That is, it should allow us to live the truth of Scripture in a deeper or more meaningful way.
Revelation should take the written word of God and make it real in our lives.
One thing I learned is that Paul writes the book of Ephesians to a church that isn't unified. They have different pagan religions influencing their church while having the struggle of Jewish believers (who want to live by theOld Testament law) and Gentile believers (who aren't living by the strict laws of the Old Testament). Paul speaks directly into their arguments, making its clear that Jesus is the Savior, the Messiah and end of all arguments.
Paul uses revelation to UNITE the body of Christ.
God used revelation to reveal to Paul who Jesus was. Lets look at Jesus' words in Matthew chapter 16 verse 15-16, "But, who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied,"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."See what Jesus says in Matthew 16 verse 17 "For flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."
Paul says in Ephesians chapter 3 verses 3-4 "how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ." Paul goes on in verse 6 "This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heard, members of the same body,"
Revelation is something we NEED from God.
It takes us deeper into truth, allowing us to understand it more and live it from a place of conviction. It also should UNIFY the body of Christ as revelation reveals who Jesus is, which is something we as believers all have in common.
My challenge to myself and the reader: Lets explore relationship with God. Allowing God to reveal Jesus which will lead the body of Christ into unity.
Jason LaLone was on staff at YWAM Brisbane and is currently doing a Bible school in Mexico. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus' command to make disciples a practical realitythat he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Jason-LaLone.html