Passion cannot be hidden!#2. “Zeal and knowledge.”

Passion cannot be hidden!#2. “Zeal and knowledge.”

At the turn of the twentieth century, a little peasant boy attended a village Sunday School in Russia. As an incentive, the local priest handed out candy to the children who recited their memory verses. One boy showed exceptional promise and eventually was able to recite all Four Gospels nonstop (3779 verses). That little boy grew up to be the leader of the USSR (1958-1964). He is well remembered for banging his shoe on the table at the UN, building the Berlin Wall and putting the first manned rocket into space. But the honest historian will note that the same little boy who zealously memorised great swathes of scripture for candy, later zealously murdered great numbers of citizens for power in the Stalin purges. Nikita Khrushchev knew how far passion – artificial and real – can take a man.

It is natural to assume that imbibing the complete record of the life of the Saviour would move a man to faith—but tragically, not so. If to memorise scripture is to know the Lord, then little Nikita would have grown up to be a mighty man of God.

It goes without saying that the Bible is vital to our knowing God—“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ”(Rom.10:17).

In the Bible, God has given us knowledge of His true love for man. God is love (1Jn.4:8), and He sent Jesus to prove it! (Jn.3:16).

The Corinthian church was blessed with resident prophets with miraculous knowledge. But the Knowledge-Rich-Corinthians (1Cor.1:5) were the Love-Poor-Corinthians. Paul told them: “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies” (1Cor.8:1). No one could accuse the Corinthian church of lacking zeal. The problem they had was a propensity to miss the point of zeal and knowledge – eternal life!

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn.17:3).

John Staiger


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