In a church culture where biblical illiteracy is on the rise, how is your handle of the Word of God? Do you wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God(Ephesians 6:17)? Are you allowing the Word of Christ to richly dwell within you(Colossians 3:16)? Are you mighty in Scriptures, competent and proficient enough in the Scriptures to make use of them? There was a man in the early church who was. Let me introduce you to him. His name, Apollos.
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus."
From the very outset, the first quality that stands out about Apollos is that he was competent in the Scriptures. The greek term literally means strong. Thus the New King James Version translates it "mighty in the Scriptures". It is the idea of being able to do something, excelling in something, having the power for something.
So Apollos was able in the Scriptures. He was excelling in the Scriptures. He had the power to do something with the Scriptures. And the text tells us exactly what, namely "he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus(v. 28) As a result, the believers in Achaia were greatly helped by Apollos(v. 27).
Do you want to to be mighty in Scripture and to excel in your use of the Bible? In order to have a better handle on the Bible, make sure to make use of all 5 aspects of intaking the Word of God. To illustrate, take a piece of paper, trace your hand on it and fill in each of the fingers with the 5 methods of Bible intake.
1) The Pinky - HEAR
2) The Ring Finger - READ
3) The Middle Finger - STUDY
4) The Index Finger - MEMORIZE
5) The Thumb - MEDITATE
You sit under the expository preaching of the Word of God ...
...to HEAR its great doctrinal truths unfolded
...to understand how they connect with the rest of Scripture
...to grow an exalted view of God
...and to grasp the flow of the specific book of the Bible the pastor is going through.
Do you belong to a local church where you hear the exposition of Scripture? Or are you listening to watered down topical sermons that leave your soul high and dry?
As you READ through the Scripture yourself, you are taking a bird's eye view of the whole counsel of God. Do you have a regular reading plan?
Then, as you STUDY the Bible, you are taking a worm's eye view, examining the specific details of a certain passage in light of the context of that particular book and in light of the context of the Bible as a whole. Are you part of a small group Bible study that focuses on this aspect?
You also MEMORIZE the Scripture so that you can use it when you are tempted or when you have opportunity to share it with others. Have you ever been on a systematic diet of a Scripture memory program?
And finally you MEDITATE on the Bible. That is you ponder it, muse over it and think about it. It is like a cow's digestive system that has 4 compartments to it's stomach for complete and full digestion. So in meditating on Scripture, you churn, as it were, the very words of God until they are digested for your soul. This is represented by the thumb because just as you can touch all the other fingers with your thumb, so you meditate on the Word when you hear it, read it, study it and memorize it.
Like Apollos, are you mighty in the Scriptures? Competent in the Scriptures.? Able in the Scriptures? Excelling in the Scriptures? Does that describe you? Or as Charles Spurgeon said of John Bunyan(Pilgrim's Progress), do you bleed Bibline?
Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord—not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord.
Hariton Deligiannides is the pastor of Mendon Communiy Church. Pastor Hariton proclaims the truth of Scripture in order to help people come to a knowledge of the truth, namely that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man, and to then get grounded and rooted in the deep truths of Scripture.