By George Straub


Sometimes I think back to how I studied the Bible in the past. I used to have many sophisticated books on my desk and the best Bible program on my computer. And in my heart I had one thought: I wanted to meet the man who was able to do more difficult and outstanding research than I, for surely he alone would be able to lead me to greater understanding of the truth. Although I now realize my work was only an intellectual pastime, at the time I was convinced I was doing the will of God.

These days are past. I now enjoy a new freedom and a new way of studying the Word of God. I rely on neither sophisticated books or computer programs. The Bible and the Spirit of God are more than enough.

It was a real new and exciting experience for me when I was preparing a teaching a few month ago. I prayed for the guidance of the Lord and asked Him to enlighten my eyes that I can see the things He wants me to know. I stood up and there in my mind was this verse:

1 Corinthians 12:3b:
... and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

It is interesting to note that I never understood this verse before. I was secretly convinced that there had to be a corruption somewhere in the original Greek manuscript. But on this day I had not only the verse in my mind but also the interpretation: “no man can say Jesus is the Lord unless God has revealed it to him.” This was a wonderful truth to discover. It was such a refreshing thought to realize the magnitude of grace of God and that it was not our work which had saved us. God revealed to us the truth. He opened our eyes to the truth about His Son and we believed it. We believed the revelation.

Ephesians 2:8-9:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Another passage which followed easily to my mind was from the gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 16:13-17:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

I had long wondered why Jesus said to Simon Peter “for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Why was it necessary that God reveal the truth about Jesus to Peter? Didn’t the apostles take this truth for granted? They lived many days together with Jesus. They had seen the miracles he did. Again, the answer was found in 1 Corinthians 12:3b: No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Even the personal presence of Jesus was not enough. God had to reveal to their hearts who this man was. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” What a wonderful truth to keep in mind as we continue to search the Scriptures to learn the wonderful things of God!



From the August 2002 issue of The Vine & Branches