John 5:45-47 (NIV) 45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
To be knowledgeable and understanding of scriptures and spiritual things is of absolutely no worth at all without belief. In fact, it is oftentimes a much bigger hindrance than help. The more information contained, the more accompanying action is required in order to avoid transgression. Where there is no knowledge of a law, then violating it isn’t a conscious failure. There is a stipulation that ignorance is not an excuse in many cases, but in reality the more that is known with regard to an edict, then more weight is given to any violation of it. To be secure in exposure alone to information is to actually be in a very dangerous position with regard to actually understanding and living according to what is known.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ time spent their whole lives devoting their brilliant minds to study of the law with a motivation that it would provide them with security and eternal life. The information, however, became for them the security rather than who that information was about. Rather than securing eternal life for them, it secured its separation from them. Every bit of information they were consuming had a much higher purpose than merely conforming to every jot and tittle. The true purpose of the law was to point people to a passionate relationship with God. With every submission to an element of the law, there was an opportunity for expression of love to God. It’s like someone who truly falls in love with that special person. Where there is legitimate love, the motivation of life is about learning what that person likes/doesn’t like with a purpose of somehow developing an ability to conform to their preferences with a passion for pleasing them. As wonderful as it is to do those things that would please them, if the process of doing those things develops to the point that you don’t even recognize that person any more, the purpose is not only lost, but is actually a great detriment to any relationship at all.
It is possible to become very secure and exclusive in one’s acquisition of spiritual understanding from different teachers, personal study, and volumes of heightened awareness. This is a common occurrence, even among those whose breadth of knowledge is not really all that great, just incredibly impressive to them – actually the state of even the most brilliant when their knowledge is their god. The greatest possession of information is still dwarfed by that which is yet to know. How it is known whether or not any amount of spiritual understanding is effective in its true purpose is how it is evidenced in recognition, honor and response of and to the presence of God Himself, especially in relation to how He feels about those He also loves who surround us on every side. To claim ability to judge spiritually without actually knowing Him and doing His will is to not be elevated at all, but most precipitously and perilously positioned like those pious religious ones judging Jesus. Better to be of small legitimate and intimate knowledge of Jesus and open to His words of life and revelation than closed-minded and snidely secluded in a religious bubble of perceived religious superiority that has no kingdom purpose or validity whatsoever.