In today’s postmodern world the Bible is obsolete to unbelievers – and why shouldn’t it be? God’s work through Christ’s on the cross is “foolishness to the perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18) so it’s not surprising that His word isn’t taken seriously either.

But what about the millions of Christians who can no more wield the Sword of Truth than an infant can cut their own steak? It’s one thing for rejecters of Christ to come up blank when it comes to the Bible, but for Christians the standard can be nothing less than a growing ability to use what God has graciously given.

So ask yourself, do you exercise the discipline of a growing bible-swordsman or bible-swordswoman? Or do you stumble and stammer on, posing no real threat for darkness?

Christian, you’re loved, you’re saved, and life is tough…but it’s time to face the hard truth. You need to overcome your lackluster faith and workout those weak biblical muscles. You need to ditch denial and admit that you are useless in the spiritual fight against sin without the ability to use your Bible. You’re a sitting duck! Yet, you live each day with indifference to the dust that dawns the cover of your Sword. What trouble could be so unnerving to keep you from the Prince of Peace? What excuse could be so validating that the very breath of God is not deserving of your utmost affection?

7 Signs You’re Faking It

We’ve all pretended to know that one verse so-and-so said, or blurted out some random thought when asked how our “quiet time” went this morning…but fake-it-till-you-make-it doesn’t work when it comes to the Bible. Sometimes you just need to sift through the rubble of your bad habits and face the facts. To help you do so, here are 7 habitual tendencies that will enable you to identify if you have been faking Bible knowledge:

  1. You share a lot of personal stories to relate to people but leave out scripture.
  2. You say, “I think” and “I feel” a lot but rarely make an objective point by using scripture.
  3. You argue with your pastor based on what you’ve heard or been taught – never what you studied.
  4. You prescribe words and actions to God that He Himself doesn’t say or do.
  5. You assume because you listened to the Sunday sermon you’re ready for the week.
  6. You consider radio preaching on your commute your daily dose of God’s word.
  7. You quote authors and mega church pastors but can’t quote memorized verses in context.

If that list struck a nerve, made you nod, or convicted you – you’re guilty. That’s not a bad thing. Guilt caused you to repent when you first realize your sin was separating you from God, guilt caused you to apologize to your wife after that crude remark, and guilt should drive you back to the basics of your faith – God’s word. Guilt is good. Now it’s time to get on to the good news.

Big Bible Benefits

Much like the gospel message, guilt of sin preludes hope in Christ, and hope in Christ causes us to rejoice! God has not left you to wallow in your biblically illiterate misery or be a casualty of spiritual warfare due to a lackluster Christian life. His word is powerful, life-changing, and not difficult to understand if you will use it. Across the scriptures God’s people turned to His word for strength and for answers because it lasts forever (Isaiah 40:8). In the longest chapter of the Bible the author of Psalm 119 lists numerous benefits concerning God’s law. With the entire Old and New Testaments in your hands, how much more of a blessing is the the complete Canon? All scripture is beneficial for you today! Here are just a few from that glorious Psalm:

  • Blessings for those who keep the word (Psalm 119:1-2)
  • Protects from sin (Psalm 119:11)
  • Revives the weary soul (Psalm 119:25)
  • Pours out lovingkindness and salvation (Psalm 119:41)
  • Alleviates heavy burdens and gives strength (Psalm 119:28)
  • Guidance for direction in life (Psalm 119:105)
  • Gives you joy (Psalm 119:111)
  • Gives great peace (Psalm 119:165)
  • Gives wisdom to the simple minded (Psalm 119:130)

Dust Off Your Sword

It’s not breaking news that Christians who are weak with their Bible are easy targets for our enemy. But let’s be honest, life is busy and full of really tempting distractions that cause us to find false security in things other than our use of the Bible. That’s Satan’s age old strategy – undermine God’s word.

So how do you wise up and stir up a passion to wield your sword? Here are 7 decisions that will lead to you in the right direction:

  1. Confess you’re biblically illiterate and ask God to stir a hunger in your heart for the Word.
  2. Tell your spouse, your pastor, and/or small group leader that you’ve been faking it – get accountable, get prayer, and get going. 
  3. Make it your morning priority. Start the coffee, sit down at the kitchen table, and read your Bible.
  4. Write down one key takeaway from your morning reading and use it throughout the day.
  5. Memorize verses, write them on index cards, and quote them throughout the day.
  6. Join a small group and plan to use your Bible knowledge to support and encourage others. Being useful to family in Christ is a great motivator, and a biblical one. 
  7. Stop skipping the sermon. If you’re blessed with a Bible-teaching expositor in the pulpit, fill the pew every chance you can get. This doesn’t replace your own use of the Bible, it sharpens it.

Recommended Reading List 

Yes, I know…fewer and fewer Christians regularly read books because of claims to be very busy in these modern times. I’d put my money on the fact that there are simply more foolish decisions in our planning and more fools in the world than ever before. Proverbs 1:7 says, “…Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” It’s logical that reading decreases as the population of fools increases.

For those of you who are willing to discipline yourself the old fashioned way in order to acquire wisdom (Proverbs 4:7), here is a list of easy-to-read books that will take you to the next level:

 Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin – I’ve got manly friends who say this book should be called, “People of the Word.” It’s loaded with great tools that are not just for women… so men who are shy about the title can read it [secretly] and learn a great deal.

How to Study the Bible by John MacArthur – Short, sweet, and to the point. It’s a small book with big benefits.

The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung – Your problem with reading the Bible may actually be a problem with sin. You can do and say all the right things on the outside, but if you’re not pursuing holiness on the inside then you’re better off starting with this first step of facing your habitual sin.

A Study Bible – If you’re new to using the Bible or looking for a way to grow, a “Study Bible” contains footnotes from trusted commentators so you can understand the passages you’re reading.

Here’s to wielding the sword more like you were meant to, and standing firm in the faith (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Posted by Costi Hinn

Costi is the Pastor of Adult Ministries at Mission Bible Church in Orange County, CA. Costi is married to the love of his life Christyne, and has two children. You can follow him on Twitter @costiwhinn or connect with him on Facebook.

6 Comments

  1. I would urge you to consider, thoughtfully, what is a fake Christian? Is there really such a thing if one truly believes in and has faith in Jesus regardless of their outward action and irregardless of what they say or do? I ask these questions from the context of the Gospel, that it is not an instruction manual; it is not a how too book, or do it yourself instruction manual. The Gospel is an invitation to an intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father – Abba – through Jesus Christ. Look at John 13:6-10: He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” Why was it so important that Jesus wash His disciples feet? We walk through this dark world and pick up the dust and debris of our time which is just as dark if not darker than the world of the disciples. Jesus illustrates two ideas: 1: In John 13:15 -16: Jesus says, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him”. Jesus shows us that He in not above being a servant to us and in fact, He is a servant to us. It is beneficial for us to serve others in the same manner. We do this by sharing the Gospel, the living word of our living God in order to wash the feet of those (and ourselves) who trod in this fallen world. 2. The word is our strength and the word brings us into relationship with God – it is not a demand – it is a gift – a fruit of the relationship. Think about your feet being tired at the end of the day and your spouse or significant other has a hot tub of water for you to soak your tired feet and then they give you a comforting massage – at the end you feel rejuvenated and not as tired or weary as you felt before you were pampered. This is what a relationship of the word will do for you – it comforts – it heals – it protects – it rejuvenates you with the promise of the Lord and it brings you into a close relationship with your Heavenly Father and your Savior. When Peter, a very religious Jew, full of tradition and pride, tells Jesus that his Master should not wash his feet, Jesus tells him in John 13:8: “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me”. Here the word was translated as “no part” but the better translation is “no respect for me”. This is in regards to respecting one in a relationship. What Jesus is telling Peter is that if he does not allow Jesus to build a relationship with him, then he has not respect for the relationship – not that Jesus will deny him. Then Peter tells Jesus to not only wash my feet but my hands and my head. However, Jesus knows of His impending sacrifice to all mankind and tells Peter that he who is bathed need only wash his feet. Meaning that the blood of Jesus is what washes you clean – but to develop relationship with Jesus – with God the Father – you need to wash your feet with the word of the Lord to develop relationship. Why is this so important? Let me tell you a story: A friend of mine had a father who recently passed away. The friend, although he had a father, never had a relationship with his father. At his father’s funeral, the son, my friend, had nothing to say about his father and shed no tears for the loss, because their had never been a relationship in the first place. Now unlike my friend, we can never lose our Heavenly Father once we call on His name, however, if we do not build relationship with Him then we do not build trust, we do not understand the benefit of having Him as our Father and we cannot understand who we are to Him in the relationship He so wants with us. I spoke to another friend about a free event recently which he know nothing about. He was disappointed that he had missed the event and that his family wasn’t able to make it. I told him that the event had been publicized on the church website to which he replied that he had not read the website lately – but also no one had informed him of the event either. My point is – your Heavenly Father has poured out all the heavenly blessings for you – you only need to receive them – to do this you read His word and begin to develop a relationship with Him through Jesus. For those of us who have and understand this relationship – we are to wash our brothers and sisters feet so that they too my understand and benefit from a loving relationship with the Father. How to go about it. To simply tell people you dont do this or you dont do that or you need to do this more or do that more or we will label you a fake or a lazy Christian is not the way. The way is revealing the beauty of the relationship and its benefits – to reveal Jesus and where that revelation exists – in the word of God the Gospel. Think about your children – if you want them to clean their room and they do not – do you deny them dinner? Do you deny them clothing? Would you deny them a bath so that they would go unclean? Certainly not! And neither does your Heavenly Father – but you, as a human parent may withhold something from your child – like playing with friends, or going out until the room is cleaned. This is where human and heavenly values part ways. Your Heavenly Father isnt going to punish you if you do not read His word – but you lose out on the relationship and the benefits He has already bestowed upon you and your household. Jesus has already taken your punishment for your sins at the cross – but you have denied yourself the relationship that God wants with you. He doesn’t demand it – but He desires it with you and the fruit of the relationship with Him are things like peace, rest, obedience, love, success, healing, comfort, etc… These things are all fruits of the Vine – the vine does not demand that the branch produce fruit – but it allows it to produce fruit by sending vital nutrients to the branch. Placing demand on people only places them back under the bondage and curse of the Law and we know the strength of the law is sin. Jesus has delivered us from that bondage and has done the work for us – Put on the full armor of God and STAND – stand and let God fight for you – you just enjoy the relationship. Too many people who go to church hear the demand message and become frustrated and quit when they cannot meet the demand that God never once placed on us. So – if you are a Christian – you are never fake – if you have the salvation of the Father through Christ Jesus – you can never lose it. It is not about what you do or how much you do it or dont – it was Jesus who qualified you – not you or any other man. However, the benefit of reading your bible – the living word of God – is the relationship.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn

    Reply

  2. John,

    Thank you for your extensive comments affirming the point I’ve made in the post. It may help to re-read the article as you will find that “fake Christians” are not referenced in the post. Only believers who remain biblically illiterate due to laziness – which we all have done at some point until exhorted and encouraged by others (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Here’s to tapping into the “free gift” given as you so rightly stated.

    Blessings,

    Costi

    Reply

  3. Kristen L. (Chesnut) Maples May 24, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Great, with the exception of the recommendation for the book by MacArthur. . .His doctrine is Calvinism. But for that, I would have posted this on my facebook page.

    Reply

  4. Hey Costi,
    had been blessed watching your testimony on WVW tv recently. sola veritate Deo (only God’s truth). I have been raised in heresy also, not as intense as yours, but Grace came in, Faith came in and what once was blinded, now i see..and the Truth set me free. 🙂 Reading attentively through this article, I find several important aspects of our Christian life pointed out, thank you for writing these down in a simple way and trying to encourage/warn/instruct us into nurturing our sanctification. Like Pastor Gabe stated in one of wwutt video, we (believers) are all theologians. The Bible book needs to be open, studied, known, shared and cherished. And all that for our own life, others and equipping us for ministry. Know this,Pastor Costi (because sorry, for now it feels a bit weird to say Pastor Hinn) you have another brother in Christ, from Mauritius, keeping you in prayer. Keep Steady!

    Reply

    1. Gorayah,

      Thanks for your candid response. I have to admit I laughed out loud when you refused to call me Pastor “Hinn”… Costi is just fine:) Encouraged by you brother!

      Reply

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    Reply

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