A Test You Don't Want to Flunk

A Test You Don't Want to Flunk

I once heard the story of an old man who knew the Bible frontward and backward. He had huge chunks of Scripture memorized. He was so familiar with the Word that he could look up what he needed in it without a concordance or fancy Bible app. His copy of the Bible was well worn and well loved.

Not surprisingly, knowing the Bible this well made a huge difference in the old man’s life. After all, God’s Word has the power to:

Seeing the difference the Bible made in his life, a young man approached the old man and asked how he could know the Bible so well.

The old man said, "You don’t want to know the Bible like I do."

Shocked, the young man asked why not.

"Because you don’t want to do the studying that’s required."

The young man walked away sad, because he knew the old man was right.

Just the Facts Ma’am

The bottom line is that knowing the Word of God takes work. We can’t simply download it into our brains. We won’t learn it by looking at our Bibles as they sit on our nightstands. We can’t just quote John 3:16 every once in a while and say we know the Bible. To know God’s Word—really know God’s Word—we have to study.

The reality is that most of us aren’t willing to do that kind of work. Researchers have done some digging, and they’ve found that Christian teens don’t know much more about the Bible than their non-Christian peers. Only 16 percent of you read your Bible daily. Only 12 percent of you manage to read it once a week. Only 9 percent of you say you are highly knowledgeable about the Bible.

It is impossible to grow in your faith, understand who God is, and live the way He wants you to live without regularly studying His Word.

I’m not trying to embarrass you; I struggle to study my Bible regularly, too. But I want you to understand an important bottom line . . .

It is impossible to grow in your faith, understand who God is, and live the way He wants you to live without regularly studying His Word.

There are no Cliff’s Notes (or Wikipedia entries) for knowing God’s Word. Diligent study is required, but I am confident that if the old man were the one writing this post, he would tell you that without a doubt, the benefits of knowing God’s Word are worth the effort.

So how well do you know God’s Word? Wanna find out? Here are some questions to use as a litmus test. You’ll find the answers at the end.

The Quiz

  1. Name the Ten Commandments.
  2. Did you know? Sixty percent of Americans cannot name even five of the Ten Commandments?

  3. True or False: "God helps those who helps themselves" is a quote from the Bible.
  4. Did you know? Eighty-two percent of Americans would answer "yes"!

  5. Genesis tells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. What were Sodom and Gomorrah?
    1. sisters
    2. a husband and wife
    3. two cities
  6. Did you know? Fifty percent of high school seniors think they are a husband and wife.

  7. Name the twelve disciples.
  8. Did you know? Research shows that most Christians cannot identify more than three disciples.

  9. Which of these quotes came from the Sermon on the Mount?
    1. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”
    2. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son.”
    3. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
    4. "You shall have no other gods before me.”
  10. Extra credit: Who preached the Sermon on the Mount?

Did you know? Only 37 percent of teenagers can answer this question correctly, and many teenagers think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.

The Cheat Sheet

  1. Here is an abbreviated version of the Ten Commandments. Be sure to check out the real deal in Exodus 20:1–17.
    • No other gods before God.
    • No idols.
    • Do not take God’s name in vain.
    • Remember the Sabbath. Keep it holy.
    • Honor your father and mother.
    • Do not murder.
    • Do not commit adultery.
    • Do not steal.
    • Do not bear false witness.
    • Do not covet.
  2. False.
  3. Sodom and Gomorrah were cities destroyed by God because of their sin in Genesis 19.
  4. The names of the twelve disciples (also known as apostles) are listed in Matthew 10:2–4 and include: Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas.
  5. a. The Sermon on the Mount was preached by Jesus in Matthew 5–7.

The Grade

How’d ya do?

Option 1: You did great! You know your stuff. Why do you know your stuff? Because you make a habit of regularly reading God’s Word. But don’t give yourself too many gold stars yet. There’s still so much to learn. Here’s your homework: study the Bible often.

Option 2: You didn’t do so great. Here’s something to make you feel better—12 percent of high schoolers think that Joan of Ark was Noah’s wife. For real! The good news is that today is a great day to become someone who studies God’s Word. Here’s your homework: study the Bible often.

We’ll be talking more about why the Bible matters later this month. In the meantime, who are you more like—the old man who is willing to do the work to know the Word of God or the young man who isn’t?

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