“…not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:5
I was sixteen years old, and it was my sophomore year at Cedar Lake Academy. One night, early in the year, I was leading a small bible study with a few other guys and our our assistant boy deans, who was participating that night, looked at us all very seriously and said, “It’s not what you know that will save you. It’s who you know.”
I had no idea what he was talking about.
I knew he was talking about knowing God. But at that point in my life I couldn’t separate my knowledge of Scripture from my relationship with God. To me they were one and the same. Now I’ve come to understand that it’s very possible to have a knowledge of God’s word, even a habit of daily Bible study, and still not have a personal relationship with God. I now know that eternal life only comes from knowing God and his Son, Jesus Christ (John 17:3).
It’s a trap that Satan has been able to use effectively with those who are wanting to pursue the path of salvation to lure them away from a personal connection with Jesus by making them feel satisfied with merely increasing their knowledge of the Bible. But friends this will never satisfy because as our focus text tells us, “…the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” The Bible was given to us to be a guide, an instruction book, on how to have a relationship with God. Never was it intended that it be a substitute for our own personal relationship with God through his Spirit.
Romans 3:20 tells us that the obedience to the law can’t save us because the law only gives us a “knowledge of sin.” Galatians 3:10 tells us that we are under a curse if we try to find salvation by keeping the law because that can only happen if we do it perfectly. And we can’t. Only Jesus working through his Spirit has the power to cure us and set us free from our slavish obedience to sin.
In Romans 8:2, the apostle Paul rejoices when he writes, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Dean Palmer was right. As important as what you know can be, when it comes to sin and salvation, it’s who you know that saves you. Reach out to God. He’s always near and he’s always ready to connect with you.