One of my greatest fears is that some might read the articles I write and neglect the Bible and church attendance. Another great fear is that some might trust me as their only Bible teacher.2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Acts 17:11: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.Ephesians 4:11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Proverbs 11:14: Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.Proverbs 15:22: Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
Only after we have received Jesus and been born again can we perceive truth about the Kingdom of God directly and personally from the Holy Spirit. And only after we have received Jesus and been born again can we perceive truth about the Kingdom of God from Pastors, teachers and counsellors.John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
We need to study the Bible personally AND we need teachers. Pastors, teachers and counsellors are all plural words in the passages above. God would not give them if we didn*t need them. I have been blessed by a multitude of Pastors and teachers that were valuable instruments of God who taught me truths I could not have found without them. I count the authors of Concordances, Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries among my wisest teachers. If a Christian does not avail himself of all the teachers he can, he will be shooting himself in the foot spiritually, and if he neglects the Bible, he will certainly fall for unbiblical teaching. None of our teachers have perfect understanding and neither do we. That is why we need many of them. Not seeking many of them can only come from pride.
In the nearly 3 decades since I have been saved I have had 7 different Pastors in 3 different churches. Three of those Pastors lives were changed greatly by the God and Bible. They were the most Godly, the best Christian examples and the best spiritual teachers. I have been amazed at how many of the members of those churches did not notice the spiritual decline under the other 4 Pastors. The 3 Godly ones did not consider themselves to be exceptional Christians but they were. The other 4 considered themselves exceptional but they weren*t.
In the church I attended the first decade of my Christian life, the first Pastor was Godly. He ALWAYS attended and led the prayer meeting. The second Pastor attended the prayer meeting SOMETIMES. The third Pastor NEVER attended the prayer meeting. It was inevitable that the church would decline in several other ways.
We need to be sure that our Pastors, teachers and counselors are Biblical, we need to pray for them and we need to absorb all of the Biblical truth we can from them. We will NEVER outgrow of our need for them.
When my mother was elderly she had three Christian women as close friends. One of them had a car. The small city they lived in had three Baptist churches. They would attend the earliest service they could, a late morning service and an evening service every Sunday they could. If there were any afternoon services they would attend those as well. They thought they had died and gone to Heaven. Are you and I hungry for the Word of God like that?