Raw Vs. Refined Knowledge

“I know where babies come from!” exclaimed the second grader as his classmates stared.

A little girl had asked something related, and this boy could hardly raise his hand high enough. It was typical for him- he had an answer for everything at 7 years old. That being the case, we didn’t want to know how…correct…his understanding of the birthing process was.

Someone adeptly changed the subject and the whole topic was forgotten immediately.

It was humorous- but also thought-provoking.

The boy likely would have said “mom’s stomach” or something like that. Whatever his answer, it was probably technically correct. But did he really know where babies come from?

There’s a difference between raw and refined knowledge.

It’s the reason most of us don’t want to be a surgeon’s first patient and why driving instructors are brave souls.

Everything is theory until it’s applied and practice until it’s perfect. Click To Tweet

Raw Faith Knowledge

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” –Acts 16:31

As in any personal relationship, our relationship with Jesus has to start somewhere. When we first believe in Him, our faith is fresh and raw.

Even those who believe, knowing their faith may cost them their lives, begin with raw knowledge. Likewise, even those who have heard of Christ their whole lives and know their Bibles inside out must begin here.

There is a time for all of us to be new to being made new! Click To Tweet

We experience for the first, and the second, and the third time what prayer really means, how being reconciled to God changes our perspective, what it’s like to have the Holy Spirit at work in us.

Raw faith knowledge is treasure just discovered.

Refined Faith Knowledge

“He named it Ebenezer, saying, ’Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”1 Samuel 7:12

Although new faith is precious, refined faith is a gift too. It’s treasure purified and appraised and proven worthwhile.

The writer of the famous hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness testifies to this. Thomas Chisholm trusted Christ at 27, entered ministry at 36, and promptly retired due to poor health. Living the rest of his life as an ordinary insurance agent, he wrote to God’s glory regularly. How fitting that his most well-known words tell of what is ordinary to every believer: God is faithful and we know it full well when we look back on His love day by day.

As God refines our faith knowledge through opportunity, trial, disappointment, joy, pain, and everything else we face, we can say with Chisholm that God is our “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”

Practice Being Made Perfect

“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”Hebrews 10:14

Someone recently told me: “if you ask me how life is, I don’t have much to say these days. If you ask me what God is doing in my life these days, there’s a lot to say.” We all have these plateau seasons- and the up and down ones, too.

The disciples, and all the Biblical heroes, needed time and experience walking with God, too. 

Thank God that in all things, He continues to make us new and make us holy. Through the Spirit’s work in us, conforming us to the image of Christ, we are practicing being made perfect as He is perfect. We are practicing by having what we know and believe of God applied, proven, and lived out through His daily grace.

Someday, when we know Him fully and see Him face to face, we’ll be awed but we won’t be surprised. We’ll recognize Him as the One we first believed in, who continued to show up every day.

What’s something God’s been refining your knowledge of?

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