Big Idea: It is common in the West to equate learning activities (Bible studies) with discipleship. However, Jesus and the Apostles call us to integrate our knowing with doing. Our knowledge should fuel a growing passion and a demonstrated pattern of doing what we know. By putting what we know into practice, we can grow spiritually and experience deep joy.
I. Discipleship in the Western tradition has emphasized knowing over doing.
A. The formation of seminaries
B. Discipleship materials emphasize knowing without doing.
C. Sermons: Solutions or part of the problem?
D. Information overload
E. Summary: We know more and obey less.
II. Understanding ‘knowing without doing’ the way God does.
A. Knowing without doing is self-deception.
B. Knowing without doing brings greater judgment. (Matthew 11:22–24)
C. Knowing without doing is hypocrisy.
D. Knowing integrated with doing is a blessing.
E. Doing leads to greater knowing.
III. So what will you do? (Matthew 28:19-20)
A. Getting over legalism
B. Obedience-based discipleship
C. Some practical ways forward
1) As you look at the course of your spiritual journey, what has received more focus over the years, doing or knowing? Why do you think that’s the case?
2) What do you think about the idea that “you can’t lead people where you haven’t been”? Is that true? If it is true at some level, what are the implications for spiritual leaders who were trained in a system that emphasized knowing over doing?
3) What do you do when you start to experience information overload? How do you cope with that? What impact does that have on your doing?
4) Why does James say that we are quick to forget what we see in the mirror (James 1:24)? Is all forgetting random? Have you ever noticed a pattern to people’s forgetting? If you are a parent, do you notice a pattern to your kids’ forgetting? If so, please share. Is the same true for us?
5) Have you ever experienced the blessing of integrating knowing and doing? If so, please share what that is like. How did that change you?
6) Is insisting on obedience legalistic? Is obedience a heart issue or a behavioral issue? Does Jesus divorce behavioral issues from heart issues?
Do we go further than Jesus does in protecting grace? What might be some of the unintended consequences of going further than Jesus does in protecting grace?
7) What is your preferred learning style? Have you ever learned something better by doing it? Can you really know something if you have never done it?
8) What one thing will you do that is clear and measurable this week in light of this teaching? Who will hold you accountable?