In our first week of SBS, one of our teachers had us write down why we came. I wrote this in my notebook, “I came to SBS to gain my own understanding about this book I dedicate my life to and to gain intimacy with the One who called me.” My heart was pure and I believe my motives were good. Over the time I’ve been in SBS, my reason for being here has changed. Before I came to SBS, I desired to know truth. A common phrase I hear more often than I’d like is “my truth is my truth, and your truth is your truth”. I knew this went against everything I believed about Jesus being THE truth. What I didn’t understand was how God was calling me to be a part of blowing that phrase apart.
Over the course of the first quarter, I was overwhelmed as I dug into the Bible and uncovered things I’d never known before. I’ve known who Jesus was since I was three. How had I never known the difference between justification and sanctification? How had I never fully understood why Jesus’ death on the cross was necessary? Why hadn’t I ever heard it taught before that 1 Corinthians 14 isn’t about women not speaking in church, it’s about unity in the church? That first quarter, I really felt like I was uncovering gold in my studies. As I started to learn and understand these truths in the Word of God, I also learned that I’m not alone in my Bible illiteracy. Ron Smith, one of the founders of the SBS, shared with our class that less than 20% of Christians have read the entire Bible and less than 45% have read the entire New Testament. The fact that we call ourselves followers of Christ, yet walk around not having read the breathed out word of God, terrified me. My studying of the Bible went from an interest to a necessity. I realized that I’ve dedicated my life to following, loving and serving a God that I never took the time to fully know.
When we came into SBS, our staff said repeatedly “This isn’t just for you”, and I’d smile and think about how maybe someday I could share with someone an insightful tidbit I’d learned in my SBS and I’d have done my duty. During second quarter, I noticed a drastic shift in my mindset. No longer was I only studying to gain personal understanding, but everything I was learning I wanted to know well enough to teach other people. The Holy Spirit started working in me and stirring up a passion for truth. The thought came to me time and time again, “People have to know this. This is THE truth.” 2 Timothy 3:1617 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” People can’t follow God if they don’t know his commands, they can’t have hope for the future if they don’t know what the promises are, they can’t live their lives as Sons and Daughters of Christ if they don’t know what their identity is. These truths are found in the Bible and the world around me is desperate to hear about it.
I started my SBS with the intention of gaining understanding about the Bible, and yes, over my time here so far I’ve started that never-ending journey. But the main thing I’ve gained through SBS is an understanding of how desperately I need to know this book. Not just for myself, but for the people who’ve never heard the name of Jesus. For the people who have heard his name and haven’t been shown his love. For the people who are followers of Christ and haven’t yet uncovered the depths of riches in the book they’ve hardly ever read.