by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Colossians 1:3-12
I. There was a period in world history known as the Dark Ages.
A. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, society decayed for centuries
B. Compared to the earlier periods, very little was written.
C. Very little advancement in knowledge and ideas were made.
1. Education of the populace, as a whole, had diminished.
2. Religious knowledge definitely decayed as the Roman Catholic Church took control of Europe and limited study of the Bible to the priests.
D. Large cities shrank while rural communities thrived, which might not have been a bad thing.
E. It seem that society had stagnated.
II. We need to learn
A. Proverbs 3:21-26 - It will make us look better, give us security and confidence
B. Thus, we should search to learn from God - Proverbs 2:1-6
1. It is worth everything we have - Proverbs 23:23
C. A part of the Christian’s growth is our gaining knowledge - II Peter 1:5
1. We are to be filled with knowledge and increasing in it - Colossians 1:9-10
2. Paul’s great desire was to know Christ - Philippians 3:7-11
3. It is something we should boast in - Jeremiah 9:23-24
D. But that learning can only be obtained by putting our knowledge into practice - James 1:22-25
1. When we practice it, we can recognize the true teachings of God - John 7:16-17
2. Learning without doing leaves us weak - Hebrews 5:13-14
E. The result is freedom from the bondage of sin - John 8:31-32
III. But there are dangers in knowledge
A. It can cause pride - I Corinthians 8:1
B. It can increase our grief - Ecclesiastes 1:18
C. We can wear ourselves out trying to know everything - Ecclesiastes 12:12
IV. You might think ignorance would be bliss
A. Wisdom is better than foolishness - Ecclesiastes 2:13-14
B. Fools feed on foolishness - Proverbs 15:14
1. It matches his expectations. It feeds his ego.
2. Thus fools will often prefer lies over the truth
C. Fools speak before listening - Proverbs 18:13
1. Too often his mind is already made up
2. Don’t confuse him with facts
D. Fools don’t want to be corrected - Proverbs 15:5
V. Will you be wise or a fool?
A. Remaining a fool is easy, but it will ruin your life
B. Learning requires effort, but the reward is great