Brother and sister A.C. Searcy are among the many people I recall from my growing-up days.  I can still see them walking into the old church building at Brazoria together, beaming their beautiful smiles.  We loved and admired them.  We should all hope to be remembered as fondly.

Brother A.C. was a craftsman.  He moved and spoke slowly.  He worked slowly.  He was a carpenter by trade a good one.  Methodical, and never in a hurry.  Despite this, he always got a lot of work done.  Observers noticed that A.C.’s key to success was that he often spent as much time building his scaffold as he did doing the actual carpentry.  The scaffold part was planned out and well-built so that when he got to the ‘work’ part, it could be completed with a minimum of effort and time.   

The comparison isn’t exact, but the Christian’s knowledge of the bible can be compared to the carpenter’s scaffolding.  Knowledge, like scaffold, takes time to build.  Like the scaffold, knowledge of the scriptures is preparation to perform some work.   Teaching someone about Christ or showing them how to live a Christ-like life can’t be done without this preparation.   Without good preparation the results won’t be good. 

Members of the Lord’s church are still generally known as those who know the scriptures much better than those outside the church. And that’s because week after week, year after year and decade after decade, we engage in detailed studies while urging hearers to independently verify what is being taught, like the Bereans did (Acts 17:11).   

But knowledge is not the end product.  A carpenter would never build a fine scaffold and stand back, admiring the structure, and call the work complete.  I’m afraid we can become misled into thinking that our primary goal is to know a lot about the Bible and having accomplished this to whatever degree we are able, consider our work done.  But knowledge is only the preparation for the work.

Most of us have ten times the knowledge needed to persuade someone to become a Christian.  The simple message related in Acts chapter two persuaded 3,000 to be baptized in a single day.  Yes, circumstances were quite different then but the point is that only the simple gospel was taught and the response was tremendous.  We learned these basic facts a very long time ago.

In our service to the Lord knowledge is necessary and we are to grow in it but knowledge alone is by no means sufficient. Like the scaffold, knowledge prepares us to do the ‘work’ part.  It is used to correct our own lives and attitudes, to admonish and encourage one another, and to prepare us to take advantage of the many opportunities we have to influence and persuade others who were created in God’s image, exactly as we were.  Without the gospel no one is saved.

We know the time, and the time is short (Rom 13:11-12).  Let’s take note of the scaffolding we have built. Then look to the work that we can do with it.  

No matter what has already been accomplished, much work yet lies ahead for us to do.

Our Lord said:

Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. (John 4:35)

Let’s look and build.