My favorite class in high school was industrial arts. I quickly decided that I had the confidence to put in studs and hang sheetrock, but I did not have the confidence to finish the sheetrock or to put up the fancy wooden trim at the end. Any mistakes made at that late step in the process would be very difficult if not impossible to hide without much skill.

Several years later I was putting my basic carpentry skills to use helping on a church addition. The man who was planning to do much of the trim work ended up getting cancer and was too weak to do it. I was willing, but did not have the skills nor confidence I needed. I remembered some of the basics that I had learned back in high school about coping joints for corners and a few other tricks, but I still had much to learn.

Fortunately my friend Gerrit, the man with cancer, was patient enough to give me instruction as I worked, and the project was completed. Without him, I don’t think I would have even attempted it. Because of his help, I can now easily put up wood trim.

Instruction about the Bible is actually a lot like my carpentry instruction. Many of us know a little bit about the Bible, but we really don’t know how to use it. We need someone to explain it to us, just like Gerrit explained the carpentry to me.

In Acts 8:26-35, the evangelist Philip is able to do that for a man who he met on the road. The man was riding in a chariot and reading from the book of Isaiah (likely chapter 53). He did not understand what he was reading. Philip then comes along and explains to him what he is reading about.

As a pastor, I want to do what Philip did. I want to take the Bible and explain to people what it is saying so that they can understand it. But I don’t just want to show them what it says, I want them to start to use it themselves as they begin to understand it. Just as Gerrit was faithful in teaching me how to cut and nail wood trim, I want others to be faithful in using God’s Word. I want to teach them so that they can teach others just like Paul did with Timothy. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)

As I have talked to others, I have found that there are a few people that know their Bibles quite well, but there are also many who just know a few basic points from the scriptures. I have also found that there are a lot of people who really don’t know much at all about the Bible.

If that is you and you want to know more, please do not feel ashamed. I think of what the man that Philip met on the road said as he was asked if he understood what he read. He said, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” Just as Gerrit guided me in my carpentry skills, it is my job to guide people in understanding what the Bible says. That is why at First Baptist in Bancroft, we study it verse by verse, as we explain it and relate it to our lives. If you want to learn more, you are welcome to visit our services or call me at my office anytime at 885-2702. I’d love to get together for a Bible study.