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Batch 2 Graduation Speech: Sis. Caroline Ballesteros

Good morning. First of all, I would like to thank God for allowing me and my classmates to finish this 5-year journey of getting to know Him more through His Word in the Bible. It is indeed a very rare opportunity to be able to enroll in the International Bible Institute – I consider this a privilege, an honor and a blessing! When I first enrolled in IBI, I never really thought that this would mean getting a diploma. I thought that all we would receive were certificates of completion, and I was already happy with that. Then as we continued to enroll, course after course, year after year, it became clearer that it was not just certificates we were getting but a degree, at least for those who persevered and finished the race! We expected less, and we got mountains of blessings!

An author once said, “The Highest knowledge is the knowledge of God,” and I would certainly have to agree. Hosea 4:6 says, my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”. James adds that those who lack wisdom have only to ask for it and God will give it abundantly and generously. Proverbs 2:6 tells us that the Lord gives wisdom that comes from His own mouth—the Word of God—and that the wisdom of God results in knowledge and understanding. The Bible is clear that the knowledge of God is the most valuable knowledge a human being can possess. Simply being aware of God’s existence is not sufficient; the knowledge of God must encompass the deep appreciation for this relationship we have with Him. God’s desire is for all to know Him, appreciate Him, and have a relationship with Him. The reason why I enrolled in the first place was to equip myself in the knowledge of God’s Word as a member of SPARKS. I felt that as a soldier of Christ, I needed to at least be well versed with the basic Scriptures that every Christian should know.

Before IBI, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Bible, having read this so many times in the past. I realized, I was simply reading the bible before without truly understanding. Each book we studied, from Genesis all the way to the Book of Revelations opened up a whole new dimension of learning. I knew God more. There are so many stories in the Bible that I merely breezed through while reading simply because they were too complicated for me to understand, like the book of Leviticus, and the Valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. In IBI, each book we studied spoke volumes to me.  If not for IBI, I wouldn’t have known that the Gospels were written for different audiences, that Jesus was presented differently in each one – as King, Servant, Messiah and God. Truth to tell, I didn’t even think there was anything else to understand about the crucifixion apart from Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, until a lesson in Great Doctrines that talked about how the great exchange was made possible through a verse of Scripture in Deuteronomy 21:23 as mentioned by Paul in Galatians 3:13. This blew my mind. What a blessing to know His heart more!

I am grateful for the other lessons learned after the book of Revelations. One of my favorites is Church History. Knowing how the church started, how it was divided and how the different cults started strengthened our faith, and our resolve to be part of the Great Commission.   Thank God for IBI, we are now ready to face the challenges that would come our way – equipped in the Word of God, equipped in the great doctrines and history. We know that there is still so much more to learn, but at least we have something. We rest in the fact that the Holy Spirit shall always be here for us, forever able to enlighten us and grant us the wisdom needed at the right time.

Praise God for IBI … for our very patient facilitators … With all these that we have been blessed with, to God be the glory, honor and praise.

If you would like to know more on how you and your church can benefit by starting a Bible Education Program in your church through I.B.I. (International Bible Institute of London). Please call us at Telephone No.: (+63 32) 262 7455 or send us an email: [email protected]