Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Gospel Meeting Sept. 24-29, 2006
September 24-29, 2006
Monday-Friday: 7:00 PM
9:30 AM: The Adversaries who Never Rest
Hear these Topics Monday-Friday:
-Seest thou this woman?
(Topics subject to change; Order to be announced)
I-5 take Exit # 255 and go east 4.2 miles)
It is written, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12:30) Jesus drew “the line in the sand.” There is no middle ground. Either one is a Christian, or he isn’t. And if one is a Christian, he must be a teacher. Jesus also taught, “Ye are the salt of the earth: ... Ye are the light of the world...” (Matthew 5:13-16) What are we teaching, and what are people seeing?
It is written, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14) Some Christians need to be retaught to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) Others know, teach, and live this premise. YOU are a teacher. What kind of teacher are you? Consider the following acrostic lesson.
Truthful: A Christian teacher is true to Christ’s teachings. “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:1, 2)
The apostles didn’t handle God’s word deceitfully; they proclaimed it simply, and boldly. Nor did they live their lives in craftiness; they practiced what they preached. Their lives were open books. They were honest. Are you?
Example: A Christian teacher sets a Godly example. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) As a Christian, do you desire for others to follow you? As a teacher, what kind of example are you setting? James Baldwin wrote (or said), “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” If there are children in the congregation of which you are a member, what are they hearing and seeing? Do you want them to imitate you?
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:..(1 Peter. 2:21) When we are following the Teacher’s steps, others can follow our steps and make it to Heaven. Are you setting a “heavenly” example?
Accountable: A Christian teacher will be accountable on Judgment Day. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) Paul understood the necessity of setting the right example, for he, as will all souls, must face the Judgment Seat of Christ and be judged for the things done in the body (Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Accountability carries with it responsibility. Are you fulfilling your responsibility to faithfully teach God’s word? For example, are you always ready to defend the faith (Cf. 1 Peter 3:15)? Are you able to rightly divide the word of truth (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:15)? Are you a good soldier for Jesus Christ, ready to wield the sword at every opportunity (Cf. Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Timothy 2:1-5)? On Judgment Day, what kind of teacher will the Lord say you’ve been?
Courage: A Christian teacher is courageous. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) A Christian places his trust and faith in the Lord. He doesn’t worry about what might happen if he teaches/preaches the truth; rather, he worries about what will happen if it he does not. Mark Twain wrote, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”
“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5) Let us not be so afraid to let our lights shine.
Honest: A Christian teacher is honest. “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” (Romans 12:17) Thomas Jefferson said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” A teacher must be honest with God, himself, and others. An honest teacher is a teacher who has an honest heart.
“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15) This is the teacher who exercises godly wisdom. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17) Are you honest in your dealings with others? Are you an honest teacher?
Edify: A Christian teacher seeks to edify those whom he teaches, whether others of like faith, or those still lost in sin. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) Sadly, some Christians do not think before they speak, or keep in mind that which Jesus taught: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned.” (Matt. 12:35-37)
A teacher who edifies measures his words. He will “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:19) How many souls have turned away from the Gospel because the teacher abused his responsibility to “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15) This does not mean that we shouldn’t stand for the truth, but that the motive for teaching the truth is love--love for God, for truth, and for the souls who are lost without it. Some seek to “win the argument.” Some seek to destroy. Some seek to save, to edify. What kind of a teacher are you?
Remember: A Christian teacher remembers who he is. “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2) The Christian is nothing more than an “earthly vessel” that holds the treasure—God’s word (2 Corinthians 4:7). A good teacher is a humble teacher.
“…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; God resisteth the proud (consider Diotrephes), and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:5-6)
Remember—you are a TEACHER.
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA