There are times I wake up on Sunday mornings and get so worked up about the fact that I have to teach, thoughts run through my mind like crazy. Sometime I struggle with what I’m going to bring to them, did I study hard enough, am I accurately handling the word of truth 2 Timothy 2:15? Is what I’m going to teach, what God would say? I mean James says this is a serious matter.
I cringe when I hear a person set aside the clear word of God so that he can be in line with current thinking. I cringe when I see a person have such a lack of respect for God and His word. I cringe when I hear men come to teach us a word from God and have nothing to say but their own agendas…
I want to hear what God says! I want to be convicted of my sin, rebuked and encouraged, I want to hear that there is hope for me with some encouraging word from God.
I say this knowing that one of the hardest positions to fill in the church is teachers, but James knowing this also says Let not many of you become teachers. So much responsibility comes with it.
James says there are many ways in which we can misuse our tongue, but none are more serious than to misrepresent and distort the Word of God! James 3:1 Says Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. What’s the worst thing we can do with our tongue? Misrepresent the Word of God! Evidently there were people who were trying to teach that really had no business doing so. They look at it as a elevate place, it was all show for them, but only revealed the attitude of their heart.
James felt it was a serious enough problem that he addressed it in chapter three when he gets into the sins of the tongue… One can only imagine that these people had their own personal gain in view, maybe they had their own agenda or theology that they wanted to promote, leading to the word of God being Misrepresented… My desire would never to teach for my personal gain… But always (ALWAYS) to edify the believers, to live by example and more importantly to glorify God in all I say and do.
I remember when I began to teach in my church many years ago, it was the middle school kids, my friend who was the Sunday School coordinator asked me to give it a go… I was so worked up over it week after week, I felt this overwhelming desire to bring truth to these kids minds, I remember leaving the set curriculum and just reading the word of God to them, that’s how God called me to teach, my desire for the word grew and grew and I just wanted to do it right and be an example for my Church by my submission to His word and how I treated it. Fire began to kindle in my bones Jeremiah 20:9.
There are times when I have failed miserable and not spoke with grace and compassion, and times when I have spoken to harshly, and I’m sorry for that, but I would rather error that way than have my brains spilled out of my mouth with men pleasing words.
The teacher/preachers job is to get the text right, accurately handling and understand the word of God 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. It means you study hard and long if that’s what it takes, “Study” is spoudazō “to make haste, to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence.”
I like Wuest’s translation of this verse Bend your every effort to present yourself to God, approved, a workman unashamed, expounding soundly the word of the truth. It also means you use the brains of other men if that’s what it takes… Men who have done the hard study, who have searched out the scriptures, who can help us formulate what we need to say about the word of God. Spurgeon said “He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own.”
God takes teaching and preaching His word serious, we only need to heed Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 One writer comments that “He tells us that teachers can build with gold, silver and precious stones or with wood, hay and stubble. The coming day of judgement will reveal the kind of work that we have done, and those who have built with the wood, hay and stubble will see their work utterly consumed and will realize that they have accomplished absolutely nothing!”
This writer has a little harsher word for those who have such a lack of respect for God’s word, who flippantly teach and preach it… like tacking jello to a wall.
“When the minister of the gospel faces the Lord God as judge, there will be many questions addressed to him. There will be many standards of accountability. There will be many criteria of judgment, but in the end the most essential criterion of judgment for the minister of God is, “Did you preach the Word? Did you fully carry out the ministry of the Word? In season and out of season, was the priority of ministry the preaching of the Word?”… There is one central, non-negotiable, immovable, essential priority, and that is the preaching of the Word of God.” R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Then of course we shine everything up to the light of scripture as John Wycliffe writes….
“The true Christian was intended by Christ to prove all things by the Word of God, all churches, all ministers, all teaching, all preaching, all doctrines, all sermons, all writings, all opinions, all practices. These are his marching orders. Prove all by the Word of God; measure all by the measure of the Bible; compare all with the standard of the Bible; weigh all in the balances of the Bible; examine all by the light of the Bible; test all in the crucible of the Bible. That which cannot abide the fire of the Bible, reject, refuse, repudiate, and cast away. This is the flag which he nailed to the mast. May it never be lowered!”
and I will never lower that flag, never!
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria