Wednesday 21 October 2009

One is Your Teacher, the Christ

Matthew 23:8-12: "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Here Jesus reminds us that ultimately we have only one ultimate, infallible teacher that is Christ himself. This does not mean that we do not need earthly instructors because Paul writes in Ephesians chapter 4 and explains that the main gift for the church’s edification today, are the gifts of pastor-teachers. However we must always keep things in perspective.

Recently I have encountered some teachings by men whom I respect who appear to have missed the plot theologically on some important points. Do I abandon everything they teach? Not necessarily but we need to continually exercise discernment of teaching and also to critically evaluate our own teachings. Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica and asked them to do just this:

1Th 5:19-21: Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

The prophetic utterances I take to mean biblical exposition that Timothy was engaged in especially as Paul had left him behind (See Acts chapter 17 and note Paul’s method when he was at the church in Thessalonica). We are to ‘examine everything’!

This does not mean that we are to develop a critical spirit but we are to critically examine the content of all teaching and compare it with the ‘whole counsel of God as revealed in the 66 books of the Bible. The Westminster Confession states in Chapter 1:9, ‘Of the Holy Scripture’:

The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

Where do we hear the voice of Christ? It is in the reading of or the hearing of the preaching of the Scriptures.

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