Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hebrews 5:12

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food"

Are you equipped to teach the principles of God's Word to others?  The writer of Hebrews clarifies that teaching is the responsibility of all believers.  Regrettably, like the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews, most Christians are not only unable to teach others, they barely understand the basic principles of the Faith themselves.  Prior to His departure Jesus issued the "Great Commission" to the apostles: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations....(Matthew 28:19).  The word "disciple" means student and the command applies not just to the apostles but to all Christians. Paul warned Timothy of believers who desire to have their ears tickled rather than endure sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3).  The believer would do well to ensure that he is not of that mindset which Paul was speaking about for apart from an insatiable desire to understand the Word of God the Christian will perpetually need to be taught that which he should be able to teach others. Like a cracked vessel needs to stay under the running tap in order to maintain its water level so does the Christian need daily exposure to the Word of God to avoid forgetting that which he has already learned. 

Consider Phillip who was moved by God to encounter the Ethiopian eunuch as he read the words of Isaiah concerning the Messiah.  The Ethiopian man had come to Jerusalem to worship and he desired to understand that of which the prophet was speaking (Isaiah 53:7-8).  When asked by Philip whether he understood what he was reading he responded: "how can I, unless someone guides me (Acts 8:31)".  Philip removed this man's confusion by "opening his mouth and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him (8:35)."  The eunuch ended up accepting Christ as his savior (8:37) after Philip informed him that all he had to do was believe. Had Philip been ignorant of this passage he would not have been equipped to teach this man and remove his confusion which was all that was preventing him from accepting Christ.  The Christian who cannot rightly handle the Word of God is tantamount to the surgeon without a scalpel as neither can do that which they otherwise should to help another.

Exposure to the Word of God should be the last of that which is set aside to accommodate a busy schedule. Assume the priorities of the warrior as he prepares for battle and consider the charge of the apostle: "put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).  No army has been outmatched as the believer is by Satan apart from the armor which God has provided. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17) by ensuring that you set aside time each day to learn the Word of God.  Let the Word of Christ dwell richly within that you be not just a hearer of the Word but a doer as well (James 1:22).  Set aside the desire for worldly entertainment in favor of being edified by the word of the Creator.  Value above all else your readiness to proclaim the truth of God's Word to those ready to receive it.  Be ready to provide a defense to those who question the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).  Your desire and preparedness for the equipping of others will enable you to draw nearer to God. 

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