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Teaching Obedience

“For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach his statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). Notice three things: study, do, teach. In the Christian church, we have studiers and teachers. We can study and acquire information. We can teach and impart information. We can get A s on our knowledge. The strong point of the three is to do . Doing validates the studying and the teaching. Teaching, biblically, is not just imparting information. The neglected phrase in the Great Commission is the one on teaching: “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus gave the commands. We are to teach obedience to His commands. We are not just to teach the commands. We are not to teach information without teaching obedience. If we are going to follow Ezra’s example, we need to study, obey, and teach to obey. This post coordinates with today's reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge . If you are not in
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Christian Teaching: More Than Just Information

"For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel" (Ezra 7:10). Ezra devoted himself to three things: studying the law, observing the law, and teaching the law. We can study to acquire information. We can teach to impart information. But the strongest of the three is doing . Doing validates the studying and the teaching. Biblical teaching is not just imparting information. The most-neglected phrase in the Great Commission is the one on teaching: "…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20). We are to teach obedience to God’s commands. We are not to teach information only. If we follow Ezra’s example, we will study, obey, and teach obedience. I know several churches that seek to teach obedience to the saints. Amazingly, they have picked up a reputation for being legalistic, works-righteousness churches. But they are only fulfilling Christ’s command t

Thoughts on Correcting Others

  ·      I will walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). ·      I will forgive others as God has forgiven me in Christ (Ephesians 4:32). ·      I will only judge others if I have taken the splinter out of my own eye first (Matthew 7:1-5). ·      I will correct him only if I am spiritual and gentle (Galatians 6:1). If I feel like correcting him, I am probably neither. ·      I will correct another with the intention of restoring him or her to close fellowship with God. I will do it in a biblical manner (Matthew 18:15, 35). ·      I recognize that there is a difference between those who are forgiven and those who are qualified to be teachers. ·      I will not talk about the life of a fellow believer unless his life is a positive testimony to God’s saving grace. If there is a negative rumor, I will check with the person himself. If a believer is a public figure and there is a rumor of moral impropriety about his life, that rumor should be brought to his attention. He shoul

Keeping Confidences

  “I can keep a confidence. It’s the people I tell it to who can't."  - Unknown I hardly ever promise to keep a confidence before I hear the story. I may promise to keep one after I hear the story, and I do keep the confidence. I determine which ones I keep, not the person who shares it with me. This lack of promise is not the same as gossip, although it could be gossip. We are required to speak to the assembled believers if someone is unrepentant. The assembled believers are to take action on the unrepentant believer (Matthew 18). If I promise to keep the information secret, I might hobble myself so that I cannot obey God and tell the church. Many years ago, a professional person came to see me. I did not know him, although I knew of him. He wished to tell me something awful about a friend we had in common, but first he wanted me to promise to keep it confidential. I told him that I did not make those kinds of promises. He was astounded. Wasn’t I a minister of the gosp

The Sin of Listening to Gossip

"They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:29-32).   I wish to draw attention to just one of these awful sins—gossip. Paul lists it with murder, slander, deceit, and malice, among other great evils. It is part of the complete depravity and dissolution which man falls into as the result of refusing to glorify God: "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God , he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done" (Romans 1:28). What does Scrip

Like Grasping the Pacific Ocean

  "The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with faith and love that are in Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 1:14). Paul was a man of great wisdom and knowledge, but he played it down. In fact, he wrote it off: " Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God' (1 Corinthians 8:1-3).   It almost looks like knowledge is the opposite of love. If it were, we would have to stay ignorant in order to be loving. Having knowledge is a temptation. Being puffed up is the sin. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. He is in sin.  "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.' Where is the wise man? Where is the sc

Whole-Hearted Devotion

1 Chronicles 28 records David’s charge to his son Solomon. It is great! “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with whole hearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts . If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” Notice that the reason for whole-hearted devotion is that “the Lord searches every heart” and the reason for a willing mind is that “the Lord understands every motive behind the thoughts.” This post coordinates with today's reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge . If you are not in a daily reading plan, please join us. We would love to have you reading with us.