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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

you ought to be teachers by now...

A challenging question comes from Hebrews 5:11-14. It is the question, “What are you doing with what you have been taught?” Putting faith into practice is a remedy for the dullness described in these verses in Hebrews: we read that the mature are able to eat “solid spiritual food” and discern good and evil because of practice. If we don’t use what we are learning from God’s Word, it is not only useless, but dulls us to hearing more of it. But verse 12 has the zinger… “by this time you ought to be teachers.”

Consider this: most Americans over the age of 16 probably has more formal education than the typical house church pastor in China. And yet, each of these pastors risks life and livelihood to teach what he or she knows of God’s Word each week as believers gather out of the sight of the government authorities.

Every American reader of this blog probably has multiple Bibles in your home. And yet, these same house churches in China sometimes must share individual pages out of one Bible so that the Word of God will not be confiscated by authorities.

For six years running, we have spent at least 4-6 weeks doing evangelism training at Good Shepherd. For two years we have emphasized sharing the Good News of Jesus as our primary mission. Many of you have sat through multiple Sunday school classes surveying numerous books of the Bible.

We should be teachers by now. By that, I mean that except for those who are preparing to profess faith for the first time, be baptized, and join the church, every single one of you has what it takes to live as an effective disciple of Jesus Christ. You’ve heard the story; you have the information; you have the mission directions; you are challenged regularly.

But here’s what Hebrews says: if you don’t use it, you lose it. I’m not talking about salvation, but I’m talking about your spiritual health and vitality. How do we grow spiritually? How do we discern good and evil? Hebrews says it is through practicing our faith – putting it into action.

More in the sermon HERE

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