Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
EDUCATION FOUNDED ON THE FEAR OF THE LORD
1 Corinthians 2:1-16
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
As summer now begins to ebb away, students of all ages start to transition back to life in the school year. During the first week or so of the school year, students will assemble their supplies and school-required materials to get back into the mindset of learning while teachers implement “plans of attack” to best equip their students to accomplish these learning goals. The new material these students will need to learn can be challenging and sometimes frustrating for the student, but effective teachers instill a mindset of confidence and perseverance, encouraging their students to be more focused and disciplined in their study habits, leading to more maturity and knowledge within the student. The teachers themselves must prepare diligently, founded on their training and experience, to be effective.
The apostle Paul was not a teacher by trade; prior to his conversion, Saul was a persecutor of Christians, a zealot loyal to Jewish faith and practices. Thus, it is all the more remarkable that God made Paul his “chosen instrument” to carry the name of Jesus to all people (Acts 9:15). Paul was a very learned, intellectual man, but to have knowledge and to teach knowledge are two separate things. Yet, Paul knew not to teach the people God appointed him to teach with complex vocabulary or verbose speeches. Paul tells the Corinthians (and to us) that his message and teaching is “a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that [their] faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). Paul, with no prior teaching experience, relied on the power of God to equip him to be a professor (in its truest sense) of God’s Word, so that those who heard would not be amazed by Paul’s methodology, but by God’s sovereignty. Paul reiterates, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel - not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17).
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” [italics added]. As followers of Christ, called to teach everything that Jesus has commanded us, let us gird ourselves with the sword of the Spirit. Moreover, through prayer and reflection, let us ask the Spirit, who dwells in us, to equip and empower us to proclaim that message boldly, unambiguously, and effectively. Recognizing that it is the Holy Spirit alone who fuels us for this calling unlocks the “secret wisdom” God has for us, drawing both teacher and student closer to their omniscient Maker.
Prayer: Lord, may we revere You in all things. Help us to see that by knowing You wholly and truly first and foremost, You unlock the wonders of Your majesty and Your secret wisdom for us, Your children. In You we put our trust and hope, AMEN!
Shaun Rajan (Long Island MTC, Merrick, NY)