Be Successful In Your Teaching by Being Humble

July 9, 2009 by  
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Matthew 7:1 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” It has become one of the most misused passages in my lifetime.  How many times have you been involved in a religious discussion, read a passage, and then applied it, and the person on the receiving end states “that is your interpretation?”  It is a most discouraging response, and usually ends any kind of dialogue.

Jesus encountered these situations throughout his ministry and should we not also expect to have to deal with the same objections.  I’ll admit that sometimes we hold people to standards we cannot even maintain ourselves, and the hypocrisy is obvious to everyone but ourselves.  It’s one thing to judge someone’s intent, as Jesus stated in the first part of Matthew 7, but Jesus also says in the same chapter, “thus you will know them by their fruits” (v. 20), referring to false teachers. 

We should not be fearful or angry when answering objections to the truth. However, in patience and love, we can allow the Bible to answer their questions.  The reason many preachers and Christians aren’t convincing people about salvation is not because of the lack of knowledge, but how we go about teaching people.  If we speak down to people or come across arrogantly with our knowledge we’ll lose any hope in the conversion process. 

In Matthew 23:23-24, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees saying, “Woe to you, scribes, and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.  You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!”  We’re wasting our time in teaching if our reputation is one of arrogance, lack of forgiveness, and impatience.  Jesus followed this by his condemnation of people who outwardly appear righteous, but inwardly are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

In verse 25, he mentioned persons “full of extortion.” It is pathetic that some in the church have a business reputation of dishonesty and greed, yet parade around quoting verses, attending every service at church, nitpicking other Christians, becoming the worst examples, discouraging other faithful pilgrims, and having no influence in the world.  We need to be firm in our convictions (2 Thess. 2:15), having great faith by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This includes:  the giving of our means on the first day of the week and not leftovers (I Cor. 16:1-2), encouraging those around us, showing proper respect for every person we contact, helping those in need, and “not be weary in well doing” (2 Thess. 2:13). 

Let’s consider our faith, outward conduct, and attitude toward God and our fellow man, before we go about trying to teach others. 

–Phil Barnes

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2 Responses to “Be Successful In Your Teaching by Being Humble”

  1. Andy on July 27th, 2009 12:08 am

    Faith without reoson is a sad state indeed. If you want to convert people use reoson, and to me that indicates changing your ideas to fit our day and age. How do you expect people to follow something that was written two thousand years ago? Has not humanity progressed and enlightened itself since the bloody inquisition, to not ostracize and murder it’s citizens? I am a homosexual who is a 4.0 student, has had no court appearances, as is very active in my community should I be killed or shunned into a world of suicidal depression? Use reoson and then you will love me, your neighbor, with kindness and compassion. I personally do not know a G-d that would burn me in hell for eternity, for being happy, content, and stable in my life, for what I chose to do in my bedroom through my natural instinct.
    G-d bless, and if you tell me I should burn in hell and suffer torment, then my matyrdom shall me made clear by falsifiers.

  2. Edwin Crozier on July 27th, 2009 11:31 am

    Andy,

    Thanks so much for your comment and being involved in our conversation about God, the Bible, and His way of life for us.

    First, I completely agree that faith without reason is a sad state. God says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come let us reason together.” In passages like Acts 17:2, the text says Paul reasoned with the Jews. I think we should use our reason; we should reason together. I appreciate you being part of that. However, I’m not sure reason means changing our ideas to fit our day and age. God’s will is not changed because of man’s changes in viewpoint. We need to reason based on God’s word; it will equip us for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17).

    Second, I believe you make a mistake when you take the Bible and relate it to the inquisition. No one truly following the New Testament would ever come up with the inquisition. In fact, II Corinthians 10:3-5 explains we do not war according to the flesh. Tactics like the Crusades and the Inquisition, though carried out by people claiming to be Christians, were not carried out by people who were truly following God’s word. Certainly, I hope we are more enlightened than those who perpetrated the Inquisition, but that enlightenment should come from what the scriptures truly say not just from what we think is better.

    Third, I don’t think you should be killed or shunned into a world of suicidal depression.

    Fourth, I do believe the scriptures teach that participating in homosexual intercourse is sinful. Romans 1:22-27 says:

    “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen

    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    This passage demonstrates that homosexual intercourse is not a natural activity. However, it also points out that because of sin in our lives some may be given over to that, explaining why they believe it is their natural instinct. I believe a mistake is made here by many. Many have the idea that because something seems enjoyable or even hard to avoid it is a natural instinct and can’t possibly be wrong. However, that is the nature of sin. According to Ephesians 2:1-3, each and every one of us have become by nature children of wrath. For some their “nature” has turned to sexual immorality, for others it may be raging, for others drunkenness, for others it may be pride and arrogance. However, the fact that the activity seems natural does not mean it is right before God.

    For more Bible study on God’s view of homosexuality, please consider the sermon presented on November 25, 2007 entitled “What Does the Bible Tell Us about Homosexuality?“.

    Finally, I may be mistaken, however your comment here sounds to me more like you are trying to convince yourself than trying to convince me. I fear you may be trying to convince yourself you are happy, content, and stable when internally you are actually filled with turmoil because of your actions. I want to let you know that Jesus offers peace if you will surrender to His will. He offers freedom from all our sins no matter how natural they have become to us (cf. I Corinthians 6:9-11). However, if I’m mistaken and you do truly feel happy, content, and stable, I encourage you to recognize God has not called us to happiness, He has called us to holiness (I Peter 1:16).

    We are happy to help in any way we can. I will be praying for you as you strive to draw closer to God.

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