But TEACHING you guys.... is SCARY...like nightmare on Elm Street scary. I mean it. Have you actually read scripture that discusses what someone that teaches is supposed to do, or how they are supposed to live their lives?
Like Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Like Romans 12-5-8
so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Like 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Like James 3:1-2
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
Ok...let me just give you an example of 2 priests that didn't follow the word of God EXACTLY like they were supposed to... remember Moses's brother the Chief priest Aaron, who was called by God to speak for Moses because Moses didn't think he was a good speaker...well yeah, his sons, who had been trained for years to be Priests, followed the Lord diligently for years...went through the crucial sacrifices in order to just be able to stand in the temple, did I mention they were priests...by one wrong move...were burnt to a crisp. Look it up in
Leviticus Chapter 10:1-3
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:
“‘Among those who approach me
I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.’”
Aaron remained silent.
Like instant lightening dead you guys...like all of a sudden worshipping "God let your fire fall" and it did....and just like that they were dead. So how's that for encouraging you to speak out for the truth of Christ. I don't know about you...but I fall short much more than 1 slight deviance from God's command.
Ok, and on top of all that, let's just get down to the elephant in the middle of the room. If you haven't noticed. I'm a girl. My uncle Ted would be one to tell you that "women do not belong behind a pulpit" and yet here I am in a place where girls are not allowed to teach in many religions. I'm also going to say that he gets that from scripture. Let's just go there. Because scripture is truth and we are not to deviate from truth to satisfy our own desires right?
1 Timothy 2-11-15
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
But you guys, this is talking about learning...and submission. Lordship. I'm ok with that, well I should be, it's solid scripture. If I didn't agree, I need to get my opinion to bow down to truth and change my perspective.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
But again you guys, this is talking about learning. Not being disruptive, not being rude and interrupting Lordship. if you are not permitted to speak, per the Lordship of the head who is to be strongly faithful and rooted in Christ...in Christ, then you should not do so. There is Lordship, but that does not mean that a woman, has no gift to teach. Nor does it mean they shouldn't. Take a look at the scriptures, we just went over regarding teaching. Does it mention a gender?
I want to assure you, I battled with this many times. Each time, begging God to not let it be true, because I have a fire in my heart and my belly to share the Gospel, to share testimony, to share healing, to share salvation, not for my benefit or profit, but for Christ. I'm not looking to share my opinion, as many of the times what I teach is actually contrary to my fleshly opinion and I've struggled and battled to get my flesh to kneel to the Lordship of Christ's truth many times. I've questioned my ability to teach, prompted by the whispers of others about:
1) Not having formal training
2) No ordination
3) No college degree
Tell me, again, what college did the disciples attend for their training?
I'm settled in Spirit and lead by numerous scriptures that assure me that children, women and men alike have the ability, the gift, and are fully equipped by Christ, through the study of God's word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, to teach, prophesy, encourage, serve and live out the message of Christ.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
So here we see Paul is trying to break the pattern of living under the law and instead living in relationship with Christ and each other.
Old Testament looking towards the coming of Christ....
The Day of the Lord
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
With that being said, I want you to be fully aware that you are not to just allow anyone to speak into your life. Likewise you should test everyone and every word that is spoken over you. I was so very fortune to have been brought up in Christ by the late Pastor Dwight Fearing. Although I've heard many stories from people of all walks of life regarding their perception of him, my experience was always that he encouraged, more so demanded, that I alone was personally responsible for reading, studying and understanding the Word of God so that I was able to discern spirits of deceit, including words spoken by him personally and including religious doctrines that did not line up to truth. I encourage you to do the same. Prior to Christ, many words were spoken over me that created a foothold in my life. Rejection, condemnation, shame and worthless are some of the ones that I truly battle with, even today. Therefore, even in my honest effort to represent Christ well, as I walk this life out in him, I may still see some situations through my own lenses and not through Christ's eyes....but rest assured, I am running towards the finish line, and God's not completed his good work in me yet.
Which brings me to my title. Why do you call me good?
One thing I truly enjoy about New Hope is the steadfastness to God's word, His truth and His ways. Generationally you are sound in doctrine, not being swayed by every new doctrine out there today, tossed about like an unanchored vessel. You do not tolerate new age ways and stand firmly rooted in the faith you were raised in. I look out at each one of you and I would say that I see you as good. I can certainly point out numerous reasons and experiences I've had with you and other people that would lead me to believe my perception of "good".
2) Your clothes
3) How your children behave
4) How I see you out in public away from church
5) How you treat others
6) What college degree you have
7) How much money you make, or career you succeeded in
8) Your political affiliation
9) What others say about you
But is that what God looks for? Jesus was called a Good teacher and He responded by saying:
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
Luke the Dr. also re-tells it in Luke 18:19
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
Now there are several takes on this. Yes, Jesus could be verifying he is God and hinting to the speaker that he has indeed recognized him as God, or he could also be digging even more deeper as I believe he does and reminding us that no one has the ability to be good, without God...even further, God in us.
Let's take a look at the entire story.
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]”
21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
You see many times, we believe that it's by the good things we do or by the reasons people see us as good that we shall inherit eternal life in heaven. I mean we even many times decide where we think people are by the works they have done. You hear it all the time at funerals, you hear it from conversations. I mean if people behave like Mother Theresa you guys, we are certain they must be in heaven when they pass from this life to the eternal one.
But that's not always the case.
Many times, it's actually quite sad that we assure ourselves our place in heaven by the works we do. We are confident by our charity for orphans and widows, and our impeccable church attendance record that we have a house waiting in heaven. We many times, act like Martha cleaning and preparing and prepping and making the house spic and span for our guests, instead of leaving the dust on our end tables and sitting at the feet of Jesus like Mary. Oh and believe me, you will have plenty of Martha's tattling to God about your poorly kept home and lack of high class duties. You guys, finger scripture in that dust and get to know Christ instead. Don't worry about your reputation with people, be more concerned with your eternity in Christ. There will just be more dust tomorrow anyway.
Now, let me wrap this up by saying...scripture assures us that in Christ, you will produce the fruits of many things. GOODNESS is one of them. So good works should and will come out of you once you have accepted Christ as your Lordship and trusted that it was HIS sacrificial works in death that insured your sinful debts were paid. That it's a free gift, that you choose to receive, that seals that fate. Only then will true good works be a sign of your faithfulness to Christ. Not to or of yourself or of your people pleasing disease.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.