Summary: How could a spiritual teacher not speak the name of Jesus Christ once during a 60-minute message? How could a spiritual teacher give a message and insert the name of Jesus Christ as a sort of window dressing?
How could a spiritual teacher not speak the name of Jesus Christ once during a 60-minute message? How could a spiritual teacher give a message and insert the name of Jesus Christ as a sort of window dressing that would add authority to the speaker’s own words? How could a spiritual teacher in the church share one verse of Scripture then speak an entire message sharing only their own ideas, their own opinions, their own surmising while the words of Scripture are forsaken? These questions and more may lead us to a sad situation in churches around the world. Many spiritual teachers seem to have lost sight of their purpose – to educate others in Christ. Some might call it Christian education but I call it Christ ed.
The term Christ ed. on the surface appears to be an abbreviated form of the term Christian Education. However, Christ ed. gets to the heart of what many have come to call Christian Education. Christ ed. focuses on that which seems to be missing in many churches today: Jesus Christ and the Bible. I coined this term as a result of several years of study of what I observed in local churches and what I am observing until now in others.
Christ ed. is proposed here as a guideline for education practices in the Christian church. Spiritual teachers include pastors, ministers, reverends, and Sunday school teachers: anyone who would stand (or sit) before members of an organized Christian assembly and teach spiritual matters are included in the term spiritual teacher. Christ ed. is a term that inherently asks two fundamental questions: (1) are spiritual lessons centering on, exalting, and glorifying Jesus Christ (2) are spiritual lessons that are centering on, exalting, and glorifying Jesus Christ anchored to the Bible?
Our Need for Jesus Christ
The first aspect of Christ ed. is concerned with man’s need of Jesus Christ as both Savior and the Source of spiritual life and vitality. It is clear from Scripture that Jesus Christ is the ultimate need of all mankind, He has the words of eternal life (John 6:68). So, it is essential He be exalted (John 12:32). Conversely, anything other than Christ being exalted will draw man away from Christ. One way Christians benefit, the other way they suffer. As a matter of fact, the end of the believer's spiritual walk is to eventually become the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). Image, meaning likeness, representation, illustration, or reflection of Jesus Christ.
Finally, only Jesus Christ pleases God (Matthew 3:17). Does that mean that as Christians we cannot please God? No. It does mean that apart from Christ, we cannot please God. One must first be in Christ before he can please the Father. That makes Jesus Christ of preeminent importance in Christian assemblies today. However, none of these, salvation, pleasing God, conformation to the image of Christ, or maturity, can take place if the believer is not presented with Jesus Christ, the very Example that God desires His people to conform to (1 Peter 2:21). Everything must relate to Christ where spiritual matters are concerned because Jesus Christ is the Christian’s: