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:
Water (John 6:35): Could a human last long without water? Without it, our bodies would shut down. How then can people's spiritual thirst be quenched without Christ being taught?
Bread (John 6:35): Without physical food, our energy would be low and possibly our work less. How can believers be nourished, strengthened, and energized without Christ being taught?
Light (John 8:12): What happens when a person walks around in the dark? They stumble, get hurt, and or possibly fall down. How then can people see spiritually to know which way to go in their personal lives without Christ being taught?
Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30): When a Christian faces difficulties in life or when they do not know what to do, they need wisdom. But, earthly wisdom fails especially in spiritual matters. Hebrews 12:3 tells Christians to consider Him. What did Jesus do, who is Jesus, what did He endure, what was His example, how can He transform us and our lives, how can He lead us? Wise answers to these questions are what Christians need to hear.
Way (John 14:6): If someone is traveling to a destination, and does not know how to get there, what happens? It could become a pretty terrible trip and they may very well end up lost to boot. Spiritually speaking, believers can be detoured by poor teaching, take longer to mature, and suffer needlessly if they are not on the right path. How can people know the way they should go in salvation, in their spiritual walk, or even in their life decisions if Christ is not being taught?
Truth (John 14:6): What happens to those who follow a lie? They get deceived and end up in a worse condition. Christians need to know the truth so they can make informed decisions and follow after the right things that God has shown us in His Word. How can people know the truth if Christ is not being taught? People need to know what Christ says to avoid grief.