Summary: This lesson looks at the Biblical role of the pastor-teacher and the local church.
Roles Of The Pastor-Teacher And Local Church
(1 Cor. 4:1)
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Jesus Himself tells us in John 8:31-32:
31 "... If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NAS
In John 15:7, He also tells us:
7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. NAS
Let’s take a moment to quietly confess our sins to God, so that we are in fellowship with Him and led by the Holy Spirit when we study God’s word. 1 John 1:9 promises us, that if we name our known sins to God, He always forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness, even from the unknown sins we forgot or didn’t even realize we committed. Let’s pray.
Thank you, Father, for always restoring your children when we admit our sins to you. May your Holy Spirit teach us your word as we study it now. We ask these things in Jesus Name. Amen
God gave the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher to certain individuals to teach God’s word, the Bible, to Church Age believers who are part of the body of Christ. Some Christians think that they don’t need to learn from a pastor-teacher, but rather can teach themselves the Bible just by reading it on their own.
This is only possible to a very limited extent. While there are some things in the Scriptures that you can learn in this manner, there are so many more things that you can not. This is true for many reasons:
· The Bible was originally written in OTHER LANGUAGES, in languages that are more precise than the English translations we currently use. The Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Koine (common) Greek, with Chaldean, Aramaic, and other forms of Greek included in parts.
· Many phrases in the Bible are IDIOMS, that is, words or expressions that historically have social or cultural meanings that are not obvious to us today. For example, when we say today that something is really "hot," it has a meaning in our society that is different than the actual definition of the word.
· Many events, customs, and rituals in the Bible are not fully understandable to us unless their HISTORICAL aspects are explained by someone who has studied and understand them.
Later in this study, I’ll cite a couple of examples of Bible verses that show the importance of a pastor-teacher to properly interpret such passages. One example is an Old Testament passage that is obviously impossible to understand just by reading it. The other example is a New Testament verse that appears obvious in its meaning, but teaches so much more when studied and correctly taught.
KNOWING GOD’S WORD:
Let’s examine what the Bible says about the importance of knowing God’s word:
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (NIV)
The word IF is a third class condition in the Greek. This means, "Maybe you will, maybe you won’t." It’s a choice you have to make.
The word YOU means that the above passage is addressed to believers (John 8:31 - "To the Jews who had believed him...").
The word HOLD means "to abide, to dwell continually in." It has the meaning of living constantly in something, making it your home.
The phrase MY TEACHING refers to Bible teaching, the word of God. The Bible is the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16).
The word DISCIPLE in the original Koine Greek means student (not "follower"). You are not a disciple of Christ just because you are saved. You are His disciple only if you are His STUDENT, if you study His word.
Jesus promises that a true disciple will KNOW THE TRUTH. The truly Christ-centered life is based on what you know, not how you feel or what you do. To "know the truth", to take in God’s word, is the key according to Jesus’ own words.
The phrase THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE tells us the results of being a true disciple or student of Jesus Christ. Freedom from the stresses and the details of life. Freedom to know and love God, to rest on His promises, to experience God’s happiness, the "peace that passeth all understanding".
Let’s look at another New Testament passage:
Rom 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (NIV)