Summary: It’s time to grow and mature in Christ and not get stuck on the basics.
STUCK IN FIRST GRADE
By Pastor Jim May
We have recently seen some of your youth step out into the world and begin to build their way into the life of adulthood. For at least 12 long years they have gone to school day after day, and spent hours upon hours, hearing the same things being taught to them over and over again. I know that there were many days when they would come home and would probably think to themselves, “why did I even go to school today? I didn’t learn one thing new. It all seems to be such a waste of time.”
Yet they continued to go, through the days of boredom and the days when they would rather have been anywhere else but in that classroom. Perhaps their thoughts were that they could be earning money on a job instead of wasting time listening to a teacher try to teach them something that they thought they would never use again when school was over. Perhaps they would think, “Why am I wasting my life sitting here when I could be out running around with friends or enjoying life and having fun?”
Through countless hours of homework; through all the disappointments of failed exams; through all the boredom of trying to learn things that didn’t seem to matter; they persevered and overcame. Today, they are no longer students in school for they have graduated and stepped into a whole new facet of life. They are no longer students in high school, but they have now become the students of life and enrolled in the school of “hard knocks” where lessons that must be learned are often learned by making costly mistakes.
But that day of graduation would never have come if they had not learned the very basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. The knowledge and education that they have today is all based upon what they learned in the very beginning.
I know of many who have had to repeat the 1st Grade because they couldn’t grasp the basics.
I remember my 1st Grade Reader like it was yesterday. “See Perky Run! Perky runs on four feet! Perky is a Dog! Does Jane see Perky Run?” On and on it goes, in simple, easily grasp, easy to learn, phrases and words that lay a foundation for what was to come. Your first reader was probably not about Perky, but it still was designed to be simple and to establish a foundation upon which everything else was built.
From “See Perky Run and 1 + 1 = 2” we have progressed, learned and practiced, until now we can read about “illogical exegesis of scripture that creates error in extracting the truths of eschatology”, and “the straight line that bisects the vertex angle of an isosceles triangle is the perpendicular bisector of the base.”
The first thing that is absolutely necessary in the education of a child is for that child to have a “teachable attitude”.
If any of you have had the opportunity to be in a classroom setting in recent days you can’t help but notice that there are some students who have a teachable attitude and there are some who don’t. The fact is that you cannot teach anyone, anything, unless they are willing to listen, to hear, to learn, and then to put what they have learned into practice.
And that is where I will begin to try to perform a proper exegesis of scripture for you this morning and will do my best to rightly divide the Word of Truth so that we may all grow in grace and mature into the men and women of God that God intends for us to be.
I want to use an example in the Old Testament again this morning to present to you a picture of where “the self-proclaimed church” is today. Not only will this passage give you a picture of the modern church, but it will also give you a picture of what the attitude is of most of those who are called Christians as well.
Let us read Isaiah 28:9-16, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people, which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."