The End… sigh

Tonight is my last class of the semester for Moody Bible Institute. We are ending our discussion of the book of Colossians.

I am not happy. Although that means my Tuesday evenings will now be free, I will miss the learning, laughing and fellowship that makes up the course.

I do not just go there and sit through a boring lecture. Although attendance is low, students tend to be faithful and are very giving of themselves personally. I love that my fellow students so readily admit to their flaws, both past and present. We learn from each other, support one another, pray for one another. I am going to miss out on that camaraderie until September.

For this class, we have to do a presentation on something from Colossians that stuck with us. My prepared remarks are below.

            I developed my presentation based on the following Scriptures, which I linked together:

  • Colossians 1:9-10 (New International Version): “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have no stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God”.
  • Colossians 2:6-7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”.

When people initially come to Christ, they tend to do so when they are at a vulnerable or weak point in their life. Personally, I have been saved for a long time, but went through a period of serious backsliding and only re-committed myself to the Lord when I finally figured out that I did not know anything, that my way of working things out wasn’t working at all, and I was tired of the world beating me down. Usually when I see people go to the front of the church once the doors are opened, they readily admit to being in a similar predicament. Something has happened in their life that has forced them to face the reality that they need Jesus.

In one way, that is a good thing—it is better to bump your head a few times, get smacked around by the ways of the world and come to your senses in such a manner that you do decide to commit yourself to the Lord than live a life of simplicity and never get to know Him. However, that also means that people tend to come to Jesus when they are not thinking rationally. Sometimes, and this is not doubting a person’s salvation, people come to Jesus purely out of emotion, and a lot of times, they come to Jesus without fully understanding what is expected of them once they declare their allegiance to our Lord and Savior. It is apparent by the Scriptures that we are expected to dedicate ourselves to lifelong learning and teaching babes in Christ. As Paul said, “…continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught”… How can one be rooted and built up in Jesus if they know nothing about Him and God’s expectations for us, and how can they learn and be strengthened if they are not taught?

As I usually do when I read the Bible, I looked at these Scriptures and applied them to myself and present-day society. I thought about my graduate program and how I came to the point where I was able to graduate with a 4.0 grade point average, which is considered to be evidence of mastery of the subject matter. It required long hours of study, but more importantly, it required me to make my education a priority in my life. In this manner, I had to devote time to studying, researching, writing papers and coordinating meetings among myself and my group members. In return, I have a strong body of knowledge that I can put into practice and the ability to teach what I have learned to others. For each profession in our society, appropriate training has to take place, and most professions require people to continually develop their knowledge and skills—for example, the clinical professionals I work with are required to attend seminars and classes and pursue continuing education credits. Basically, no one should expect for learning to stop. The same goes for our Christian walk—there will never be a time when we have complete and thorough understanding of the Bible to where we no longer need to read or study it.

For those of us who are seasoned saints, we also need to make teaching babes in Christ a priority on top of our own continued reading and praying. We need to understand the spiritual condition that a person is often in when they initially come to Christ and be open and available to those babes to be used as a resource as they try to find their footing in the Lord. We need to make sure they understand what we think of as basic Biblical concepts that have gotten skewed by worldly teachings—what salvation is, that it cannot be lost, the purpose of baptism as an outward show of an inward commitment as opposed to the idea that baptism is the saving act, etc. I can go on. A brief survey of not only the world but what goes on inside our churches and the many different denominations shows that a renewed commitment to teaching is required.

When we are filled with the spiritual wisdom and understanding that comes from reading, studying (and, as a byproduct of those, learning), praying and fellowshipping with the saints, we will then have a better understanding of what we need to do as Christians to “live a life worthy of the Lord…that will please him in every way…bearing fruit in every good work”. If Christians do not learn, they do not bear fruit—if they are not taught, they cannot learn. Of course, the obstacle is those Christians who refuse to make learning a priority or those seasoned saints who are too stubborn to be taught. I can use this class as an example. Despite my best efforts, and I am sure the efforts of the other site coordinators, the administrative staff, Reverend Horton and the reverends who devote their time to teaching these Moody courses, participation is low. If someone has ideas on how to encourage our brothers and sisters to commit to Christian learning, I am all ears.

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