In my last article, “Are You Teaching People to Obey Christ Biblically?”, I put forth a few major ways in which followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are to “teach all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20), or how we are to teach our brethren in Christ to obey Him, for the Great Commission is our Commission. One of those ways was to teach them the gospel, or the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I see a major problem in much of the way in which a lot of Christian teaching is conducted — it isn’t Christian teaching. By “Christian”, I mean that which is from Christ. More specifically, I mean what Paul the apostle said in Colossians 1:27b-28:
“. . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ . . .”
As an apostle, Paul is one of our greatest examples to follow, and that certainly is true in how he taught people. In this passage, we see that all of his teaching was centered on Christ:
- He proclaimed Christ
- He admonished, or warned, every person by proclaiming Christ
- He taught every person by proclaiming Christ
- He proclaimed Christ to make every person perfect, or complete, in Christ
In other words, the proclamation of who Christ is was the foundation and theme of all of Paul’s preaching and teaching. So, it must be ours as well. However, what does this look like in practice? How do we teach our brethren to obey Christ by proclaiming Christ to them?
- By simply telling them who Christ is:
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also was Moses in all his house. For he hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by so much as he that built the house hath more honor than the house. For every house is builded by some one; but he that built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken; but Christ as a son, over his house; whose house are we, if we hold fast our boldness and the glorying of our hope firm unto the end. Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts . . .” – Hebrews 3:1-8a
Notice in this passage that the author of Hebrews first tells his audience who Jesus is — the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, and the Son of God. Then, on the basis of these truths, he commands his audience to act upon them: “wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts . . .”
2. Another way in which we can teach our brethren to obey Christ is by telling them who He is in relationship to us:
- Our Lord:
“As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him . . .” – Colossians 2:6
2. The propitiation (satisfactory atoning sacrifice) for our sins
“And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” – 1 John 2:1b-2
3. Our Example:
“Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus . . .” – Philippians 2:5
4. Our High Priest:
“Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” – Hebrews 4:14
3. Another way is by telling our brethren what the Lord has done for us, and is doing for us:
- He laid down His life for us:
“Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” – 1 John 3:16
2. He rose from the dead for us:
“But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him. For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus . . .” – Romans 6:8-11
3. He intercedes for us:
“It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” – Romans 8:34b-37
4. Another way is by telling our brethren what our relationship to Christ is:
- We are spiritually united to Him:
“Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ? shall I then take away the members of Christ, and make them members of a harlot? God forbid.” – 1 Corinthians 6:15
2. We are His slaves:
“Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” – Colossians 4:1
3. We are His ambassadors:
“We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20
5. Another way is just by telling our brethren what the Lord has commanded us, which is every command in the New Testament that can be applied to us. However, here’s an example from the New Testament:
“And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he [Jesus] gave us commandment.” – 1 John 3:23
The point I’ve been trying to make is that all the teaching of the New Testament, and the Old Testament as interpreted by the New Testament, lays as their foundation and theme the Lord Jesus Christ and His work. This should be just as true of our teaching as Christians.
Are you absolutely certain, without any doubt whatsoever, that you know what the good news of Christ is? Please make sure:
Your Creator, God the Father, sent God the Son, His Son, to the earth, to become a man, without ceasing to be God. This man was Jesus of Nazareth, who lived the perfect life, perfectly pleasing the Father. Then, He was arrested by men, who were appointed by the Father to do so, and was nailed and hung on a cross. Although Jesus was perfectly pleasing to the Father, the Father ordained this event to happen to punish Jesus by making Him slowly die on the cross, and by treating Him as if He had committed our sins against His Father, all because of our sins against Him, which make us deserve physical, eternal, and spiritual death from God. For three hours, the Father crushed and forsook Jesus, putting Him to grief, because of our sins against Him. In so doing, Jesus satisfied the Father’s wrath and justice against sins. Then, He died, and was buried shortly after. His body lay in a grave for about 2 days, and then, He physically rose from the dead, and appeared to the apostle Peter, to the 11 apostles, to about 500 people at one time, to James, to all the apostles, and to the apostle Paul, during a period of 40 days, after which He ascended into heaven. The apostles then turned the Mediterranean world upside down with their new lives and preaching, revolutionizing the Mediterranean world, and undergoing incredible persecutions, while at the same time winning more and more converts, who gladly went to their deaths because of their love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s command to all people everywhere is to change the way they think about God, about the Lord Jesus Christ, about His death, about His resurrection, about themselves, and about their sins, and to depend only upon the Lord Jesus Christ, His death because of their sins, and His resurrection as the only grounds for His forgiveness of their sins and His gift of eternal life. If you have changed the way you think, and depend only upon the Lord Jesus Christ, His death for your sins, and His resurrection for God’s forgiveness of your sins, and your peace with God, then you will be saved from His wrath. If not, God has fixed a day on which He will judge you in righteousness through the Man He has appointed, having provided proof for all people by raising Him from the dead. If you fail to obey God’s command to repent and depend on the Lord Jesus Christ, then He will eventually cast you into eternal hell, and punish you for the sins you’ve committed against Him. Right now is the time to make sure that you have changed the way you think about the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you are only depending upon Him, His death for your sins, and His resurrection from the dead for His forgiveness of your sins. Depend upon Him, and you will be saved from His wrath.