100221 How To Live Your Faith 11 The Trouble With Teaching James 3 1

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Sermon 11 in a series on the Book of James (this one on James 3:1) presented February 21, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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100221 How To Live Your Faith 11 The Trouble With Teaching James 3 1

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  3. 3. Teachers were prominent in the early church<br />Acts 13:1 NIV In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.<br />1 Corinthians 12:28 NIV And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers …<br />Ephesians 4:11 NIV It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers<br />
  4. 4. Apostles were always on the move<br />Their field was the whole Church<br />Did not stay long in any one congregation<br />But teachers worked within a congregation<br />Taught converts basics of the Christian faith<br />Modeled Christian living for their students<br />Teachers could put the stamp of their faith & knowledge on newborn Christians<br />Not all teachers were up to the task<br />
  5. 5. Some considered themselves superior to their students<br />Romans 2:17-20 NIV Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; (18) if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; (19)if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants…<br />
  6. 6. Some lived sinful lives inconsistent with their teaching<br />Romans 2:21-27 NIV …You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (23) You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? …<br />
  7. 7. Some engaged in arguments & quarrels, not gentle instruction<br />2 Timothy 2:23-26 NIV Don&apos;t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. (24) And the Lord&apos;s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (25) Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth …<br />
  8. 8. Some fostered controversy & debate<br />1 Timothy 1:3-7 NIV … command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer (4) nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God&apos;s work—which is by faith… (6) Some have wandered away … and turned to meaningless talk. (7) They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.<br />
  9. 9. Some imposed things on their students that the Lord didn’t require<br />Acts 15:1 NIV Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: &quot;Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.&quot;<br />Acts 15:24 NIV We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.<br />
  10. 10. Some pandered to the desires of their listeners<br />2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (4)They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.<br />
  11. 11. Some taught false doctrine<br />2 Peter 2:1 NIV But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.<br />
  12. 12. Some twisted the truth to promote their own self-interest<br />Acts 20:30 NIV Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.<br />
  13. 13. No wonder James believed that teaching is a dangerous occupation<br />James 3:1 NIV Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.<br />
  14. 14. The Christian teacher took the place of the Jewish rabbi<br />Rabbis were treated in a way that was liable to ruin the character of any man<br />His title means, &quot;great one&quot; <br />Everywhere he was treated with respect<br />
  15. 15. Jewish traditions about rabbis<br />Duty to rabbi exceeded duty to parents<br />Parents only brought him into the life of this world<br />Rabbi brought him into the life of the world to come<br />If parents & rabbi were captured, rabbi must be ransomed first<br />Rabbi not allowed to take money for teaching – supposed to support self by working at a trade<br />Pious Jews took rabbi into house & supported him<br />It was easy for a Rabbi to become a spiritual tyrant<br />
  16. 16. Some demanded things of others that they did not demand of selves<br />Matthew 23:2-4 NIV &quot;The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses&apos; seat.(3) So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. (4) They tie up heavy loads and put them on men&apos;s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.<br />
  17. 17. Some lived for the prestige & honor attached to being a rabbi<br />Matthew 23:5-7 NIV &quot;Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; (6) they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; (7) they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them &quot;Rabbi.&apos;<br />
  18. 18. Every teacher runs the risk of being an idol to his students<br />No profession more liable to beget spiritual & intellectual pride<br />He will likely be teaching those who are young in years or young in the faith<br />Must struggle all his life to avoid two things<br />
  19. 19. He must be sure he is teaching the truth<br />Not his opinions or even his prejudices<br />It is easy for a teacher to distort the truth & to teach, not God&apos;s version, but his own<br />
  20. 20. He must be sure that he does not contradict his teaching by his life<br />&quot;Do as I do&quot; not just &quot;Do as I say&quot; <br />He must never get into the position where students cannot hear what he says for seeing what he is<br />Rabbis themselves said, &quot;Not learning but doing is the foundation, and he who multiplies words multiplies sin&quot; (Sayings of the Fathers 1:18)<br />
  21. 21. The teacher has voluntarily entered into a special office<br />He is therefore under greater condemnation, if he fails in it<br />James’ readers coveted the prestige of “teacher”<br />James demanded that they never forget the responsibility that goes with the title<br />
  22. 22. The trouble with teaching is that it can get you into trouble!<br />Has been teaching about faith & works<br />Changes gears – vital subject in few words<br />James 3:1 NIV Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.<br />
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  28. 28. A sobering message about the awesome responsibility of teaching<br />No other NT passage is as focused on the responsibility of being a teacher of Christian truth & lifestyle<br />Two truths are intertwined in James 3:1<br />
  29. 29. 1. Not many of you should become teachers <br />James 3:1 NIV Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers …<br />
  30. 30. Some of his readers wanted to teach but were not suited for it <br />James is not discouraging those who are knowledgeable & capable<br />He is simply reminding his readers that few of us are called to be teachers<br />We should become teachers only when we are equipped by God to do so<br />
  31. 31. A paraphrase might pull together thoughts from James & Paul<br />&quot;Brothers and sisters, God has not seen fit to call many of us to be teachers. Don&apos;t be in a hurry to become teachers unless you are certain that God has called you and has entrusted to you the spiritual gift of teaching. Be content with whatever gifts and calling God gives to you. Don&apos;t try to be what you are not; joyfully be what God has called you to be. Use your gifts in ministry to others and to the glory of God. If you teach, do it to the glory of God; if you do not teach, do it to the glory of God. Only then can you be truly fulfilled.&quot;<br />
  32. 32. 2. Teachers will be judged more strictly<br />James 3:1 NIV … because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.<br />
  33. 33. This statement raises at least two important questions<br />First: “Why would a teacher be judged with greater strictness?”<br />Second: “Who is going to do the strict judging?”<br />
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  35. 35. Two principles:<br />First, God requires more from those who have been given more<br />Luke 12:48 NIV … From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.<br />Second, the principle of sowing & reaping<br />Galatians 6:7 NIV Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.<br />
  36. 36. Teachers reproduce themselves in the lives of their students<br />A mediocreteacher could do harm by creating mediocrity in the lives of his students<br />An inept teacher could &quot;tear down&quot; the lives of believers, rather than building them up<br />Good teachers build up their students & the church<br />
  37. 37. Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV <br />It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, (12) to prepare God&apos;s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (13) until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.<br />
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  39. 39. Two valid answers<br />First, God will judge those who teach His Word and His truth<br />Romans 14:12 NIV So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.<br />Second, our brothers & sisters, especially those we are teaching<br />2 Peter 2:1 NIV But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.<br />
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  42. 42. Consider Bernard Kerik<br />NYC Police Commissioner<br />Hailed as hero after 9/11<br />Considered to head Dept. of Homeland Security<br />Pled guilty to eightfelonies <br />Sentencing guidelines:27-33 months<br />Judge sentenced him to 4 years<br />Why? <br />
  43. 43. Consider Bernard Kerik<br />Judge Robinson: The crimes were committed while Kerik was &quot;the chief law enforcement officer for the biggest and grandest city this nation has.&quot;<br />
  44. 44. Consider Bernard Kerik<br />U.S. Attorney Bharara: &quot;It is a very sad day when the former commissioner of the greatest police department in the world is sentenced to prison for base criminal conduct.&quot;<br />
  45. 45. Wrapping up<br />Teaching is a marvelous privilege!<br />It is also an awesome responsibility!<br />James 3:1 NIV Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.<br />

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