Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Word is Entrusted to the Church (Teaching)

Chapter Eleven:
Concept Three - The Word is Entrusted to the Church (Teaching)

The revelation of God’s Word that had not been revealed to man in general revelation nor in the Old Testament but had remained in mystery form was now revealed to the apostles. Once God revealed this mystery form of the Word of God to the apostles, these apostles were responsible to preserve and communicate it to both the believers and the Pagan world. And, when anyone received (or, believed) the message from the apostles they, likewise, became responsible for the accurate preservation and accurate presentation of that same Word of God.

Two key words used by the New Testament writes to describe this responsibility they and we have after having received, or believed, this revealed Word of God are the words: “entrusted” and “deposit.”

“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.”                 – First Corinthians 4:1

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”                – Second Timothy 1:13, 14

The word “entrusted” is the word “oikonomous” and can also be translated “steward” The word “oikonomos” refers to then manager of a household, often a trusted slave similar to Joseph in overseeing Potipher’s household in the book of Genesis, who was placed in charge of the household and its operations. The concept here is not focused on being in charge, or being the boss, but stresses the great responsibility and the importance of performing diligent management skills to prove accountability. This word is used by Jesus in Luke 16:1.

The word “deposit” is the word “paratheken” refers to a thing or possession that belongs to a person who is giving it to another person who they trust for safe keeping. It is a legal term and refers to someone trusting someone else to take care of their money, a family member, a harvest of grain or a secret. The owner was not giving up their ownership, but was requesting that the person they were entrusting would guard their deposit faithfully.

Each person who accepts the message of the Word of God has entered into the responsibility of stewardship of this great deposit of the mystery of the Word of God that was placed in their lives:

“I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”                                      – Jude 3

Here are some other verses where the apostles tell us that they and the church have been  “entrusted” and are responsible for the “deposit”

“They recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.                                                                        – Galatians 2:7

“We speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God                                   – First Thessalonians 2:4

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.” –First Timothy 6:20

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
– First Corinthians 4:2

“If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.                                                      – First Corinthians 9:17

“That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
– Second Corinthians 5:19

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”                               – Second Timothy 4:1-2

“The hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior.” – Titus 1:2,3

One of the primary ways of fulfilling our stewardship responsibility is to communicate the revelation of God’s Word. There are a wide variety of ways to accomplish this, but no matter what vehicle or method is used it can be classified as preaching and teaching the Word of God.

What is preaching? Preaching means “to proclaim” or “to announce.” It is the clear transmission of an idea, a truth or a thought to a person in order for them to know, understand and make use of the information proclaimed or announced.

What is teaching? Teaching is more than standing up and filling time with talk about God. Teaching is the communication of the revelation from God to members of his church. It involves:
  • Reading the text
  • Explaining the background
  • Expanding on the words in the text to gain fullest meaning.
  • Connecting all the concepts in the verse, book and all of scripture.
  • Organizing similar concepts to develop definitions, doctrines, and a deep, comprehensive insight

Teaching is empowering a person with understandable and useful information. The primary purpose of the church is to teach, or successfully communicate, the mystery of God now revealed through the written Scriptures, first, to the Pagan world for their salvation, and then to the believers, who came out of that Pagan world, for their full understanding and maturity. Teaching will bring about the maturity of the believer and the church. Maturity will allow the true production of the fruits of righteousness that God desires.

“Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:15, 16

“Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done - by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written:
                        “Those who were not told about him will see,
                        and those who have not heard will understand.”        - Romans 15:15-21

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”    – First Corinthians 1:17

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”                   – 2 Corinthians 10:4-6

“I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”                               – Galatians 1:11

“Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you,  that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.”                                                           – Ephesians 3:2,3

“In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. – Ephesians 3:4,5

“This grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,  and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.  His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”                                               - Ephesians 3:8-10
NOTE: the mystery becomes known in believers who then produce the fruit of righteousness in their lives. This transformation in people, who are the church, then makes known God’s character, nature, glory, word to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms.

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”                       – Ephesians 6:19

“If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith.”                                              - Philippians 1:22

You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant.” – Colossians 1:7

“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.”              – Colossians 1:24-26

“Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. – Colossians 4:3,4

“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.”                                                                            – First Thessalonians 2:9

“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.”                                                                                              – First Thessalonians 3:2

“I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.”                                                                                        – First Thessalonians 5:27

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth….And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.”                                                    – First Timothy 2:3,4,7

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”                           – Romans 10:14

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is… teaching, then teach.                                                – Romans 12:7

“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” – First Corinthians 10:11

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers….”  
- First Corinthians 12:27

“Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?  Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?  So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.”
– First Corinthians 14:6-9

“So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.”                                                 – First Corinthians 14:12

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature.”                                                        – Ephesians 4:11-13

“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:20-24

“They feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.” – Ephesians 5:29

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” – Ephesians 6:14

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” – Ephesians 6:19

“Whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel.” – Philippians 1:7

“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.  To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” – Colossians 1:28-29

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”                                          – Colossians 4:16

“With the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.”                                                                    –First Thessalonians 2:2

“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.”                                                                – First Thessalonians 2:9

“Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.”                          – First Thessalonians 3:10

“Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
– Second Thessalonians 2:5

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits  to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.  He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”                                                   – Second Thessalonians 2:13-15

“Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.”                                                 – Second Thessalonians 3:1

“If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.”                                                             – First Timothy 4:6

“Command and teach these things.”           –First Timothy 4:11

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift!”                 – First Timothy 4:13

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” – First Timothy 5:17

“So that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.” – First Timothy 6:1

“These are the things you are to teach and insist on.”          – First Timothy 6:2

“I am reminded of your sincere faith…For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.”                                           – Second Timothy 1:5, 6

“Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  Avoid godless chatter.”                                                                                                                                 – Second Timothy 2:14-16

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels….The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”                                – Second Timothy 2:23-24

“He (an elder) must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
–Titus 1:9

“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men … Likewise, teach the older womenteach what is good. … In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.  Teach slaves … so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” –Titus 2:1-15
NOTE: All of Titus chapter two is about teaching

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.”                         – Hebrews 5:11-14

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”                                                – Hebrews 13:7

“Not many of you should become teachers (or, presume to be teachers), my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” – James 3:1

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.”                           – First Peter 4:10, 11

“We write this to make our joy complete.”                              – First John 1:4

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word


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