Teach One Another

Colossians 3:16

 

The mother of a nine-year-old boy named Mark received a phone call in the middle of the afternoon.

It was the teacher from her son’s school.

“Mrs. Smith, something unusual happened today in your son’s third grade class. Your son did something that surprised me so much that I thought you should know about immediately.”

The mother began to grow worried.

The teacher continued, “Nothing like this has happened in all my years of teaching. This morning I was teaching a lesson on creative writing. And as I always do, I tell the story of the ant and the grasshopper:

“The ant works hard all summer and stores up plenty of food. But the grasshopper plays all summer and does no work. “Then winter comes. The grasshopper begins to starve because he has no food. So he begins to beg, ’Please Mr. Ant, you have much food. Please let me eat, too.’” Then I said, “Boys and girls, your job is to write the ending to the story.”

“Your son, Mark, raised his hand. ’Teacher, may I draw a picture?’ “’Well, yes, Mark, if you like, you may draw a picture. But first you must write the ending to the story.’

“As in all the years past, most of the students said the ant shared his food through the winter, and both the ant and the grasshopper lived.

A few children wrote, ’No, Mr. Grasshopper. You should have worked in the summer. Now, I have just enough food for myself.’ So the ant lived and the grasshopper died.

“But your son ended the story in a way different from any other child, ever. He wrote, ’So the ant gave all of his food to the grasshopper; the grasshopper lived through the winter. But the ant died.’

“And the picture? At the bottom of the page, Mark had drawn three crosses.”

1 John 4:11, Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

This is a true story told by the Grandfather of Mark at the Westwood Cheviot Church of Christ years ago.

This little boy was able to teach the great truth of God’s love because he himself was taught.

 

Teach One Another is our goal today. Are you teaching others so they can teach others about the Love of Jesus?

 

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish ONE ANOTHER with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

 

We must teach, it is not an option, Paul says “as you” teach. Jesus told the disciples to teach.

But some claim James 3 as their reason not to teach. We must all grow in maturity and we must all be careful what we say, that does not mean we shouldn’t teach.

 

Hebrews 5:12 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. You need milk, not solid food!

 

Paul is admonishing those who are not teachers. If you are not teaching you should get growing and learn so you can teach. You do not have to know everything to teach you just need to teach what you know.

How many of you are eating solid food?

How many of you are still only drinking milk? If you drink only milk what are you called?  A baby

By 4 months a baby begins eating at least soft food and milk. What would happen if the baby never graduated to solid food?  The baby would be malnourished.

A six-month old baby can’t find solid food to eat but you can find spiritual food to eat. You don’t need me to spoon feed you.  You have a Bible, read, study, and grow.  We will help you here through sermons, Bible studies, Sunday School but you have to be here.  But you have to eat on your own also.

I am admonishing you to learn and grow so you can teach others.

But many people do not want to teach. They don’t think they know enough, they are scared being in front of people, they are afraid they will say something wrong.  Maybe they are just too lazy.  Maybe they do not see the benefit.  Why don’t you teach in a group setting?  That setting could be one on one but it is intentional teaching material not just I teach people when I talk with them.

Who taught you? Where would you be if those people had not taken the time and saw the benefit of teaching you?  Can you be that blessing for someone else?

 

It is exciting to learn what God’s word says and how it applies to my life and it is fun to teach others about God and His word. It takes effort but when you can share the good news of Jesus and how much He loves them or teach a Christian what God says about a topic they are struggling with.  They apply God’s word and you see a difference – Wow – God used me to help someone else.

Do you want to be used of God? Yes!  Then that means you want to teach and admonish?  Yes!

 

Let me tell you how knowing God’s word helps in many ways. As Seth and I was driving home from Baseball several years ago we saw the same fox we had seen two other nights in about the same place.  We knew the fox must live around here but where does he sleep.  “I don’t know.”  Then it hit me, Foxes live in holes.  How do I know because that is what the Bible says?

Matthew 8:20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Knowing the Bible let me know where foxes sleep.  How cool is that?  Who knows what else you can learn from reading your Bible.  Another interesting benefit of reading the Bible is that I have become a better speller.

 

Paul says, teach and admonish one another. If we do teach we must be realistic.  I spend hours every week preparing a sermon that you will forget before you get home.  But I pray you gain something.  But the fact is you and I can teach but not everyone will learn – that is frustrating but we should not give up teaching.  Someday they might just get it and move forward with wisdom.

 

Let’s go back and look at the first phrase of Col 3:16.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly

We can’t teach unless the Word of Christ dwells in us. We must know God’s word.  The only way to know His word is to consume His word.  We must read the Bible often, daily, so we know the content.  When people struggle in life, one of the first questions I ask is, “How is your devotional life?”  Have you been praying?  Have you been reading your Bible?  Normally the answer is not as much recently.  There is a direct connection between handling the circumstances of life because you are in God’s word and relying upon Him and not handling the stresses of life and feel that everything is going out of control.

 

I will be in my office doing “church” work and I get stressed or frustrated and think what is going on today.  Then it hits me, I have not taken time to read God’s word and pray.  Have you had similar experiences?

 

The Word of Christ has to dwell in us.

Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

Do you desire to be pure and blameless before God?

Do you seek God with all of your Heart?

Have you hidden God’s Word in your heart?

Have you asked God to teach you His truth?

 

When we pray for understanding of God’s truth and God answers that prayer as we study and as His word changes our lives we can’t help but share that with others.

 

Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

Is Christ’s word burning within you like that? If you try to keep your mouth shut about Jesus you just can’t.  When His word dwells in us richly, fully we will be like Jeremiah.

 

As we read God’s word and know it and memorize it we are transformed by it. That is what it means for His word to dwell in us.  His word is a part of us.

 

Luke 6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

 

Is Christ and His word overflowing from your heart? Because if it is you look for opportunities to teach others.

 

As the Word dwells in us and we teach His word, God can do something powerful.

Colossians 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

 

As we learn from His word and do what He says we grow in perfection. We are perfect in Christ because we are hidden in Him.  That is why we teach, so we can all be found perfect in Christ.  That is why Paul labors and that is why we should labor, for the maturity of others. How much energy are you willing to give for the maturity of others, your spouse, your kids, your brothers and sisters here?

 

Ephesians 4:12 to prepare God’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,

 

Others can’t mature if we don’t teach them. It is our responsibility and it is our opportunity, our pleasure to teach.  Yes, it is challenging but it is also rewarding.  I became a minister so I could teach others about God.

 

None of us are worthy to handle God’s word yet that is what He has called us to do.

Will you grow with me and teach one another so we can all attain maturity in Christ?

 

Romans 15:14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct ONE ANOTHER.

 

So let’s teach one another so that we can all grow to maturity in Christ.

What we need are Christians who are willing to share what they know.

Is Christ and His word dwelling in you richly? Then isn’t time for you to actively teach others?

 

If you are not teaching, then Christ and His word must not be dwelling in you. Let’s get growing in Jesus.

 

Before God’s word can dwell in us we must surrender our life to Him and let Him dwell in us.

 

Jesus came to die on the cross to save us from our sin. Jesus loves you.

Will you accept His love today? Will you accept all the blessings He wants to give you today?

 

Do you know and believe that Jesus loves you? Do you know you are a sinner that needs forgiveness?

Then come repenting and be willing to be immersed into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and the indwelling gift of God the Holy Spirit.