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The Great Vision of Christian Education Ten Foundational Truths

The Great Vision of Christian Education

When we hear about “Christian education,” we often think first about schooling that seeks to operate according to biblical principles. Perhaps we think of Christian private schools or homeschooling or Sunday School. We think of desks and homework and assignments and teachers.

These are important forms of Christian education, but these institutional forms are only the tip of the iceberg. Have you ever considered, for example, that Jesus’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20) is a charter for Christian education?

Precisely because Jesus has been invested with “all authority in heaven and on earth,” he can command his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations.” We do this, Jesus tells us, by doing two things: (1) after they repent of their sins and trust in him, we baptize them in the name of the Trinity, and then (2) we teach them toobserve all that he commanded us. We can do this with confidence because Christ himself will be with us always, even to the end of the age.

Christian education is as big as God and his revelation. It goes beyond parenting and teachers and classroom instruction to infuse every aspect of the Christian life. It involves not merely donning gospel-centered glasses when we study “spiritual” subjects, but being filled by the very presence of almighty God as we seek by his Spirit to interpret all of reality in light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

If we are to practice an education that is truly Christian — in both word and deed — there are at least ten foundational presuppositions and principles that should shape our approach.

  1. True Christian education involves loving and edifying instruction, grounded in God’s gracious revelation, mediated through the work of Christ, and applied through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that labors to honor and glorify the triune God.

  2. Christian education begins with the reality of God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — one God in three persons — create and sustain all things (Genesis 1:1–2Colossians 1:16;Hebrews 1:3). It is from, through, and to the one true God that all things exist and have their being (Acts 17:28). The glorification of God’s name in Christ is the goal of the universe (Colossians 3:171 Corinthians 10:31Isaiah 43:748:11).

  3. Christian education seeks to rightly interpret and correctly convey all aspects of God’s revelation, both his self-disclosure through the created world (called “general revelation”) and his self-disclosure through the spoken and written word (“special revelation”;Romans 1:20Hebrews 1:1–2).

  4. Christian education, building on the Creator-creature distinction, recognizes the fundamental difference between God’s perfect knowledge of himself (called “archetypal theology”) and the limited, though sufficient, knowledge we can have of God through his revelation (“ectypal theology”; Romans 11:341 Corinthians 2:16).

  5. Christian education recognizes that the recipients of our instruction — whether believers or unbelievers — are created in the image of God, designed to resemble, reflect, and represent their Creator (through ruling over creation and relating to one another; Genesis 1:26–27).

  6. Christian education reckons with the sobering reality of the Fall — that because of Adam’s rebellion as our covenantal head, all of us have inherited a rebellious sin nature and are legally regarded as guilty (Romans 3:1023Romans 5:121517–19), and that the creation itself is fallen and in need of liberation (Romans 8:19–22). Our disordered desires and the broken world around us affect every aspect of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, such that even after regeneration, we must still battle indwelling sin (Galatians 5:17).

  7. Christian education is built upon the work of Christ — including, but not limited to, his substitutionary atonement and triumphant resurrection victory over sin and death — as the central hinge of history (Galatians 4:4–51 Corinthians 2:215:1–5). All of our instruction is founded upon this great event that makes it possible for sinners to stand by faith in the presence of a holy and righteous God through union with our prophet, priest, and king.

  8. Christian education recognizes that to reflect the mind of Christ and to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), we must be born again (John 3:3), putting off our old man (in Adam) and putting on the new man (in Christ), renewed in knowledge after the image of God (Colossians 3:10).

  9. Christian education insists on the indispensable work of the Holy Spirit, who himself is a teacher (John 14:261 Corinthians 2:13), who searches everything (including the depths of God) and alone comprehends the thoughts of God (1 Corinthians 2:10–11). He helps us in our weakness, intercedes for us (Romans 8:26–27), and causes us to bear good fruit (Galatians 5:22–23).

  10. Finally, Christian education recognizes the insufficiency of merely receiving, retaining, and relaying notional knowledge (1 Corinthians 8:1Matthew 7:21–23), but insists that our knowledge must be relational and covenantal (1 Corinthians 13:12), such that our study results in delight (Psalm 37:4;111:2), practice (Ezra 7:10), obedience (Romans 1:5), and the further discipling and teaching of others (Matthew 9:19–202 Timothy 2:2).

Christian education no longer involves physically sitting at the feet of Jesus and walking with him down the dusty roads of Galilee. But Jesus himself tells us that it is to our advantage that he goes away, so that the Helper — the Holy Spirit — can come to be with us (John 16:7).

And now, as lifelong learners in Christ, we can truly say, “Though [we] have not seen him, [we] love him. Though [we] do not now see him, [we] believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8). That is a truly Christian education.

 

Open Heavens Today by Pastor E.A Adeboye…August 19th, 2015.

STEALING FROM YOUR EMPLOYER? 
Memorise: Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; Ephesians 6:6
 
Read: Ephesians 6:5-8, Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Bible in one year: Genesis 27-28,27 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death.
Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me.
21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.
24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.
26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which theLord hath blessed:
28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.
32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away;
45 Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?
28 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughers of Laban thy mother’s brother.
And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.
When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughers of Canaan;
And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram;
And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
10 And Jacob went out fromBeersheba, and went towardHaran.
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.
17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:
22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
 John 16:16-33; 16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
MESSAGE
One aspect of Christian character that is often neglected is our attitude to our place of paid employment. Some people out-rightly steal things kept in their care by their employer; such should not even be mentioned among Christians. However, there are other subtle ways people steal from their employers. When you accept to work for an organisation, there is an understanding or even a written agreement regarding your working hours. If you are to resume at 7:30AM but you get late to work, you are stealing time from your employer. If you are to close at 5:00PM but you leave at 4:00PM, you are a thief. There are even situations where an employee will resume and close at the normal time, but while in the office, instead of concentrating on the assignment at hand, he or she will spend a good portion of time browsing the internet for personal leisure, watching television or videos, or just gallivanting and gossiping from desk to desk. If you are engaged in any of these, you are equally stealing time from your employer. In addition, taking or using for personal purposes any material or property that belongs to your organisation with permission amounts to stealing.
“Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;”
Ephesians 6:6
Another way employees steal from their employers is by pretending to work when the boss is around but dumping the work or doing a shoddy job when the boss is not there. Today’s reading says that there should be a difference between a Christian employee and his or her non-Christian counterpart. While unbelievers may work just to be seen, believers should work as if they are doing that official assignment as a service to Jesus Christ. To this end, realising that the Lord is ever present, you will do your work as to the Lord from your heart. A Christian employee will work conscientiously because he or she knows that by doing his or her secular work to please God and to glorify His name, not only will the organisation pay for this service, God will equally give the fellow a good reward for a job well done. It means that you can actually earn double for doing a particular job once. If the effort you put into your job does not glorify God, you will be paid only by your employer, but if it does, you will be paid by your employer and by God. How do you handle your official assignments today?
Key point:

How can you win your employer to Christ if you cheat or steal from them?

 

Our Daily Manna 19th, August 2015. By Pastor W.F Kumuyi

TOPIC: The Shadow Of Antichrist

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
TEXT: DANIEL 11:36-45
KEY VERSE: “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done” (Daniel 11:36).
The world is relentlessly preparing the stage for the reign of the Antichrist. Socio-economically, politically, technologically and spiritually, something seems to be speeding the actualization of this prophetic event. The vast majority of the world population is ignorant of the significance of these happenings and simply drifts with the tide. But those who understand God’s timetable, as revealed in the Bible, are not surprised at these goings-on.
The book of Daniel, which dates back to about 2,500 years, contains detailed prophecies that outlines God’s timetable for the present world. Its astonishing accurate prediction of successive world empires, the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman, has since been fulfilled and become world history. Daniel also prophesied the first coming of Christ (also now history), the manifestation and activities of the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ. Today’s text is a prophecy concerning Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a Grecian king whose profile in many ways tally with that of the coming Antichrist.
As predicted by Daniel, Antiochus (215 – 154 B.C.) like the coming Antichrist, was merciless, crafty (usurped power by deceit), extremely proud (because of his conquests), hated and massacred the Jews and profaned God. He was so ambitious as to seek worship. He would compel people to worship his “strange god”. History recorded the fulfillment of the minutest detail of this prophecy and how Antiochus died suddenly at age 52 as prophesied – “he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
The only way to escape the tyranny of the Antichrist is to repent of sin, accept Christ as Saviour and Lord and continue in the resultant righteousness from God. That way, you will book a space in the imminent rapture of the saints.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: JOB 39 – 42
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Whose coming are you preparing for – Christ or the Antichrist?

 

The Way Is Hard, But He is Strong

The Way Is Hard, But He is Strong

“The way is hard,” Jesus said (Matthew 7:14).

In our early days we thought we knew what “hard” meant. Hard would be rigorous, demanding, exhausting. Jesus said the way would be hard and with James and John we replied (if not in words, then in unspoken presumption), “We are able” (Matthew 20:22).

But like James and John, we didn’t really understand what we were getting into. Like green recruits we thought we understood what war was like. War is hard. War is hell. Especially when you war with hell.

But we didn’t really understand hell’s warfare until we really began to engage it. Then hell began to break loose and we discovered that the chaos of war is far different experienced than studied.

Devils know no chivalry. They are cruel, and conceal their cruelty in the Trojan horses of pleasure and comfort, “wisdom” and “security,” flattery and shame. Theirs is guerilla warfare and espionage. Theirs is psychological warfare and seduction. Theirs is biological warfare and blackmail.

Hell’s Primary Objective

Hell’s one primary objective is to destroy faith in God. All of its elaborate strategies and all of its diabolical energies are focused on one thing: breaking the power of the word of the Lord by undermining our trust in it. The universe was created and is upheld by the Word of God (John 1:3Hebrews 1:3), so hell must break the power of the Word of the God, if it wants to win.

Therefore, we find ourselves fighting an enemy that constantly seeks to alter our perception of reality. This is why this fight is such a surreal and sometimes horrific experience.

Hell wages a war of distortion. It seeks to make the most destructive things look tantalizingly desirable. It seeks to make the most wonderful things look unbearably boring. It seeks to make the most trustworthy things look unreliable. It seeks to make the one, true fountain of joy look like a dry well, and a broken cistern look like a spring of refreshment. Hell makes even hell look entertaining.

Hell wages a war of disorientation. Through temptation, condemnation, intimidation discouragement, disappointment, doubt, illness, weakness, weariness, and appeals to our pride and shame, the spiritual powers of evil seek to keep us off-balance, confused, and turned around. For if we lose our focus on the truth we lose our confidence and may lose our faith.

Hell wages a war of suspicion. One of the most painful things in this spiritual war is hell’s infiltration into our relationships. It seeks to corrupt the currency of trust in which they trade. Marriages break, families fracture, friendships rupture, churches split, movements derail as sin infects and seeds of suspicion are sowed and fertilized. And in the fray we easily lose track of who the enemy is and end up fighting against flesh and blood.

That Word Above All Earthly Powers

Jesus was right: the way is hard — far harder than we expected.

But Jesus was right about something else: “the gates of hell will not prevail” (Matthew 16:18). The way is hard, but the way is sure. For the Way (John 14:6) is the Word (John 1:1).

And the Word is impenetrably strong.

All the brutal forces of hell, with all the distortion it can conjure, disorientation it can cause, and suspicion it can sow, simply cannot break the Word of God. Martin Luther was right about the devil: “one little word shall fell him.” Oh, but that Word turns out not to be so little. For that Word is God himself (John 1:1).

And the Word came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Oh, the paradox! The Word of God destroyed the works of the devil by being broken. Yes, all hell broke loose upon the Word of God from Gethsemane to Calvary and the Word was broken. But it was not broken in the way that hell tried to break it. Hell tried to compromise the Word, but the Word held fast by being broken. For in being broken, the Word of God kept unbroken the word of God, the great covenant, and cosmic justice was upheld as Christ became both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

That Word stands above all earthly powers and smashes against the gates of hell.

The way may be hard for us. But the Way will be hell for hell.

The key to our clarity in the face of hell’s distortion, focus in the face of hell’s disorientation, and our persevering, longsuffering love in the face of hell’s suspicion is to listen to the Word of God by soaking in the words of God in the Bible. The Word is our refuge (Psalm 18:30), the Word is our peace (Acts 10:36Philippians 4:7), and the Word is our weapon (Ephesians 6:17).

We must remember that hell is after one thing: our faith. And we must remember that we will overcome hell by one thing: our faith (1 John 5:4). Jesus summarized our one and supreme defense against hell is this statement: “believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).

Therefore, today:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:8-10)

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