The Basis of Teaching

For the past several years John Brown has been teaching a series called “The Way, The Truth, The Life.” This blog will be based primarily on his teaching from a unique perspective of the Kingdom of God. The first posts in this blog will be taken from the book that has been written from the transcription of “The Truth” that has been titled, A Revolutionary Gospel.  This Revolutionary Gospel that John speaks of is not revolutionary because it is new, it is revolutionary because it is the Gospel that Jesus preached that is the “power of God unto salvation.” 

The Basis of Teaching

Salvation as we know it in the evangelical church is not the end; it’s just barely the beginning. And, it is not complete until either the coming of Christ or being called up to meet Him in heaven. So I see my self still in the making. Christ is still being formed in me as He is in you. And, I will be sharing from the inadequacies of one who is still partially formed, not fully formed.

Test The Spirit –

And, as a little opening exercise, I suggest to you something that I believe is important. There is a text in the first letter of John – “test the spirits.” We’ve not been called to test each other’s doctrine. There is a place for knowing the doctrines of those who are ministering to us. In terms of knowing each other, we’re to know no one after the flesh, which means, if you were to know me, not after the flesh, you would see that I am partially formed. Don’t judge me on what has not been formed. Our divisions are over our judgments of that which is not yet complete. That is why we are so divided. And, I will be encouraging that. I’m not suggesting that you ignore doctrine. But the role of testing doctrine is not the role of determining fellowship, or determining whether or not we will listen to one another.
If we wait until he who is speaking or preaching is fully formed before we listen, we will never be formed. You can see that makes sense. I have been surprised – I keep thinking I’m about there but my life has been a life of doctrines changing, maturing. And if I were to judge who I was 10 years ago – 15 years ago – 20 years ago, and that judgment be the basis of my fellowship with Him or my hearing Him, I could not have listened to myself because I’ve changed so much.
The issue is test the Spirit. Is Christ there and is Christ speaking? Is He moving in the Spirit or in the flesh? I often move in the flesh. If you are with me any length of time or have heard me teach or have read anything I have written, you will hear my “old man.” Don’t judge the Holy Spirit on the basis of my “old man.” You tune into the Holy Spirit and you cannot miss Him, even if I do. He will teach you. We have no need of any man to teach us because we are sons and daughters. But God uses teachers and evangelists and prophets and apostles and pastors in the body as an avenue where by the Holy Spirit might teach us. That’s why we need to listen to the Spirit.

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18 Responses to “The Basis of Teaching”

  1. Marie Says:

    Ahhh, if we all could only see in each other that which is of Jesus Christ how pleasant it would be.

    Good stuff!

  2. jeraldd Says:

    Thanks Marie. I appreciate your kindness.

    Blessings…

  3. Karen Says:

    I never thought about not being fully formed, I’m not sure what I thought, but am thankful to know that I am only partially formed. God is still doing a great work in me and I know His plan for me can only grow in a more deeper fuller relationship with Him. What a blessing you are to me and our dear family.

  4. jeraldd Says:

    Karen,
    The formation of Christ in us is a continual process. That’s why I believe there is so much in the Bible about taking things step-by-step. For example, in Luke 9:23 Jesus says that we are to deny ourselves daily and follow Him. In Psalm 119:105 it says that the Word is a lamp to the feet and a light to the path – it takes mincing steps to walk a rocky path in the dark by candle light.
    And, this formation is like the grape on the vine that starts out as a bud then a small branch, then a bunch of tiny flowers, then a bump that will eventually become the grape we are familiar with. In the modern church it’s called discipleship. Actually, discipleship to Jesus was simply being with Him. It was less doing than withness. An example of this is in Luke 10:38-42 where Jesus is in the home of Mary and Martha. Read this short passage and ask yourself which sister are you most like – Mary or Martha?
    Once again it’s the “abiding” in John 15 that’s necessary. When we do, we thrive; when we don’t, we shrivel.

    Blessing to you and yours.

  5. Bryan Riley Says:

    Have you ever asked what the word “doctrine” really is? What does God mean by that term? What is the doctrine of Christ??

  6. jeraldd Says:

    Brian,
    Thanks for your question. It’s intriguing. According to the Apostle Paul, who is the only one in the NT to use this word, it seems to mean all that Christ came to do. He came as a propitiation and as a redeemer but also, according to his words, Truth and Life.
    What do you think?

  7. Bryan Riley Says:

    I agree. I love that you say “to do.” The word itself translates as teaching, but it doesn’t appear ever to be a propositional truth, a bit of knowledge, a theory. It seems that Paul and Jesus always emphasize teaching as something one does. Then, when we think about what Jesus did and realize we must do as He did…. it gives us a lot to think about.

    What did Jesus do? What did He come to do? Now we must do the same.

  8. Bob Cleveland Says:

    “Doctrine” is merely another way to say Instruction, or Teaching. It’s what you teach about Jesus (and anything else, for that matter).

    The Doctrine(s) about Jesus would be far more than just a definition of the word, and in fact, more complicated than, say, the Doctrine of Comparative Advantage, in International Economics.

  9. jeraldd Says:

    Some of the things he said he came to do:
    “…I came to….fulfill [the Law or the Prophets.”
    “…I came to bring a sword.”
    “I came to set (families against each other).”
    “I came to grant….division.”
    “I came that they may have life…”
    “For judgment I came into the world..”
    And, of course:
    “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”
    “I am in My Father, and you in Me and I in you.”
    “I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”
    And so on, and so on.
    And one of the things that he did in deed was to proclaim the “reign” of God by what he did and what he told his disciples to do. It’s this reign of God in the heart of man that Jesus came to show us and to declare to us. The scriptures call it “the kingdom of God,” and “the kingdom of heaven,” but this kingdom is not a place or a people, it’s the right to rule. That’s what is spoken of as his mandate in Mark 1:14-15.

  10. Larry Robbins Says:

    Jerald, I like how you point out how we are all a work in progress. And how we progress, sometimes is learning lessons from those that may be younger in age or maybe even younger spiritually, not always from someone apparently older and wiser. It seems that our “forming” process (spiritual progress) is limited only by our willingness to be open to lessons from the Spirit, no matter what source the Spirit uses to reach out to us. Sometimes it is even through the mouths of babes. I guess our desire should be, to be vigilant to keep filling the void left when God’s Spirit left Adam in the garden, until we are as you put it “fully formed”. What do you think?
    Godspeed with the new blog.

  11. ianvincent Says:

    Gidday bloggers, i found my way here thru the wonders of wordpress.

    It’s good that the term ‘doctrine’ is being inspected under the surface: yes, it’s NT application was surely wider than it’s use today; e.g.

    Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be muzzled, and come out of him!” And when the unclean spirit threw him into a convulsion, and crying out with a loud voice, came out from him. Then they were all amazed, so that they were disputing among themselves, saying, “What is this?

    **What new doctrine (didache) is this**

    , that He commands even the unclean spirits with authority, and they obey Him?”
    (Mark 1:23-27)

    Clearly, there was no separation between a what a person taught and their actions, both are their doctrine. A man’s actions ‘speak’ – represent what he believes. We can’t be other than ‘doctrinal’.

    RE: this blog :

    “This blog will be based primarily on his teaching from ***a unique perspective*** of the Kingdom of God. ”
    .
    .

    I don’t know whose blog this is, but please reconsider this statement. Anyone who came to me in real life claiming such, i would think they are either deluded or in love with themselves. There are no unique perspectives, and even if yours was unique, it would be arrogance to claim it.

    Hard words for a first post i know.

    God bless

    in Jesus

    ian vincent

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

    .
    .

  12. jeraldd Says:

    Larry,
    Thank you for the kind words. You know, just when I think I’m a little closer to some understanding, someone comes along to shake my world and show me things that I haven’t seen before.
    Actually, you are one of those people and, of course, John Brown has had a tremendous effect on my thinking. But, for example, I’ve learned from the young man I’ve been discipling over the last several years. It’s been great to see us both grow in the Lord.
    I have an open mind to what people tell me and who I hear speaking about spiritual things but my ultimate source of wisdom is the Holy Spirit. You can pray for me to be even more teachable.
    Blessings,
    –Jerald

  13. jeraldd Says:

    Ian,
    Sounds like you’re from ‘down under’ to me. Thanks for stopping by on my first days in the blog-sphere.
    You are right on with your comments about doctrine (teaching). I agree that usually what a person believes he professes in some way – you know – fruit. But there are some who believe the opposite of that they teach what their doctrine is. They are ones who are influenced by the Liar. Jesus exemplified the perfect life of pure doctrine. I don’t always, I’m ashamed to say. As has been said in the post, I’m kinda in the process of being made.

    Thanks for taking issue with the statement of having a unique perspective. I guess I could have used better terms to explain what I’m trying to say. The “unique” perspective is not unique at all, as a matter of fact. But there are some in the US who have taken the Kingdom of God to mean a place or time or people. The word ‘kingdom’ could be better understood in some cases in the Gospels and Letters as the ‘Reign of God.’ Actually, my Spanish New Testament uses a Spanish word that is really close to the meaning that I’m trying to get to and the meaning that I believe that Jesus and other writers wanted to get across. In Mark 1:15 the Spanish goes: “El reino de Dios esta cerca.” The NIV says, “The Kingdom of God is near.”

    Actually, the sub heading of the blog is “The Reign of God in the Heart of Man.” I’ll go there in later posts for sure. That’s what is meant by the title of the blog: A Revolutionary Gospel.

    Thank you again, Ian. You are obviously a serious student of the scriptures. I’d love to hear more of what you think so please come back soon.

    Blessings,
    –Jerald

  14. ianvincent Says:

    Thanks for the kind welcome Jerald. Yep, i’m an Aussie living in India.

    It’s good you bring out that the Kingdom means His Reign/Rule in our hearts, primarily (before all else in sequence) and preeminently (before all else in importance).

    Of course, the term Kingdom of God has wider applications in Scripture than His rule now in an individual’s heart – there is a people, time, place, etc.. e.g. When the Kingdoms of the world become the Kingdoms of our God and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever.. at His coming, – the heavenly Kingdom, when our lowly bodies are transformed into indestructible ones.

  15. jeraldd Says:

    Amen, Ian. Amen!
    This is a Kingdom that will come. I pray that more will preach a Kingdom that is here – NOW!
    Hang around. There is more to whet your appetite.
    One of these days I’d like to hear how a radical born-again Aussie is handling India.
    Blessings on you and yours, my brother.

  16. Truth Seeker Says:

    JD: I might as well quit … your blog is so deep – and my “thots” so … um, simple.

    BTW, for what it’s worth, in the 1960 Reina Valera, Mark 1.15 says “el reino de Dios se ha acercado” which translates (approximately): “The reign of God has been brought.”

    Which do you prefer. 🙂 (Ok, I know already.)

    “El reino de Dios esta cerca” roughly translates “The reign of God’s kingdom surrounds this one.”

  17. jeraldd Says:

    I know you. You’re the one who exemplifies our Savior’s humility. Thanks for reminding me that we should all be that way.

    Anyway, it’s not MY blog anyway – it’s John Brown’s in reality. I know you read the first paragraph. Didn’t you????
    Anyway, I didn’t take the quote from Veina Valera, I took it from my NIV. You know, Nueva Version Internacional. And you are right, I don’t like the Reina Valera translation. In my way of thinking it’s not accurate, at least in this instance.

    Love you brother. Keep reading. There’s moore to come.

  18. brotherjohnny Says:

    Nice.

    Maybe something to consider here, is that when Paul is writing, he is usually writing to a people and not a person.

    All of his church epistles are written to….well…churches.

    The only reason that I mention that is because it is very natural for us to try to lift his teachings and apply them to our own individual selves.
    This would not be fair to Paul….or us.
    I’m certainly not saying that there is no value for the individual in scripture, or Paul… (it;s definitely there)..
    But…
    He _is_ writing to a community of people that he is hoping will be knit together in the Love of God, a People in whom Christ can be fully formed both in and among. A Body of Christ.
    That was the context at the time which I believe is still very important today.

    The typical American cultural perspective is very “Me, me, me..” centered.
    Not very often “Us” centered….
    Hardly ever “Others” centered.

    Perhaps this is one of those ‘counter cultural’ points that we touched on before.

    I hope that you keep up the good work here, Brother.
    Lot’s of good stuff to take to heart.
    ~J

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