Shelby G. Floyd
The religion of Jesus Christ must be taught to every person who would be a Christian. This religion is not inherited by a fleshly birth (John 1:11-12; 3:3-5), but it is obtained by faith in Christ Jesus (John 20:30-31). Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), the word must be taught. In giving the great commission, Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). A person then must enter the school of Christ to be instructed in the gospel in order to be a child of God. Jesus taught that, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45).
However, this instruction does not end with conversion, but extends throughout the Christian life. After the apostles baptized the disciples; Jesus instructed them to teach the disciples to observe all that he had commanded them (Matthew 28:20). The three thousand on the day of Pentecost who gladly received the word, and were baptized, did not stop their instruction in the knowledge of Christ: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). We have access to the grace of God through the teaching of Christ and his apostles (Titus 2:11-12).
The Sunday school with classes for every age is one of the best ways the church can obey the great commission. The Sunday school contributes largely to the number of persons who are baptized each year. The teachers of each class should realize they have a weighty responsibility to edify the body of Christ. One of the purposes of the Sunday school then is to teach the gospel to those who attend the services, but are not yet members of the church. Those who are members need to attend the classes on Sunday in order to obtain knowledge of the Christian religion:
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2-3).
Unless each Christian advances in grace and knowledge there is reason to believe that person will be carnal minded and a detriment to the church (I Corinthians 3:1-3). Each congregation needs to equip and train more teachers and evangelists to preach the word. The Sunday school classes provide an excellent means to do this. Any Christian aspiring to be a teacher of the gospel will not be absent himself from the Bible classes conducted in the church. The teachers can train other teachers by committing the gospel to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Many members of the church who should be teaching others need to be taught themselves, because they have become dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11-14).
Each Christian is commanded to, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible is “…given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible is therefore the text book in every class in the Bible School.
Copyright © 2019 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142