Tag Archives: learning
Friends: I consider it a great privilege to work on my blog every day. And for the next few posts I’ll be examining one of my favorite passages, Matthew 11:28-30. This is a text worthy of memorization (which I’m very bad at). I want to slowly go through these verses with you and see as much as we can, with the Holy Spirit’s help. Let’s look at that famous text once again:
We’ve seen the context of this incredible invitation, noticing some of the Koiné Greek and its implications. We began to outline the passage, observing that Jesus’ invitation is a qualified one: He invites not all, but all who are weary and burdened.
I. The Great Invitation (v. 28): “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened . . .”
II. The Great Promise (v. 28): “and I will give you rest.”
We then saw Christ’s great command in verse 29.
III. The Great Command (v. 29): “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”
A. We are to WORK!
As God’s fellow workers, we are yoked together with Christ. And there is work to be done! Let’s move on today and notice —
Jesus is described as πραΰς. The term praus means “mild, gentle” and is used four times in the New Testament. We learn that “blessed are the gentle” in Matthew 5:5. Matthew 21:5 tells us that the Savior would be “gentle and riding on a donkey” in the Triumphal Entry. In I Peter 3:4 we read about the godly woman that her beauty “ . . . should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” When I think of the gentleness of the Lord Jesus, I can’t help but think of Matthew’s quote of Isaiah 42:3 which says of the Messiah: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory” (Matt. 12:20). I imagine that a light touch or a simple pinch would be enough to completely break that reed or completely extinguish that smoldering wick. But that’s not the character or the conduct of the Savior.
He is also described as ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ. The word tapeinos is used 8 times in the New Testament and is translated “lowly” in the KJV (Mt. 11:29), “them of low degree” in Luke 1:52, “men of low estate” in Romans 12:16. We learn that the Lord comforts “the depressed” in 2 Corinthians 7:6. Paul speaks of himself as “meek” in 2 Corinthians 10:1. James tells the brother of “humble circumstances” that he is to glory in his high position (1:9). We learn that God gives grace “to the humble” (James 4:6; see also I Peter 5:5). The term can mean brought low with grief, lowly in spirit, deferring servilely to others.
This is our Savior. This is the One who calls us to Himself.
Today’s Challenge: While there seems to be evidence that our text is a gospel-type text, those of us who have known Him for a while are also to come! Praise God today for your gentle and humble Savior!
History — and education — are important! A growing understanding of history is critical if we are to (1) avoid the mistakes of the past; (2) learn from the mistakes of our predecessors; (3) trust God to lead us in our NOW. As a theologian, I would argue that we should care deeply about what is called “historical theology.” Historical theology is the study of how Christian doctrines were understood by believers in the past. We should be grateful for how Tertullian coined the term “Trinity” to account for the teaching of God’s Word. We should thank God for Athanasius’ battle for the full deity of the Lord Jesus. We should praise the efforts of Martin Luther to stand against the Catholic practice of selling indulgences (thereby compromising salvation by grace alone through faith alone). We must grow in our understanding of history and many other subjects — and not see such learning as hopeless!
Do you see yourself as a student in . . . God’s school? I was a pretty mediocre student in high school. I’m pretty sure I could have gotten much better grades. I did do well in English class, however. Someone told me to fall in love with my English teacher — and the one in my senior year was a knock-out! I was her star pupil. Little did I realize that she would set me on a course of teaching others, writing a bunch of books, and plaguing people with my blog.
How can you tell if you’re a student in God’s school? Well, how do you relate to the Bible, God’s textbook? If Jesus is the primary curriculum for your life, are you growing in Him? Do you allow God the Holy Spirit to correct you and train you in godliness? My “tons of ideas” are often wrong; how about yours?
I wrote the little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better a while back to help preachers (like me) not continue to make the same mistakes we often make. This is available on Amazon and is guaranteed to improve your preaching or I will preach your next sermon for you (just kidding).
In these posts I want to give away some of my favorite sermon outlines — with just a dose of explanation along the way. So, let’s continue with a sermon I wrote on God’s amazing grace.
What’s So Amazing about Grace?
(a study of Titus 2:11-15).
We’ve seen that —
I. God’s Grace Is a Salvation-Bringing Grace (v. 11)
Let’s notice secondly that —
II. God’s Grace is a Teaching Grace (v. 12)
I never thought I’d be a teacher, but the Lord had other plans. I could have been a much better student in high school than I was, but, by His grace, I’ve served for a bunch of years teaching undergrad and seminary students the Word of God.
We all need to be taught. And, thank God, His grace is a teaching grace! Verse 12 tells us that this grace “teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Please notice that there is both a negative as well as a positive side to God’s teaching grace. We need to deny ungodliness and worldly passions. The world sees Christians as being primarily negative, don’t you think?
But we also need to be taught the positives of living a yes-kind of life! That affirmation lifestyle focuses on self-control, uprightness, and godliness, which the world desperately needs to see lived out!
Notice also that this kind of affirmative living is to take place, not in heaven, but “in this present age.” The expression is really “in the now world.” Right now. Where you live. Right now you and I are to be living out the grace of God in positive, attractive ways.
Are you letting the grace of God teach you?