“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”Colossians 1:9-10
Some time ago a man who had been a member of our class for about a year asked if he could talk to me. He shared with me that he had been very unhappy for some time because he felt as if he was not growing in his Christian faith. He went on to say that since joining our class he now feels he is really growing. I started to think about what he said. What changed? The Lord brought a Scripture to mind that succinctly answered my question. There is a difference between teaching the Bible and teaching the Bible for change. A Scripture that explains how we are to teach for change came to mind.
Paul, in these verses, points out a process of teaching that will effectively change our lives. Our first concern should be to teach so the believer is filled with the knowledge of God’s will. God does have a good and perfect will for our lives. Teaching God’s will should be the focus of our teaching. All learning begins with knowledge, but knowledge is just the beginning step toward learning. If true teaching is to occur, the knowledge must be understood. Knowledge of the Bible is essential, but knowledge does not do us much good unless we also understand the meaning of that knowledge. Understanding is the beginning of wisdom. Understanding means that we not only know what the Bible says, but we have some concept of what it means for our lives.
When we know what the will of God is and we understand how it applies to our life, then we can begin to live God’s will out in our lives. Three things will happen when we reach this point in learning.
- God will be pleased with how we live our lives.
- We will also begin to bear fruit in what we do.
- We will increase in our knowledge of God.
We will never understand God totally, but God will reveal more of Himself as we gain knowledge of His will. As we understand how we should live out His will in our lives, we will discover that we will bear the fruit of the Spirit, and we will produce fruit in those we teach. The goal of the teacher should include all of the facets Paul mentioned in these verses.
First Dallas Sunday School Teacher
Bob Cullen served as a missionary to Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia for 36 years. He has taught at four seminaries and ministered at three churches in America. Bob teaches The Growing in Faith Sunday School class. This year, Bob and Joy celebrate 60 years of marriage with four children, eleven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.