Christian Education

by Dr. E. Claude Gardner

Education coupled with Bible teaching has been vital to the success of all efforts to truly get back to the Bible.

Col. 1:18 — “Christ is the Head of the body, the people called out by God. Christ is the Beginning, the Source―the first one to rise from death so that he could be first in everything.” (quoted from the International English Bible)

Luke 2:52 — “Jesus grew taller and continued to learn more and more. People liked
him, and he pleased God.” (from the IEB)

It is reasonable and right to call all people “back to the Bible” and to “speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where the Bible is silent, and to call Bible things by Bible names and to do Bible things in Bible ways.” We should follow the original pattern laid down in the New Testament (the divine Word being our only standard), that is, what it expressly revealed and commanded in the Holy Scriptures. This plea is in harmony with many scripture references (cf. 1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Gal. 1:8-9). It makes sense to go back to the New Testament to restore primitive Christianity as it was in the days of the apostles. Hence, we should pick up where the apostles left off, and teach and practice the apostles’ doctrine (cf. Acts 2:42).

False emotionalism ought to be rejected. Instead, the gospel message itself is to be accepted as God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16), and it is to be proclaimed to all nations (Matt. 28:19). Thus, a sensible message is to be presented to intelligent people who can respond rationally and obediently to the will of God for the salvation of their souls. A perfect example is seen in the conversion of the about 3,000 people on Pentecost day (Acts 2:1-47). Here Peter preached the gospel; it was believed and obeyed.

The true Christianity was a “taught religion and not a caught religion.” Becoming saved is not getting a good feeling and experiencing an ecstatic emotion apart from obeying the gospel. Jesus declared that only those who are TAUGHT BY GOD are able to come to Him for salvation. “No one can come to me unless the Father who has sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.” (John 6:44-45)

Jeremiah foretold that the New Covenant would be diametrically changed in regard to teaching. In the Old Covenant, the offspring were children of God by a physical birth and then they were taught by God, but under the New Covenant they must first be TAUGHT before becoming children in the new birth. The inspired writer of Hebrews shows the fulfillment of Jer. 31:31-33 in his statement in Heb. 8:8-11, “But God found something wrong with the people. He said Jeremiah: ‘Listen! The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the family of Israel and the family of Judah. It will not be like the covenant which I made with their ancestors when I took their hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. They did not with My covenant. So, I paid no attention to them.” says the Lord. “This is the that I will make with the family of Israel in the future.” says the Lord. “I will put My laws in their minds. I will write them upon their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No one will ever teach his or his brother this: “You must know the Lord !” Everyone will Me, from the most important person to the least important person.’ ” (IEB)

Hence, the back-to-the-Bible plea has to be implemented through an educational process. In order to teach the Bible, this necessitates comprehensive educational preparation. God has used persons of great learning, talent, and character as His great instruments of human redemption — from the days of Moses and Aaron to the days of Paul and Apollos.

Christian education is based upon the sound principle that it is the duty of the parents to “Train their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), to give them healthy teaching in a wholesome environment in the home, in their social life, at play, and wherever they may be.