| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 221 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
From this it will be seen that the responsibility of the teacher is very great. What he
teaches is either furthering the Truth or the lie. "My brethren be not many teachers
(didaskaloi) knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation" (James 3: 1). The
ministry of the teacher is therefore not to be sought lightly. The faithful teacher has one
great subject, the Word of God, and the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the last injunctions to Timothy by the Apostle Paul was this: "proclaim
(preach) the Word" (II Tim. 4: 2), and a rightly-divided Word at that, as the previous
chapter so solemnly stresses (II Tim. 2: 15). Merely quoting the Bible is not sufficient.
The Judaizers undoubtedly quoted chapter and verse when they said to the early churches
`except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved' (Acts 15: 1).
But they were not teaching truth, rather the grossest error, for they were lifting it out of
its Divine setting and propagating the way of Cain which presumes to come to God as a
sinner with works, thus nullifying the gospel of His grace.
All the creeds appeal to the Bible, but how many rightly divide the Word of Truth?
How many are bringing over to this dispensation teaching which was true in a past
dispensation but is not truth for today? Surely it is right to say that if the professing
church had made known as its doctrine or message for this Gentile age the teaching of the
Apostle of the Gentiles, and obeyed the commandment of II Tim. 2: 15, the present
divided state of modern Christendom would never have happened.
Doctrine does matter. It is absolutely vital and those who have absorbed the glorious
teaching of the ascended Christ through Paul will never lack a subject to expound and
will never need to descend to the puerilities and errors of much modern preaching.
"Thou hast fully known my doctrine" (II Tim. 3: 10).
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them" (I Tim. 4: 16).
1: 1 - 3.
pp. 48 - 51
We now commence our study of the epistle and turn to the first chapter. It reads:
"Paul, a bondslave (servant) of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ." This is somewhat
like his introduction to the Roman epistle. "Paul a bondslave of Jesus Christ, a called
apostle." When he writes to the Philippian church he likewise describes himself, with
Timothy, bondslaves (servants) of Jesus Christ and omits any reference to his apostleship.
Philippians is pre-eminently the epistle of service and this sets the tone of the letter
Romans, Philippians and Titus are the only epistles where Paul describes himself as a
bondslave in the introduction. Usually it is his apostleship, conferred by the ascended
Christ, that is brought forward first thus stressing his divine authority. But here the
champion of liberty presents himself as a slave! A seeming paradox, but one in which