This is a simple reminder of what we all know is our privilege and responsibility as Christians. We need to teach others about Christ so that they may hear the good news of salvation and have the opportunity to submit to the Lord and have their sins forgiven. It is just recognizing that we need to find the motivation to do what we know is right in helping others come to Christ.
There comes a time when Christians should be in a position to be able to teach others. The writer of Hebrews reminded his readers of this very point:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14).
This time-frame is not spelled out, and perhaps it may differ somewhat from person to person, but one thing is certain: no Christian should ever be stagnant when it comes to growth, and none should be satisfied with keeping the gospel private. All Christians ought to be striving to reach a point where they can influence and teach others to trust the Lord. If this is not where you are personally, I want to encourage you to make that a serious goal for your spiritual growth.
God intends us for us to share our faith. The only way that we will grow in teaching and evangelism is if we intend to do it. Is it possible that we may not be teaching others as much as we ought to simply because we don’t purpose to do it? Like anything else, we must see a need and a purpose, then commit to the action necessary to make it happen. Once I recognize God’s intention, God’s desire, that none should perish and all should come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9), then the question is whether or not I will make His intention my intention. If we are passive about it, or just think that others will do it, then no one will.
This doesn’t mean that everyone will stand in front of crowds in order to preach. It doesn’t mean that everyone becomes a formal Bible class teacher. We aren’t even really talking so much about formal class settings. Rather, Christians should see a need and purpose to reach out to others in whatever capacity and avenue available to them. The opportunities may come subtly. They might come through a brief interaction at the store or through a conversation with a neighbor while on a walk. We never know exactly when the opportunities may arise, but when they do, will we be ready to engage? Are we preparing ourselves for these occasions?
Whether older to younger, experienced to novice, mature to immature, God has a purpose in our teaching others. Remember that the spiritually mature will be interested in the growth and knowledge of God for all people. If we love God will all our heart, we will earnestly desire that others learn of God. In love, we will want to reach out to share the news of God’s grace and kingdom.
We have a vital message to share. Until we see the importance of it, we might not be so quick to want to share it. See the need to share based on the urgency of the message! Let’s all intend to do it, and we will. There is no more important message that we can tell anyone.
Of course, sharing the faith also requires a working knowledge of it, as well as learning to understand where people are coming from and communicating the message with grace — in other words, to learn how we might answer each one. This must be done prayerfully:
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Col. 4:2-6).
Let God be glorified! We don’t strive to share our faith because we think it makes us great. We are simply sharing the good news that saved us from our sins and has the ability to save everyone. The message comes from God, and we are serving God through teaching the message.
By Doy Moyer