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Shouldn’t You Be Teachers?
Hebrews 5:12-14 (Pastor Victor)
5:12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
I’m very happy to visit other cities and other Christians – and especially to study God’s Word together. With this book, the Love of God in print, because of this, we are here together today. I’m especially thankful – my family lives in Seoul, my wife is Filipino and I met her on a mission trip to the country. She was involved in Christian ministry there and this month is our 14th wedding anniversary. I wish you could meet her, but she is the principal of our Christian school (I’m the administrator and pastor of the school). We also have 2 other pastors (Korean) and an American pastor.
My life in Korea is mainly to serve Koreans, but I love to meet foreigners and share God’s Word with them as well. I like teaching, but I’m no pro.
I’m going to contradict your pastor and say that I’m “not a professional”. I’m a professional audio engineer – that’s my profession.
Can you imagine, if you were a professional tailor – you might look at my suit and say – “There’s something wrong” if you were a professional haircutter, you might think so about my hair cut as well.
I teach the Bible for free, but I love to do what God asks me to do.
When I was 20, I was living my life for myself and looking for wealth and happiness – and I never found it until God took hold of my life and I discovered what life is REALLY all about. So, I just like to share from my heart what life is REALLY all about.
How do you read about Jesus? In the KTX? The subway? The train? Do you see him on TV? Not really (and what you see may not be 100% accurate). We don’t learn about Jesus from the world – the only solid info we have about him is from THIS book. I can only tell others about him from this book and from what I live.
You have the book in your own language.
There are men and women here from other countries – what other languages do we have here?
- Ethiopia (alphabet with over 200 letters).
I have visited all the countries you mentioned (Ethiopia in 1988 – at that time, it was illegal to worship Jesus and we met in secret and hid from the government – so God has worked wonderfully to bring the good news from Ethiopia to Korea, and from Korea to Ethiopia). That’s what the body of Christ is all about – working together. We don’t need only American missionaries, we need missionaries from ALL cultures.
My big question today: Shouldn’t you be teachers?
In Hebrews 5, we are reading a letter that was written 2,000 years ago to some Hebrew people. Those people were the first Christians. When Jesus came, he was born as a Jew and he came to his own people. In the same way, we are all born into a different culture (we have no personal control over this). But God has PLACED each of us (the cultures and languages developed because he gave them different languages) where we are.
We have different people, lands, and methods of doing things. But there is man’s way and there is God’s way. Sometimes, these two are in agreement. For example, in my culture (and maybe yours), we are taught to speak the truth (not lies) – God’s way agrees “Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor” (10 Commandments). Usually, people only speak negatively against their neighbors (not themselves).
Also, don’t kill, don’t murder – the Bible agrees. Where did this all begin? The Bible tells us when the first sin/error was committed and the result (Adam and Eve turned from God and lying, murder resulted, etc).
So, where do we get this knowledge? From this book.
In our Scripture today, Heb 5:12-14, the writer (unknown) says, “By this time, you should be teachers…” The reason why this book is here is because our Christian forefathers (the early church leaders) recognized that this letter also applies to ALL Christians (for ALL time) for every believer. So, it’s important to ask ourselves the same questions that are in this book. By this time, shouldn’t we be teachers?
“Though…you need someone to teach you again the FIRST principles of the words/truths of God…”
- This is an admonition – a warning, a mild rebuke to the readers. “Yo! Hey guys! You should be teachers…….. 🙁 “
This word is not written only to the FIRST receivers of the message, but is written universally for all time, for all believers.
- As we read this passage, we should ask this question of ourselves. “Shouldn’t I be a teacher?”
How old are you? (Not physically – but spiritually born again). For me, I’m 37 years old (spiritually).
5 years old? 10 or more?
Are you STILL drinking “milk”? Little ones need milk. There’s totally nothing wrong with this, but you need to GROW UP and learn to eat meat and veggies as well.
Believe it or not, I have a 4 year old son. It’s a miracle, I agree. God blessed me with a 4-year-old son. He like pancakes and peanut butter and yogurt. But what he likes most of all? Milk. He LOVES milk. He still sucks on a bottle whenever he can – but we try not to let him. We try to force him to eat “like a big boy” – we are trying to get him to eat meat. We started him on fruit at 6 months – we’ve given him more DIFFICULT things to eat but ultimately they are more BENEFICIAL for his body.
Yet, he still wants EASY and QUICK milk, juice, etc.
In our passage today, anyone who LIVES on milk – being still an infant – is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. You need to be acquainted with the doctrine of God and the doctrine of Man – you don’t really even know YOURSELF until you read the Bible. It’s like a mirror that shows us as we really are.
When I wake up in the morning, I look in the mirror and *gasp* ugh – look away. I don’t like to look in the mirror. But, when I made it to the restaurant, I noticed (in the mirror) that my tie was out of place and needed rearranged. The mirror is important to us to know what we look like physically – but we also need to reflect on who we are in comparison with WHO GOD WANTS US TO BE. God wants us to be changed into the likeness of Jesus.
Paul’s epistles… Romans 8:28-29 “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”
- Those who love God,
- Those who are called.
Sometimes, on the train, I fall asleep and I miss my stop (and occasionally end up in another city). It’s not good right? To us it looks bad. But, this is a promise that says that “All things will work together for good for those who love God and are called.” (If you follow Jesus, you are called. How do we love God? Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commands.”)
I know we have a LOT of commands (or so it seems). But actually, the commands can be summarized into two.
- Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. (Matthew 22:36-38 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus said to him, to love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul, and mind (and strength). This is the greatest commandment.”
- Love your neighbor.
God says to us, “If you love me, obey me.” This is what parents also say to their children.
Who has a job? Sometimes, someone might ask you to lie…. What should you do? The Bible says, (Col 3:9 “Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”)
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son and that HE might be the firstborn among many brothers (brethren).”
God’s will is for us to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. I’m old, but not yet conformed either – I’m ashamed to admit it, but God is changing me and he wants to change you.
So, why are these two verses together? Because the way that God conforms us to the likeness of his son is through PROBLEMS (true).
God doesn’t MAKE problems – not to torture you – but problems EXIST because of the evil of man. It’s not his fault that evil exists, evil exists because people exists. This evil is only temporary – this is part of the good news – God is going to cleanse the world of evil. What good is evil? God can make something beautiful through evil and problems. We can see that in Romans 8. Many things mentioned here apply to difficulties and problems. He speaks of suffering and other difficulties in this chapter.
If you read this book, it WILL change you. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 17:17) said, “God sanctify them by the truth, your Word is truth.” (Sanctify = “make holy” = sanctuary – when we are born, we are NOT holy, but when we are born again and God’s spirit comes into us, we are SET APART and begin to be made HOLY).
Where do you find “the truth”? Not on TV, not on the Internet. THIS book (Bible) is the source of truth. God wants you to be changed and grow up to be like Jesus. “Don’t ever be lacking in zeal” – remember also the great commandment “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul, strength.” God wants you to follow closely to him. David said, “My soul follows closely after you.” He wants us to be REALLY close – face-to-face. Where can we see Jesus? In THIS book. Not out in the world. Spend time HERE.
This is what the writer to the Hebrews was saying, “You should be teachers, finish with the milk.” Some people ONLY hear the Bible 1/7 days per week on Sunday. Some people say, “I download sermons too.” That’s good too, but are YOU, YOURSELF opening the Bible and letting God guide you through the book?
Jesus suffered because he WAS TRUTH. Old Testament tells us about Jesus before he came. The New Testament tells us about Jesus AFTER he came. God wants us to be like Jesus. He wants us to be like Christ.
If we want to share in his glory, we will share in his sufferings. He doesn’t want us to be WEAK, he wants us to be STRONG – he wants us to GROW UP.
One of the things I love about Jesus is that he doesn’t PUSH you or me. What does he say to us? “Follow me.” He said that to ALL of his disciples and he says it to us. He’s a gentleman.
It’s important that you understand that YOU need to DO something in your relationship with God. Don’t just sit there and say, “Feed me, feed me.” Get up in the morning and say, “GOD! Speak to me through your Word!”
How many of you have ever been in love? What’s it like to be in a one-sided relationship? When I was a boy, I was a geek. I didn’t want to say anything to a girl – and I fled when she came this way. God doesn’t want a one-sided love relationship with you – he doesn’t want to say, “I love you” and watch you run away. He wants you to say, “I love you too” – and “I will get up early and read the Bible.”
- Phil 2 “Work out your salvation as God works in you.”
Get out on the street and DO something – don’t be a “closet Christian.”
When you go to buy something at a store and give them 1,000 and they give you back 10,000 as change. You don’t just keep the incorrect change – you give back the extra. It comes out of their pocket, so they will be thankful.
If this kind of thing happens, you need to be truthful. God blessed you with a problem so that you will be faithful (it’s a test, it’s an opportunity). If you keep the extra money, you’re sinning against that person.
- The Bible says, “If you know the right thing to do and don’t, you sin.”
Let’s not do that. Let’s grow and follow Christ with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
Turbo Bible Study time
“Shouldn’t you be teachers?”
This is a blessing that Pastor Heo introduced me as a “pro” – because I’m actually NOT and God has called ALL of us to be teachers. You are ALREADY teaching people through your actions – the right way or the wrong way to live.
I tell my children “Don’t ‘pretend’ to be a Christian.” My daughter is 12 – I got married very late (44 years old) – there’s hope for anyone! I didn’t get married because I was busy traveling and I wasn’t ready – God knew he had to shape me more. Love isn’t just all wonder and magic – it’s CHOOSING to care for an IMPERFECT person.
I tell my daughter (sometimes her behavior is not right) “Don’t FAKE it – don’t pretend to be a Christian. If you live like a Christian, do it on the inside and the outside.”
There are LOADS of pretenders. On Sunday, it’s all about Jesus, but during the week, it’s all about ME.
Do all you can, be zealous for God. If you are, God will use you. We’re already all teachers, so what are we teaching? You will REPRODUCE whatever you are living. Culture = people following other people.
Why do we do things differently? We follow each other within our own cultures.
The problem is that God doesn’t tell you all the small things, but he does tell you HOW to live. You don’t just “go with the Samsung culture” Monday through Friday. You need to say, “I WON’T lie for you, sorry, you know that I work hard for this company, but I can’t falsify the report.” WHAT? He will then say, “Wow, he’s different, and doesn’t do what I say. What should I do?” You say, “I’ll do anything you ask as long as it’s legal, moral, not life-threatening. God is my judge EVERY day, you are just my judge M-F.”
He’s 100% God, 100% man. He’s calling us to be like Jesus. He’s blessed you with Time, Treasures, and Talents – USE them for HIS glory and to further HIS kingdom purposes.
We all have received SOMETHING from God. NO ONE has created what he has from nothing on his own. You are a receiver, and he wants you to be a giver as well.
[ How to study the Bible PPT. ]