Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of July 9, 2006


teaching all things helpful

 

You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.  Acts 20:20 (NIV)

 

Paul is referring to his three years of ministry in Ephesus. There he engaged in evangelism. He publicly taught congregations. He also taught small groups as he went from house to house. He always taught truths that he knew would be helpful to believers.

 

You can know the helpful truths Paul shared with the believers of Ephesus by reading his letters. His letters show that he taught about such things as love, unity in the church, life in heaven and the return of Christ—just to mention a few.

 

According to his own testimony, he taught the message of the believer’s union with Christ and living by grace everywhere he went. In his first letter to the church at Corinth he wrote:

 

I am sending to you Timothy … He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.  1 Corinthians 4:17

 

Paul’s life in Christ was that of his experiencing his union with Christ in crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Clearly, Paul believed that every believer should experience his life in Christ.

 

The Ephesians’ union with Christ was the heart of Paul’s teaching while there. We would totally misunderstand Paul’s ministry of sharing helpful truths at Ephesus if we did not believe this.

 

Since the Scriptures reveal that the message of oneness with Christ was the center of Paul’s teaching to the believers, we would do well to follow his example in our day. Every person who engages in discipleship training needs to take Paul’s approach.

 

There is clear indication that much of our discipleship training today seeks to encourage believers in what they are to do for God rather than the message of what God wants to do in and through them.

 

We must tell the unsaved of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We must tell the saved of their crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.