Teaching is not the easiest thing to do. If it is a process, it is also a function. As a function, the main aspect of teaching is to make learning effective. Once learning is achieved, teaching is successful.
As one who taught in a High School environment, I witnessed many good teachers. I recall at a Parent / Teachers Meeting where a History Teacher explained to the parents why their children need to take History as a subject. He had the parents eating out of his hand … and I thought that if he could do that with the parents, how much more would he be doing it with his leaners.
When our son-in-law was going out with our daughter, she would complain that she hated mathematics and accounting. He would say to her … “Angela, you need to say you love mathematics and accounting.”
These two illustrations go a long way to demonstrate two foundational aspects of teaching. The first being that the teacher must love the subject and the second is that the learner or student needs to love the subject.
My objective over the past few days has been to ask the question and attempt to answer it … “How important is the soul?” I hope I have been able to convince you that the soul is of utmost important to God because He not only created it, He sent His beloved Son into this wicked world to redeem the soul … to pay the sin price to Himself to set the imprisoned soul free from satanic bondage, deliver it from sin and remove all the scars of guilt.
He loves the soul so much that He appointed “watchmen” (pastor / teachers, shepherds, overseers) to guard every soul He has saved by grace. To achieve the objective of “saving by grace” through Jesus’ shed blood sacrifice, He gave His Church a Great Commission, which requires “going to make disciples” and then educating (teaching) these disciples the whole counsel of God.
The soul is so important to God that He put a strategy into place to prepare these disciples (saved souls) for life in His Holy Place we call heaven. So we are dealing with
Mat 28:20 “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Before we get to the promise, we need to understand clearly that teaching has a purpose apart from being edified in Gospel Principles.
1) The soul’s importance is great because of its relationship to God. The soul either stands in union with God or in disunion. The soul has a relationship with God as in “salvation” or no relationship as in being “lost”. If God created man to image Him, then surely being in a right relationship with God is of all importance to the soul! Where the saved soul brings glory, honor and praise to the Almighty, the lost soul brings unhappiness and anger to God. Here lies yet another way of reasoning for intentional or “aggressive” evangelism.
2) The soul’s importance is great because God appoints “watchmen” (pastor / teachers, shepherds, overseers). Why did God appoint watchmen … or if you like, caretakers of the soul? Because He knew that we would neglect our souls! The soul that leave the world, the flesh and the devil will be under constant pressure to return to the degraded lifestyle of the past. The temptation will be evident and at times of such a magnitude that refusal might be impossible. So God appoints His watchmen to look after your soul. If personal neglect would not be an issue, God would have deployed the watchmen elsewhere … but He knew the heart. Of the two verses I’m quoting, we normally read or know the first and not the second.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”
(1) Why does God search the heart? To reward the soul for its performance (conduct; deeds).
(2) What does God find in the soul (heart)? He finds so much deceit that the soul is way beyond cure.
(3) Man’s response to his dilemma is … Who can understand it? It’s almost like saying … “O well, I’m in a mess, there is no help for me so let me just continue in what I do.”
(4) God knows the condition of the soul because He does the interrogation of both the heart and mind … the soul! Why would God be concerned about the condition of the saved soul?
Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.
Combining these two verses together we find that God chose the elect for a purpose and we will be like that! We might wander and stray but the pastor teacher’s job is to find us and return us to the correct pathway of preparation for glory.
3) The soul’s importance is great because there is a constant enemy onslaught threat. The City of Man’s Soul is not as secure as one would like or expect. Just because the enemy has been defeated does not mean the enemy will not attempt revenge attacks … and this is executed in the most subtle, unsuspecting and unassuming manner. Where Jesus taught that the wheat and the weeds grow together, meaning the believers and non-believers … the same is true with holiness and unrighteousness … if the soul is not protected. The enemy army is ready to invade at any moment your guard is let down. One arsenal God uses to protect the soul is the watchman. His function is to make certain he knows where his congregation of souls are at so that he can support them through the fiery dart attack they will experience. O my friend, the saved soul is of great importance to the owner of the soul … God!
4) The soul’s importance is great and when the watchman cares properly for man’s soul, the owner of the City of Souls will honor His commitment to the watchman and spill over to the soul. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Could any pastor teacher want more than this? God being with him … always … to the end of the age … to the end of his ministry. What a benefit to the watchman when He responds by serving God faithfully caring for man’s soul because of its importance. The constant presence of Jesus in his heart! When this is a reality, he will serve his flock of souls ever more and better. The promised blessing therefore falls upon both the watchman and the sheep. O how precious and important is the saved soul to God. He cares!
Thank You Lord for creating us the way You have. Enable Your watchmen to be faithful and us Your people to be responsive to the teaching we receive for Your glory. Amen.