Do You Give the Right Exam?

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 11:11 PM 1 comments

I spent seven years (actually 15 semesters and 4 summer terms) in college to graduate a four-year computer science course. My program curriculum changed three times in my stay. I have much to tell about teachers, classmates, projects, reading assignments, quizzes, exams, and armchairs. And I can relate stories of sleepless nights, exhausted brain cells, and caffeinated bladder all went to waste just because of outside-of-lesson exams. Perhaps, you also have a mastered-chapters-3-4-and-5-while-exam-is-from-chapter-11 similar story (Never mind calculus for I couldn’t tell whether the exam was faithful to lesson or not).

Now, that I am an instructor, I already know well that giving the wrong exams will result to poor evaluation:  letting the passing fail and letting the failing pass. A reliable assessment demands correct assessment measures.
Consciously or not, we are giving examinations to professing Christian leaders. We measure pastors, deacons, deaconesses, and church workers based on a certain scale of criteria. We sometimes gauge their genuineness or falsity based on their knowledge, or whether they are funny preachers, or if they are good musicians, or are they sociable or not. But do we give the right exams?

1 John 4:1-6 outlines a how-to on conducting evaluations on professing (Christian) teachers and their professed (Christian) teaching.

A.      Command for Examination (v. 1a). The opening verse implies that there is a spirit behind every teaching. Every teaching may come from the Spirit of truth or from the spirit of error (v. 6). So GOD, through John, charges us not to believe every spirit but also to test every spirit.

B.      Cause of Examination (v. 1b).  There is a very heavy yet straightforward reason of the exam. It is because you may have a false teacher beside you ready to lead you astray. It is because there are false teachers on the television, over the radio, in your school, in your workplace, or even at you doorsteps.

C.      Channel of Examination (vv. 2-6). There are at least four types of tests that make up the right examination.

1.       Admitted Lord (vv. 2-3). True GOD-sent laborers have a right Christology (view of Christ). False teachers will more probably than not trip over the Person and works of the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout this book, John has given us meadows of truth concerning Christ. Let me mention four here
a.       1 John 1:1 implies Jesus’ divinity and humanity.
b.      1 John 2:1-2 involve Jesus’ being the only righteous Substitute for the perfection that GOD demands from us sinners.
c.       1 John 2:22-23 demand oneness of essence and equality of Jesus and the Father.
d.      1 John 5:20 states that Jesus is truly God.

2.       Altered Life (v. 4). Genuine believers are overcomers. There is a mark of true Christianity that cannot be counterfeited: victory over the world. If a professing minister is a fraud, the stains of the world will sooner or later be observable in his person. Greed and the love of money, lusts and immoralities, pride and self-exaltation. These are unconquerable apart from the Spirit of life. When one ministers without this Spirit of truth, his attraction to the world reveals his stains.

3.       Attracted Listeners (v. 5). If I am an avid preacher of prosperity gospel, my circle will be crowded with lovers of material wealth. When I become enthusiastic in preaching on the worth of man and the power God has given him, my circle will be crowded by the proud who hunger for authority. But when I preach faithfully GOD’s Word pertaining to His holiness and perfections, and His amazing grace for saving vile sinners, then I will have a congregation of grace-filled GOD lovers. The types of people who listen to you tell a lot of your message.

4.       Acknowledged Law (v. 6). The laborer’s genuineness can also be tested by how much he adheres to the voice of GOD. Since a fake has the spirit of error and lie behind him, he can’t stick well with the words of GOD. GOD has spoken to us most clearly in the Scriptures. False teachers and heretics will point you to psychology or other authorities outside the Bible, or they will insist about the “inadequacies,” “inconsistencies,” or “errors” in the Bible, or at least, they will try their best to let verses mean what they don’t supposedly mean. True shepherds, on the other hand, aim to saturate their ministries with the truths of GOD as revealed in the Holy Scriptures because they have a high view of It.

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An Inexperienced Shepherd's Resolutions

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 12:33 AM 1 comments

On the year’s first day,
Oh, dear Lord, three things I resolve:
       To feed the sheep more sufficiently;
       To starve the goats more unbearably; and,
       To shoot the wolves more vigilantly.

With sheep, I mean the individuals who had truly experience the inward calling of the Holy Spirit, the members of the invisible Church, and those who have been purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). These are those whom GOD has appointed me to eagerly exercise my oversight to (1 Peter 5:2).

With to feed, I mean lovingly teaching them the precious doctrines of the Gospel, catering them to the excellencies of Christ, leading them towards Christlikeness, and guiding them towards discovering the glorious attributes of the Triune GOD by a cautious, faithful, and humble exposition of the Word.

With more sufficiently, I mean a pastoral ministry with greater sensitivity to the needs of the flock. To intensify the preaching and teaching on the essential doctrines without downplaying on the non-essentials. I also mean to provide strong meat to the mature, soft food for the weak and feeble, and milk to the newborn babes.

With goats, I mean those who profess Jesus as their Lord yet exemplify a life without transformation. These are those whose characters are not different from the world and there are no obvious acts of love and compassion (Matthew 25:31-46). They are unwilling to put to death the earthly pleasures and evil desires within them (Colossians 3:5).

With to starve, I mean creating an environment saturated with heavenly things. It is choking those who are earthly from sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness. It is confronting all forms of materialism and greed and self-exaltation. It is taking away from the flesh anything that hints to its desires.

With more unbearably, I mean a fellowship greatly rejoicing on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, on things with excellence, and on things that are worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) that when someone wants stuffs other than the cross of Christ, he will be forced to leave.

With wolves, I mean those who assume church offices especially teaching positions while propagating doctrines contrary to the gospel of Christ and contrary to the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 7:15). They come from within the church and with great fierce and less shame cause destructions on the flock of GOD (Acts 20:29-30).

With to shoot, I mean to expose their bad fruits (Matthew 7:15-20), to strip them from all their authoritative offices, and to faithfully administer church discipline against them. I will burden myself to warn the sheep to keep a considerable distance or even to run desperately from these false teachers.

With more vigilantly, I mean to utilize all that I have to ensure the safety of the flock under my care. I resolve to use technology, what I believe to be my best tool, to remove these joy-destroying church leaders. I will make sure that voice recorders, pens, and notepads are always close when these wolves are around. I will mention names of those I see to be false teachers to my congregation if needed to ensure they know whom they ought to flee from.

As a young shepherd with the grace of the Master Shepherd, may the Sovereign help me.

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