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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