<<teaching, instruction>>

Education is the fastest route out of poverty, as ignorance holds people in bondage to disease, lack and under Satan’s control instead of walking in the light of the gospel – in fact, without a ‘saving’ knowledge they will perish (Isa 5:13; Hos 4:6; Jn 10:10; 1 Tim 2:3,4). “Satan blinds the mind of unbelievers so they cannot see…” but it is also true that only as we know our position and authority in Christ can we escape Satan’s snare (2 Cor 4:4). While some consider education is the cure-all for society's problems it does not of itself deal with the ungodliness of the human heart.

Simple yet practical basic education in areas such as health, nutrition, hygiene and crop management can lift developing communities out of the poverty cycle they are trapped in. To be effective, teaching should be a systematic consolidation of information imparted in various styles as

You can know but not grow, but you can’t grow unless you know

some learn best by a practical ‘hands on’ approach, others by the academic classroom setting. Knowledge is of no value unless it can be applied and outworked. Jesus illustrated the necessity of having a good foundation by hearing and applying His teachings, which would give stability and security to what is subsequently erected on it (Mt 7:24-27). Paul said, “Whatever you have learned, received, heard or seen in me put into practice” (Phil 4:9). Unfortunately some people will be “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” of Jesus (2 Tim 3:7). We can always learn more about God, life in general, and even ourselves, that will enable us to live more God-honouring wholesome lives.

Secular education

When coupled with experience this brings success in God’s sight and benefits humanity in general.

God is able to give extra ability even in the secular field (1 Kgs 4:29-34; Dan 1:17). This is not a substitute for a hard work but an enhancement. Education is often an essential quality to get ahead in today’s world, as it was with Daniel who gained a high position of authority in Babylon – it is often equated with power (Dan 1:3,4, 2:48, 6:3).

Keep abreast of developments especially in your own field of occupation, as well as current events – what is going on in the wider world. The discerning person is always
open to new ideas so be curious in wholesome matters, asking questions of those knowledgeable in those fields. Who knows when the information gleaned will come in

A qualification does not in itself confer expertise

beneficial? Although you learn new life skills and gain experience through doing things yourself, remember it is not through education that we enter God’s family – this is only by faith, and maintaining a close relationship with Christ and obedience to His will.

Sex education

Overall it is the parents' God-given responsibility (not the schools, churches, or governments) to teach their children God's perspective in every area of life, including sexuality with both the biological and moral aspects covered.

The Bible's teaching should be the foundation

The majority of sex instruction today presents all sorts of perversions, gender issues and living together before marriage considered as normal expressions of sexuality. Satan has attacked and cheapened this whole area bringing confusion and compromise to what the Bible states is God's ideal for humanity. Starting at an early age parents need to have conversations with their children, teaching them the truth before the young minds take on wrong information. As each child grows these times of open communication should become more detailed. It is important that a child know they can ask mum or dad about anything that confuses or concerns them. The parents need to be conversant with what the children are being taught and correct any misinformation. When there is a constant, open dialogue the children have a solid reference point by which they can recognise and reject the errors that the world promotes as truth. The Psalmist asked, how can I walk uprightly? Then he states, "By living according to your word" (Ps 119:9).

Spiritual education

In this area it is also the parent’s responsibility to continually teach and reinforce Godly values and beliefs into their children’s lives (Deut 6:4-9; Ps 78:4-8). As older believers we are exhorted to “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ” and by adding to our faith spiritual virtues our love will increasingly overflow to others, resulting in productive God honouring lives (Phil 1:9; Col 1:9,10; 2 Pet 1:5-8, 3:18).

We are encouraged to study the Bible so we can correctly discern the truth, and then pass it on to others (Rom 15:14; 2 Tim 2:2,15). While it is helpful to receive spiritual knowledge and input from others, it is more important to

The truth when applied will set us free

allow the Holy Spirit to impress on you insights directly from God’s Word, as you spend time daily receiving nourishment for your soul. Feed the spiritual dimension within, “guarding your heart more than any treasure, for it is the source of all life” (Prov 4:23). It is as we know the truth and outwork it in our lives we will come into increasing wholeness, our rightful position in Christ.

The Holy Spirit teaches us, bringing things to our remembrance, so “Let the wise listen and add to their knowledge” (Prov 1:5; Jn 14:26; 1 Jn 2:20,27).

See also: academic, application, ignorance, knowledge, sexuality, study, teach, training, truth, wholeness, wisdom/wise.