Eternity 126 - The Well Instructed Scribe
(Matthew 13:52 NKJV) Then He said to them, "Therefore every scribe
instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings
out of his treasure things new and old."
The bible-teachers (scribes) who understand the Kingdom of the Heavens have an inexhaustible treasure of truths, both new and old. The "new truths" are the truths concerning Christ, the Church, the New Testament and God's revelations for today.The old truths are the nature of God, Creation, providence, basic morality, Proverbs and the unchanging nature of righteousness, holiness and grace.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not a fad, it is an eternal realm that has existed since before the mountains were born and the hills were brought forth and is working out like leaven in the world today and which will be consummated at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore Kingdom scribes draw on truths both ancient and modern.
Christians should live in four time periods - eternity, the cross, today and the prophetic future. We cannot just focus totally on current events and politics and morality, nor can we focus just of future prophecy, or just on the cross, salvation and the early church, or solely on the timeless God of eternity.We must embrace the God who was and is and is to come and teach treasures "new and old"
Firstly we should soak our minds in eternal truths, many of which are found in the Old Testament theological passages such as Deuteronomy, Psalms and Isaiah. We need to ground ourselves in truths such as: (Isaiah 45:18 NKJV) For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Secondly we need to take people to the cross, so that for every single Christian redemption is clear and present and understood and the love of Christ and the opportunity for salvation is portrayed clearly. We also need to live in the outworking of redemption, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the dynamics of the early church.
Thirdly we need to live in today, and help our people in the midst of the struggles of work and family and the challenges of technology. We need to have a faith that applies Scriptural truth in the daily landscape of our lives and which can keep teaching relevant to the real world around us.
Fourthly we need to give people confidence that God has a plan that He is working out in history. We need to teach prophecy and show that indeed God is working out all things for good for those who love HIm and are called according to His purpose.
Bible-teachers instructed in the kingdom of Heaven have "fresh oil" and do not just recite old traditions. On the other hand they do not just chase after fads or follow trends. They are also grounded in the deep , old truths , the ancient paths. They are not shallow, foolish or easily misled, their minds grasp the great truths that God has built upon from Genesis all the way through to Revelation. They do not hastily invent new doctrines, nor are they mired in things learned by rote. They have present experiences of God the Holy Spirit and daily inspiration and openings of the Word. But in these they do not depart from Scripture or contradict God's eternal truths. The new is based on the old and is consistent with it.
C.S. Lewis used to talk about "chronological snobbery" and our tendency to think any idea that is more than ten years old is "hopelessly out of date". That leads to repeating old mistakes, to ignorance and to folly. There is a wonderful humility that comes as we study history and realise that previous generations have a lot to offer.
Have a look at your teaching - How long is it since you taught God's eternal truths from the OT? Or took people to the cross? Or tackled contemporary issues? Or assured people of God's future plans for our planet? Is your ministry stuck in one or two aspects of time or genres of biblical literature? Are you running after only the latest authors and never touching the desert Fathers? Is your treasure full of things new and old? - You have the whole Kingdom of Heaven to teach.