But as for you, do not be called Rabbi; for only One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters. -Matthew 23:8 NASB
Can Christians have a favorite teacher who builds up their knowledge in God? Many Christians, especially in Seminary cling to some teachers from the past like John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon and C.S. Lewis to name a few and others not as popular as the men I mentioned, who are building their theology on their teachings.
What did Jesus mean by saying to His disciples, “do not be called Rabbi” He wanted His disciples to make sure in the future after His departure to encourage people to go to Jesus for their spiritual guidance and not rely on His disciples for that.
Jesus knows full well that men will always want to follow someone that will seem to be knowledgeable in the things of God. He created us to be sheep (a follower), for the purpose of following and depending on the Lord. What we have to understand is that the moment we start to intake Biblical teachings from someone, we can become lazy to go to our true teacher of Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and end up following a person instead of Jesus Christ.
Teachers and I include myself, are for helping the body of Christ to push them to go to Jesus Christ for Biblical understanding. For example, if I say something that touches you on one of my posts, it should motivate you to open up the Bible and seek Jesus, digging deeper on your own for further understanding and to hear from the Lord. I’m not on WordPress to take Jesus’ place, but I’m here to push you toward Jesus and to encourage you to do your own Bible study.
If you get to the point where you just quote John Calvin or any other dead or alive theologian, you are replacing Jesus for that teacher without you being aware of it. Paul tackled that same issue that arose in his time.
11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” or “I am with Cephas,” or “I am with Christ.” -1 Corinthians 1:11-12
The church in Corinth were fighting over their favorite teachers. Doesn’t that sound like us today? Calvinism vs Arminianism and there are others I’m sure who fight over their favorite preachers alive today. The passages are very clear that if you esteem a teacher over another, you substitute Christ for that teacher. Paul said to them who put him in a pedestal in verse 13 “Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Paul makes it clear that those who follow other men of theology are making them their Jesus instead of the real Jesus.
Friends, stop reading John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon and C.S. Lewis. Read the Scriptures and learn from the Holy Spirit. You will never understand the Scriptures apart from the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter how many books you read from these men. God is the only one who can make your mind understand the Scriptures.
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things that are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, -Luke 24:44-45
Worship only Jesus Christ and not men. You can learn from teachers but don’t depend on them for your spiritual knowledge and walk. Let them be a push for you to do your own study.
3 I also was with you in weakness and fear, and in great trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of mankind, but on the power of God. -1 Corinthians 2:3-4
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. -1 Corinthians 2:10
Further study on John Calvin click on these two links:
- From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit?
- From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit? (Part 2)
And for further study on C.S. Lewis click on these two links:
- (Part 1) C.S. Lewis: What Did He Really Believe About The Bible?
- (Part 2) C.S. Lewis: What Did He Really Believe About The Bible?