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A Biblical Education

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There has been a lot of focus on education over the past several months. Tomorrow, students will be going back to school - virtually - here in Mecklenburg County. Our students here at South Charlotte Baptist Academy will go back to school - in person - on Monday, August 31.
This morning, I am going to make a bold statement: I believe in outcome based education!
Turn to and read Deuteronomy 1:1 and Deuteronomy 4:1-10. Pray.
In the public sector, an outcome based education places the student at the center of the educational process and seeks to encourage the student to “take control” of their own education. In this way the educational process thus becomes directed by the student instead of being directed by the teacher. What is the driving force behind such an educational philosophy? The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a proponent of outcome based education, states, “The fundamental shifts in the economy demand bold and creative policies.” In other words, the needs of the world should dictate the direction of the education of our children. While I disagree with those thoughts, I still believe in outcome based education as it is found in Proverbs 22:6:
Proverbs 22:6 KJV 1900
Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.
This morning, I would like to take a few moments to present to you a Biblical view of education.
Before we dive into the message, we need to answer one question,

“What is education?”

Looking that word up in a dictionary will result in the following definition:
the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge (Proverbs 2:1-6, 2 Timothy 2:2),
developing the powers of reasoning and judgment (Proverbs 1:1-7), and
generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life (Proverbs 3:13-18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
There is a Biblical way to look at education and then lots of other ways to look at education! We want to look at education in a Biblical way this morning!

Biblical education should be directed by God.

There are two words used in Deuteronomy to describe the educational process: Teach and Learn
The word, “teach,” is used 13x in the book of Deuteronomy and it means, “to goad (the rod being an Oriental incentive).
Teaching requires a teacher.
Deuteronomy 4:1 KJV 1900
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.
The other word, “learn,” that is used in 4:10, is actually the same word for “teach” in vs. 1.
We understand the fact that the student is the one who “learns” but how is it that the same word is used for both, “teach” and “learn?”
Illustration: The rod. I have my “rod” with me this morning. We generally think of three parts here:
The rod
The one using the rod and,
The one upon whom the rod is being used.
We typically think of the human teacher being the one using the rod. However, that is incorrect.
The human teacher is the rod.
The human teacher is merely the instrument being used by God in the lives of those being taught.
God is the One Who is in control and Who should be directing the education.
Deuteronomy 4:5 KJV 1900
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Application:
Teachers (Sunday school, Bible clubs, Academy, Youth Pastor), you must understand that you are a tool that God wants to use to “teach” the children in your care. Are you surrendered to God’s leading?
Parents, just as with the teachers, you are merely a tool that God desires to use in the lives of your children.
As such, it’s not the tool that is important. It is the One using that tool!
We should simply be thankful and grateful that God allows us to be used in such a way in the lives of our children.
1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV 1900
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Biblical education is content based.

Outcome based education and Content based education really go hand in hand.
Notice the content in vs. 13: It was the 10 commandments!
Deuteronomy 4:13 KJV 1900
And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
The education of our children must be Bible based.
The Bible is the final authority for faith and practice.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 KJV 1900
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The world does not take kindly to the Bible. The world resists the idea that there is a single source of truth. That resistance has taken place since the book of Genesis when Satan said, “Yea, hath God said?”
Notice what Moses says in just the first two verses of the chapter:
Deuteronomy 4:1–2 KJV 1900
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
The statutes; the judgments; the word; the commandments - That is the “content!”
Then notice Moses’ words in vs. 6:
Deuteronomy 4:6 KJV 1900
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
There was an African prince who came to England and was presented to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. This prince asked a very significant question, “What is the secret of England’s greatness?” The queen got a beautifully bound copy of the Bible and presented it to the prince with this statement, “This is the secret of England’s greatness.”
I want to just briefly mention “the outcome” as I will return to this thought toward the end of the message:
“That ye may keep” (vs. 2)
“That ye should do so” (vs. 5)
“Keep therefore and do them” (vs. 6)
“Which He commanded you to perform” (vs. 13)
“That ye might do them” (vs. 14)
“Thou shalt keep” (vs. 40)

In a word, the outcome of a Biblical education is “obedience.”

Parents, be sure that the education of your children – the discipline of your children – is filled with God’s Word.
When you discipline your children, be sure that your children understand, “Thus saith the Lord!”
The discipline of your children should not be solely based upon, “Because I said so!”
But also understand that the outcome should be obedience.

Biblical education has, as its object, God.

I earlier stated that the world’s view of outcome based education places the student at the center of the educational process. However, that is not Biblical. Notice these verses that show that God is and should be at the center of any educational process:
Deuteronomy 4:7–8 KJV 1900
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
Deuteronomy 4:24 KJV 1900
For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV 1900
But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Deuteronomy 4:31 KJV 1900
(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Deuteronomy 4:39 KJV 1900
Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
How often, throughout the ages, have students questioned the purpose or need of some academic classes by saying, “When will I ever use __________?” or “Why is it important that I study __________?”
If Biblical education has, as its subject, God, how can we answer those questions?
English, Spelling, Grammar, Speech, and Foreign Languages: To effectively communicate the Gospel of Christ.
Romans 10:14 KJV 1900
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Physical Education: To learn to keep our bodies physically fit so that we can most effectively serve the Lord.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV 1900
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
History: It is “His” story! History is not about any one ethnic group, country, or series of events. The study of history should enable us to see the hand of God at work in the events and affairs of mankind.
Sciences: These should be directed to help students see a God Who is the Designer of the universe Who created it with an orderly design but, because of sin, the universe has fallen into disorder.
Psalm 19:1 KJV 1900
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork.
The Arts: These subjects, whether music, art, or other aspects, give students the opportunity to glorify God. J.S. Bach, one of the greatest musical composers of all time said, “The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit.” (Psalm 150)
Psalm 150 KJV 1900
Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: Praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: Praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: Praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: Praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
However, think for a moment, what has become the focus of all these different areas of study – Mankind – and the results?
Romans 1:21–25 KJV 1900
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Closing: While obedience should be a desired outcome, obedience should not be an end unto itself. Obedience should be a means to the end. Ultimately the outcome of Biblical education, for us and for our students, should be to become like Christ.
Romans 8:29 KJV 1900
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Contrast that with the admonition in Romans 12:2:
Romans 12:2 KJV 1900
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
And this transformation can only take place through the Word of God at work in our lives:
2 Timothy 3:15 KJV 1900
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
With all of this being said, it is important to understand, though, how all of this begins in the life of an individual. A Biblical education begins with a proper relationship with God.
Deuteronomy 4:10 KJV 1900
Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.
Proverbs 1:7 KJV 1900
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
William Gladstone, probably one of the greatest legal minds Britain ever produced, said, “Talk about the questions of the day! There is but one question, and that is the Gospel. That can and will correct everything. I am glad to say that about all the men at the top in Great Britain are Christians.” (That was way back in the 19th century!) Gladstone continued, “I have been in public position fifty-eight years, all but eleven of them in the Cabinet of the British Government, and during those forty-seven years have been associated with sixty of the master minds of the century, and all but five of the sixty were Christians.I personally think that part of the problems we are having in our country today is that we have too few Christians “at the top” - too few who are acquainted with the Word of God and I believe that is a result of the education they received or, should I say, the Biblical education which they did not receive?!?!
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