WBS has an excellent series of lessons designed to teach the second half of the great commission. (Matthew 16: 18-20) Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and Colossians, however, are excellent examples of continuing teaching. Paul was not content to make converts and then leave them. Though he had to travel on, he made every effort to help them grow. He wrote to them. He sent coworkers to teach them further. He prayed for them continually. He prayed for the Colossians who he had not met. Notice that Paul’s prayers emphasized growing in knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
Ephesians 1:16-18 says: “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, what area the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.”
Colossians 1:9 says, “Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
God’s growing children keep their eyes and ears open. Like all little children, they are eager to learn more. They listen to the Spirit’s revealed teaching. There are many things to learn. There are vital reminders of lessons already heard. The revelation Jesus sent to Ephesus was a reminder.
Revelations 2: 5,7 says, “Remember the height from which you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent. (Verse 7) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.”
Continued spiritual life, whether an individual’s life or a congregation’s life - depends on hearing “what the Spirit says to the churches.” The Father points to Jesus and declares, “This is my Son - listen to Him. (Matthew 17:5) Listen openly. Listen honestly. Listen carefully. Listen with trust. Listen with repentance and obedience. To do so is to keep living. To fail to do so is to be removed from God’s people.
Most of this material is from WBS, Live a Life of Love, Pg. 11.
Marshall Cowan - Shepherd