“Teach the Truth of God’s Word and When Necessary, Use Words!”
We often think of the Apostle Paul as one of the most prolific and productive preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; however, by the examination of Paul’s actions, we may gain as much tutoring as the words he delivered to the world and brethren. In this lesson, we want to examine the process of teaching without words.
Let’s look at Paul’s life along-side his teaching.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
“For you yourselves know, brethren, that our
coming to you was not in vain.
But even after we had suffered before and were
spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to
speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.
For our exhortation
from error or uncleanness, nor
4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
This is powerful testimony regarding the necessity to be blameless before the power of the Gospel as to protect the integrity of its power. It was always God’s intent that the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ be delivered by preaching (earthen vessels); 1 Corinthians 1:21; yet, at the same time, no flesh was to glory in the delivery or service of the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 1:29. This was also demonstrated by the Apostle Paul, using himself and Apollos to explain, note:
1 Corinthians 3:5-7
“Who then is Paul, and who
Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor
he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
In addition to the Apostle Paul, let’s take a look at some others who have taught great lessons by their actions as well as their words.
Acts 6:8 “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.”
Stephen, who would debate with the Freedmen concerning the Christ, would be falsely accused and subsequently be stoned to death. He demonstrated his life in the path of the Lord by stating in his last words; “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (Acts 7:60). His life was an extension of the message he preached.
Acts 9:36 “At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.”
There is no recorded roll for Tabitha in vocally preaching or teaching the word of Christ; however, all around her, people knew her good deeds and character. They were moved with deep sorrow and heart felt loss as they showed Peter the tunics and garments she had made for them (Acts 9:39).
Acts 16:1-2 “Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.”
Even before Timothy would travel and learn from the Apostle Paul; we see that he has developed a good reputation among the brethren in Lystra and Iconium. This speaks volumes for his love and dedication to the Lord.
There are many more patterns of a walk worthy of the Gospel (“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ” – Philippians 1:27); however, these are sufficient for now to illustrate that the only way anyone can have fellowship with the Father, is to walk in the light (1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”), even before we say a word!
We know that we are to share with the world the hope that is in us with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15); however, the sanctification of God in our hearts first is necessary to cause them to ask.
Hear is Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonian Christians:
1 Thessalonians 2:12 “that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
Teach the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ at all times, and sometimes use words!!!