In recent weeks in my personal Bible reading, I’ve read a number of Scripture passages that have impressed me afresh with their message and power, especially as they relate to the work of Christian education. I thought I would share several with you, along with a few thoughts they brought to my mind. There is no real order to these passages, but I would encourage you to meditate on them and to go back to the Bible to read them in context.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
God’s grace is truly amazing. The incarnation – the gracious gift of God’s Son – is not something just for the Christmas season. It’s for all year long. God is so gracious, abounding in His kindness and forgiveness to a broken sinner like me. Everything is grace from His hand, and everything I do is a response to His grace and made possible by grace. Showing and sharing the grace of God in Christ is what Regents Academy is about. Period.
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40-41)
This statement by our Lord underlies the primary job description of a teacher in a Christian school: Christian teachers teach not just what they know but who they are. As one author wrote, “The teacher is the primary text.”
Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. (Psalm 119:73)
I can only understand myself and the purpose of my life by first understanding who God is, what He made, and why He created it. This is to say that unless I know that God is Creator, that He made me and the world I inhabit, I can never truly know why I am here. So the first task of true education is to teach students that their first task is to know God. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Jesus is Lord of all. He is Lord over civilizations and cultures, kings and rulers, peoples and powers, both visible and invisible things. He is Lord over thoughts and worldviews, philosophies and loyalties, both those things that are devoted to Him and those things that are not. Our job is to line up our thinking, our loyalties, and our lives with Him and His will. And God has given us mighty weapons to use when we enter into the combat it takes to do this. Our little ones – the children God gives us – are the key weapons God has prepared for us. Education is our work of arming, sharpening, and training our children for battle in the service of Christ. The battle is always there, and we are always called to be faithful to the One who is Lord of all.
But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . kindness. (Galatians 5:22)
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
God has not called us to be nice, but to be kind. Kindness is not nice. Niceness is not enough; it is an all-too-superficial trait that lacks the fullness of kindness, which is a Christian virtue. We are kind in imitation of Jesus Christ, who is the very incarnation of love. It matters to God that we are kind to our neighbor.
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
The word for “training” in this passage is a New Testament term for education. God has given parents the responsibility to educate their children in the Lord. This cannot be accomplished in a secular setting, and this is a duty that will not go away. Christian parents have the duty, under God, to give their children a Christian education.
The promises and challenges of God’s Word are clear. Now God is calling you and me to be faithful to trust and obey. I fell very privileged to be walking alongside the families of Regents as we seek to do so.