‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’, Matt. 28. 20.
In the Lord’s commission to His disciples there was the command to ‘Go … into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’, Mark 16. 15. Therefore, it is appropriate that from every assembly there should be a gospel witness. What form that takes depends upon a multitude of factors. For some, tract distribution, open-air witness, regular gospel meetings, visitation, Sunday School, weekly children’s work, and a plethora of other activities might all feature in their busy schedule. Others may be somewhat more restricted in what they can do because of the size of the company. However, all should have an exercise in relation to reaching the lost.
But there is one thing that has been a distinctive feature of assembly life over the centuries and that is Bible teaching. Older saints will remember Bible Readings, and ministry meetings every week, and, for some, weeks of consecutive teaching with visiting speakers, when the scriptures were studied and taught. We might also recall sitting in meetings when we felt that the subject and the depth of study was beyond us, but, over the years, that teaching has begun to fit into place as our knowledge of the word of God has increased.
Sadly, it has become noticeable that one of the first meetings to disappear from the weekly schedule of a local church is the Bible teaching meeting. While this means that many saints have little or no spiritual fellowship from weekend to weekend, it also means that the consecutive Bible teaching upon which New Testament churches are based is disappearing. A cursory reading of the Acts of the Apostles would show the importance that the apostles attached to teaching. Barnabus brought Paul to Antioch, and we are told that they ‘taught much people’, Acts 11. 26. The importance of that activity can be seen two chapters later when it is said of the same church, that there were ‘certain prophets and teachers’, 13. 1, amongst them. Similarly, in Paul’s work at Corinth, ‘he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them’, 18. 11. How important, then, that the saints should be fed from the scriptures! How important that Bible teaching should feature in the life of every Christian church!
One of the original aims of this magazine was to ‘encourage the study of the scriptures’. It may be that as you read this editorial you can think of some believers locally, or further afield, who do not have the benefit of a weekly Bible teaching meeting. Do they receive a copy of this magazine? What would be really good to know is that, as a consequence, you might have a desire to provide them with something written, if they are no longer able to access what is taught orally. May the Lord be pleased to use this and similar magazines to the furtherance of His work in the building up and encouragement of His people!
Ministry Articles Editor
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