Fundamentals of Christian Education


Chapter 32—The Education Most Essential for Gospel Workers

There are Christian workers who have not received a collegiate education because it was impossible for them to secure this advantage; but God has given evidence that He has chosen them. He has ordained them to go forth and labor in His vineyard. He has made them effectual co-workers with Himself. They have a teachable spirit; they feel their dependence upon God, and the Holy Spirit is with them to help their infirmities. It will quicken and energize the mind, direct their thoughts, and aid in the presentation of truth. When the laborer stands before the people to hold forth the words of life, there is heard in his voice the echo of the voice of Christ. FE 242.1

It is evident that he walks with God; that he has been with Jesus and learned of Him. He has brought the truth into the inner sanctuary of the soul; it is to him a living reality, and he presents the truth in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. The people hear the joyful sound. God speaks to their hearts through the man consecrated to His service. As the worker lifts up Jesus through the Spirit, he becomes really eloquent. He is earnest and sincere, and is beloved by those for whom he labors. FE 242.2

What a sin would rest upon any one who should listen to such a man merely to criticize, to notice bad grammar, or incorrect pronunciation, and hold these errors up to ridicule. The Pharisees scoffed at Christ; they criticized the simplicity of His language, which was so plain that the child, the aged, the common people heard Him gladly, and were charmed by His words. The Sadducees also derided Him because His discourses were so unlike anything delivered by their rulers and scribes. Those Jewish teachers spoke in monotonous tones, and the plainest and most precious scriptures were made uninteresting and unintelligible, buried under such a mass of tradition and learned lore that after the rabbis had spoken, the people knew less of the meaning of the Scriptures than before they listened. There were many souls starving for the Bread of Life, and Jesus fed them with pure, simple truth. In His teaching He drew illustrations from the things of nature and the common transactions of life, with which they were familiar. Thus the truth became to them a living reality; the scenes of nature and the affairs of daily life were ever repeating to them the Saviour's precious teachings. Christ's manner of teaching was just what He desires His servants to follow. FE 242.3

The speaker who has not a thorough education may sometimes fall into errors of grammar or pronunciation; he may not employ the most eloquent expressions or the most beautiful imagery, but if he has himself eaten of the Bread of Life; if he has drunk of the Fountain of Life, he can feed the hungry souls; he can give of the Water of Life to him that is athirst. His defects will be forgiven and forgotten. His hearers will not become weary or disgusted, but will thank God for the message of grace sent them through His servant. FE 243.1

If the worker has consecrated himself fully to God and is diligent in prayer for strength and heavenly wisdom, the grace of Christ will be his teacher, and he will overcome great defects and become more and more intelligent in the things of God. But let none take license from this to be indolent, to squander time and opportunities, and neglect the training that is essential for him in order to become efficient. The Lord is in no wise pleased with those who have opportunities to obtain knowledge but who excuse themselves in neglecting to improve all the privileges He has placed within their reach that they may become intelligent, well qualified workers, of whom He will not be ashamed. FE 243.2

Above all other people upon the earth, the man whose mind is enlightened by the opening of the word of God to his understanding, will feel that he must give himself to greater diligence in the perusal of the word of God, and to a diligent study of the sciences, for his hope and calling are greater than any other. The more closely connected man is with the Source of all knowledge and wisdom, the more he can be advantaged intellectually as well as spiritually through his relation to God. The knowledge of God is the essential education, and this knowledge every true worker will make it his constant study to obtain.—Christian Education, 143 1893. FE 243.3