The Bible tells us that those who preach or teach the Word of God, have a higher standard.
It makes sense, doesn’t it?
The teacher has a higher standard than the students.
It’s because we should know and behave better than those who we teach.
But if we preach about God’s love and grace, but if we ourselves are not loving to others, then the message is hollow and empty.
Titus 3 “6 if anyone is blameless, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, who are not accused of loose or unruly behavior. 7 For the overseer must be blameless, as God’s steward, not self-pleasing, not easily angered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain; 8 but given to hospitality, a lover of good, sober minded, fair, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict those who contradict him. 10 For there are also many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped: men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain’s sake. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this cause, reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,”
We are not called to curse other people and hate others.
James 3 “Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. Anyone who doesn’t stumble in word is a perfect person, able to bridle the whole body also. 3.….. 7 For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and sea creature, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind; 8 but nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in the image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.”
We will not lose salvation, but our ministry will be useless if we are cursing others.
What is the point of praising God and cursing other people with the same mouth?
The world will see our teaching doctrine that contradicts our own lives – such ministry will be judged as useless in God’s eyes. The preacher is saved but his ministry was useless.
1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.4 Love is patient and is kind. Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, 5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.”
We are called to be mature in the faith that manifests in love.
Not hating others, but being kind and compassionate.
Titus 2 ” 7 In all things show yourself an example of good works. In your teaching, show integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility, 8 and soundness of speech that can’t be condemned, that he who opposes you may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about us. 9 Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters and to be well-pleasing in all things, not contradicting, 10 not stealing, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things. 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age; 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.”
As teachers, we are called to set an example of faith, love and righteousness. These things are done not to attain salvation. We are saved by grace and not by our walk.
But salvation is a like a birthday cake given to us. We can adorn it with beautiful icing that represents our love and good deeds OR we can make it look ugly by making a mess of the cake. The cake does not get taken away if we misbehave, salvation is not removed. But our walk does impact how others see our ministry.
If we preach grace, but walk in foolishness, then the world will ignore our message.
What is worse is that many believers will follow our bad example!
We are not called to condemn our fellow believers, but we should correct them.
If we see a believer walking on the wrong path, do we just sit idly and do nothing? Which loving Father would sit and watch His children hurting themselves and others? God’s grace saves us but also corrects us in our walk.
1 Corinthians 5 “9 I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; 10 yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortionists, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. 11 But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person. 12 For what do I have to do with also judging those who are outside? Don’t you judge those who are within? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. “Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.”
Our job is not to judge the outside world because God will do so.
But many believers are cursing the world and condemning them, when that is not our job now.
We will judge the world on the last day when God will reveal the secrets of men (1 Corinthians 6:2-3, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5). Our job is to preach the gospel and leave the judgment of the world to God.
But believers should correct one another within the Church. It is the Holy Spirit who works within us as a body of Christ.
Grace does not mean that we close our eyes if a believer is walking on the wrong path.
Galatians 6 “Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also aren’t tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each man examine his own work, and then he will have reason to boast in himself, and not in someone else. 5 For each man will bear his own burden.”
We gently correct one other in all humility and not by pride or arrogance, lest we fall into the same trap as them.
We are called to follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He saved us by grace through faith without works. But the same grace teaches us to show grace to others.