We are not nearly as important as we like to think we are, and that is one of the things that makes the grace of God all that much lovelier.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” (1 Cor. 1:26) Pride comes in many forms, but perhaps one of the most dangerous ones is Spiritual pride, that which raises its head upon the one who has been studying to show themselves approved, the one who has been submitting to the will of God, who is obedient and desires to know the Lord more fully each day. There is a difference between knowing we are right and presuming that we are correct in our interpretation of the Word of God.
Here is where religions are built, here is the foundation of every cult, here is why not many wise in the world are chosen, and this is why many simply sit in the pews each Sunday morning with a glazed look on their faces. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) We take a great responsibility upon ourselves when we profess to understand the Scriptures, any part of them, for we are then saying to others “This is what God meant when He said that” and in the back of our minds Hebrews 10:31 must always come to bear in these words, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Every one of us is going to be held accountable for everything that we have said and done in this life, and that is especially true when we attempt to speak, or at least expound upon the Word of God, if you are an “assistant shepherd” then you must be one hundred percent sure of what the Shepherd Himself has sent you to say. It is a burden that most who call Jesus Christ Lord shy away from, for the consequences if we are incorrect are unpleasant, to say the least, in many ways.
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” (James 3:1) And “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Heb. 5:12) This says, in my humble opinion the crux of what this letter is about, our opinions on the Word of God, that one group is attempting to all be teachers when some of them should not have been, and the other group knew truth, but was not giving that truth to others.
If you are not performing the tasks that the Lord has placed before you, then you will not advance, as it were, in the kingdom until you do, if you know the truth and do not offer that truth to others, then you are not only remiss in your duties, but are in danger of fulfilling James 4:17. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” A teacher of the Word of God, one who is expounding upon it properly understands fully that what he knows he has been given, it was not learned through diligent studies, it is not of him but through him that the truths of the Word of God are given, and the more he is given, the more he realizes how little he understands about the Sovereign Lord of all creation. No man should desire this burden, yet every man should strive for it.
There is an incredible difference between standing in front of the Lord on that day of accounting and saying, “This is how I tried to follow you,” and “This is how I attempted to tell others about you.”
We do not want to be wrong, it is one of the most disconcerting thoughts that we can have, to say the least. The man who stands behind that pulpit, the one on the radio, television or internet, the man on the street is in effect saying, “I speak for God.” And if that does not put fear in your heart, you should just keep your mouth shut.