The Student Has Become the Teacher

“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Gal. 4:1-5.

Every son of God is placed under stewardship to be raised by the faithful and capable hands of the the law. It, the law of God written in the Book and on our consciences, is our “tutors and governors” until we graduate. The law stands over us with its guardian-like limits and restrictions, often seeming unconcerned and less than compassionate to our difficulties in making or keeping him satisfied. This law also stands ever before us and watches over us as a great and unforgiving disciplinarian. And in our minds eye we see his weighty watchful eyes and feel his heavy correcting hand. We think he a cosmic kill-joy to ruin our party.

Yet the law is good, very good. It is meant to accomplish many things. It is first and foremost to teach us that what we do actually matters. We learn all too soon that doing good (i.e. keeping the law) has its natural rewards, while doing bad (i.e. breaking or resisting the law) has its respective natural negative consequences. We desperately need to want to do good and the law is there to teach us that doing good has natural rewards, while not doing good has its pains.

Now all that is fine and good but that does not hold a candle to the real calling and purpose of the Law. Its real purpose is to lead us to Christ. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:23-26.

This is where things get tricky and the slope gets slippery. We must not run from the law but embrace it, the very heavy-handed thing that seems to want to ruin our party every time we plan one, is the very thing we must learn to love and respect. We must not only learn to love the Word that teaches us and guides us, not only must we learn to listen to our conscience and obey it, we must also learn that every lawgiver and form of discipline is there to help us, not ruin our party. These schoolmasters include those persons in our lives that are watching over our souls: teachers, law enforcement and especially our parents. This is why the law says, “Children obey your parents that it may go well with you. This is the first commandment given with promise.”

All the slipperiness is the battle of wills going on in the mind, at the point of knowing the law and bringing ourselves into submission to it. We naturally resist limits due to our fallen nature. We want to discount, dismiss, deny and even destroy the law. We hate doing what we don’t want to do almost as much as we hate not doing what we want to do. Paul has immortalized this classic and common struggle in Romans 7. There is an immense inner struggle between will’s. There is my will and there is God’s will couched in the counsel of our schoolmasters. The battle rages right there.

To up the ante toward the side of evil, your enemy has been living in your head, telling you that everything you want is good and righteous and that everything that would take that away is your enemy and seeks to harm you. You want what you want and will try many things, even unrighteous, murderous and devilish things to get it. This is where we come to the meaning of the title of this message.

As we have been growing up under tutors and governors, schoolmasters but most commonly parents, teachers and the civil laws, we have learned to trust them, to a degree. We still don’t like not doing, having, getting what we want, when we want it, how we want it. Yet as we continue to gain understanding and knowledge we begin to think that we have the right to decide for ourselves. We begin to draw farther and father away from our guides, looking less and less to them and more and more to our Self for guidance. This is normal, natural and necessary. You are moving away from your innocence of not knowing while at the same time you are moving toward accountability, knowing good from evil. When you make these moves you have to answer for your Self.

The responsibility for those who watch over you and thus their protection and provision extend only as far as you are under them, receiving and responding positively. If you remove yourself from them then you are choosing to be accountable for yourself. You become a law to yourself – a self government. This is where the student has become the teacher. You have rights and authority but you also have tremendous responsibilities and are yourself under the final authority of God Himself.

You say to your Self. I will do this and I will do that. Nobody can tell me what to do. I have Independence from authority. I am the law. I decide for my Self. When actually you are only listening to the spirit of rebellion, pride and the very one that wants to claim your soul for eternity. You have become the teacher, the law, but as such you must answer to the Teacher, the Law Himself. He does not lower the boom immediately, but make no mistake you are living under judgment and skating on thin ice. Your life is held in the balance by grace extended. This grace is extended because it is God’s will that none should perish. You are living on borrowed time that God has given by His grace. He does not owe this to you and may take it back at any time.

Now comes the balancing act of the soul. The soul is situated halfway between the earth and heaven, halfway between the body with its lusts and the Spirit in which there is no sin. The soul sits in the intersection. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen. 2:7.

The body is attached to the soul and wants to bring it into submission of its bodily lusts which stem from seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. It wants to serve Self. The Spirit also is attached to the soul and wants to bring it into submission to the will of God, to bring righteousness, peace and joy to your earth (i.e. your Self). It wants to establish the Kingdom of God within you.

The body entices you toward self-pleasure and the mind of the soul apart from Christ is wanting to serve it. It suppresses the law of God and brings you to act against Him. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Prov. 14:1. The Spirit wants to lead you to God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Prov. 1:7

So you begin working in your mind through the ever-churning thoughts of how to have what you want and to satisfy God’s law at the same time. You work diligently through the vehicles of justification, rationalization, denial and blame in a complex psychology that lets you break laws and feel good about yourself at the same time. You find good works to prop up your goodness and acceptability when confronted with conviction of the conscience and the Holy Spirit. You work and work and work to ease your conscience and push back the Holy Spirit because your pride will not allow you accept that you are deserving of death and separation from God, being independent, a law unto yourSelf. These works cannot save you.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Gal. 2:16.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21.

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Gal. 3:21.

You have only one good option. Repent and be saved. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. Believe me, you don’t want to be a fool, a law to yourself. Be teachable. Submission is the key to alignment. Alignment is the key to authority. Authority is the key to power. Power is the key to the overcoming, abundant, victorious life that was bought for you.