How We Learn in The School of Jesus Christ

I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day He was taken up, after He had given orders through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
-Acts 1:1-3

Jesus ministry is not just a teaching ministry.  Intellectual learning is only one part of the whole package.  We receive teaching, then we have a transformational experience, and then we do something about it.  That is real learning, Jesus style.

The things Jesus said and did provoked or invoked a response in people.  His teaching was experiential, in that it always invited his learners to have an experience.  The passive classroom or passive theater setting of church is not Jesus' way of teaching and learning.

We may have an interior experience that is deep and marvelous, when we learn or are taught.  But the proof is the exterior manifestation in our lives.  And some people are good at saying good things, but they do not do any good things. 

Today, we have an emphasis on teaching, but we do not teach the way that Jesus taught.  Jesus' teaching invited participation or experience from his learners, resulting in doing something, as in working it out.

Many Christians do emphasize experience, and have vibrant experiences in and with God and other believers.  Other Christians who only emphasize learning, who become knowledgeable, without emphasizing experience, sometimes criticize the ones having experiences, whether or not the 'experiencers' do also emphasize knowledge or learning, while giving equal time to experiencing.

All three of these groups: singular learners, singular experiencers, or learners who also experience; are incomplete, because they do not do the works of God.  Simply put, the works of God are to love people.  And service to God, is to care for Jesus' people.

Yet another group are people who are taught, gain knowledge and learn something, but skip experience, and then move into doing good works.  These folks are in legalism.  Legalists end up serving their doctrine rather than loving God and loving people out of God's love.

Then, there are people who emphasize spiritual experience, and don't care to learn apostolic truth: the foundations about God.  These folks are like the Gnostics of the 1st century, who basically said that the body does not matter and the spirit is all that is important, denying Jesus' incarnation and the fact that we live sanctified lives through Jesus Christ.

Finally, there are people who do not receive apostolic teaching and do not have experience with the living God, but move straight into the works of God. These are religious people and often good people, but not Christian, or what we call "Christian in name only".

The Jesus way is to receive his teaching, have a transformational & redemptive experience, and then live in his new life, doing his works among people.  People who get it, give it away to others.  These other people get taught, have an experience, and join the party.

Jesus did not systematically indoctrinate people.  He continually spoke about the kingdom of God, in pieces, in pictures, in parables.  Being in the kingdom is transformative.

Every teaching, every piece, from him is an invitation into kingdom life and a license to explore the kingdom, with permission to live in, through, and under it.  Going in transforms you and when you are in, you do kingdom stuff (good works) because that's what we do, in the kingdom, out of the King's love.

The first Apostles taught the kingdom and so should we.  Apostolic teaching is about the kingdom and the King.  Apostolic teaching is a cultivation of the culture of the kingdom of God.

Jesus teaches, and today, men and women, and boys and girls, teach Jesus.  People are invited to have a transformational and redemptive experience.  And that experience, if it was real, results in the reality of "doing something about it", or doing the works of God, which is simply loving people.

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