To whom much is given.... Responsibility

Recently I was privileged to be at the New Saint Andrews college graduation in Moscow Idaho. I was out on trip visiting my brother and sister in law and it was ‘accidental’ that I was there. But, there I was and it was an impressive occasion! One thing struck me which made me think about christian education in general; towards the end of the ceremony the students and the faculty lifted glasses of wine towards each other in the position of a toast and said these words:
Faculty:
“Omni cui multum datum est...
(“To whom much is give,...)
Students:
“...multum quaeretur ab eo.”
(...much is required.”)

The scene was impressive and said quite a lot. These students had spent 4 years learning about a christian worldview, the bible, languages and how that all should effect our culture. However, both the students and the teachers knew it was the case that this education brought with it responsibility. The education that the students had received was a large blessing that had been given to them and they were required, as we all are, to do much with it. Not just to go on and do life how they wanted but to go on into the rest of their lives and make the two or four years that they had spent studying count for Christ! Afterwards, talking to the students, I began to realise that actually it wasn’t just a ritual that had no meaning but that every student to whom I spoke to felt the weight of that exhortation.

This saying of Jesus in Luke 12:48 is not just applicable for students of New Saint Andrews college but also for us. Many of us have been brought up in Christian houses and have been taught the Bible from when we have been very young. Most of us have been educated christian-ly (if that is even a word!) and been taken along to a Bible believing, teaching and practising church. We have been given much that is a blessing even though it may not feel like it at all times. With every great gift, however, comes the responsibility to make a difference with it and to use it wise. “To whom much is given, Much is required.” Jesus cares how you use the gifts that he gives you.

There are two ways that having a specifically Christian upbringing and education should effect us. Firstly these things should effect us by bringing us to take on that Christian profession as our own and secondly it should effect us by forcing us to use what we know for the good of the church and the world.

1. Those of us who have Christian parents and have been privileged to receive a Christian upbringing should be encouraged by these things to take up the confession of Christ to be our confession. No person is saved by the faith of their parents and God demands from all people everywhere that they repent (Acts 17:30). Malachi 2:15 becomes more specific and tells us that God seeks godly offspring. Acts 2:39 tells us that God’s promise (or covenant) is for parents and their children demonstrating that God is interested in the children of parents who trust in him. If you have been brought up by Christian parents then God expects of you that you will follow Christ (after all that is the most sensible thing you can do!). This is why we find children addressed in letters that are to the church#, because children of believing parent’s should be in the church and as they grow up make this profession of the faith their own.

2. God has put people on this earth for a purpose and when He gives us knowledge He expects that we use that knowledge well. When God first made Adam and Eve he told them to do two things a. fill the earth b. subdue it. We still have this job but when Christ came he gave the church another action command; “go and make disciples of all nations”. As God’s people we have a job. To fill the world with worshippers of God and to subdue and rule creation. Part of both of those actions can be also accomplished in the preaching of the gospel. Knowledge is very dangerous if not used properly. 1 Corinthians tells us that knowledge puffs up but love builds up. The building of Christian community is by love and the building of a christian family is by love and so is the building of a strong church. Knowledge is a responsibility but is also a huge blessing when used with love. To whom much is given, much is required and God will ask you how you used what he gave you. How will you answer?

By Thomas van den Broek

1 comment:

  1. An excellant article Thomas. It is very important to repent personaly, and daily, and to fulfill (through the Holy Spirit) the great commision. And indeed "To whom much is given much is required" (Luke 12v48), we have been given eternal life through Jesus Christ, the least me can do is "fill the world with worshippers of God".

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