The Doctrine Of The “10,000 Instructors In Christ”

1Co 4:10  We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

1Co 4:11  Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;

1Co 4:12  And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

1Co 4:13  Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

1Co 4:14  I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

1Co 4:15  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Most, if not all faithful Christians will say that being instructed in Christ is needful and essential to every Christian’s sanctification as sons in this dispensation of Gentile grace. And while this is a true fact, there is a damaging and hindering element also that can take place with the saint and it comes from the ‘instructor’ who teaches, and establishes the saint with the doctrine taught by these men who were never truly established themselves within the doctrine “which is according to godliness.” You see, when Paul says “for though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers,” he speaks of men who were just like the Corinthians; they were “babes,” and they could only digest “milk” doctrine. This is why Paul says that “for I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” this was a ‘reproof’ given unto the saints, because they were ‘of this world.’ But these men fully understood the justification unto eternal life, and how to obtain the righteousness of God, they fully understood the gospel of Salvation from the debt and penalty of sin given unto them, but they were ignorant of the sanctifying doctrine taught to them by “the Holy Ghost” in the scriptures.

1Co 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1Co 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Moreover, the Corinthians were content with understanding their justified positon in Christ, while yet following the spirit of this world, and its thinking, and its ways, and helping to promote its constant rebellion against “the Spirit of God” taught by “man’s wisdom. Now even though they weren’t fully aware that they were cooperating with the “spirit of this world,” this truly was the case. And this was due to these saints allowing themselves to fall victim to the “spirit of this world,” and when this took place, the saint’s edification became hindered, and eventually stalled. And at that time there were only “babes” in their midst, even their “instructors” could not handle “meat” doctrine, but could only teach the saints the justifying doctrine they had learned earlier by Paul and Apollos.

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

1Co 3:5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

1Co 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Rom 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

And even though at first glance it might not seem as such a bad thing because these saints were teaching the saints the word of God; but the problem was that these “instructors” were not doctrinally equipped to edify the hearers. The Corinthian saints were ‘stalled’ in a “babes in Christ” standing as “sons,” Paul says he could not feed them with “meat” because they were not able to “bear it.” This is because the saints were participating in the “works of darkness” of this world, notice what Paul says to the Corinthian saints in verse 3, and what he tells the Roman saints in verse 13 about two of the “works of darkness.” And as you can see the “strife and envying” and the “divisions” was the main reasons why these saints could not continue their education further, and become ones who are doctrinally qualified to “instruct” other saints that they may be able to gain the proper edification the way God the Father has designed.

Ti 6:3  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

1Ti 6:4  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

1Ti 6:5  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Therefore, as the above verses also indicate, just because a man teaches God’s word; it doesn’t always mean that he will be teaching and preaching the “words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness.” And the men that the above verses speak of are men who taught from the word of God, this is why Paul says things like “teach,” because they are teaching a particular doctrine; and he reminds them that they are “destitute of the truth,” evidently there were ones who thought they taught “truth,” and he tells them to “withdraw thyself,” because there were ones who would have fellowship with these men. However, these men were “proud, knowing nothing,” they thought they were full of wisdom concerning the truth, but because they were not consenting to “wholesome words” (they did not follow God’s design for proper edification, nor did they understand and appreciate Paul being their Apostle and following the doctrine given unto him).

Php 2:19  But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.

Php 2:20  For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

Php 2:21  For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

Php 2:22  But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

Furthermore, God the Father would have the “state” of the saint to be in the hands of a faithful man, one who has their godly best interests in mind; and one who gives up of himself for the sakes of others, so that they may increase in the knowledge and love of the Father. And as we can see here the Apostle Paul trusted that Timothy would be as a “father” unto the Philippian saints just as he himself was unto Timothy, he and Timothy were “likeminded” concerning the doctrine, and the saints in Philippi knew this also, they seen the “proof” of his faithfulness first hand. Today, we have far too many “instructors” who “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s,” they want to become a preacher because of self-willed reasons other than having the desire to want to be educated by the Father whereas he himself is a son who has doctrinally grown, so that he is not a “novice” concerning “the things which are Jesus Christ.”

2Ti 2:1  Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 2:2  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

2Ti 2:3  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2Ti 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

You see, the only way the son can truly have “the mind of Christ,” he has to be taught by a faithful man who spiritually has his best godly interests in view, and that has a zealous goal to properly “care” for the “state” of the saints, so that they can properly grow from ‘milk to meat’ doctrinally. And as you see, an “instructor” must be “strong in the grace,” and most importantly; he must be one who has the doctrinally ability to “be able to teach others also.” But if an “instructor” is a “novice,” (one who has not been properly “instructed” himself in the correct doctrine; whether he acknowledges this to be the case or not) he has no choice but to keep going over the same foundational doctrine over and over with the saints. He will teach the resurrection, and he will teach the same subjects because he does not have the “mind of Christ,” but the goal of the Father is (and it ought to be the ‘all out’ goal of the “instructor”) to “naturally care” for the “state” of the saint, and to have their education to be in the hands of a “father” who is faithful and zealous in the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and who can teach the saints to be “likeminded” so they themselves can establish other saints to be ‘like father, like son.’

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Tit 1:8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Finally, the “instructor” must have been himself taught “sound doctrine,” so that he can be “able” and “faithful” enough to teach and establish other saints as a “father,” who now can “faithfully” teach others, and most importantly also be “able” themselves to “both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

Rod Jones

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