Three Types of Subject Matter

In Acts 11 we see three types of subject matter that need to be communicated by God’s servants. 

11:20     preaching     euaggelízō     to announce good news, “evangelize”.  This is to unbelievers. They really just need to hear the gospel.  Until they grasp that nothing else really matters very much.

11:23     encouraging     parakaléō     to call alongside, exhort, admonish Related to parakletos, a title used of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit.   (See John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7 and 1 John 2:1)  This is especially to new believers. They need to go beyond the gospel itself and hear about commitment to Christ, growth and perseverance – so that they don’t see trials and fall away.  More mature believers also still need this from time to time because, let’s face it, we get discouraged and need motivation.

11:26     teaching     didáskō      (like “didactic”) to impart instruction, explain or expound a thing, instill doctrine. This is educating Christians about God and the Christian life, communicating all that God has revealed to us – from A to Z, Alpha to Omega, the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, the Contents to the Maps.  Teaching nourishes and matures a church.  It is sorely needed in the church today.  Many Christians are ignorant of the Scriptures and are therefore weak in their faith (Romans 10:17).  We their pastors need to feed it to them.

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