The School of Christ

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
—Psalm 32:8

THE MAJORITY OF THE people in the United States have the opportunity to attend academic schools. They start out with elementary school, then high school, and, for some, on to college. Students in the United States today have tremendous opportunities for education. They have unlimited resources available. These schools prepare them for the duties of life here on earth.

Christians can be enrolled in the ‘school of Christ.’ Those that enroll are in school every day. They will not graduate until they complete their course here on earth. They also have tremendous opportunities and resources available.

Among the opportunities available to them are conventions, congregational meetings, individual study and prayer. The textbook used is the Bible. They also have available the writings of other Bible students, studies in the scriptures, Bible concordances and dictionaries, and many books, monthly magazines, booklets, etc. The school of Christ prepares these for the duties and service useful not only at present, but also particularly for service in God’s kingdom. Enrollment in this school teaches us important lessons that will be profitable in life.

In this school we must be diligent students searching for the Truth with an open mind and a sincere heart. If we do not learn properly in the school of Christ, then we will fall backward, or fail. Each must make his own “calling and election sure.” (II Peter 1:10) The Apostle Paul tells us, “Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven.”—Col. 1:23

Those who are faithful grow in grace and knowledge. Through the understanding given by the Holy Spirit, they are able to appreciate the deep things, given freely by God. If they love and obey the Lord and desire to grow in his favor, if his written Word becomes their daily meditation, then they will grow in knowledge.


In this school, we are the students, and our Lord Jesus is the teacher by appointment of the Heavenly Father, the great Master Teacher. Jesus declared this fact, saying his teachings were things he had learned from the Father. He said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”—John 7:16-18

What is doctrine? It is a teaching. Our Lord’s discourses were along the lines of Divine revelation, or about God’s law. He publicly declared that his teachings were of things he learned from the Father. He said, “The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” (John 14:24) He also said, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”—John 17:6-8,14,18

There are other members of the faculty which Jesus appointed as special teachers under him. First there were the apostles. Later, others in the Church were instructed to be teachers and under-shepherds of the Lord’s flock, instructing them. As the Apostle Paul reminded the elders of Ephesus, “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the church of the Lord which he obtained with his own [Son’s] blood.”—Acts 20:28, Revised Standard Version

This charge not only applied to the persons living at that time, but even until our time. Those who have opportunities to teach, also have a responsibility to their brethren. They must recognize their accountability to the Lord and to the brethren.

None of these teachers were to teach doctrines of their own, which would only be the wisdom of this world. The people of God, as Jesus said in John 6:45 (quotation from Isaiah 54:13), “shall be all taught of God.” The people of God were all to be taught of Jehovah. None could be teachers except they presented to the students the words, the plan, and the character of God. These are the standards of truth and excellence. The Truth that they teach must be the expression of the Father’s grand and eternal law. Neither Jesus nor the apostles attempted, or claimed, originality. This is so unlike many who teach in the schools of the world today.

Educators know that if a school is to be a success it must have an educated, disciplined, competent faculty to take charge of the various departments of learning. If no fit faculty can be found, the learning cannot begin, nor its blessings be received.

As the children of God, we have been taken into our Heavenly Father’s confidence and have been shown his plan for the blessing of his entire family in heaven and on the earth. We have been privileged to become coworkers with him in carrying out his plan. This plan stretches into eternity, and is for the eternal blessing of all. Its foundations are broad and deep, and every step is accomplished with unerring wisdom.

To become members of this faculty, we must teach along the same lines as Jesus taught—the line of Divine revelation. We heed the Word of God, not human speculations and philosophies. As students and as teachers, we are daily tested in matters of our faith, our obedience, and our love. This love must be for God and his only begotten Son, Jesus, as well as for our brethren and the whole world of mankind. “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Heb. 6:10) The spirit manifested under these tests is most important.


Father Adam failed in the test of obedience, as also did the nation of Israel. Many have failed in their tests. We must not fail in our tests of obedience, faith, and love. Our school has a behavior code. It requires obedience and discipline for the well-being of God’s people. Each of us must make our own calling and election sure. We must complete the test of endurance as we progress in the narrow, but wonderful, way.

The school of Christ which started at Pentecost is not to remain open forever, but only until the end of the Gospel Age. Then the ‘headmaster’ will close the door for the graduation of the church. The church class will receive their diploma. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”—Rev. 2:10

God knows exactly what we need to qualify for receiving our diploma. We have received his Holy Spirit. He has called us out of darkness into this marvelous light. Each day we receive the opportunity to serve Him, his Son, and his children. All of the lessons in God’s Word are written for those who are enrolled in the school of Christ.

We are tested as to our willingness to suffer with our Lord, practicing to live in harmony with his Word and his will. Those who suffer as Christians should rejoice in full assurance of faith because the Spirit of God rests on them.

We are admonished by the Apostle Paul, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; … And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”—Heb. 10:22-25

The Heavenly Father foresaw these difficult times. He knew how much we need each other’s encouragement and help. The nearer we come to the great Millennial Day, the more precious are our opportunities for fellowship with those of like precious faith. We need this influence in our lives to offset the increasing influence of the world and its affairs. We assemble together for instruction, Christian development, mutual edification, encouragement, strengthening, and mutual advancement in the school of Christ.


The school of Christ is open to those invited by the Father, and following Jesus, the great teacher. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”—John 6:44,45

This school is a very select one, and the tuition fee is high. It is only for those who have counted the cost, and are willing to pay. It is for those who have given up their will to do God’s will, and who love the Lord more than self, popularity, worldly prosperity, or honor of men. Hence, only those who become New Creatures, possessing a new mind, heart, and will, are now in the school of Christ. Paul said, “Christ suffered for you and left you a personal example, so that you might follow in his footsteps.” In this school, our teacher is the role model for all the pupils.—I Pet. 2:21, Phillips Translation

Jesus suffered even unto death, and we are to do the same. He learned what obedience meant by the things which he suffered. Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott translates I Peter 2:21, “leaving you a copy.” He was perfect in his example, and our endeavor is to follow this perfect example. To follow in the Lord’s steps of humiliation and sacrifice is no light undertaking, but it is the only means by which we can become partakers of the Divine nature with him. If we follow in the exact footsteps of Jesus we will arrive at the same destination. In so doing, we “fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.”—Col. 1:24

We are in this school to be perfected, or to become a copy—a likeness—of Jesus. We are to learn of him and thus be prepared for joint-heirship in his kingdom. We are to learn at his feet the lessons necessary for our future service, and we are especially taught to have full faith in God. God desires that we grow in knowledge and grace, and is teaching us through his Word, and by various experiences we encounter. Each step of growth in knowledge brings a corresponding step of necessary duty and obedience, which will be followed by further growth in knowledge. It is a continuing education that will not end until we pass beyond the veil of death.

The Scriptures confirm our schooling along these lines, “You must keep on believing the things you have been taught. You know they are true for you know that you can trust those of us who have taught you. You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God’s salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus.” (II Tim. 3:14,15, Living Bible) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”—Col. 3:16


The Bible was written as a textbook for those in the school of Christ. Daily we should search the Word of God so that we may understand the Divine message and receive the Spirit of Truth, searching for real meanings in these lessons. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2:15) We are to study to know what God would approve. We are to study his revelations, doctrines, courses of conduct, how to shield ourselves from error and our own shortcomings.

The knowledge of the will of God comes to us through this study of the Bible. This is not a casual or thoughtless reading, but a search of the Scriptures. In this manner we receive our education. It is through wholly studying the Truth and being led into all Truth by the Spirit of Truth. The study of God’s Word should lead us to become familiar with the fruits of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22,23, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

The fruits of the Spirit are necessary developments of the New Creature. They do not come miraculously as gifts, but are developed over time, based upon the personality and the environment of each of the Spirit-begotten ones. As a result of continuous education in the school of Christ they become part of us, and are necessary to prepare us for the ‘hour of temptation.’ Finally, for entrance into the kingdom, we must graduate from this school of Christ.


This progression of knowledge is described by the Apostle Peter in chapter one of II Peter, as the Christian ‘ladder.’ Peter exhorts the brethren to patience, perseverance, virtue, faith, and concludes by saying, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”—II Pet. 1:10,11

Our curriculum consists of the three R’s—Ransom, Resurrection, and Restitution. These are sound teachings—sound doctrines. In the great plan of God for human salvation, the ransom constitutes the very central feature, and from it radiates all the doctrines which end in the fullness, completeness, of that Divine plan. From whatever viewpoint we look at this subject, it is both beautiful and consistent. “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”—I Cor. 15:21,22

This scripture verifies not only that there is a ransom, but that there will also be a resurrection when all will be made alive. The Scriptures also clearly teach that in Christ’s thousand-year kingdom there will be a restitution of all that was lost in Adam. This will include all those willing and obedient by the guidance of their Redeemer and his glorified church. “He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”—Acts 3:20,21

This is the time of the millennial kingdom, the restitution age. It is the thousand-year reign of Christ; the period of time for the renewing of mankind and the earth; when our Redeemer shall take the dominion of the world out of the hand of the current “prince of this world,” Satan.—John 16:11; Eph. 2:2

Those in the school of Christ, who heed the instructions and teachings of God and Jesus, as quoted in our theme text, will graduate with high honors. They will be ready, and well prepared, to undertake the task of helping the world of mankind learn about God and his commandments. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”—Rev. 20:6

Dawn Bible Students Association
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