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Development in Christian Education
Why We Must Educate as well as Worship
The moral development in Christian education is essential in that we are all striving to become Christ-like in all that we do. Moral development is a process much like maturity development. In addition, as we mature we develop a greater sense of morality in our thoughts and actions, hence the adage “when you know better you ought to do better.” The foundation source of morality is the Word of God as given to us by Jesus Christ. Moral development is essential in Christian education and the developmental process of the Christian.
“Scripture clearly views life in Christ as a process. New believers are not immediately changed into mature saints at conversion. Development is a normal process, which Paul refers to as transformation (Rom. 12:2). At the heart of biblical morality is developing the character traits of Christ. As Paul puts it, we are to become “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29).” (Anthony, 1992)
What this piece of Anthony’s work is saying in my words is that the essence of the development of every new Christian and developing Christian and seasoned Christian is the Words and works of Christ. The character of Christ is the driving force behind the moral development of every Christian regardless of what stage of their walk with Christ they are. We are moral, not because we have learned how to be and what it takes to be moral. We are moral because we develop and grown in the character of Christ and how He wants us to be about each and every day and about each and every thing and about each and every situation in our lives that we deal with. And to that end that we do not attempt to seek any justice for the things in our lives that we do not like but to seek the Words of Christ and how He would have and has dealt with similar situation as an example to us and for us. In short…for us to know what Jesus would do…we must first know what He did.
As Christian education goes so does, moral development grows. Morality is not a learned process as in knowledge-based information that leads to actions. Morality is god’s revelation of His Word to us in a given situation that leads to an action of obedience in us and from us that leads to aiding in the process of moral development and maturity. Christian education must have the component of Gods Words in a format the moves the Christian student from reading and study to relying on God and doing. “22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is as if a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25)
The morality of the Christian is not based on the social norms that he or she lives in. The morality of the Christian is based on the Word of God and what is says that we do…how we act…what we say…why we say it and that all that boils down to the fundamental idea that God controls all that we do and say and think and are. “For it is in Him I move, in Him I live and in Him I have my being…” the morality of the Christian does not exist in themselves, but in their walk with Christ and with Christ in them. We are not moral. We cannot develop morality by ourselves. It is the example of Christ in us that reveals that sense of what can bee seen as morality. In other words, the Words of God manifested through us and in us is what others see as our moral conduct and speech.
In conclusion, I say that the more anyone can see Christ in us the more they will see a sense of morality. In addition, the morals in the Christian are revealed as the Word of God is revealed in them. “At the heart of biblical morality is developing the character traits of Christ. As Paul puts it, we are to become “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29).” (Anthony, 1992) Ones see the moral Christian when one sees Christ in the Christian.
Anthony, M. J. (1992). Foundations of Ministry. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
The Bible (NIV)