When I think about teaching as you might know by now… I always point to 2 Timothy 2:15 as my go to verse… Because you have to learn it before you can teach God’s word… But what about Teaching? Well James 3:1 Says Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. What’s the worst thing we can do with our tongue? Misrepresent the word of God. Evidently there were people who were trying to teach that really had no business doing so. James felt it was a serious enough problem that he addressed it. One can only imagine that these people only had their own personal gain in view, maybe they had their own agenda or theology that they wanted to promote, leading to the word of God being Misrepresented… My desire would never to teach for my personal gain… But always to edify the brethren and to glorify God. So this bring me to the point I want to make.
Are their guidelines for teaching the word of God? I think there are, and I think you find some very important ones in Romans 12… Paul is listing spiritual gifts that the believers have and in Romans 12:6-8 he talks about exercising them accordingly… It says in Romans 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; Didaskōn (teaches) refers to the act of teaching, and didaskalia (teaching) can refer to what is taught as well as to the act of teaching it. What I’m doing is passing on the truth of God’s word to the Saints at my church… Building them up. We have a very simple, short but powerful mission statement at our church WIN, BUILD and SEND… Teaching is the God-given ability to understand the principles and teachings of God’s Word and to clarify them to others while building them up, sending them out so God can use them in His sovereignty to win more to Christ.
The teachers job is to get the text right, accurately handling and understand the word of God 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. It means you study hard and long if that’s what it takes, “Study” is spoudazō “to make haste, to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence.” I like Wuest’s translation of this verse Bend your every effort to present yourself to God, approved, a workman unashamed, expounding soundly the word of the truth. It also means you use the brains of other men if that’s what it takes… Spurgeon said “He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own.”
Regarding our Lord, Dr. MacArthur writes “Jesus, of course, was both the supreme Preacher and supreme Teacher. Even after His resurrection, He continued to teach. When He joined the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, “beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.… And they said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’ ” (Luke 24:27, 32). Both diermēneuō (“explained,” v. 27) and dianoigō (“explaining,” lit.“opening up,” v. 32) are synonyms of didaskōn (teaches) and didaskalia (teaching) in Romans 12:7.”
The teacher opens up the text to them and explains what it means… Maybe even sounding like you know what you’re talking about, that is speaking with authority because you’re confident you’ve done the hard work being approved to God, not being ashamed. Now lets look at Romans 12:11 Because I think it’s important… It says not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; We have a duty to the body of Christ to use our spiritual gifts and Teaching is one of them… so it says not lagging behind in diligence… Lagging means shrinking from or hesitating to engage in something worthwhile, possibly implying lack of ambition. Diligence means to do something hurriedly. It means to do something with intense effort and motivation… 2 Timothy 2:15 Teaching is worth doing with enthusiasm no room for lagging behind in diligence.
God rewards those who serve Him in this way Hebrews 6:10-12 Then it says in Romans 12:11 Be fervent in spirit… Fervent (zeo) means to be hot, Paul is saying literally “to boil in spirit.” “fervent” means “to be full of energy, to be on fire with zeal and enthusiasm.” So often people look at a teacher who is on fire, full of zeal and with much enthusiasm “negatively” They look at that fiery zeal and walk the other way, he pushes us to much or he’s closed-minded. So comes our priority when we use our gift of teaching, serving the Lord Serving douleuo from doulos… Slave or one who is in bondage or bound to another, in the state of being completely controlled by someone or something, it also means to be in bondage or in the position of servant and to act accordingly, dutifully obeying the master’s commands. So when we teach, we teach to please God not man, no man can serve two masters Matthew 6:24. Paul said he was a slave to Christ Romans 1:1 But he also said he was striving according to His power Colossians 1:29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
I teach because God has given me that gift… I refuse to let this gift fall to the ground… I refuse to let the word of God be muted or edited and I’m willing to take the consequences whether good or bad. Teachers we need to be:
- diligent in our study and research
- have a fervent on fire spirit for Him and His word
- knowing we are serving our Lord for His glory
There are some characteristics of teaching I have learned through out the past 10 years that I would like to touch on, but I’ll wait until next time. I’ll leave you with this.
Paul loved his books and to study them… His urgent request was “Bring me my books” (2 Timothy 4:13)
I can say along with Paul, how I love my books