Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Gift of Teaching

"And the things which you have heard from me 
in the presence of many witnesses, 
these entrust to faithful men, 
who will be able to teach others also."
2 Timothy 2:2

The word teach is defined as showing or explaining to someone how to do something.  Everyone at some point in their life, has been a teacher based on this definition, even if just for a moment.

In the verse above, Paul is talking about teachers teaching teachers...

How do you know you have the biblical gift of teaching?  Whenever you read the Word, you want others to hear it, know it, and understand it.  You want to explain it, and can explain it, with some clarity.  You want to affect the lives of others for the glory of Jesus Christ, with His Word.  You've been told by others that you have the gift.  

I have tried to shut down this blog, several times, but something wells up in me every time...the desire to proclaim Jesus and His Word, to explain it.  The Lord determines the number in your audience, your call is to be faithful with your gift.  It can be done on blogs, it is done in the church.  To be clear, I believe the pulpit belongs to men, based on Paul's instruction to Timothy in his first letter.  There he instructs that the overseers of the church are men (husbands) and able to teach - 1 Timothy 3:2.  He also says in 5:17 that the elders who rule well, and elders are men, those elders who work hard at preaching and teaching (some will not work as hard at preaching and teaching) are worthy of double honor - Paul was talking about monetary compensation through the offerings.  There are other verses too, that I base my position on, but these two verses are very clear that women are not to have the role of an overseer or elder, which is a position of leadership in the church, and one of their functions is teaching.  

Does God give the gift of teaching to women?  Absolutely.  I know many women with this gift of explaining scripture and they use it to teach other women and children.  And I believe it's absolutely ok with the Lord for a woman to explain her understanding of scripture to a man - my husband and I have some great discussions around the Word from time to time.  A woman can discern when error and heresy is taught, just as much as a man, if she's faithfully been a student of the Word, rightly dividing it.

Anyway, I was reading in my John MacArthur commentary this morning, (John is a favorite scripture explainer of mine), on the passage that was taught at church recently (we are in 2 Timothy).  I loved this quote of William Barclay's that John included as he explained the verse above...

"The teacher is a link in the living chain which stretches unbroken from this present moment back to Jesus Christ.  The glory of teaching is that it links the present with the earthly life of Jesus Christ."

In every generation, God has raised up new links in this living chain of faithful men (and women) to pass on the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of their day.

It is a privilege and joy to be a teacher of the Word.  Even if you only affect one life at a time.  As teachers, we are called to explain the Word, which stir others up about being in the Word, about being obedient, about being faithful, about doing good works out of love for our Master Teacher, about reflecting the character of our Master Teacher...the Greatest Teacher of All...the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Blogs are an immediate great outlet to post what you've studied, and it's a great tool for encouraging others, which teachers love to do, also...

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