This article points out eight reasons for teaching others the gospel.

1. To Obey A Command Of God: -- Hebrews 5:12 states, "For when by reason of the time ye OUGHT to be teachers..." "Ought" does not mean you can take it or leave it like, "I ought to clean out our garage." Rather, the word means a "binding as necessary; must; obligated to." Teaching another the truth is a command of God.

2. To Exercise Spiritual Discernment, Develop Spiritual Maturity, And Grasp Deeper Spiritual Teachings:-- The Hebrew Christians failed to grow as they should (Heb. 5:11-14). They had become "dull of hearing." As a result, they could not teach, were in need of spiritual milk and could not discern good and evil. Studying to teach helps develop our senses, gives us a better grasp of the whole of the Bible, and enables us to appreciate deeper truths (such as the Melchizedek priesthood). This makes our faith "rooted and builded up in Him" (Col. 2:6). The study required to teach has by-products that pay eternal dividends.

3. To Become Great In The Sight Of God: -- Jesus said, "...whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19). God will eternally bless the Christian who does and teaches everything He says in His Word.

4. To Follow The Example Of Jesus: -- Numerous examples show Jesus teaching (Matt. 11:1; Mk. 4:1; 6:2,34; 8:31). Molding our will into God's will demands that we share the truth with those who do not know it. By doing this, we follow Jesus' example (1 Pet. 2;21).

5. To Follow The Example Of The Apostles: -- The great commission was specifically directed to the apostles (Matt. 28:18- 20; Mk. 16:15,16), yet people today are saved the same way they were saved back then -- through being taught the gospel. We follow their example in teaching that others may be saved.

6. To Follow The Example Of Early Christians: -- At Stephen's stoning, disciples in Jerusalem were scattered. Those displaced Christians taught people within their sphere of influence (Acts 8:4), and so must we.

7. To Grow To Become Elders And Deacons: -- An elder is to be "apt to teach" (1 Tim. 3:2). This means he is able and willing. A deacon gains "great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 3:13), which indicates he is to grow sufficiently to stand for truth -- to teach Bible truths. Becoming an elder or deacon in the local church should grow naturally out of one's desire for his own spiritual development.

8. To Demonstrate Our Love For Others: -- Jesus said a second commandment like the first is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matt. 22:29). If we really want the best for someone, really believe there are only two eternal destinies for every person (Matt. 22:45), really believe the gospel is God's power to save (Rom. 1:16) and without it people are lost and bound for a devil's hell (2 Thes. 1:8), we will not be able to keep from teaching that person the truth.

By Phillip A. Owens in Back To Basics, Vol. 2, No. 10, Oct. 2004.

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