Teaching is an honorable endeavor. Teachers who do their job well should be esteemed highly for their works sake. Too often, this is not the case. Nowhere is this more evident than in the church. When teachers are needed to staff Bible classes, there are few who will step up to the challenge. This results is stagnant Bible class programs that in turn produce little or no edification within the local church. Therefore, we need to re-examine our attitude toward teaching and teachers.
Historically, we have given much emphasis to teaching the Word of God. And, we might add, rightfully so. The basis for propagating the gospel is by the method of teaching. The book of Acts records the seriousness with which the early church engaged in teaching (Acts 5:24, 42; 13:12; 15:35; 18:11; & 28:31). These early Christians understood the importance of teaching. We would do well to do the same.
Teaching the Word of God is too important to do a half-hearted job. James speaks to this in chapter three verse one where he writes, "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment:" (James 3:1). While this verse does deal with the content of the lesson, it also deals with a teachers qualifications.
Some teach for the wrong reason. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees & Scribes for this error (Matthew 23:5-12). Those who desire prestige over others should not be teachers. Teaching is not for feeding the ego of a teacher but is for imparting knowledge to the student. When this is forgotten, failure is imminent.
Teachers must have an understanding of their subject. Paul urged Timothy to remain in Ephesus that he might charge some to teach no other doctrine, save the doctrine of Christ (1 Timothy 1:3-7). Paul identified those who had strayed and turned away to idle talk as "desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm" (v. 7). One cannot teach what they do not know. Therefore, to be a worthy teacher, one must fill themselves with a knowledge of the Word.
Something that is just as important as a knowledge of the Word is the ability to make application of the Word. The Hebrew writer rebuked those to whom he wrote for their failure to grow in knowledge of the Word. He then expressed why this is a bad thing. He said, "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). The ability to discern good from evil is the ability to make application of the Word of God in life's experiences.
Those who desire to teach must give consideration to these things that they may be teachers who are highly esteemed for their works sake.
By Glen Young
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