Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
September 2016

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers Ephesians 4:11.

Notice the way teachers appear in this verse. It is the only Administrative Gift that is not preceded by the word “some.” Notice that the conjunctive word “and” is inserted instead. The use of this conjunction, and the omission of the article “some” from before the word teachers causes a number of my esteemed brethren to think that these two offices are in fact part of the same office. This implies that the duties of feeding and teaching are assigned to the office of Pastor. However, while it is true that no man is fit to be a pastor who cannot teach and a teacher needing the knowledge which pastoral experience gives does not mean that the two offices are one and the same. The combining of varied experiences is helpful in all the Administrative Gifts.

The word Pastor, as we discussed last month, is the New Testament Greek word “poimen.” Only in Ephesians 4:11 is poimen translated pastors. Every other rendering in the New Testament it is translated “shepherd.” The Greek word translated pastor or shepherd, can also be translated feeder. This translation reveals the basic function of the pastor’s ministry. The New Testament Greek word for teacher is not poimen; it is didaskalos. Didaskalos means instructor. The difference then between a pastor/feeder and a teacher/instructor is that feeding has to do with providing a spiritual diet, while instructing has to do with developing skills.

You may think, the function of a Pastor must include teaching, and you would be right. That doesn’t make the office one of a pastor/teacher. Look at it like this. When a child is born, the parents feed the child, change the child, and protect the child. As the child grows, the parents tell the child what is right and wrong, good and evil, proper and improper, moral and immoral. Doing these things does not help the child mature grow and intellectually advance unless they can also properly instruct the child by answering the questions of why and how. That is the job of a teacher.

A teacher is empowered by God to answer the questions why and how. Why is it moral? Why is it wrong? Why is it evil? How do I avoid evil? Not just that it is, moral or wrong, but why it is moral or wrong, and how do I avoid what is wrong, how do I avoid evil, and how do I act morally? This is not to mention learning such basic skills as reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. Moreover, added to this comes the how. How do we accomplish or complete the task God sets before us. As you can see, this is the job of a teacher. In this illustration, I am not implying that one office is more important than the other or the two offices cannot be accomplished by one person. This illustration shows the difference between the two offices.

Here is another illustration. Our youngest son, Aaron, came home from school with a problem in math. The problem included time and speed. Which train would arrive first in Los Angeles? Train A, traveling at 160 miles per hour nonstop from New York to Los Angeles, a total of 3200 miles, or Train B, traveling at 90 miles per hour nonstop from Saint Louis to Los Angeles, a distance of 2100 miles. Now most of us without thinking too hard would say Train A, and we would be right. However, what Aaron needed was the mathematical formula used to figure out the correct answer. Here lies instruction. Telling Aaron that Train A will arrive first, will not help him get the answer the next time a similar question is asked, but teaching Aaron mathematically why and how we arrived at that answer will!

There are many times when a hurting individual just needs to be shown that he is loved, or when only comfort, a kind word, an attentive ear, or a loving touch will satisfy his need. There will also be times when saving that person’s life is the most important thing. For example, a person who is about to fall off a cliff does not need to be told what gravity is, how gravity works, and what will happen when that person releases his grip and hits the ground. Doing that would be absolutely ludicrous. What that person desperately needs, more than anything else, is a strong solidly grounded compassionate person to secure him. That is why God gave pastors. There are many other times however, that a person heading for a cliff does not need to be comforted or walked with; he needs to be instructed in the right direction to walk in order to avoid the cliff. That is the job of the teacher.

As stated earlier, the Greek word for teacher in the New Testament is didaskalos. It is important to note that variations of the word didaskalos, nomodidaskalos, and kalodidaskalos carry the meaning of a teacher of right, truth, and good things. It also means a teacher, one who expounds the law; who is a doctor of truth. As we all know, the Gospel of Jesus is good news. It is truth! There is also another word in the New Testament that carries the same meaning as didaskalos, nomodidaskalos, and kalodidaskalos and that word is euaggelizo. Euaggelizo is a word related to euaggelistes, which is the Greek word for evangelist and is translated to preach, declare, or to bring forth glad tidings, especially the Gospel. What these Greek words show us is that a teacher’s divine duty is to instruct God’s children in what is right, pure, and undefiled. God’s Word tells us that people are delivered from the bondage of sin and built up in righteousness through the agency of truth. God’s Word is the truth (John 17:17). That makes teaching imperative.

What is the definition of Teaching in a Biblical sense? What are the general and specific aims of a Bible Teacher? The definition of Bible teaching is the communication of the Gospel (Good News) through formal and informal educational programs so that the facts of Scripture can be presented clearly and completely. This allows individuals the ability to respond by personal faith in Christ so that they can grow toward spiritual maturity. The teacher’s ministry is an equipping ministry to all age levels that nurtures spiritual growth and evangelistic outreach. Its general aim is to transmit the Word of God so that every student may be transformed into God’s image. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Teachers must recognize and accept their responsibility to lead each student to trust in Christ and accept Him as their personal Savior. Acceptance of Christ as Savior is only the first step toward a full life; no one should stop there. It is God’s purpose that every Christian “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). And “be conformed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

It is also important to note that teaching is a command from Jesus Himself. It is a New Testament pattern we must follow. In Matthew 28:19–20 Jesus tells us to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Acts 5:42 gives us the New Testament pattern. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching [didasko—to teach] and preaching [euaggelizo] - to announce good news] Jesus as the Christ.” Please notice they are not the same. One is specifically for learning the other is declaring that Jesus is the Christ. Why? Because teaching enables many new lives to come to Christ for salvation and grow in grace and be transformed into His image. This can only come through learning His precepts. The patient and dedicated teaching of God’s Word is essential in meeting this end. It is, therefore, a teacher’s responsibility to link the truths taught with the daily lives of the students in order to help them become “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). Only believers who possess and profess the truth will be thus transformed.

Teaching is also the primary root of the commission that Christ gave to His apostles before His ascension. “Go,” said He, “teach all nations.” In this way, we will make disciples. A disciple is one who is “taught” to obey the principles of his master. The term disciple is principally used of the followers of Christ. How can a person go and make disciples if there are no teachers to teach them? Being taught is one of the precious promises of God’s covenant with man. All Children of God shall be “taught of the Lord and great shall be the peace of thy Children” (Isaiah 54:13). Jesus quoted this verse in Isaiah and He adds a promise to it. “Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45). Not only will great peace be the children’s inheritance, but also they are given an open invitation to come into the Father’s presence at any time. What an awesome responsibility for the teacher? What a tremendous promise to those who would be taught? These promises are not given to any of the other administrative ministries. Only to those who teach. That is why if anyone undertakes, teaching in Christian assemblies, he shall receive a stricter judgment. “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that you will receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).

Notice that it is the Teachers that are the ones who are held in stricter judgment. This admonition is not given to Pastors, Evangelists or any of the other Administrative Gifts, just Teachers. There is however, a terrible end, pronounced upon any minister of the Gospel that would proclaim a false Gospel. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach [Euaggelizo] any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6–9

Accursed is the Greek word “anathema.” Meaning, one which, in God’s righteous judgment, is pronounced doomed to destruction, because they will lead the children of God away from the atoning work accomplished by the death of Christ. The real possibility of being led astray from the true Gospel by false leaders was brought to fruition in the Galatian church. That is the reason why as God’s children you are strictly commanded to “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). God’s children must be prepared to recognize lies so: “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14).

False teachers have but one desire and that is to exploit you. Look at the warning Peter gives. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” 2 Peter 2:1–3.

Teaching, as discussed earlier, is an essential root of the commission that Christ gave His disciples before His ascension. These God appointed men and women have a tremendous calling and an awesome responsibility to teach accurately and faithfully the Word of God. We have also seen that they will fall under stricter judgment if they do not.

Teachers, based on the reasons given above, have three specific proposes when they are teaching.

  1. Increasing knowledge. “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” Joshua 1:8.

  2. Changing attitudes. “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20.

  3. Improving behavior. “But He said, more than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Notice also what James 2:26 says; “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Luke 11:28

The fact is that three out of four Christians became Christians during the teen years. Teaching, especially to young adults during these learning years is crucial to the wellbeing of their Christian life.

Jesus said in Matthew 9:37–38, “Then He said to His disciples, the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. ‘Therefore pray the lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’ We see that there are two things this verse stresses. First, is to save, and second is to send out. We must give all men the knowledge that will lead them to Christ and then prepare them with the knowledge and desire to reap an already prepared harvest. These two principles explain why the Great Commission to teach is so great and the punishment so severe.

Finally, let us look at the benefits that will be received by learning the Word of God taught by truthful and anointed teachers, who have done accurate and diligent study. In 2 Timothy 3:16–17, Paul says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

  1. It is profitable for Doctrine - Doctrines are rules to live by.

  2. It is profitable for Reproof - Reproof is conviction or evidence needed to convince one, of the errors of his ways. 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

  3. It is profitable for Correction - Correction means to rectify one’s errors to make one worthy again.

  4. It is profitable for Instruction - Instruction means to be directed, and guided along the straight and narrow path that leads to the Promised Land. In Acts 18:26 Paul speaking about Apollos says, “he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”

  5. It is profitable for Righteousness - Righteousness means to be made equitable, or right or just with God. “My tongue shall speak of your word, for all your commandments are righteousness (Psalm 119:172)

  6. It will make us Complete - Complete means to be at a place of being mature, accomplished, and totally furnished having all the tools necessary to be a true man or women of God Let’s look at other Scriptures that will bring to light other benefits of learning God’s Word.

  7. It will cleanse our way. In Psalm 119:9 the psalmist says, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” And in John 15:3 Jesus says, “You are already clean because of the word which 1 have spoken to you.”

  8. It gives light and understanding - In Psalm 119:130 the psalmist says, “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”

  9. It is profitable for Sanctification - In John 17:17 Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

  10. It is profitable for Faith - In John 20:31 Jesus says, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, that believing you may have life in His name.”

  11. It is profitable for Hope - In Romans 15:4 Paul says, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

  12. It will purify your Soul. In 1 Peter 1:22 Peter says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,”

  13. It gives assurance of Salvation - In 1 John 5:13 John says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

  14. It will make you Wise. In 2 Timothy 3:15 Paul says to Timothy, “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

The office of a teacher must be fully restored and operating at full strength in the Body of Christ if we are ever to see the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. With this restoration, the Body of Christ will get stronger. She will start to take her rightful place in the kingdom. Many strongholds of the enemy will be torn down. Many souls will be saved and firmly planted. Many false doctrines will be revealed and the false teachers, who are spreading them, will be uncovered and removed.

There is a long way to go before we get there and it is only the divine re-establishing of all the Administrative Gifts in their proper order and function that will get us there. Remember the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return, and catch His bride away. “That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14).           The only way to achieve the maturing of the saints, so that all of us may grow into His fullness, is through the operational unity of the five Administrative Gifts. Each one must work in unison with each other and in each congregation (Refer again to Ephesians 4:12–16). Not the least of these is God-anointed, God-appointed, and God-ordained teachers.

Let us all take time each day to pray and ask God to complete the work of restoring all His Administrative Gifts to full unity of operation. Let us also pray that God will bestow upon His bride all the benefits of that operation as well. This will shorten the time remaining before the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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