By Jim Olsen
The grace-gift of teaching is meant for every believer, distinguished from the ministry of teaching. Paul encouraged every believer to let God’s word dwell in them as we teach one another. The gift brings the word of God to life in our lives. It’s based on our life experience, how God has answered our prayers.
The word of Christ must be put at the center of our lives. The truth is: God is not a random force. He is a person. He has a nature that needs to be taught. The principles of how God acts; his divine nature are written down in the Bible, which is called in Greek, his logos, a divine utterance. In his series of sessions, we’ll be asking God to give us the ability to teach others who he is, without needing an extensive amount of training. Remember the principle of grace; it is giving away what you already received. Consider how Col 3:16 brings teaching, admonishment, singing and gratitude together as a single unit, pointed not at your mind, but at your innermost being.
Col 3:16 “Let the word (logos) of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach (didasko) and admonish (gently caution) one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
To understand the gift of teaching, understand there is no randomness with God. Jesus did not go about doing anything he felt like. He lived by God’s Word. God created everything with a word and John introduces Jesus as the Word, logos. Gen 1:3 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
The gift of teaching works in two primary ways. First and foremost, it prompts you to share the things spoken in the word of God, the Bible. Paul declares the goal is to present people as ‘perfect’ in Christ. The Greek word teleios is defined as ‘complete and lacking nothing.’ Only in Christ can a person be changed to be perfectly pure, a new creation with sins washed away. You can read this verse as the gift of teaching shares the good news that everyone can have their past, their sins, washed away in Christ. The Gospel is straightforward and easy to understand. Sin is forgiven because Jesus became a substitute, taking the punishment meant for us. I suggest you read ‘The Gospel Story’ from the menu link at the bottom of this page to learn how Christ can change your life.
If you’ve received the good news of Christ by inviting him into your life, you are made perfect in his eyes, complete and lacking nothing. Imagine that. Not anywhere in life would anyone call anyone else ‘perfect,’ yet with the Lord’s teaching we can present a story of perfection to ourselves and others.
Col 1:27 ”To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching (didasko) everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect (teleio) in Christ.”
Because this is a gift of teaching, you don’t need hours of lessons on the exact doctrines of Christianity. Simply telling other what Jesus has done in you and through you is all you need. The apostles In Acts 4 said “we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” They said this while being confronted by religious leaders telling them to stop spreading the Gospel. Let it encourage your heart that you don’t need a degree in divinity. Share what the Lord has done for you.
Acts 4:18 “Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach (didasko) at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than God. 20 For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Stop and think for a moment… Have you forgotten some of the things God has done? Why not ask him in prayer right now to resurrect those examples. Also, take another moment and consider the parts of your own life that are ‘commanding’ you not to speak. It’s very likely that there are voices in your own head, heart or from your family that are telling you not to tell others about Jesus. Grace teaches us to give away most of what we receive, so we can grow. Ask the Lord to silence those voices as you go forth.
Jesus had a unique style of teaching. He taught by example. One example is about washing one another’s feet. Pronouncing forgiveness is one of the active ways Jesus taught us to relate to mankind. I reckon that he’s saying, let your teaching not be high minded, let it be about your daily life, how I’ve cleaned up your life, made your life better.
John 13:13 “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, because I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you.”
If you are just starting out in this teaching gift, don’t be shy. It’s very possible that someone may challenge your teaching, but let your heart stay soft. Don’t become anything like the people Jesus was talking about here.
Mark 7:6 “Jesus answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. 7 They worship Me in vain; they teach (didasko) as doctrine the precepts of men.’ 8 You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”
Also, don’t argue. Jesus warned us that some of our family and friends may turn against us because of the word. Just let others go on, loving them, and putting up with their offences the same way God puts up with us.
1 Tim 6:3 “If anyone teaches (didasko) another doctrine and disagrees with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. Instead, he has an unhealthy interest in controversies and semantics, out of which come envy, strife, abusive talk, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind who are devoid of the truth. These men regard godliness as a means of gain.”
Definitions are from InHisVerse Bible (IHV) - www.InHisVerse.com.
Copyright © 2019, 2020, Jim Olsen, Olsen's Apps LLC, All Rights Reserved
Bible Quotations From: The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB (BereanBible.com). Copyright ©2016, 2019 by Bible Hub. Unless Otherwise Noted.