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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Teachers

A good friend and I exchanged a couple of e-mails and a short phone conversation in the past 24 hours.  I had suggested that it is the role of the gifts of the Spirit to equip the other members of the body.  He posed the question that if it is the case that all believers can and should come to the Word of God on their own and expect to understand the Scripture based on the promise of John 16:13, why do we need teachers?  He pointed to the gift passages (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4) noting that there does not seem to be an expectation that the gifts would equip others with their gifts at some level rather that they are to operate independently.
What is the real purpose of a Christian teacher?
My response to that is that Romans 12:4 and Ephesians 4:12 have in them the notion that those with gifts are given them to build up, equip, the rest of the body.  That would mean that at some level some of the abilities of the gifted are transferred.  Jesus and Paul modeled this in their ministries and codified it in Matthew 28:18 – 20, John 17:20, and 2 Timothy 2:2.

We are still talking through this.  Thinking through our conversation this morning it seems to me that a teacher has at least 4 roles and they are done concurrently:
  • Teach content
  • Teach in a manner that reveals or demonstrates the method utilized to obtain the content
  • Model the results of good study
  • Demonstrate the infinite depth of the Word, so to create healthy dissatisfaction in those being taught with their grasp of the Word of God, so they will emulate the Berean Christians, Acts 17:11
There may be more or this may need correcting, it is still a work in progress.  What do you think?

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