Teaching is not just the communicating of doctrine or information. Students must experience God, not just learn information about Him.
Teaching is the transmission [imparting] of both a life and lifestyle. The life to be imparted to students is new life in Jesus Christ through new birth spiritually (John 3).
The lifestyle to be imparted is that of the Kingdom of God. Students must be taught how to live as "citizens" in this Kingdom, learning both the privileges and responsibilities of their position.
Sometimes, we have been content to borrow man-made educational systems instead of learning and applying what God's Word - the King James Bible reveals about teaching.
Schools And Education Systems Are A Tool Of Government
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
The Commission To Teach
From the beginning of Biblical history, God commanded His people to teach His Word:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
The teaching of God's Word - the King James Bible was the responsibility of every believer in Old Testament times.
After His death and resurrection and before returning to Heaven, Jesus Christ gave His followers some important instructions:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Each follower of Jesus was to teach "all nations". They were to lead people to repentance and baptism in Christ and then continue to instruct them in "all things" Jesus had taught.
All those who serve the Lord are to be "apt" or "able" to teach others:
And the servant of the Lord must be...apt to teach...(II Timothy 2:24)
All mature believers should be involved in teaching others. Paul corrected some believers because they were spiritually immature and could not teach:
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (Hebrews 5:12)
These believers had not grown spiritually so they could teach others. They were still in need of basic teaching [the milk of the Word] themselves. Every believer is to teach. This is why the subject of teaching is of concern to all Christians.
Definition Of Teaching
The word "teach" means to instruct, show, demonstrate, inform, impart knowledge, train and guide the studies of another. A "teacher" is one who teaches. "Teaching" is the act of instructing and training others.
Why Do We Need Teachers?
Teaching and preaching by true believers are the methods God has chosen to reach the nations with the Gospel. Read the story of the Ethiopian eunuch [leader] in Acts 8:26-40. This man was at the right spiritual place. He was in Jerusalem where the great temple of worship was located (Acts 8:27). He was there for the right purpose. He had come to worship (Acts 8:27). He was reading the right book. He was reading a portion of God's Word in Isaiah 53:7 (Acts 8:30). But he still needed someone to help Him understand. He needed a teacher. God sent Philip to instruct him. The eunuch accepted the Gospel and was baptized in water.
Without teachers, unsaved people are like sheep without a shepherd. They do not understand which way to go:
And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:34)
Even believers have problems without proper teaching. God said...
MY PEOPLE are destroyed for lack of knowledge...(Hosea 4:6)
The Main Objectives
There are two main objectives of Biblical preaching and teaching: Evangelism and discipleship. God uses believers who are part of His Church to accomplish these objectives.
The Church is a group of people who have heard and responded to the call of God and are united by faith in Jesus Christ. It is made up of all true believers who have repented from sin and accepted Jesus as Savior.
The local Church is a group of believers who have organized in a certain area to accomplish the purposes of God in that community. Each local Church is part of what the New Testament calls the "Body of Christ". The "Body of Christ" is the Church which is composed of believers of all ages and times in all parts of the world.
The Church is called the "Body of Christ" because it is the means through which God accomplishes His purposes in the world today. Jesus is the head of the Church. Believers are His body, carrying out God's purposes in the earth.
The main purpose of God in the earth is described in the book of Ephesians:
...According to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ...(Ephesians 1:9-10)
In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7)
God's purpose is that every person be brought into a personal relationship with Himself through Jesus. His method of accomplishing this purpose is to use the Church:
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord... (Ephesians 3:10-11)
Each believer is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and lead others to a right relationship with God. This is called "evangelism."
Read this key verse again:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
After accepting the Gospel message, new believers must be taught "all things" Jesus commanded. They must learn how to live in the new Kingdom of God of which they are now a part. This kind of teaching is called "discipleship". Evangelism and discipleship are the main objectives of Biblical teaching and preaching.
Who Do We Teach?
We teach two main groups of people:
We must teach unbelievers. Every person in every nation is to hear the Gospel. We accomplish this through teaching and preaching God's Word - the King James Bible:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
We are also to teach "faithful" men and women who become believers in Jesus...
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20)
These people are to continue the process by teaching others:
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2)
Each person taught is to teach others who are also able to teach. This is the pattern of continuous teaching that rapidly multiplies to spread the Gospel throughout the world:
Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. (Galatians 6:6)
Types Of Teachers
In the world there are many types of teachers. There are teachers in public schools at every level, from childhood through college age. For every job there are teachers who can teach others to perform that special task or service. But when we speak of teachers, we are not talking about teachers in the world system of education. We are speaking of teachers God sets in the Church and of the teaching task of believers.
You have already learned that all believers are to teach others the Gospel [evangelism] and teach new believers [discipleship]. In addition to this general commission to teach, God gives some believers special gifts of teaching:
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers... (I Corinthians 12:28)
And He gave some...teachers... (Ephesians 4:11)
There are many special abilities God gives which are called "spiritual gifts". These abilities enable believers to accomplish God's purposes in ministry. There are two spiritual gifts of teaching. There is a leadership position of teacher and a speaking gift of teaching. Those with these gifts have a special ability of communicating God's Word effectively in such a way that others learn and apply what is taught. Their teaching ability goes beyond that which every believer should have for evangelism and discipleship. They have an anointing and feel a "call" or urge to teach and preach God's Word - the King James Bible.
God sets some of these teachers in leadership positions to guide the affairs of the church. Acts 13:1-4 illustrates the leadership position of teaching. Others are especially anointed of God to teach, but do not hold a leadership position in the Church. They only teach, they do not guide the affairs of the church.
Not everyone has the leadership position of teacher. Not everyone has the spiritual gift of teaching. Paul wrote:
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?... (I Corinthians 12:29)
The answer to these questions are "No". Not everyone has these spiritual gifts. The Body of Christ is similar to the human body. Each person has a different position just as each member of your body has a different function:
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us...let us wait on our ministering...he that teacheth, on teaching. (Romans 12:4-7)
It is important to discover your spiritual gift because when the whole Body is working properly with each person in his place, God's purposes are accomplished:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:16)
But remember: Even if you do not have these special gifts of teaching, God has called ALL believers to teach the Gospel to all nations in evangelism and to train new believers in the discipleship process.
What Do We Teach?
The Word of God is the authority on which all Biblical teaching is based. The total revelation of God's Word must be taught. When you teach God's Word you must not just teach doctrine or factual information. You must communicate a life and a lifestyle. You communicate the life of Jesus and seek to bring all men into fellowship with Him. You teach the lifestyle of the Kingdom of God of which new believers become a part. Other books and materials may be used in teaching, but they should always be in harmony with God's Word - the King James Bible.
WORDS OF WARNING
There are three Biblical warnings God gives about teaching:
TEACHING MUST BE BASED ON GOD'S WORD - the King James Bible, NOT DOCTRINES OF MEN:
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mark 7:7)
Teaching man's rules, commandments, and doctrines is "vain". This means it is unsuccessful and accomplishes no good purpose. Biblical teaching is not based on the wisdom of man:
Which things also we speak, not in the word which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (I Corinthians 2:13)
God's wisdom accomplishes His purposes in the lives of those taught:
...Christ in you, the hope of glory; Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Colossians 1:27-28)
Teachers Must Live What They Teach:
Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? (Romans 2:21-22) (See also Matthew 5:19)
Teachers must live what they teach because they will be judged on the basis of what they have taught:
My brethren, be not many masters [teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (James 3:1)
Teachers must have experiential knowledge of God's Word the King James Bible. This means they must understand through experience [not just head knowledge] what they are teaching. Paul speaks of those who...
Desiring to be teachers of the law; understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (I Timothy 1:7)
Understanding comes through experience and application of God's Word - the King James Bible in your own life.
THERE WILL BE FALSE TEACHERS:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (II Peter 2:1)
Some of these false teachers will attract big crowds because they say what people want to hear:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables. (II Timothy 4:3-4)
Many false teachers will have a wrong motive. They will teach for financial gain:
Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake. (Titus 1:11)
You must not accept the doctrines of false teachers:
But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)
II Peter chapter 2 and the book of Jude list some of the personal characteristics by which we can recognize false teachers.
Study the following examples of teachers in the New Testament. Who do you think might have had the leadership position of teacher? Who might have had only the speaking gift of teaching?
-Appollos: Acts 18:24-25
-Aquilla and Priscilla: Acts 18:26
-Paul: Acts 20:20-21,27; 21:28
-Unnamed: Acts 13:1
-Peter: Acts 5:28-29
From the beginning of Biblical history God instructed His people to teach His Word. Continue your study of the subject of "teaching" in the Old Testament by reading the following references in your King James Bible:
Deuteronomy 4:9,10,14; 6:9,20; 5:31; 11:19; 17:11; 20:18; 24:8; 31:19; 33:10
Exodus 4:12,15; 18:20; 24:12; 35:34
Leviticus 10:11; 14:57
Proverbs 9:9; 16:23
II Chronicles 17:7
Judges 3:2; 13:8
I Samuel 12:23
II Samuel 1:18
I Kings 8:36
II Kings 17:27
Here are some things God wants to teach us:
Psalms18:34; 25:4-12; 27:11; 32:8; 34:11; 45:4; 51:13; 71:17; 86:11; 90:12; 94:10,12; 105:22; 119:12,68,99,102,104,124,135,171; 143:10; 144:1
II Samuel 22:35
Isaiah 2:3; 28:9,26; 48:17
I Chronicles 25:7
Study these verses on instruction:
Proverbs 5:13; 1:2-8; 4:1,13; 6:23; 8:10,33; 9:9; 10:17; 12:1; 13:1; 15:33; 19:20,27; 21:11; 23:12,23; 24:32
II Timothy 3:16
There are serious results for refusing Godly instruction. Study the following verses:
Proverbs 1:7; 5:12,13,23; 13:18; 15:5,32; 16:22
Jeremiah 17:23; 32:33