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Presented, March 20, 2005 pm
YOU OUGHT TO BE TEACHERS
Hebrews 5:12 records a rebuke that we have examined from time to time dealing with the problem of one not progressing as they ought to. Tonight, I want to focus on a specific statement found in this text – the title of our lesson. We want to examine an overall view of what the Bible has to say about teachers; note who is a teacher and how to fulfill our role. For many what is said here is not new but simply a reminder and a call to examination to determine if we are everything we ought to be in this area.
I. The Bible and Teachers
a. What is a teacher?
The word means an instructor, master or teacher.
(Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament. Zodhiates )
“One who provides instruction.” (Louw & Nida Greek-English Dictionary)
b. There are two different types of teachers in the Bible
Formal teachers – those whose occupation or responsibility are to teach.
Ephesians 4:11 – God gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers – the implication of this text is that they had gifts – not necessarily miraculous gifts, but abilities that they used (some along with spiritual gifts) to build up the saints.
Paul told Timothy – “Do the work of an evangelist” - 2 Timothy 4:5
”A servant of the Lord must be …able to teach” – 2 Timothy 2:24
“Let not many of your be teachers” – James 3:1
Everyone – we are all expected to be able to teach in some form.
1 Peter 3:15 – we all ought to be able to give a defense to others for what we believe.
OUR Text – here there seems to be no distinction, but rather all (or most) to whom he is writing ought to have progressed further.
c. Teachers in the Old Testament –
The priests – as an example you have Ezra who after returning from the
captivity. Nehemiah 8 records the occasion after the walls of Jerusalem had
Vs 2-3 say he brought the Law and read it to them. Vs. 8 tells us that Ezra and other priests read and “gave the sense, and helped them understand the reading.”
Later, Ezra 7:10 tells us, Ezra prepared his heart to seek the Lord…
ii. The prophets - 1 Samuel 12:23 – Samuel (a prophet) promises to teach Israel at the coronation of king Saul realizing their contrary actions to God’s will.
d. Teachers in the New Testament
Jesus – the Master teacher. One of the greatest lessons we glean from
the life of Jesus is HOW He taught others.
Matthew 4:23 – He went about teaching; 5:2
7:29 – with authority; John 3:2 – Nicodemus realizes this
He was called “rabbi” “teacher” “master” all indicating the understanding that He was a teacher. He taught all and He taught all the time
He refuted error, taught all the truth without compromise including the “hard sayings”. He knew how to put difficult concepts in words that His audience could understand (the parables). He taught hope, etc.
He did NOT please everyone as He taught.
He trained others to teach including His apostles
The Apostles – Jesus’ messengers who were to carry on the work after He
Jesus spent 3 years molding and instructing these men and others. As He was about to ascend, His final instructions were, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20) The KJV says, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations”
They began teaching and preaching immediately – Acts 2
Even after being beaten the continued to teach – Acts 5:42 – even daily
Paul – 2 Timothy 1:11 tells us he was appointed to be a teacher
Acts 15:35 – in Ephesus for 18 months, Acts 28:30-31 – even under house arrest;
1 Corinthians 4:17 – He taught consistently everywhere
1 Corinthians 14:19 – simply and with the intent of his audience understanding; also 1 Cor. 2:1-2;
He taught others how to teach – 2 Tim. 2:2
Passages about teaching -
Not all can teach – 1 Tim. 2:12 – women restricted, YET Titus 2:3 commands some to teach.
Elders expected to be able to teach- 1 Tim. 3:2
f. False teachers – 2 Timothy 4:3; 2 Peter 2:1-3; etc.
II. How Can I Teach?
While we could examine the role of special teachers all day long, let us notice some practical messages that apply to ALL of us as teachers. We are ALL expected to be able to teach to a certain degree.
By example – by practice. Matthew 5:13-16 – we are light and salt;
1 Peter 3:1-4 – an example, wives with unbelieving husbands.
Studying God’s word – 2 Timothy 2:15 – give diligence, “study”, to show
1 Peter 3:15 – Give a defense. Many are unable to answer others because they honestly don’t know God’s word. While that is understandable for the babe, there has to be a time limit as to when such is no longer an acceptable excuse. Remember our text – Hebrews 5:12 – “you ought to be teachers”
PRACTICE – many used James 3:1 as a copout. Rather than developing to
their full potential – they just tell themselves they can’t do anymore AND THE
DON’T. While all may not be able to formally teach, I am convinced there are
many who CAN that choose not to.
Paul understood His ability and responsibility – 1 Corinthians 9:16.
d. By looking for opportunities to expose others to those with greater abilities.
e. Colossians 3:16 – We teach and admonish one another in our singing
Parents – teach your children, informal. Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians
2 Timothy 3:14-15 – Timothy from childhood had known scripture.
Women – teach other women – Titus 2:3
The older are to teach the younger, etc.
Are there enough teachers here? Should there be more? Are you the teacher you ought to be?