Monday, January 18, 2010

Spiritual Gifts - Teaching

This is a series put together to examine the spiritual gifts discussed in Romans 12:3-8. The focus passage is as follows:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Definition: This is the gift to take the Word of God and present it in such a way that others understand it and can apply it to their lives. Christians with this gift find it easy to organize information in such a way as to make it easy to communicate, understand, and remember. They find true joy is studying their Bibles and can honestly put together information in ways that the rest of us just cannot see without their help.

Jesus Models This Gift: Jesus was the ultimate teacher it seems. Throughout scripture He is called Rabbi (Teacher) and where would Christianity be without His parables? It was evidenced by the massive crowds that followed Him (and often would not just let Him be) that he was a phenomenal teacher.

Other Biblical examples of this Gift: Aquila and Priscilla were mentioned teaching Apollos in Acts 18:24. Paul was obviously a truly inspired teacher, traveling throughout Asia and into present-day Europe to spread the message of Jesus to the masses. Peter and John were jailed for teaching in Acts 4:3

Strengths: These people are detailed and find the greatest importance in accuracy. They are often charismatic, as people hang onto their every word. Some of the most knowledgeable about the Bible due to their love of study and reading it.

Pitfalls: Sometimes people’s understanding of the Bible can lead them to believe they are more intelligent than their students rather than focusing on the fact that their understanding is a gift from God. Teachers must remain focused on the heart of the ones being taught rather than giving themselves over to the joy of the content of what they are teaching to be most effective. When preparing a lesson it is tempting to rely on one’s own teaching skills rather than the God’s guidance.

Also be aware: James 3:1 warns, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” This statement seems to indicate that there is a special level of responsibility attached to the role of teaching.

Ideas of How to Work for God using this Gift: These are some of the more obvious ones: teaching a Bible study or Sunday School class. Some preachers are especially gifted teachers.

Do You Have This Gift? (ref The Resurgence - Spiritual Gifts)

  • Do you enjoy studying and researching?
  • Do you enjoy imparting biblical truth to others?
  • Do others come to you for insight into Scripture?
  • When you teach, do people "get it"?
  • When you see someone confused in their understanding of the Bible do you feel a responsibility to speak to them about it?
  • Do you enjoy speaking to various sizes of groups about biblical issues you have strong convictions about?

Summary: There are those people who can read something and then immediately retell it with an explanation that seems to bewilder the rest of us. They have a gift of seeing what is right in front of us and showing us how to use it in our own lives. Where would we be without our teachers? A confused bunch I am sure.

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