God Reveals Truth through Biblical Teachers
“We do not speak in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, as we explain spiritual truths to those who have the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:13 TEV)
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:11-12, “Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong” (CEV).
How do you know when somebody’s talking if that person has this gift from God to be a teacher?
Here’s how you know: If, during their teaching, there is a moment you feel like God is speaking directly to you — like you’re the only person in the room and the speaker is focused solely on you. In that moment, God has something to say to you. That’s how you know the gift of teaching is working.
We pray for teachers every week at Saddleback Church. There’s no way in a crowd the size of our congregation we could know the needs of everybody. So we pray, “God, we don’t know who’s going to be here and the things that have happened in their lives this week, but you do. Would you give us the ability to say something to these people that helps to meet a need in their lives?” And God does that. That’s how the gift of teaching works.
There is a test that all of us need to put to this particular gift. Romans 12:6 says, “God in his kindness gave each of us different gifts. If your gift is speaking what God has revealed, make sure what you say agrees with the Christian faith” (GWT).
If somebody’s got the gift of teaching, it’s going to agree with the Bible. I don’t care how convincing someone is; I don’t care how much emotion you feel from that person’s message. If what is said does not agree with the Bible, then the speaker does not have the gift of teaching.
The Bible talks about this in 1 Corinthians 2:13: “We do not speak in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, as we explain spiritual truths to those who have the Spirit” (TEV).
Before I speak, I pray, “Lord, help me remember the things that you want remembered, and help me forget the things that you don’t want said.” I even pray for you: “Lord, help them to remember the things that you want remembered, and help them to forget the stupid things that I might say. Help them hear from you, not me.” The truth is about God speaking to us, not about what some human being is saying.
Am I saying that God speaks through human teachers like myself? Absolutely. It amazes me that he does! Why does he speak through us? Because he cares about you, and he loves you, so he will use people who teach the Bible to help you understand his truth.
Talk It Over
What has God taught you about himself through a teacher or speaker? How did it help you grow as a Christ follower?
Think of a few effective Bible teachers. What are their common character traits?
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in hearing and discerning the words of a Bible teacher?
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