Monday, April 11, 2011

Apt To Teach

"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach" (1 Tim. 3:2 - KJV).

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient" (2 Tim. 2:24 - KJV).

I like these two verses. It is not just because they are inspired by God. I like them because they remind me that there are certain things God expects from elders and preachers - and really from all men who want to serve in His kingdom. The common thread for preachers and elders in these two passages - that they be "apt (or able) to teach." Paul explained to Timothy, "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2).

Christianity is a learned religion. It must be communicated. The only way people can know what they need to know about God is through His communication to man and our relaying of the same message.

I think it is obvious to us why it is that preachers need to be able to teach. I mean, that is what they do, right? That being said, some wonder why it is that elders must also be apt to teach. Let me give you a few reasons why it is absolutely crucial for elders to be teachers in the church:

1. They need to know what the Bible says, in order to properly serve in their God-given role.
2. They need to be able to defend the Bible and the church from those who wish to attack from the outside.
3. They need to know how to both exhort and rebuke people in the right way and with the right tools.
4. They must be able to determine whether or not what the preacher is preaching to the congregation is God's pure and true gospel.

I could come up with a multitude of additional reasons, but I would like to emphasize one more: 5. Elders need to be teaching classes so that their lives stay in the Word! Too many elders have retreated to only "business matters." When elders don't spend enough time in God's book, they lose their way. Many elders have forgotten what shepherding is, and have forgotten what the members need. There is no better way to be in tune with the needs of the church than to constantly refer to the only book that God used to talk about it.

I encourage all of us to be "apt to teach." The world needs the gospel.

Daniel Webster observed - "If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men's immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity."

"holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict." ~ Titus 1:9

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