Summary: How does the gift of teaching help the church? And does that mean that if we don't have this gift that we don't have to teach?
Little Johnny wasn't getting good marks in school. One day he came up to the teacher’s desk and looked like he wanted to say something.
“Yes Johnny” the teacher said. “Is there something you want?”
Very quietly he said, "I don't want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don't get better grades… somebody is going to get a spanking."
Now who did he think was going to get a spanking?
In our society we have generally had a high regard for those who teach.We may not pay them what they’re worth, but we often respect them for what they contribute to society, and what they do for our children and grandchildren and so on.
What’s interesting in the list of gifts Paul speaks of in Romans 12 is that God has a high regard for those who are willing to teach. In fact, God has such a high regard for teaching that He even gives it as a gift to certain people within the congregation.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is… teaching, let him teach” Romans 12:6-7
Now, what exactly is the gift of teaching?
Does having this gift mean that God opens up a person’s skull and pours in information?
Does it mean that God places Master’s Degree information inside of these people?
Now God does – sometimes – pour information into our brains.
And God does – sometimes – enlighten teachers and give them an insight into truth.
But that’s not what this gift is really about.
As we’ve said before -all these gifts in Romans 12 are “motivational” gifts.These gifts are what God places in the hearts of individual believers to motivate them to do these specific acts of service for His church.
Over the past couple of weeks we’ve talked about
• The gift of Prophecy(the gift that motivates certain people to confront sin and call for repentance)
• And the gift of Serving (the gift that motivates certain people to see needs and serve their brothers & sisters)
And – of course – this week we’re focusing on the gift of teaching(which is a gift that motivates people to want to teach. It places a passion for studying communicating God’s will to others.
Now, I believe I personally have the gift of teaching, and so I’m going to take just a few moments here to explain how I think it works for me. I’ve noticed that, as I read scripture, that I begin to see patterns in certain passages. And those patterns lead me to ask questions that others may not even consider. And those questions lead me to see things I’d never seen before. For example:
Last week I began to see a pattern in this passage.
It became obvious to me that each of these 7 gifts here in Romans 12 reflects something EVERY Christian ought to do.
• Every Christian ought to be willing to call sin “sin” and to call for people to repent (this is the mindset of the prophet)
• Every Christian ought to serve others.
• Every Christian ought to encourage others.
• Every Christian ought to give to the needs of others (help out financially).
• Every Christian ought to be willing to help lead in their realm of influence.
• Every Christian ought to show mercy to others.
• AND every Christian ought to be able to teach.
Did you know that?
Did you know that God wants you to get to the point where you are able to teach?
It’s true. The writer of Hebrews 5:12 rebukes a group of Christians and says: “though by this time you OUGHT TO BE TEACHERS, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.”
All Christians are expected, by God, to get to the point where they become teachers.
Now, we’ll get back to that in just a second, but I was floored by the idea that each of these 7 gifts listed in Romans 12 is something that EVERY Christian ought to be doing.And I began wondering – why would God give only CERTAIN PEOPLE in the church these gifts?Why would God invest passion for these ministries in only a few within the congregation?
And then… it struck me.
I believe I know why God did it this way.
ILLUS: Years ago I was in the Purdue Glee Club. The director of that men’s chorus was a man named Al Stewart. When I first joined, I thought that only the best singers got to be in the group.
But apparently that wasn’t true.
The longer I was in the group, the more it became obvious that if you had political connections or if you had a brother who had been in the Glee Club in the past, you didn’t have to sing well – you just had to be able to carry a tune.