DEVELOPING CHURCH HEALTH THROUGH THE TEACHING GIFT
From the books of Moses through the Psalms, the life of Jesus and the epistles, it is clear that loving the Word of the Lord is a key to knowing and walking with Him.
In standard charismatic teaching, two distinct words describe the way God speaks. Logos usually refers to the eternal, firm Word of God; it is our plumb line and point of reference. Rhema normally refers to the momentary word of the Lord—that is, it is the word God speaks prophetically through the “still, small voice” within or through the use of spiritual gifts. The prophetic word of the Lord must never contradict the written Word of the Lord. The gift and ministry of the teacher are absolutely essential to upholding Scripture (logos) as we continue to grow in the gift and ministry of prophecy (rhema).
Teachers are entrusted with the Word of God at a special level.
Jesus was called the Great Teacher. Paul, who was truly a teacher’s teacher, laid out the aspects of redemption with a beautiful and precise perfection. Look at the way he handled questions of salvation in the book of Romans, or the nature of the Church and of the believer’s identity in Ephesians. His teachings are profoundly insightful and a model for every teacher.
Teaching is not merely the articulation of ideas and principles, but it is a supernatural activity by which an anointed teacher can bring words of affirmation to the human heart.
A person gifted in teaching has the God-given ability to take truth, break it into bite-sized pieces and deliver it to the very point of the human heart. where confusion and deception have occurred. The teacher can release the truth that displaces the lie and bring the hearer into the freedom Jesus described when He said, “The truth shall make you free.” (Note the condition in the preceding verse, which is actually the first part of the sentence: “If you continue in my word then you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32) Just as the evangelist is centered on the good news and salvation of the lost, and the pastor is centered on love and community, the teacher is centered on truth and the power of truth to bring transformation.
The keys to the teacher’s heart are communicating and conveying truth for training and transformation. Different gifts are at work in the Body of Christ, and unfortunately, in prophetic movements the teacher gift can end up being disregarded. It was the predominant gift in the Body of Christ prior to this time; those who could declare sound doctrine were considered the pinnacle of leadership. However, this led the Body of Christ to focus more on the letter of the law, not life in the Spirit.
Thankfully, the majority of us have come out of that, but we need to be careful we don’t correct too far. As Jesus said, truth sets us free. It isn’t the truth we hear that makes us free; it is the truth that confronts falsehood inside us–truth that deals with the lies and evicts them from our hearts. That is the truth that actually has value. This requires an anointed teacher, who can bring truth to the human heart.
Even if we don’t consider ourselves to be teachers, we can expand our ability to teach by studying the teaching gift, learning how to be teachers and being around people who are gifted in this area.