According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
- Romans 12:6-8
Have you ever gotten a gift that you never used?
Maybe it was a shirt that you didn’t feel was your style, or a pair of shoes that didn’t fit. Maybe it was a cool kitchen gadget that you just never thought to use. Or maybe even, if you’re like me, it was something like a bottle of lotion that you reeeealllly liked but didn’t want to use it all because of the sentimental value of the gift giver.
Whatever reason you may have, I’m sure you may also know how it feels on the flip-side of that situation, being the gift giver. When we give gifts to others, we usually want it to be something they’ll like, that they can enjoy, that they can use.
In His grace, our Heavenly Father is the same way; He has given His children gifts for doing certain things well. In Romans 12:7 above, Paul instructs believers that they are to use each spiritual gift they have been given in the way it was designed to build up the church. Today, I want us to focus on the gift of teaching. In this passage, Paul’s charge to those with the gift of teaching is simple: use it….in teaching!
What does this look like?
Those with the spiritual gift of teaching are equipped by the Holy Spirit - the greatest Teacher - to expound on the Scriptures. A great Biblical example of this is a man named Apollos in the book of Acts. Acts 18 tells us that he was “an eloquent man who was competent in the use of the Scriptures...He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit [or in the Spirit], he was speaking and teaching accurately about Jesus…” (v.24-25). Apollos was taught by the Holy Spirit in his study of God’s Word, and he was equipped to build others up by teaching what he had learned. Apollos’ example shows a beautiful way that believers with the gift of teaching can fulfill the charge in another of Paul’s letters when speaking of the purpose of spiritual gifts. In Ephesians 4:11-14, reminds us that the different gifts in the church have been given for the purpose of: “equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of Teaching.”
Here, we can see what happens when those with the gift of teaching obey God’s leading and use their gifts the way they are designed! Some results are:
1. Saints (believers) are further equipped in their own gifts for the work of ministry.
2. The body of Christ is strengthened.
3. The body of Christ is unified around the truth of the Gospel.
4. The body of Christ grows and matures.
5. Believers are protected from being led astray by false teachings.
How wonderful that God has given us gifts to build up His church! And when we use each of them as they were intended, how glorious the picture of the Gospel that is lived out in the example of God’s people living and growing together in the unity of faith.
Do you have a passion for understanding the Scriptures and sharing them with other believers? You may be blessed with the gift of teaching! I encourage you to seek affirmation from your community and from the Lord, continue diving deep into His Word, and if you have the opportunity to teach…use that gift “in teaching,” just as Paul encourages. It’s also worth noting that often the gift of teaching is closely linked to the gifts of wisdom and knowledge, so you may be interested in looking those up as well.
Don’t relate to that burning passion for studying the Bible and helping others understand it? No worries. There are teachers around you who can help you grow in your knowledge and understanding of God’s Truths as you study them on your own. Plus, you yourself have been equipped by the Holy Spirit in some other way to build up those teachers too!
1. Do you think you may have the spiritual gift of teaching? Why or why not?
2. How can you either use your gift of teaching OR encourage/thank a Biblical teacher in your life today?
3. Remember that the spiritual gifts are exactly that - gifts of the Holy Spirit. The only way to access them is by having God’s Spirit alive in us, which happens when we place our faith in Jesus Christ! If you’ve never done this before, I invite you to learn more at www.laneofroses.com/faith or by checking out the Emoji Gospel on the Lane of Roses App.
God, thank You so much for being a gracious Father who gives His children gifts for doing things well and building one another up. Thank You specifically for the gift of teaching and for equipping people in the church with that gift for the purpose of helping the whole body of believers mature in our faith. Thank You for Your Word and Your Spirit that instruct all of us regardless of our gifts, and thank You for Jesus, who has made a way for us to have a restored relationship with You. In His Name we pray, amen.
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Want to know more about the spiritual gift of teaching? Check out this RESOURCE from Shepherds of the Lost.