FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

THE ORDER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST – PART 24

Teachers –

Ephesians 4:11-12And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”

 

In this last of the terms of order for the Body of Christ, the English term “Teacher” is rendered from the Greek word, “Didaskalos” and along with the Greek word, “Kalodidaskalos”, means the instructor of what is good.

We know that in our previous studies that Elders had to be able to instruct and even stop those who would distract, contradict, and or diminish in any way the good instruction of the doctrine of Christ (a specific Greek word is used by Peter in his second letter to Christians, that is associated with the term we are studying, “Pseudodidaskalos”, which means false teacher – 2 Peter 2:1, and all are strictly condemned for their practices).

We know that Deacons were to hold the faith with a pure conscience and demonstrate a great boldness in the faith (those who serve the elders); which had to be demonstrated as well spoken, thus instructing – 1 Timothy 3:9, 13.

We know that the Evangelists were specifically to preach only the word (doctrine of Christ), in season and out of season for the purpose of instruction to proper Christian living – 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

In each case, all of the order the Lord Himself has placed within the Body of Christ must be able, willing, and actively engaged in teaching in order to accomplish the approved work of the Body of Christ collectively (Ephesians 4:12); however, it should be noted that the term “Didaskalos” is added to these existing forms of instructors. This demands that we take notice that in addition to elders and evangelists, in order to completely accomplish the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, and the growth of the Body of Christ, each and every Body of Christ was to have teachers to augment the other workers in God’s order.

This is confirmed by the Apostle Paul and expanded in understanding to Timothy, so as an evangelist he would create additional teachers, note:

2 Timothy 2:2And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

 

We see in the early church in Antioch of Syria, that even with prophets and the Apostle Paul (then referred to by Luke by the Hebrew Saul), that teachers were present and necessary for the continued growth of this Body of Christ.

Acts 13:1Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”

Paul would reveal to the Christians in Corinth the unique order and value of all the working parts of a Body of Christ; in this order we can clearly see that teachers were part of God’s intended order.

1 Corinthians 12:28And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”

We also learn from the next verse in the text (1 Corinthians 12:29), that not all were teachers, which demonstrates that there would be obvious qualifications for these who would be teachers. We have already seen in 2 Timothy 2:2, that faithfulness in the established truths handed down was an initial qualification. In addition, James wrote long before this that before anyone could be a teacher, they had to learn how to control their speech and be swift to hear the word of truth before teaching it – see: James 1:18-19; 3:1-12. In addition, when in the collective and the educating of Christians when they come together, they must be men – 1 Corinthians 14:34-40; 1 Timothy 2:12 (this is not an issue of inferiority or superiority, but order 1 Corinthians 14:40; and has nothing to do with the woman’s role to teach outside of the collective – Acts 18:24-28; Titus 2:3).

 

In a universal sense, the Hebrew writer demonstrates that God’s intent for all Christians is that they grow to a level of knowledge in the oracles of God that instruction should naturally take place (teachings of God), note:

Hebrews 5:12-14For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

 

This demonstrates first and foremost, what these specific Christians were to be educated with in order to be teachers (the oracles or instruction of God). Secondly, it also demonstrates that the process for creating teachers is an internal process, which then demonstrates that it is the responsibility of the Body of Christ to produce these within itself (Ephesians 4:12“perfecting of the saints”). This means that when a Body of Christ is instructing as it should, the reproduction of future elders, deacons, evangelists, and teachers is happening within the Body naturally; not outsourced! Finally, it demonstrates that when the Lord’s order in this specific development does not exist within the Body of Christ, the state of the Body is in danger of being where these Christians were at; ready to turn away from Christ Jesus to their perdition (Hebrews 10:39).

 

We see that instruction within the Body of Christ is vital for its continuation and health. The Apostles of Jesus Christ were active in their finite work in doing this in the early church.

Acts 5:42And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

Acts 20:20how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house

1 Timothy 2:7for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

 

The shepherds of the Body of Christ were likewise to be both able and willing to demonstrate and teach the faithful word.

Titus 1:9holding 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.”

1 Peter 5:3nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock"

 

The evangelists have the single task of living and teaching faithfully this singular word of truth and life.

2 Timothy 4:2Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

 

Then there are to be instructors that bolster the ongoing instruction, so that every member of the Body of Christ is provided with the sustenance of the doctrine of Christ.

Acts 13:1Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”

2 Timothy 2:2And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

In all of this, we also notice that teachings embodies verbal instruction of the word, admonishment in the word (charging to do their duty), and demonstrative instruction in application of the teaching of Christ. It is in all this instruction that we can be educated in how to abide in the doctrine of Christ in order to solidify our relationship with Him and the Father.

2 John 9Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”  

 

In addition, the instruction does not cease once the collective work comes to a close, as a matter of fact, there seems to be more evidence that the instruction amplifies in the individual Christian work.

We know that the Apostles demonstrated the importance of teaching, by doing it daily – Acts 5:42; 20:20. The Apostle Paul instructed Titus to teach that soundness of Christian behavior was not an accident, but in fact was the responsibility of older to younger to demonstrate – Titus 2:1-10. We have a fantastic demonstration of the ability and the where-with-all to teach whenever the opportunity presented itself, in the teaching of the truth to Apollos, by Aquila and Priscilla (“explaining to him the way of God more accurately” Acts 18:24-28). Then there is the understanding that the production of fruit by each Christian is a direct by-product of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in all wisdom – Colossians 1:9-11. Every Christian is to be actively engaged in educating themselves, in addition to communal instruction, by the singular source of instruction; the inspired word of God that makes us complete – 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

 

Next: “The Work of the Body!”