top of page
Search

Perhaps the Most Forgotten Spiritual Gift



Dear Friends,


In this month’s blog, I begin with a one-line Bible test. Can you correctly fill in the blank?

“The Lord’s bondservant must be able to ______________.”


The answer is not the word lead. Yes, leadership is vital. A mainstay prayer that I have prayed for years is for God to raise up righteous leaders. But the Word of God says in II Timothy 2:24 that the Lord’s bondservant must be able to teach!


Thirty years ago when I went on staff with Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, where the spiritual gift of leadership was so effectively emphasized, I began to pray that God would use me to elevate the spiritual gift of teaching.


Tragically, however, the spiritual gift of teaching has long been on the “out,” and now we are paying the price for neglecting the vital work of doing the Great Commission that requires us all to teach (Matthew 28:18-20).


All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me; having gone, therefore, disciple the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded, and, lo, I am with you, even until the end of the age.


In order to disciple, Christians must teach. Our job is to teach others to obey the Great Teacher.


All followers of Christ need to learn to teach. We need to know how to explain the gospel, how to tell the epic story of the history of Israel found in the Old Testament, how to introduce someone to God--as God is--on God’s own terms. Teachers need to learn how to field questions accurately and how to raise up others who themselves know how to teach (II Timothy 2:2).


Consider this familiar passage in II Timothy 3:16-17:


All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the person of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


To offer some teaching right now, please allow me to ask: Do you know what the word reproof means? I underscored it above, so you can see it in context.


Let me give you a hint.

It does not mean “to scold.” It does not mean “to correct.” It does not mean “to beat back.”


It is my observation that very, very few professing Christians know what the word reprove means. Thus they also do not know what the word reproof means. We don’t know what it means because we have not been taught. Nor have we been tested. We have not been held accountable to know.


We don’t know what “reproof” means because we have not been reproved.


Let’s look at the verses again:


All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the person of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


Teaching. Reproof. Correction. Training.


The word reprove means “expose, convince, convict.”


What I’m trying to expose is the Church’s great omission of failing to teach.


What I’m trying to convince you of is the massive, urgent need for teachers to teach those, including believers, who simply have not been taught.


I am hoping that this message will convict you to do your part to teach.


Right On Mission is here to help. We offer a graduate level Vocational Certificate called “Teaching Theology.” If you enjoy learning about the things of God, I bet you would love this program.


Let’s revive the spiritual gift of teaching by learning to think so Christianly that we actually prioritize the Great Commission.


In Christ,

Sarah Sumner




96 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page