Anointed To Teach

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One usual reaction when I ask people to lead a small group or a Bible study is, “I am not gifted to teach.” There is some truth to that answer. If we are talking about the office (or position) of a teacher. (1 Corinthians 12:28), then not all are called to become one. The only answer to Paul’s rhetorical question, “Are all teachers?” (1 Corinthians 12:29c) would be, “No. Not all are teachers.” According to Ephesians 4:11, “And He gave… some as pastors and teachers” (NASB). Note the word “some.” Some of us—not all of us—are teachers. But, though not all have a teaching office, we are commanded, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16, Emphasis added) 

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One of our responsibilities as believers is to teach one another.
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. … But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. (1 John 2:20, 27)

Now what does it mean when the apostle John wrote, “you have no need that anyone should teach you” (v. 27)? The context was about false teachers: “I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.” (1 John 2:26. See also vv. 18-19, 22.) During the apostle’s time, false teachers called Gnostics infiltrated the early church. “The Gnostics… believed that their understanding of the hidden knowledge (gnosis) made them a kind of spiritual elite”. [1] John warned us to avoid those who would claim that they and they alone could understand and teach the Bible and all we have to do is to accept without question their teachings. 

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We are warned against letting any man be our teacher, for God has given us the Spirit to teach us His truth. This does not deny the office of human teachers in the church (Eph. 4:11–12); but it means that under the guidance of the Spirit you must test the teaching of men as you search the Bible for yourself (cf. Acts 17:11). [2]

Because of our “anointing,” we will be guided to know the truth. The “anointing” here refers to the Holy Spirit. (“The word anoint reminds us of the Old Testament practice of pouring oil on the head of a person being set apart for special service.”) The Spirit has empowered us to understand God’s Word. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13. Emphasis added.) Every believer has been anointed (or set apart) in the Spirit so that we could teach each other.

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Simply put, we may not all be teachers but we can all teach one another.

Significant Step

Pray for our church as we seek to form more small groups and train shepherds for those groups. Pray also for our existing small groups such as the Women of Worship and the Men of Purpose that they may multiply into more groups.

NOTE: This is Day Four of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 5) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message last Sunday, March 29, on Know How Much You Are Worth Part 3” (“Significance” series, a verse-by-verse study of the book of Ephesians).

[1] Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, “Talk Thru the New Testament” in Talk Thru the Bible Volume II (TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), 485. Italics theirs.

[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Expository Commentary (IL: Victor Books, 1999), 502. Electronic Edition. Italics his.


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