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Volume 27 - Page 157 of 212 Index | Zoom | |
"What manner of persons ought ye to be."
#22. Symbols of Service.
Teachers and Teaching.
pp. 29 - 31
Among the gifts given by the ascended Lord to His church in Eph. 4:, we find
"pastors and teachers" mentioned (Eph. 4: 11), and the apostle Paul on two occasions
couples the office of "teacher" with that of "preacher" and "apostle" (I Tim. 2: 7;
II Tim. 1: 11). Even in O.T. times the teacher had his place. We are apt to think that the
Levitical priesthood was wholly taken up with offerings and ceremonials. These
certainly occupied a great amount of time, but the value of these offerings and
ceremonials lay in their typical teaching, for the blood of bulls and goats could never in
itself take away sin. Consequently we find that the Levite was a teacher as well as a
priest or server of the tabernacle.
"He said unto the Levites that taught all Israel . . . . . Put the holy ark in the house"
(II Chron. 35: 3).
"And of Levi he said, Let Thy Thummim and Thy Urim be with Thy holy one . . . . .
They shall teach Jacob Thy judgments, and Israel Thy law: they shall put incense before
Thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon Thine altar" (Deut. 33: 8-10).
The close association of ceremonial and teaching is evident; the holy ark, the incense,
the burnt sacrifice, and teaching are all spoken of in the same context. The words of
II Chron. 15: 3 are significant in this connection:
"Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching
priest, and without the law."
It is possible to have a life full of ceremonial, offerings, incense, washings and fasts,
and yet to be without "the true God". Only as these ceremonials and offerings are
explained and their meaning appreciated will God be really known.
Apt to teach.
The passage in Eph. 4: 11 does not indicate that a teacher to-day is endowed with
any supernatural gift, such, for instance, as the gift of prophecy or the gift of tongues.
Nevertheless the teacher himself was a gift to the church and as such must have
possessed some fitness for his work. When the apostle instructs Timothy in the difficult
task before him, he writes:
"The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou
to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (II Tim. 2: 2).
"The servant of the Lord must not strive: but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach"
(II Tim. 2: 24).
"A bishop then must be blameless . . . . . apt to teach" (I Tim. 3: 2).