INTRO: Romans 12:4-8. Today, I want to encourage teachers. We all must be teachers. Whether you are a preacher, Bible class teacher, doing personal Bible studies, or studying with your family at home, we all need to be doing our part as teachers. And we are thankful for our teachers!
However, the Bible also gives a warning to teachers. James 3:1-5. So we must be careful about how and what we teach. You should not teach if you will not 1)Teach the truth, 2)Teach with love, or 3)Practice what you teach.
1. Teach the truth
a. Ephesians 4:11-16
b. Some people do not know the truth.
i. 1 Timothy 1:6-7 – “For some… have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.”
ii. You shouldn’t teach if you don’t know what you are teaching.
iii. That doesn’t mean you should give up teaching or never start teaching because you think you don’t know enough.
iv. You just need to grow in knowledge! And sometimes teaching is the best way to do that.
c. Some people teach less than the truth.
i. Paul said, in Acts 20:27, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
ii. We must teach everything God commands!
iii. All you have to do is believe. Say the sinners prayer. Accept Jesus into your heart. Baptism for confirmation of salvation.
d. Some people teach more than the truth.
i. Mark 7:1-9
ii. You have to dress a certain way. We have to order worship a certain way.
iii. We need instruments, clapping, or dancing to add to worship. We need to dim the lights. We need to have better songs. We need to cater to the younger audience. We need to entertain.
iv. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”
e. Some people just want to be liked.
i. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
ii. Some people want to be popular, at the expense of truth.
iii. So they teach what people want to hear: Love without sin. Grace without justice. Forgiveness without consequences of sin. Heaven without Hell.
f. You should not teach if you will not 1)Teach the truth.
2. Teach with love
a. Ephesians 4:15-16
b. Some teachers are too harsh.
i. 1 Peter 3:15 – “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
ii. Some teach only consequences of sin, justice, and Hell without love, grace, forgiveness, and Heaven.
iii. We must teach the full truth, but we must be gentle and respectful when we do it.
c. Some teachers are too soft.
i. Some don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They want to be tolerant. They teach that everyone can have their own truth. There is not one way to God, but many ways.
ii. Proverbs 27:5-6 – “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
iii. Love is telling the truth… even when it hurts!
iv. Often Jesus was harsh in His teaching.
v. In Matthew 21:12-13 Jesus overthrew the money table in the temple.
vi. In Matthew 23:16-17, 23-26 and 33 Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, blind guides, fools, and serpents.
vii. Jesus was strong in His teaching, but still loving, because He said what needed to be said, even if it offended people.
d. “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).
e. You should not teach if you will not 1)Teach the truth, or 2)Teach with love.
3. Practice with you teach
a. Matthew 23:27-28
b. Many people teach great things. They teach all the right things in all the right ways. They know the truth and teach only the truth. They are not too harsh or too soft.
i. They look like great people on the outside… but they do not live by the principles and truth that comes out of their mouths.
c. Acts 1:1 says “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach.” Jesus not only taught, but He also did. Jesus practiced what He preached!
d. 1 Timothy 4:11-16
e. We must be teachers!
f. But we can’t only teach. We must do what we teach. We must be an example to those around us. We must keep a close watch on our lives just as much as the truth we teach.
g. You should not teach if you will not 1)Teach the truth, 2)Teach with love, or 3)Practice what you teach.
CONCLUSION: This lesson is not meant to discourage you from teaching. We all must teach! And teachers deserve our respect and appreciate, AMEN? It is a great blessing to be a teacher!
But what kind of teacher are you?