Able to Teach

The apostle Paul said the effective encourager is dependent upon God, kind, and not quarrelsome. He then lists, “able to teach” (2 Tim. 2:24) as the next requirement for an encourager. The emphasis is not on the ability to communicate. The focus is more on the content than the delivery. The Greek word for teach (didache) is sometimes translated as doctrine. The person who has the gift of teaching would be more like a theologian. The pastor who is very good at communicating the truth probably has the gift of exhortation.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching (didache, doctrine [KJV]), for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16,17). Speaking the truth in love should bring reproof, followed by correction that results in righteous living. Unfortunately, that is not always happening. We have grown accustomed to something far less. For many: The word of God is profitable for teaching and training in competence. Without reproof and correction there is no righteousness. The result is intellectual arrogance. Remember, you can have intellectual knowledge of Scripture and be arrogant, but you can’t know God and be arrogant. That is just another reason why we must keep in mind that Truth is more about knowing Jesus than knowing the Bible. You can know the bible and not know Jesus at all.

The encourager has to know the truth, because the truth is what sets us free. Always keep in mind that Truth is a two-edged sword. Jesus is the truth and the One who sets us free, and God’s word is truth. We should strive to know both. The opposition is the father of lies, and inquirers are usually confused about what they believe. Remember, people are not in bondage to past traumas, they are in bondage to lies they believe because of past traumas.

Suppose an inquirer says, I could never do that. Is that true? The truth is: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). I don’t want to be a complete reductionist, but if any person believes that they can’t do what is clearly taught in Scripture, they will likely not do it. The key to effective ministry is to let the reproof come from Scripture and not from us. Rather than saying, You are believing a lot of lies, which is attacking their character. It is better to say, What does Scripture say?

Dr. Neil

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