Roles of the Spirit 2: Teacher

Roles of the Spirit 2:

Teacher

A teacher holding an illustration of a boy stands in front of a class of children, the background is a chalkboard.

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. John 14:26 ESVUK

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11–12

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 2:27

Look at those verses. They contradict, don’t they? On the one hand, we have that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and we have no need for anyone to teach us and on the other hand, The Holy Spirit also gifts people with the gift and role of teaching.

What would you think if I said that there is no contradiction here at all? Have I gone mad? Well, I mat be mad, but that makes no difference to the fact that there is no contradiction in these verses. The problem is that we are reading them with a modern or a post-modern mindset, we need an ancient understanding.

The question is, “Who was the Holy Spirit poured out on?” If your answer is, “all individuals who turn to Jesus Christ,” then sorry, you are too steeped in Twentyfirst-Century culture to see what is being said. If you say, “The Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church,” then you may have it, but not if you qualify that with terms such as, “but the church is made up of individuals.” You are too engrained in the world’s culture to see God’s plan.

When people use the word Church to speak of some hierarchy, that is not what I am talking about, I am talking of the church as being all believers worldwide, all equally saved, all equal under God.

With the Holy Spirit, the central focus is not the individual but the Church. The Spirit was poured out on the Church and while the Spirit gives different gifts to different people, and gifts people as prophets, evangelists and teachers but all of these are for one reason, to build up the Church, not to build up the individual. Making the individual the focus of the work of the Holy Spirit is doing the Bible a disservice.

The previous blog on the roles of the Holy Spirit I spoke about how the Spirit through the church can help and comfort individuals. Today it is how God uses people to build the church. The Holy Spirit sometimes gives direct insight, but usually, it is through the words of others ot through those given the gift of teaching the things of God to the faithful.


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