By This Time You Ought To Be Teachers

by Jim Mickells

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12).

The author of this book is rebuking those to whom he is writing for their failure to grow. It is quite apparent from this verse plenty of time had been given to them to become teachers, yet they were still in need of someone to teach them again the first principles of the oracles of God. Just as obvious is the fact that they had the talent or ability to become teachers, or else the writer would not be holding them responsible.

Growth is a necessary and required part of being a Christian. The apostle Peter commands us to grow. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (II Peter 3:18). This is not an option but a prerequisite so we can please our God. This same apostle tells us how such development can take place. “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2). When we hunger and thirst for spiritual food and satisfy our cravings by feeding on the word of God day by day our progress will be evident.

One of the things that God expects from our maturation is that we become teachers. I have seen very few churches through the years since I’ve been preaching that have enough Bible teachers. I certainly don’t think it is because of a lack of ability on the part of the members. Many have simply failed to take the time and exert the energy necessary to become properly acquainted with the Scriptures to be teachers. You can’t teach what you don’t know. The prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).

Not only would the priests be destroyed for their rejection of the knowledge to be gained through the word, but those who were not taught by them would suffer as well.

We are taught so that we might teach others. The Lord’s apostles were told to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then they were instructed to teach those disciples to observe all things commanded them (the apostles) by the Lord (Matthew 28:19-20). In essence, what He was saying, teach those who were converted to teach others. Paul told Timothy, the young evangelist, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2).

Not only do we need those who can teach the lost, but we also need teachers to give instruction to those who have been saved so they can grow. Paul, in Ephesians 4:11-12, speaks of those that the Lord had placed in the church, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, so the saints could be equipped to do the work of the ministry, edifying the body of Christ. For churches to achieve their full potential in reaching the lost and strengthening the saints, good teachers are sorely needed.

May each member of the Lord’s church do all he can to grow strong in the knowledge of God’s will, faithfully follow those instructions, and become teachers of the oracles of God. There is much we each can do in the kingdom. Let us be about the Lord’s business.

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