The Gift of Teaching
By Dr. Ray Melugin


Too many Christians are like the U.S. "mothball Navy." Hundreds of ships anchored in various U.S. harbors, painted and treated with protective coatings, exposed equipment sealed, openings blocked, rust and corrosion on the inside being combated by huge electrodes, with various other forms of protections from the elements. Many church attending believers seem to be in "mothballs" with their gift of teaching, isolated up the religious river instead of being at work on the high seas.


The gift of teaching is defined as, the supernatural ability to explain clearly and apply effectively the truth of the Word of God. These four concepts will be amplified in this lesson.


I. A Supernatural Ability (John 14:26)

A. A person capable of teaching will not automatically have the the teaching gift.
1. One may have the talent to teach without the gift.

2. the Spirit may choose to bestow the gift on one who already has the talent.

Note: Similarities between the talent and the gift.



Present from natural birth

Present from spiritual birth

Operates through common grace in society

Operates through special grace and the church

Communicates on any subject

Communicates Biblical Truth

Has understanding of many topics

Prepares for involvement & obedience


B. Educational skills cannot make the difference between natural talent and spiritual gifts.
1. A qualified secular teacher may not do well as a Sunday School teacher.

2. Giving information and facts without God's blessing cannot cause spiritual advancement.

C. A person without formal education can become a Spirit-gifted teacher. (Ephesians 4:11-12, a divine call)


II. A Clear Communication

A. Jesus is the Master Teacher (Matthew 26:25; Mark 10:17)
1. He began where people were, using at-hand, simple things like sheep, vines, and candles. (Matthew 5:15; John 10:1-3; 15:1-4

2. He asked questions of His hearers over 100 times. (Luke 15:3-4)

3. He frequently countered a question with a question. (Matthew 21:23-24)

4. He illustrated with use of parables.

5. He took advantage of occasions to make a point. (Matthew 22:23-30)

Note: At a supper, He spoke of people who made excuses for not coming to God's Great Supper. (Luke 14:15-24)

B. Possessing the gift does not guarantee polished ability to communicate truth.
1. The gift needs to be developed.
a. Study Jesus' teaching methods.
b. Take courses in effective teaching.
c. Use helps such as flannelgraph, overheads, films, cassettes, charts.
d. we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

C. The teaching gift has a close association with the prophetic gift.
1. Prophecy and teachings are the only two gifts mentioned in Paul's three lists
a. "... ceased not to teach and preach..." (Acts 5:42)
b. In the Antioch church "were certain prophets and teachers." (Acts 13:1)
c. Barnabas and Saul "continued teaching and preaching..." (Acts 15:35)

Note: Paul had a team of helpers with him most of the time which helped to balance their preaching and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:10-13; 20-21)

2. Teaching and preaching were associated in the ministry of Christ, with teaching mentioned first. (Matthew 4:23)

Note: More is said of Christ's teaching than His preaching.


III. An Effective Application

A. The gift of teaching involves more than just giving of information.
1. Leads to involvement of individual learners.

Note: Five steps of learning:


Rote Level:

Student calls for a response from memory.

Recognition Level:

Student knows something to be true or false from class study.

Restatement Level:

Student restates an idea using his own terms.

Relational Level:

Student discovers a personal meaning.

Realizational Level:

Student makes the fact a personal life experience.


When two small boys were fighting over a toy after Sunday School, their mother knew they hadn't learned their lesson on the boy who shared his 5 loaves and 2 fishes.

2. Calls for acting upon what you know to be God's truth.

Note: When Suzy's teacher taught on 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with the unbeliever," she immediately thought of her unsaved boyfriend. When the meaning of the verse personally dawned upon her, she knew she had to break her relationship with him.

A man, after hearing a spirit filled teacher teach on the story of Joseph's resistance to the temptations by Potiphar's wife, he was able to reject the allurements of a married woman who had deliberately crossed his path.

Both illustrations show they learned the lesson. They had been taught by a teacher who used their gift of teaching.


IV. Teach a Body of Truth

A. Teaching was and is an indispensable part of the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:20)
1. The Book of Acts shows the disciples fulfilling Jesus last command.
a. After conversion of 3,000 on Pentecost, "they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine." (Acts 2:42)
b. The Sanhedrin (Jewish ruling body) imprisoned Peter and John for teaching. (Acts 4:18)
c. The apostles "entered into the temple and taught." (Acts 5:21)
d. After the apostles were beaten, they "ceased not to teach..." (Acts 5:42; 11:26; 18:11; 19:10; 20:20; 21:28)

2. Teaching is essential to the chain of communication.
a. Four links seen in 2 Timothy 2:2; Paul to Timothy to faithful men, to others.
b. Paul commanded Timothy, "give attendance to doctrine." (1 Timothy 4:13, 16)

3. Teaching seems to be the main and only required gift for a pastor. (1 Timothy 3:2 "apt to teach")

Note: The only other qualification that could pass as a gift is in the same verse, "given to hospitality."

4. The gift requires study of doctrine. "Study...rightly dividing the word..." (2 Timothy 2:15)


V. Teaching: A Major Gift

A. Growth in truth is basic, vital and continually essential. (2 Peter 3:1-3; 2 Peter 3:18)

B. The gift of teaching has an outlet in a variety of ministries.

Note: Teaching of children, teenagers, college ministries, adults. Soloists, singing groups, choirs, can instruct through music. "...Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." (Colossians 3:16). Older women can teach younger women and children. "...Teachers of good things." (1 Timothy 2:12; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15; Titus 2:3-4)

C. Though we may not have the gift of teaching, we are all to teach, though perhaps, in a limited way.

(Hebrews 5:12 " ought to be a teacher.")

Note: No one owns a corner on Bible knowledge. All can learn from someone else. All can warn, instruct, admonish and edify.

"Let the person possessing the gift of teaching devote himself to teaching." (Romans 12:7)


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