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He Shall Teach
This booklet concerns the Work of the Holy Spirit in connection with teaching the Word of God. It is for any who have a part in teaching the word of God to young people. It was originally prepared for Scripture teachers, hence the use of the words “classroom” and “students”. Change them to suit your particular type of work.
I was recently led to search through all the Sunday School lesson books and helps to Bible teaching that I possess to find out what place is given in these to the Person of the Holy Spirit in the preparation of teachers for Bible teaching. As I turned from volume to volume to read through the introductory notes to teachers I was amazed to find that, in one after another, there is no mention of the Name of the Holy Spirit, and in none of those in my possession is there any positive teaching concerning the Person and Work of God the Holy Spirit in connection with the ministry of teaching the Word. I know that all these lesson helps, which I myself have used with great benefit, and which contain such excellent material, have been prepared by men and women under the control of the Spirit of God, who know experimentally in their own teaching the necessity for absolute dependence upon the Holy Spirit, but I wondered whether in training young Sunday School teachers and Scripture teachers we are failing to give the place we should to a positive recognition of God the Holy Spirit, Who is The Teacher and without Whose ministry all our teaching is vain. It was with these thoughts in my mind that there was born a great desire to make some contribution on this subject. May the Holy Spirit Himself use what is written to encourage the hearts of all those who seek to teach God’s Word, with a consciousness of His Presence and Power, and to awaken us to a sense of our responsibility to work in fellowship with Himself. Let us all remember that if our greatest desire is to put our Lord Jesus Christ first and to glorify Him, the best way we can do that is to give the Holy Spirit His rightful place, for the Lord Jesus Himself said, “He shall glorify Me” John 16 v14.
In speaking of teaching the Word of God we can no more leave out God the Holy Spirit than we could leave out God the Father from the work of creation, or God the Son from the work of salvation.
When our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples the wonderful words recorded in John chapters 14 to 16, and told them that after His ascension He would send them another Comforter, the first positive statement He made concerning the work of that Comforter was that He would teach. John 14 v26, “He shall teach you all things”.
Let us think about this great Teacher, God the Holy Spirit.
God the Holy Spirit is a Person. That does not mean that He has a body. Body is not necessary to personality. God is a Person, but He has not got a body as you and I have.
Any person is made up of three things, a mind which thinks, emotions which feel, a will which chooses. The Holy Spirit has all three.
Romans 8 v27, “He who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit.”
Romans 15 v30, “The love of the Spirit.”
1Corinthians 12 v11, “But all these work that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.”
Do not think of the Holy Spirit as just a Power or Influence. He is a Person, as really a Person as God the Father is a Person, and the Lord Jesus Christ is a Person.
Not only is He a Person, He is a Divine Person, GOD the Holy Spirit, equal with God the Father and God the Son in the Godhead. Many arguments from Scripture could be used to support this, we shall think of two only here:
(a) In Matthew 28 v19, Jesus said, “Baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Not in the Names but in the Name. One Name, three equal parts, Father, Son, Holy Ghost.
(b) In Acts 5 v3-4, Peter said, “Why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit . . . . thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” A lie to the Holy Ghost is a lie to God.
Since the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, do you treat Him as such? Do you love Him, trust Him, honour Him and obey Him? Do you recognize the Person of the great Teacher in the classroom as you teach?
2. HIS PRESENCE
When the Lord Jesus Christ ascended up to heaven with His work of redemption finished, God the Father gave Him the Holy Spirit, and Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to earth to make this earth His Home. Act 2 v33, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
As really as the Lord Jesus made this earth His Home for 33 years, so really has the Holy Spirit made this earth His Home from Pentecost until the coming again of the Lord Jesus. We sing in a hymn, “Make a lost world Thy home”, that is exactly what He has done. His Home is in the Church which is made up of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2 v22, “In Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” And in the individual hearts of all those who are true believers in the Lord Jesus. 1Corinthians 6 v19, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
Of course we cannot divide the Godhead, when the Lord Jesus lived on earth the Father was in Him and the Spirit filled Him, and when we say that the Holy Spirit lives on earth we recognize that the Father and the Son are present in Him. John 14 v16-25, “Another Comforter . . . shall be in you . . . I will come to you . . . and My Father will love him . . . and we will make our abode with him.” But in a special way at present the Home of the Father and the Son is in heaven, that of the Holy Spirit is here on earth, and it is here that He is doing His work and exercising His power.
Since the Home of God the Holy Spirit is here on earth are you making Him feel at home? Is He at home in your heart? Do you allow Him into every corner? Does He control your thinking, your feeling, your choices?
Is this great Teacher at home in your classroom? Do you consult Him as you prepare to teach? Do you look actively to Him to teach you how to teach? Do you allow Him to control your behaviour towards those you teach? Do you expect Him to work in their hearts?
3. HIS POWER
We are only thinking here of one aspect of the power of the Holy Spirit, that is His power as it is shown in connection with teaching the Word of God.
His Power as He works in the teacher. You are told that your students must see Jesus in you if you are to lead them to Him. Did you realise that the Holy Spirit has the power to do just that in you, to create in you, even you, a Christ-likeness, as Christ by His Spirit dwells in your heart? Ephesians 3 v16-17, “Strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.”
2Corinthians 3 v3, “Being made manifest that you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh.” This means that we are to be like letters which tell people about the Lord Jesus, and that the writing of this letter is to be made on our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
If you are to teach you must yourself be taught, and it is the Holy Spirit Who has power to teach you to understand the Bible in such a way that you can teach it and make it living and real to your students. 2Corinthians 3 v14-17, “But their minds were hardened: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted; which veil is done away in Christ . . . whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit.” This means that when we turn actively to the Holy Spirit to teach us He will open our eyes to see the Lord Jesus in the Scriptures in a way we never have before.
Then He gives you power to enable you in your teaching. In Luke 4 v18 we are told that the Lord Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit to preach. If He needed that anointing how much more do we for all our teaching?
Lastly, and perhaps the most important of all, the Holy Spirit has the power to teach you to pray for your students. If your life is yielded to Him, He will pray through you, and you will be enabled to pray for them faithfully and earnestly, as you must if you are to see real spiritual results in them. Romans 8 v26, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities, for we know not what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us.”
His Power as He works in the students. Your desire is that your students will so understand God’s Word that they will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then grow in their Christian lives. To this end they must first be convicted of sin; only the Holy Spirit has power to do this. John 16 v8-9, “And when He is come He will convict the world of sin”. Then they must be brought to understand the work of our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. This also the Holy Spirit has power to do. John16 v14, “He shall receive of mine and shall show it unto you.”
Then they must be born again, and it is the Holy Spirit Who has the power to bring about this new birth in response to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3 v5, 6 &8, “Born of the Spirit.”
Then they must walk in the Christian pathway and grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. This walk is to be in the Spirit, Galatians 5 v16. And it is His power which will enable them for everything that this walk involves.
He is also able to bear witness in the hearts of your students to all the truths you seek to teach them. Acts 5 v29-32, “We are His witnesses . . . and so is also the Holy Spirit.”
What is your attitude to be to this great Teacher whom God has given you? You should go through the New Testament and underline all the passages which tell what our attitude should be to the Holy Spirit; here are just two:
1. You should not grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4 v30, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit.” That means that you should not make Him sad. You can do that in two ways. You can ignore His presence. If my child comes home and takes no notice of me, I am sad; and the great Teacher is made sad if you do your preparation and go into your classroom with no recognition of His wonderful Person and Presence and Power. Then He is the Holy Spirit and anything that is unholy or sinful in your life, however small, makes Him sad.
Will you actively bring Him into all your teaching, and will you be quick to confess all sin, so that the Blood of Jesus may keep on cleansing you?
2. You should enter into active partnership with Him. That is the meaning of “the communion of the Holy Spirit.” 2Corinthians 13 v14. Seek to understand from the Scriptures His ways of working and bring your ways into line with His ways; for instance, He is the Spirit of Truth, be careful that you know the truth of the subject you teach. He is the Spirit of Life, the subjects you teach must be living in your own experience, otherwise they will not bring life to your students. He is the one who glorifies the Lord Jesus, let your teaching be full of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To-day there is much excellent literature prepared to help those who teach the Word of God; this literature can help you in deciding what you will teach and the best methods of teaching; there are also many visual aids which have been prepared to assist, especially in the teaching of small children; all these may be of great benefit to you, but remember that if your teaching is to produce lasting results the one absolute essential is that you constantly recognize the Person and the Presence and the Power of the divine Teacher, God the Holy Spirit.