The Office of Teacher

According to the listed order in 1 Corinthians 12:28, the office of teacher is the third highest calling. A teacher is one who is supernaturally anointed to teach the Word of God. Just because someone teaches the Bible does not mean he is a New Testament teacher. Many teach simply because they like to or feel obligated to, but a person who stands in the office of teacher is supernaturally gifted to teach. He is often given supernatural revelation concerning the Word of God and can explain the Bible in a manner that makes it understandable and applicable.

Apollos is a New Testament example of one who stood in this office. Paul compared his apostolic ministry and the teaching ministry of Apollos in 1 Corinthians by saying:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth….I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it (1 Cor. 3:6, 10b, emphasis added).

Apollos the teacher did not do the original planting or laying of the foundation. Instead, he watered the new sprouts with the Word of God and built walls on the existing foundation.

Apollos is also mentioned in Acts 18:27:

And when he [Apollos] wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he arrived, he helped greatly those who had believed through grace; for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

Notice that Apollos “helped greatly” people who were already Christians and that his teaching was described as “powerful.” Anointed teaching is always powerful.

For the church, the teaching ministry is even more important than the working of miracles or gifts of healings. That is why it is listed before those gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28:

And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings (emphasis added).

Unfortunately, believers are sometimes more attracted to seeing healings than to listening to the clear teaching of the Word that will produce spiritual growth and holiness in their lives.

The Bible speaks of both preaching and teaching. Teaching is more logical and instructional, whereas preaching is more inspirational and motivational. Evangelists generally preach. Teachers and pastors generally teach. Apostles preach and teach. It is to be regretted that some believers don’t recognize the value of teaching. Some even think that the only time speakers are anointed is if they are preaching loud and fast! That is just not so.

Jesus is the best example of an anointed teacher. His teaching was such a predominate part of His ministry that many addressed Him as “Teacher” (Matt. 8:19; Mark 5:35; John 11:28).

For further study about teachers and teaching, see Acts 2:42; 5:21, 25, 28, 42; 11:22-26; 13:1; 15:35; 18:11; 20:18-20; 28:30-31; Rom. 12:6-7; 1 Cor. 4:17; Gal. 6:6; Col. 1:28; 1 Tim. 4:11-16; 5:17; 6:2; 2 Tim. 1:11; 2:2 and Jas. 3:1. The last scripture listed tells us that teachers will incur a stricter judgment, and so they ought to be very cautious what they teach. They should only teach the Word.