It is important that true knowledge and wisdom, once known, not be either lost or corrupted. Each generation, therefore, has the responsibility to transmit its knowledge of truth, undiluted and undistorted, to the succeeding generation. This is the ministry of teaching.
In God’s economy, the primary responsibility for educating the young is in the home (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 6:4). The churches also bear a complementary and extended responsibility to identify and equip God-called teachers as needed for all aspects of its educational ministries (1 Timothy 3:15). It is significant that there is no reference in the Scriptures to the school as a separate institution established by God.
That fact does not necessarily mean that parents and pastors have to do all the actual work of teaching. It is certainly appropriate for them to employ qualified tutors and trainers, but the control of the educational process should remain primarily with the home and secondarily with the church.
The gift of teaching is identified in all three Bible lists of the gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:7-16). This gift focuses on the teaching of the Scriptures, of course. However, we must not forget that the Bible provides the framework for all teaching. All physical, biological, and spiritual reality is created and maintained by God in Christ and revealed by the Spirit. All teaching, no matter how profound, attractive, or eloquent, should be tested by its fidelity to the Word of God.
Thus, the wonderful three-fold goal of teaching must be as follows:
- to transmit the truth in fullness and purity
- to train the student with love and wisdom
- to glorify Christ, in whom perfect love and absolute truth will be united forever