Learn, Apply, then Teach God’s Word
…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; Matthew 28:20a
Jesus commissioned us to teach others what He has commanded us in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:20). However, Hebrews 5:12-13 says, “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. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.” Why are believers needing milk and not able to teach? They are unskilled in the Word. They have not applied it to their lives. This goes back to the old motto “see one, do one, teach one” or “learn it, apply it, teach it.” Should someone that failed geometry get up and teach the class? No! Jesus said it a little differently in Matthew 5:19. “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.” Doing [obeying the Word] should come before teaching.
Why do you think James said, “let NOT many of you become teachers” (James 3:1)? There are NOT many who are obeying the Word of God (Matthew 7:14). God wants us all to teach the Word, but we need to be doing it first. Jesus is our example. Matthew 7:28b-29 says, “the people were astonished at His [Jesus’] teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” The people were not astonished because He was Jesus, the Son of God. They were astonished because Jesus had authority! He obeyed the Word, had many testimonies and stories to back it up, and spoke with power. Are you more likely to buy a product from someone reading from a spec sheet or from someone who uses the product, loves it, and is enthused about it? Jesus emphatically taught as the latter. The scribes were reading from a spec sheet. Obey the Word of God first. Then you will be equipped to teach it to others.