Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

In what ways will the Spirit teach the disciples? (14:25-26)

First, the Holy Spirit will teach the truths of Jesus graciously. By this I mean that he will always remember that his pupils are sinners. He knows that they have a great learning disability which has to be overcome, that in addition to their ignorance there can be an antipathy to being taught. 

Second, the Spirit will teach the truth gradually. He knows that we cannot absorb all the truth in one go. Therefore, he teaches according to our development in spiritual things. This means that his pupils who have moved through various stages in his teaching process need to be tolerant of the lack of truth in younger disciples. The assessment of such should be made by what they knew as young Christians and not on what they know now.

Third, the Spirit will teach the truth gladly. He will always rejoice in teaching us. I’m sure every human teacher has had their reluctant days. But he never has had one. Throughout each stage of every believer’s learning process, the Spirit has maintained his interest in teaching each one of them. Each Sunday, as we gather in the Spirit’s classroom, we have a delighted Teacher.

Fourth, the Spirit will teach us with graduation day in mind. I’m sure one of the joys of a teacher’s work is when his or her pupils leave school ready for life in adulthood. In a far greater way, the Spirit is preparing us for our graduation day, when we receive our prizes. 

Let us think of some of the classrooms in the heavenly Teacher’s school. First, there is the language class. Pupils often learn a foreign language, such as French or German, in case they will need to use it later. The pupils of the Holy Spirit are also learning another language, the language of Canaan. They are learning to speak in a way that pleases God, whether they are speaking to him or about him.

A second classroom is the arithmetic class where they are taught to count their blessings. Often, this class has to be repeated because they often forget how many blessings they have. But the heavenly Teacher encourages them to do it, naming the blessings one by one.

A third classroom is the nutrition class where they learn about their own anatomy. They discover that they have certain features and how to use them. They learn about the importance of eating the correct spiritual food and avoiding junk food, of the importance of taking spiritual exercise such as prayer.

A fourth classroom is the history class where they are taught about the progress of Christ’s kingdom. The Holy Spirit has a text-book that he uses in every class, which is the Bible. In it there are details of the progress the church has made. This history class is a bit unusual because it also includes teaching about the future of the church, of where it is going when Jesus returns.

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