Hard Sayings and Teachable Teachers – R.C. Sproul

Source: Teachable Teachers by R.C. Sproul | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org

TT-Oct-2015The new monthly issue of Tabletalk is out, which I began reading yesterday.  The theme for October is another interesting one – “The Hard Sayings of Jesus.” 

“TT” editor Burk Parsons introduces the issue with his article “The Perspicuity of Scripture,” and he has some profitable thoughts on why we may speak of Jesus’ “hard sayings” when we believe that the Bible is clear.

One of the most important but often most overlooked parts of our order of service at Saint Andrew’s Chapel is the prayer of illumination. In our liturgy, the prayer of illumination is situated between the reading of Scripture and the sermon. In our prayer, we humbly ask God to illumine His Word to us by the Holy Spirit so that we would rightly hear, understand, and apply what the Lord is saying to us in His Word. The reason it is one of the most important elements of our service is because we desperately need the Holy Spirit to help us understand His Word. The reason it is perhaps the most overlooked part of our service is because we too easily forget how dependent we are on the Holy Spirit to help us grasp the glorious truths of God’s sacred Word.

The Holy Spirit indwells us and enables us to interpret and apply His Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. We are utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we cannot rightly understand anything in His Word. We don’t need to be great scholars to understand God’s Word, we simply need to be born-again, humble children indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Yet, even as believers, we know that not everything in Scripture is easy to understand.

The article to which I linked above, however, is that by Dr. R.C. Sproul. He addresses the importance of teachers being teachable, and it is some of his thoughts I wish to highlight today. You may read all of Sproul’s article at the link above, but here are a few worthwhile paragraphs to get you started:

It is bad enough when students or parishioners are not teachable, but there is something even worse. I’m talking about teachers who are not teachable. These are teachers who don’t think that the words of this biblical proverb apply to them: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning” (Prov. 9:9). In fact, this verse might be more pertinent for those who seek to teach vocationally than for those who do not. If teachers are to impart knowledge and wisdom to their students, will not the best teachers seek to grow in their knowledge and wisdom so that they will have more to teach to others? Becoming a teacher does not mean that one has “arrived” in terms of knowledge; the best teachers understand where they are lacking and seek to be taught so that they will increase in wisdom and learning.

…It’s critical that teachers be lifelong learners. No great teacher gets everything right the first time. Excellent instructors keep on revising their material and adjusting their skills throughout their teaching careers. Simply put, they keep learning.

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