How the Lord Teaches His People

A simple reminder as to the nature of teaching.

by John Dickie

" I will instruct thee and teach thee" (Psalm xxxii. 8).

What a blessed thing it is to have God to teach us: and this He delights to do, to every teachable soul (Psa. xxv. 8, 9). Christ, as redeemer, executes three offices. He is our only Prophet, or Teacher; our only Priest, and our only King. Now, while we are all jealous of giving Him His full honor as Priest, I fear that most of us are very sadly careless about His equally indispensable offices of Teacher and Lord. We are no more permitted to accept any fellow-creature to be our teacher, than we are permitted to resort to a human priest, that he may offer an atonement for our sin. Jesus is the one and only Teacher whom we must recognize, and He teaches by His Word and Spirit. He may, indeed, use our fellow-believers to help our ignorance; but, in such cases, we must be careful to discern, that it is He who teaches through them. And we must cautiously try their words by the test-standard of His Word, and also by His Spirit enlightening our minds. I am sorry to think, that there is very little of this in the churches, but that men and women are sitting at the feet of human teachers, and not recognizing that only One is their Master, even Christ (Matt. xxiii. 8, 10).

And all this knowledge which we get from one another, or which we gather from our own study, even of the Bible, has only one effect: it puffs up the soul (1 Cor. viii. 1). Jesus alone can teach us savingly and to our profit, and He delights to do it. Let our cry be as in the Psalm cxix. – "Teach me Thy statues." He does not set before us mere words, or doctrines (this is all that man can do), but He sets before us the supernatural realities of the spiritual world; and, along with this, He opens our sealed eyes to see them. This knowledge always deeply humbles. O, may the Lord grant us much of this teaching, whatever the cost.

And for this kind of teaching, we need the Word of God, but we need equally the Holy Spirit in the heart. Just as the prophet or the apostle, would have been unable to write these Divinely-quickening words, save by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God so I, who now read them, am equally incapable of receiving any benefit at all from these inspired words, unless I read them by the help of the same Spirit of God.