As Bible teachers we need to both learn from the Holy Spirit and use Spirit-taught words in explaining what we’ve learned to our students. We would think then, that our classes would whole-heartedly accept what we have to say and learn and grow spiritually because of it. Yet, our teaching still might be met with skepticism or even rejected. Why? — Because, without the Holy Spirit at work within students’ hearts and minds, they can’t accept spiritual truth as given from God.
Students’ Reactions to Spiritual Truth Determined by Whether the Holy Spirit is Working within Them
1 Corinthians 2:13-16 clearly states what dictates a person’s reaction to spiritual truth, even that which comes from Spirit-taught teachers using Spirit-taught words (1 Cor. 2:13).
1) Rejection – could be reflected in apathy, ridicule, antagonism
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:14)
2) Acceptance – could be reflected in belief, worship, obedience
The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:15-16)
Teachers’ Reactions to Students Who Can’t Accept Spiritual Realities
We shouldn’t be surprised if some of our students don’t accept, learn, and grow because of our teaching. — Some of our students may not be true believers and hence not have the Spirit within them (Jn. 14:16-17). And, some of our students who do know the Lord may not be walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25) but rather quenching the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).
We need to, instead, be concerned about and pray for the salvation of those in the class who don’t know the Lord and meet them where they are, giving skeptics opportunity to express their doubts and ask questions.
And, we also need to be concerned about and pray for the spiritual awakening and renewal of believers in our class who aren’t walking in the Spirit.
We must always remember that God is the One who changes lives (1 Cor. 3:7). We simply plant and water the Seed of His Word. His Spirit is the One who convicts and convinces people (Jn. 16:8-11). Our responsibility is to remain faithful in our lesson preparation and presentation, yielding at each step of the teaching-learning process to the Spirit as our Teacher and Prompter.
Continue reflecting on the Spirit’s Role: The Holy Spirit & My Teaching Devotional