by Dr. Brian J. Bailey
The teaching profession is the oldest and the largest of all vocations. Without teachers it would be impossible for one generation to pass down to the following generation their knowledge, as one generation builds upon the knowledge and experience of another.
While only some people become professional teachers, we can also say that every one of us should learn how to teach. In a very real sense, everybody teaches during their lifetime. We are told in Deuteronomy 6:7 that one of the duties of parents is to teach the Word of God to their children, so obviously every parent is intended to be a teacher. Everyone teaches during their lifetime, whether it be a Sunday school class, in their own family, or among their friends or peers. Therefore everyone should learn how to teach.
The Need for Teachers of Righteousness
We teach to pass along our knowledge, yet education by itself is not the answer. It helps a person, but it is no guarantee that they will bring forth good fruit. Education is knowledge, it is the gaining of facts; yet it is what you do with those facts that can develop wisdom which will put you on the right path for life.
I have just been reading about a person who has an IQ of 190, which is higher than the IQ that Einstein had. Yet because of mistakes in his life and not walking on the right path, he works on a farm and cuts hay.
In a study done in California, schools were asked to identify their brightest young students, who were then given special treatment. As they grew up they were still very gifted, but many did not become successful in life. The reason was that they had not developed wisdom and were not put on the right pathway of life. That is something that a teacher of righteousness must do. They must help their students to go on the right path so that they might become as “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord,” as Isaiah 61:3 declares. Then they will develop their lives correctly.
The phrase “teachers of righteousness” can be taken from Daniel 12:3, which reads, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” The part that says “Those who are wise” can also be translated as “Those who are teachers.” Those who are teachers and turn many to righteousness can be called teachers of righteousness.
In these Last Days the Lord will raise up teachers of righteousness who will help guide the Church into maturity and perfection. Ephesians 4:11-13 declares, “And He Himself gave some to be…teachers…for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come…to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The end purpose of all Bible teaching is to present a people who have been perfected by the workings of God. As Ephesians 5:26-27 tells us, “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”