The Teaching Ministry of the Holy Spirit
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things….
— John 14:26
As Jesus continued teaching the disciples about the various roles the Holy Spirit would soon have in their lives, He told them that the Holy Spirit would also “teach” them. Let’s look at that word “teach” in today’s Sparkling Gem and see what Jesus meant when He chose this word.
This word “teach” is the Greek word didasko — a word that is used approximately 200 times in both the Old and New Testaments. It is used so often, in fact, that its meaning is very well established. But to make sure we hit the target correctly, we will take our meaning of didasko from The NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words, which gives the primary meaning of this word as “to teach, inform, instruct, demonstrate, and prescribe.” It continues, “The word is used typically for the relationship between teacher and pupil, instructor, and apprentice. What is taught may be not only knowledge, opinions, or facts but also artistic and technical skills, all of which are to be systematically and thoroughly acquired by the learner through the activity of a teacher.”6
*[If you started reading this from your email, begin reading here.]
Thus, in the context of John 14:26, we see that the word didasko means the Holy Spirit has taken on the role of a Teacher, just as Jesus was a Teacher to the disciples. The Holy Spirit has become our Teacher, and we are His pupils. He is our Instructor, and we are the apprentices. Furthermore, the full extent of the Holy Spirit’s teaching is deep and multifaceted. Not only was He sent to us to impart knowledge and facts, lessons from Scripture, and theological truths, but He also teaches us how to live our Christian lives with divinely artistic skill. Instructed by the Teacher who lives within each of us as believers, we receive lessons imparted as we spend time in the Word or prayer or through any aspect of our innumerable life experiences. If we are listening, the Holy Spirit is teaching us constantly. Our responsibility is to listen, to obey, and to internalize and put into practice the truths He is teaching us.
There are always people who claim that if you haven’t been to Bible school, you are untaught and ignorant and therefore unable to be used significantly by God. However, this is simply not the case. It’s true that Bible school can be an immensely beneficial experience, and it’s good for you to read every book that you can read. But if you never go to a Bible school or read a teaching book, the Holy Spirit will still teach you, because He is ordained by the Father to do just that. Teaching is a fundamental part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
6 Verlyn D. Verbrugge, NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words: Abridged Edition, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), p.
Jesus told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit came, He would teach them, and today the Holy Spirit has been sent to teach you. If you’re seeking the best Teacher in the world, look no further! If you are born again, you have the Holy Spirit — the greatest Teacher in the history of the world — living inside you. If you’ll see yourself as His apprentice and cultivate your partnership together, He’ll teach you everything you need to know to live successfully and victoriously for Christ!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord Jesus, You said that when the Holy Spirit came, He would teach me all things I need to know. I am thankful for my pastor, my church, my books, and my various teaching materials — but there is nothing that could ever replace the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life. I admit that I’ve leaned on my own understanding on too many occasions, but starting today, I sincerely dedicate myself as a pupil and apprentice to the Spirit of God.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am in need of the Holy Spirit’s teaching in my life. I am thankful that I don’t need to beg for it or work to earn this work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew I needed divine instruction, and that is one reason why He prayed for the Father to send the Holy Spirit into the world. He is my Teacher, and I am His pupil. He is the Instructor, and I am the apprentice. I am serious about learning, and I take it as my responsibility to internalize and put into practice what He teaches me through diligent study and by application of His words in my life experience.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you ever experienced the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit?
- Can you clearly express the specific ways you’ve experienced the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry? Your ability to do that could help someone else who needs to learn how to benefit from this coaching and instructing role of the Holy Spirit in his or her life.
- How do you internalize and put into practice the things that the Holy Spirit has taught you through personal study or life experience?