Monday, January 1, 2024

He Gave Us Teachers (Ephesians 4:7-16)

And He Himself gave some to be … pastors and teachers …” (Eph. 4:11).

Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 that Christ gave to the church “… pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” God did not leave us to stumble through life alone, but He gave us instructors to lead and direct us along the way. God did not design His church to function as a conglomerate of isolated individuals but as a unit. And for that unit to function properly, it needs teachers who are able to proclaim the truth without compromise, who are graced with knowledge, wisdom, and insight for the instruction of God’s people.

Every year in faithful churches, we sit at the feet of great teachers who have remained faithful to the Scriptures and who can clearly explain the doctrines of grace in a way that all of us can understand. Just a brief survey of Christian history reveals how God has been faithful in supplying His church with people who convey those teachings of Christ that each of us desperately need. Some teachers have been pastors, laymen, and seminary professors. Some have written a plethora of books; others have left a legacy of printed sermons and lectures. One such teacher who is a burning and shining light in the Reformed heritage is Charles Hodge, a seminary professor who lived from 1797 to 1878.

Hodge is considered the most influential American theologian of the 19th century. He graduated from Princeton Seminary and later returned there to teach biblical literature from 1822 to 1840, when he became professor of exegetical and didactic theology. While at Princeton, he wrote a number of books including a commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. I will be using this commentary as the basis for our daily studies together for a bit.

Like all the teachers I quote in our studies, Hodge was a steadfast Calvinist and wrote vastly on the glory and goodness of God, His holiness and sovereign rule over every area of life. Just as all good teachers must do, Hodge worked solely for the glory of God. May each of us be led to a deeper knowledge of God that we, too, might serve Him more faithfully and give Him greater glory as we learn this year from such an eminent teacher as Charles Hodge.

Read 1 Timothy 3:1–7; 2 Timothy 3:10–15; 4:1–5. What are marks of a good teacher? Read 2 Peter 2. What are marks of bad teachers? If you are not receiving constant, good teaching, ask someone you trust to direct you to good teaching. Make it a habit this year to study under a good teacher.