“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
Three modes of communication are essential for the advancement of Christianity: preaching, warning, and teaching. Now we come to “teaching.”
“and teaching every man”
“Warning” is the negative side; “teaching” is the positive side. Preaching, warning, and teaching must go together. It is not enough to tell people that they should reject certain teaching without teaching them what will strengthen their lives. We preach the gospel to those without Christ and teach the Bible to those who know him. We should not mix the two. We cannot teach the Bible to those without Christ (1 Cor. 2:14).
The word “teach” means systematically presenting truth so that people can understand it coherently (Co 2:6,7; Acts 5:41,42; Mt. 28:18-20). Any pastor worthy of his title will teach as well as preach. Teaching will help individuals grow at a normal spiritual pace. If they develop, they will not come down with a case of arrested spiritual development. God’s people need not remain spiritual pygmies all their lives. It is a gratifying thing to watch Christians grow and develop. Making progress in the things of God makes the individual believer and the entire Christian community stronger.
Spiritual growth comes from a systematic presentation of the truth of God’s Word.
The threefold ministry of preaching, warning, and teaching keeps the church from becoming sidetracked to lesser things. When the church diminishes the three functions of preaching, warning, and teaching, she gets off track. No other organization will give the gospel other than the church and her mission ministries. Public schools, universities, political institutions, fraternities, or lodges will not do it. God does not want us to duplicate what other institutions can do better.
A preacher is not to become a psychiatrist or psychologist. His role is to preach, warn, and teach. He should not trade in his pulpit for a couch. The trend in our day is for preachers to become amateur psychologists. God’s primary commission for them is to preach Christ. Their first call is not to fight the social ills of society. We expose error by preaching the truth. The church loses its message by placing politics as central. The greatest hope for humanity is the maximum number of people turning to Jesus Christ.