About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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We Don't Need Teachers We Have Jesus


While I was listening to a Christian radio talk show, a man called in claiming he didn't need anyone to teach him the things of God.  He went on to say that Jesus told us the Holy Spirit would teach us everything we need to know.  The talk show host did a good job at refuting the caller's assertion, but he missed one major point.        


First of all, Jesus didn't say any such thing. Granted, in John 16:13 He did say the Holy Spirit would "lead us into all truth", but He never said that we don't need human teachers.   It was John who actually said "something" like that.  1 John 2:27 says, "as for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and that anointing is real, not counterfeit "   This is the Scripture the caller attempted to explain.  Like many Christians today, the caller didn't know his Bible.  He didn't know where the quote was found, who made the statement, and how to understand the quote.  Is John really saying that we don't need human teachers?


Here's where a little education in history is important.  John wrote these words around 80 to 90 AD.  At that time in Ephesus where John lived, there was a false teacher named Cerinthus who taught that Jesus' biological parents were both Mary and Joseph.  He did not believe in the virgin birth.  He taught that the Holy Spirit came into Jesus at His baptism and then left Him some time prior to the cross.  Cerinthus did not believe in the Deity of Christ.  He did not believe that Jesus was God in human form from conception.  To refute this counterfeit teaching, John wrote his first letter.  If you read his letter with this understanding, you'll notice many allusions to the fact that Jesus was God in a human body.   Most of us miss these allusions because they don't know the history, and why John wrote the letter.  I'd suggest you read first John again with this in mind.  It may shed a whole new light on the letter.


Because of Cerinthus' counterfeit teaching John tells his readers that they have an anointing of the Spirit within them which is not counterfeit, as was Cerinthus' teaching.  That anointing should teach his readers what is right and what is wrong.  The context of John's statement, and the history behind his statement, tells us that John is simply saying not to believe what Cerinthus is teaching.  The anointing of the Spirit should tell you that what Cerinthus is teaching is counterfeit.  John's statement has nothing to do with the false notion that we don't need well balanced, educated, Godly teachers to help us along in the faith.  If he was saying we didn't need such teachers, why was he writing these words of instruction in the first place?


It amazes me that every so often someone comes up with this illogical idea that there is no need for teachers in the Body of Christ.  Paul taught.  Peter taught. James taught.  Philip taught.  Teachers are one of the four gifts of Christ found in Ephesians 4:11.  It's listed as a function in the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:28.   The list could go on.  Teachers are important, both to teach Biblical truth, and also to refute men like Cerinthus, and we do have some Cerinthus' hanging around the church these days.     



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