Psalm 119:99-176 New International Version (NIV) 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.
NKJV - 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.
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To me, the distinction being made in the cited verse is a contrast between knowledge and wisdom. Factual learning is useful for increasing objective knowledge. However, the type of discernment or insights required in relating to God or to other people is acquired through subjective experience or reflection -- either directly, or from the experience or insight of an outside source, which that source then passes on to others. For that type of awareness, the Bible is the supreme source for Christians, since the teachings in it originate from God Himself, who is the ultimate source of wisdom. (I believe that it was Theodore Roosevelt who made an observation to the effect that absorbing the wisdom from the Bible without a formal education was of more value than receiving a formal education with no knowledge of the wisdom in the Bible.)
The Holy Spirit is the resident teacher of every Christian. "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come (John 16:13) The Holy Spirit has given at least one spiritual gift to every Christian to minister to the local church and community. Teaching is one of these spiritual gifts. "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines," (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Christ Jesus himself created specific leadership positions in his church, which included teachers. "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ," (Ephesians 4:11-13). Paul expected that the Overseers (Elders / Bishops) that Timothy was appointing in his churches would be able to teach. "Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap" (1 Timothy 3:1-7). In our contemporary churches today, I think we would all expect our local pastors to be able to teach using their sermons, bible studies and other discipleship resources. We would also likely expect other mature Christians to be teachers, like small group leaders and other ministry leaders. God has provided many and assorted teachers to train and equip us so we can become mature and complete. But as the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink". It behoves each one of us to humble ourselves and be teachable Christians all the time.
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