Learning From Others

As early as the 4th century A.D. Augustine already addressed the issue of whether we still need to learn from our fellow human beings the meaning of Scripture now that we have the Holy Spirit. In his Preface to “Christian Doctrine” he points out that, in the first place, we would never have learned to read unless someone had taught us. Next, both Cornelius and Paul had supernatural visions yet they were directed to human beings to be taught by the latter. Then there’s the argument from love: if there were no need for us to teach or learn from one another, then opportunities for loving each other are greatly diminished. Then there’s the case of the eunuch learning from Philip, and Moses listening to the advice of his father-in-law, in spite of the fact that God himself talked to Moses. Finally – and here’s the clincher – “But reading and understanding, as he does, without the aid of any human interpreter, why does he himself undertake to interpret for others?”

One response to “Learning From Others”

  1. The answer to this dilemma is so simple: not all disciples are given the gift of teaching. Each receive different gifts of the Spirit; were it not so, then the body would be incomplete. Some do receive more than one gift, albeit as such each gift works with the other.

    For instance, I was given the gifts of prophecy interpretation and the weightier matters of the Law, plus the ability to teach both. I do not, however, have the gift of healing or preaching but do have the gift of ministering as a counselor.

    What it boils down to, is we learn the other gifts from those who possess those gifts. In short, we need each other and should acknowledge the truth in each other’s gifts. If we don’t, then we deny the body of Christ.

    A good article! Stop by my blog sometime. 🙂

    Love in Christ,

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