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The Delights of Teaching to the Glory of God

The glory of God is that He is great, does wondrous things, and is God alone (Ps. 86:8—10). It is the matchless excellence of His Name (Ps. 148:13) and consists of His unique identity, character, and works (Ps. 86:8—10; Exod. 33:18, 19; Exod. 34:5—7; Rev. 15:4). It is the absolute perfection of His unique identity, character, and works (Exod. 15:11, Ezek. 1:28, Ps. 8:1, Rom. 11:36).

God has preeminently revealed His glory in and through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the "brightness of his [God's] glory" (Heb. 1:3).

God is redeeming individuals from the world for His glory through His Son (1 Cor. 6:20). He is making them like His glorious Son by conforming them to His glorious image (Rom. 8:29). God is transforming their identity, character, and works into likeness to the glorious identity, character, and works of His Son (2 Cor. 3:18).

God demands that believers do all to His glory (1 Cor. 10:31). The Christian teacher does so in his teaching as it proclaims properly to others His reputation as the One whose glory is the absolute perfection of His unique identity, character, and works.

To teach so, the identity, character, and works of the Christian teacher must gloriously correspond to the uniquely glorious identity, character, and works of the Master Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt. 23:8). Thus, the teacher who would teach to the glory of God must be Christlike in his identity, character, and works.

Such Christlikeness in identity demands the careful consideration of the sovereign choice of God. Jesus was known to be a teacher come from God because His glorious works manifested plainly that God was with Him (John 3:2). Like Christ, the Christian teacher must be one who manifests his divine calling as a teacher through his excellent teaching. To be such a teacher, he must have the glorious identity of being a Spirit-filled believer in the Lord Jesus Christ in whom "he [God] hath put in his heart that he may teach" (Exod. 35:30, 31, 34). The Spirit-filled teaching of such a teacher will plainly manifest that God is with him, even as He was with the Lord in His teaching.

Besides such Christlikeness in identity, the teacher must be Christ-like in his character. Like Jesus (Mt. 11:29), he must be meek and lowly (James 3:1, 13; 1 Pet. 5:5). Like Christ (Mt. 12:18—21), he must manifest the fruit of the Spirit, including gentleness and meekness (Gal. 5:22, 23).

In addition to Christlikeness in identity and character, the teacher must be Christlike in his works. Like Jesus, the teacher must glorify God by finishing the works that God has for his life (John 17:4). No one else has ever existed or will ever exist who must do the work that God has for each teacher to do (Eph. 2:10).

Like Christ (Isa. 61:1—3), the teacher must teach to the glory of God by speaking and ministering faithfully with the spiritual gifts that God has graciously entrusted to him to fulfill his part in the Great Commission (1 Peter 4:10, 11; Mt. 28:20). Like his Lord (John 17:26), the teacher must have love as the goal of his authoritative instruction (1 Tim. 1:5). Like Jesus (Luke 4:15, Prov. 8:30, 31; Ps. 40:8), he must teach to the glory of God by delighting in the Lord, being daily the delight of his Father, and delighting to do the will of his God. To delight in someone or something is "to take great pleasure or joy" in that person or thing. God promises to the teacher who takes great pleasure or joy in Him that He will give him the desire of his heart of teaching to the glory of God (Ps. 37:4).

Teaching to the glory of God requires that the teacher delight in the Lord in the following ways:

By being His delight daily, rejoicing always before Him.

Christ was daily the delight of His Father, rejoicing always before Him (Prov. 8:30). To be the delight of someone is to be a person who gives "great pleasure or joy" to that one. Jesus was daily the delight of His Father because He did always the things that pleased His Father (John 8:29), rejoicing always before Him, delighting to do His will: "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart" (Ps. 40:8).

The Christian teacher who rejoices always before God, delights to do His will, having His law within his heart, will be the daily delight of God and teach daily to the glory of God. As such a teacher does all that he does in doing the will of God for his life with delight, he will teach to the glory of God because his glorious identity, character, and works will be in proper correspondence to those of His Lord.

By delighting in the Lord's Day and exhorting his students to do likewise.

The teacher in the Old Testament era delighted himself in the LORD by delighting in the one special day of the week that He had uniquely sanctified for Himself, the Sabbath (Isa. 58:13, 14). The teacher who set apart the Sabbath, called it a delight, and ceased from his own typical ways of the rest of the week, delighted himself in the Lord.

Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mt. 12:8). Thus, the teacher of old delighted in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is also the Lord of the Lord's Day, the first day of the week because He rose from the dead on that day (Mt. 28:1). The Lord's Day is the day of the week that ever since His Resurrection uniquely belongs to Him (Rev. 1:10). The first day of the week is the day the Lord has thus uniquely made to be His Day; the teacher must rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:22—24, Acts 4:11). In the teacher's doing so, God certainly wills that on the Lord's Day the teacher would fulfill and even go beyond the uniquely sanctified nature of His Sabbath (Rom. 8:4).

The teacher of the New Testament era delights himself in the same Lord that the Old Testament teacher did by delighting in the Lord's Day. The teacher does so by setting it apart as gloriously distinct from the other six days of the week.

God desires that the teacher spend one day out of seven set apart totally for Him. The teacher who does so will communicate his delight in God to his students in a way that the teacher who does not so sanctify the Lord's Day cannot and will not.

God delights in teachers who spend their Lord's Days in a unique way on the things of God, not on homework, class preparation, worldly amusements, etc. As much as possible, teachers should delight in the Lord's Day by refraining from schoolwork on those days, and they need to teach their students to do likewise. To that end, whenever possible, teachers should not schedule tests or due dates for major assignments on Mondays, and they should explain regularly why that is being done.

By delighting in his own reception of God's Word with exceeding joy (Ps. 112:1; 119:16, 24).

The teacher who would teach to the glory of God must manifest in his teaching that he delights supremely in the Word of God. Out of the abundance of his heart, his speech must show to his students his delight in the Lord (Ps. 119:171, 172). The students must see their teacher's profiting because of his delight in, continual absorption in, and meditation upon the Word of God (Ps. 1:1—3, 1 Tim. 4:15).

By delighting in His works (Ps. 111:2).

The teacher who frequently endeavors to bring the Lord and His works to bear upon his teaching will manifest to his students his delight in the works of God (Deut. 4:9; Ps. 71:17, 18; 73:28; 78:4; 145:4, 5). Such a teacher will have authority in his teaching that will commend his teaching to his students (Ps. 51:12, 13). The teacher who joys in the ongoing saving work of God in his own life will have effective spiritual influence on his students! (1 Tim. 4:16).

By delighting in his students.

Christ, the great Teacher, delighted in the sons of men (Prov. 8:30, 31). A Christlike teacher who delights wholly in his students will glorify God in his teaching (Ps. 16:3).

To teach to the glory of God, he must love his students as himself (Rom. 13:8—10). He must do unto his students all things whatever he would have them do to himself (Mt. 7:12). He must be one whose discretion "deferreth his anger" and one who prudently overlooks transgressions (Prov. 19:11). He must say and teach rightly, not being partial to any, but teaching the way of God truly, even as his Lord did (Luke 20:21).

By delighting in the prosperity of those in whom God delights–His servants, the teacher's students.

God delighted in His Son and in the prosperity of His Servant (Isa. 42:1). He delights in Christlike believers and in their prosperity: "Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant" (Ps. 35:27). The Psalmist called upon people to continually exclaim that the Lord, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant, be magnified. God desires to be magnified as the One who delights in the total well-being of His servants.

The students who are under the teacher's authority and whom he serves are God's servants; the teacher must delight in their comprehensive prosperity, even as His Lord does. By being one who takes pleasure in his students excelling in all areas of their lives, and not just academically, the teacher will magnify God!

Teachers must pray for and long for the comprehensive prosperity of their students, including that God would make their students to be students that excel (Dan. 1:4; 3 John 2). The teacher who delights in the Lord by delighting in the students the Lord gives to him to serve can confidently pray that God would glorify Himself by giving to his students "knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom" as He sees fit (Dan. 1:17).

By presenting God's light and truth to his students so that God will be the joy (delight) of his students.

God gives His ministers their authority to be helpers of the joy of their people (2 Cor. 1:24). A teacher must understand that God has given to him authority over his students to be a helper of their joy!

To do so, the teacher must give the Word of God preeminence in all his teaching: "O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill …. Then will I go…unto God my exceeding joy" (Ps. 43:3, 4). If God would send out His light and truth, then the Psalmist would delight himself greatly in his God. As the teacher, as a divinely commissioned messenger, faithfully provides God's light and truth to his students, he will similarly help his students delight greatly in God.

By failing to do so and instead placing heavy emphasis on much study of secular resources, the teacher will weary his students (Eccl. 12:12). Teachers must magnify God's Word in every discipline area so that the joy of their students may be full (John 15:11).

By delighting in his teaching, having God's law in his heart.

He must delight to the will of God for him, including delighting to teach (Ps. 40:8). He must enjoy the labors of teaching (Eccl. 2:24) and never murmur and grumble about the rigors of preparing for his classes (Eccl. 5:18; Phil. 2:14, 15). Only teachers who serve Christ in righteousness, peace, and joy in their teaching are acceptable to God and approved of men (Rom. 14:17, 18).

Teachers must glorify God by glorying in the difficulties that they encounter in their teaching (Rom. 5:3ff.) and by teaching their students to likewise rejoice in their own tribulations. Both the teacher and his students must show their delight in doing God's will by exulting in exams, difficult papers and assignments, health problems, family problems, and whatever other tribulations come their way. Doing so will not always mean total freedom from sorrow, etc.; at times, it will mean glorifying God by being "as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. 6:3, 4, 10).

By teaching lessons that are delightfully constructed and delivered.

The teacher must prepare diligently so that the material taught will have been carefully thought out, thoroughly researched, and masterfully and artistically arranged (Eccl. 12:9). Furthermore, the teacher must teach such properly prepared lessons with words of delight that are thoroughly truthful, inspirational, and memorable (Eccl. 12:10, 11). By speaking words of delight with sweetness of lips, he will have greater persuasiveness with his students than the teacher who does not so speak (Prov. 16:21). Sweetness of lips of the teacher will increase the learning of his students to the glory of God! The kind teacher who speaks graciously to his students will maximize his influence upon them (2 Chron. 10:7).

By imitating those who taught to the glory of God.

He who would teach to the glory of God must follow the Apostle Paul in doing so, even as he followed Christ in doing so (1 Cor. 10:31—11:1). Paul was a divinely ordained teacher (1 Tim. 2:7) who taught "everywhere in every church" his "ways which be in Christ" (1 Cor. 4:17). Moreover, Paul, the great Christlike teacher, delighted "in the law of God after the inward man" (Rom. 7:22), just as His Lord did (Ps. 40:8), and just as every Christlike teacher must.

Thus, teaching to the glory of God consists of the Christlike teacher's Christlike ways of delighting in the Lord! Teaching to the glory of God is teaching that is full of delights!

Christian teachers must diligently seek to be faithful to the high and holy calling of teaching to the glory of God by delighting to do so. To do so, they must speak "as the oracles of God" and minister (in their teaching and in the numerous tasks attendant to actual teaching) "as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 4:11). Praise God for the delights of teaching to the glory of God!

by Rajesh Gandhi. Updated October 21, 2015.