The Fifth Task of the Teacher involves helping people develop a deeper understanding of 12 issues concerning what the Holy Spirit does when He is applying the benefits of the the Atonement to our lives.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
Jesus Christ told us that the Holy Spirit would come after his departure and guide the Church in his place (see John 16:7-15). The Holy Spirit arrived on the Day of Pentecost, and has been working to nurture faith in the Church for 2,000 years (see Acts 2).
When we are making disciples, we should try and help younger believers understand what the Holy Spirit does to grow the Church. This is the Fifth Task of the Teacher, and here are the doctrines involved in this work.
#1. Election and Reprobation
“Election is an act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure.” (Wayne Grudem)
“Reprobation is the sovereign decision of God before creation to pass over some persons, in sorrow deciding not to save them, and to punish them for their sins, and thereby to manifest his justice.” (Wayne Grudem)
Election (and Reprobation) are decisions that God made before the universe was created.
When human history only existed in God’s imagination, he made choices on what the details of our lives would look like. The Holy Spirit is responsible for applying the outcomes of those decisions to our lives.
When the Holy Spirit rescues a sinner, he is simply following the plan (Election). We need to help people gain a deeper understanding of this when we are making disciples.
#2. The Gospel Call and Effective Calling
“Effective Calling is an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith.” (Wayne Grudem)
When we share a Gospel presentation, there will be times when the Holy Spirit reaches out to the person we are sharing with. It is possible to share the Gospel without the Holy Spirit’s support to reach the lost.
When the Holy Spirit is not supporting us, the lost will remain lost (Reprobation).
Regeneration is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us.” (Wayne Grudem)
When God wants to rescue a sinner, He sits down on His throne in Heaven and makes a decree changing the way the universe works so that His life given presence is able to enter the human heart. There are no human eye witnesses of these moments when they occur outside of our universe.
All we are allowed to see are the results of these decrees, which contain the rest of the doctrinal topics outlined below. The results we are allowed to see need to be shared in the discipleship process to help new believers gain a deeper understanding of how to recognize an act of God.
#4. Being Born Again – Conversion
“Conversion is our willing response to the gospel call, in which we sincerely repent of sins and place our trust in Christ for salvation.” (Wayne Grudem)
In John 3:6 ESV we are told that Jesus said “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” When someone is born again, that person will (probably) explain it by saying “Something happened in my heart, and I am not myself anymore.”
We should not allow anyone to be recognized as a member of the Church until this change of heart happens.
“Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.” (Wayne Grudem)
The Apostle Paul wrote that since “we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1 ESV)
Justification means that God has made a decree that He is not going to hold us responsible for all of the evil things we have done in our lives.
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (Romans 4:7-8 ESV)
“Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family.” (Wayne Grudem)
In Psalm 2: 7-8 (ESV) God spoke about Jesus Christ and said “You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”
Later in the Bible, God spoke about everyone who has been born again and calls us “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” in Romans 8:17 ESV.
We who have been born again are co heirs with Christ. We are the Kings and Queens of the new world to come. That is the reward for our obedience today.
“Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.” (Wayne Grudem)
We who have been born again have to learn obedience to God.
We have to learn how to remain free of the corruption that separated us from God in the past. The reason Jesus emphasized discipleship so much is because he understood that the Church can fail to learn obedience to God.
#8. The Perseverance of the Saints
“The Perseverance of the Saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only whose who persevere until the end have been truly born again.” (Wayne Grudem)
The goal of discipleship is to be like Jesus Christ.
Jesus “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11 ESV)
This is why Paul’s said ” I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” (Philippians 3:10 ESV)
Choosing to serve the Lord involves suffering persecution by those who do not believe the Gospel, and anyone whose loyalty to God cannot endure being mistreated has never been born again and seriously pursued sanctification.
#9. Union with Christ
“Union with Christ is a phrase used to summarize several different relationships between believers and Christ, through which Christians receive every benefit of salvation. These relationships include the fact that we are in Christ, Christ is in us, and we are with Christ.” (Wayne Grudem)
Jesus said “I am with you always” (see Matthew 28:20 ESV).
So when you are being mistreated for your loyalty to God, Jesus is aware of what is happening to you. “The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who fear the LORD and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of Hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.
Then once more you will see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” (Malachi 3:16-18 ESV)
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14 ESV)
#10. Baptism in the Holy Spirit
How are we supposed to endure suffering for what we believe to be true?
The answer is known as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ was going to “baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (see Mark 1:8 ESV) The first time in human history this took place became known as the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
Now it happens every time someone is born again. Whenever someone is born again, they are baptized in the Holy Spirit. What this means is that a person’s human spirit now has access to God all the time.
Being baptized in the Holy Spirit means that God has taken your human spirit and raised it up and set it on a throne in Heaven (see Ephesians 2:6 ESV).”
While a person’s human spirit is there, that person’s spirit is able to see everything happening between God and Satan clearly, which is why Paul said “we have the mind of Christ” (see 1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV).
The spirit has to communicate with the soul, and the soul does not always understand what the spirit is seeing clearly. Discipleship involves removing the obstacles in the soul that keep us from being sensitive to what the spirit is being shown by the Holy Spirit about our situation.
#11. Filling with the Holy Spirit
When the obstacles that prevent the human soul from understanding what the Holy Spirit is clearly showing a human spirit, then the person who obtains clarity has been “filled with the Holy Spirit” (see Acts 4:8 ESV).
There are times when the human soul rejects what the Holy Spirit is showing a human spirit, and so the Bible gives a warning about this by telling the all of the members of the Church:
“Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV).
#12. Spiritual Gifts
“A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the Church.” (Wayne Grudem)
Spiritual gifts are abilities we can use when our human soul and human body are in agreement with what the Holy Spirit is showing our human spirit.
The opposite is also true, when our human soul and human body are in disagreement with what the Holy Spirit is showing our human spirit, our ability to use spiritual gifts will be compromised because we have quenched the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
I would recommend having one person in your area volunteer to take responsibility to help others gain a deeper understanding of these issues.
If you want to volunteer for the Fifth Task of the Teacher in your area, the information here covers chapters 32 through 43 from Wayne Grudem’s book. The information in those chapters can provide more material for you to share on these issues.
Here is another book that can help you in this task.
Principles in Maintaining A Godly Organization
by K. P. Johannan