His Without Reserve
Teaching Holiness

How to Teach Holiness

A retired seminary professor explains:

Teaching holiness is not like teaching math. Or English. Teaching usually implies transferring information from the teacher to the student. The student memorizes equations and learns how to conjugate verbs.

But in teaching holiness the goal is not transferring information; the goal is enabling the transformation of attitudes.

This must be clear: the understanding must be deepened. There are new skills to learn. When a student pilot is learning to fly, he begins with ground school. He learns about weather and emergency procedures. He learns about lift and drag and balance. But the goal of ground school is to prepare him to fly. The training is not complete until the student climbs into the cockpit, cranks the engine, taxis to the runway, takes the plane safely off the round, and returns safely.

In teaching holiness, there are words to define, concepts to learn – and unlearn – personal traits to discover and ponder. To explore and grasp the true meaning of holiness is a life-altering journey. To complete a physics course allows the student to say, “Now I understand some things I didn’t know before.” But to be a student of holiness means the student can say, “Now I am a different person.”

Here is the heart of this essay: in teaching history, the teacher is the teacher. In teaching holiness, the Holy Spirit is the teacher, and the human teacher is only the facilitator. In teaching history, the textbook is the resource. In teaching holiness, this resource is the only Book that has come from the mind of God.

Teaching holiness is a unique journey. The human teacher stands aside, more as a mentor or coach. The textbook is the infallible Word of God. And the student moves, not just toward knowing, but toward becoming.

Some further notes:

The Amplified Bible is a useful version for teaching holiness because its amplifications give the “let go . . . take hold” meaning of the New Testament Greek word for holy.

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