A few weeks ago I offered three simple thoughts on teaching the Bible. While all of us are expected to teach the Bible privately to others, not all of us are called to teach the Bible in a public setting. For those of us who sense a desire and a calling to teach the Bible publicly, however, we must make sure we meet the all the right spiritual prerequisites. Teaching the Bible is serious business (James 3:1). What are these prerequisites? Continue reading “Prerequesites for Teaching the Bible”
Becoming a skilled interpreter of Scripture is not a complicated task. It is hard, but it isn’t complicated. God does not hide the riches of his Word from the simple; he hides them from the proud and ungodly. Right interpretation, then, is first a matter of personal character and piety, and then a matter of methodology. Here are ten basic tips. There is much more to say, of course, but you must start here. Continue reading “10 Quick Tips for Becoming an Excellent Bible Interpreter”
(1) Every Christian Should Teach the Bible
If you are a Christian, you are called to teach the truth of God’s Word to others through your personal ministry. You may not be called to or gifted for a public ministry of the Word; you are, however, called to a private ministry of the Word that will require you to teach others. The author of Hebrews warned his readers that their inability to teach others actually revealed a serious spiritual immaturity (see Heb 5:11-14). The expectation implied in this warning is that every Christian should possess some capacity for teaching God’s Word to others. Paul wrote to the Romans: “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another” (Rom 15:14). Every true Christian is a teacher. Continue reading “Three Simple Thoughts on Teaching the Bible”
In their helpful book Effective Bible Teaching, James C. Wilhoit and Leland Ryken remind us that ineffective teaching arises at one of two levels: (1) the planning and preparation level; (2) the presentation level. In this post I want to focus on the planning and preparation level. What happens in the planning stage that causes us to be ineffective in our teaching? Wilhoit and Ryken mention six pitfalls we should avoid as a prepare to teach. Continue reading “How Our Preparation Can Make Our Teaching Ineffective”
Discipleship, in the words of Mark Dever, is helping another person follow Jesus. Said another way (by Dever): Discipleship is doing deliberate spiritual good to another Christian.
Jesus commands Christians to make disciples (Matt 28:18-20), and Christians should count it a privilege to come alongside others to aid them in their walk with the Savior. We should also receive discipleship from others with gratefulness and a desire to learn. In light of Christ’s command in Matt 28:18-20 and, for that matter, the entire structure of the New Testament where believing relationships are an indispensable means of spiritual growth (e.g., Rom 15:14; Heb 3:12-15), discipleship should be central to our individual Christian lives and our corporate church life. Continue reading “Age, Humility, and Discipleship”
Would you classify much of the Bible teaching at your church as little more than “poor lay preaching?” If you were honest, how would you describe the teachers under whom your people sit week after week? Is their material full of biblical content, but dry, disjointed, and unconnected to real life? Or, is their teaching illustrative and witty but touching upon the Scripture only long enough to glean only the smallest seeds of truth? Perhaps you are a pastor or lay-teacher who feels like you fit into one of these two categories. Whatever the case, whether you are a pastor hoping to cultivate a strong teaching ministry in your church, or a lay-teacher struggling to communicate the truths of God’s word in a way that is both useful to students and faithful to the text, Wilhoit and Ryken’s Effective Bible Teaching has much to offer you. Continue reading “Effective Bible Teaching by James C. Wilhoit and Leland Ryken”
Paul’s rhetorical question to the religious Jew in Romans 2:21 regularly intrudes my conscience: “You who teach another, do you not teach yourself?” Those who have the good desire to teach Biblical truth for the benefit of others can be prone to developing the bad habit of only teaching others. How easy it is to let truth bypass our hearts as we think about how we can teach that particular truth to another person.