Summary: In an age where entertainment, encouragement and enthusiasm are most popular approaches to preaching, let us remember our scriptural obligation to teach the word. Good teachers need to adhere to certain guidelines that should characterize their teaching o
Rightly Handle and Teach the Word of Truth - 2 Tim. 2:15
In an age where entertainment, encouragement and enthusiasm are most popular approaches to preaching, let us remember our scriptural obligation to teach the word. Good teachers need to adhere to certain guidelines that should characterize their teaching of the truth. To fail to do might inhibit our ability to fully trust and obey the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.
Paul wrote, “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial) a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing (rightly handling and skillfully teaching) the Word of Truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
Jesus said, "You will know (ginosko - experientially know and obey it)the truth and the truth with make you free." (John 8:31,32) Too many teachers think they should teach for oida (pure knowledge or acquisition of facts). Allow the Lord to help you to teach with a breadth, length, height and depth of experiencing the Lord and His wonderful truths and attributes.
Jeremiah said, "Let not a wise man boast in His wisdom, let not a mighty man boast in His might. But let him who boast, boast of this that he understands and knows me." (Jer 9:23,24)
The following are several guidelines we need to remember enabling us to be an effective teacher of God’s word of truth:
1. INVESTIGATION – Good students of the word of God learn to make thorough examinations of the truth. People who do their research learn how to conduct systematic inquiries of the meaning of the context of each passage so as to bring out the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Teacher who fail to do proper study fall short in their understanding of the full interpretation of the ideas of scripture. To overlook key aspects of the Bible’s message often results in superficial observations that can lead to faulty assumptions about the essential teachings of the passage.
Application: Learn to spend time asking the Holy Spirit to guide you in to ALL truth so you can discern the full meaning of each verse.
2. EXPLANATION - Good teachers have the ability to fully make clear and intelligible the meaning of scripture. Paul warned Timothy not to argue over the miniscule words, but to focus on staying faithful to explain, remind and amplify what are the priority principles of scripture. Teachers who are good at giving explanations have the ability to make the complex seem simple to understand.
Application: Ask the Spirit of God to help you teach in a way that is clear, concise and complete.
3. CONTEXTUALIZATION – Good teachers of the word have the ability to show how the context of scripture relates to the context of their students. Contextualization is done best when the teaching is given in a way that is relevant, appropriate and suitable to the learning styles of the listeners. People who fail to do good contextualization are often seen as irrelevant and lacking the ability to make the message of scripture seem applicable to their audience.
Application: Ask the Lord to give you the ability to relate the key facts of scripture to your hearers in a way that they can become better workmen who handle accurately the word of truth.
4. CLARIFICATION – Good teachers learn how to present the truths of the scripture using understandable language, illustrations and presentations. If the teacher is unclear about the meaning of verse they will most likely present the truth in a foggy fashion that leaves the students puzzled about the true sense of scripture. Teachers who seek to bring clarity to a passage make the verse easier to understand.
Application: Ask the Holy Spirit to help you teach in a way that does not leave any equivocations in the minds of your students.
5. INTERPRETATION – Good teachers present scripture with a good explanation of the meanings of its context, its words and its major themes. There is one correct interpretation to every verse of scripture but many applications. Teachers help their students see how applications grow out of correct interpretations and not visa versa.
Application: Ask the Holy Spirit of God to help you interpret correctly the meaning of each passage as we are reliant on Him for revelation, inspiration and illumination of supernatural truth.
6. ADAPTATION – Good teachers consistently learn how to more fully adapt their mind, emotions and will to be in greater obedience to God. Teachers realize that pupils will learn more by their example then simply from the words that come out of their mouths. Jesus said it best, “Every pupil when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40) Be an example to the believers in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. (I Tim 4:12) Remember, our communication is compromised of 7% of the words we say but 35% with the tone of our voice and 58% with our lifestyle, character and non-verbal cues.