Here are the 10 things I have learned in 10 years of Bible teaching:
We are often tempted to add to or take away from the plain meaning of Scripture. Because much of our generation has been robbed of its imagination, we feel the need to glamorize (“dumb-down”) the message before us. This is unnecessary. The truth is what brings freedom.
2 Peter 1:3,4
As I have worked in Christian education (both in churches and schools), I have noticed that almost anyone is felt to be qualified to teach the Bible. While not forsaking our responsibilities as evangelists, there is a great need for qualified, trained, intentional Bible teachers in churches and schools.
The Bible was given to us as divine self-revelation. As RELEVANT writers have well said recently, the Bible is not about self-help, a life of ease, comfort and easy-believism. The Bible has been given to us that we may know God. It is the disclosure of His heart, mind and sovereign plan for all of history.
“I am the LORD” – 183 times
Another tendency is to favor a “devotional” approach over an “academic” one, or vice versa. There is a false sense of competition here. We must apply ourselves to a deliberate and careful study of the Bible. (Sometimes this means we have work to do.) But we must also understand that God loves His children and desires His children to love Him. This is lived out in ways that defy a merely “academic” setting.
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Perhaps now as in no other time, there is an overwhelmingly dire need for a clear and accurate understanding of who Jesus is and who He claimed to be in the gospel accounts. It would seem that no other question brings with it such huge ramifications for eternity, life and practice here in this world and the questions of philosophers throughout the ages as to the nature of truth.
I am fond of telling my students that, regarding certain issues, if we lined up 12 leading evangelical Bible scholars and asked them to give an opinion, four would say “yes”, four would say, “no” and the remaining four would say, “I don’t know.” This can only prompt us to be gracious when it comes to matters of conscience or areas of ecclesiastical disagreement.
1 Peter 3:13-17
We are also prone to make the Scriptures say things that suit our purposes or reflect our preconceived notions. Studying a book of the Bible verse-by-verse steals that possibility straightaway. The Bible was not written topically. The books of the Old and New Testament have been given to us in exactly the way they were intended. We ought to read them that way.
Jesus was not plan B. We find that the writers of the New Testament universally understand Jesus’ appearance as the promised, ultimate deliverance from as far back as Genesis. The birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ were all on God’s mind “before the creation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4, TNIV).
All of these observations make a careful approach to the Bible not a luxury, but a necessity. Since God has disclosed Himself to us in His Word, which bears witness of His Son, there is too much at stake for a casual treatment of God’s Word.
2 Peter 1:5-10
The staggering implications of the Scriptures were not meant to be collected as intellectual trophies. As mentioned earlier, an understanding of who God is demands that we take action. When we read “the whole earth is filled with His glory” (Isaiah 6:3, ESV), how can we not cry out to Him?
husband, father, pastor/teacher currently residing in Fort Wayne, Indiana with his beatific wife and 2 children. stephengrwebster.wordpress.com