The Joy of Teaching God's Word
During the last several years I have been frequently asked to provide some personal perspectives and general comments regarding the studying and teaching of God's Word in a home Bible study setting. I have always been convinced that home Bible studies are where the “real action” is for committed Christians, so I have taken this opportunity to offer some personal comments and suggestions for such an endeavor.
It should be understood that these brief comments are merely suggestions for teaching the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate teacher and He will teach you in ways that cannot be manipulated nor regulated. His diversity and style are very individual.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding how to prepare for or conduct a home Bible study, but there are some principles which may prove helpful. Because we are all special and unique in God's eyes, He chooses to instruct us and give each of us insight in different ways and at different times. Bible studies are no exception. Let the Spirit of God rule your life and give you His direction as you study (and teach) the Word. Remember that this only consists of basic personal perspectives and suggestions. They are intended to be brief and only suggestive.
A word of caution: Don't get overly focused on a specific method or teaching style; there is no one method that is the ideal. My good friend, mentor, and pastor, Chuck Smith, sums this fact up eloquently: “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.”
My personal prayer is that Jesus would reveal and teach His Word to you in ways that you could never have imagined, and that you would take to heart the words of the apostle Paul:
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The Question of Questions
I write this article from RAMAT RACHEL, a kibbutz our BASE/KHOUSE tour participants visited as part of their tour of the Holy Land during the month of May. I write this on the second Sunday of the month of May, the day we refer to as Mother's Day. I cannot help but think of my wife Ruth and our daughter Rachel as I type this article. Both my wife and I had passed our fortieth birthdays before Rachel arrived and she has added sunshine to our lives every day since her birth. Thank you for permitting me this personal reminisce and reflection − it has nothing to do with the article.
Last month we introduced our gracious readers to the practice of relying on questions during meaningful conversations. Jesus modeled focused questioning for us in Luke 24. Through questions, we can engage in active listening and thereby understand “the need of the moment that we may be able to give grace” to the listener. Luke records Jesus asking three questions of his walking companions before He ever said much of anything else. Rephrasing His words, He asked: “Why are you sad?”, “What things occupy your thoughts?” and “Should these things be such a surprise to you?”
These questions and the resulting conversation illustrate a deeply personal interaction among three people. In this article, I will develop a framework for relying on questions when the conversation is more confrontational and I will do this from the perspective of the courtroom. When introducing testimony in the evidentiary record, advocates rely on two types of questions: direct questioning and cross-examination. We do the same thing − although less formerly and certainly less deliberately – in our conversations. The following paragraph will compare the two.
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