Reaching the Lost by Bryan Gibson
The Do's and Don'ts of Teaching God's Word by Bryan Gibson
Q & A -- Teahing God's Word by Bryan Gibson
Ready to Fight? by Bryan Givson
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Reaching the Lost
by Bryan Gibson
Some Passages To Consider
2 Timothy 4:1-2; Acts 8:4; Mark 5:19; 6:34; Acts 26:28-29;
Romans 9:1-3; 10:1; 2 Corinthians 5:11
What Can I Do?
- You can pass out tracts. You can give them directly to someone, or you can place them in areas where a lot of people go in and out (bulletin boards, information racks, hospitals, public restrooms, etc.). If you have a yard sale, you can put them in the bags you give to your customers. You can even put them in the envelopes you use to pay your bills.
- You can turn in names for taking a Bible correspondence course, or you can ask for a course and send it yourself.
- You can turn in names (or e-mail addresses) for receiving the bulletin.
- You can take a tape of a sermon to someone, or mail it to him or her. You can send an outline or article via email to someone.
- You can ask people where they attend services, which may lead to a Bible discussion.
- You can teach by example (1 Peter 3:1-2; Matthew 5:16).
- You can invite people to come to services and hear the gospel taught (Acts 10:24).
- Ladies, you can invite people to ladies’ class.
- When someone does come (to services or to a class), you can write him or her a note, thanking them for coming and encouraging them to come back.
- If you know someone might be coming to a particular service, let whoever is preaching know. He might be able to design a lesson that would be especially helpful.
- You can ask someone directly if they would like to study the Bible with you. If you don’t feel qualified to teach, set up the study for someone else.
- For those who have been taught, you can help persuade them to obey (remember Naaman’s servants—2 Kings 5).
- You can mention the Bible more often to your friends.
- You can take your Bible to work with you and read it during breaks.
- You can offer encouragement to those who teach the gospel “full-time.” Think of the many people who encouraged Paul (Phoebe--Rom. 16:1-2; Stephenas, Achaicus, Fortunatus--1 Corinthians 16:17-18; Epaphroditus--Philippians 2:25-30; Onesiphorus--2 Timothy 1:16—just to name a few).
- You can teach your children, because when they reach “the age of accountability,” they too will be lost if they don’t obey the gospel.
- You can give liberally so that more can be done in reaching the lost (more preachers can be supported, more materials can be bought, etc.).
- You can study diligently so that you will be better equipped to teach others.
- You can pray… 1) For open doors (Colossians 4:2), 2) That the word may have free course (2 Thessalonians 3:1), 3) That those who teach will teach boldly and clearly (Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:2-4).
The Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching God’s Word
by Bryan Gibson
Things to do:
- DO view yourself as a servant to those whom you teach (2 Corinthians 4:5).
- DO study so you’ll be prepared to teach and handle the word of God properly (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Timothy 4:13, 15).
DO teach with authority – not your own; that of God’s word (Titus 2:15).
- DO teach accurately the things of the Lord, and be willing to be corrected if you don’t (Acts 18:24-26; Proverbs 10:17).
- DO teach yourself as you teach others (Romans 2:21).
- DO practice what you teach (Matthew 5:19; 1 Timothy 4:16).
- DO teach so that you can be understood (1 Corinthians 14:9, 19).
- DO teach with gentleness and humility (1 Thessalonians 2:7; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
- DO teach with boldness, or confidence (Acts 4:29-31; 18:26; 28:31).
- DO teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:20, 27).
- DO challenge people to apply what they’ve been taught (Joshua 24:14-15; Acts 26:28).
- DO teach with the following goals: to help others learn the truth (2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Timothy 2:4; John 8:32); to change people into the image of Christ, to help them become all that God wants them to be (Colossians 1:28), to save the souls of those who hear you (1 Timothy 4:16; James 1:21; Romans 1:16).
Things NOT to do:
- DON’T teach the commandments and doctrines of men (Matthew 15:7-9; Colossians 2:20-23; Titus 1:14).
- DON’T teach any other doctrine than the doctrine of Christ (Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-4; 2 John 1:9).
- DON’T use persuasive words of human wisdom, because people’s faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1-5).
- DON’T feature or promote yourself in your teaching (2 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
- DON’T teach the Bible in an unprofitable way, arguing about matters that either have no answer or no relevance at all (2 Timothy 2:14; 1 Timothy 6:4).
- DON’T cease teaching (Acts 5:42), because there will always be a need; there will always be souls that need to be saved (2 Timothy 4:2).
- DON’T teach until you understand the responsibility and judgment that go along with it (James 3:1).
- DON’T ever be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16; Mark 8:38).
- DON’T back down from the truth, just because some don’t like it (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29).
Q & A—Teaching God’s Word
by Bryan Gibson
#1 What should motivate us to teach the truth? Faith—in Christ Himself, in the power of His blood, in the power of his gospel (2 Corinthians 4:13); love—a genuine concern for the souls of others (Philippians 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:8); the terror of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:11).
#2 What kind of preparation is necessary to teach the Bible? Prayer (Acts 6:4; Ephesians 6:18-19; Colossians 4:2-3); an understanding of our accountability to God (James 3:1); diligent and careful study (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Timothy 4:6, 13, 15); faithfulness to the Lord (2 Timothy 2:2), because we want to teach by word and by example.
#3 In Titus 2:15, Titus is given the following command: “Speak these things, exhort and rebuke with all authority.” How can we teach “with all authority”? By accurately teaching the word of God (Acts 18:25; 2 Timothy 4:2), just like Jesus did (John 7:16-18; 12:49-50).
#4 In what manner should we teach the word of God? With boldness and confidence (Acts 9:27, 29; 28:31); with humility (2 Timothy 2:24-26); with love (Ephesians 4:15); and with longsuffering (2 Timothy 4:2).
#5 What should be our goals as we teach the gospel? To help others learn the truth (2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Timothy 2:4; John 8:32); to produce faith, love, and a sincere conscience (1 Timothy 1:3-5); to equip other saints for work in God’s kingdom (Ephesians 4:13-15); to present every man perfect or complete in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28; 2 Timothy 3:16-17); to save ourselves and those who hear us (1 Timothy 4:16).
#6 What must be true of teaching for it to edify, or build up? It must be the word of God (Acts 20:32); it must be clearly understood (1 Corinthians 14:9, 19; Matthew 13:23); and it must challenge the listeners to apply what they’ve been taught (Joshua 24:14-15; Acts 26:28).
#7 What kind of people receive teaching the best? Those with humble hearts, who realize how badly they need it (Psalms 25:9; Matthew 11:25; Mark 12:37; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:21).
#8 How can teachers do more harm than good? By teaching the commandments and doctrines of men (Matthew 15:7-9); by teaching any doctrine besides the doctrine of Christ (1 Timothy 1:3-4; 2 John 1:9); by using persuasive words of human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1-5); by featuring themselves instead of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:5); by being more interested in pleasing man than in pleasing God (1 Thessalonians 2:4; Galatians 1:10); by not teaching themselves as they teach others (Romans 2:21).
#9 Do we have to be eloquent to teach the gospel? No. Paul described himself as “untrained in speech” (2 Corinthians 11:6), and yet, he was very effective. We can’t all be eloquent, like Apollos (Acts 18:24), but we can have his other characteristics. We can be “instructed in the way of the Lord”; we can be “fervent and spirit; and we can teach “accurately the things of the Lord” (Acts 18:25-26).
Ready to Fight?
by Bryan Gibson
One thing we should never argue about, at least according to some, is what the Scriptures teach. To many, our convictions, even those developed through diligent study, should remain our own. No effort should be made to convince others, because after all, religion is a “personal matter.”
Clearly, Paul and Barnabas did not have this mind; because when some came to Antioch teaching, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved”, Paul and Barnabas “had no small dissension and debate with them” (Acts 15:2). Further debate was continued in Jerusalem (Acts 15:7), and the matter was resolved by appealing to both the explicit and implied teaching of God, and to examples approved by God (see all of Acts 15).
The New Testament writers, inspired by God, did not hesitate to argue the doctrinal issues of that day. Many of the epistles deal explicitly with false teachers and false teaching (e.g. Galatians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, 1 and 2 John). They judged every teaching and practice by the gospel first preached by the apostles (Galatians 1:6-9), “the pattern of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13), the things which were heard “from the beginning” (1 John 2:24). The concept, “it doesn’t matter what you believe,” was totally unknown to these men.
So what should we do when we see and hear teachings and practices that are clearly opposed to the truth taught in the gospel? We have no choice but to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Folks, the gospel is worth fighting for!
Don’t be alarmed by the mention of fighting. We’re not talking here about a “knock down drag out.” We can contend without being contentious; we can argue without being argumentative. The following passage deals with our conduct toward those in opposition—read it carefully: “a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). There will be occasions when sharper words are necessary (Titus 1:10-14), but the above should be followed until circumstances dictate otherwise. Paul’s sermon to a group of idolaters in Acts 17 is a great example. He “contended earnestly for the faith,” but he didn’t launch an all-out assault. He began by talking about how “religious” they were, mentioning how they had even made an altar to the unknown God (Acts 17:22-23). He then went on to tell them about the God they didn’t know (vv. 24-29), eventually telling them that they needed to repent of their idolatry, that one day they would be judged by Jesus Christ (vv. 30-31).
There are articles on this web site that speak against certain teachings and practices, using the word of God as our standard. Hopefully, our readers can see the precedent for that in the Scriptures cited above. You may not agree with everything that is said. You might even get upset enough to respond. That’s fine, because we welcome the discussion and debate—especially if our aim is the same—to know and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Why did Paul and others speak so boldly in defense of the truth? Because they believed it! (2 Corinthians 4:13). That is what true believers do—they contend, while others only pretend.
What are the conditions of salvation given by Jesus?
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