There are simple guidelines in Bible Study to benefit a discourse on religious or faith issues. Over 25 years in ministry from the Pulpit and Lectern have taught me some simple rules to follow when visitors come by. These practices are best because scripture bears them out.
As Christians who want to share our faith, we must realize that we are in the communication business. Communication is necessary to share the Gospel. Three practices, when applied, provide a blessed opportunity for visitors coming by. These practices are general and not exhaustive.
Practice #1: Understand People Have Sincere Beliefs
Everyone has reasons for believing what they have adopted as faith. The reasons may not be yours, but that does not make them any less real. Confusion and separation result from topics like parental upbringing, your political party affiliation, skin color, age, finances, education, and gender. Beliefs need to be Bible-grown and matured if one is to have peace and salvation. We must remember that we have not cornered sincerity and zeal of faith
Practice #2: Bible only, not Philosophy and Opinion
Problems and emotional turmoil begin when we stop discussing what the Bible says or doesn't say about a matter, judging opinions, habits, traditions, and feelings. Those who grew up with certain practices are insulted and feel attacked when scripture is not the confronting method. Non-Biblical discussions in Bible study are unproductive and leave the power of the Gospel behind.
We are to teach Jesus' words (Matthew 28:20) and not our personally supposed antidotes for correcting misguided thinking. Sticking with the Bible in any study keeps you on Biblical ground and keeps perspective. Bible discussions are not about you against them; scripture confronts us both.
Practice #3: Apply Long-Suffering
Patience is in short supply in our world that including the Saints. Why it takes so long for someone to be converted is our question. We would do well to remember God works outside time, nor is he constrained to our timetable. The Lord works in mysterious ways, which demands we pursue conversions in faith. Believe that God will give the increase in His time. We have to sow a seed that is Bible and not a mix of anything else. If we do that, then a righteous harvest will result
Join me in taking a deeper look at these three practices in the coming weeks. In summary, remember 1. Give people some credit where their sincerity is concerned; 2. Study God's Word, not your opinion, and have no other agendas; 3. Be patient because teaching the perfect way requires it. See you in the next blog, and check out the links below.
What do you think the one best practice is for when visitors come to Bible study?
Inspired by Mike Mazzalongo and BibleTalkTV, "How To Share Your Faith."
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
An Evangelist at the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, IL.