Christians in leadership will often be called on to speak or teach. A Bible lesson will frequently be the focus of a Sunday School class, Bible study group, or special event. While some principles are the same as a general speech, a Bible lesson differs in significant ways.
The Bible is the best primary starting place for a Bible lesson or inspirational message. While there are many other excellent resources, the text of Scripture should always be considered first. A speaker can confidently proclaim truth from God’s Word because the Bible is a trustworthy source of information. A speaker can have complete confidence while proclaiming truth from God’s Word because it has nothing to do with one’s own capability or strength. The Bible can stand alone based on its inerrancy, infallibility, and inspiration by the Holy Spirit. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by Godand is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Exposition of Scripture is a serious task. Time and energy are involved to interpret the meaning of Scripture correctly and then teach the truth to others clearly. An expository preacher needs to spend hours each week studying the text in preparation to deliver a biblical message each Sunday. Be grateful for a pastor who faithfully teaches the Word week after week. Practice these principles of biblical exposition when teaching or speaking. Teach the Bible, not your personal opinions or the opinions of others. Speculation or the sharing of personal thoughts as “gospel” should be avoided. Teach the meaning of the text more than your own experiences or feelings. Teach the Bible clearly including accurate interpretation and relevant application.
When I (Rhonda) stand up to teach the Bible or share an inspirational message, I do so after hours of prayer and study. As I begin speaking, I give my message to the Lord. I focus on the text and biblical truths, limiting my personal opinions until the application part. Women respond positively when a passage of Scripture is interpreted and then applied. The practice of exposition is always worth the effort.
The five F’s below should be helpful practices as you teach a Bible lesson to a group.
- Focus on a specific passage of Scripture.
- Find the central idea or biblical principle of the passage.
- Feel the need of your audience for the biblical principle.
- Fashion your message for the audience.
- Faith your delivery, allowing God to speak through you.
As a Bible study teacher or Christian speaker, begin the preparation process with exegesis and hermeneutics. Continue the delivery process with homiletics and exposition. There are many more tips and helps for practicing these disciplines in our book, Talking is a Gift! Speak truth from the Bible, citing references. Teach the Bible systematically for the purpose of life change!
A great resource for you as you prepare your message is the newly released Study Bible for Women from Broadman & Holman, along with the Women’s Evangelical Old Testament and New Testament Commentaries! I had the joy of compiling and editing these works with my sister-in-law, Dr. Dorothy Patterson of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more information and to purchase any of the books in this series, click here.