Man has nothing more valuable than his own soul (Mt. 16:26) and can learn nothing more valuable than how to save his soul. That is why gospel truth is the most important thing any man can learn or be taught. And that is why all who teach the word of God should remember the extreme seriousness of their task as emphasized in Jas. 3:1: Be not many of you teachers my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgement. So, teaching Gods truth is not something to be taken lightly. In fact, all Bible teaching should be flavored with the realization that, unlike other teaching, it is wrought with eternal consequences for both teacher and student. No math or English teacher ever had that kind of motivation!
But effective Bible teaching involves more than just talking about the Bible. It must be plain talk! — teaching that is understandable. Paul states this principle in connection with speaking in tongues: So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking into the air. (1 Cor. 14:9) Without plain talk in our Bible teaching there can be no understanding in things that need most to be understood. Worse, there can be misunderstanding and confusion.
Regrettably, unplain talk is dispensed in several hard- to-understand varieties, one of the most popular being ambiguity. This involves the use of expressions and terms that are susceptible to different interpretations or that might convey more than one possible meaning. The learner must understand words in the sense intended by the teacher. Unwitting ambiguity may result with the use of such common terms as church, baptism and Christian, depending on the learners background. Failure to understand such terms in their Bible sense may cause them to appear as nonsense—as with the brother who taught that an elder could not join a labor union because he was to be no striker.
Generalization is another kind of unplain talk hindering good teaching. While it is true that men must do the will of God to be saved (Mt. 7: 21), His will consists of specifics to be known and obeyed. Sin cannot be effectively dealt with generally simply because sins are not committed generally. Speaking out against immodesty is one thing; mini-skirts and bathing suits are something else. Being the slave of bad habits generalizes; being the slave of tobacco is specific. Everybody believes in the autonomy of the church — until you get down to specifics. Over—generalizing is like speaking into the air for all the good it does. Souls are at stake; understanding is essential; be specific!
Unplain talk may be impressive, entertaining and eloquent without being instructive—and thats the whole point of teaching. The real measure of effective teaching lies in its being understood and remembered; not in the plaudits it may receive from men. Teachers, what greater service can be rendered to others than helping them to understand and remember Gods truth? (Dan S. Shipley)
Often newspapers and news programs only report the bad, ugly side of life. We hear the phrase that “No news is good news.” One expert even said, “The real news is bad news!” While the bad news grabs most of the headlines and sound bites, and some do believe that the real news is bad news, I know of at least one exception to that. I believe the greatest news of all is good news!
The “good news” I’m talking about is the Gospel. As a matter of fact, the word “gospel” means “good news; glad tidings.” In a world filled with sadness and tragedy, the worst of all tragedies is sin. But God sent His Son to save us from our sins, and the foundation upon which the gospel rests is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15: 1-4). Thus, without Christ’s sacrifice the only real news would indeed be bad news! For example, when Jesus was born, an angel said to the people, “Behold, I bring you good (joyful) tidings (news) of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:10-11). Later, Jesus said, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19: 10). There has never been better news than that. The guilt and condemnation sin brings can now be removed, i.e. God will forgive us. Thus, through Christ’s sacrifice, lost men and women can have the promise of the forgiveness of sins, having their sins washed away by Christ’s blood (Rev. 1: 5; Acts 22: 16), and that is “GOOD NEWS!”
Without Christ there is no salvation, because He is the only avenue to the Father (Jn. 14: 6). That is why the gospel is the “power of God to salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1: 16). Of course, incorporated in “believes” is obedience (2 Thess. 1: 8).
While the news is composed of the good, the bad, and the ugly, and there’s plenty of the bad and the ugly in your newspapers and on the news casts, but let’s not forget the good news (the gospel), yea, the great news in your Bible. Don’t miss it. Please read it, and please obey it, while you have the opportunity. Think on these things. (Dennis Abernathy)