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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

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    The Bible Teacher

    The best ministerial talent should be employed to lead and direct in the teaching of the Bible in our schools. Those chosen for this work need to be thorough Bible students; they should be men who have a deep Christian experience, and their salary should be paid from the tithe.CT 431.1

    The Bible teacher should be one who is able to teach the students how to present the truths of the word of God in a clear, winning manner in public and how to do effective evangelistic work from house to house. It is essential that he be skillful in teaching those who have a desire to work for the Master how to use wisely that which they have learned. He should instruct the students to approach the study of the Bible in the spirit of humility, to search its pages, not for proof to sustain human opinions, but with a sincere desire to know what God has said.CT 431.2

    Early in their experience our students should be taught to become Bible workers. Those who are consecrated and teachable may have success in active service for Christ while pursuing their courses of study. If they spend much time in prayer, if they humbly take counsel from their instructors, they will grow in a knowledge of how to work for souls. And when they go forth into the great harvest field they may with confidence pray, “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.” Psalm 90:17.CT 431.3

    In our schools the work of teaching the Scriptures to the youth is not to be left wholly with one teacher for a long series of years. The Bible teacher may be well able to present the truth, and yet it is not the best experience for the students that their study of the word of God should be directed by one man only, term after term and year after year. Different teachers should have a part in the work, even though they may not all have so full an understanding of the Scriptures. If several in our larger schools unite in the work of teaching the Scriptures, the students may thus have the benefit of the talents of several.CT 432.1

    Why do we need a Matthew, a Mark, a Luke, a John, a Paul, and all the writers who have borne testimony in regard to the life and ministry of the Saviour? Why could not one of the disciples have written a complete record and thus have given us a connected account of Christ's earthly life? Why does one writer bring in points that another does not mention? Why, if these points are essential, did not all these writers mention them? It is because the minds of men differ. Not all comprehend things in exactly the same way. Certain Scripture truths appeal much more strongly to the minds of some than of others.CT 432.2

    The same principle applies to speakers. One dwells at considerable length on points that others would pass by quickly or not mention at all. The whole truth is presented more clearly by several than by one. The Gospels differ, but the records of all blend in one harmonious whole.CT 432.3

    So today the Lord does not impress all minds in the same way. Often through unusual experiences, under special circumstances, He gives to some Bible students views of truth that others do not grasp. It is possible for the most learned teacher to fall far short of teaching all that should be taught.CT 432.4

    It would greatly benefit our schools if regular meetings were held frequently in which all the teachers could unite in the study of the word of God. They should search the Scriptures as did the noble Bereans. They should subordinate all preconceived opinions, and taking the Bible as their lesson book, comparing scripture with scripture, they should learn what to teach their students, and how to train them for acceptable service.CT 433.1

    The teacher's success will depend largely upon the spirit which is brought into the work. A profession of faith does not make men Christians; but if teachers will open their hearts to the study of the word, they will be able to aid their students to a clearer understanding. Let not the spirit of controversy come in, but let each seek earnestly for the light and knowledge that he needs.CT 433.2

    God's word is true philosophy, true science. Human opinions and sensational preaching amount to very little. Those who are imbued with the word of God will teach it in the same simple way that Christ taught it. The world's greatest Teacher used the simplest language and the plainest symbols.CT 433.3

    The Lord calls upon His shepherds to feed the flock with pure provender. He would have them present the truth in its simplicity. When this work is faithfully done, many will be convicted and converted by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is need of Bible teachers who will come close to the unconverted, who will search for the lost sheep, who will do personal labor and will give clear, definite instruction.CT 433.4

    Never utter sentiments of doubt. Christ's teaching was always positive in its nature. With a tone of assurance bear an affirmative message. Lift up the Man of Calvary higher and still higher; there is power in the exaltation of the cross of Christ.CT 434.1

    It is the student's privilege to have clear and accurate ideas of the truth of the word, that he may be prepared to present these truths to other minds. He should be rooted and grounded in the faith. Students should be led to think for themselves, to see the force of truth for themselves, and to speak every word from a heart full of love and tenderness. Urge upon their minds the vital truths of the Bible. Let them repeat these truths in their own language, that you may be sure that they clearly comprehend them. Be sure that every point is fastened upon the mind. This may be a slow process, but it is of ten times more value than rushing over important subjects without giving them due consideration. It is not enough that the student believe the truth for himself. He must be drawn out to state this truth clearly in his own words, that it may be evident that he sees the force of the lesson and makes its application.CT 434.2

    In all your teaching never forget that the greatest lesson to be taught and to be learned is the lesson of copartnership with Christ in the work of salvation. The education to be secured by searching the Scriptures is an experimental knowledge of the plan of salvation. Such an education will restore the image of God in the soul. It will strengthen and fortify the mind against temptation and fit the learner to become a worker with Christ in His mission of mercy to the world. It will make him a member of the heavenly family, prepare him to share the inheritance of the saints in light.CT 434.3

    The teacher of truth can impart effectively only that which he himself knows by experience. Christ taught the truth because He was the truth. His own thought, His character, His life experience, were embodied in His teaching. So with His servants; those who teach the word must make it their own by personal experience. They must know what it is to have Christ made unto them wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Every minister of Christ and every teacher should be able to say with the beloved John, “The life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.” 1 John 1:2.CT 435.1

    Often it will seem to the teacher that the word of God has little effect on the minds and hearts of many students; but if his work has been wrought in God, some lessons of divine truth will linger in the memory of the most careless. The Holy Spirit will water the seed sown, and it will spring up after many days and bear fruit to the glory of God.CT 435.2

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