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Read the Word (Part 4)

Here’s the third step to help make sure you have heard the Word in the biblical sense of grasping it and letting it do its work. Teach the Word to someone else. Yes, you!

If you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, that means you are going to become a teacher of His Word. You say, “Wait a minute, Tony. I haven’t been called to preach. I haven’t been called to hold a teaching position in the church.”

That may be true, but God has called all of His people to be proclaimers of His Word. A disciple is first of all a learner, but a disciple is also one who teaches what he or she has learned to someone else. All of us are called to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).

This is hard, but I need to say it because the Word says it. If you are unable to teach someone else the basics of the Christian faith, it is because you are an immature believer. That’s what the author of Hebrews says.

In Hebrews 5:1–10, the writer was going deep with his readers. He was teaching them about the Melchize­dek priesthood of Jesus Christ. This is not the stuff you teach new Christians the first week after they are saved. This is part of the deep things of Christ.

So the writer was putting all this down, but then he stopped in verse 11. He had more good things to share about Melchizedek and how he illustrated Christ, but he realized his readers weren’t ready to receive them be­cause they had a maturity problem:

Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (vv. 11–12)

The problem was that these Jewish Christians had become “mule-headed,” the literal meaning of the phrase “dull of hearing.” These were everyday believers, ordinary Christians. But the writer says they had been saved long enough to be teaching others. Instead, they were still in spiritual kindergarten playing with the little ABC blocks.

If a new believer came to you and said, “I need help understanding the Bible,” could you help? If your child came to you with her Bible and said, “Daddy, Momma, what does this mean?” could you explain it, or at least know where to go to find an answer? 

You need a growing, working knowledge of the Scripture so you can help someone else who comes along.

It’s like everything else you learn. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Every time you learn something from the Word, find somebody to share it with. Talk to a family member, friend or co-worker, but find a way to teach what you are learning to someone else. When you apply these three steps to your study of God's Word, you will be amazed at how much faster you grow as a kingdom disciple.

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