The Teacher as a Bible Student

1.  The teacher must take time for study.

A few minutes daily, is used with system, will accomplish much.  Spasmodic and fitful study avails little.  Time is needed for meditation and reflection.  Without these the preparation of a lesson will be superficial and without power.  There should be daily study.  The daily habit, once formed, the study intensifies.

2.  It should first be a study of the Bible itself, without the "helps."

The mistake of many teachers is the preoccupation of the mind by the studies of others rather than by one's own first study of the Bible text.  However learned the helper may be, or exhaustive his exposition of the Bible, it cannot take the place of the teacher's duty to himself as a student. "Knowledge is power," but it is one's own home-grown knowledge that is meant in that time-honored maxim.

3.  The teacher should learn to think for himself.

He needs for his own growth to force his mind and heart through the slow and sometimes painful processes of thought.  Th one who exercises grows.  He cannot attain growth as a thinker through the mental exercise of another.  Here is the peril of many teachers.  They count on being good thinkers without thinking, and lapse into servitude and inefficiency.

4.  The teacher should first apply the truth of the lesson to himself.

There is, or should be, in every Sunday school lesson something which the teacher can use for his own spiritual nourishment.  Who feeds another should be careful to feed himself.  The fable of the French chef who prepared the finest food for the guests, yet was found dead from starvation, is an illustration of those teachers who minister to the souls of students, but go unnourished by the Word of Life.

5.  The teacher should study the whole Bible.

Studying the weekly lessons is studying it "in spots."  If nothing more is attempted, this will not make a good Bible student.  The student who knows a whole book of the Bible knows better the particular lesson that may be taken from it.  Each book in itself is a unit of doctrine or history or prophecy, and is part of a yet greater unity in the whole Bible.  (1)