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PRACTICAL

CHRISTIAN
LIVING
7. Effective Communication

This week’s Bible Reading


Memorise Hebrews 1:1-2
Sun. Psalms 90-92
Mon. 2 Corinthians 1 “In many and various ways God
Tue. 2 Corinthians 2 spoke of old to our fathers by the
Wed. 2 Corinthians 3 prophets; but in these last days he
Thu. 2 Corinthians 4 has spoken to us by a Son, whom he
Fri. 2 Corinthians 5
appointed the heir of all things.”
Sat. 2 Corinthians 6

From the very beginning God has communicated. In Genesis 1:3 “God said...” He is a God
who has spoken, not a God who remained silent. There many ways of communicating –
through speaking, through writing, through demonstration...

Make a list of the ways you can think of that God has communicated to humanity.

1. God has spoken


2. __________________________________
3. __________________________________
4. __________________________________
5. __________________________________

Now look at these Bible verses and mark the ways they show how God has communicated to
humans – and in some cases still does communicate to us.
Exodus 31:18 _____________________________________________________________
Genesis 41:25 _____________________________________________________________
Exodus 3:1-2 ______________________________________________________________
1 Kings 19:11-13 __________________________________________________________
Psalm 97:6 _______________________________________________________________
Romans 2:14-15 __________________________________________________________
Acts 2:17 ________________________________________________________________
1 Corinthians 12:7-10 ______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
This list is not complete. The truth is that God communicates with mankind through many
different ways. Sometimes he speaks...
• Loudly, audibly and verbally (with words)
• Silently or inwardly in the heart and conscience
• Visually with pictures, visions, dreams
• Actively in the works of His power

Some of the ways in which God communicates are known as ‘general revelation’, because
they only reveal general truths about God such as His power (in nature) and His moral
qualities (in our consciences). Other ways are known as ‘specific revelation’, because when
God speaks (through prophets and other ways) He tells us specific truths about Himself.

1. God speaks through His Word

The most detailed and helpful way in which God communicates is through His Word. When
He speaks, His communication is detailed and specific. There are several ways by which God
has spoken and we can know His word. How has God spoken?

Hebrews 1:1 _______________________________________________________________


Hebrews 1:2-3 __________________________________________________ (see John 1:1)
Ephesians 3:4-5 ____________________________________________________________
1 Thessalonians 2:13 ________________________________________________________

The Bible, which is God’s Word written, contains the 66 books that are universally
recognised as the inspired and authoritative Word of God. The Bible contains writings of
history, prophecy, worship and wisdom in the Old Testament, which is also the Bible of the
Jews. The New Testament contains the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, God final and
ultimate revelation – and the teachings of the apostle that provide the full communication of
God sufficient for salvation and holy living.

How does God communicate today?

2 Timothy 3:14-17 __________________________________________________________


Romans 10:14-15 ___________________________________________________________
John 13:35 ________________________________________________________________

God’s special revelation is His Word, contained in our Holy Bible, which is the Truth to be
communicated by us today, through preaching, teaching and living example.

2. Communicating the Gospel through Preaching

“How are they to hear without a preacher?” Preaching has been defined as ‘the public
proclamation of Christianity to the non-Christian world.’ It is different from the teaching or
explanation of the Word of God to believers. Preaching is one of the greatest of all biblical
gifts and preachers are the most important communicators of the Truth of the Gospel. There
are many different kinds of preaching to be found in the New Testament and in Christian
history. For example:

• The Greek word kerysso means to publish or proclaim loudly and publicly the great
things that God has done (as in Luke 12:3)
• The Greek word euangelizomai means to bring Good News – from this we get the
word ‘evangelize’. (see 1 Thessalonians 3:6)
• The Greek word parrhesiazomai means to proclaim the Word with boldness and
courage (see Acts 9:27)

Which of these words do you think has been used in the following New Testament verses?

1 Thessalonians 2:2 _____________________________________________________


Romans 10:15 __________________________________________________________
Acts 13:46 _____________________________________________________________
Acts 8:5 _______________________________________________________________

Read one of the great messages of the apostle Paul in Acts 17:22-31. We have much to learn
from the sermons in Scripture – and there are many we can study. Do a short analysis of this
message and answer the following questions. The purpose of this study is to help you to
improve your ability to communicate the Gospel.

• How does Paul try to gain the attention of his listeners? (verse 22-23)

• How does he show that he is not just preaching, but also that he understands their culture
and beliefs? (verse 23)

• What illustrations does he use to gain their interest?

• How does he appeal to his listeners beliefs in order to prove the truth of his message?

• How does he introduce the Gospel message?

• Does he give an appeal for salvation?

Every Gospel message in the New Testament can teach us something to help us to improve
our personal ability to communicate. They are all different. Sometimes there is a clear appeal
for salvation; sometimes not. Study the sermons in Acts to see how you can improve your
communication of the Gospel message to unbelievers.
3. Communicating through Teaching

It has been said that “the kerygma (preaching the Gospel) proclaims what God has done,
while the didache teaches the implications of salvation for Christian conduct.” What is the
didache?

Didache is the Greek word in the New testament that means ‘teaching’ or ‘doctrine’, and the
‘teacher’is the didaskalos. He (or she) is a very important part of the church, without whom
we could not grow up to be mature Christians.

Read Luke 4:31-44


Jesus came to Capernaum. What did he do there?

31-32 didache ____________________________________


43 euangelizomai __________________________________
44 kerysso______________________________________

Jesus was a teacher (and a preacher and evangelist). Study some of his teaching and see what
lessons you can learn that will make you a better teacher of Christian truth. One of Jesus’
most famous teaching sermons is found in Luke 6:20-49.

• How long was Jesus’ sermon? Read it through and time yourself.
How long was it? _____________
Probably we have a summary shortened version, but the good lesson is that you do
not need to preach a LONG sermon in order to preach a GOOD sermon.

• How many main points did He make in his sermon?


You may find it difficult to divide the passage, so we will give an outline. Please
look for the main themes we note and fill in your comment.

Verses 20-26 Blessings and Woes

Verses 27-36 Love, do good and give

Verses 37-42 Don’t judge

Verses 43-45 Good and bad fruit

Verses 46-49 Obedience to God’s word

Jesus had a well planned message. You will probably not have so many points in your
teaching messages, but it is good to be as clear and well planned as He was. Many
preachers think that three main points is enough.
• What illustrations did Jesus use to make his sermon interesting and relevant to his
audience?

Jesus was a good story teller, but he was also good at telling stories that made good
sense to his listeners. Do you think Jesus had a sense of humour? ______________

4. Communicating through your life

The greatest sermon you will ever preach will be the message of the way you live. The
preacher who talks about love, but hates his brother, will never communicate his message.
This is our final, but perhaps the most important truth in our short introduction to the
important art of communicating Truth.

Read John 13:35


What is the message?

Read 2 Timothy 2:23-26


How did Paul want his disciple Timothy to teach his followers?

♦ Apply this lesson to your life

1. Examine how many ways you have come to know about God – through your parents,
through nature, through the church... How many other ways has God spoken to you? Then
think about the important role of the Bible in your understanding of God, the world and
yourself. Could you ever have been saved without the Word of God?

2. Do you have a gift as a preacher? Or a teacher? Have you tried? Prepare an evangelistic
sermon (with illustrations and maybe some stories) with three clear points and a final
appeal to make a decision.

3. Look at your own life and behaviour. Is your life the same as the message you preach?
How consistent are you?

A Prayer while you study this lesson:

Lord, thank you for communicating your Word to us through so many ways, but
above all through your Word in the Bible. Help me to learn its message, so that I can
preach its Good News and teach its doctrines to a world in need. And above all, make
my life a faithful reflection of your Truth.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

♦ Team group study questions:

1. Discuss the importance of understanding the various ways that God has revealed Himself.
How many ways can you think of that God has communicated with His creation?
2. Why is the Bible so important in God’s plan of communication? Does God communicate
to us today in other ways (such as prophecy, visions, dreams, words of knowledge)? How
can we know that these forms of communication are genuinely from God?

3. We are an essential part of God’s purpose for communicating His salvation message to
the lost.. How can we discover what our gift is – preacher, teacher, evangelist, writer,
personal counsellor, etc. Share together what gift each one feels they have as
communicators of the Gospel.

4. Prepare together a simple evangelistic outline based on Luke 18:19-31.

Answers to the question: “Which words were used?”


1 Thessalonians 2:2 (parrhesiazomai – speaking boldly)
Romans 10:15 (both kerysso – how can men preach; then euangelizomai – preach good news)
Acts 13:46 (parrhesiazomai – speaking boldly)
Acts 8:5 (kerysso – proclaimed Christ)