Tips for Teaching about God’s Laws

In a previous post we looked at the big picture Bible teachers need about God’s laws. Out of that perspective, the following tips for teaching about God’s laws become obvious. If you did not yet read that post, I encourage you to read it first. Bible teachers need to understand God’s heart in providing His law so they can help students grab His intent.

Ten Commandments

(Click on image to find this & other bookmarks with the Ten Commandments in one of our affiliate stores.)

1) Emphasize the pragmatic value in obeying God’s commands.

God’s laws are for our good, to protect and guide us, not to restrict and overwhelm us.

2) Use the law to point people to their need of a Savior.

No one can perfectly keep the law which would be required to be in a relationship with a perfect, righteous, and holy God. To break even one law, is to break them all (James 2:10). All fall short (Rom. 3:23). All are in need of a Savior. We cannot work our way into salvation. — “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” (Gal. 2:16)

3) Focus on the real purpose in obeying God’s laws … to show love for God.

Since we cannot be justified by keeping the law (Gal. 2:16), there needs to be a higher purpose in obeying God’s commands. Otherwise, we might as well sin since good deeds won’t save us. As the Apostle Paul said in Romans 6:15, “By no means!” “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.” (2 Jn. 1:6)

4) Understand that by nature we are a rebellious people so don’t give up on people but rather, fervently pray for them.

Even though teachers might implement the above tips, students will still struggle to obey God’s laws, or to obey for the right reasons. They cannot do so in their own power. They need to walk in the Spirit so they “will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

The Ten Commandments and other laws of God can be taught but be sure to keep that teaching within context of the big picture perspective of God’s laws.

Teaching About God’s Laws

When teaching about God’s laws, Bible teachers should have the following big picture perspective:

God's Message of Redemption

(1) Creation & the Fall (2) The Law

From the beginning, mankind has tended to look at God’s laws as something restrictive to which they respond rebelliously. Consider the Garden where God gave them one command among so many freedoms — “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Gen. 2:16-17) They were able to enjoy the benefit of everything else but instead, with some help from the serpent, focused in on the one thing God said they should not do.

Notice that disobedience came with a consequence — death, both physical and spiritual.

Man’s condition only worsened, bringing on the need for God’s judgment. After the flood, God then chose to raise up a people for Himself through Abram. This nation would be blessed by God. Important to keep in mind is that “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith” (Rom. 4:13).

In time God gave them His laws through Moses as a guide for how to live within His blessing. Still, they looked around at the other nations at what they didn’t have and chose their idolatrous ways which took them out of the place of God’s blessing.

God gave the law for their good (Deut. 5:33), even though He knew they would never be able to keep it fully. It would show them their sinfulness and their need of God’s grace.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10)

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. (Rom. 3:20)

The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more … (Rom. 5:20)

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Rom. 7:7)

Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. (Gal. 3:19)

Jesus, when He came to earth, did at least four things in regard to the law.

  1. Jesus demonstrated what it truly meant to keep the Law. He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17).
  1. Jesus summed up all the law into two commandments. First, love the Lord with all of who you are. Second, love your neighbor as yourself. He said, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:37-40).
  1. Jesus took on Himself the curse of the law that we, who cannot fulfill the law, deserve. — “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.’” (Gal. 3:13)
  1. Jesus did for us what the law could never do — saved us from our sin by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24) “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1-4)

In the next post we will look at some tips for teaching about God’s laws that grow out of this big picture perspective about God’s laws.

Tips for Teaching Creation & the Fall

Felt Creation Set

Creation Beginners Bible™ Felt Story Set (Click on image to learn more about or purchase this creation felt set in one of our affiliate stores.)

In a previous post we considered how teachers’ view of Genesis 1 – 3 can affect their teaching — adversely, if they hold to evolution instead of creation. Now we want to suppose that the Bible teachers hold to the literal, historical account of creation and provide some tips for teaching about creation and the fall of man.

Whether laying the foundation with preschoolers, helping school aged students process what they are learning in school, or re-educating adults who have been taught evolution as scientific theory rather than merely a belief system, Bible teachers need to keep pointing students to our Creator God. They need to help them develop a biblical worldview.

Tips for Bible Teachers About Teaching on Creation and the Fall

  1. Make it age appropriate by thinking through the amount of details, visualizing versus theorizing, types or depth of questions, and how much science to bring into the lesson.
  1. Watch your language in how you present it. We often refer to the account of creation as the “creation story.” Could such terminology be adding into the idea that it is simply a myth?
  1. Get beyond teaching the details about creation to looking at the God behind it. Remember that Genesis 1:1 starts with, “In the beginning GOD.”
  1. Emphasize how it does take faith (Heb. 11:3) to believe creation, but it also takes just as much faith, if not more faith, to believe in evolution when you take a serious look at it.
  1. Use the Bible to teach about creation but also show the scientific support. If you don’t have this knowledge, co-teach with someone who does or use a video or book for help. Click on the image below to check out a chart in one of our affiliate stores that takes a look at creation and evolution from a scientific standpoint.  It could be a helpful tool.

Creation & Evolution Chart

  1. Don’t avoid the topic of evolution just because you don’t know how to refute it or are afraid you won’t know how to answer students’ questions. Be willing to admit that you don’t have all the answers and will research if possible. Keep in mind that there are lots of things we don’t understand yet believe.
  1. Help students understand some of the key differences between evolution and creation that affect their worldview.
  • Evolution views people as little more than animals whereas creation makes them special, created in the image of God.
  • Evolution leaves people with no real purpose whereas creation gives meaning and purpose to life.
  • Evolution leads to a survival of the fittest approach to life whereas creation puts value on all.
  1. Keep discussion from turning into heated debate. Always pursue peace and love in how the class relates with one another. Remember, you may not turn around skeptics with reasoning but experiencing godly reactions might make them more open.
  1. Pray, pray, and pray some more for students as they go out in the world and face belief systems in opposition to God and His Word. Pray they come to truly know and love God so much that they take Him at His Word even if they do not fully understand.

Teaching the Creation of Man & the Fall

God's Message of Redemption

(1) Creation & the Fall of Man

The teaching of Genesis 1 – 3 on the creation and fall of man can present some difficulties for Bible teachers. We live in a world where evolution has been taught in public schools.

Some religious circles will add God to the equation — theistic evolution — at least removing the atheistic approach.

  • Bible teachers will have students who have been indoctrinated with this belief system.
  • Bible teachers themselves may have been indoctrinated with this evolutionary approach to life.

Do you know where all of your church’s Bible teachers stand on the literal, historical truth of Genesis? If your teachers waver on that, you may have teachers who do not hold to the inerrant, inspired, authoritative Word of God, and will thus not present to their students a God worthy of their all and a Gospel that makes a difference.

Wavering on the Veracity of Creation is a Problem with the Authority of God’s Word

Genesis does not allude to creation as a symbolic description but rather presents it as a literal, historical event. And, other parts of Scripture support the Genesis account.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. (Ps. 33:6)

For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. (Ps. 33:9)

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Heb. 11:3)

If the very beginning of God’s Word can be reinterpreted without any real basis for doing so to fit into the evolutionary framework, why would we not be able to pick and choose any other part we don’t want to accept? Why should we trust anything in the Bible if God didn’t really mean what He said? How do we know what to believe and what not to believe?

Believing in Evolution Leaves you with a Problem with the God of the Bible

Throughout the Word, from Genesis to Revelation, you will find reference to God as the Creator. If it didn’t really happen the way the Bible describes it, why refer to God as the Creator, the Maker of the heavens and earth? Why are we told to worship Him as such?

Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people . . . (Ps. 100:2-3)

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. (Rev. 4:11)

We would worship the Creator God because He is the One of whom there is none greater. He is all-powerful, able to speak a word and bring into existence something out of nothing. He is all-wise and all-knowing, able to fit it all together with such variety and design. He is sovereign over all, able to sustain what He has created and give purpose to it.

Without a literal view of Genesis, how will Bible teachers present to their students a God worthy of following and giving their all?

Denying the Literal, Historical Account in Genesis is a Problem for the Gospel Message

Genesis provides a foundational understanding of sin and need for a Savior. If creation did not happen as the Bible says, why should we believe that the Garden of Eden and the fall of man is anything more than a myth? What is the significance of it all?

Further, the Bible claims that Jesus was involved in the creation of the world (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-18). His very being must therefore be called into question. What is written about Him would be a lie so why should we trust Him with our soul and eternal destiny?

If the beginning chapters of Genesis are not to be taken literally, why should people take the part about Jesus, His death, and resurrection seriously? Why would they need Jesus?

In the next post you will find nine tips for Bible teachers for teaching on creation.

Subscribe for E-mail notice of new posts.