Imagine witnessing your students go from head knowledge to understanding, from understanding to application, and then from application to bearing fruit. How exciting! Praise the Lord! But wait, the process doesn’t end there according to Colossians 1:9-10. Ultimately all this should result in students moving from fruitfulness to knowing God better.
Why Fruitfulness Leads to Knowing God Better
Since God is the One who brings the growth (1 Cor. 3:7), then the resultant fruit reflects back on God. We see His faithfulness, power, grace, and so much more at work in and through us. We not only learn more “about” God but we also experience who He is in a real and personal way. Each time our appreciation and reliance on Him builds and we want to get to know Him even better.
Knowing God is the Ultimate Goal Bible Teachers Should Have for Their Students
As our understanding and appreciation of the Lord increases, so does our reverence and dependence on Him grow, what Scripture calls “the fear of the Lord.” We can’t imagine doing life without Him. We realize more and more that our sufficiency rests in Him. He becomes our all in all. Reflect on the following verses:
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life … (Prov. 14:27)
… through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided. (Prov. 16:6)
The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. (Prov. 19:23)
To know God in this way begins with knowing about Him so as Bible teachers we must correctly teach the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15) so students get an accurate picture of who God is, gaining “knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (Col. 1:9).
We must, however, take students beyond mere head knowledge and understanding by structuring opportunities for them to examine their hearts and seek God’s help to put what they’ve learned in practice.
Though we can’t go with them through their daily lives, we can pray for them and trust God’s Spirit to work in their lives from the inside out so they bear fruit.
Then we can help them process how God’s working in and through their lives draws them into a deeper knowledge of God. That can be done through one-on-one follow-up with students outside of class. It can also be accomplished in-class through a time of sharing which in turn could spur other students on to wanting a similar experience in getting to know God better.