Since salvation in Jesus is so critical to our eternal future as well as our current lives, Bible teachers must make salvation an important part of their teaching. Obviously all lessons will not solely center on salvation, but teachers do need to share God’s plan of salvation at times.
We must be careful that we do not assume a student has been saved just because they grew up in the church, have parents who are believers, or can tell you about Jesus dying on the cross.
Here are some tips to help Bible teachers teach about salvation in Jesus:
1) Bible teachers need to be able to summarize God’s plan of salvation.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 tells us what is “of first importance.”
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to …” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
At some point people do need to know why Jesus had to die for our sins and how they must respond in order to be saved yet the basic Gospel message can be weaved throughout one’s teaching.
2) Bible teachers must use terminology their students can understand.
Some of the words used in Scripture are difficult for even adults to remember and define, albeit young children. In an attempt to simplify, be careful not to confuse. Young children are concrete thinkers. For example, telling them to ask Jesus into their heart might not make sense. When teaching about salvation, you want to be as clear as possible and not let terms students might not be familiar with or might not be able to understand, muddy the water. As students grow, they will become more familiar with specific words. Initially, understanding the meaning and significance of the term is more important than knowing the term.
3) Bible teachers need to take students beyond a detailed cognitive study of the doctrine of salvation to helping students understand the difference it makes for them now … today, not just for eternity.
Be careful not to over-complicate salvation. The bottom line is that Jesus did for us something that we could never do for ourselves. — “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
That same grace that saves us is also what enables us to live victorious today. — “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-15)