Simply teaching the Bible, simply

How to listen well

This study was taught at our Sunday morning service by Sim Forder, our assistant pastor, on the 29th March 2020. You can listen to the audio on this web page or save it for later listening.

This study answered three questions; Why is the Bible important? Why study it in the church? and How do we listen well? We considered how the Bible is unchanging, and is a sure foundation we can build our lives upon. And we considered how the Bible itself states that it is to be taught in the church context – for that is how Jesus equips His church.

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105

The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Princes persecute me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your word. I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.

Psalm 119:160-162

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

Ephesians 4:11-12

All supposed leadings of God should be tested by the Word of God. The Bible is God’s revealed will. Any leading that contradicts the plain teaching of the Bible is certainly not the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself.

R A Torrey

Importantly, however, we also considered that perhaps we only get out of sermons what we put in. And that there are steps we can take to make our times of study most effective.

Before the sermon

  • Read ahead (the passage we will study that morning)
  • Read regularly (your own daily devotions)
  • Pray (for the preacher, that you would hear God speak, and for your church family)

During the sermon

  • Do everything you can to stay alert (more sleep, coffee, whatever it takes)
  • Be present (in person, and not giving into distraction)
  • Don’t be a distraction to others (save questions and comments for later)
  • Take notes (it doesn’t help some, but for many it can really help)

After the sermon

  • Talk to your church family (about the sermon, not just about sport)
  • Talk to your own family (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7 as an example)
  • Check what was said against the Bible (see Acts 17:11 as an example)
  • Attend other meetings (regular attendance helps you, and others)
  • Listen online (if you missed the study, or listen again if you can)
  • Pray (that it would take effect in you, and your questions would be answered)

We can know the right words yet never be changed. This is the difference between information and transformation.

A W Tozer

The simplest summary of all this can be seen below:

  • Before the service talk to God
  • During the service, let God talk to you
  • After the service, talk to each other

I do not think the devil cares how many churches you build, if only you have lukewarm preachers and people in them.

Charles Spurgeon


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