I notice, beloved, I close with this. The Gospel we preach must have two things. It must have qualities that can be open to public questioning. That's Thessalonica. And it must have quality that can be opened to private research. That's Berea. Do you have that kind of content? Can you present a message to this world and stand on your feet if the case needs it and defend that message biblically. Secondly, can you present such a message that sends them to the Scripture and find its defense there? Loved it behooves us to know the Book, to know the Book.
People that make a difference in the world, people who turn it upside down, people who affect this world, are people who know the Word of God. I believe that with all my heart. And are people whocan stand on their feet eyeball-to-eyeball with people and defend what they believe and there are people who can take people where they're at and say, "Here's what I believe. You take it to the Scripture and let stand the test of Scripture and you'll find it confirmed." If you give men answers that you can defend on your feet and answers that you can defend through the Word of God, then you've given them answers.
You say, John, "I'd like to be able to do that. How? How can I do that? How can I have content like that that can make me turn the world upside down?" One, four points, this is like the three I gave you on courage. Get them real quick. I'm just gonna fire them out. If you're gonna have content, one, confess and repent of all sin. That's where you start. You don't start by Bible study. You start by confession. You say, "Why?" 1 Peter 2:1, "Laying aside all malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking, as newborn babes, the desire the sincere mild of the word." Before you can ever get into the Word to grow by it, you have to lay aside sin. Purify, that's point one.
Two, study. You'll never know the Bible. There's no shortcut. There is absolute - believe me, if there's a shortcut, I'd found it a long time ago. There's none. Paul said to Timothy, "Study to show thy self approve unto God." What does that mean? Be such a good student that God is excited about the fact that you know the truth.
You know the thing that haunts you all the time when you're a preacher, when you're a teacher? The fact that this is supposed to be approved by God, not by you. We can get away with murder with people. You can't get away with anything with God. So one, purify, confess sin. Two, study. There's no shortcut, absolutely none. Study the Word. Three, personalize the Word. What does that mean? Translate what is academic into your own life, into your own life.
The things that you're gonna be effectively teaching other people are the things that you have learned by your own living, right? For me to put something on a piece of paper and teach it to you is one thing. For me to teach you what God has been doing in my life is something completely different.
"What do you mean by that?" Paul says, "Be renewed in your mind." In Galatians and in Romans 12:2 he says, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." In other words, you know the word and it changes your life and you speak out of experience. So you confess sin. You learn the word and then you personalize it.
I'll give you the last one. Share it. You say, "I'm gonna learn it and when I get it all learned, then I'm gonna come out of my room and say it." So somebody, "Oh, that's ridiculous." You be talking about it as you're learning it. There's no better way to learn than to teach, right? We who teach find out that what we teach we learn.
Listen to Philippians 2:15, "Be blameless, harmless children of God without rebuking the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of life." That's part of your responsibility. Don't bottle it up. Stick it out. You say, "John, I wish I had content. I wish I could defend the Word. I wish I could send people the Scripture, that they can learn it. I wish I could build a framework for people to really examine the truth." You can do it. Confess sins. Study the Book. Personalize it. Make it your own.
Before you have any right to tell anybody something, you ought to have it in your own life. What does the Bible say? "Be not hearers of the Word only," but what? Doers. For if you're only a hearer you deceive yourself. You say, "Oh, I learned that. I learned that." You didn't learn that. Who are you kidding? You never learned it, so operate it. And then lastly, share the Word. Share the Word.