God has always required His children to learn His
will (Deut. 4:10; 5:1). As Christians, God also expects
us to learn the things we need to know, so we can
obey Him and serve Him (1 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 5:10; Tit.
Therefore, we have a responsibility to know how
to learn, so we can learn God's will for us.
Three Basic Learning Styles
Visual learners learn through seeing, and often
prefer to take detailed notes. They learn well from
the demonstration process, and need to see the teacher's
body language and facial expressions to fully understand
the lesson. They prefer sitting up front to avoid
visual obstructions, may think in pictures, and learn
best from visual displays.
Auditory learners learn through listening.
They learn best through verbal lectures, discussions,
talking things through, and listening to what others
have to say. They interpret the underlying meanings
of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch,
speed, and other nuances. They often benefit from
reading text aloud and using a voice recorder.
Tactile (kinesthetic) learners learn through
moving, doing, and touching. They're good at hands-on
tasks, and learn best through a hands-on approach,
actively exploring the physical world around them.
Seven Basic Learning Techniques
For the remainder of the bulletin, I want to review
seven basic learning techniques we can use to help
us learn God's word.
Make It Meaningful
Before learning anything, we should understand why
it's necessary, and beneficial for us to learn it.
For example, it's necessary to learn God's word to
be saved and go to heaven (Rom. 1:16-17; 1 Tim. 2:4).
In understanding the benefits of learning a subject,
we often discover the greater good that we
can produced. For example, as a church we are a holy
temple in the Lord, a dwelling of God in the Spirit,
the pillar and support of the truth (Eph. 2:19-22;
1 Tim. 3:15).
Schedule Your Study Time, Don't Cram
Cramming is an ineffective method of learning. The
most effective learning occurs when we schedule frequent
breaks, setting goals and objectives for study sessions,
and rewarding ourselves with timed breaks.
For example, the Bereans examined the Scriptures
daily (Acts 17:11). They didn't try to cram it all
into one or two days.
Organize Information In Your Mind
For effective learning to occur, we need an organized
method of filing information in our brain. Just like
we use an organized method when filing papers in a
filing cabinet, or organizing files on a computer
hard drive. If information isn't organized, it's difficult
For example, Paul commands that our assemblies be
orderly (1 Cor. 14:40). As a result, we're better
able to process the teaching, resulting in greater
Repetition is one of the most important learning techniques
for every style of learner.
God uses repetition as a teaching tool. Therefore,
we should use it as a learning and a teaching tool.
- Rom. 15:15 Paul reminded brethren again
of some points when writing them.
- 1 Cor. 4:17 Paul sent Timothy to Corinth
to remind them of his ways in Christ.
- 2 Tim. 1:6 Paul reminded Timothy
to "kindle afresh the gift of God."
- 2 Tim. 2:14; Tit. 3:1 Paul commanded
Timothy and Titus to remind Christians of the
things he wrote.
- 2 Pet. 1:12 Peter used repetition
in the Scriptures he wrote.
- Jude 1:5 Jude used repetition in
the Scriptures he wrote.
It's easier to learn something new, if we associate
it with something we already know.
God uses association as a teaching tool, and we
should use it to learn.
- Jesus uses association when teaching with parables.
For example, He teaches us the kingdom of heaven
is like a mustard seed, leaven, treasure hidden
in a field, a merchant seeking fine pearls, a dragnet
cast into the sea, a head of household, children,
and a landowner (Matt. 13:31, 33, 44, 45, 47, 52;
- Peter teaches us about salvation by associating
it with Noah's salvation (1 Pet. 3:20-21).
- Paul teaches us about Jesus by associating Him
with Adam (Rom. 5:14).
- Paul teaches us about Jesus and His priesthood
by associating Him with Melchizedek (Heb. 7:1-28).
Visualization helps us learn, because our brain believes
what it sees.
For example, prophesy, presented in pictures, helps
us visualize the message God is communicating, such
as the eternal glorify awaiting us in heaven (Rev.
Some effective ways to learn using visualization
- Create a picture or diagram in your mind. For
example, imagine what it would be like at the cross
when Jesus died.
- Visualize events to help remember historical
facts (dates, events, etc.). For example, I remember
the events of Jesus' life from the upper room to
his burial, by visualizing those events in sequence.
- Mentally role play, visualizing successful accomplishment
of a task, such as successfully teaching a Bible
Recitation and Explanation
We learn more effectively when we put things in our
own words. This helps us file information in a logical
method, and ensures that we understand it.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to share
the gospel with others, which necessitates the ability
to express it in our own words.
- Heb. 5:11-14 If we understand the first
principles, we can tell others about them.
- 1 Pet. 3:15 We must be ready to make a
defense to everyone who asks us about our hope.
God tells us we need to learn His word. Therefore
we have a responsibility to learn how to learn.
Although these techniques can be applied to learn
any subject, we must studiously apply them to learn
Just like the brethren in Colossee, we must hear
God's word, learn it, know it, and understand it.
As a result, we walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,
pleasing Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every
good work (Col. 1:3-10).