The key to learning is repetition.  The authors of Scripture repeat key principles;  they talk about these from different perspectives and personalities.  The emphasis is on what is being shared with us, placing the priority on the content rather than the container.

We are told in Ephesians 5:18 “to be filled with the Spirit”, in Colossians 3:16 we are directed to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”, in Philippians 2:5 we are told that our “attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”, and in Galatians 5:25 we are encouraged to “live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  These are all different ways of stating the same truth — that we Christians are to live under the control of the Spirit of God, in direct harmony with the Word of God, in a pattern reflecting the Son of God, that the character of God is exemplified in our daily life.

Hearing a principle once has limited effect and may not allow full comprehension, but when we hear the same truth repeated from different perspectives, we’re better able to understand it, then we can work on making it part of our daily life.

It is very difficult for us to live out the principles of the Word of God unless we make ourselves accountable to others.  Scripture speaks of our relationship with other Christians as being likened to that of the different parts of a body to one another:  “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.”  “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, each one of you is a part of it” (1Cor. 12:12, 26-27).

The Bible commands us to be in fellowship together–“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).  Coming together on a regular basis with other Christians allows accountability which can apply pressure on us to live a godly life.

The Bible tells us that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17).  As we rub shoulders with other Christians, we will find it to be soothing, stimulating, even encouraging; but we will also find it to be painful, this process of sharpening us into tools fit for the Master’s use.

We need to make biblical principles our own, to verify them in our own life.  We can engage this process by articulating them to someone else.  The truths we understand the best are usually the ones we have studied because of personal need or we have taught them to others.  As we pass on what we have learned to others, the truths we are sharing with them become reinforced in our own lives.

We are less likely to violate a biblical principle that we have told others they should obey. The more we tell others what we live by, the more we can be held accountable. The more we speak about what we believe, the more we are accountable for the way we live.  “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).