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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Bible Study Series {Bible Study Basics}

Summer Bible Study Series
{Bible Study Basics}

Why study the Bible?
Salvation, our goal is to get to heaven and take as many people with us as possible
God’s way of communicating with us
God’s plan
for our questions there are answers
God-size void because we are eternal creatures
absolute truth meaning of life

If the ultimate goal is salvation, there has to be an immediate benefit and blessing.  There is a connection between what we study and how we apply it to our lives.  It should change our lives in every way.  I see that as a better understanding of life....everything including relationships, family, nature, the world, human nature, jobs, emotions and feelings, what really matters, priorities.  Our priorities, values, and what we treasure will change as we read the Bible.

As we study the Bible with an open mind and open heart, we recognize, realize, and understand more.  I liken it to reading a good book over again or watching a movie again.  I notice things I didn’t see the first time.  There is a need for continued study because as we study we will notice more that we missed before.  As we learn more and it will help us grow in our faith and change for the better.

Are there challenges to studying the Bible?
Examples given
Time, busy schedules, lack of understanding, confusion, tired/exhausted

Read the following verses.  
What words stand out in each verse?

(in the group study we read these out loud and talked about each verse)

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Psalm 119:11

Acts 17:11

Romans 15:4

Hebrews 4:12

Ephesians 6:10-17

James 1:22

John 1:1

John 8:32

1 Peter 2:2

Things to keep in mind when studying the Bible.
#1 Consider context

#2 Have a plan

#3 Be dedicated

#4 Use common sense, reasoning and good judgment

#5 Be open to what it says

#6  It's okay to have questions, keep searching the Bible for the answers.

#7  Remember the Bible doesn't contradict itself so if something is confusing keep studying.  It will make sense.

In regards to # 6 and #7, always remember, the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. God designed this book for our understanding, and the more we read and study it the better our understanding will be.  

In the past I've written about how one can approach Bible study, click {here} to go to that blog post about How to Study the Bible.

Below are the links to the other studies

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Summer Bible Study Series {Changing Our Lives}

Summer Bible Study Series 
{Changing Our Lives}

For the sake of putting this on the blog, I'll divide the third Bible study lesson into Part I and Part II.  This study could have taken us two weeks, but we were on a strict timeline to finish in the month of June so we didn't fully cover the second part. 

{Part I}
Changing Our Lives

This is the application of Christian living, the new self , the Christian's walk, living as children of light, and striving to be Christ-like.

Believe in the power in the Word and God’s saving grace and mercy to change our lives.  We can make a man-made list of dos and don’ts but one changes their heart by studying God’s word. 2 Timothy 3:16

New creation, our lives should be a reflection of that change in all we do, there should be a difference

Renews us and Transforms us Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christian Conduct
Read the following passages below and discuss or write down what things grabbed your attention.
Romans 12: 9-21
Ephesians 4:17-32
Colossians 3:1-17, 4:2-6
1 Thessalonians 5:12-23
Galatians 5:16-26

Think about the verses above. Each gives us a better way of living.

Specific ways in which we see this change.
Look up the following Bible verses.
Our thoughts Philippians 4:8-9, Colossians 3:2

How we handle tests Philippians 4:13

How we handle temptation 1 Corinthians 10:13 (10-12), Ephesians 4:27

How we handle stress and anxiety 1 Peter 5:6-7, Philippians 4:6

Our interaction in our relationships Ephesians 5, 6, Colossians 3:18-25, 1 Peter 3:7-9

How we control our reactions 2 Timothy 1:7, James 1:19-21, 1 Peter 5:8
Self-control is one of the biggest things in changing our lives and being a new creation.

Dealing with difficult situations that we all go through
What are difficult things we go through in our lives?
Disappointment, Adversity, Conflict, Struggles, Loss, Stress

{Part II}
Changing Our Lives

What benefit or blessing would we gain from this change?
We gain--
Community/Support system 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Identity Ephesians 2:10, Galatians 4:5,7

Comfort 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Peace John 14:27, John 16:33

Hope Romans 5:3-5, Ephesians 3:20, Hebrews 6:19, Romans 15:4

Rest Matthew 11:28-30

Patience, Endurance 1 Corinthians 13:4, Romans 12:12

Direction, Guidance Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4

Confidence Romans 8:31-37, Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 11:1

Security Proverbs 18:10, Psalm 46:1-3

Self-Control, Power 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Corinthians 10:13

Gratitude 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Prayer Philippians 4:6-7

Encouragement 2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 12:1

In the study I mentioned that a lot of these verses are from New Testament books of the Bible that were letters sent to churches. After the people became Christians it was the encouragement (and correction) they needed to live out the Christian life. Those letters address some of the very same things we struggle with today, and those words can apply to us and help us in our Christian walk.

Below are the links to the other studies

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 4

Summer Bible Study Series {Sharing the Gospel}

Summer Bible Study Series 
{Sharing the Gospel}

There are a lot of reasons why people struggle with sharing the gospel.  One of the reasons people are hesitant to talk about their faith is that they aren’t sure what Bible verses to use.  This study was created with the goal of giving someone the Bible verses to go to so they feel confident in telling someone how to become a Christian.  It’s organized in 10 sections with Bible verses that apply.  My goal in preparing this was to look at examples in the New Testament where people became Christians.  By doing that, it can guide us in what God expects from us to be saved.

God loves us.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 

Titus 2:11
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people

2 Peter 3:9
 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

 We need forgiveness.
Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2: 1-3
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

We can have forgiveness of sin because of Christ and his perfect sacrifice.
Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Romans 5:8-9
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 

Hear the gospel and God's plan for salvation.
Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Luke 11: 28
 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

Have faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Galatians 3:23-27
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

John 8:24
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

 Acts 2:38
 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 17:30
 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

Luke 24:47
 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Romans 10:9
 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Acts 8:37
And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Matthew 10:32
"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Romans 6: 3-4
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

1 Peter 3: 21
 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Live a faithful Christian life that honors God
1 John 1: 5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Hebrews 12: 1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Below are the links to the other studies

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Summer Bible Study Series {Obeying God's Word}

Summer Bible Study Series 
{Obeying God's Word}

This study was probably the hardest one for us to get through.  When you talk about obedience, it's an area where we all can improve.  When you think about Christ's obedience and sacrifice, it humbles you beyond words.  It took me a few days after the study to process it all, and even though it was difficult, it was a good challenge that helped me grow in my faith. 

Obeying God’s word

Obedience is the act of obeying.
Obedience is to comply or submit to God’s authority. We have to recognize/acknowledge God’s authority, power, and control and the need for His authority in our lives.  (This will all tie-in to “Changing Our Lives” in the next study.  We gain Bible knowledge through study, make the choice to obey, apply it, and then change)

What makes obedience difficult?
There are several things we discussed.


Our selfish natures or desiring what we want over what God wants

I thought about our study focusing on gaining Bible knowledge, and I wanted us to ponder the following idea of ignorance being an enemy to obedience.
Ignorance: Ignorance in regards to God’s word would be a lack of Bible knowledge.  I’ve read a quote, “Satan’s greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of God’s word.”  Ignorance is not stupidity.  Ignorance is not being informed.  I don’t know if it’s the greatest weapon, but I do agree that ignorance is an important part of why people are misled, why people make bad decisions, and why people continue in sin.  Sometimes the lies easiest to believe are the ones closet to the truth. Someone knows just a little bit and it sounds close to the truth so we just go with it and don’t question it OR someone speaks so eloquently and we feel like they must be smarter than we are and we go along with what they are preaching or teaching. With Bible study we can overcome our ignorance.  We can become informed.  We can know the difference between the truth and a lie by using God’s word as the standard.

Another obstacle to obedience  we’ve discussed in a ladies Bible study at church is below. It's one of those things I thought about a long time after the study was over. It probably troubled me because I do this in my own life and I see it with many other people, including ones that I love.
Conviction and Conflict: Obedience to God’s word and God’s commands are okay to follow as long as it agrees with with what we want.  As long as God’s word goes along with our idea of what’s right and wrong, then we’re okay.  The challenge comes when we are required to obey and it’s contrary to what we think, it applies to a situation we don’t want to change, or it applies to a person we love and we don’t want to see them condemned.  

*This was something Mark and I discussed after the study but his thoughts were worth including.
Comfortable Lifestyle: Obedience is difficult for us because of the wealth and standard of living we have.  Our physical needs are taken care of and many people don’t see a need for anything else.  Although many people are physically satisfied they are emotionally miserable and seeking peace. Despite that unhappiness many people are self-reliant and don’t want to submit to God.

Why should we obey or tell someone else to obey?
Blessings/Benefits and our well-being
We have a choice - We have a need - We will be blessed
Obedience to God’s commands provide a better life.

Examples of obedience and disobedience (in Bible stories)
Read about and discuss the following

Adam and Eve (Genesis 3),  Lot’s wife (Genesis 19), Pharaoh (Exodus), Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10), Moses (Numbers 20:12 not entering promised land), Israelites and golden calf (Exodus 32), Jonah, David

New Testament examples: Jesus (Matthew 26:39, Philippians 2:8), Mary and Joseph, Gospels the disciples, Hebrews 11

Old Testament examples:Job, Noah, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego (in Daniel 3), Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel 6), Abraham offering Isaac (Genesis 22),, David, Esther, Ruth

Obeying God’s word

Read the following verses and what words stand out in each verse.

Old Testament
Exodus 19:5

Deuteronomy 11:1

Deuteronomy 28:14-15

Joshua 24:14-15

Psalm 18:44

Jeremiah 26:13

Jeremiah 38:20

New Testament

Matthew 7:21

Luke 11:28

John 14:15

Acts 5:29

Romans 1:5

Romans 6:17

Philippians 2:12

1 Peter 1:14

1 John 5: 2-4

2 John 1:6

Below are the links to the other studies

Lesson 1

Lesson 3

Lesson 4


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