Archives For Bible Study Information

Ephesians

The book of Ephesians can be divided into two halves.

1.Theology (Chapters 1:3–3:21)

2.Ethics (Chapters 4:1–6:24)

In the first section of Ephesians the theology of God’s plan and our response to that plan is laid out for believers. We learn about God’s spiritual blessing upon our new lives found in Christ. God is ultimately the instigator of salvation and we find our lives fully changed by the Son’s sacrifice on the cross. I found this interesting Bible Study Exercise from the Teacher’s Commentary that helps draw out our immense inheritance through our new found life in Christ because of what the Father has done. I don’t know about you but I am always looking for more interactive studies to use for messages and to help my students better understand the Bible. This study is simple but can be extremely helpful. Hope you find it of some use.

Link to Life Bible Study

Divide into pairs. Give each member a NEW IDENTITY chart. Each pair is to find in Ephesians 1 and 2 evidence of what God has done, and of what we now have and are in Christ. When the passages have been studied, each should individually write out which of the findings seem most significant to him or her and why.

 

My New Identity

Portrayed in Ephesians 1 and 2
 
What God has done
 
What we now have
 
1:5
 
1:6
 
1:8
 
1:7
 
1:13
 
1:7
 
1:13
 
1:9
 
2:5
 
1:13
 
2:6
 
1:18
 
2:8
 
1:19
 
2:13
 
1:23
 
2:19
 
1:23
 
2:22
 
2:4
 
 
 
2:5
 
 
 
2:13, 18
 
 
 
2:14
 
 
 
2:16
 
 
 
2:19
 
 
 
2:20
 
 
 
2:22
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GRO 1: Why Study the Bible?

jordantmoody —  February 11, 2014 — 1 Comment

Hey guys,

I have posted this for us to communicate together outside of our regular GRO group meeting time. What I want you to do is to take some time and read the material given to you. (Click here if you lost it) Once you have read it and answered some of the questions I want you to comment on this post throughout the week so we can talk about how our Bible reading is going.

When you comment on this article about the Multiply Movement section please answer the questions and feel free to comment on other thoughts that came up in your reading. Guys also feel free to respond to everyone’s comments to get some dialogue going. (to comment click on the title of this post and then scroll down. Fill out your name and email to comment)

Here are the questions from the reading:

1. Take a few minutes to examine your motivations and write down a few thoughts below.

2. Take a minute to think about your past experience with studying the Bible. Which of the wrong motivations listed
above are you guilty of? Can you think of any others?

3. What are some thoughts you had from this reading. What are some things that have helped you in the past in studying the Bible? What are some things that have hurt you in the past with studying the Bible?

 

(Also, if you click underneath comments: notify me when someone responds you can keep track of the conversation going on here. You will be sent an email to remind you to check and read the comments.)

Is your faith childlike or childish?

the Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies

For some reason the picture of this twitter account pops into my mind when I think about spiritual discernment

I tend to think spiritual discernment is for old people who need standards in their lives. Or I think discernment is for legalists who love discerning for everyone else how they should live their lives. Spiritual Discernment is the practicality part of our Christian lives. It is where the rubber meets the road. The problem with us is we don’t care to look to make sure the rubber is actually making contact with the road for all we know we could be burning out. Lack of discernment in a Christian’s life is no joke and in this case ignorance is not bliss. Just living your life waiting for the Lord to direct your sword to the door like you are Inigo Montoya in Princess Bride is not the way a mature Christian lives.

Here are few points from Tim Challies book that I found particularly poignant.

  1. Lack of Discernment is Proof of Spiritual Immaturity
  2. Lack of Discernment is Proof of Backsliding
  3. Lack of Discernment is Proof of Spiritual Death

The first point about Spiritual Immaturity is the one I deal with on a daily basis. I deal with teenagers who are by nature of their age, immature. Some are more mature than others but that is what you get in high-school and in fact all of life. We all know that spiritual maturity (or any kind of maturity for that matter) doesn’t come with age. Hang out with teenagers and a few of them may surprise you. Take for instance the readers of Hebrews. The author did not feel he could fully dispense to them the full truth because they could not handle it. They were still weaning on the milk and couldn’t handle the meat. Yet the book of Hebrews is still far to complicated for our short attention spans.

Heb. 5:11-14 11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

“Ultimately, the scripture makes it plain: if you are not a person who exhibits and exercises discernment you are not a mature Christian.”

The recipients of this letter were like many Christians today who think that theology is a waste of time. What difference does it make, people ask, whether God is a Trinity or not, whether Christ’s righteousness comes by imputation or infusion, and whether regeneration comes before faith or after? What is important, they say, is that we get along with each other. Then they cite passages commending a childlike faith, as if that were the same thing as a childish faith, that is, one that is indifferent to or ignorant of the Word of God. — Richard Phillips

The cool thing about this whole thing is that we will never have it all together and we’ll never be able to figure it all out on our own through our own strength. Thankfully, God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us. It is only through his direction we will find our way.

The good news: discernment is proof of spiritual life. Life means change. Changed more and more into His likeness made possible only through the Spirit’s power. Thank-you Jesus for perfecting your good work in us.

Yet God has supplied us with everything we need in order to fulfill His calling. The power to transform hearts and change lives comes from the Holy Spirit (John 6:63), through the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16–17), and through prayer (James 5:16–20). As we use the Scriptures to give counsel to others, there is power (Heb. 4:12). As we pray passionately for their hearts to change, there is power. We cannot remove the lust from another’s person’s heart by our own efforts, but we have the Spirit of God working through us. Through the gospel, people can be set free from the enslaving power of sin (Rom. 6). Through the gospel, we are actually empowered to uproot the sin in our hearts and live in a way that pleases God (Gal. 5 and Rom. 8). Paul promised: “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13).

–Multiply Movement

What is a Christian?

bobbyemberley —  March 15, 2013 — 1 Comment

The following are some thoughts I wrote down in my devotional journal this week. It may contain a theological perspective that I am still uncertain about.

John 6:38 says, “For I [Jesus] have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Later in I Corinthians 4:4, Paul, also speaking of doing the will of another, said, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ.” As Paul invites us to follow him and ultimately to follow Christ, we too are to do the will of the Father. We are to do what pleases God. We are to do right. However, as God changes my heart, doing my own will becomes doing God’s will. Or we had best put it the other way around- doing God’s will becomes doing my will. This is a way of life, not something you get done for the day and forget about. It really is silly to think of getting God’s will done so that I may move on to my own. As if there were portions and times of my life in which God has no explicit way for me to act or obedience for me to exhibit.

So we immediately run into two problems:

1. The sheer impossibility of actually doing this even if we wanted to.

And the greater of the two,

2. Actually wanting to.

I think here we find the essence of what it means to be a Christian. It also speaks much about what God does when he saves a person.

You see, no one actually wants to surrender his life to live it in the service of another person. At least no one I’ve ever known. At least not to the extent that the Bible speaks of it when we come to fully understand it. Those who seem to want it inevitably do so for selfish motives, and that is perhaps worse than simply admitting rebellion and being done with it.

And so God must change us. He must make our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. He must take what is dead and make it walk again. No, not even again, but for the very first time. It is still unclear to me when this change occurs. Of course it has not fully occurred in any of us, and perhaps we can say it has more fully occurred in some than in others. But could it be that this change has not occurred in every person who has faith in Jesus? Or does their faith presuppose that God has at least planted the seeds of change? Of one thing we may be sure: the change will come. It must. For to grab hold of God is to grab hold of doing his will as a servant and in the process eternal life.

Truly, we should hardly think of the two (doing God’s will and eternal life) as separate. Did not Jesus say that whoever loses his life for my sake will find it? So it would seem that eternal life is found along the way of doing God’s will. Yet, we must not forget that doing God’s will and more importantly wanting to do it are gifts from God from the start.

If we must think of them as separate for the sake of better understanding, let us suppose that to lay hold of God is to lay hold of a rope consisting of two strands- one being doing God’s will as a servant, the other, the attainment of eternal life. You could no sooner simply grab one strand of the rope than you could jump into a lake on a hot summer day with the hope of staying dry. You can jump into the lake to enjoy relief from the heat, but you will most certainly also get wet, and you had best prepare yourself for that. Indeed, we could think of the rest of the world’s religions as attempts to untangle these two strands. Because everyone wants eternal life. No one wants Jesus. Not in their natural state. Not when it means becoming a servant as he was. Not when they really understand him and what following him entails. Even if they were to succeed in untangling the rope, it wouldn’t be strong enough to save them. I am reminded of preachers who speak of the danger of coming to Jesus as simply a fire escape from hell. I think their warning is much-needed because those who think of Jesus in such terms are not really thinking of him at all.

To lay hold of God is to lay hold of doing his will as a servant and in the process eternal life.

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Life is choices
Choices have consequences
Make right choices

– Cliff Jenkin

Week 25 ~ Acts 1-6

jordantmoody —  January 7, 2013 — Leave a comment

Over Christmas vacation we read through the entire book of Luke and combined a few weeks into 2 weeks. It was a bit more work than usual but profitable for all. We are now going to begin our look at the book of Acts. The Acts of the Apostles as many explain this book but I like to look at it as the Acts of the Holy Spirit. The controlling force throughout the book is the Holy Spirit and the power He gives to the believers of the early church and to us today.

 

READ ACTS 1-6

Read I Corinthians

Read I Corinthians

Read chapters 10-16 this week.

Week 9 ~ Read Matthew 1-7

jordantmoody —  November 5, 2012 — 1 Comment

Author: Matthew

Date: 50s or 60s

Destination: Jewish audience in unknown location

Purpose: To demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament

Theme: Jesus is Immanuel, the Messiah, and the Savior of God’s people

Key Verses: 16:13-20

Matthew’s Gospel demonstrates with special clarity that Jesus’ death was sacrificial and that he rescued his disciples from the penalty for their sins. Thus it is no surprise that E. Renan identified Matthew’s Gospel as the most important book ever written.

Interesting note on Matthew as a tax collector. In the discussion of the payment of imperial taxes (Matt. 22:15-22), Mark and Luke both used the Greek term denarion, but Matthw also included the more precise term nomisma (“state coin”). The use of more precise terminology in referring to currency may suggest the expertise of a former tax collector. Similarly, among the Gospels only Matthew includes the pericope about Jesus and Peter paying the temple tax (17:24-27)

Matthew’s Gospel stressed four aspects of Jesus’ identity.

First, Jesus is the Messiah

Second, Jesus is the new Abraham

Third, Jesus is the new Moses

Fourth, Jesus is the Immanuel

Bibliography: Kosternberger, Andreas L., Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2009.

Philemon

Author: Paul

Provenance: Roman imprisonment

Destination: Philemon

Occasion: Philemon’s slave escapes, meets Paul, becomes a believer, and is sent back to his owner

Purpose: To encourage Philemon to accept Onesimus as a brother and to send him aback to Paul and possibly grant his freedom

Theme: Love and reconciliation in the body of Christ

Ephesians

Author: Paul

Date: AD 60

Provenance: Roman imprisonment

Destination: Circular letter or Ephesus

Purpose: To declare and promote cosmic reconciliation and unity in Christ

Theme: The summing up of all things in Christ

Assignment: WEEK 8 OCT. 30- NOV.5   READ PHILEMON AND EPHESIANS