The Lord’s Prayer BS

Lords-prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

January – April 2016

Discussion Questions

Lords Prayer Bible Studies 2017 A5 booklet (218 kb)

God’s view on marriage and sex (bs)

God’s view on marriage and sex (bs)

November 2016

Discussion Questions

Authority of the Bible

  1. As you feel able, share with the rest of the group how and when somebody introduced you to Jesus.
  2. Why do Jesus’ words ring true with you?
  3. Deuteronomy 6:1-9 seems to have been at the heart of Jesus’ understanding of the Old Testament, his Bible. In looking at this passage:
    a. What link do you see between a blessed life in the Promised Land, and the keeping of God’s laws from one generation to the next?
    b. In what ways does the great commandment (verses 4-5) summarise the whole of the law?
    c. How often does God command that these words are taught in Israel?
  4. What pattern can you see in the quotations that Jesus makes from the OT, in his ministry?
  5. As Jesus goes around teaching, what roles do you see his disciples (students) playing? How was the ‘inner circle’ of apostles different to the disciples?
  6. If an apostle had to be a witness to the whole story (from baptism to going up to heaven) of Jesus, what do you think this means about how long people had been following Jesus, to listen to his teaching? (Does Matthew, the taxman, strike you as having been there from the very start of Jesus’ ministry?)
  7. How might we apply Jesus’ words to the Sadducees and Pharisees today, as we think carefully about how we apply the words of the Bible in our own lives?
  8. For parents – how do we teach our children? In words alone?

 

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1 Corinthians 8-11 (bs)

1Cor-slider

1 Corinthians 8-11

October – November 2016

Discussion Questions

1 Corinthians 8

  1. Recap what you know about the Corinthian context.
  2. Based on 1 Corinthians 8:1-3, is knowledge good or bad? How do you know whether your knowledge is good or bad? Why do we need love as well as knowledge?
  3. What is the imaginary knowledge in 1 Corinthians 8:2?
  4. What do Christians know about God (vv 4, 6)? What does this mean about any other gods that people worship?
  5. What point is Paul making to Christians who know its fine to eat meat sacrificed to idols (vv 9, 13)?
  6. What principle is Paul establishing as he talks about whether to eat meat sacrificed to idols?
  7. Think of some situations today where Christians need to be careful that our freedom does not become a stumbling block.

 

1 Corinthians 9:1-23

“Giving up rights for the Gospel”

  1. What rights does Paul have as an apostle (vv. 3-14) ?
  2.  Why doesn’t Paul claim this right (vv. 12-18)?
  3.  How has Paul used his freedom in Christ (vv. 19-23)?
  4.  What does it mean to share in the blessings of the gospel (v23)?
  5.  What rights do we find hardest to be willing to give up for the sake of the spread of the gospel?
  6.  What groups of people in our community are not currently being ministered to?
  7.  What would it mean for you to apply the principle of vv. 19-23 in order to communicate the gospel to these unreached people?

For further thought…

What rights do you struggle to be willing to give up for the sake of others?

Verse of the week

‘Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.’ 1 Cor 9:19

 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

“Run to win”

  1. Why do you think Paul introduces the image of an athlete, at this point in his letter? (re-read vv. 19-23)

  2. What is our “prize” or “crown”? (Read Philemon 3:14; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4)
  3.  In comparing “the crown that will not last” and our “crown that will last forever”, what is Paul getting at?
  4.  What does Paul mean by not being “disqualified for the prize”? (Compare 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
  5.  The very next chapter, Paul goes on to support what he’s been saying in 9:24-27 (beginning with “For…”, 10:1). He even revisits running imagery (10:14). How does 10:1-14 further explain 9:24-27?

Application

What would it look like to “run aimlessly” or “fight like a man beating the air” in the Christian life? What would the opposite look like?

Verse of the week

‘Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training… to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’ 1 Cor 9:25

 

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

  1. Read 10:1-13. Why does Paul mention the history of Israel?
  2. What’s the relationship between the baptism into Moses, and ours and the Corinthians baptism into Christ? (1-4)
  3. What are the implications of verse 5 for the Corinthians?
  4. Paul quotes Ex 32:6 (read 32:1-10) and references Nu 21:4-9 and Nu 25:1-9. How are these examples for us today?
  5. How does vs 12 encourage us to a humble walk, and not to arrogance?
  6. If the followers of Moses had been so blessed by God and yet fell in many ways, the Corinthians and us don’t stand immune to sin. How then does vs 13 encourage us?
  7. When have you seen God provide a way to escape temptation?

 

1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1

  1. What expectations can Christians lay on each other which are not found in the Bible?
  2. What issues that the Bible is clear on can Christians often ignore?
  3.  What is Paul’s clear command in v14? How do you take that seriously in your life?
  4.  What is the point of Paul’s contrast between the Lord’s Supper and pagan sacrifices (vv16-22)?
  5.  Paul condemns eating meat in a pagan ritual (v20), he permits eating meat offers to idols (vv25-27), and in 10:27-30 he again discourages the eating of this meat. What are the different contexts here, and what is the principle?
  6. What are the most worshipped idols in your culture? Why are they attractive?
  7.  What final overall principles does Paul conclude with, in 10:31-11:1, to guide Christian behaviour in gray areas?

 

 

Loving your Church (bs)

StA 6pm feb2016 4x2-focus-sml

Loving your Church 2016

Discussion Questions

Before Church

1. What sort of things do you normally think about when you walk into church?

2. What do you really love about church at the moment?

3. What do you find hard (if anything) about church at the moment?

4. What do you think God is thinking about as you walk into church?

5. Read Heb 10:19-25

  • How do we gain access to God, according to this passage?
  • Why then, do we gather together?
  • Do you think in the past, you have had more of a consumer attitude or servant attitude to church? What might be the fruits of a servant attitude to church?
  • What does this passage tell us about church?

6. If your goal is to build and encourage people at church, what could you do beforehand to prepare? See how many ideas you can come up with.

During Church

1. What is the most important part of church?

2. If you had to pick one, is church more like a rock concert / seeing a movie with friends / a working bee?

3. Read Col 3:16-17. What does church look like when together?

Preaching

4. How do we treat those who teach the word of Christ? Does our attitude reflect Col 3:12-15?

5. Our involvement in sermons can impact both the preacher and those around us, how do we listen during the sermon in church?

6. What are you doing with your face and hands during the sermon? Would you concentrate more with a notepad?

Singing

7. Do you sing with thankfulness to God in your heart (3:16)? Or can you get distracted by being critical of song choice, an instrument, or a musician?

8. Does your practice encourage those around you to sing?

9. Next time you’re in church, how can you stir up one another to love and good deeds (Heb 10:24)?

“After the main gathering”

1. Read 1 John 4:7-12. What is John’s definition of love?

2. Why should we love one another? What reasons does John give for loving one another?

3. Discuss what loving one another might look like in practice.

4. After the formal part of church is over, who do you normally talk to and what do you talk about?

5. Do you find it difficult to talk about spiritual matters? How might we help each other in this struggle?

6. i) In v12 & v17 John talks about God’s love being ‘made complete in/among us’. What do you think John means by this?

ii) What are the implications of God’s love being ‘made complete in/among us’ for…

  • evangelism?
  • pastoral care?

7. Discuss how we are like God (v17). See also 3:1-2, 6, 9-10, 14, 16-20, 24.

8. How do you reconcile v18 where John talks about ‘no fear in love’ with other parts of the Bible such as Proverbs 9:10 and Philippians 2:12?

Action Point…

  • Identify one thing you will do as a result of studying God’s word today.

Suggestions for prayer…

  • give thanks to God for his love to us and the confidence it gives to us.
  • ask God to help you love your brothers and sisters – especially those who you find difficult to love.
  • pray that the love of your church will make the gospel attractive to unbelievers.

Guests @ Church

1. Is church for Christians or non-Christians?

2.  Why do you think people are sometimes reluctant to bring friends or family with them to church?

3. Who in your group or in your church was converted through an invitation to church?

4.  What stops you from inviting unbelievers to church?

5. Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2. How is Paul’s description of his role also a description of our role?

6. What would you change about your church meeting and environment to make it more accessible and friendly for outsiders?

7. Read Colossians 4:3-6. What are some wise ways of inviting people to church?

Philippians (bs)

Philippians - Joy-cell

Download Philippians Bible Studies (193 kb PDF)

 

Matthew (bs)

Matthew-Gospel of

Discussion Questions

Matthew 1:1-17

  1. What is Matthew’s purpose in writing his opening sentence?
  2. Is your genealogy important to you or not?
  3. Jesus’ lineage is quite a mixed bag; discuss some of the names.
    What effect would this lineage, positive and negative, have on those Jews reading Matthew’s Gospel for the very first time?
  4. How does it help us to know about Jesus’ origins?
  5. Discuss the significance of the 3 parts of the genealogy.
  6. What hope does Jesus’ name bring to us?
    How will a true understanding of his name help our world?
  7. What is the heritage you are currently working on to pass onto your descendants?

Matthew 1:18-2:23

Have you ever waited with anticipation for something only to find that when it came it was not what you wanted at all? When you got it, did it fulfil your expectations? Why/why not?

  1. Read 1:18-25. What do they tell us about Jesus origin and destiny?
  2. From the meaning of “Jesus” v21 and “Emmanuel” v23 and “Christ” what total picture do you see of Jesus?.
  3. Joseph receives specific instructions from God’s messenger.
  4. What do we learn about guidance and obedience from Joseph’s life?
  5. Jesus was a true human being, born of Mary. Why was this necessary?
  6. Read ch2. How does Jesus the heavenly King contrast with Herod the earthly king?
  7. Discuss the differences between Herod’s search for the new born Christ and that of the Magi.
  8. In what ways are the responses of the Magi and Herod typical of the ways people respond to Jesus today?
  9. What do you learn from this passage about seeking what God directs you to seek?

Matthew 3 “Prepare to meet the King”

  1. Why do people go to great lengths to prepare for visiting guests, dignitaries and heads of state?
  2. Read the Isaiah quote (v3). Discuss what it means to make straight paths for the Lord.
  3. Is John’s address towards the Pharisees and Sadducees in v7 warranted? Discuss.
  4. What does it mean to produce fruit in keeping with repentance? What does this look like in practice?
  5. Both John and Jesus have ministries of baptism (vv11-12). How are their baptisms similar and different?
  6. The coming of Christ demands repentance or brings judgment. In what ways do you need to better prepare for his return?
  7. Discuss the significance of v17. How does this help you to refocus on Christ? Try to be specific and practical.

Matthew 4:1-11

  1. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are.
    The only difference is he never gave in to temptation (Heb 4:14-16).
    Why is this such good news for Christians today?
  2. What is the relationship of Jesus’ baptism to the temptations in the wilderness?
    What is the relationship of each scripture Jesus quotes to Israel’s experience in the wilderness?
  3. Was there anything inherently wrong with what Satan asks Jesus to do in the first temptation? Why does Jesus choose not to?
  4. In Satan’s second attack, he even quotes from scripture. How have you been tempted to justify sin by misusing Bible quotes? How have you heard others do the same?
  5. Satan’s third attack is far less subtle. In the light of Matthew 28:18, what is Satan offering Jesus here? What does he frequently offer us?
  6. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one (Matt 6:13). What lessons can we learn from the temptation of Jesus to help us resist temptation today? (See also 1 Cor 10:13).

Matthew 4:12-25

  1. After John was arrested, Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum. What reason does Matthew give for this? Do you think Jesus was aware of the prophecies surrounding him, and that he deliberately moved to fulfil one?
  2. Jesus begins his ministry from a Gentile region. What’s the significance of this in light of the quote from Isaiah?
  3. How is Jesus’ ministry similar to and different from John the Baptist’s ministry?
  4. Jesus says that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, what does he mean?
  5. Jesus called on people to repent because the kingdom of heaven is near.
  6. How is this call by Jesus to us similar and different today?
  7. What is the significance of Jesus’ call to the two groups of brothers?
  8. How is Jesus’ call to his first disciples to follow similar to his call to you today?
  9. How is it different?

 Matthew 5-12

Download pdf

Matthew Ch5-12 studies apr16 A5 booklet (493 kb pdf)

 

 

 

Mark 13 – 16 (bs)

Why-on-earth-Jesus

Discussion Questions

Mark 13

  1. Why does Jesus speak about the end times when asked about the temple?
  2. Jesus talks a lot about persecution in v9-13. Discuss the place of persecution in the life of a Christian.
    (cf Luke 21: 12-19; John 15:18-21)
  3. What are we to make of the cosmic signs of the end-times and the coming of the Son of Man described in v24-27?
    (See also Dan 7:13-14, Luke 21:25-27)
  4. Why is the command to be alert and watch (v33, 35) still appropriate for us?
    How do we demonstrate this concern individually and in the church? (cf Eph 5:6-20; Phil 2:5-11; 2 Peter 3)
  5. What is your reaction to the teaching of the second coming of Christ?
  6. Discuss what the following expressions are referring to:
    i) ‘when you see the abomination that causes desolation’(14)
    ii) ‘this generation will not pass away until these things have happened’ (v30)

Mark 14:1-26

Mark 14 takes us into valley of the shadow of the cross, where everyone’s motives are exposed. Though Mark is the shortest of the 4 gospels, its author frequently sets up two seemingly isolated scenes to compare and contrast. In vv1-26 there are two dinner scenes. One dinner exposes a worshipper, the other exposes a betrayer, and through both God will reveal his covenant (commitment) to his people. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. Death on a cross is under God’s sovereign “agenda”.

  1. Who are the “players” in the passage?
  2. What are their agendas? What is at stake for them?
  3. What is the significance of the actions of the woman with the alabaster jar?
    How does she serve as a foil to the thoughts and actions of Judas?
  4. What is Jesus’ agenda? Why the secrecy of his Passover location?
  5. Why does God’s agenda have two “Passovers”?
  6. When we, as an individual or group, approach the Cross, our agendas and motives are exposed.
    How does an understanding of God’s sovereignty draw us to worship instead of “betrayal”?

Mark 14:27-72  

The remaining verses of Mark 14 are as rich as they are familiar. While we can justifiably be distracted by all the other characters, their actions and failures, we will keep our eyes on Jesus and follow the thread of the Christ’s triumphant submission.

  1. In vv27-31 we contrast the weakness the disciples and the majesty of Jesus.
    Read Zechariah 13, why is this quoted by Jesus? What are Jesus’ words of submission?
  2. Vv32-42 is the anticipation of Jesus drinking the cup of wrath and His final temptation.
    What are the temptations of the disciples and Jesus and what is the consequence of falling?
    What are Jesus’ words of submission?
  3. In vv43-52 what is the reason for the show of force by the ‘rulers’ and “one of those standing near” Jesus?
    What are Jesus’ words of submission?
  4. In vv53-65  Does Jesus ever claim to be God?
  5. Why could Jesus submit to the wrath of God?
  6. In vv66-72 why was Peter here? Where is the safest place for us to be?

Mark 15-16

download PDF (332 kb) Mark 15-16 Bible Study Participants Workbook

 

 

 

Thessalonians (bs)

lifegroups2copy

Discussion Questions

2 Thessalonians 1

  1. Compare the opening words of 2 Thess 1:1-4 with Paul’s previous opening in 1 Thess 1:1-3. What are the differences and similarities?
  2. How do these opening verses prove that God’s judgment is right (v 5)?
  3. What does it mean to be shut out from the presence of the Lord, if God is omnipresent? See Genesis 4:16, Psalm 139:7-8 and Rev 14:10-11.
  4. What does Paul mean when he prays that God will “count them worthy of his calling”? (v 11, see also v 5)
  5. How is Jesus glorified in you? How are you glorified in him? (v12)

Think and discuss

  • Do we pray these things for each other? (11-12)
  • People often say that there is no justice in this world.  How would you respond to such a claim?

2 Thessalonians 2

  1. What characteristics do you see in common between the man of lawlessness and the king of Daniel 7:24-27? See also Daniel 11:29-36 and Matthew 24:15-28.
  2. Paul says the Thessalonians know what is restraining the man of lawlessness (v6). Who or what do you think is restraining this “lawless one”?
  3. Do you think the man of lawlessness has already come or is yet to come?  See 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; and 2 John 7.
  4. What are some of the deceptions Satan uses today to deceive those who are perishing (v10)? Is it possible that Satan could also deceive believers with this deception?
  5. Paul says we are to stand firm to the teachings (v15) which the apostles passed on. How can we encourage one another to stand firm to the apostolic tradition?

2 Thessalonians 3

  1. What does Paul ask for prayer about, and on what basis can he do so? (vs 1-4)
  2. Where does obedience to commands come in your practice of the Christian life, or do you feel that this concept is too legalistic? (vs 6)
  3. Can you think of an example of a brother or sister who chooses to be idle in the sense Paul means? (vs 7-11)
  4. Paul speaks here about not living according to the teachings, which results in idleness. (vs 6) What does your disobedience of the bibles teachings result in? Is it idleness, or something different?
  5. What do you think it means not to associate with a person who disobeys Paul’s command and yet is still to be treated as a brother or sister and not an enemy? (vs 6, 14-15)
  6. What else other than being idle would give you cause to ‘keep away’ from other Christians?

Small group discipleship (bs)

smallgroup

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the goals of your small group? (there may be several, perhaps list in order of priority.)
  2. What can you do in a small group that might not be as achievable at our Sunday services?
  3. What are some of the pitfalls of a small group and how do you avoid them?

  4. Have there been persons who have been significant spiritual influences in your life?
  5. What did you learn?
  6. How might you be a discipler to another? What’s the next step?

We Believe In… (bs)

We Believe In

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some of the prevailing views in our society about the existence of God, or what God is like?
  2. If you had the opportunity to tell someone what you believed, what would be the key things you would want to say?
  3. Summarize the main points that Paul makes when he speaks to the Athenians in Acts 17.
  4. Compare Paul’s speech in Acts 17 to Peter’s in Acts 2. Similarities and differences?

Pray for one friend you have, that you might speak the good news of God to them soon.

 

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