The Word of God

This study establishes the Bible as the inspired Word of God and that it must be the standard for our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

  • All Scripture is inspired by God.  

    • (For additional study on this point, see: Psalm 22:16-18, John 19:23-24, and 2 Peter 1:20-21.)

  • What is the Bible useful for?    

 

Hebrews 4:12-13

  • How is the Bible living & active?  It is relevant to us today.

  • The Word cuts (hurts) - compare it to a scalpel. It judges our thoughts & attitudes.

  • It is good to be “cut” by the Word because it cuts the "cancer" (sin) out.

 

John 8:31-32

  • Everyone must hold to Jesus’ teachings (put them into practice) to be a true disciple of Jesus.

  • Only then can the truth of God’s Word set us free.

  • Intellectual belief is not enough - nor can we go only by our feelings.

 

Mark 7:1-8

  • We must be careful to distinguish between God’s commands and the religious traditions of men.

    • God’s commands are from God’s Word

    • Religious traditions can be simply rules taught by men

  • Our loyalty needs to be to the Word of God, not to the traditions of men.

  • (Vs. 7) Worship in vain means it is unacceptable to God.

    • (Vs. 6-8) Why do you think Jesus calls following the rules of men instead of God’s commands “hypocrisy”? (We say we’re following God, but we’re really following men.)

 

1 Timothy 4:16

  • Watch your life and doctrine closely.

    • Life = how you live

    • Doctrine = what you believe

  • Which is more important – life or doctrine? (Both. Like the two wings of an airplane. Verse 16 says they are equally important to our salvation.)

 

Acts 17:10-12

  • What was noble about the Bereans?

    • They were eager and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    • Noble character is to read the Bible daily so you can know what is true and what is not.  

    • Regular and deep Bible study is the only way you can keep from being misled spiritually.

 

John 12:48

  • Jesus’ words (as found in the Bible) will be the standard on Judgment Day.

  • Challenge: Read the Bible daily and make the Bible your standard in life.

The Gospel Message

This study shows how God loves us and how that should motivate us.

Introductory discussion

 

  • Tell us about yourself:

    • Q: What’s your religious background?  

    • Q: Where would you like to be spiritually; and where are you now?

 

  • Spiritual growth starts with a biblical understanding of the Gospel.

 

Lesson

 

  • Gospel: means “good news”

    • Colossians 1:21-23

    • Q: What’s “the good news” from this passage? (Discuss)

    • Our sins alienate us (separate us) from God.  But the gospel message (good news) is that God loves us so much that he’d rather punish his son Jesus for our sins instead of us.

 

  • Crucifixion: This next passage is a prophecy about Jesus.

    • Isaiah 53:4-6

    • Q: What impacts you from this passage? (Discuss)

 

  • Resurrection: An important part of the gospel (good news) is that Jesus rose from the dead.

    • 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

    • The many eyewitnesses are powerful proof (especially vs. 6; Acts 1:1-3)

    • Q: Why is the resurrection important to you, personally? (all share)

 

  • Response: Q: How does God want us to respond to the Gospel message?

    • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – Compelled by love to live for God

    • 1 Peter 4:1-5 – Be done with sin; live for the will of God

    • 1 John 4:9-12 – Show God’s love to others

 

  • Practical: God wants us to seek him.

    • Matthew 7:7-8 – God’s promise to the genuine seeker

      • Q: Do you want to continue these Bible studies together?

 

  • Suggestions:

    • Plan another study

    • Pray together

Concept of Sin

This study defines sin and shows how it separates us from God.

Romans 3:23-24

  • Definition of sin – “to miss the mark”

  • Who has sinned?  Everyone.

  • Illustration:  Who is further away from God?

    • All equal, all lost sinners.

  • Verse 24:  How does God redeem (save) sinners?

    • His grace through Jesus Christ.

 

Romans 6:23

  • A wage is what we deserve for what we have done.

  • What is the penalty (payment) for sin?

    • The “wages of sin is death” (physical & spiritual death; hell)

  • A gift is something we don’t deserve; unearned.

  • What is the gift of God?

    • God graciously gives eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

1 Peter 2:9-10

  • Verse 9: How are these Christians described?

  • Verse 10:  How is their past life described?  Why do we need mercy from God?

  • Key point: All in darkness or light; no twilight zone

    • For additional study see Col 1:13-14, Eph 5:8-14, John 3:19-21, John 8:12, & 1 John 1:5-7​​

 

Isaiah 59:1-2

  • Verse 1:  God is perfectly able to save us & hear us.

  • Verse 2:  If God is able to save, what’s the problem?

    • Our sins (iniquities) separate us from God.

    • Illustration:  Sin creates a wall between us & God.

  • We must understand the bad news to grasp the good news.

 

Genesis 6:5-6

  • How does God feel about sin?  

    • God takes it personally; it deeply hurts God.

Ephesians 2:1-5

  • Not only does sin hurt God, but it also angers him.

  • Wrath:  intense anger

  • Vs. 3 = God’s wrath is directed at us because of our sin.

  • Vs. 4 = This is why we need God’ grace and mercy so much – to save us from God’s wrath and punishment.

 

Galatians 5:19-21

  • Define sins & give examples as needed.
    • For additional study see 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Mark 7:20-23; Rev. 21:8; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

 

Questions:

What have you learned about your sin today?  In view of your sin, are you in the light or darkness?  Why? In the coming studies, we’ll learn how to go from the darkness into the light.


*Suggest individual write a description of their sinful nature & specific sins they have committed in an apology letter to God.  This is to help them see what is causing a separation from God. He or she should keep this for personal use only. 

Salvation I:  Repentance

This study defines repentance and how it’s essential for the forgiveness of sin.

Ephesians 2:1-10

  • Review sin:  What does it do to our relationship with God?  

    • Verses 1-2:  We are dead spiritually; lost & separated from God.

    • Verse 3:  Objects of God’s wrath

  • What saves us from eternal death in hell?

    • Verses 4-9:  God’s mercy and grace provide a way for forgiveness.

      • This does NOT mean His grace automatically forgives everyone’s sins. (Must respond to his grace.)

 

Acts 2:36-39

  • Verse 36: Our sin results in the crucifixion of Jesus.

  • Verse 38:  What two commands must we obey to receive forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit?  (Repent & be baptized.)

 

This study will focus on repentance.  What is repentance?

  • The Greek word is “METANOIA”.

    • Mindset change; revolutionized thinking; to be transformed; looking ahead with fresh eyes & a fresh view

    • This mindset change (metanoia) will produce a changed life.  (Refer: Acts 26:20; Romans 12:1-2)

 

How do we repent of sins?

2 Corinthians 7:8-11

  • What is the difference between Godly sorrow or worldly sorrow?

    • Godly sorrow LEADS TO REPENTANCE THAT LEADS TO SALVATION.

  • How do we know there is Godly sorrow?  True repentance and a mindset change?

    • earnestness:  sincerity, honesty, no faking it

    • eagerness to clear yourselves:  apologies, righting past wrongs

    • indignation:  righteous anger at your own sin

    • alarm:  warning of impending danger without change –  i.e. fire alarm

    • longing:  desire to be close to God, to be reconciled

    • concern:  concern about your sin & other’s sin

    • readiness to see justice done:  ready to repent – no matter the cost

  • Which of these elements do you still lack?

 

Acts 26:20 & Acts 3:19

  • The same message was preached to many people.  What was it? Repent and prove your repentance by actions.  

  • Acts 3:19 – Why is repentance important?  It helps wipe away our sins on God’s terms.

  • Repentance is refreshing.

 

James 5:16 ​​​

  • Initiate confession of specific sins (model this by sharing from your own life)

  • Question:  What sins do you need to repent of?  

  • If needed to help facilitate discussion:

    • Focus on character sins & anything specific to help clear conscience.

    • Lists of sins in Scripture include:  Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Tim 3:1-5; Mark 7:20-22

    • More scriptures on openness if needed: John 3:19-21; Acts 19:17-20; Proverbs 28:13

 

1 John 1:5-10

  • How do we walk in the light with God?  

  • We must always remain open regarding our sin, since repentance of sin is a lifetime commitment.

 

Additional Study:  Luke 7:36-50 – The Sinful Woman is a model of true repentance.  

 

Questions:

  • How is your definition of repentance different than what it was at the beginning of this study?

  • What comes first for true repentance:  a changed mindset or changed actions? (actions are the fruits of a mind change)

  • Do you feel Godly sorrow about your sin?  Who do you owe an apology to or what deeds need to be corrected?

  • Are you committed to repenting of your sin the rest of your life?

The Cross

This study demonstrates how much God loves us and that the cross must elicit a personal response.

Colossians 1:13-14, 21-23

  • Jesus’ died on the cross to forgive us of our sins, rescue us from the pain and penalty of darkness, and bring us into the wonderful light of his Kingdom.

  • This should be our greatest motivation to get right with God and become true disciples of Jesus.

Matthew 26:36-46

  • Jesus is sorrowful & troubled.  Why?

    • Jesus is human and getting ready to die is very hard for him.

    • Refer: Luke 22:44 – Jesus is stressed enough to sweat blood.

  • Why did Jesus go back three times to pray?

    • He prayed until he submitted to God’s will.

    • Are you willing to do the same thing to get your heart where it needs to be?

Matthew 26:47-56

  • Jesus submits to his arrest and goes willingly.  Why did Jesus do this?

    • Jesus could have stopped it all, but he wanted to die for our sins (refer: Hebrews 12:2).

    • Vs. 53 = He could have called on 72,000 angels to end it.  (1 legion = 6,000)

Matthew 26:57-68

  • Everyone lies about Jesus.  

    • How many lies would you sit through before you retaliated?  

    • Why did Jesus remain silent?  (He knew he needed to die for your sins.)

  • Verse 67:  The physical violence and abuse begins.  

    • How would it feel to have people spit in your face?

Matthew 26:69-75 & 27:1-5

    • How did Peter respond to his sin against Jesus? (He wept bitterly, He repented; (the book of Acts shows this))

  • How did Judas respond to his sin against Jesus?

    • Instead of repenting, he ran away & quit, committing suicide.

    • Why do you think Judas did this?

Matthew 27:11-26 & 27:27-31

  • Before the governor, usually the time to beg for mercy.  

    • Jesus did not defend himself.  Why did he remain silent? (He knew he must die for your sins.)

    • How did Pilate respond to Jesus?  (He washed his hands and took no responsibility for it.)

    • Pilate cared more about what people thought than doing the right thing.

  • But Pilate was responsible; and so is every sinner.  

  • Verse 26:  What is a flogging?  Severe & deadly whipping (lead balls on the whip)

    • Verses 27-31: All the abuse:  Why did Jesus not stop it all now? (His love for you and me.)

Matthew 27:32-50

  • Why not come down from the cross and prove everyone wrong? (His love for you and me.)

  • Verse 45:  God brings total darkness to the land.

  • Verse 46:  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    • Jesus takes on your sin & feels separation from his Father. (Refer: 2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

Questions:

What is God’s response to your sin? Why? (His love.)

What is your response to all of this?  

How does it make you feel?  

Does it motivate you to want to give your life to Jesus and love him in return? (Refer: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

 

Additional Study: Isaiah 53:1-12, John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8,1 John 4:9-12

 

Resources:

The Crucifixion of Jesus (Simple Medical Account, Longer Medical Account), The Passion movie, The Cross (DPI) 

Salvation II:  Baptism

This study defines baptism and how it’s essential for forgiveness.

John 3:1-7

  • What must we do to see and enter the kingdom of God?  (in kingdom of God = saved)

    • Verse 3:  Be born again

      • New creation; new life

    • Verse 5:  Be born of water and spirit – baptism

  • Babies are born at an exact time (birthday) – spiritual births are the same

 

Acts 2:22-24; 36-41

  • Verses 22-24:  Our sin nailed Jesus to the cross & God raised him from the dead!

  • Verse 38:  What two commands must we obey to receive forgiveness of sins?  

    • Repent & be baptized (baptism = immersion)

  • What else do we receive at baptism?

    • The Holy Spirit (God living in us.)

  • Verse 39:  Who does this Scripture apply to? (Every generation.)

  • Verse 41:  3,000 people added to their number that day.  How? (repentance & baptism)

 

1 Peter 3:18-22

  • In Noah’s time, God cleansed the world of sin and corruption through sending a flood and starting over with Noah and his family.

  • That floodwater was a foreshadowing of the waters of baptism, that now save us as well (re-read vs. 20-21)

  • Just as the floodwater of Noah’s day cleansed the world of sin and corruption, so the waters of baptism cleanse our souls of sin and corruption as well.

  • Through baptism, we get to start over, just like Noah and his family did.

  • This fresh start (salvation) is only possible because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (vs. 21-22).

  • But baptism is the clear means that God uses to save us (vs. 21).  Baptism is essential to our salvation.

 

Romans 6:3-7

  • Paul reminds the Christians of the true meaning of their baptism.

  • See illustrations below

  • Why is baptism so important to God’s plan of salvation?

    • Baptism is participating in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus!

    • This is how we are born again – raised to a new life.

 

Galatians 3:26-27

  • How do we become sons of God?

    • Faith in Jesus​

  • What happens when we are baptized into Christ?​

    • Clothed with Christ (covered with his righteousness; sinless in God's sight)​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Study:

Col 2:10-12; Acts 22:1-16; 8:26-39; 16:22-34; Titus 3:3-8;

Matt 28:18-20

 

Questions:

  • Is baptism necessary to be saved?   
    • Receive forgiveness & Holy Spirit

    • Only way to participate in the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus

    • Command of God we are called to obey with faith

  • Do you want to get baptized? (Set a date.)

Discipleship

This study teaches the expectations Jesus has for anyone who wants to follow him.

What is a disciple? A learner or apprentice who follows a teacher, master or lord

  • Example: Aristotle was a disciple of Plato; Christians are disciples of Jesus

 

Acts 11:25-26

  • Which is the more popular term today:  disciple or Christian?

    • The word “Christian” appears three times in the Bible; “disciple” more than 270 times  

    • The two terms are interchangeable; identify same person

 

Jesus defines the term disciple throughout his ministry.

Matthew 28:18-20

  • One of the last commands of Jesus

  • What does Jesus want everyone to become?  What does Jesus command everyone to make?

    • Go is an action word; go make disciples [Disciples>>>Disciples>>>Disciples, etc.]

 

Mark 1:14-18

  • What does Jesus call these men to do?

    • Follow Him and be His disciples.   

    • To be “fishers of men”

      • A new mission in life

      • Allow Jesus and others to teach us how to be fishers of men

      • Fishing takes persistence, patience, and passion.    

  • What was the response of these men?

    • Immediate followers; Discipleship is a radical new life; left behind careers and family

 

Luke 9:23-26

  • Who does this Scripture apply to?  “If anyone would come after me…” It’s the same commitment for all.

  • What does it mean to “deny self”?  

    • Jesus denied himself for the benefits of others

    • Decisions not based on your sinful desires and emotions

    • In order to follow Jesus I must deny myself of ____.  What will you have to deny yourself of?

  • Carry the cross daily:  denying yourself and crucifying your sinful nature DAILY

  • Verse 24:  What two choices do we have in life?  

    • Gain world ... forfeit soul – OR – lose your worldly life for Jesus ... save your soul.

 

Luke 14:25-33

  • Verse 26:  We must love Jesus much more than anyone, including ourselves.  

    • Hate is a strong word - Jesus uses hyperbole (literary exaggeration) to illustrate a crucial discipleship principle.

    • Why do you think Jesus picked these people? (family members)

      • They have the most pull on our hearts.  

      • He does not want them to damage our relationship with Him.

  • Verses 28-30:  Count the cost; do not make an emotional decision

  • Verses 31-33:  We are fighting a war against Jesus we will NOT win.  Wise to surrender to Him.

  • Verse 33:  We must be willing to give up everything

  • Key Point:  JESUS MUST BE THE LORD (MASTER, KING) OF OUR LIVES!

 

John 13:34-35

  • Being a disciple of Jesus means loving others like Jesus did.  How did Jesus show his love for us?

  • What affect will “loving like Jesus” have on others?

 

1 John 2:3-6

  • In order to be a Christian (disciple), what must we do?  Christianity is not simply a label or religion, it’s a lifestyle.

  • Is Jesus the Lord (the master and king) of every area of your life?  What area is not yet under his Lordship?

  • If you want to be a Christian, you must become a true disciple of Jesus Christ (what it means to make Jesus Lord ).

Giving to the Poor

This study is designed to help us understand God’s heart for the poor and our responsibility as Christians.

What does the Bible say about actions regarding the poor?

 

Proverbs 14:31

  • How are our actions toward the poor and needy seen by God?

    • Oppressing the poor shows disrespect toward God.

    • Showing kindness to the needy honors God.

  • Why does God take our treatment of the poor personally?

 

Proverbs 19:17

  • Why do you think God rewards us for being kind and generous to the poor?

 

Proverbs 21:13

  • God will not hear our cries if we do not respond to the cries of the poor.

  • We are to respond to the poor and needy as we wish God to respond to us.

 

How does God expect us to act towards the poor?

 

Proverbs 29:7

  • What are the rights of the poor?

    • To be treated with dignity, love, care and respect.

    • To not be oppressed, but to be helped.

  • When God’s Word speaks of justice for the poor, it refers to our responsibility to do what we can to give them a hand up, as we are able.

 

Matthew 25:31-46

  • Here, Jesus paints a picture of the final judgment.

  • Jesus makes it abundantly clear that he takes our action or inaction toward the poor and needy personally.

  • What are the characteristics of the “sheep” in this passage?

    • Concern for the poor that leads them to feed, house, visit, clothe and look after the poor and needy.

    • This is more than simply good intentions, but sacrificial actions.

  • What are the characteristics of the “goats” in this passage?

    • Disregard for the poor that leads them to ignore their needs.

    • This disregard for the poor is seen in a selfish lifestyle that neither feeds, visits, clothes, or looks after the poor and needy.

  • What are you most convicted about from this passage?

 

Questions:

  • How can we live a life of care and concern for the poor and needy that is both sacrificial and financially responsible?

  • How is this lifestyle going to require greater faith and trust in God on your part?

  • Are you willing to make a lifelong commitment to helping the poor and needy, as you are able, and according to your personal faith (2 Corinthians 9:7)?

The Church

This study defines the church and our role(s) within the church.

What do you think of when you think of church?

Colossians 1:15-18

  • The church = the body of Christ

  • Christ is the head and we are the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ephesians 2:19-22

  • The church is God’s household.

  • God’s family – Christians are brothers and sisters.

  • What is the foundation of the church?

    • Writings of the Apostles and Prophets (Bible)

    • Jesus is the cornerstone.

      • Cornerstone:  the indispensable, unifying part of a building

    • Apostles and prophets – the authority (based on the Bible)

 

How do I join the church?

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

  • Anyone baptized into Christ is baptized into the body of Christ, the church.

  • God’s expectation?  

    • Every part of the body must contribute.

    • Be a giver, not a taker.

  • 1 Peter 4:10 = Important to use your gifts for God.

What does membership in the Anchor Point Church mean?

Hebrews 10:24-25

  • Each member is expected to be an active part of the local congregation.

    • Our driving force:  to grow in our knowledge of God and to make him known to others.

    • Verse 24:  Active discipling relationship(s)

    • Verse 25:  Commitment to church meetings

      • Sunday & midweek services

      • Small group meetings

    • Hebrews 13:17 – What does it mean (and not mean) to obey and submit to the leadership of our local congregation?

Mark 12:41-44

  • What lessons do we learn here about giving?

    • God’s expectation is that we give of our finances sacrificially.

    • 10% of gross salary is a good starting point (Old Testament principle)

    • The Tampa Bay Church collects offerings on a weekly basis. (Offerings periodically for the poor as well through H.O.P.E. Worldwide.)

 

Questions:

  • How will it change your lifestyle to be committed to this kind of church?  

  • Do you see anything getting in the way of your commitment to God’s church?

  • Are you ready to make this commitment?

Counting the Cost

This study helps us to make sure we’re ready to make Jesus the Lord of our lives.

Luke 14:28-30

  • What does Jesus tell us to do before becoming a Christian? (Count the cost)

    • You must take this decision very seriously.

    • Do not start what you are not committed to finish.

  • What happens if you do not finish?  Who gets hurt?

 

2 Peter 2:21-22

  • What is the warning here?

  • What is the hardest thing(s) for you to give up or change?

  • Satan wants to win you back (1 Peter 5:8).  How do you think he’ll try to do that in your life?

 

Mark 10:17-31

  • Is there anything else you still need to give up in order to follow Jesus? (It’s worth it! Vs. 28-31)

 

Review

What is a disciple of Jesus?

  • Loves God & loves others like Jesus (Matthew 22:34-40)

  • Mission-minded (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 1:14-20; Luke 19:10)

  • Daily self-denial of sin (Luke 9:23-26)

  • Jesus is the Lord of everything – relationships, money, time, etc. (Luke 14:25-33)

  • Imitates Jesus & is committed to a lifestyle of repentance (1 John 1-2)

What happens when you repent and get baptized?

  • Forgiveness of sins – you are saved!

  • Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit – you are empowered to change! (Personal relationship w/ God is established)

 

What do you become a part of when you are baptized?

  • 1 Co 12:12-13 – The body of Christ (the church)

  • Are you excited about using your gifts for the body? (1 Peter 4:10)

  • Are you ready to give financially (2 Corinthians 8:7)?

  • Where should your closest relationships be?  The body.

    • John 13:34-35 – Friendships that impact the world.

    • Hebrews 3:12-14 – Friendships that keep you faithful to the end.

    • 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 – Do not be yoked with non-Christians.

Are you willing to always submit to the Scriptures?

John 12:48

  • God’s Word is the ultimate authority & measure of judgment.

  • This covers any issue that may come up in your life.

 

Why do you want to become a disciple of Jesus?

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

  • There are many legitimate motivations, but God’s love demonstrated on the cross is the greatest motivation and will help you stay faithful for a lifetime.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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