Bible Study Worksheet – March 26, 2017



--Download Bible Study Worksheet – March 26, 2017 as PDF --


Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – March 26, 2017
Theme: Building Blocks for Godly Living

Topic: Review and Summary

Key Verse:  Matthew 7:21 –“ Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven..” (NIV)

INTRODUCTION

Last Sunday, we explored our last topic – “Total Obedience” in the quarter’s theme – “Building Blocks for Godly Living”. Our key lessons from that study were:

  1. The only obedience Jesus demands from an unbeliever is obedience to the gospel – submission to His Lordship, which would then set the stage for other obedience. Preaching other obedience to an unbeliever could mislead the unbeliever into thinking that salvation is by works, or could discourage them as they deem the demands impossible.
  2. God has provided for the believer all that is needed for godly living – see 2 Peter 1:3. Without this, it would be impossible for the Christian to obey Him as the obedience God demands is impossible with human strength. This is why teaching obedience to an unbeliever could become an obstacle to accepting Christ.
  3. We must be careful to avoid partial obedience in the manner of King Saul as regards the Amalekites – it amounts to disobedience. Examples: (1) Forgiving someone their offence but still brooding over the offence, (2) Contributing part of money needed to meet someone’s need when God wants us to wholly meet the need.

Blessed Attitudes {Text: Matthew 5:1-8}

  • Jesus spoke the beatitudes to His disciples – those who already knew Him. The word “beatitude” means “happiness”. These sayings should therefore be seen as the key guideposts to a Christian’s happiness. It is possible to be born again but still not be happy.
  • The first of the statements – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God” is the anchor piece for the rest. To be poor in spirit is to have an attitude that says “I cannot make it by myself – I don’t have what it takes”. This is what makes us submit to Christ, yielding to the Holy Spirit in all things – humility, mercifulness, coping with life’s tragedies, longing for righteousness, etc.
  • God cares most about our heart because all we do or say originate from there. A sanctified heart is one whose pure motives guide everything. We need to constantly examine our hearts for the motives behind what we do as it is possible to do the right things for the wrong motives. We also must be careful about judging others whose motives we may not know.

Joyful Perseverance {Texts: Matthew 5:9-12; 1 Peter 3:8-18}

  • The possibility and even likelihood of suffering as a result of faith in Christ should always be made clear in our preaching of the gospel. It is dishonest to present the Christian faith as a passport to a problem- free life.
  • The suffering we experience as a result of our own faults – including lack of progress at work due to poor performance, sanctions due to breaches of the law, and deprivation due to lack of financial prudence – should not be seen as persecution, and do not count as Christian suffering. The only suffering that counts as persecution for righteousness is one that results from our giving the devil a hard time.
  • When suffering for our faith, we should encourage ourselves in the Lord by (a) meditating on the experience of Christians who have suffered similarly, (b) remembering that Christ also suffered unjustly, and (c) noting that we are not alone in such suffering – there are others going through the same or possibly worse suffering. We should then draw from the strength God provides.
  • Christians who are not suffering persecution should (a) constantly remember and pray for those who suffer persecution and violence as a result of their devotion to Christ, and (b) speak or write words of encouragement to them.

Effective Witnessing {Texts: Matthew 5:13-20; Luke 8:4-15}

  • The effectiveness of the Christian’s witness is seen in the extent to which he (a) draws unbelievers to commit their lives to Christ and (b) makes the world uncomfortable in evil
  • In an environment where most people seem to already know the gospel message but have not believed, the upright life of the Christian, endorsed by God’s miraculous interventions in his affairs, is the most powerful witness.
  • Christians need to give attention, by follow-up and mentoring, to making disciples of those who newly come to faith in Christ as new converts are certain to face significant pressures from previous relationships and environments, and may also be discouraged by other Christians’ apparent shortcomings.

Purified Thoughts {Texts: Matthew 5:21-30; Proverbs 4:20-27}

  • The most heinous sins and crimes start with a small unwholesome thought which the bearer nurtures until it is ready for expression. While we cannot stop a fleeting thought, we can guard our hearts to stifle such thoughts.
  • A sin is committed whenever there is a readiness to commit it, even if the opportunity to do so does not present itself. Consequently, it is possible to commit murder without physically killing someone, and to commit adultery without physically having sexual intercourse with someone. In this way, one may be declared innocent before a court of law but guilty before God.
  • God always provides a way of escape when we are tempted. Guarding our hearts includes seeing and making use of the ways of escape that He provides. God-Centred Integrity {Texts: Matthew 5:31-37; Psalm 15:1-5}
  • Our integrity is about how honest and trustworthy we are in relation to what God expects us to be. It is not measured by our education, intellect, career success, or victory in law courts.
  • Jesus’ statement that the Christian’s righteousness must “exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees” means that our integrity before God is not measured by how well we comply with the laws and regulations.
  • We should be so known for our integrity that those who know us never doubt that are speaking the truth as best as we know it. When that happens, our “yes” will always be taken as “yes” and our “no”, “no”.

True Love {Text: Matthew 5:38-48}

  • The principle of “turning the other cheek” is about giving those that hurt us a second chance. If we have turned hostile to someone because they hurt us, we need to rethink. God gave us several chances before we submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ. He expects us to do same to others.
  • Many have come to know Christ in response to the love of those who should ordinarily not love them – those they have hurt. However, God does not promise that our loving acts will always be met with a positive response. Ours is to do what God commands, regardless of the response of others
  • The command to forgive relates to personal relationship and does not apply to the law enforcement and legal institutions which God has instituted for the protection of victims of wrongdoers who are determined to frustrate avenues for peaceful resolutions.
  • God is not impressed by a grudging forgiveness – a so-called forgiveness that is granted to avoid a sense of guilt. God wants our forgiveness of others to be a product of our love for them, a nd to be reflected in our subsequent relationship with them.

Godly Motives {Text: Matthew 6:1-18}

  • We are often in situations that put pressure on us to be loud and ostentatious in doing good, such as appeals for public pledges of donations towards laudable causes. The Christian needs to ask himself or herself if our positive response to appeals really need to be announced.
  • We need to be conscious of the temptation inherent in the unintended applause and recognition we receive for our charitable acts. Those moments bring a secret glee that could be dangerous to our spiritual health if not handed over to God’s Spirit. We must learn to deflect attention from ourselves and give glory to God for the good things He does through us.
  • We must be careful to avoid being active in Church activities such as night vigils and declared fasts just because we want to be seen as pious or spiritual.

Implicit Trust {Text: Matthew 6:19-34}

  • It is tempting when we prosper materially to trivialise God’s role in our lives and start to see our status as due largely to our efforts. We must remind ourselves of God’s word in Deuteronomy 8:18 that He gives us the ability to acquire wealth.
  • There is nothing wrong in a Christian being materially wealthy – God gives us the ability to become wealthy. However, we must be careful not be driven by lack of trust in God into pursuit of wealth way beyond what we need. Acquisitions beyond the basic needs of life are a luxury which we should put at God’s disposal for His service.
  • Lack of trust in God for our needs drives many into ungodly acts. Each time we get trapped in unethical acquisitions to meet pressing needs, we express a lack of trust in God to meet those needs.
  • Trust in God does not replace planning for the future. Rather, we should seek God’s direction and be faithful to His interests in our planning, and then commit the plans to Him. If and when the plans come under pressure from unforeseen circumstances, we would have confidence to go back to Him for direction.

Tender Mercies {Texts: Matthew 7:1-6; Luke 6:27-38}

  • To be merciful is to do something good to one in difficulty but who, by past conduct, does not deserve the favour. The natural human instinct it to see such situations as an opportunity to “get even”. However, this is exactly where God expects the Christian to show the quality of mercy.
  • We must show mercy without necessarily expecting an appreciation or even a positive response. God does not promise that the beneficiary of our act of mercy will appreciate it; indeed, he or she may continue to plan evil against us. The Christian’s responsibility is to obey God by continuing to show mercy.
  • Some acts of mercy can come with real risks to us. Consequently, we need to walk closely with God and seek His leading as we purpose in our hearts to show mercy. It is possible for God to, on specific occasions and for His purposes, ask us to withhold mercy to an individual. They key is to walk in the spirit.

Persistent Prayer {Texts: Matthew 7:7-12; Luke 18:1-8}

  • God desires that our relationship with Him be based on fellowship with Him – being in tune with Him – rather than on our getting instant answers to everything we ask the way we want them. The times He seems to be delaying in answering us should be a time of closer walk with Him.
  • Remember that great men of faith in the Bible experienced what seemed to be delays in their prayer. As they stayed in fellowship with God, they got to know His mind on the issues. In the case of Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”, it was a clear “No”, and the only thing he got was abundant grace!
  • The Christian must resist the temptation to seek ungodly alternative (“Plan B”) solutions when it seems to him that God is delaying in answering his prayer, or when God is offering him a better but seemingly unappealing response. Such moves always lead to regrets in the longer term. However, God can lead us to avenues where He has prepared a solution for us which we might not have thought of. One rule is that a “Plan B” typically undermines God’s principle.

Total Obedience {Texts: Matthew 7:24-29; Luke 14:25-33}

  • The only obedience Jesus demands from an unbeliever is obedience to the gospel – submission to His Lordship, which would then set the tone for other obedience. Preaching other obedience to an unbeliever could mislead the unbeliever into thinking that salvation is by works. It could also discourage the unbeliever from repenting as the demands would seem impossible.
  • God has provided for the believer all that is needed for godly living – see 2 Peter 1:3. Without this, it would be impossible for the Christian to obey Him as the obedience God demands is impossible with human strength. This is why teaching obedience to an unbeliever could become an obstacle to accepting Christ.
  • We must be careful to avoid partial obedience in the manner of King Saul as regards the Amalekites – it amounts to disobedience. Examples: (1) Forgiving someone their offence but still brooding over the offence, (2) Contributing part of money needed to meet someone’s need when God wants us to wholly meet the need.

Prayer

Our Father and our God, You have given us all the blocks we need to build godly lives. Teach us to use these blocks all the time, so we can live to please You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.