Bible Study worksheet – September 27, 2015



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Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – September 27, 2015
Theme: Responses to the Word

Topic: Review and Summary

Key Verse: James 1:23-24 – Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (NIV)

Introduction

Last Sunday, in discussing Paul’s encounters with Governor Festus and King Agrippa, we noted the following:

  1. Obedience to God may well prolong our suffering as we may sometimes have to navigate a tortuous legal process, but we must continue to assure ourselves that God is in charge
  2. There will always be people to whom the Gospel makes no logical sense, and there will be those who see sense in it, are at the threshold of receiving it, but resist it nevertheless
  3. Our objective in sharing the Gospel is to lead people to understand God’s plan of salvation. Only God’s grace leads those who so understand to salvation.

This Sunday we will have a Review and Summary of the studies for the quarter. As usual, the worksheet is different in that it is a compilation of the key learnings from all the studies – a useful reference for those who missed some of them. The format of the session will be as follows:

  1. There will be only one combined class at the centre front of the church.
  2. In turns, each of the three study leaders will read one study summary and one person in his or her group will share what difference the study has made to his or her life or perspective of the Holy Spirit. (Time will not permit us to read the Scripture references.)
  3. I will coordinate and moderate the session
  4. We will all pray the concluding prayer together.

Review & Summary

Consider what you hear {Text: mark 4:1-29}

1. We only get the benefit of what we hear when we act on it

2. Responding to the Gospel message to get saved requires God’s grace

3. When we act on what God tells us, we open the door for Him to tell us more

4. When we repeatedly fail to act on what He tells us, our hearts could become calloused – no longer sensitive to His word, and we could wonder why He no longer speaks to us

5. A calloused heart could result from blindly holding on to denominational doctrines which may be unbiblical

6. A church can become calloused by holding on to norms and policies that are unbiblical

Nicodemus {Texts: John 3:1-15; 19:38-42}

1. Although Jesus was teaching and preaching in public places, the Holy Spirit targeted Nicodemus, leading him to respond to what he heard by seeking better understanding

2. The Holy Spirit is able to circumvent our intellect and enable us to have saving faith in Christ. Indeed, this has to happen especially with intellectuals

3. Nicodemus risked his reputation and standing in the society by seeking Jesus Christ, and eventually becoming His disciple

4. Despite his commitment to Jesus Christ, he chose not to leave the Jewish Council but rather remained as a voice for the Gospel. He remained a disciple and later publicly identified with Jesus by being directly involved in Jesus’ burial

5. Responding positively to God’s word could cost us our reputation, assets, and even our lives, but it is always the right thing to do.

Admirers and Agreers {Texts: Mark 12:18-34; Luke 11:14-28}

1. Mental agreement, and even commendation of the words of Jesus Christ do not amount to salvation.

2. Commendation by public dignitaries of Jesus Christ especially during Christian festive periods have little value to the salvation of the people

3. Taking the definite step of making a personal commitment to Christ and the Scriptures is the only way to benefit from His word

Jairus {Text: Mark 5:21-43}

1. Those who are strongly antagonistic to the Gospel but who then come to know Christ tend to exercise greater faith in their Christian lives. This should encourage us to not give up in sharing the Gospel with strong antagonists

2. It is a bondage when we see that God’s word challenges our long-held beliefs (perhaps from our denominational background) but we refuse to give up our erroneous traditional beliefs. Jairus allowed his personal conviction regarding Jesus to override the official Jewish leadership position.

3. We need to remind ourselves that God’s workings are not constrained by our view of a “critical time frame” – that He is never too late in what He does.

The Centurion’s Servant {Texts: Luke 7:1-10, Matthew 8:5-13}

1. When we request prayer support from a respected Christian concerning an issue, we should not do so as if he or she has better access to God. The intent should be: (a) Possible counsel concerning the issue, to help us pray more effectively, and (b) In obedience to the Scripture admonition for us to pray for one another Victoria Fellowship Church Responses to the Word Review and Summary

 2. We must guard against ascribing answers to our prayers to some “man of God” as that would amount to sharing God’s glory with man. Indeed, such a mindset could hinder answers to our prayers

3. Our ability to assert the Centurion’s kind of faith (“Just speak the word, and my servant will be healed”) can only come from a close walk with God, meditation on His word, speaking those words to ourselves, and making them our own.

Levels of Faith {Texts: Mark 5:22-43, Matthew 8:5-13}

1. The three characters Jairus, the bleeding woman, and the centurion with a sick servant, all exercised different levels of faith but the Lord honoured them all

2. We should respect individuals’ exercise of faith even if it makes us feel awkward

3. As we exercise faith in taking God at His word, there will always be challenges which could be from the reality on the ground or people around us who may either tell us our case is beyond prayer, or that we are responsible for our predicament as so should not seek relief

4. We must hold on to God’s word and not be deterred by the challenges

5. Objects like handkerchiefs, anointing oil, holy water, etc. may help the faith of some people as “contact objects” but we must never see these objects as having any power as all healing comes from our trust in God through Jesus Christ.

The Pentecost Crowd {Text: Acts 2:1-41}

1. Some of us may feel awkward at manifestations of the Holy Spirit in our congregation, but we should accept that the Holy Spirit manifests as He pleases

2. The Church leadership has a responsibility to moderate manifestations to avoid disorderliness and ensure the Church truly benefits from ministrations of the Holy Spirit

3. The Church leadership also needs to always explain the Scriptural context of manifestations of the Holy Spirit, for the benefit of the congregation. (This would be similar to the way the Holy Communion is always explained in Scriptural context.)

4. We need to have a clear understanding of what the core Gospel message is: It is about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ whom God gave to die for our sins. While we find solutions to life’s challenges such as health and material needs in Christ, this should not be seen as “The Gospel”.

Apostle Paul {Texts: Galatians 2:11-24; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33}

1. There are God’s revelations to us as individuals which He expects us to act upon and not discuss with even those we respect.

2. The fact that we are acting in obedience to God’s revelation does not mean that the road will be smooth all through. Despite Paul’s obedience, he had a hard time throughout his ministry

3. God’s revelations to us of impending suffering may not always be with a view for us to pray that God should disallow the suffering. It may be to prepare us to go through it.

Thessalonians and Bereans {Text: Acts 17:1-15}

1. Just as Paul adopted a multi-pronged approach to sharing the Gospel with the diverse populations, we need to also adopt appropriate strategies as we share the Gospel with Muslims, nominal Christians and other unbelievers. The same approach may not work for every group.

2. It is important that our core faith and beliefs are based on God’s word and not what some respected Christian leaders tell us, or even our denomination’s specific teachings. When a brother or sister points out a Scripture truth us, we should not thenceforth ascribe the truth to the brother or the sister; it is God’s word.

3. Denomination-specific teachings which are well intentioned are good, but we should not present them as being Scripture teachings or at the same level with the Scriptures. If we avoid this pitfall, we would see far fewer reasons for acrimony between denominations

The Ephesians {Text: Acts 19:1-41}

1. Many are hindered from receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit by fear of unusual things they might experience, such as speaking in tongues – They want the Holy Spirit but do not want to give Him the freedom to act in their lives

2. Fear is an appropriate response to God’s word

3. The fear we experience from reading or hearing God’s word should make us align our lives to His purposes Victoria Fellowship Church Responses to the Word Review and Summary

4. It is dangerous to suppress the fear brought about by God’s word with a view to “feeling good”. If we continue to resist His word, we could over time develop a calloused spirit that is no longer sensitive to Him

Governor Felix {Text: Acts 24:1-27}

1. God could reveal impending suffering to His children, not so they would pray against it, but that they should be prepared to face it; He does not always prevent suffering even when we pray against it

2. It is particularly challenging to minister the Gospel to those who are already acquainted with it but have not yielded their lives to Christ because they fear the consequence on their earthly status

3. We will sometimes face unjust suffering and be pressured to compromise our faith and integrity to secure our freedom. We need wisdom and the fortitude of The Holy Spirit to remain aligned to God in such situations.

Festus and Agrippa {Text: Acts 26:1-32}

1. Obedience to God may well prolong our suffering as we may sometimes have to navigate a tortuous legal process, but we must continue to assure ourselves that God is in charge

2. There will always be people to whom the Gospel makes no logical sense, and there will be those who see sense in it, are at the threshold of receiving it, but resist it nevertheless

3. Our objective in sharing the Gospel is to lead people to understand God’s plan of salvation. Only God’s grace leads those who so understand to salvation.


Prayer Heavenly Father, impress upon my heart the need to act on revelations from your word, however such revelations may come, in Jesus’ name, Amen.