VFC Bible Study Worksheet 25-Jan-2015


Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – January 25, 2015
Theme: Christian Maturity

Topic: Dependent trust.

Main Texts: Galatians 3:1-14; Philippians 2:12-18

Key Verse: Galatians 3:3 – “… are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”

Introduction

In this study, we will consider the next mark of Christian maturity: dependent trust.

To many Christians, a definition of maturity would read something like this: “A Christian is mature when he or she prays every day, reads the Bible regularly, shares the faith at every opportunity, goes to Church as often as possible, gives generously to the work of God, and tries to be nice to people.”

The problem with this idea of maturity is that it is all based on effort (“just keep trying harder!”), not trust. While every Christian indeed needs to make these efforts, the efforts must not be seen as the bottom line. Trust is the bottom line, otherwise we will be no better than the ancient Pharisees.

Dependent trust calls for us to have a rich and close relationship with Christ so that we draw from Him the resources we need to live the Christian life. Doing right in His eyes requires far more than the performance of certain activities. Unless we have a clear understanding of the fact that we cannot live the Christian life without drawing upon the resources offered by Christ, we will finish up feeling good about our accomplishments instead of feeling good about Him.

Another danger of putting performance before dependence is that we fall into the trap of thinking the practice of our faith means that God must come through for us on everything. We start to see our daily devotions as an item of credit we are depositing in the bank of God’s favour. Then when we ask Him for something we think He should give us and we don’t get what we want, we become disillusioned.

Maturity is an increasing dependence on God when life makes no sense and when things don’t go the way we plan. It is recognising that God is in control of our lives even in the midst of massive confusion and uncertainty.


Discussion Questions:

1. Read Philippians 2:12. List some specific things we do to “work out our salvation”. How do we reconcile the idea of working out our salvation with the need for dependent trust?

2. Read Job 13:13-23. Considering especially verses 15 and 23, describe the confusion in Job’s mind and how he sought to resolve it.

3. In Luke 18:12, the proud Pharisee, claiming to be praying, said “I fast twice a week”. Pause to list (either on paper or in your mind) the things you “do for God” and ask yourself how often those things come up in your conscious when you ask God for something in prayer.


Prayer:

Father, I see that as I entered the Christian life through the door of trust, so I must continue in it. Save me from the error into which the Galatians fell of trusting in their spiritual efforts more than they trusted You. In Jesus’ name I ask it, Amen.

{Partly culled from January/February 1993 edition of Every Day With Jesus by Selwyn Hughes, used by permission of CWR}