Resources

Contained on this page you will find links to our Bible study resources, past and present. We are always looking for good resources to study in our group, so please let us know if you have any recommendations for our studies.

1 John:

Overview

Resources: 1 John, Bible Project Video

This is a letter written to the 1st century church. John, the author was one of the original 12 disciples. As he writes this letter in the late first centry, he’s actually now probably the only disciple left. It seems that John had a few main reasons to write this letter. First, to fight off false teachers of the time. Second to deal with sin and talk about the necessity of love for other Christians. Third, to strengthen the church. Last, to remind Christians that we have a lot to be joyful about.

Scripture: 1 John 1:1-10

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Why do you think John is saying all of that in verses 1-3 about seeing, touching, and hearing Jesus. (There was a false teaching going around in the 1st century that Jesus wasn’t really a man. Just a spirit that looked like a man. And John wanted to correct this thought).
  3. What are the implications of not believing Jesus really lived on the Earth? Do we ever forget that he did?
  4. What do you think it means that “God is light”?
  5. John says that we have 2 options when we sin. What are they? (We can confess our sins, or lie and say we haven’t sinned.)
  6. What happens if we try to hide our sins from God?
  7. Are there any sins that you are hiding from God that you want to confess?
  8. What happens if we confess our sins to God? (If we believe that Jesus died and rose and confess our sins to God, we are forgiven).

Scripture: 1 John 2:1-6

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Why do you think John addresses his audience as “my little children?”
  3. Read Hebrews 9:11-14. What does it mean that Jesus is our advocate? Why do we need an advocate/priest and why is Jesus the only one who can be our advocate?
  4. What does it mean that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and the whole world?
  5. John says we can know if we are “in Him” if we keep his commandments but we also know that we will never do this perfectly before Christ returns. How do you reconcile this tension. How can we know we have salvation when we still sin?
  6. Practically, what does it mean to “walk in the same way in which he walked?”
  7. As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, meaning God wants us to have this text to study and read together. What do you think the purpose of this text is? How does it affect you?

Scripture: 1 John 2:7-17

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Read Deuteronomy 6:5 & Leviticus 19:18. Then read John 13:34. In what ways is this commandment of love both new and old?
  3. Read Matthew 22:34-40. How can all of the Law and the Prophets depend on these 2 commands?
  4. What do you think the different title mean in the poem? (verses 12-14)
  5. What do you think of all the reasons John gives in the poem for writing this letter? 
  6. Moving to verses 15-17, why do you think it’s dangerous to love the world and the things of the world?
  7. Do you think it’s possible to love God and the world at the same time?
  8. Why do you think we have this text? What sins does this passage address?

Scripture: 1 John 2:18-27

Discussion Questions

  1. Any questions, thoughts, application to your life?
  2. What characteristics of false teachers and their teaching is John exposing in these verses?
  3. What does John tell us about the relationship between our presence in the church and our perseverance in the faith (v. 19)?
  4. How do you look at the church’s role in your life? Does it hold the significance that John gives it here?
  5. Truth is the most effective defense against an onslaught of error. What is the “anointing” that gives us such knowledge of the truth (v. 20-21, 27)?
  6. How can this knowledge be used in our lives, especially in light of false teachings?
  7. John is likely not saying that human teachers are unnecessary (v. 27), he did in fact write this epistle to teach. So in light of the problem he has been addressing, what is he saying?

Scripture: 1 John 2:28-3:9

Discussion Questions

  1. Initial thoughts/questions?
  2. John 2:29, How do you practice righteousness? Should this be done naturally, intentionally or both?
  3. How do we become more like Christ? Name the characteristics of God mentioned throughout this passage.
  4. 1 John 3:6 says "…whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him" As Christians and people who fall short and sin how can we process this verse? Does it mean we do not know God because we're sinners?
  5. In 1 John 3:9 who do you think John is referring to? What does it mean to be born of God?
  6. 1 John 2:28, what does it mean to be ashamed before Him at His coming? How can we be confident instead?
  7. With following Christ there isn't a gray, it's either black or white. We can't be of God but still living in sin. Moving forward, what are ways in which we can work to overcome sin and live a life that pleases God?

Scripture: 1 John 3:10-24

Discussion Questions

  1. Initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Notice in verse 10 it says, “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” Why do you think we need both righteousness and love?
  3. What do you think John is referring to when he says “this is the message that you have heard from the beginning” in verse 11? What is the beginning?
  4. Read Genesis 4:1-16. What themes from this passage is John expounding on in verses 10-15? How could this kind of a story play out in our lives or more generally our generation?
  5. Stop to appreciate God’s love in sending Jesus to lay down his life for us (I think this is something we can too easily take for granted if we have grown up in the church or been a Christian for a long time). Focusing on verses 16-18, how do we “lay down our lives for the brothers?” Practically, how can you grow in this area?
  6. Verse 19: how can we know that we are of the truth?
  7. What do verses 20-21 mean? How does this give us assurance and comfort?
  8. Reread verses 22-24. In verse 22, it says “whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” Yet, most of us have probably had times in our lives where God did not answer our prayers how we asked. Is this then because we did not keep God’s commandments well enough? How do you reconcile this? What do you think this passage means? 
  9. In 1 John, some of the major themes are (1) correcting false Christian doctrine, (2) reminding us that everyone sins, (3) commanding us to love one another, and (4) granting us assurance of salvation. How do you see those themes in this passage? Are there any ways that this passage speaks to you particularly?

Scripture: 1 John 4:1-6

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. What is John referring to in 1 John 4:1 when he talks about spirits? Are this kind of spirit still in the world today?
  3. 1 John 4:1: What do you think it means to test the spirits? Why is this important?
  4. 1 John 4:2-3: What is the test John gives us to determine whether a spirit (or prophet) is from God? What is the significance of the passage saying that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh?”
  5. Read 1 John 2:18-23: In conjunction with this passage, what does it mean that the spirit of the antichrist is in the world already? Do we see the products of this in our world?
  6. How does it (or should it) change the way we think/act to know that the Spirit in us as believers is greater than the evil spirits we fight against as seen in 1 John 4:4?
  7. 1 John 4:5-6 distinguishes the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error (i.e., we can either confess that Jesus is Christ and be in the truth or deny this and be wrong). In a society where we prize tolerance and acceptance, how do you think we should balance holding fast to the truth and loving and accepting others? Do you have trouble finding this balance?
  8. What is one or a few takeaway(s) you have from the passage? How do you want to live/think differently?

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-21

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Look through this passage and find the 11 statements that are a confirmation ofour salvation. Some of them may be similar (19-21).
  3. According to verse 7, where does love come from? Where does the world try to make you think love comes from?
  4. According to verse 7-8, 12, and 16 how do we experience God's love?
  5. According to verse 10, what is love?
  6. Considering verse 16, how do we rely on the love God has for us? Answer both in the context of the passage but also how we do this in our lives.
  7. According to verse 17, how is love made complete among us?
  8. Considering verse 18, what fear does love remove?

Scripture: 1 John 5:1-5

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Verse 1: How does this verse explain how Christianity and other religions such as Islam do not share the same God?
  3. Verse 3 says we should keep God's commandments and that they aren't burdensome. After reading Exodus 20:3-17, have you been keeping God's commandments? Are there any that you find burdensome? What is hindering you from keeping them?
  4. Exodus 20:3 says "You shall have no other gods before me." If we are honest with ourselves, is God currently the priority in our lives? If not, what is? What are some idols that you might not have but others believers may worship?
  5. Exodus 20:7 says "you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain." What does it mean to speak God's name in vain? Is this sin forgivable?
  6. Exodus 20:8: What are your thoughts on the Sabbath?
  7. Lastly something to reflect on, 1 John 3:23 says "And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us." We might not perfectly follow out the 10 commandments, but this commandment we must follow because it is through our faith of Jesus Christ that we have victory and overcome this world (1 John 5:4).

Scripture: 1 John 5:6-12

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. What do you think the water represents?
  3. What do you think the blood represents? Why do you think it is being discussed?
  4. What do you think it means to “have life” and “not have life” (verse 12)?
  5. Based on this passage, why should we believe in Jesus?
  6. What trips you up or holds you back from fully believing in Jesus 100% of the time? In other words, what causes you to have doubts?
  7. C.S. Lewis argues that Jesus cannot just be a good moral teacher and nothing else. He says that your choices as to who Jesus is are limited. In light of what Jesus has said about himself, in light of what God has said about him, in light of what the water and blood and the Holy Spirit have said about him, Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. You have no other options. If he is a liar, then dismiss him. If he is a lunatic, then dismiss him. But if he is Lord, repent of your sin, believe in him for salvation, and fall at his feet and worship him because he is worthy of the devotion of your life.

Scripture: 1 John 5:6-12

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Verse 13 says the whole reason John is writing this is so that we may know that we have eternal life. What are a few ways John has said that we can know that we have eternal life?
  3. Verses 14-15: We have seen this idea already 1 John 3:19-22. How do you do with confidently approaching God in prayer/how can you improve in doing this? How do we better pray in accordance with God’s will?
  4. Verses 16-17: What is the difference between sin not leading to death and sin leading to death? How are we to pray for other believers when we see these sins?
  5. Verses 18-19: See 1 John 4:4. Who is “he who was born of God?” How is it encouraging to you to know that we have protection against the evil one? Or how do we better live in light of this?
  6. Verse 20-21: What is the main theme of these verses? Why do you think John ends his letter this way?
  7. Summary: What are a few key lessons you can take from 1 John? How has God spoken to you through this letter?

Summary

  1. 1 John was written by the disciple John – at this point the last disciple alive – so he has unique authority to report on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and writes as a respected elder.
  2. Circular style of writing – states themes, moves away from them, and returns several times later
  3. John calls readers to true doctrine and obedient living/devotion and encourages readers that we can KNOW our salvation. A few key themes:
    1. 1 John 1:1-5 = Jesus – the Son of God, whom they have seen, looked upon, and touched – shows that Jesus was not just a spirit (common belief of the time)
    2. 1 John 1:8-10 =  We all sin but God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness
    3. 1 John 2:1-2 = Jesus as our advocate with the Father, the propitiation for our sins
    4. 1 John 2 = Denying Jesus Christ as God’s son in the flesh is denying God the father. This is essential for our salvation/being a Christian.
    5. 1 John 2-4 = Those who know Christ do not continuously abide in sin and do keep God’s commandments (emphasis here on loving God and one another)
      1. “A long-term pattern of increasing disobedience to Christ should be taken as evidence for decreasing reason to believe that the person in question is really a Christian at all” – Biblical Doctrine (Wayne Grudem)
    6. 1 John 5 = Encourages us that faith in Christ results in forgiveness of sins, eternal life, confidence in prayer, protection from the evil one, and understanding and knowing the true God – the emphasis in this section (as well as the book) is KNOWING that we are in Christ (John provides us with tests).

 

Fruit of the Spirit:

Fruit of the Spirit

Scripture: Galatians 5:16-26

Notice the opposition between the works of the flesh & fruit of Spirit. As we study each of these 8 topics, we should keep this passage in mind and reference back to it. Also, for each topic we will read a passage in the bible that discusses that topic to get us all focused on the same text, but feel free to branch out in your discussion groups and use different parts of scripture.

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-11

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or question?
  2. What does it mean for God to be love?
  3. Do you think there is any significance to love being first on the list in Galatians 5?
  4. What is one area where love comes easy for you? And what is another area with loving is more difficult?
  5. When you should express love, but don’t, what other emotion(s)/action(s) show themselves instead? Does you answer happen to be on the list of “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5?
  6. How does recalling God’s love for you increase your love for God and for others?
  7. What other reminders do you regularly encounter during the week that remind you of God’s love?
  8. What is one way you could express love better this week?

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-9

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. What does ‘JOY in your heart’ mean from your perspective? How is it different from happiness?
  3. What do you understand by an inheritance that is kept in Heaven (verse 4)?
  4. What is that one area where you find it difficult to trust God or a place where you don’t see Him working?
  5. Read James 1:1-4, what does it mean to you to Consider it joy?
  6. Share your experience from when you faced trials and your faith increased in Christ?

Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord always (verse 4)?
  3. Why do you think Paul stresses reasonableness (or gentleness) to everyone for experiencing peace (verse 5)?
  4. How have you experienced prayer bringing peace (calming anxiety)? Why is thanksgiving important in prayer (verses 6-7)?
  5. What kinds of things occupy your mind/thoughts? How would thinking more about the things described in verse 8 bring about peace?
  6. Re-read verses 7 and 9. How is it comforting to know that the peace of God guards our hearts and minds in Christ (verse 7) and the God of peace is with us (verse 9)?
  7. Paul lists a few things that we can do to experience God’s peace more fully: rejoice in the Lord, be gentle/reasonable, bring prayer/supplication to God with thanksgiving, control our mind/thoughts. Practically, how can you more fully experience God’s peace this week? Or can you think of a time where you strongly encountered God’s peace. Do you think any of these things played a role in experiencing peace?

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:15-16, Colossians 1:9-12

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. How would you define patience? Using 1 Tim 1:15-16 or other biblical scriptures/stories how is God’s patience described?
  3. Inreference to vs 9, Why is spiritual wisdom and understanding needed?
  4. What does it mean to be strengthened with all His glorious power (vs 11)?
  5. Do you consider yourself to be a patient person? In what areas of your life are you not patient? If you’re comfortable share an example.
  6. The word says in vs 10 “and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.” Are you producing good fruits when you are impatient?
  7. What are practical ways you can walk into the rest of this week with more grace and patience?

Scripture: Luke 6:2-36, Ephesians 4:31-32

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Why do verses 24-26 claim these things cause sadness or distress (“Woe”)?
  3. How can these lead to a lack of kindness toward others?
  4. What areas of conditional kindness can you find in your own life? (Read verses 32-34)?
  5. Who is the ungrateful and evil in verse 35 and in what way does the “Most High” display kindness to them?
  6. How would you personally define kindness? How might you define it using these passages (specifically eph. 4:31-32)?
  7. Considering eph. 4:31, which of these is hardest for you to “put away?” Why?

Scripture: Galatians 6:7-10

Discussion Questions

  1. Any initial thoughts/questions?
  2. What are some examples we see in our daily life when we read about “Sowing to please the flesh” and “Sowing to please the Spirit”?
  3. Do you think that the Fruit of Goodness shows gradually? Have you seen evidence of this in your life or someone else’s life?
  4. In verse 9, do you think we can get “weary” in doing good? If so, what should be our next steps?
  5. What does the term “harvest” mean for you in verse 9?
  6. In verse 10, why does the scripture say, “…especially to those who belong to the family of believers”?
  7. What are some habits that can help grow the fruit of goodness in your life?

Scripture: Exodus 34:6-9, Deuteronomy 7:6-11, Psalm 23

Discussion Questions:

  1. Initial thoughts or questions?
  2. Define faithfulness. What do we know about God’s faithfulness?
  3. Can you think of any other passages/stories that show God’s faithfulness?
  4. What are some ways God has been faithful in your own life?
  5. Read Romans 8:28. If God is perfectly faithful, then we can trust him. Do you find this promise in Roman 8 (or any other promise of scripture) hard to trust sometimes?
  6. How can we imitate God’s faithfulness and be faithful ourselves?
  7. In what ways are you doing this well, and how could you improve?

Scripture: Matthew 11:25-30, 1 Peter 3:8-22

Discussion Questions:

  1. Any initial thoughts/questions?
  2. How would you define gentleness (or, as some translations say, meekness)?
  3. In Matthew 11:29, what do you think it means when Jesus says he is “gentle and lowly in heart?” Can you think of examples from the Gospel of how Jesus embodied gentleness?
  4. Matthew 11:29-30 says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” What do you think this meant to the people Jesus was addressing in their original context? What does this mean for us?
  5. In Matthew 11:29, what do you think it means to find rest for our souls? Can you think of a time in your life where you have experienced this?
  6. In 1 Peter 3:15, we are instructed to always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” Are you prepared? If so, explain. If not, what do you think you need to do to prepare? 
  7. As it says in 1 Peter 3:15, why do you think it is important to make a defense with “gentleness and respect?”
  8. In what contexts do you think it is hardest to respond with gentleness? Or are there certain people in your life who you struggle to treat gently? How do you think you can grow in this area?

Scripture : Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

  1. Initial thoughts or questions?
  2. How would you define self-control and why is it important?
  3. In verses 2-7, the word self-control is used multiple times both in reference to men and women. In what areas of our lives can we use self-control? And in what areas is self control needed?
  4. In reference to verses 2-8, how would you define older men/women and younger men/women. In other words, what defines them as old vs. young?
  5. As a younger men/women where can we find these older men/women? The Bible urges the older to teach the younger. Do you think you fit the older or younger role and in which ways have you been carrying out these roles?
  6. Verses 11-14 talk about grace given. What does this grace offer us?
  7. In this world that we live in, how do we move away from self-indulgence and walk in self-control? 

 

1 Peter:

Summary

The book of 1 Peter was written by Peter (a disciple of Jesus) to multiple churches in Asia Minor. Most of the Christians receiving this letter were non-Jewish, and they were suffering from persecution from non-believers around them. Peter's letter serves as an encouragement by reminding them that they have been chosen by God and of the hope found in Jesus.  

Overview

Bible Project Video on 1 Peter

This week we discussed two main points: the person of Peter & what it means to be "elect exiles."

The Person of Peter

Through the following passages: Mark 14:66-72, Mark 8:27-33, John 21:15-17, we learn a few things about Peter. We first learn that Peter is honestly not a very good disciple of Jesus. In the eyes of the world, Peter is a failure. He has denied even knowing Jesus. Jesus has even called him "Satan" directly to his face for getting in the way of God's plans. (And these are just a few of many examples). But this is not the end of the story for Peter. The second thing we learn from the passages above is that God is using him. God chose Peter to lead the church after Jesus ascended to heaven despite all of his past failures. God loves to use broken people. 

"Elect Exiles"

In verse 1 of chapter 1 we see this phrase "elect exiles." This is who the book of 1 Peter is written to, and if you are a Christian this is you. In this world, God's chosen people do not quite fit in. Thankfully, this is not our permanent home, and one day when we are with God we will not have to struggle with this anymore. But for now, we are called to boldly proclaim the gospel in world where we are outsiders.

Discussion Questions

  1. As Christians, we are “elect exiles.” Generally, we do not fit in too well in this world. In what ways do you feel like an exile in this world?
  2. Maybe there are some ways that we are fitting into the world when we shouldn’t be. Are there any areas of your life that you could use some courage to stand out as a follower of Christ?
  3. What is your reaction to Peter’s history and how God chose to use him?
  4. How does the statement “In God’s economy, perfection is not necessary” make you feel?
  5. What past failure or worldly object/idea are you allowing to be a large part of your identity?
  6. What would it look like for you to let go of those failures and allow Jesus to fully define who you are?

This week we discussed two main points: 1) Why we should be joyful & praising God, and 2) How we should be thinking about trials in our lives.

Being Joyful & Praising God

First, starting in verse 3, we see that the God of great mercy has caused us to be born again. Our life in Christ is a new life. This is pretty crazy when you think about it: to be born again. I think it’s important that we ponder this question often, “How desperately did we need God before he came to us?” No matter what you are thinking, the answer to that question is “we needed him enough for the death of his only son to be the solution.” For us to be made right with God, our sin required the death of Jesus. We were dead, but now we are alive. This should cause us to be joyful and eager to praise God.

Moving on to verses 4 and 5 we learn that our faith, and therefore whether we get into heaven or not, is secure. Our inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, unfading. It’s kept in heaven for us. It is not dependent on what we do. This, again, is something to be joyful about. 

Life's Trials

We first need to remember that God is sovereign over our trials. He is in full control. This reminds me very much of the last chapter in Genesis. Joseph has been reunited with his brothers after they sold him into slavery many years before. Joseph now has the knowledge to understand that God was able to bring about good things through his trials. He is able to say to his brothers:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20 ESV)

Now going back to 1 Peter, in verse 6, we see that our trials are temporary, even short, when compared to what we have in store for us in heaven.

In verse 7, we see that one purpose of our trials is that our faith would be refined. Peter says our faith is more precious than gold. God thinks very highly of our faith. God loves us, He knows what’s best for us and wants what is best for us.

Last, we see in verses 8 and 9, that we have all that we need for Christian living and we should rejoice in our salvation. 

Discussion Questions

  1. Re-read the passage. Any overall thoughts or questions?
  2. What do you think it means to be born again?
  3. How will knowing we have an inheritance in heaven affect our behavior and attitudes when we face trials?
  4. What should our attitude be when we face trials? Is it crazy to say that we should be praising God for our trials?
  5. What does verse 7 say about the importance of our faith in God’s eyes?
  6. In what ways does this passage make you want to praise God more?
  7. This week, how can you take a different approach on the trials you face?

This week we broke the text into two sections: 1) The hope we have in God (verses 10-12), and 2) Our holy calling (verses 13-21)

The Hope We Have in God (10-12)

Here, Peter is showing us who we are in God. Even though we may feel like exiles, Peter is reminding us that we have a place of belonging. Our faith is the same faith of the prophets of the past. The same faith as Abraham and Noah and David and Isaiah and so on. We are a part of a huge family of believer, past and present. We have received grace, just as they did, and we find it hard to fit in, in this world, just as they did. So let these verses be a hopeful reminder that you aren’t the only one going through trials as a Christian. All of us are, and we also have a book full of Christians who did as well.

Our Holy Calling (13-21)

As it says in verse 16, we are to be holy since God is holy. For us to be like God and be near to God we must be holy. Now obviously we are not holy. Only God is. And Jesus lived the perfect holy life, and took the punishment for us, so that we could be near to God and be in good standing with him. But the hope of Jesus is not what this part of the passage is focusing on. It’s about how we respond to what Jesus has done.

I’m stealing this metaphor directly from my pastor (so thanks Joel). We need to understand and grasp the fact that we are set free in Jesus, and we have the greatest hope in Jesus. We cannot be freed by Jesus, and then still live our old ways. That doesn’t make any sense. And if that’s how we are living, it honestly warrants the questions “do we even believe in Jesus at all?” But the metaphor I was talking about is regarding slavery. Slavery runs deep throughout the Bible and many times we are seeing God’s people being put into bondage. Now think about this, a slave doesn’t have their own freedom. But how little sense would if a slave were set free, but decided to continue living in bondage? That makes no sense, right? Well, that’s exactly what we are doing when we accept Jesus into our lives and then continue to live like we used to. Let's reflect this week on the freedom we have been granted through the gospel, and examine the way we respond. Are there any areas of our lives where we are still living in bondage even though we are free?

More specifically in this passage Peter describes many ways that we should response to being set free. He tells us to: prepare our minds for action (13), be sober minded (13), set our hope fully on the grace of Jesus (13), not be conformed to our old ways (14), be holy (15-16), fearing God (17), remember that we were ransomed (18).

Discussion Questions

Verses 10-12

  1. Re-read the passage. Any overall thoughts or questions?
  2. How does it make you feel that your faith is the same faith as the prophets? How could this impact your day-to-day life?

Verses 13-21

  1. Re-read the passage. Any overall thoughts or questions?
  2. How does the calling of "be holy" sit with you? How can the gospel empower us to be more holy?
  3. Spend some time going through the list of ways Peter tells to respond to God’s grace. Put each one in your own words and discuss how you can practically do these things.
    1. Prepare our minds for action (13)
    2. Be sober minded (13)
    3. Set our hope fully on the grace of Jesus (13)
    4. Not be conformed to our old ways (14)
    5. Be holy (15-16)
    6. Fear God (17)
    7. Remember that we were ransomed (18)
  4. If you have time, you can finish by discussing the importance of the order of Hope and then Holiness (as Peter does in the first chapter of this book). Discuss how we are to respond to God’s grace instead of try to earn it.

In 1 Peter thus far, we’ve talked about: the hope we have in Jesus, and how hope should lead us to holiness. Today we are going at how in our holiness, we should be prioritizing the family of God. This is important. This letter is written in a very intentional way, and the flow is also very intentional: hope→holiness→family of God.

Starting out in verse 22, we are called to have a sincere & pure love, and to love earnestly. What exactly does this mean? We must love each other, specifically other Christians, regardless of the circumstances. Our love should stand out because we should love in a way that persists through difficult times.

Now down in verse 1 of chapter 2 he expands on that. If we are loving in a persistent, sincere way, would it make sense for us to have ANY malice or deceit or hypocrisy or envy or slander? A resounding “No” should be our answer. Pure love does not include any of these things. In what ways can we put away malice or deceit or hypocrisy or envy or slander this week?

Now how exactly can we do this? This seems really hard, right? To put away ALL malice, ALL deceit, and so on. In verse 2, we see that we can do this by longing for Jesus. Longing for the pure spiritual milk that is Jesus. Jesus nourishes us and it’s only from a place of adoring and longing for Jesus that any of this is possible.

Short aside, this is from Dietric Bonhoffer. He says that we all have an idea of what we want church life to look like. Now if we set our focus on this and long for what we think church and Christian community ought to look like, it will divide. We all have different ideas, and this will separate. But if we make our focus Jesus, this is what will bring us together.

Moving on to verse 4 and 5, we see more about our Christian fellowship. We see the “living stone” who is Jesus, who was rejected by men. And we see that we are like “living stones” being built up as a spiritual house. Friends, we are called to be a part of this spiritual house. For Christian life, it is not optional. We see in Ephesians 2:19-20:

So, then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

In verse 9 and 10, now as a united church we need to proclaim Jesus. We can stand together though the tough times in life and still proclaim God. Community is not built by being together a few times a month, but often. As often as we can. We need to grow God’s church, and grow stronger together as his people. This needs to be a priority.

Short aside again, I love this group, I love everyone here, but this is not church. I think this is an important part of the Christian life, but it is not church. If this group in any way is making you too busy for church, it may be a good time to rethink priorities.

Discussion Questions

1. Re-read these verses. Any overall thoughts or questions?
2. What motivates people to practice deceit and envy and slander?
3. Why should we be different now?
4. What can make our Christian love stand out?
5. Do you desire the spiritual food of the Word to this degree? What are some things that keep us from desiring the Word as we should?
6. Why is Jesus called the living stones, and so are we? (Verse 4)
7. What is a cornerstone? Is Christ the cornerstone/foundation of your life? If we want to examine to see what is the foundation of our life, what could we look at?

Overview

Previously in 1 Peter we’ve discuss the hope we have in the gospel and how we are called to be holy. Today we are continuing to look at how God calls us to act in this world, as we are living here as exiles.

Starting in verses 11 & 12. This is an encouragement to live in an honorable, gospel way. These verses show us that we must “abstain” (in verse 11) and “keep” (in verse 12). In other words, Christian living is compromised of both things we should and shouldn’t do. First, in verse 11, Peter is telling us to abstain from acting on impulse and desires of the flesh (malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, & slander as we saw earlier in 1 Peter). These are our old ways. In verse 12, he tells up that we should instead conduct ourselves in an honorable way. For the rest of our passage he talks in detail about how we can do that in 3 areas of life: society & government, employment, and marriage. We will see that all of what Peter is saying can be summarized with one word: submission (verses 2:13, 2:18, 3:1). It is also important to note that Peter is mainly talking to people that are being mistreated. It is not a full list of responsibilities of all parties involved. He is instead telling us how we can submit even in difficult situations.

Society & Government

First, verses 13-17 emphasize submission to those in political office. This is quite counter-cultural and a bit challenging to hear. We do not like the idea of being mistreated by those in power. For context, rulers in Peter’s days were quite violently anti-Christian. Peter was later martyred under these rulers. But Peter tells us to submit to rules like these….but why? Verse 15 shows us that submission to authority is the strongest apologetic against the view that Christians are bad people. It’s one of our most effective way to introduce people to Jesus and show his love and grace to those around us. Peter didn’t always understand this. Remember when Jesus was betrayed, and Peter had brought a sword with him and cut off the ear of one who had come to arrest Jesus. Yeah, Peter is wiser now. He understands that his greatest weapon is now something stronger. He has power in the Holy Spirit to live a Godly life that points to Jesus. Furthermore, verses 16 & 17 then show us that freedom is for serving. We are to show proper respect for all rulers.

Employment

Then moving on to verses 18-25 we look at submitting in our employment. At first glance these verses appear inappropriate, especially when taking America’s rather awful history into account. First, it’s important to note that just because something is talked about in the Bible, does not mean God supports it. You do not have to read very far to come across grotesque things in the bible: murder, rape, etc. All things we know God hates. But the Bible is real. It meets us where we are at. The Bible does not pretend these things don’t exist in the world. Regarding slavery as it pertains to American history, this much can be said “God never permits his people to use slavery as a means of permanent exploitation, feeding off other and their children for generation after generation.” In 1 Timothy 1, Paul calls out “enslavers” as being ungodly, unholy, and profane. But it’s important to understand who Peter is talking to here. He’s not referencing North American slavery. In Rome in Peter’s time, there were 3 main classes: Roman citizen (full freedom and rights), the freedmen (who were restricted in some areas but not others), and the servant class (employed as helpers in the home/farm). It’s not a perfect example, but a modern-day equivalent could be something closer to someone who received education in exchange for serving 5 years in the military. So what is Peter actually saying here then? Peter is asking: do you have masters or bosses who cheat and lie? If so, do them all the good you can, even if it leads to suffering. Why? Because of verses 19-20. Your goodness is displaying the true graciousness of God to the world.

Marriage

Jumping down to chapter 3 verses 1-7, we see that Peter next talks about submission as it pertains to marriage. Before we jump in, I want to acknowledge that women have too often been mistreated by poor applications of this text. This is a terrible thing. But simply because this text has been misunderstood and applied wrongly, does not make it any less of God’s Word. This text is not saying that wives should: sin if their husband asks them to, always agree with their husband, or remain quiet in times of abuse. That is not what this text is saying. So what is it saying? Well Peter first tells wives, and women in general what not to do. He tell women not to have an extreme focus on external beauty. The worldly woman in Peter’s day was fixated on their hair, jewelry, and clothing. Peter doesn’t want Christian women to be overly concerned about this. The world today is still putting pressure on women is be EXTREMELY concerned with their looks, and Peter wants different for Christian women. Peter wants to free women from this. So what is proper conduct for women then? Verse 4 says the beauty Peter wants to focus on is found in the heart. Peter is asking women to focus more on preparing their inner self then their outer self. For this is more “precious” to God. I now have a couple questions for the guys in the room. Is this what we appreciate most in other women? Is this what we will tell our possible future sons to look for in a future wife? Peter then looked for a woman whose life modeled good works, and he chose Sarah, wife of Abraham. And if we know anything about Sarah, she was not weak, but strong. She was real. Willing to tell Abraham how things really were, at any moment. While culture may reject “a gentle and quiet spirit” as the first thing they think of is a weak women, we know that misses the mark as Sarah is very much not this way. While all of this may be frightening (as Peter references in verse 6), God can be trusted. Those who entrust themselves to God will find that he keeps his promises and provides for them. That has been one of Peter’s main messages throughout this letter. So then moving on to husbands in verse 7. Men, husbands, if the call upon the Christian wife is this challenging, then she sure deserves praise and adoration. She deserves care and love and honor. It is interesting that the word “your” in verse 7 is actually plural. This gives the ideas that husband and wife are making a practice of praying together. It’s also important to note at this point that the weaker vessel in verse 7, is discussing general physical capabilities. It is not discussing value or overall strength, but instead physical stature in a more general sense. Peter is getting at the idea men should protect their wives and treat them kindly. In a way, Peter is trying to make sure that these verses do not get abused like they so often have been.
So wrapping up, regardless of the situation, an unjust official, an overbearing employer, or a difficult husband, Peter wants you to know that God will deliver you. He can be trusted. And when you live in patterns of submission, you show yourself to be living a life modeled by Jesus. This brings us back to verses 21-25 of chapter 2. The motivation behind of all of this. We do not submit, because that’s the sole principle of our lives, but because Jesus submitted. This is just another way that we try to mimic Jesus in our lives and share his love and grace to those around us. Being treated wrongly is a great opportunity to exemplify Jesus and introduce him to someone with your deeds.

Discussion Questions

  1. Any thoughts or questions?
  2. What is most difficult about this passage for you?
  3. Why is submission so difficult to us when we are being mistreated?
  4. What does this say about Jesus and how he submitted for our own good? (Even though he was perfect)
  5. In what ways do you feel you have been mistreated in the past as pertains to society & employment? How did you respond? What is the proper response?
  6. Are there any ways that you can apply what we talked about tonight over the next week?

References

  1. Helm, David R., and R K. Hughes. 1–2 Peter and Jude : Sharing Christ's Sufferings. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2015. Print.

Overview

Last week we focused on this main point: God’s new community will be known for submission. While this is a difficult topic, as submitting does not come naturally to us, we take a fairly large leap forward this week. We see that Peter takes this idea of submission, and discusses suffering. While submitting is definitely unnatural for humans, I think we can all agree that suffering is even more unnatural and something we like even less. And because of that, we need passages like this one to encourage us through our suffering.

We see in verse 9. "Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing." We are called to be a blessing to those around us, and more specifically those who persecute us. As we discussed last week, this is the ungodly ruler, the unjust employer, the difficult husband. These are the people Peter is calling us to bless, as we are persecuted by them. That’s quite the difficult idea to process, is it not? We then see in verses 10-12 an excerpt from Psalm 34. This Psalm is written by David. And it’s written at the time when he has just been appointed as king. The only problem is that Saul is also king and has no intention of stepping down. You could say that Saul has gone a little corrupt and would fall under the category of an “ungodly government official” as we discussed last week. To protect his position as king, Saul is track down David and trying to kill him (talk about an ungodly ruler). And while David is being hunted by Saul, he is able to open this Psalm by saying “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Later in the Psalm, David says as we read in verse 10:

“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

It’s amazing that David is able to teach us this while running for his life.

Peter then expands and explains this concept in verses 13-17. Peter basically tells us in these verse that this suffering provides an opportunity for our hope in God to shine. Let me just point out that this is no easy point to swallow. That suffering is good. Suffering is good for those around us, and it glorifies God. As Peter says in verse 17, "For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil." Peter than wraps up this section, as he normally does, with using Jesus as our example (and this is verses 18-22). Jesus suffered for doing good and it brought us to God. How could we do the same thing?


Discussion Questions

  1. Any thoughts? Any questions?
  2. When someone argues with or insults us, what is the natural reaction? How can you stop
    reaction?
  3. What effect could this kind of godly response have on the person who is mistreating us?
  4. Are you ready to tell others why you believe in Christ? (verse 15) If not, why not?
  5. How could you suffer for good this week? How could this impact those around you?

References

  1. Helm, David R., and R K. Hughes. 1–2 Peter and Jude : Sharing Christ's Sufferings. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2015. Print.

Last week we started discussing suffering. We learned through the second half of chapter 3 that suffering can be good. Suffering is good for those around us, and it glorifies God. This week we will continue to studying suffering by looking at 2 main points that Peter presents: embracing our calling to suffer, and embracing our calling in the Church.

Embrace our Calling to Suffer

Peter starts off this section by telling us to “arm ourselves.” In other words, Christians, be ready, because suffering is a part of your calling. Through the gospels, we see that Jesus is well aware that his life will be full of suffering and service. This was God’s design and plan. Jesus never even really tried to avoid the cross. So, ok. We should be ready to suffer, but how exactly do we do that? We just going to go through verses 1-4 and see what Peter has to say about this. In verse 1, Peter tells to prepare our minds. In other words, do not be surprised when we suffer in this world as Christians. In doing so, we need to live for the will of God and leave our human passions behind (as we see in verse 2). This is far from the first time we are heading about our human passions in this letter. In chapter 2 verses 11-12, Peter tells us to “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable…”

Peter than goes on to specify ways we will be suffering. He shows us in verse 4 that the world will be surprised by us. In other words, we will not be understood. And then this surprise will turn to ridicule.

Peter than encourages us with a reminder that that a final accounting awaits all humanity. We don’t need to judge the world because God will. There will be a final accounting for everyone. And those who are in Christ, will live on in the Spirit forever. Because of this we do not need to live in fear and worry. We are saved, and so are those believers who have already passed on (as verse 6 explains).

Embracing our Calling in the Church

So since the end of all things are at hand, Peter presents four things that we should embrace in our life. In verse 7, he tells us to be self-controlled and sober-minded. And he wants us to do so for the sake of our prayers. This is quite an interesting statement that I’ll let you guys discuss further in your smaller groups. In verse 8, Peter tells us to show a sincere love to one another. Peter is calling upon the churches of what is now modern-day Turkey to love one another (both inside and outside their individual churches). Peter wants us as Christians to be known by our love. In verse 9, Peter tells us to show hospitality without grumbling. In the first century, when you traveled there weren’t really any hotels or Airbnb’s to stay at. Apparently, people would get to their destination and just hang around the town until someone invited them into their home.

Showing hospitality was, and still is, a great way to share the love of God. And then last in verses 10-11 he tells us to serve one another, either by teaching or by actually being a servant.

Peter wraps this sections up by reminding us why we are to do all of this. Why are we to suffer? Why are we to be hospitable, and loving, and servants to one another? As Peter simply puts it, “in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions

  1. Does anything stand out to you from this passage? Do you have any questions?
  2. In what ways have you suffered for God’s glory in the past?
  3. In what ways are you avoiding suffering for God’s glory?
  4. Why do you think Peter tells us to “be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers?”
  5. What is one way you could practice what Peter teaching in verses 7-11 this week? The 4 main points were: be self-controlled and sober-minded, show sincere love, show hospitality, and serve one another.

References

  1. Helm, David R., and R K. Hughes. 1–2 Peter and Jude : Sharing Christ's Sufferings. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2015. Print.

Last week we discussed how we are both called to suffer and should expect to. Peter reminded us that Jesus suffered and so will we. And we should respond to this circumstance in a changed way as Christians.

Today we see a similar story. Peter is STILL discussing suffering. One of the main themes of this books is suffering, so I think it’s important that we recognize the repetition and understand that this is an important topic.

In out text today, we see that Peters starts out by telling us “do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes to test you” (verse 1). Whereas, last week he started with “Since Christ suffered, arm yourself…” There is there repeated message of Christians are going to suffer. We do not fit in here and the world will make that known to us. So much so, that if you aren’t currently suffering as a Christian, it may be a good time to check yourself. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing everything wrong, it’s just a good thing to check in on. Peter then explains again why we should suffer. The answer is because Jesus did…

Peter then debunks a rather local rabbit trail we may go on as readers? If I should be suffering, and I’m not… then do I just need to piss some people off. Just be jerk and then I’ll be suffering, right. Peter says no to that in verse 15. Peter is talking about suffering for following Christ, not simply being a jerk and reaping the “rewards” of that.

Then in verse 17, Peter in an indirect way starts discussing again why we are suffering. In verse 17-18 Peter is talking about judgement on the household of God, or in other words, the purifying of His people. He then asks these very interesting questions saying: “What will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner. I think in some ways these questions are rhetorical, but in another sense I think Peter is saying: God judgment on us, as Christian, refines us and makes us more like him, but IT’S DIFFICULT. It’s tough at time. How much worse must his judgment be for those who don’t believe?

Verse 19 is then just a beautiful statement. “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

Verses 1-4 shift focus a little bit as he starts discussing how elders and pastors should lead by example in this area of life. While I’m not going to try and make these verses super applicable to us, there is something to learn here. While trying to lead well in something we can all get better at, Peter is talking directly to pastors here. For the rest of us I think this text is a good time to ask the questions: “Are my pastors living in this way?” If so, be thankful. And if not, considering bringing this up with them or your church leadership team in a loving and respectful way. All of us need call out from time to time and our pastors are no different. And if you read these verses and think, “I don’t have pastors,” then it’s time to invest in your local church. Talk to some other people here about checking out some churches in the area. It’s a vital part of the Christian life.

Last in verse 5, Peter shifts back to all of us and tells us to be humble in our interaction with our pastors and in our lives in general for we know that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble.”

Discussion Questions

  1. Does anything stand out to you from this passage? Do you have any questions?
  2. Have you ever been insulted for the name of Christ? Did you consider it a blessing?
  3. (Verse 19) Do you entrust your souls to God? What adjective is used to describe God here and what does that say about Him?
  4. What is glory? What does it mean to glorify?
  5. Read Malachi 3:1-4. How do you think this relates to verses 17-18 of our text?

This week we are wrapping up first Peter. Just to remind us what we’ve been studying the past few months, the book of 1 Peter started off with a reminder of the hope that we have in Jesus. Verses 3-5 of chapter 1 read:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

We have great hope moving forward in life. We then learn that for people that have this hope, suffering can actually been seen as a strange gift. We learn that suffering for Christians can burn away false hopes and distractions like a purifying fire. So as strange as it may seem, life’s hardships actually deepen our faith.

We then learned more about our suffering and how it is not only helpful to us, but to those around us. Suffering can actually help bring clarity to our mission in life. The persecution we receive in this life may be unjust at times, but Peter does not instruct us to fight back violently. Instead, Peter tells us to respond through submission and showing love and generosity to your enemies, just as Jesus did. This joyful & loving response of submission can actually be one of the strongest evangelistic tools that we have. We can introduce people to Christ and save many non-believers in this way.

Moving to today’s passage, Peter is explaining that even though we may be persecuted by unjust governments, unfair bosses, or unloving friends & family, they are not the true enemy. We see in verse 8 of chapter 5 that the devil is our true adversary, as he seeks to devour us. Peter then tells us that we need to resist the devil in verse 9, by standing firm in our faith with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Peter repeating one of the themes of this book a few more times in the last passage, for Christians humiliation in followed by exaltation. We see this in verse 6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” And in verse 10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Peter then wraps up with his “Final Greetings.” Here we find out that it’s wasn’t Peter who actually put pen to paper. It was his friend Silvanus. What a dramatic ending! Just to clear up why Peter is talking about Babylon, by Babylon, Peter really means Rome. Peter is taking after the OT prophets by calling any corrupt nation “Babylon.”

Questions

  1. Does anything stand out to you from this passage? Do you have any questions?
  2. What does it mean to humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God?
  3. Can you think of any examples in the Bible of people who humbled themselves and God exalted them?
  4. What is the reason given for why we should put our worries on God?
  5. Are there any worries you have that you need to take to God?
  6. What has been your biggest takeaway from 1 Peter?

 

General Resources:

We as graduate students are not just scholars, but Christian scholars, and our faith is important to the work we are doing. Here are some InterVarsity resources that might be interesting to the grad student who wants to learn more about marrying their faith with their work.
 
"To put it in a nutshell, I think the project of being a Christian scholar is the project of thinking with a Christian mind and speaking with a Christian voice within your chosen discipline and within the academy more generally."
 
This blog includes short articles and announcements about events (webinars, etc) which Christian graduate students/scholars may be interested in.
 
Book: "The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship” by George Marsden
"Marsden argues forcefully that mainstream American higher education needs to be more open to explicit expressions of faith and to accept what faith means in an intellectual context…"
 
There are also several Christian societies in many different disciplines, and we would encourage you to look into one in your discipline!

We have frequently referenced Desiring God by John Piper in our Bible Study discussions. If you are interested in reading this book, it is free to download in PDF format at this link.

John Piper also has other books available for free. You can view them and download them at this link. One timely book you might consider reading is called Coronavirus and Christ.

This document contains a devotional-type booklet that takes you through 21 days of prayerful reflection. 

2021 NSO 21 Day Challenge

Stress and anxiety are something that everyone faces. We as graduate students are no different. For bible study this week we are going to read through the following passage and discuss two things: 1) What the Bible instructs us to do in times of stress & anxiety, 2) What God does for us in these times. 

Scripture: Philippians 4:4-13

Discussion Questions:

  • What does God ask us to do when we are stressed or anxious?
    • Pray (v. 6)
    • Supplication- ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly (v. 6)
    • Come to him as you are in that situation (v. 6)
    • Rejoice (v. 4)
    • Think about the things of heaven (v. 8)
      • Honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy
    • Depend on him (v. 12-13)
  • What does God do for us?
    • He is always with us (v. 5)
    • Guard your hearts and minds in Christ (v. 7)
    • Gives us peace (v. 9)
    • Gives us strength (v. 13)

Questions for further thought:

  • Do these things come easily to you?
  • Which of these things do you find most difficult to do?
  • What does it look like to rejoice in difficult situations?
  • How does thinking about the "things of heaven" allow you to experience God's peace?
  • What does it mean for your heart and mind to be guarded in Christ?
  • How have you experienced peace or strength in difficult circumstances in the past?
  • How can you depend more on God this week/semester when you are feeling stressed or anxious?

For this Bible study, we asked members to submit "tough questions" they had about Christianity. Some supporting Bible verses were found for each question and then we discussed our responses to the questions for 5-10 minutes each. For each question you can find the scripture that was read along with the question. While contemplating and discussing these questions, we kept the following passage in mind: Mark 16:14-20. Jesus needs to be the center of our life. While other topics are important, Jesus on the cross is what saves us and unites us, and should therefore never be less important than any other topic. 

  1. How should the church respond to racism and injustice? (Proverbs 6:16-19, Psalm 11:5, Proverbs 17:15, Matthew 25:31-46)
  2. How to best explain the Trinity? (Luke 3:22, John 14:26, John 15:26, Job 11:7, Isaiah 55:6-9)
  3. How do you approach strangers/follow students to lead them to Christ? (Mark 16:14-20, 1 Peter 3:13-15)
  4. There are many many verses about unity in the church in the Bible. How does there being different denominations fit into God’s wish for a one united church? Does it? (1 Corinthians 1:10)
  5. How to balance preaching God’s grace and justice? (Exodus 34:5-7 ESV, Deuteronomy 19:4-13)
  6. Is homosexuality a sin? I have been hearing from modern christians that the forbidding of homosexuality is the thing of the past (old testament) that once Jesus came and saved us all we are free to choose love. It’s increasingly difficult to come to my own conclusions in today’s climate and would like some help on this. Thank you! (Leviticus 18:22-24, Romans 1:27, 1 Corinthians 6:9,18)
  7. Are all religions connected? Why is Christianity the “right” religion out of all? (Exodus 20:2-6, Revelation 21:8)

 

Ephesians:

Summary

The book of Ephesians was written by Paul to the church in Ephesus who were a diverse group of Jews and Gentiles from various backgrounds.  He shares the message that Jesus has come to create a new humanity that is unified across all dividing lines. Paul also explains what exactly it means to be a part of this new unified humanity.

Overview

Bible Project Overview on Ephesians

Themes

In our study we will be breaking Ephesians into 2 main themes throughout the fall semester.

  • Theme 1 (Chapters 1-3): The Story of the Gospel
  • Theme 2 (Chapters 4-6): How the Gospel Reshapes Our Story

Week 1: Monday, September 13th, 2021 – Ephesians 1:1-14

Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-14

  • What promises do you see God making?
    • God chose us
    • God adopted us through Jesus
    • We are forgiven
    • All things will be united in him
    • We are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit
  • How are these promises hopeful?
    • We are God's chosen people not because of anything we did
    • God takes the initiative by pursuing us first
    • Our inheritance is "sealed," which gives us confidence as we go through life's trials 

 

Week 2: Monday, September 20th, 2021 – Ephesians 1:15-2:10

Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-23

  • In verse 17, what does Paul say about God
    • Paul manages to talk about all 3 parts of the Trinity in verse 17 (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
    • In the Spirit we gain wisdom
    • Through the Son we are connected with the Father
  • In verse 18, what do you think about "his glorious inheritance in the saints"
    • First, it is important to realize that the saints are all of God's chosen people
    • Second, Paul is saying that the saints are God's inheritance 
    • God cherishes us, even though we sin

Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10

  • Why did God save us?
    • God saved us because of his great love and mercy
    • God did not save us because of anything we did
    • We were saved while we were still sinning
  • What implications does his grace have on the way we live?
    • When we understand God's grace, we want to respond by following him closer
    • Since we did not earn our salvation, we have no reason to boast
    • We are to give God the glory, instead of ourselves

 

Week 3: Monday, September 27th, 2021 – Ephesians 2:11-22

Scripture: Ephesians 2:11-22

  • What do you think it means to be brought near to God (verse 13)?
    • It means to have access to God (verse 18)
    • Christ died for everyone, regardless of how far you are from God.
  • The status of circumcision no longer separate us as Christians, but what does in 2021?
    • Theological views, cultural norm, race, economic differences, denominations
  • How did Jesus bring the Jews & Gentiles together?
    • By dying for all who believe, not just the Jews
  • Who are the saints and members of God's household
    • We are, as Christians. Whoever puts their faith in Christ is a member of God's household.
  • What does it mean for us to be a holy temple in the Lord?
    • In the Old Testament, the holy temple is where God meets with his people in joyful fellowship. Believers do not have to worship in Jerusalem today because they themselves have become the new temple of God.

 

Week 4: Monday, October 4th, 2021 – Ephesians 3:1-21

Scripture: Ephesians 3:1-13

  • What do we learn about Paul in this passage?
    • Paul is a prisoner (for Christ, not for Rome)
    • He was commissioned to go to the gentiles
  • What is the mystery that Paul talks about?
    • Christ has come to unify Jew and Gentile in one body through the gospel
    • God's Spirit reveals His wisdom to us

Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-21

  • What are some of the key themes of Paul's requests?
    • We should humbly adore God
    • We should be strengthened by the Spirit
    • We should be grounded in love
    • We should strive to comprehend the vastness of God's love for all of us
    • God reveals his wisdom to us

Week 5: Monday, October 18th, 2021 – Ephesians 4:1-16

Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-16

  • How does Paul’s message from Ephesians 3 inform our interpretation of his instruction in verse 4:1-3?
  • What words or phrases are repeated in this passage? What does this tell us?
  • What is Paul’s central message in this passage?
  • How do unity in the body of Christ and spiritual maturity relate to each other?
  • How does Paul envision the church functioning?
  • What insights does the text provide to help us walk in a “manner worthy of the calling?”

 

Week 6: Monday, October 25, 2021 – Ephesians 4:17-32

Scripture: Ephesians 4:17-32

  • What is Paul’s central message in this passage?
  • Why does Paul follow up his call to unity and spiritual maturity with this passage about new vs. old life?
  • What does the life of the “old self” look like and what does the life of the “new self” look like?
  • What does Paul mean by “be angry and do not sin”, “do not let the sun go down on you anger”, and “give no opportunity to the devil”?
  • Why does Paul say we should forgive one another?
  • Do you follow the advice in question 4 in your own life? What is a situation where this advice applies to your life?

 

Week 7: Monday, November 1st, 2021 – Ephesians 5:1-21

Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-21

  • What is Paul’s central message in this passage?
  • What does it mean to you to be a “fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”? (1, ESV)
  • This passage matches things inappropriate with what should be done instead (ex: 4, ESV: filthiness, foolish talk, crude joking exchanged for thanksgiving). Match up and discuss the ones that stick out the most to your group. 
  • Verse 16 begins with “making the best use of the time…” (ESV) | “making the most of every opportunity…” (NIV). What does this mean to you/to Christians?
  • What does it mean to “singing and making to the Lord with your heart”? (19, ESV)
  • Think about this passage within the context of the book of Ephesians we have read so far, any new ideas or insights?
  • What does this passage teach us about God? How does this passage relate to Jesus?

 

Week 8: Monday, November 8th, 2021 – Ephesians 5:21-33

Scripture: Ephesians 5:21-33

Notes:

  • Keep 5:1 in mind, as it’s all part of the same letter. We should all be imitators of Christ. 
  • Paul is overturning cultural norms of husbands ruling over household with power. He is instead commanding them to sacrifice themselves.
  • A husband laying down his life for his wife is far from any kind of male tyranny or oppression.
  • Sacrifice & belonging to one another are the main themes here.
  • Check out: 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
  • A circle of love & respect is created when these commands are followed. 

Questions:

  • What instructions are given to wives?
  • What instructions are given to husbands?
  • What does it actually mean to love?
    • To give oneself up for somebody
  • What does it mean to submit?’
    • To give oneself up to somebody
  • What the difference?
    • Not much. Love & submission are essentially 2 aspects of the very same thing, which is sacrifice. The same sacrifice which is the foundation of a growing marriage.

Application Questions:

  • What would a marriage look like if these instructions were followed by both the husband and wife?
  • How can the Christian community build and support our marriages?

 

Week 9: Monday, November 15th, 2021 – Ephesians 6:1-9

Scripture: Ephesians 6:1-9

Discussion Questions:

  • Everyone’s relationship with their parents is different, what does honoring your parents look like to you? (Verse 2-3)
  • Has the way you honor your parents changed over time? (Ex, from childhood to adulthood or from when you first became a Christian to now). If so, how?
  • Discuss how verses 5-9 apply to our lives today; how do they apply to an employer-employee relationship?
  • Does verse 7 change your perspective on your own work/research/study? How?

Full Circle Questions:

  • Throughout Ephesians, Paul has summarized the gospel and taught about God’s promises. Discuss what connections you have noticed between the initial teachings and the applications to congregational, husband-wife, parent-child, and employer-employee relationships.
  • What does this passage teach us about God? How does this passage relate to Jesus?

 

Week 10: Monday, November 29th, 2021 – Ephesians 6:10-24

Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-24

Discussion Questions:

  • What have we read in Ephesians so far that motivates us to “be strong in the Lord” (v10) and fight against evil around us (v12)? (bullet points from Blue Letter Bible)
    • Your standing as a child of God
    • God’s plan that he has made you a part of
    • God’s plan for you to mature in your faith
    • The conduct by which we are called to live
    • The filling of the Spirit and our walk in the spirit
  • Break down the different pieces of the armor of God. Why is truth a belt? Why is righteousness a breastplate? etc. etc.
  • What encourages you in this passage?
    • Be strong in god’s strength (v10)
    • Able to withstand devil’s schemes (v11)
    • Identifies the “armor of God” that equips you to face problems (v13-17)
  • Do Paul’s words in this verse 12 change your perspective on the problems you see in your life and this world as a whole?
  • Which pieces of the armor of God do you see as the strongest and weakest in your life?
  • Does this passage challenge you to change anything about the way you live?

 

Galatians:

Summary

The book of Galatians was written by Paul when he was frustrated that Jewish Christians were teaching Non-Jewish Christians that they had to follow the laws of the Torah in order to be part of God's covenant family. Paul wants to preserve the message of the true Gospel – that we are saved by the blood of Jesus, the new covenant, and not by the laws of the Torah. Because Jesus has fulfilled the laws of the Torah, we are united as a large, multi-ethnic family and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

 

Overview

Bible Project Overview on Galatians

 

Themes

In our study we will be breaking Galatians into 3 main themes, studying a new theme each month.

  • Theme 1 (Chapters 1-2): The True Gospel and Justification by Faith
  • Theme 2 (Chapters 3-4): Jesus fulfills the laws of the Torah and unites us as one family
  • Theme 3 (Chapters 5-6): Members of God's family are transformed by the Holy Spirit

These are the resources from Bible Studies of Galatians chapters 1 and 2 (put together by Rachel). Here you will find the questions we discussed together as a group and very brief answers to these questions. Please keep in mind that these answers do not cover all possible answers, and we discussed each of these questions in much more detail as a group.

Week 1: Monday, March 1, 2021 – Chapter 1

  • Background Context: Read Acts 15:1-11
    • What is the cause of the feud we read about in the passage?
      • Jewish Christians think that Non-Jewish Christians should adopt their laws (circumcision)
    • Why did Jewish Christians think it was so important that Non-Jewish Christians become circumcised?
      • In order to become part of God's covenant family, they must adopt Jewish laws.
    • What is Paul's reaction to these men? Why does he react this way? (we will talk more about this after reading chapter 1).
      • He dissents. He doesn't believe this is in accordance with the Gospel message.
    • What do the Jewish and Non-Jewish Christians have in common according to Peter?
      • Given the Holy Spirit
      • Aren't capable of living up to the high standards of the old testament laws due to their sinful nature
      • Saved through grace of the Lord Jesus
  • Scripture Reading: Chapter 1
    • Spend several minutes reflecting on this passage. What is something that stood out to you from the passage? What is something you have a question about?
    • We read in Acts 15 that Paul was upset, but here is where we really get to see that. Why is Paul so angry?
      • People are not listening to the Gospel message of Christ that he delivered and are instead adopting a distorted gospel.
    • How can the people be sure that Paul's account of the gospel is the true account?
      • He gives his credentials in verses 11-24 – he was commissioned himself by Jesus to go to the Gentiles. He was not commissioned by man because he didn't even meet any other apostles until he was already well into his ministry.

 

Week 2: Monday, March 8, 2021 – Reading New Testament Letters

This week we viewed the Bible Project's resources on the Historical Context and Literary Context of New Testament Letters. 

Historical Context:

  • Consider how they all fit into the larger story line of the Bible.
    • Notes from Video:
      • Apostles were heralds talking about the arrival of God's kingdom and Jesus.
      • It was bold thing to say in Rome because peoples allegiance was supposed to be to Rome.
    • Questions:
      • In what ways is Paul trying to announce the arrival of God's kingdom and Jesus to the Galatians?
        • We are justified through what Jesus has done for us, not by the works of the Torah.
      • What is bold about what he is saying?
        • It went against the ancient Jewish customs and definitely was not a popular opinion.
  • Consider the culture of the Roman empire.
    • Notes from Video:
      • Rome conquered and enslaved and required heavy taxes
      • In Rome there was a hierarchy where men rose to the top but women and slaves were worth nothing
      • But the Christian communities were different; everyone was treated with equal dignity
      • Through Jesus, God gives His love to everyone without regard to their status
    • Questions:
      • In what ways is what Paul saying counter-cultural?
        • Paul wants the body of Christ to be a united family through our shared salvation through Jesus.
      • Do we see a hierarchy in Galatians?
        • Jewish Christians placing themselves above Non-Jewish Christians
      • How does Paul want the Christian community to live differently than those around them?
        • He encourages us to break bread with those who are different than us.
  • Consider the situational context of the letter.
    • Notes from Video:
      •  Division in the church between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians
  • How are the New Testament letters applicable to us today?
    • Notes from Video:
      • These letters led to transformations in ancient culture with the good news of Jesus, and we can see how that same good news can transform our culture as well.
    • Questions:
      • Even though this letter was made for the Galatians, what can we glean from it years later and in a different culture?
        • Lessons about valuing others that are disadvantaged in our current culture, transforming our current culture with the good news shared in the letters.

Literary Context

  • Creating the Letter
    • Notes from Video:
      • Writing letters cost a lot of money, so they were all crafted very carefully
      • Written as a whole literary work – meant to be read beginning to end so we can know how each part contributes to the whole 
      • Paul didn't work or write alone – he was always a part of a missionary team.
      • Letters were read aloud because most people didn't read. They often sound like written speeches
    • Questions:
      • How does knowing the way in which these letters were crafted (intentional thought and delivery, meant to be read beginning to end) impact the way we look at this literary work?
        • These letters weren't just brief personal correspondence, they were well thought out masterpieces.
    • Action Items:
      • We encourage you to read through the book of Galatians on your own, all in one sitting. Even better, listen to Galatians being read aloud to you; this was how the message was designed to be heard.
  • Format (sections of a New Testament letter)
    • Notes from Video: 
      • opening
      • prayer of thanks/greeting (Main idea introduced the prayer)
      • body of letter (Body repeats and unpacks the idea introduced in the prayer)
      • conclusion (greetings, travel plans, a final request, or a prayer)
    • Questions:
      • When we consider the opening and prayer for this letter, are we able to identify what Paul might foresee as the main point of the letter?
        • This is one of the shortest openings in all the NT letters – Paul is really trying to get to the point due to his frustration and the urgency of his message.
        • "God gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age." – Paul saw the evils of distorted gospels and wants to redirect us to what Jesus has done on the cross first and foremost, because that is what is most important.
  • How to read New Testament Letters
    • Notes from Video:
      • transition words are clues to the progression of the letter
      • Each paragraph has its own main idea
      • To make the most of reading New Testament letters, break it down into smaller parts and find the message of each paragraph, trace repeated ideas and transition words to see how it all fits back together, and then see how the apostles brilliantly combined the pieces into a literary whole.
    • Questions:
      • If we break apart the paragraphs from Chapter 1, can we identify the main themes of the paragraph? Can we identify any transition words? Repeated ideas?
    • Action Items:
      • Apply what you have learned about how to read the New Testament letters as we continue this study on Galatians each week.

Week 3: Monday, March 15, 2021 – Chapter 2

  • Review:
    • During Week 1 we….
      • Read background on the feud between Jewish Christians and non-Jewish Christians in Acts. Jewish Christians thought that new Gentile Christians had to follow the laws of the Torah to be true members of God's covenant family.
      • Read the first chapter of Galatians where Paul expresses his frustration that they have adopted a gospel other than the one he taught them, and he gives his credentials to show them the credibility of his message.
    • During Week 2 we…..
      • Looked at the historical context of New Testament Letters
        • We talked about the overall storyline of the bible and how Paul is spreading the good news of Jesus's fulfillment of the old testament in the letter
        • We talked about the Roman empire and the culture of the time
        • We talked more about the situational context of feud between Jews and Gentiles
      • Looked at the literary context of New Testament Letters
        • What went into writing the letter
        • The organizational format of the letter
        • How to read the letter paragraph by paragraph and find transition words to trace the message through the whole letter and see how all the pieces fit together.
    • Now we will be reading chapter 2, which is broken into three sections:
      • The other apostles accept Paul's teaching to the gentiles.
      • Paul calls Peter out for being hypocritical toward gentiles in Antioch.
      • Paul says we are justified by faith through Jesus and not works of the old testament law.
    • Re-watch Bible Project Video for background
  • Read Sections 1 and 2 (verses 1-14) of Chapter 2 and discuss as a group
    • A couple minutes for reflection on these sections (think about the main ideas of the paragraphs, what stands out, and any questions)
    • Section 1 (verses 1-10): Paul interacting with the other apostles
      • Notes:
        • Paul meets the apostles and tells them what he has been teaching the Gentiles
        • He continues to assure us that they didn't add or take anything away from the gospel he was teaching (showing that it was God's true gospel)
        • The apostles accepted him and his teachings to the Gentiles.
      • Questions:
        • Why does Paul want to talk with the apostles?
          • "to make sure that I was not running or had not run in vain"
          • He was seeking the opinions of other godly men to see if they thought his teachings had gone astray of God's true gospel – accountability
        • How did Paul handle those whom he perceived were not preaching the true gospel?
          • He makes sure we know that he did not let those people influence him or lead him astray
        • How do the true apostles react to Paul's teachings?
          • They approve of them and change nothing about what he was teaching the Gentiles. They believe his was commissioned by God to teach to the gentiles the same way that Peter was commissioned by God to teach the Jews. They ask him to remember the poor.
    • Section 2 (verses 11-14): Paul calls Peter out for being hypocritical in Antioch.
      • Notes:
        • Peter used to eat with the gentiles, but when Jewish Christians came and demanded circumcision, he stopped eating with them to please those Jewish Christians.
        • The rest of the Jews and even Paul's  travel companion Barnabas were led astray by the hypocrisy.
        • Paul calls them out and asks them if they can't live like they ought to as Jews, then how can they make the Gentiles live like Jews?
      • Questions:
        • What does Peter do that makes Paul call him out?
          • He stopped eating with gentiles because of pressure from the "Circumcision party"
        • Why does Paul find Peter's actions so hypocritical?
          • It is against Jesus's teachings (and therefore inherently not Jewish/Christian) to treat the gentiles this way. It is hypocritical to require them to live like a Jew when they themselves cannot reach that standard.
        • Why do you think it was so easy for everyone, even Barnabas, to get caught up in this, too?
          • reluctance to let go of custom, crowd mentality, etc.
  • Read Section 3 (verses 15-21) of the chapter and discuss
    • A couple minutes for reflection on these sections (ask everyone to think about what stood out to them, and what they might have questions on)
    • Section 3 (verses 15-21): Justification by Faith alone, not works
      • Notes:
        • No one can be justified by the works of the law – we are justified through Christ alone
        • We sin and cannot upkeep the law, but Christ is not a servant to sin – he died to conquer it. It is a good thing we are not justified by the law, but through Christ.
        • If we insist keeping the law for our justification, we are undermining what Christ did for us. He would have died for no purpose.
      • Questions:
        • What does it mean to be justified?
          • from the Bible Project Video: to be justified is to be declared righteous, meaning you are in right relationship with God, forgiven and given a place in God's family
        • What message does Paul think this "circumcision party" is sending to the growing Christian community?
          • They are promoting justification by works instead of justification by faith and making less of what Jesus has done for us on the cross.
        • How does insisting on circumcision for Gentile Christians undermine what Jesus did for us on the cross?
          • We sin and cannot upkeep the law, but Christ is not a servant to sin – he died to conquer it. If we insist on keeping the law for our justification, we are undermining what Christ did for us. He would have died for no purpose.

Week 4: Monday, March 22, 2021

  • Review from previous weeks
    • Week 1: Chapter 1 of Galatians
      • Paul is appalled that the Galatians have adopted a different gospel and think they have to make non-Jewish Christians be circumcised.
      • Paul gives his credentials to make sure we understand his gospel message was the true gospel message.
    • Week 2: Historical and Literary Context of New Testament Letters
      • Historical Context: context in the Bible, context in the culture, context of the argument
      • Literary Context: importance of letters, how the letter is structured, how to read the letter
    • Week 3: Chapter 2 of Galatians (Part 1)
      • Paul tells us that the other apostles agreed that what he was teaching to the Gentiles was the true message of the gospel.
      • Paul calls Peter out for being hypocritical and not eating with non-Jewish Christians
    • Week 4 (this week): Chapter 2 of Galatians (Part 2) and Reflections
      • Justification by Faith
      • Thoughts on Chapters 1 and 2
  • Read Galatians Chapter 2, Verses 15-21
    • Reflect on what you read. What is the main point of this passage? What stands out to you? What do you have questions about?
    • Discussion based on personal reflection
  • Listen to the Bible Project Podcast Episode "Family Once More" (9:38 – 23:10)
    • This provides a good summary of what we discussed in the first two chapters
    • Wrap up the first major theme "The True Gospel and Justification by Faith"

These are the resources from Bible Studies of Galatians chapters 3 and 4 (put together by Kaleb). Here you will find the questions we discussed together as a group and very brief answers to these questions. Please keep in mind that these answers do not cover all possible answers, and we discussed each of these questions in much more detail as a group.

Week 1: Monday, April 5, 2021

Focus: Galatians 3:1-14
 
Bible Project Content:

Scripture references:

Discussion Questions:

  • Reconstruct the Galatians' spiritual biography (1-5); how did they act foolishly?
  • What does the example of Abraham say about being justified/righteous before God? (6-9)
  • How does Abraham's example compare to the Galatians' viewpoints? (10-12)
  • What does seeking righteousness through the law not succeed? (Gal 3:10; refers to Deut 27:26)
  • What verses do you want to keep with you from this reading?

Week 2: Monday, April 12, 2021

Focus: Galatians 3:15-29

Bible Project Content:

Scripture References:

Discussion Questions:

  • What does Paul say about the relationship between the law and the promises God gave to Abraham (and so all people)? How does he make his case?
  • Why was the Law given? What functions did the law serve?
  • What major conclusion does Paul make to tie wrap up this chapter?
  • What points from this chapter support this conclusion?
  • What ideas do Paul confront in order to prevent beliefs that oppose this conclusion?
  • How are we like the Galatians?
    • Are we foolish?
    • Do we put up barriers that divide God's family?

Week 3: Monday, April 19, 2021

Focus: Galatians 4:1-20

Resources:

Discussion Questions:
  • Explain the analogy Paul introduces at the start of this chapter (1-7)
  • How does this analogy compare to the analogies from the previous chapter?
  • Why is this analogy necessary?
  • How and why did the Galatians' attitude towards Paul change?
  • Why does Paul urge the Galatians to "become like [him]" (v12)? In what way does he want them to become like him, and why?
  • Can you say to others, "become like me"?
  • In what ways do you act like a "spiritual slave"? How can you begin acting more like God's spiritual son or daughter?

Week 4: Monday, April 26, 2021

Focus: Galatians 4:21-31
Resources
Scripture References:
Discussion Questions:
  • Paul introduces another analogy here. Let's break it down:
    • Who/what does Hagar represent?
    • Who/what does Sarah represent?
  • What does Paul mean when he says Hagar's son was born "the ordinary way" but Sarah's son was "the result of a promise"?
  • Why are we "children of promise"?
  • Why are children of Hagar not free?

These are the resources from Bible Studies of Galatians chapters 5 and 6 (put together by Vaughn). Here you will find the questions we discussed together as a group and very brief answers to these questions. Please keep in mind that these answers do not cover all possible answers, and we discussed each of these questions in much more detail as a group.

Week 1: Monday, May 3, 2021

Focus: Galatians 5: 1-15

Resources:
https://bibleproject.com/learn/galatians/ (video from 6:40 to the end)

Discussion questions:

Verses 1-6
- What about trying to satisfy the laws of the old testament “severed us Christ”?
- How were we slaves prior to coming to Christ? How is life different now?
- It certainly isn’t circumcision, but what do you think culture today wrongly assumes as the way Christians are saved?

Verses 7-12
- What does verse 9 mean?
- How can we protect ourselves, our family and our church from false teachings?

Verses 13-15
- How does Jesus simplify life for us?

Week 2: Monday, May 10, 2021

Resources: This week we studied the Bible Project's Bible Study on the Holy Spirit.

 

Week 3: Monday, May 17, 2021

Focus: Galatians 5:16-26

Introduction: 

  • The power of the Holy Spirit: John 16:5-15
  • Jesus said that it would be better for us to have the Spirit in us, than for us to have Jesus himself beside us.  This shows the absolute power of the Holy Spirit, and we need to be careful to not overlook or forgot this.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your overall thoughts on this passage? Does anything new or interesting stand out?
  2. This passage seems like it strays away from most of what Galatians has been about (Paul doesn’t talk about circumcision for a whole 11 verses!!!). How does this passage still relate to what we have been discussing (the law, Jesus putting an end to the law, etc.)?
  3. What do you think about verse 18? What do you think it means? “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
  4. Practically, what should we do if we find ourselves falling into one of the sins listed in the passage?
  5. Can someone put the end of verse 23 in their own words? What does is mean that “against such things there is no law”?
  6. If you feel comfortable sharing, what are some ways God is producing fruit of the Spirit in you recently? (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control)

Week 4: Monday, May 24, 2021

Focus: Galatians 6:1-18

Discussion Questions:
  1. What do you think Paul means when he says “you who are spiritual”?
  2. What do you think verse 4 & 5 means?
  3. What do you think verse 6 means?
  4. What do you think verse 14 means?
Close with Bible Project Video to bring everything back full-circle: https://bibleproject.com/learn/galatians/

As we are reading the book of Galatians, it is helpful to learn more about how to read New Testament Letters. Please view the videos below and consider how you can apply what you learn from the video to Paul's letter to the Galatians. You can find our discussion on these videos under Chapters 1-2, March 8th meeting.

Historical Context of New Testament Letters: Video by the Bible Project

Literary Context of New Testament Letters: Video by the Bible Project

 

Graduate School Bible Studies:

Here are some helpful resources from our study on Stress and Stress Management prepared by Trevor:

Reference Material: Bible Project Limits of Labor Podcast

Bible Readings: 

  • The Vanity of Toil: Ecclesiastes 2:17-26
  • Joy in Trials: James 1:2-4

Benediction: John 14:17

Takeaway: Think about your work and research as a graduate student. How does your work serve the Kingdom of God? What are some ways you can lay your stressors on God this week?

Further Reading: Ecclesiastes 7, which talks about wisdom.