Marking Your Bible
This page is devoted to sharing the actual lesson plans I used while teaching a ladies’ Bible class. The lesson plans below were taken straight from my blog and have not been edited for content so you may find some comments that related to what was going on at the time. I also throw in a few personal thoughts along the way.
- Authority Part 1
- Authority Part 2
- Authority Part 3
- Salvation Part 1
- Salvation Part 2
- The Church Part 1
- The Church Part 2
- Other Methods
Click on the picture for a tri-fold handout that has all the scriptures listed in this study. This can be kept in your Bible so it is ready to be used whenever the need arises. The handout is in pdf format and should be printed back to back on regular copy paper.
Authority — Part 1
I’ve been taking a break from my regular Bible class teaching for the past 6 months. I plan on starting back up in July. We have a Ladies’ Bible class that meets every other Monday night. We typically meet in someone’s home and share the teaching duties. This Monday night I will be the teacher. We will be be marking our Bibles so we can teach others easier. Here’s what the plan is:
The first topic we’re going to mark will be about the authority of the Bible. If you actually look at what all the differences among people that believe the Bible, it boils down to how they establish authority. So, we are first going to assume that the person we are talking to believes in God and has some respect for the scriptures. Hopefully, after going through this series of scriptures, we will have a common ground on which we can discuss other subjects in the Bible. If we don’t agree on the authority of the Bible, we’ll just be going round and round — not ever getting anywhere.
The section on authority will be marked with a green ball point pen. Each passage will either be underlined or outlined. The longer passages can be outlined (a green box drawn around the entire passage). Each person will need a straight edge to help draw straight lines. I’m going to be giving them a bookmark with the passages listed. This bookmark should suffice as their straight edge.
We’re going to start the study with Genesis 1:1. This is a good place to start because it is easy for the teacher to remember. It also states, from the very beginning, who is in charge. “In the beginning God created…”. He was in the beginning and made everything, so He has the only authority. Since we are assuming that the people we’re talking to believes in God and has some respect for the Bible, this should be an easy passage for us to find a common ground.
Underline the Genesis 1:1. In the margin write: 1 Corinthians 10:26. Be sure to write small and neatly. Abbreviating is a good idea. This tell us to move on to 1 Cor 10:26. Every passage we go to, there will be another passage written in the margins that will let us know where to go to next.
1 Corinthians 10:26 says, “for ‘the earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness.’” This is a quote from Psalm 24:1. It says that everything belongs to the Lord. If you’d like to read the rest of Psalm 24 later, it would give you an idea of the context. For now, underline 1 Corinthians 10:26 and write Hebrews 1:1-3 in the margin.
We’ve established that the world and everything in it belongs to God, so He has the ultimate authority. Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us that He has spoken to us through His Son who, in fact, was there in the beginning. Since this passage is 3 verses it would be a good one to outline. In the margins, write Matthew 28:18-20.
This is what we usually refer to as the great commission. Most people start quoting it at verse 19. Back up to verse 18 and Jesus says, “All authority has been give to Me in heaven and on earth”. Who gave Jesus the authority? God. How much authority was He given? All. God has given ALL authority to Jesus. Underline or outline the passage and write Ephesians 1:20-23 in the margin.
This passage starts in the middle of a sentence. If you want to read the whole sentence, you’ll have to back up to verse 15. Paul is giving thanks for the Christians in Ephesus. During this thanksgiving he states a great truth — that God put all things under Jesus’ feet and made Him head over all things to the church. Matthew 28 says that Jesus has been giving ALL authority and Ephesians 1 says that all things have been put under His feet and He is the head of the church. Again, Jesus is our authority. Outline or underline the passage and write Colossians 1:18 in the margin.
Paul tells the Christians in Colossae that Christ is head of the body, the church and that Christ has the preeminence. Preeminence means dominant or superior to. So Jesus is superior to everyone. He has all authority and He is the head of the church. Underline the verse and write John 13:20 in the margin.
This is all I can do at the moment. I have music lessons starting in a little while. I’ll try to finish it either tonight or tomorrow. We just covered the first 6 verses in the series. There are a total of 30 that we will be marking in our study of authority. I hope to cover at least half of them Monday night.
It’s important, when studying with someone, that they have a copy of the Bible in front of them. They need to turn to the passage and read it for themselves. If they need help finding the passage, this should be done without making them feel like dumb. Just simply turn to the passage for them. Either have them read the passage aloud or have them follow along as you read. It’s important that the see it for themselves.
Authority — Part 2
I left off my last blog about 1/4th the way through our study on Bible authority. We are outlining the following passages in green ballpoint pen:
1 Corinthians 10:26
So far we have learned that God has the ultimate authority because He made it all. He then gave all authority to His Son, Jesus. We left off with Jesus saying, “…he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” We already know that God sent Jesus from the passages we’ve studied. To find out who Jesus sent turn to Ephesians 3:3-5. Before turning to the passage in Ephesians, write Ephesians 3:3-5 in the margins next to John 13:20.
Outline the Ephesians 3:3-5. Verse 3 of this passage says that Jesus made known the mystery to Paul. Verse 4 says that we will be able to read what Paul learned about Jesus. Verse 5 says that the Holy Spirit revealed the mystery of Christ to His apostles. It might be helpful to underline “revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” to help you remember what to emphasize in this passage. Write John 14:26 in the margins.
Jesus is talking to the apostles in this passage. He tells them that the Holy Spirit will be sent by the Father in Christ’s name. The Holy Spirit will teach the apostles all things and help them to remember the things Jesus told them. Outline this verse, underline the words “the Holy Spirit” and write John 16:13 in the margins.
This verse is another assurance Jesus gives His apostles that the Holy Spirit will come and tell them the things they need to hear. Outline and write 1 Cor. 2:9-13 in the margins.
Paul is talking to the Corinthians in this passage. He is telling them that God has revealed the things He freely gave to them through the Holy Spirit. And it is these things that the Holy Spirit teaches that Paul and the other apostles are speaking. Outline and write 2 Peter 1:21 in the margins.
Peter says basically the same things that Paul and Jesus said — that holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Outline and write 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the margins.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” 2 Timothy 3:16. That sums up what we’ve been studying so far. God gave Jesus authority who sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles who wrote down what the Holy Spirit revealed to them. Since all scripture is from God, we can use it all for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction. Doing this will cause anyone following God to be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Outline and write Jude 3 in the margins.
Jude states clearly that the faith was “once for all delivered to the saints”. It was delivered and is complete. There will be nothing new if it has been “once for all delivered”. Outline and write 2 John 9-11 in the margins.
Since we know that the scriptures come from God and have been once for all delivered, it is important for us to respect what they scriptures say and to obey them. John says that if we do not obey the teachings of Christ, we do not have God. If we do obey, we have both the Father and the Son. He goes on to say that we should shun anyone who does not bring the teachings of Christ. Outline the passage and write Deut 4:2 in the margins.
This next passage takes us way back to the Old Law. It gives us an insight into how God expects those who follow Him to handle His Word. God clearly says that no one is to add to the word or take away from the word. Underline the words “not add” and “nor take from”. Outline and write Deut 12:32 in the margins.
This passage echoes what was in the previous passage. God commanded the Israelites to observe His commandments. They were not to add to them nor take away from them. Again, underline “not add” and “nor take away”. Outline and write Rev. 22:18-19 in the margins.
From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God expects the same thing from those who follow Him. Obey His words, do not add to nor take away from. Revelations 22 echoes the same thoughts that were in Deut. It adds a consequence of tampering with God’s word — “God shall take away his part from the Book of life…”. Anyone who truly believes that God is the creator of all and the one true God, must believe His Word found in the Bible and must respect it enough to obey it without changing to in any way. Underline the words “adds” and “takes away”. Outline the passage and write 2 Timothy 1:13 in the margins.
Paul tells Timothy to “hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me…” Paul wants Timothy to do what he has instructed him. He calls his instructions a “pattern”. This pattern is written for all men to read, understand and follow. Since God gave us a pattern, we must follow the pattern if we want to be what God wants us to be. If we do not follow the pattern, we will not be followers of Christ (Christians). Underline “the pattern”. Outline the passage and write 2 Pet 1:2-3 in the margins.
Peter summarizes the whole concept of Biblical authority. Jesus has given us all things that we need to live a godly life. Underline “all things”. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 11:24 in the margins.
So far, we have seen that God has authority over everything because He made everything. God gave all authority to His Son, Jesus. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reveal all things to the apostles. The apostles taught those they came in contact with and wrote down (scriptures) what they learned from the Holy Spirit so that all men could read what the one true God wants them to do.
If the person you are teaching is receptive to what you’ve presented so far, then you now have a common ground to study other things. The next step in Marking Your Bibles will be looking at Bible interpretation by looking at one topic: Lord’s Supper. This will lay the ground work for looking at all the other topics in the Bible. Then we’ll take a look at the difference in the Old Testament and the New Testament. I’ll try to cover both of those in my next blog.
Authority — Part 3
Tonight is our 2nd Ladies’ Bible class where we mark our Bibles. We had 12 ladies come last time and they all seemed to enjoy it. It was the quietest class we had ever had, so I wasn’t sure if they were enjoying it, but they were working marking their Bibles. They said they wanted to do this the rest of the summer. Our class meets every other Monday night. That will mean 6 more sessions.
Tonight we will be finishing marking the authority scriptures. These passages are outlined in green and the next verse is written in the margin. Last week we marked the following passages:
1 Corinthians 10:26
1 Corinthians 2:9-13
2 Peter 1:21
2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 John 9-11
2 Timothy 1:13
2 Peter 1:2-3
After going through these passages, it is easy to see that the New Testament is our final authority. We can go to it for all we need and there will be nothing new added. After coming to an agreement on this, it is much easier to discuss anything else in the Bible. The passages we’ll mark tonight will help explain how we are to interpret the scriptures. Then we’ll answer the question “What about the Old Testament?” All 3 of these topics — Chain ofAuthority, interpreting scripture and “what about the Old Testament?” — will answer many of the questions that people commonly ask about the Bible.
When teaching someone, it is best if you both have a Bible open and, if possible, have the one you’re teaching read the passages, or at least read along with you. It is important for him to see what God says with his own eyes. It’s also a good idea to have a pad of paper (legal pad works great) with you. As you turn to a passage, write it down. Make any notes to the side that seem appropriate. Then, at the end of the session, let the person you’re studying with take the paper home.
Tonight we will start marking our Bibles that show how to interpret scripture or to follow the pattern. There are just two passages that will used. These two passages will show an example of using a direct command, apostolic example and necessary implication. These three things are what we use in our every day life to interpret anything we read or see or hear. If you tell your child to wash his hands, you expect him to wash his hands. That would be a direct command. If your child sees you wash your hands before you eat, he’ll learn that by your example that he is to wash his hands before he eats. If you tell your child that you want him to wash his hands before he eats, it implies that you want him to wash his hands every time he eats. That’s the same logic we should use when studying scripture.
A common example when studying the pattern is the Lord’s Supper. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, before His death. We learn that this command was followed and taught after His resurrection and ascension. In 1 Corinthians 11:24 (if you didn’t mark 1 Corinthians 11:24 at 2 Peter 1:2-3 do it now) we see where Paul was teaching the Corinthians to take the Lord’s Supper. He quotes Jesus saying, “do this in remembrance of me”. This is a direct command. Outline the passage and write Acts 20:7 in the margins. Also write Direct Command in the margin to help you remember what the significance of this passage to this study.
In Acts 20:7, we see both an apostolic example and necessary inference. An apostolic example is something the apostles did and so we do. A necessary inference is something that has to be concluded in the passage. It can’t be understood any other way. The passage says that on the first day of the disciples came together to break bread and Paul spoke to them. This is an example of the disciples and Paul taking the lord’s Supper on Sunday. This examples tells us that we should do the same thing. The passage states that this was done on the first day of the week. The first day of the week is Sunday. Every week has a first day (or Sunday). It is implied that we are to do this every first day of the week. To pick and choose the first day of the week that we want to take the Lord’s Supper would be to add to scripture. We learned back in 2 John 9-11, Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18-19 that we are not to add to scripture. Write 2 Timothy 2:15 in the margin. Also write Apostolic Example and Necessary Implication
It’s amazing how something as simple as that can be so misunderstood. We need to hold to the pattern and not our own desires.
Well, What about the Old Testament? It is inevitable that someone will ask about things that were commanded or practiced in the Old Testament. It is important that we understand how God wants us to use the Old Testament. Turn to 2 Timothy 2:15. Paul tells Timothy to be diligent (or study) and to rightly divide the word of truth. Timothy is to use the word in the correct manner. This implies that there is a wrong way to use scripture. Outline the passage, underline study and rightly divide, then write Galatians 3:22-25 in the margin.
The Scripture referred to in Galatians 3:22-25 is the Old Testament. The Old Testament guarded the Jews until faith came. The law is the tutor to bring us to Christ. After faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. In other words, after Christ has come, we do not need the old law any longer. It was there to prepare the Jews for Christ. Outline and write Colossians 2:14-15 in the margin.
In Colossians 2:14-15 Paul is teaching the Christians in Colossae that the what was the before (the handwriting of requirements) was again us. But Jesus took it out of the way. He nailed the old law to the cross. Outline and write Hebrews 8:6-7 in the margin.
The Hebrew writer in Hebrew 8:6-7 tells us that Jesus has given us a better covenant, established on better promises. The first covenant (old testament) was faulty, the second covenant (new testament) is better. Outline and write Hebrews 9:16-17 in the margin.
He goes on to say in Hebrews 9:16-17 that without Christ’s death, there would be no testament. There must be the death of the testator, for the testament (will) to be in effect. This will that came into effect after Christ’s death is the New Testament. Outline and write Hebrews 10:1-9 in the margin.
Again the Hebrew writer goes on in Hebrews 10:1-9 to compare the old law to a shadow of what is to come. It wasn’t the very thing, it was a shadow. At the end of this passage he that Christ “takes away the first that He may establish the second.” He took away the old law (the shadow) so he could establish the new law (the image). Underline “the law” and “ a shadow” in verse 1. Outline “takes away the first” and “establish the second” in verse 9. Outline and write Romans 15:4 in the margin.
So, if the Old Law was nailed to the cross, taken away, and faulty, why do we have it in our Bible? Turn to Romans 15:4. Paul tells the Romans that whatever was written before was written for our learning. We are to learn from the Old Testament. What are we to learn? We are to learn how God created the world. We are to learn how sin came into the world. We are to learn how God responds to sin. We are to learn how God chose Abraham to be the father of His chosen people. We are to learn how much God loved the Israelites. We are to learn what He does to those that He loves when they obey Him. We are to learn what He does to those that He loves when they disobey Him. There is so much to learn from the Old Testament. Knowing all of these things about God and what He wants from those who follow Him should give us hope.
Salvation — Part 1
Monday night was our ladies’ Bible class. We continued marking our Bibles. This time we used a red pen and marked a series of passages that would help us teach someone about salvation. We got half way through the passages and will finish them next time.
In the section on salvation, there are 7 specific topics to be discussed:
The last passage of our series on Authority was Romans 15:4. To maintain a continuous flow for your study, go to Romans 15:4 and mark (with your red pen) Matthew 7:21-27. So I would know which topic I’m about to switch to, I put Obedience in parenthesis. This will allow you to be aware that you’re through with authority and are getting ready to talk about obedience.
This study may be a continuation of the original study (on the same day) or you may have taken a break from studying and are now meeting at a different time. If that is the case, you need to do a quick review. You need to remind the person you’re studying with that since God made everything, He alone has authority to do whatever He wants. He chose to give all authority to Christ who then sent the Holy Spirit to tell the apostles what we needed to know who then wrote it down. So, whatever is written down in the New Testament is our final authority.
One more thing before we get started here. There are a few very long passages in this study. It may be tempting to just summarize these passages and go on. It’s important to remember that this is a Bible study. It would be very appropriate to read large portions of it. Of course, you’ll have to make a decision on just how much the person your studying with will tolerate, but don’t underestimate their desire to hear the Bible being read. That’s why they are there. If they didn’t want to know what it said, they would be somewhere else. In other words, read the long passages with feeling, stopping only occasionally to make a point here or there. Let God’s word speak for itself.
Matthew 7:21-27: Obedience is very important. There are many people today that do not obey Christ. They do what they want and say they are doing it in His name. Jesus is telling us in the Sermon on the Mount that those who are doing things in His name are not going to go to heaven unless they are actually doing His will (obeying Him). This is the passage of the wise/foolish man. Many people will be familiar with this because of the children’s song that has been sung for years. It will probably be a breath of fresh air to someone to hear something they are so familiar with. I may also be a shock to realize the harsh words Jesus used just before it. Outline and write John 3:36 in the margin.
John 3:36: This is a clear statement of what will happen you believe in the Son and what will happen if you don’t. Believe — everlasting life…does not believe — not see life. Outline and write Luke 6:46-49 in the margin.
Luke 6:46-49: This is a parallel passage with Matthew 7 above. Jesus asks the question: Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? That’s a very legitimate question and one that we all need to ask ourselves. He then goes into the wise/foolish man again. Outline and write John 8:31 in the margin.
John 8:31: Here Jesus is talking to the believing Jews. He simply said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” To abide is to do, live by, obey. If we obey Him, we are his disciples (students, followers). Outline and write Acts 5:29 in the margin.
Acts 5:29: Here Peter after being given strict instructions not to teach about Jesus anymore is found teaching about Jesus. When asked by the high priest why they disobeyed, Peter said, “We ought to obey God rather than man.” We need to be convicted enough to obey God even when it goes against the norm, goes against the civil authorities or goes against our peers. We must obey God. Outline and write Roman 2:8 in the margin.
Romans 2:8: Here, Paul tells the Romans what will hapen to those that seek their own will, and do not obey the truth: indignation, wrath, tribulation, anguish. He goes on to say that those who obey will receive: glory, honor, peace. Outline and write 2 Thess 1:7-9 in the margin.
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9: What will happen to those who do not obey the gospel? Jesus, with his mighty angels in flaming fire will take vengeance. They (disobedient ones) will be punished with everlasting destruction. Outline and write Matt 10:37-38 in the margin.
Matthew 10:37-38: In this passage, Jesus is requiring His followers to make a choice — who will they love more — father/mother? son/daughter? He’s not asking us to hate our family, He’s asking us to make a choice. Love Him more than these. That’s hard for most people. It’s hard to say I love something or someone more than my family. If we don’t though, Jesus say we are not worthy of Him. Outline write Galatians 1:6-9
Galatians 1:6-9: Here is a warning against turning away from Christ, against turning to a different gospel. It’s important to realize that there are people who will teach a “different gospel”. We need to be so familiar with God’s word that we know when someone is teaching something different. Paul plainly says, “If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Accursed — that’s pretty harsh. We are to turn away from people that teach things contrary to God’s will. Outline and write Joshua 24:15 in the margin.
Joshua 24:15: Here is Joshua’s famous speech about serving God. We all need to be as convicted as Joshua was. We need to make a decision about who we are going to follow and stand firm. If we go through life just sort of being convicted, we will not stand firm when the going gets tough. We need to decide, right now, that we will only serve God. It doesn’t matter what the neighbors (Amorites) are doing or what our family (gods which your fathers served) is doing, we must serve God. Outline and write 1 Kings 18:21 in the margin.
1 Kings 18:21: Here is another great man we should try to copy. Elijah stood by his conviction in the hardest of times. Here on Mount Carmel, he is talking to Ahab and his people. They have continually served baal and Asherah. Elijah asks them, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” Stop and ask yourself (and the person your studying with) who are you going to follow? After all the studying that we’ve done, you should be able to confidently say, “I will follow God.” Outline and write John 17:20-23 in the margin. Write Unity in parenthesis.
John 17:20-23: Here, Jesus is praying to His Father. After praying for His apostles, He then goes on to pray for the rest of us — those who believe in Him through their (apostles) word. He prays that we all may be one. He goes on to compare our being one to the Father and the Son being one. We are to have that same unity. Outline and write 1 Cor 1:10-13 in the margin.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13: Paul pleads with the Corinthians here to be unified. He tells them to “speak the same thing”. He wants them to have “no divisions among” them. He wants them to “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Paul warns against them being followers of mere men. Outline and write Eph 4:3-4 in the margin.
Ephesians 4:3-4: This passage again stresses unity. Paul tells the Ephesians that there is one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. Notice the unity word — one. Outline and write 1 Cor 12:12 in the margin.
1 Corinthians 12:12: Again, one is emphasized here. We are all many people (members) that make up one body. For more clarification on this passage, read the entire chapter 12. It goes on to say that we all can’t be the same (hand, foot, eye). We all are part of the body and are all important to the body. Outline and write Matt 16:16-18.
Matthew 16:16-18: Jesus has just asked His disciples who they think He is. Peter correctly said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus says yes, and then goes on to say that upon this confession (rock) I will build My church. Note that He said, “My church.” Not my churches. Jesus built one church and those who obey Him are part of His church. Outline and write Acts 1:6-2:47 in the margin.
Acts 1:6-2:47: This is the first of the really long readings. It talks about Christ’s ascension into Heaven, the choosing of Matthias and the beginning of the church. Use your discretion on how much to read, but if at all possible, read it all. After reading the previous passage (Matt 16:16-18) where Jesus said He will build His church, this is the next logically place to go — the beginning of His church. Notice that the question asked of Peter in 2:37 (Men and brethren, what shall we do?) was answered very simply, without any theological discussion, or clarification of beliefs, or alternatives to the original teaching. Peter simply said, “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” He then goes on to say that those who were saved were added to the church. Note: He said, they were added to the church. He didn’t say, now go join the church of your choice. Outline and write Romans 10:17 in the margin. Write Faith in parenthesis.
Romans 10:17: This is our first passage on faith. This passage teaches us that we get faith by hear the word of God. So, doing what you’re doing, reading your Bible, studying what He wants you to do is going to give you faith. Outline and write John 20:30-32 in the margin.
John 20:30-32: Here at the end of John, John states why he wrote the book. All of the things written in this book were written “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Do you want to believe? Read the book of John. Outline and write John 3:16 in the margin.
John 3:16: Here’s another very familiar passage to most people — For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. What will happen if we believe in the Son of God? We will have everlasting life. Outline and write John 8:24 in the margin.
John 8:24: What will happen if you do not believe in that Jesus is the son of God? Jesus says that you will die in your sins. Outline and write Eph 2:8-10 in the margin.
Ephesians 2:8-10: Paul tells the Ephesians that they were saved by grace through faith — not works. They were not saved because they were so smart or skilled that they figured out how to be saved. They were saved because they believed in Christ which lead them to obey His good works. Outline and write Mark 16:16 in the margin.
Mark 16:16: A very simple statement by Jesus Himself: He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Is belief important? Outline and write Heb 11 in the margin.
Hebrews 11: Here is another long passage. This is a wonderful passage that reminds the Jews and us about all the wonderful men of faith in their history. These men believed in God and were praised for it. Their belief was shown by the deeds they did. The reading is long, but if you can at all get by with it, read it aloud. The person you’re studying with, if he’s still with you, will probably enjoy it and definitely benefit from it. The 1st verse gives a definition of faith. Faith is what we hope for and what we cannot see. If we can’t really hope for it, it’s not of faith. If we can see it, it’s not of faith. Underline verse 6. What if we don’t have faith? “It is impossible to please Him…” Outline and write Gal 5:6 in the margin.
Galatians 5:6: This passage takes us back to our discussion on the importance of the old law versus the new law. Now, in Christ, circumcision doesn’t matter. Neither does the lack of circumcision matter. What does matter is faith working through love. Outline and write James 2:14-24 in the margin.
James 2:14-24: Can we just have faith? James asks what faith profits without works? Can faith save? In verse 20 he says that faith without works is dead? He then goes on to remind us about Abraham and Rahab. Their faith resulted in their works. Faith works together with works making faith perfect (complete). We need to remember that when we talk about works, we’re talking about the works of God, not man. We must believe in God and obey his commands, then we are complete. Outlien and write Luke 13:3-5 in the margin. Write Repentance in parenthesis.
This is as far as we got in our class Monday night. We’ll pick up from here next time.
Salvation — Part 2
Isn’t modern technology wonderful? I spent close to an hour working on this blog entry. The internet didn’t seem to be working right so I restarted the computer (it has seemed to do the trick before). Before I restarted the computer, I clicked Save Draft and assumed it was all saved. When I got back to it after lunch, the internet was working great, but my draft entry was no where to be seen. So, I get to do this all over again.
It’s been a while since I actually taught this class but I wanted to make sure I recorded it here so if I (or anyone else) needed the information at a later time, it would be here. We ended our last ladies’ class on marking our Bibles using the red pen for the topic: Salvation. We had marked passages that dealt with obedience, unity and faith. We will start here with repentance. If you haven’t already done so, turn to James 2:14-24 and mark the next passage Luke 13:3-5 in the margin. Put repentance in parenthesis so you’ll be reminded that we’re changing topics here.
Repentance: Before we get started studying about repentance, it is a good idea to come to an agreement on what the word means. Sometimes, when talking to others about the Bible, we forget that what we think a word means is different than what they think a word means. Repentance means to turn away. In this case repentance refers to turning away from evil or sin.
Luke 13:3-5: Although we’ve already talked about authority and how anything written in the Bible is profitable for us to learn from, someone you are studying with might still want to put more emphasis on Jesus’ words than the rest of the Bible. This passage starts off with the words of Jesus: I tell you… Jesus is telling the people that if they don’t repent (turn away from their sins) they will perish. Outline the passage and underline the word I tell you. Write Acts 17:30 in the margin
Acts 17:30: This is the end of Paul’s sermon about the Unknown God. He had just finished telling Athenians about the God that they worshiped without knowing. He tells them that God overlooked their ignorance but things were different now. He now commands all men everywhere to repent. Outline and write Acts 2:38 in the margin.
Acts 2:38: We’ve already looked at the 1st two chapters of Acts when we were studying unity. Now we’re going to focus in on verse 38. Review what the 2 chapters are about before beginning. In verse 36, Peter accused the Jews of killing the One they had been waiting for all these years. They had killed the one that David and Joel had talked about. The Jews that were listening to this were very saddened when they realized what they had done. Verse 37 says that they were pricked (or cut) to the heart. They asked Peter what the should to rectify this matter. He very simply said that they should repent and be baptized. Since we’ve already outlined the passage, underline verse 38. Write Acts 3:19 in the margin.
Acts 3:19: After the beginning of the church in chapter 2, Peter and John go to the temple to pray. They heal the lame man in front of the gate. When the people in the temple realize what has happened they all gather around Peter and John. Peter takes this opportunity to teach them about Jesus. He again tells them that they killed the “Prince of life”. He tells them in verse 19 to “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Outline the verse and underline repent and sins may be blotted out. Write Romans 2:4 in the margin.
Romans 2:4: What will lead to repentance? This passage tells us that the goodness of God does. When we don’t repent, we are despising God’s riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering. Outline and write 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 in the margin.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10: What else will lead to repentance? This passage says that godly sorrow will. Paul was glad that the Corinthians had sorrow. He wasn’t glad they were hurting but that their sorrow would produce repentance. Godly sorrow produces repentance which leads to salvation. Worldly sorrow produces death. Outline and write Luke 15:7 in the margin.
Luke 15:7: What an uplifting verse to the sinner who repents. When someone repents, there is rejoicing in heaven. Sometimes we tend to detach ourselves from what is going on in heaven. This passage teaches us that what we do on earth is known in heaven. What a comfort to those who are trying to do what’s right. Outline and write Acts 26:20 in the margin.
Acts 26:20: Here, Paul is telling King Agrippa about his conversion. He tells the king that he did what Jesus told him to on the road to Damascus. He taught Jesus in Damascus, Jerusalem and throughout Judea. Then he taught Jesus to the Gentiles. He taught the same message — that they should repent. In case the definition of repentance is still a little fuzzy, here, Paul gives a definition for us — turn to God. He also taught that they should do works befitting repentance. Outline the verse and write Matthew 10:32-33 in the margin. Write Confession in parenthesis so you’ll know we’re starting a new topic.
Confession: Again we need to come to an understanding of the words we’re talking about. Confession can either be an admitting guilt of sins or a declaration of our faith. These passages will talk about both of these kinds of confessions.
Matthew 10:32-33: Here again, Jesus is doing the talking. He says if you confess Him before men, He’ll confess you to His Father. At the same time if you don’t confess Him before men, he will not confess you before His Father. That is a very humbling thought. We are to have the courage to stand up to friends and foes alike and confess Jesus. Outline the verses and write Matthew 16:16 in the margin.
Matthew 16:16: We’ve already outlined this passage when we were talking unity. We will come back to it again later as well. We want to concentrate on verse 16. Jesus just asked Peter who He (Jesus) is. Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is an example of a confession that states faith in Jesus. Since we’ve outlined this verse already, underline verse 16. Write Romans 10:9-10 in the margin. Also write confession nearby so you will know to follow this verse when talking about confession.
Romans 10:9-10: Here is an example of a confession a non-Christian would make. The YOU in this verse refers to someone who has not obeyed the gospel yet. Paul says that to be saved, you must confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and that you must believe with all your heart that God has raised hIm from the dead. Belief comes from within, confession communicates our belief to others. Outline and write Acts 8:37 in the margin.
Acts 8:37: We will be looking at this entire passage when we talk about conversions. Right now, we’ll concentrating on verse 37. The eunuch has just asked Philip why he couldn’t be baptized. Philip tells him that if he believes with all his heart he may. The eunuch said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This is an example of a confession made by a sinner just before baptism. Since we’re going to come back and outine the entire passage, underline verse 37. Write 1 Timothy 6:12-13 in the margin. Write confession next to it so you’ll know to follow this verse when you come back to it later.
1Timothy 6:12-13: Paul gives Timothy advice for living the Christian life. Paul tells him to fight the good fight of faith. He tells Timothy that this is the faith he confessed (the good confession) to many witnesses. Timothy, a Christian, continually confessed the good confession as he went about teaching others about Christ. Outline verse 12-13 and write 1 John 1:9 in the margin.
1 John 1:9: Here, John is talking to Christians. He tells them that if we confess our sins, He (Jesus) will forgive us our sins. Christians are to confess their sins or admit to their sins. Outline and write James 5:16 in the margins.
James 5:16: Again, the Christian is told to confess his sins (trespasses). This time it says to confess the sins to one another. Then the Christians are commanded to pray for one another. What a comforting thought that we as Christians can tell each other our sins and we will pray for each other. Outline and write Acts 19:18 in the margin.
Acts 19:18: When Paul was in Ephesus, many were converted and turned from their evil ways. In this verse it says that who had believed confessed and told about their deeds. The very next verse shows that they went on to destroy the evil influences among themselves by burning their magic books. Outline and write John 3:1-5 in the margin. Write Baptism in parenthesis so you’ll know we are changing topics.
Baptism: This is controversial subject among religious people. It really doesn’t need to be if you go back and understand what the word means. The greek word means to immerse. That simple fact can eliminate quite a bit of the controversy. If you’d like more information on the subject of baptism, check out this article by Danny Dow: Understanding Baptism.
John 3:3-5: This first passage about baptism lets us know how important Jesus thinks baptism is. He says that unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. In some versions it says the you “must” be born again. Jesus is not leaving any doubt that He thinks baptism (being born again) is important. Outline and write Mark 16:16 int he margin.
Mark 16:16: We have already outlined this passage when we talked about belief (faith). This time we want to concentrate on baptism. This verse makes it very clear that we cannot be saved if we don’t believe. In fact if we don’t believe, we’ll be condemned. Linked next to belief in the verse is baptism. It too, is required for salvation. Underline baptized and write Matthew 28:19 in the margin. Write baptism nearby so you’ll know to follow this scripture reference in the future.
Matthew 28:19: Underline this verse because we’ve already outlined verses 18-20 in green. Jesus commands the apostles to go and make disciples of all the nations. How? Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Outline and write 1 Peter 3:20-21 in the margin.
1 Peter 3:20-21: Peter compares the salvation of Noah from the flood with baptism. Noah was saved through water. We are saved through baptism (or immersion) in water. This baptism is not a washing of the dirt from our skin. Outline and write Titus 3:3-5 in the margin.
Titus 3:3-5: We are foolish. We are disobedient. We are deceived. We are hateful and full envy. We can not be saved by our righteousness. We are saved by the washing of regeneration (baptism) according to His mercy. There is nothing we could do. It was all because Christ died for our sins that we are able to be saved when we are baptized. Outline and write Acts 22:16 in the margin. Underline THROUGH THE WASHING OF REGENERATION.
Acts 22:16: We will come back to the full context of this verse when we look at the conversions. For now, underline verse 16. Ananias tells Paul to “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Paul was instructed to be baptized. Why would he need to that? To wash away his sins. Underline verse and write Gal 3:26, 27 in the margin.
Galatians 3:26, 27: The previous verses 22-25 have been outlined in green. It would be a good idea to review these verses to get the context. In verse 27 we are told that “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ”. What happens when we are baptized into Christ? we put on Christ. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 12:13 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST and PUT ON CHRIST.
1 Corinthians 12:13: We looked at verse 12 when we studied unity. Then, we emphasized “one body”. When we keep reading into verse 13 we see that we are baptized into one body. All of us. Jews, Greeks, slaves, free. We are all baptized into one body. Baptism is for everyone, thus salvation is for everyone. Outline and write Ephesians 4:5 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY.
Ephesians 4:5: Just like 1 Corinthians 12:12, we looked at Ephesians 4:4 when studying unity — emphasizing “one body”. Keep reading andwe see that there is more to be unified in: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. For our purposes here, concentrate on baptism. If there is just one baptism, where do all these others come from? The Bible tells us what that one baptism is. It is immersion in water for the remission of our sins. If the person you are studying with has been baptized for any other reason or through any other means, they haven’t been baptized according the scriptures. Outline and write Colossians 2:11-14 in the margin. Underline ONE BODY.
Colossians 2:11-14: What exactly is baptism? Verse 12 says that we are buried with Him (Christ) in baptism and raised with Him through faith. Baptism is a burial. We are then raised like Christ was. Verse 13 says that before we were dead in our sins. Now He has made us alive, forgiving our sins. So we are buried to sin and raise again with our sins forgiven. Outline and write Romans 6:3-6 in the margin. Underline BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM and RAISED WITH HIM THROUGH FAITH. Also underline HE HAS MADE ALIVE.
Romans 6:3-6: This passage is similar to the one above. We are baptized into His (Christ’s) death. Like Christ was raised form the dead, we walk in newness of life. We die to sin that we no longer are slaves to sin. Outline and write John 3:23 in the margin. Underline BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH AND WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE and WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE SLAVES OF SIN.
John 3:23: What’s required for baptism? We are told in John 3 that much water is required. This should be obvious. If baptism means immersion, then there needs to be a lot of water to immerse someone. Outline and write Acts 2:41 in the margin. Underline MUCH WATER.
Acts 2:41: What happened the day the church began? We’ve visited this chapter a couple of times now and will come back again later. In verse 41 we are told that anyone that received the word gladly were baptized. Then what happened? Those that were baptized were added to them. They were added to the church. We see it again in verse 47 (don’t underline it yet, we’ll be back). It says the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Underline verse 41 and write Acts 2:1-47 in the margin. Write conversions in parenthesis in the margin nearby so you’ll know we’re changing topics.
Conversions: We’ve discussed what the Bible teaches someone needs to do to be saved. From what we’ve seen so far, we know that one must have faith that Jesus is the son of God and was raised from dead. We know that one must be sorry for their sins and change their ways through repentance. We know that someone must tell others about Christ, confessing Him with the mouth. We know that someone must be buried with Christ through baptism. This washes away the sins and God adds the person to the church. In this last part of salvation, we’ll look at the examples given to us of people being converted to Christ. All of these examples are in the book of Acts. It is helpful to draw a chart to fill in as you study these conversions. I hope to have one available to share with you later. On most of these conversions, there is definite moment of belief and a definite moment of salvation. If there is room in your Bible, write belief next to the point of belief and salvation next to the point of salvation.
Acts 2:1-47: The Jews at Pentecost. Here we are again at Acts 2. By now, the person you’re studying with should be somewhat familiar with this chapter. Don’t assume too much though. Take some time to review what has happened. Go over the sermon that Peter preached. Point out the prophecies that peter describes as foretelling the events that just happened. Remind them of the Jews reaction and what Peter’s response to them was. The Jews on this day were told to repent and be baptized. Those that were baptized were added to the church (vs 47). Verse 37 is the point of belief with the Jews (they were cut to the heart and asked “What shall we do?). Verse 41 (and 47) is the point of salvation. Three thousand souls were added to them. Since it is all outlined and the major points are pretty much underlined, just write the next passage in the margins (Acts 8:4-13). Also write Conversion — Jews so you’ll be reminded who was actually converted in this passage.
Acts 8:4-13: The Samaritans (and Simon). After the death of Stephen, the Christians scattered into the surrounding regions. This allowed the gospel to be spread by many people to many people. Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached Christ. The scriptures tells us that the multitudes heeded the things spoken by Philip. Philip healed many people and there was great joy in that city. Read this conversion story aloud. Verse 12 is the point of belief and salvation for the Samaritans. It says that “they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ.” It goes on to say “both men and women were baptized.” Write belief by the word believed and salvation by the word baptized. Verse 13 gives us information about Simon specifically. Earlier (vs 9-11) we were told about Simon. Here in vs 13 we are told he believed and was baptized. Write belief next to believed and salvation next to baptism. Outline the passage and write Acts 8:26-39 in the margin. Also write conversion — Samaritans/Simon. Underline BELIEVED and BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WERE BAPTIZED in verse 12. Also underline SIMON HIMSELF ALSO BELIEVED and HE WAS BAPTIZED in verse 13.
Acts 8:26-39: This is the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. Read the conversion story aloud. Philip was miraculously guided by an angel to go see the Ethiopian. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The eunuch indicated that he would need a teacher to help him. Philip began teaching him from the scripture he was at and preached Jesus to him. Enough must have been said to indicate that the eunuch would need to be baptized. He asked Philip “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Philip said “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch then said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This verse (37) is where the eunuch’s belief is evident. Write belief in the margin. The eunuch commanded the chariot to stand still. Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he (Philip) baptized him (eunuch). This is the point of salvation. Write Salvation in the margin. Outline the passage and write Acts 9:1-9 in the margin. Also write Conversion — Eunuch.
Acts 9:1-9: Saul. The conversion of Saul is mentioned 3 times in the book of Acts. We will use this one and the one in chapter 22 for our study here. Just so you’ll know, there is another time Paul/ Saul talks about his conversion in chapter 26. Read this conversion aloud. The point of belief for Saul is in verse 6 when he asks, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” the point of salvation isn’t until verse 18 when it says that “he arose and was baptized.” Outline and write Acts 22:6-16 in the margin. You might want to also note Acts 26:12-18 in case you want to see the third conversion story of Saul. Write Conversion — Saul in the margin. Underline LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO? and HE AROSE AND WAS BAPTIZED. Write belief next to verse 6 and salvation next to verse 18.
Acts 22:6-16: Saul. We’re going to jump ahead to the other version of Saul’s conversion since we’re talking about him now. In this passage Paul is telling his story to the Jews. In this passage Verse 10 is the point of belief and verse 16 is the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 10:1-48 in the margin. Write Conversion — Saul. Also write belief next to verse 10 and salvation next to verse 16.
Acts 10:1-48: Cornelius. This conversion has great significance because it is the first time a gentile was saved. Until now all the conversions have been Jewish. Here, God is telling Peter, all the apostles and us that Gentiles are to be saved just like the Jews. This is pretty lengthy reading but due to its importance, take the time to read it aloud, pausing as you go along to make comments if necessary. We are told in verse 2 that Cornelius was a devout man that feared God. Here would be our point of belief. Of course, he hasn’t believed in Christ yet, but his subsequent actions make it quite evident that he did. Cornelius’ point of salvation is in verse 48 where it says, “and he commanded them to be baptized.” Peter goes on to tell the Jewish Christians in chapter 11 about Cornelius’ conversion. He said in verse 17 that since God gave the Gentiles the same gift as He gave us , who was I that I could with stand God. Those that heard him said, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” Outline and write Acts 16:13-15 in the margin. Write Conversion — Cornelius. Also write belief next to verse 2 and salvation next to verse 48. Underline A DEVOUT MAN AND ONE WHO FEARED GOD in verse 2 and underline AND HE COMMANDED THME TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD in verse 48.
Acts 16:13-15: Lydia. Read this passage aloud. There is not a specific point of belief for Lydia. Verse 14 says that “Lydia heard us”. Then in verse 15 it says that “she and her household were baptized indicating her salvation. Outline and write Acts 16:27-34 in the margin. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 15. Write conversion — Lydia in the margin.
Acts 16:27-34: Philippian Jailer. Read this passage aloud. Again we are not given a specific point of belief. His actions demonstrate his belief, but actions are a little hard to underline. Verse 33 states that he and all his family were baptized. That would be the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 18:8 in the margin. Write conversion — Philippian jailer. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 33.
Acts 18:8: Corinthians. The last conversion to look at is that Corinthians. It is just one verse long but it says so much. “Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Outline and underline CRISPUS and CORINTHIANS.
This is the conclusion of the salvation portion of marking your Bibles. It’s important to note that not all the things mentioned above were in every single conversion in Acts. It is assumed that since the Corinthians/Crispus hear, believed and were baptized that they also repented and confessed Jesus. The same goes with the others. The fact that a specific step to salvation was not mentioned does not mean those people or that person did not have to do that step. It is assumed that they did. Otherwise, they would not be found acceptable to God for all the reasons mentioned in the earlier portion of this study.
Our next Marking Your Bibles topic will be The Church. We will use orange ink to mark this section.
The Church — Part 1
Tonight, our ladies’ class will begin marking their Bibles (The Church) using orange pens. I don’t know if I already mentioned it but we found some really neat pens for doing the marking at our local Wal-mart. There were about 10 pens in a package and each package had at least 2 of each color: purple, red, green, orange. The package cost less than $1. We just bought a bunch of packages and pass the pens out at during ladies’ class. That way, everyone is not scrambling to find a pen the right color.
The section on The Church begins with the beginning. We’ll talk a little about the church as talked about in Daniel, and the beginning of the church in Acts. Then we’ll spend some time talking about the organization of the church: universal/local, elders/deacons/saints. The third section is talking about the worship and then we’ll talk about the work of the church. Hopefully, tonight we’ll get through the beginning and the organizaiton.
If you are keeping a cheat sheet on a blank page in your Bible (that’s a section where you write the beginning of passage of each section for quick reference later), use an orange pen to write:
Beginnings — Ephesians 3:10-12
Organization — Colossians 1:18
Worship — Acts 4:23-31
Work — Matthew 28:19-20
Let’s get started:
The church was always part of God’s plan. Today people want to lessen its importance by claiming that it was just added because the Jews killed Jesus. We’ll find out that God had told us about the church way back in Daniel.
Ephesians 3:10-12: Verse 11 states that something was all done “according to the eternal purpose”. All along God had planned for something to happen. What was that something? Verse 10 says that the manifold wisdom of God would be made known. How would God’s wisdom be made known? By the church. If you look back in verse 9, you’ll see that there is a
“fellowship of mystery”. This mystery was from the “beginning of the ages” and was “hidden in God”. What is this mysterious fellowship? The church. God had hidden this mystery from the beginning. Outline and write Daniel 2:31-45 in the margin. Underline wisdom of God might be made known by the church and according to the eternal purpose.
Daniel 2:31-45: Here, we read about the dream King Nebuchadnezzar had and the meaning of the dream as God revealed to Daniel. A lot of people today try to make this dream into something it is not. It is simply telling Nebuchadnezzar that his kingdom is soon to come to an end, what will happen afterward and what will ultimately happen with the coming of the church. Read the entire passage aloud. Verse 44 tells about a kingdom that will be set up by God. It will never be destroyed. It shall stand forever. Outline the entire passage and write Matthew 16:16-19 in the margin. Underline verse 44.
Matthew 16:16-19: We have already outlined this passage in red when we talked about salvation. Read it again aloud. The part that we need to point out here is that Jesus said He would build “My church”. He was going to build one church, not many. It would be His. Verse 19 refers to the Kingdom of heaven. This is the same kingdom talked about in Daniel. The one that would never end. It is the same as the church. We have already underlined “My church”. This time, box it in with the orange pen. Also box in Kingdom of Heaven. Write acts 1:7-8 in the margin.
Acts 1:7-8: The next 3 passages are found in Acts 1 and 2. We have already read this passage aloud. If it has been awhile since that study, read it aloud again, concentrating on the 3 passages we are going to outline in orange. The first chapter of Acts tells us about the last minutes Jesus spent on earth. Verses 7 and 8 are His final instructions to the apostles. He tells them that they will become witnesses of Him in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit would come and give them power. When chapter 2 opens up, they are in Jerusalem waiting and they receive their power. Outline verses 7 and 8 (or underline). Write Acts 2:33 in the margin.
Acts 2:33: Review the sermon Peter preached in Acts 2. He is not speaking his own thoughts. The Holy Spirit has come and is guiding Peter in his words. Peter tells the Jews about the events that recently happened. He tells them that these things were prophesied by David and Joel. He tells them that Jesus, who they killed, is now “exalted to the right hand of God”. Jesus is sitting on the throne of His kingdom. Underline vs 33 and write Acts 2:47 in the margin.
Acts 2:47: Here we see what ultimately happened after people were repentant (vs 37) and baptized (vs 41). They were “added to the church daily those who were being saved”. We see the church has begun as Jesus ascended to His throne. Underline vs 47 and write Acts 11:15 in the margin
Acts 11:15: Peter is telling the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem about the wonderful events leading up to Cornelius’ salvation. Cornelius was the first gentile to become a Christian. Peter tells the Christians in Jerusalem that the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles that day just like it had upon the apostles “at the beginning”. What is “at the beginning” referring to? Acts 2 the beginning of the church. Peter is saying that the beginning was in Acts 2. So the church began on the day of Pentecost in Acts. Outline verse 15. Underline at the beginning. Write Acts 20:28 in the margin.
Acts 20:28: Paul is telling the Ephesian elders what their role is to be (we’ll talk more about this later). He tells them that they are to shepherd the church of God which “He purchased with His own blood”. The church was bought with the blood of Christ. It belongs to Him and we can be a part of it when we do what He says. Outline verse 28 and underline purchased with His own blood. Write Ephesians 4:4 in the margin.
Ephesians 4:4: Here again, we have boxed this one in red. We want to concentrate on the “one body”. Just as there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, there is one body — the body of Christ, the church. Underline one body and write Ephesians 3:21 in the margin.
Ephesians 3:21: What does the church do? It glorifies Christ. Outline and write Colossians 1:18 in the margin. Underline to Him be glory in the church.
Colossians 1:18: What is the body? Who is its head? Christ is the head. The body is the church. This is already outlined in green, so underline and He is the head of the body, the church. Write Ephesians 1:22-23 in the margin.
Ephesians 1:22-23: What happened when Christ was raised from the dea and seated at God’s right hand? God put all things under Jesus’ feet. God gave Jesus to “be head over all things to the church”. Here again, Christ is the head of the church. Since this is outined in green already, underline gave Him to be head over all things to the church. Write Ephesians 5:23 in the margin.
Ephesians 5:23: Again we see that Christ is the head of the church. Outline and write Ephesians 2:19-22 in the margin. Underline As also Christ is head of the church.
Ephesians 2:19-22: We are not foreigners in this place, but fellow citizens. What place? The household of God. We are actually citizens in God’s household. This household of God has Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone. All together, the whole thing is a holy temple in the Lord. Outline and write 1 Timothy 3:15 in the margin.
1 Timothy 3:15: Paul tells Timothy how to conduct himself in the house of God. The house of God here is also described as the church of the living God. The church is the house of God that we are citizens of and that Christ is the chief cornerstone of. Outline and write Romans 16:16 in the margin.
Romans 16:16: Here we start seeing that the word church can also be used to describe groups of Christians in a certain location. It’s important to note that the church is not made of smaller churches. The church is made up of Christians (saints) and Christ (head). The New Testament refers to groups of people meeting in a certain location as a church as well. It is important to understand if the Bible is talking about the church (universal) or the church (local). You can find this out by reading the context of the passage. “The churches of Christ greet you.” This indicates more than one church. It must be talking about the local church because we’ve read many other passages that say there is just one church (body) that refers to the church universal. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 1:2 in the margin.
1 Corinthians 1:2: This letter from Paul to the Christians in Corinth starts out saying, “to the church of God which is at Corinth. The church that is located in Corinth — local. Outline and write 1 Thessalonians 1:1 in the margin. Underline church of God which is at Corinth.
1 Thessalonians 1:1: Again Paul is sending a letter to Christians, this time in Thessalonica. He begins by saying, “to the church of the Thessalonians.” A local group of Christians. Outline and write Colossians 4:15 in the margin. Underline church of the Thessalonians
Colossians 4:15: Toward the end of this letter Paul tells the Colossians to greet certain brethren and the “church that is in his house.” Again, a local group of Christians. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 1:12-27 in the margin. Underline church that is in his house”.
1 Corinthians 1:12-27: This passage is a little long but should be read aloud. It compares the body of Christ with the human body. Explaining that there are many parts and each parts has a job to do. It describes how each part has an effect on each of the other parts. When one hurts, they all hurt. Verse 27 says, “you are the body of Christ and members individually”. Individually we make up the body of Christ. Each person with his own talents and skills working together with all the others in the church. Outline the entire passage. Write Romans 12:4 in the margin. Underline you are the body of Christ and members individually.
Romans 12:4: Again we are told that there are many members that are all in one body. Outline and write Philippians 1:1 in the margin. Underline many members and one body.
Philippians 1:1: Here Paul addresses a letter to the Christians in Philippi. He addresses it to the “saints”, the “bishops” and the “deacons”. Instead of just greeting the church, he has broken it down into groups of people in the church. The bishops are the overseers, shepherds, presbyters, elders. The deacons are servants. The saints are all the Christians. We’ll look at all of these groups and their responsibilities next. Outline and write Acts 14:23 in the margin. Underline saints, bishops and deacons.
Acts 14:23: One thing that happened on the way home from the first missionary journey is described in Acts 14. It says that they “appointed elders in every church”. Outline and write Titus 1:5 in the margin. Underline appointed elders and every church.
Titus 1:5: Titus is being reminded by Paul that he was left in Crete so Titus could set in order things that are lacking and to “appoint elders in every city”. Again, every city had elders. Outline and write Titus 1:6-9 in the margin. Underline appoint elders.
Titus 1:6-9: These are the verses following our previous one (vs 5). Paul explain to Titus who could and couldn’t be an elder. Take some time to go over these qualifications. Underline each one. Outline the passage and write 1Timothy 3:1-7 in the margin.
1 Timothy 3:1-7: Here we see Paul telling Timothy about the qualifications for elders. This list is a little more indepth. Look at closely as well. When you take the 2 together, you see a complete picture of what kind of person an elder is to be. Outline and write Acts 20:28-30 in the margin. Underline each of the qualifications.
Acts 20:28-30: I told you we’d be back to this one. This time we’re going to look at 3 verses. Paul is saying his good-byes to the elders of Ephesus. He is reminding them what their responsibilitiy is and warning them that things are going to get worse. Outline and write 1 Peter 5:1-4 in the margin.
1 Peter 5:1-4: Here Peter tells elders what their responsibilities are. They are to shepherd the flock that is among them. They are not to force them but they should follow willingly. What reward does an elder get? He will receive the “crown of glory that does not fade away”. Outline and write Hebrews 13:17 in the margin.
Hebrews 13:17: Here we see what the responsibility of Christians to the elders (those who rule over you). They are to be submissive because the elders are watching out for their souls and will have to give an account for how well they did that. It encourage Christians to behave in such a way as to not cause grief to the elders but to bring them joy. Outline and write 1 Timothy 3:8-13 in the margin.
1 Timothy 3:8-13: This is a continuation of the what Paul told Timothy about the elders. He goes on to tell him what deacons need to be like. There are some similarities in the qualifications but they aren’t all the same. The work of an elder is different than the work of a deacon and so there are different requirements to be each one. Outline and underline each qualification. Write 1 Peter 2:9 in the margin.
1 Peter 2:9: The only group of people mentioned in Philippians 1:1 that we haven’t talked about are the saints. Here is a passage that beautifully describes the saints. Keep in mind that a saint is someone that is set apart. A saint is someone that has obeyed God by submitting himself to baptism. Because of his baptism, God has added him to the church. So the saints are all the Christians in the church. What is a saint? A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. That is very special. What are we to do? Praise Him who brought us out of darkness and into light.
This complete the first half of The Church. We’ll do the rest next time.
The Church — Part 2
The last session of our “Marking Your Bible” study will be a study of the worship an the work of the church. Continue using your orange pen to mark these passages. The last passage we marked during our last session was 1 Peter 2:9. Turn to that passage and mark (if you haven’t already) Acts 4:24,31.
During this session we will be discussing and marking:
- The Lord’s supper
Worship of the Church
God expects us to worship Him. Whether we choose to do so or not is up to us. Many people have chosen to worship God but they would prefer to do it their way. It’s important that we understand that God is the one that is to be worshiped. He is the one to decide how we are to worship. The only thing for us to do is to worship Him according to His plan. We may think we have a better idea — something that pleases us but God will not be pleased until we humbly submit to His will and worship Him His way. To learn how to properly worship God, we’ll turn to His word and see what He has to say.
God wants us to talk to Him. He wants us to realize that we are dependent on Him for our needs and He wants us to ask Him for whatever we need, thank Him for what He’s given us and to praise Him. There are many examples in the Bible of people praying to God individually but our study is about worshiping God as a church. God also expects us to pray to Him when we are assembled together.
Acts 4:24 After Peter healed the man at the gate called Beautiful, they were threatened by the authorities and warned to not speak or teach of Jesus, they went to their companions and told all that had happened. The group that was gathered there “raised their voice to God with one accord” and prayed that God would give Peter and John boldness to speak His word. Verse 31 says that “when they had prayed the place where they were assembled together was shaken…” Here is an example of a group of people gathered together and praying to God. Write Acts 14:23 in the margin.
Acts 14:23 On their 1st journey, Paul and Barnabas were returning through the cities they had just been to. They were encouraging the new Christians to continue in the the faith. They also appointed elders in every church. Verse 23 says that after they appointed elders they prayed with fasting. This would be another example of a group of Christians gathering together and praying together. They were praying in this instance for the newly appointed elders. Mark Ephesians 5:19 in the margin.
God has told us that we are to sing praises to His name. We are to sing to teach and encourage each other as well. While we can sing by ourselves in the privacy of our own home, we are not edifying or encouraging anyone but ourselves. To follow God’s command found in the scripture below, we must at some point gather together and sing to each other.
Ephesians 5:19 In this passage Paul tells the Ephesians that they are to speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. This is something that is to be done as group. Paul goes on to say that we are to sing. He doesn’t leave us wondering what “sing” means either. He further tells us that our singing is done by making melody in our heart. We are to sing from the heart. He wants our singing to have meaning. He doesn’t want us to mindlessly sing words that mean nothing to us. He wants us to use the ultimate instrument — the human voice — the instrument He made. Write Colossians 3:16 in the margin.
Colossians 3:16 Here, Paul tells the Colossians that they are to teach and admonish each other with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. We are to sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord. Our singing is to benefit our brethren as we admonish and teach each other. Our singing is to be to the Lord as we praise Him in song. Write Matthew 26:26-29 in the margin.
The Lord’s Supper
God wants us to remember His Son and the sacrifice He made to save us from our sins. He tells us what we need to do and when we need to do it. He doesn’t leave it up to us to decide these things. We must respect God’s request if we are to be pleasing to Him.
Matthew 26:26-29 The night before Jesus was crucified He had one last meal with His apostles. During this meal He told them how to remember His death through a memorial feast. It is not elaborate. It is simply eating some unleavened bread and drinking some fruit of the vine. Each of these items are to represent a part of Christ’s suffering for our sakes. Jesus tells His apostles that when He partakes of this with them again will be in “My Father’s kingdom”. We’ve already noted that the kingdom and the church are used interchangeably throughout the New Testament. So we understand this to mean that this is something that will be done once the church has been established. Write Mark 14:22-24 in the margin.
Mark 14:22-24 Here is Mark’s account of Jesus telling His apostles what how He wanted them to remember His death. Write Luke 22:19-20 in the margin.
Luke 22:19-20 Here is Luke’s account of the same event. The fact that 3 of the 4 gospels recorded this event tells us that this is something that is important. We need to listen and learn from it. Write Acts 2:42 in the margin.
Acts 2:42 I know we’ve been here before and the markings may begin to get a little confusing. It just goes to show how important this chapter is. Verse 42 states that they (new Christians) continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Not only were the Christians gathering together to pray, but they broke bread which, in context with the events surrounding it, should be understood to be the breaking of bread that Jesus told them would happen when the kingdom (the church) began. Since this verse was already marked pretty good, I underlined the words “apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Write 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 in the margin.
1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Here Paul is rebuking the Corinthians for turning the memorial of Christ’s death (here referred to as the Lord’s Supper) into an opportunity for merry making. Not only this but they were excluding some. They going off into their own little groups and enjoying each other’s company not thinking about anyone else. Paul tells them that they have houses to eat and drink in. In other words, do your merry making at home. You’ve come to gether to remember the Lord’s death. He goes on to repeat the story of how Jesus told them what to do in Matthew, Mark and Luke. verse 25 tells us the reason for the Lord’s Supper — in remembrance of Me. That’s it . He tells the Corinthians that if anyone is hungry eat at home. Wait for one another when partaking of this memorial feast. Write Acts 20:7 in the margin.
We are to always be furthing our knowledge of God’s word. One way that we see this being done in the New Testament is through public speaking. The following passage is a good example of Christians gathering on the 1st day of the week to break bread and listening to the word of God being preached:
Acts 20:7 When Paul visited Troas, he and his travel companions stayed 7 days until the first day of the week. Why did they stay so long? That was when the Christians (the church) would gather together to break bread. We remember from Acts 2:42 that breaking bread refers to the Lord’s Supper. Paul knew that the Christians would be gathering on that day so he waited until then so he would get the chance to meet with them. He not only spoke to them as a group that day, he spoke to them until midnight. They were all so eager to hear God’s word that they were willing to stay until midnight to listen. write 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 in the margin.
God has given us the opportunity and the responsibility to help financially in other Christians’ hardship and in spreading the gospel. Here again, he doesn’t leave it up to us. He tells us how to do it.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul was gathering money together to help the Christians in Jerusalem during their time of financial hardship. He was going through telling all the churches he was visiting to do the same thing. On the 1st day of the week, that day they were to partake of the Lord’s Supper, while they were together, they were to lay something aside. They were to do this so there would not have to be any collections when he came through again. He wanted everything to already be in one place so he would not be delayed. Each person was to give or store up as he prospered. Paul wasn’t expecting everyone to give the same amount. He wasn’t requiring a certain amount. He wasn’t telling them to tithe. He told them to give as they prospered that week. Write 2 corinthians 8:1-12 in the margin.
2 Corinthians 8:1-12 Here Paul is again encouraging the Corinthians to give of their money. He reminds them how the churches in Macedonia gave even though they were not rich. They gave and gave joyfully. He reminds them that they have abounded in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence in their love for Paul and his companions. He wants them also to abound in the liberality of their gift. Write 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 in the margin
2 Corinthians 9:1-15 Paul continues to encourage the Corinthians to be liberal in the gift they are offering. He reminds them that when you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. When you sow bountifully, you reap bountifully. He reminds them that they are not give grudgingly or because they have to but they are to give what they can based on their prosperity. He goes on to remind them that God loves a cheerful giver. Write Matthew 28:19-20 in the margin.
Work of the Church
Just like everything else God wants us to do, He has told us what we as a church are expected to do. He doesn’t leave wondering and scheming our own plans. As is typical of God’s plan, it is simple. It can be done by anyone and everyone just about anywhere. There is no need for fancy equipment, buildings, or organization (above that which God has already planned). God’s plan is so simple that many people want to add to it. Once we add to God’s plan, it no longer is God’s plan. It then becomes our plan. That just is not acceptable to God.
God requires that we teach others about His word. He has planned that this be done through evangelism — someone teaching another person. This is very simple but as God knew it would be, is very effective for those that want to learn about Him.
Matthew 28:19-20 We have already marked this scripture with green and red. Hopefully it won’t get too confusing for anyone. It just goes to show how important this passage is.The command that Jesus gave his disciples before He left them was to “God therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. How are we to do this? Teaching. He says to teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you. So the disciples were commanded to teach others about Christ. Write Mark 16:16 in the margin.
Mark 16:15 Here Mark gives the same account of the story Matthew gave. Jesus tells His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. Again, preaching is method that God chose. What exactly are the disciples supposed to preach? The gospel. The good news about Christ. They are to teach others that Christ came and died for them that they can live eternally with Him in Heaven. Write Revelations 22:17 in the margin.
Revelations 22:17 In the very last chapter of the very last book of the New Testament, John is told to write down what he sees and hears. This the invitation given to all men that they should come to Christ and he will receive the water of life and will never be thirsty again. Write Romans 10:11-15 in the margin.
Romans 10:11-15 Here we see who is to be preached to and what is to be said. God welcomes all — Jews and Gentiles. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. This takes away any preference for the Jewish people. The gospel is now for everyone that will accept it. How are all these people going to find out about the gospel? They are going to hear it from a preacher. How will this preacher go to these people? He will be sent. Write Philippians 1:3-5 in the margin.
Philippians 1:3-5 Paul thanks the Philippians for their “fellowship in the gospel”. They had given him what he needed to preach the gospel. They had fulfilled his material needs while he went about the business of preaching. He is thanking them for it. This is an example of one church supporting a preacher. Write Philippians 2:25 in the margin.
Philippinas 2:25 Here Paul further comments on the help they gave him. Epaphroditus had been their messenger and had worked hard for the cause of Christ. Even to the point that he was sick and nearly died. Paul wants the Philippians to accept him back joyfully because of his service and sacrifice for the work of Christ. He supplied what was lacking in the service of the Philippians to Paul. Write Acts 11:22 in the margin.
Acts 11:22 Here is an example of the church in Jerusalem sending a preacher out to another place. Barnabas is the one being sent, Jerusalem is the one sending him, Antioch is the place he is being sent to. One church sending (supporting) a preacher to preach in another place. Write 2 Corinthians 11:8-9 in the margin.
2 Corinthians 11:8-9 Here Paul is reminding the Corinthians that he did not take any support from them while he was with them. He received support from other churches (I robbed other churches) instead of taking anything from the Corinthians. He did not want to be a burden to them. Here is an example of churches supporting a preacher. Write Ephesians 4:11-16 in the margin.
Another work of the chuirch is to edify its own. We are to encourage and admonish each other. We are to build each other up so we can all be stronger and bolder servants of God.
Ephesians 4:11-16 God gave each of us different talents and roles in the church. We are to use these talents and roles to edify the body of Christ. We are to work towards each of being stronger, loving each other more, working together so that the as a whole we accomplish the great task of sharing the gospel of Christ to others. Write Acts 2:44-45 in the margin.
God has given us the responsibility and privilege of giving financial to help fellow Christians and to help spread the gospel. Below are examples of this being done in New Testament times.
Acts 2:44-45 Here was a situation where people had come from all over the world to observe Pentecost. While there, they learn about Christ and what He did for them. They are hanging around town to be near the exciting event. They had not planned on being there that long and so there was need amongst the new Christians. So, all those who believed (the Christians) stuck together and shared what they had. Even to the point that those who had possessions, sold them to give to those who needed help. Here is an example of Christians helping Christians. Write Acts 4:32-35 in the margin.
Acts 4:32-35 Even in Chapter 4, the Christians are still sharing with each other. As was mentioned in chapter 2, those who had possessions sold them and gave to those who needed things. They even sold their houses or lands to help out those that were in need. Another case of Christians helping other Christians financially. Write Acts 6:1-8 in the margin.
Acts 6:1-8 By chapter 6 it seems that there is a group of women (Hellenists widows) that are not being helped as they should be. The apostles told the people to pick 7 men from among them to take charge of the situation and see to it that these women were cared for. Another example of Christians helping Christians. This time there is a more unified effort being made to accomplish the task. Write Acts 11:27-30 in the margin.
Acts 11:27-30 In preparation for the great famine that would soon be affecting the world, the disciples in Jerusalem determined to send relief to brethren in Judea. They sent this relief to the elders. It was delivered by Barnabus and Saul. Here is an example of a church sending relief to another church. Write 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 in the margin.
1 Corinthians 16:1-3 We talked about thise passage when we discussed giving. Now we’ll look at who was actually doing the giving and who was on the receiving end. Paul was going about to all the churches of Galatia, requesting that they give a financial gift to the Christians in Jerusalem because they were experiencing harship due to the famine. Here is an example of several churches sending a financial gift to one church. Write 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 in the margin.
2 Corinthians 8:1-5 We’ve already been here as well when we talked about giving. Paul is telling the Corinthians how generous the churches in Macedonia had been to give to those in Jerusalem.. They gave beyond their ability and did so freely and willingly. This is an example of churches (churches in Macedonia) helping another church (church in Jerusalem). Write 2 Corinthians 9:1-2 inthe margin.
2 Corinthians 9:1-2 Again, Paul is reminding the Corinthians how generous the churches on Macedonia had been to the church in Jerusalem. Write Romans 15:25-32 in the margin.
Romans 15:25-32 Paul is telling the Romans about how the churches in Macedonia and Achaia gave to the poor saints in Jerusalem. Another example of churches helping a church.
This is the end of the Marking Your Bible lessons at this time. There may be some more added later on different topics but I’m not going to promise. I do intend to post the hand outs I had for my class. They were 3 bookmarks that had all of the scriptures that we marked on them. I hoped that they would be something the ladies found useful in their own study and nice little cheat sheet when it came time to study with someone else.
I came across this webpage while surfing the internet this morning. I thought some of you might enjoy reading it. It gives several different methods of marking your Bible that can be used independently or together. I thought it was very interesting. The methods it describes are:
5.Highlighting or Underlining
6. Subject Lists
If you’re interested in reading more, you can visit the web page here: Bible Marking