The Church

Lesson 3 in the Personal Bible Study Series

Helpful Hints
In this lesson, after question 6 is answered, briefly explain the diagrams on the opposite page.

The first one (“Christ’s church”) shows one head (Christ) and one body (the church). You can ask, “Does this illustrate what the Bible teaches?” You can also explain that the Bible often uses physical things to illustrate spiritual concepts, and we can easily understand that all normal human beings have one head and one body; and this is what the Lord’s church is like.

The next diagram shows a deviation from the original design. A few hundred years after the church had been established, a number of changes had been made (as the Bible predicted, e.g. Acts 20:28-30), and an organization had evolved that was completely different from the church we read about in the Bible. There was one body (called “the Catholic Church”), but there were two heads — Christ was acknowledged as the head in heaven and the pope was considered the head on earth. Is this what the Bible teaches? (You may want to share Matt. 28:18 to show that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth).

A few hundred years after the Roman Catholic Church had been established, a number of people realized that there were many things different from what the Bible taught, and they attempted to make changes (or reforms), and this was the beginning of the Reformation Movement. The Catholics accused these reformers of “protesting” against the Catholic Church, thus they were called “Protestants.” These Reformation leaders had good intentions, but when they died their followers merely adopted the teachings of these men rather than following the Bible alone. They all acknowledged Christ as the only head, but now there were many different bodies, all wearing different names, teaching different things, worshipping in different ways, etc. (You may want to write the names of local denominations in some of the circles of the last diagram). Is this according to what the Bible teaches?

After the next two passages are covered, you can say something like: “This is what we’re trying to do, simply restore the one church we read about in the Bible.”

Lesson 3: The Church (PDF version)

Instructions: Read each passage of Scripture, then answer the questions underneath. For additional Scripture references, refer to the corresponding numbers at the end of the lesson.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CHURCH
1. Hebrews 5:8-9 

Jesus is the Saviour of whom?

2. Ephesians 5:23

Jesus is the Savior of what?

3. Ephesians 1:22-23

What is the body of Christ?

4. Ephesians 4:4-6

How many bodies does Christ have?

5. Matthew 16:16-18

What did Jesus promise to build?

Whose church did Jesus promise to build?

How many churches did Jesus promise to build?

6. Which of the following best describes the church?Lesson 3 Churches

WHAT DOES THE LORD DESIRE OF HIS CHURCH?

7. John 17:20-21

What did Jesus pray concerning those who would believe in Him?

What kind of unity does Christ and the Father have?

Do we see this kind of unity in the religious world today?

8. 1 Corinthians 1:10
What kind of unity is pictured here?

Does this describe the current situation in the religious world?

CONCLUSION

A. Must one be a member of Christ’s body (church) to be saved?

B. Which church do you want to be a part of?

Additional Scripture References
1. Matthew 7:21-27; James 1:21-25; 1 John 2:3-4, 17, 29

2. Acts 2:47; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 1:13-14

3. Ephesians 2:16-19; 4:12, 16; 5:23, 29, 39; Colossians 1:18, 24

4. Romans 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 2:16; 5:23; Col. 3:15

5. Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 12:23

6. Matthew 28:18; Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 1:13

7. John 10:30; Rom. 15:5-7; Philippians 1:27; 2 Cor. 13:11

8. Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 12:25; 1 Peter 3:8

 

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

 

Overview of the Gospel Message

Lesson 2 in the Personal Bible Study Series

Helpful Hints

This lesson is simple, basic, non-controversial, and concisely sums up the fundamental truth of the gospel.

You may want to begin the study by asking, “Are you familiar with the word ‘gospel’ and what it actually means?” If there is uncertainty, then share the information in the “Introduction.”

This lesson concludes with an emphasis on obedience, which is picked up again in lesson 3.

Lesson 2: The Gospel Overview (PDF version)

Instructions: Read each passage of Scripture, then answer the questions underneath.

For additional Scripture references, refer to the corresponding numbers at the end of the lesson.

INTRODUCTION

The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” But in order to have good news, there must be bad news. In this lesson we will compare the bad news with the good news of the gospel.

 BAD NEWS

1. Psalm 5:4-5

What is God’s attitude toward sin?

 2. Isaiah 59:1-2

How does sin affect a person’s relationship with God?

 3. Romans 3:10, 23

How many have sinned?

How many lies have you told?

What do you call a person who tells lies?

Have you ever stolen anything?

What do you call a person who steals?

Have you ever looked at a person with lust?

What do you call someone who has looked at a person with lust? (see Matthew 5:28)

How has your sin affected your relationship with God? (see 1Corinthians 6:9-10; Revelation 21:8; 22:15)

GOOD NEWS

4. 1 Timothy 2:3-4

What is the good news about this statement?

5. John 3:16-17

What has God done to save you?

6. Romans 5:6-8

What has Jesus done to save you from your sins?

How does that make you feel?

7. John 14:6

Can anyone other than Jesus reconcile you to God?

BAD NEWS

8. Matthew 7:13-14, 21

Will everyone be saved?

Will most people be saved?

Is it enough to simply call Jesus “Lord”?

9. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9

What will happen to those who do not obey the gospel?

GOOD NEWS

10. Romans 6:16-18

Is it possible to be set free from sin?

What must one do to be set free from sin?

Is that what you want to do?

11. Hebrews 5:8-9

Jesus is the Saviour of whom?

Do you want Jesus to save you?

12. Matthew 28:18-20

How much of Jesus’ teachings must we obey?

Are you willing to do all that Jesus commands?

CONCLUSION

A. Why is your sin “bad news”?

B. What is the “good news”?

C. What must you do to be freed from your sins and be saved through Jesus?

Additional Scripture References

1. Psalm 11:5; Prov. 6:16-19; Isaiah 6:3; Habakkuk 1:13; Rev. 2:6, 15

2. Psalm 94:20; Jeremiah 5:25; 1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 1:6

3. Gal. 3:22; 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-9; Rom. 1:26-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11

4. Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9; Titus 2:11-12

5. John 17:1-8; 1 Cor. 1:29-31; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 4:9-10

6. Isa. 53:3-9; Mark 15:1-39; John 15:13; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 John 2:1-2

7. Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Cor. 1:30; 3:10-11; 1 John 2:1-2

8. Matthew 7:21-23; 22:1-8; 25:41; Luke 6:46; Rev. 20:15

9. Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; Rom. 2:5-11; 1 Pet. 4:17; Rev. 20:12-15

10. Luke 8:15; John 8:31-36; Romans 10:16-17; James 2:17-26

11. Matthew 7:21-27; 12:50; James 1:21-25; 1 John 2:3-5

12. John 14:15, 21, 23-24; 15:10, 14 Acts 3:22-23

 

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

 

Bible Authority and the Two Covenants

Lesson 1 in the Personal Bible Study Series

Helpful Hints
It is essential that the person you are studying with understands and accepts the fact that the Bible is our sole authority in religious matters. If he or she does not accept this, pause the study and share with them the study entitled “Scientific Test of the Bible” in the Special Studies series (coming soon, Lord willing).

Once the authority of the Bible is established, the rest of Lesson 1 deals with the Old and New Covenants. It is important to begin with this lesson for at least the following reasons:

  1. It is fundamental to understanding the Bible
  2. Few religious people have ever considered this important distinction and it might cause them to wonder about other things of which they are uninformed
  3. This may help to emphasize that they have been untaught or mistaught by denominational teachers
  4. It helps to alleviate or answer potential questions which may be raised in future studies (e.g. “Didn’t David use instruments?”).

The chart on the second page, which illustrates the information addressed in points 3 through 9, can either be referred to as each point is covered or be used to summarize what has just been taught.

Lesson 1: Bible Authority and the Two Covenants (PDF version)

Instructions: Read each passage of Scripture, then answer the questions underneath. For additional Scripture references, refer to the corresponding numbers at the end of the lesson.

OUR STANDARD

1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Where have the Scriptures come from?

Are the Scriptures the word of God?

Is Bible study profitable?

Is the Bible complete enough to guide us in all spiritual matters?

Do we need any book other than the Bible to show us how to be pleasing to God?

 2. 2 Timothy 2:15

Is it possible to use the Bible wrongly?

Should we make an effort to study the Bible correctly?

THE TWO MAIN DIVISIONS OF THE BIBLE

3. Deuteronomy 5:1-3

What is a covenant?

God made this covenant with whom?

Did God make this covenant at some time prior to this?

4. Deuteronomy 4:13

What was the basis of this covenant?

5. Jeremiah 31:31-34

What did God promise to make?

Was it to be exactly like the first one?

6. Hebrews 8:6-13

What did Jesus establish?

What happened to the first covenant?

7. Hebrews 9:15-17

When did the new covenant come into effect?

8. Galatians 3:19

[Note: “the law” = the 1st covenant, Heb. 9:18-22]

What was the purpose of the law (first covenant)?

It was to last until when?

Who is the Seed that was to come? (v. 16)

9. Galatians 3:24-25

What was “our tutor”?

Are we still under it?

10. Romans 15:4

Does the Old Testament still serve a purpose today?

What?

CONCLUSION

A. Are the Scriptures our complete guide in spiritual matters?

B. What part of the Bible (Old or New Testament) is our final authority today?

C. Do you want to study further to see what the New Testament reveals for your life?

 Additional Scripture References

1. 2 Peter 1:3, 19-21; 3:15-16; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 22:18-19

2. 2 Cor. 4:2; Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Pet. 3:15-16

3. Exodus 19:1-9; 31:12-18; Ezek. 20:5-13; Malachi 4:4

4. Exodus 20:1-17; Deut. 5:6-21; 2 Cor. 3:7-16

5. Jer. 32:40; Ezek. 16:60-62; 37:26; Rom. 11:27

6. Hebrews 7:12, 18; 10:1-9; Ephesians 2:11-22

7. Eph. 2:13-16; Col. 2:13-17; Mark 15:37-38; John 19:30

8. Galatians 5:1-4; 2 Cor. 3:2-18; Hebrews 10:1, 9

9. Romans 7:1-7; 2 Corinthians 3:3-16; Gal. 2:16

10. 1 Corinthians 10:6-11; Hebrews 11:1-40; 12:1

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).