Final Authority of the Scriptures

Lesson 1a in the Personal Bible Study Series

Helpful Hints
This lesson is to be used if the student is reluctant to accept the Bible as our sole standard of authority, whether he/she is inclined to consider other religious writings as authoritative, or is swayed by subjective feelings, or is heavily influenced by the Pentecostal idea of direct guidance from the Holy Spirit. In the latter case, you may want to share “The Work of the Holy Spirit” lessons in the Special Studies series (coming soon).

Lesson 1a: The Final Authority of Scripture (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.

1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

What does the Bible claim for itself?

How much of Scripture is inspired of God?

Is the word of God complete?



2. 1 Timothy 5:18

Does Paul quote from the Old Testament? (cf. Deut. 25:4)

Does he also quote from the New Testament? (cf. Luke 10:7)

Does he refer to both of them as “Scripture”?

3. Jude 3

What is “the faith”? (cf. Acts 6:7; Col. 1:23)

How often has this system of faith been delivered?

4. Galatians 1:6-9

Is any other religious message (“gospel”) acceptable to God?

5. 1 Peter 1:25

Is there a legitimate reason to believe that any part of God’s word, which He intended us to have, is not in the Bible?



6. 1 Corinthians 4:6

Is there an emphasis on the written word?

7. 2 Peter 3:1-2

Why is the written word important?

8. John 20:30-31

What is the purpose of the written word?

9. Matthew 7:15, 21-23

Why should we be cautious about those who claim to receive new revelations from God today?

10. Acts 17:11

What standard should be used to determine truth?



11. Hebrews 4:12

Is the Bible a lifeless document?

12. Ephesians 6:17

Which of the following has given life & power to the Bible’s message?

 The paper and ink

 The human writers

 The Holy Spirit



13. Matthew 28:18

Who has been given all authority?

14. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Who will judge you on the last day?

15. John 12:48

By what standard will Christ judge you?



A. Do you believe that the Bible is the complete, inspired word of God?

B. Are you willing to accept whatever the Bible says as truth?


Additional Scripture References

  1. Ephesians 3:1-5; 2 Peter 1:3, 16-21; Hebrews 4:12; 10:15-17
  2. Luke 24:27; 2 Peter 3:15-16; Romans 16:25-26
  3. Acts 13:7-12; Galatians 1:23; 2:2; cf. Hebrews 9:27-28
  4. Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19
  5. Matthew 24:35; John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 John 2
  6. Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 14:37; Rev. 1:10-11, 19; cf. Rom. 1:17; 3:4, 10; 4:23; 15:3, 9; 1 Cor. 15:54; 2 Cor. 4:13; Heb. 10:7
  7. Exodus 24:4, 7; Deuteronomy 17:18-20; Luke 1:1-4; 1 Cor. 10:11; 2 Cor. 13:10; 1 John 1:1-4; Revelation 1:3
  8. Romans 10:17; 1 Timothy 3:14-15; 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  9. Matthew 24:24; 2 Thess. 2:9-12; 2 Peter 2:1-2; 1 John 4:1; cf. Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20-22; 1 Kings 13:18
  10. John 8:31-32; 1 John 2:3-5; 2 John 9; 1 Thess. 5:21
  11. Romans 1:16-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:22-23
  12. John 14:25-26; 16:12-13; Ephesians 3:3-5; 2 Peter 1:19-21
  13. John 5:22-27; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:9-11
  14. John 5:22; Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:16; 14:10
  15. Romans 2:16; 1 Cor. 14:37; Gal. 1:11-12; Revelation 20:12-15


“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).



Three Reasons to Take a Bajaj in Jakarta


Bajaj Jakarta

If you are going to travel in Indonesia, I suggest that you take a ride in a Bajaj. A Bajaj is a cheap three-wheeled taxi that is usually orange. It is best to negotiate the price of your ride with the driver before you start your trip. Don’t expect to be too comfortable. There is no air conditioning and if it is raining you most likely will get wet. I believe that riding in a Bajaj will provide you with a cultural experience you will never forget.

Here are three reasons to take advantage of this type of transportation in Indonesia.

  1. In a normal taxi it is quiet and just smells like air freshener but in a Bajaj you can hear all of the sounds and smell all of the smells of Jakarta.
  2. If Bajaj’s become outlawed you might never have the opportunity to ride in one ever again.
  3. In a Bajaj you do not have to use a booster or car seat which is convenient if you have young kids.

In conclusion, I think that you should take advantage of Bajajs while in Jakarta because they will provide you with a cultural experience you will never forget.

What kinds of fun transportation have you taken before? Please comment below!

Counting the Cost

Lesson 5 in the Personal Bible Study Series

Helpful Hints
Do not skip this lesson! It is unfair to baptize a person without letting him/her know what the Lord expects afterwards.

If the answer to question 2 is “no” or “I’m unsure,” this person is not ready for baptism.

If you are aware of particular sins in this person’s life, question 4 is the place to address it.

It is important that at question 5 the student understands the lifetime commitment he/she is being called to make.

At questions 7 and 8, if the student doesn’t plan to attend the assemblies of the church or if he/she intends to continue worshipping with denominational groups, further study is needed before baptism.

Questions 9-11 give a realistic picture of being a Christian, alleviate possible misconceptions, and test the level of commitment.

Questions 12-13 confirm what should have been learned in previous studies. If the last two questions are answered in the affirmative, make whatever arrangements are necessary and explain to the prospective Christian what now needs to be done.


Lesson 5: Counting the Cost (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.


1. Luke 14:27-33

Does Jesus want you to consider the cost before you become His disciple?

Why is this important?

2. Matthew 28:18-20

Are you willing to do whatever the Lord requires of you?



3. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

Are you sorry for the sins you have committed?

Do you want to do something about those sins?

4. Colossians 3:5-9

Are there any sins in your life that you need to turn away from?

Will you make an effort to do that?



5. Romans 12:1-2 

Do you intend to give your life completely to the Lord?

6. 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Peter 1:5-11

Is it your desire to continue to grow spiritually?



7. Hebrews 10:23-25

Does God want you to regularly assemble with other Christians?

Is that what you plan to do?

8. John 4:23-24

Does it matter how you worship?

Do you intend to worship God acceptably and avoid false worship?



9. 2 Timothy 3:12

Can you expect difficulties and hardships?

10. Matthew 7:13-14

Will many go with you?

11. Matthew 10:37-38

What if someone (including your family) tries to stop you from obeying Jesus?



12. Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4

Do you want to be a member of the one church we read about in the Bible?

13. Acts 2:38, 41, 47 

What do you now need to do to have your sins forgiven, to be saved, and to be added to Christ’s church?

14. Romans 10:9-10

Are you willing to confess your faith in Jesus to others?



A. Do you understand what is involved in being a Christian?

B. Are you ready now to take that obedient step?


Additional Scripture References

  1. Luke 9:23-26, 62; Matthew 10:32-39
  2. John 8:31, 51; 14:15, 21, 23, 24; 15:10 1 John 2:3-4
  3. Psalm 38:18; 40:12; 51:1-4; Matthew 26:69-75
  4. Mark 7:21-23; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 4:22-31
  5. Matthew 6:33; Romans 6:11-16
  6. John 15:1-14; Hebrews 5:12-14
  7. Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 11:18-26; 16:1-2
  8. Matthew 15:8-9; Colossians 3:16-17
  9. Acts 14:22; 1 Peter 4:12-16; 5:9
  10. Matthew 22:1-14; 1 Peter 3:20
  11. Mark 10:29-31; Acts 5:29
  12. Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:13-19
  13. Acts 22:16; Mark 16:15-16; 1 Corinthians 12:13
  14. Matthew 10:32-33; John 12:42-43; 1 Timothy 6:12


“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).


Forgiveness of Sin

Lesson 4 in the Personal Bible Study Series

Helpful Hints
It is imperative that the initial review questions are answered before this study begins. Use additional open-ended questions to find out what the student’s understanding is of what he/she has done, has been taught, or has believed in the past. Make sure you and the student both write down these answers on your respective outlines. Otherwise, if there is (or has been) strong religious ties and the student has probably undergone some kind of baptism, there is a tendency to take the newly learned information in this study and apply it to past experiences. By determining beforehand what was previously done and believed, this problem can be avoided.

The student needs to become aware of any potential differences between what was done in the past and what has now been learned from the Bible so that he/she can see the need to comply with God’s directives.

Lesson 4 picks up where Lesson 3 left off — the necessity of being a member of Christ’s body. In addition to baptism, it also covers the prerequisites of belief and repentance. On question 6, if the student does not understand what repentance is, use the additional scripture references on the back page to help explain it.

Lesson 4: Forgiveness of Sin (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.


  • Have you tried to obey Jesus in the past?
  • What specifically have you done in response to Jesus?
  • Have you had your sins forgiven by God in the past?
  • What specifically did you do to have your sins forgiven?
  • Are you currently saved or have you been saved in the past?
  • At what point in your response to God were you saved?
  • Have you ever been baptized?
  • If so, explain how and why you were baptized.

1. Ephesians 5:23

Must one be in the body to be saved?

2. 1 Corinthians 12:13

How does a person enter into the one body?


3. Colossians 2:12

How is baptism pictured here?

How would you describe a burial?

4. Acts 8:35-39

How is the action of baptism depicted here?

Baptism is a burial (& resurrection) in what?



5. Acts 8:12

What had these people done prior to baptism?

Would infants be excluded? If so, why?

6. Acts 2:37-38

What must precede baptism?

What does it mean to repent?



7. Acts 2:38

Baptism is for what purpose?

Is baptism necessary for salvation?



9. Acts 19:1-5

Had these disciples been immersed? (cf. John 3:23)

Had they believed and repented? (v. 4)

Is there any reason to think they were insincere?

Since they were initially baptized for the wrong reason, were they baptized again?

Is understanding what you are doing an important part of being baptized correctly?

10. John 14:15

Is it important to obey Christ exactly as He directs?


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

B. How does one enter Christ’s church (body)?

C. Do you believe in Jesus and are you willing to repent of your sins?

D. What do you now need to do to have your sins forgiven?


Additional Scripture References

  1. Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4-6; Col. 1:13-14, 18; Acts 2:47; cf. Heb. 5:8-9
  2. Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:22-23; 3:21; Acts 2:41, 47
  3. Rom. 6:3-5; Eph. 2:4-6; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Acts 8:35-39
  4. Matt. 3:13-16; John 3:23; Acts 10:47; 1 Peter 3:20-21
  5. John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-41; 8:35-39
  6. 2 Cor. 7:9-10; Acts 3:19, 26; 26:18-20; cf. Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30
  7. Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4, 17-18; cf. Eph. 1:7; Matt. 26:28; Rev. 1:5
  8. Mark 16:15-16; John 3:5; Rom. 6:4; Gal. 3:26-27; Eph. 1:7
  9. Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Rom. 6:3-4, 17-18; (cf. Matt. 13:13-23; Mark 12:30, 33; John 12:40; Eph. 5:17; 6:6).
  10. Matt. 28:18-20; Heb. 5:8-9; Acts 10:33, 48; 1 John 2:3-5

“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).


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.

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


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?


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).


My Lunch Surprise

Lunch SurpriseIn Indonesia, outside of the city of Monokwari, we went for picnic with some friends. We rode in a big bus and took some chickens along with us. I got to hold them. We were going to have a picnic at the beach. In the bus I held and pet the chickens.

When we got to the beach, I went and played in the sand and water. Finally, it was time to eat. Wow! I was surprised when I found out what we were having for lunch; chicken! It was pretty funny! In the picture, that is me with our friend Alimin cooking the chickens that I held.

Talk about fresh food!

Do you have any funny food stories from another country? Please comment!

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.


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.


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)


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?


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?


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?


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.


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?


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?



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).