Tag Archives: Bible study questions

Ephesians Study: Least of the Saints

[Ephesians 3:1-13]

Paul wrote over half of the books in the New Testament. Paul knew the Scriptures well. Paul had an encounter with Jesus and a special calling to preach to the Gentiles. He had many reasons to be puffed up. Instead we read:

1 Corinthians 15:9 “least of the apostles,” Ephesians 3:8 “very least of all the saints,” 1 Timothy 1:15 “foremost of sinners”

  • We are dead – we need to be made alive

Romans 3:23-24We are all sinners – we all fall short of the glory of God

Ephesians 2:1 – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins”

Ephesians 2:5 – “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”

Colossians 2:13 – “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins”

  • God humbles Himself – He makes us alive

Psalm 113:5-6 – “Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?”

Psalm 18:35 – “You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your right hand supports me. Your gentleness makes me great.”

Philippians 2:7-8 – “Rather, He (Jesus Christ) made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!”

  • Exalt self = humbled, humble self = exalted

Luke 18:9-14 (Parable of the Two Men Who Prayed / Pharisee and the Tax Collector) – We get full of ourselves – We become like the self-exalting man Pharisee from parable – he prayed that he wasn’t like that sinner

1 Peter 5:6 – “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

Numbers 12:3 – “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” Aaron and Miriam trash talked Moses, God exalted Moses – with him I speak face to face

Proverbs 29:23 – “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Bible Study Questions:

  1. In the Bible, humility is seen as submissiveness toward God. What are some things we need to recognize to be humble?
  1. If we are humble, we recognize God’s power and wisdom. This leads to accepting His will and leads to obedience. How do we see this in life?
  1. With humility comes suffering, hardships, and even persecution. Why do you think these things related?
  1. We are to be humble / meek; however, this does not mean we submit to everything. When are we not supposed to submit?
  1. How can we stay humble?

6.  How does humility keep us from sin?

 

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

 

Philemon Study: True Forgiveness

[Philemon]

  • Paul wrote letter to Philemon while he was in jail.
  • Philemon’s house may be where the Colossian church met (v. 2).
  • Philemon had a slave Onesimus (v. 16).
  • Onesimus means “useful” or “beneficial.”
  • Onesimus was useless to Philemon – slave who stole money and ran away.
  • Paul converted Onesimus.
  • Onesimus is now useful to Philemon and Paul. (v. 11).
  • Though Onesimus was helping Paul while he was imprisoned, Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon with this letter to appeal for forgiveness for Onesimus. Roman law required this to happen.
  • Philemon owes Paul his life – his very soul— salvation in Christ (v. 19)
  • Paul asks Philemon to charge all that is owed by Onesimus to his (Paul’s) account (v. 18). He offered to pay for Onesimus’ sins against Philemon.

Friendship – Forgiveness – Reconciliation

Ephesians 4:32 – Forgive as you have been forgiven

Forgiveness comes through Jesus. Through Christ alone we have forgiveness and reconciliation to God. Reconciliation means “coexist in harmony” or “restore friendly relations.” We only have the ability to forgive others because of the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness has a cost. Paul offered to pay the cost. Onesimus could have been punished – even with death. Our cost for forgiveness was paid by Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness is always necessary. Paul asks Philemon to do the right thing. He could have punished Onesimus or he could forgive him and receive him as a partner. The word used means “fellowship.”

Forgiveness from God lasts forever. When we are transformed, becoming a “new creature” in Christ, the Spirit changes us from the inside out – just like Onesimus. This is forgiveness and transformation that lasts forever. The board is wiped clean.

Bible Study Questions:

1) Paul mentions in verse 14 that he preferred to do nothing without consent in order that Philemon’s (fih-LEE-muhn) goodness be of his “own accord.” What does this mean?

2) Paul wrote in verse 21 that he was confident of Philemon’s obedience. How could he be so confident that Philemon would forgive and do even more than asked?

3) Forgiveness, Paul notes, will take Onesimus (o-NEH-sih-muhs) from position of bondservant to beloved brother. Was he asking for Philemon to free his slave Onesimus or does this beloved brother mean something else?

4) Read Colossians 4:7-9. Onesimus was sent along with Tychicus (TIH-kih-kuhs).

How was he described?

Why do you think Paul had Onesimus go along with Tychicus to deliver the Letter to the Colossians as well as the      Letter to Philemon?

 

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Good Words

[Colossians 4:1-18]

5- 6 [CEV] “When you are with unbelievers, always make good use of the time. Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions.”

  • Always make good use of time
    • Walk in wisdom.
    • Use your head. Don’t miss a trick.
    • Remember it’s when you act the fool that all eyes are upon you.
    • Be honest (we all need Jesus) and point to Jesus in all you do.
  • Be pleasant & hold their interest
    • Be gracious in your speech – grace stoops down and brings up
    • Speech seasoned with salt (salt elevates)
  • Choose words carefully
    • Words can build up and tear down, encourage or kill
    • Consider the motives for your words before you speak
    • Grace with Truth. Not one or the other.
    • Consider what God’s Word says—and say that!
  • Be ready to give answers
    • Always be prepared to answer questions.
    • One is prepared to answer questions from Bible reading & study, daily prayer, and the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. It’s God’s Word that gives the answers and God’s Spirit which leads the way. You aren’t in this alone.
    • Don’t fear being asked questions. No one knows all the answers. When in doubt, admit you don’t know and seek answers together. It is better to say you do not know and look together than to be proud and pretend you know and lead someone down the wrong path. Stand for truth at all cost. Seek the Truth always.

Bible Study Questions:

1) The Bible says we are to make good use of time, walking in wisdom. What does that mean? Do we always have to be so serious?

2) The Bible says we are to be pleasant and hold the person’s interest. What does that mean?

How do you hold someone’s interest without trying to entertain them with the aim of making Jesus “more exciting”?

What does “speech seasoned with salt” mean to you?

3) The Bible says we are to choose our words carefully. What happens when our speech is all truth? What happens when our speech is all grace?

How can we use words that build up instead of tear down whenever we speak?

4) The Bible says we are to be ready to give answers. Does it mean we always have to know the answer? What does it mean to be ready? If we don’t know the answer, what are some ways we can respond?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Worship Works

[Colossians 3:22-25]

“What you think about you care about

What you care about you chase”

“Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” (v. 22-25 MSG)

  • Do your best
  • Work from the heart
  • Remember Who you serve

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” – Romans 12:11 [NLT]

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:31 [NASB]

Anything you do can be an ACT OF WORSHIP

“The Lord is pleased with those who worship Him and trust His love

– Psalm 147:11 [CEV]

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” – Romans 12:1-2 [MSG]

Bible Study Questions:

1) The passage speaks about working from the heart. This phrase “from the heart” translates in the Greek as “the soul” or “life” or “self” – “the breath of life.” What does that mean for us?

2) What is the difference between working for men and working for God?

3) Romans 12:11 says we should not be lazy. Instead we should work enthusiastically. What should we do if we find ourselves not working with enthusiasm?

4) The Bible says we should serve with joy (Psalm 100:2). What can we do if we find ourselves serving but not with joy? If we are not serving with joy, with what are we serving?

5) What does it mean when Paul says “do your best”? What is your best? How do you know it is your best?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Godly Living

[Colossians 3:18-21]

As we run with Jesus, we continue to build godly relationships.

Godly living starts at home. If you aren’t living godly at home, you won’t succeed in godly living outside of the home.

Paul speaks about the importance of godly relationships in numerous letters.

  • Husbands & wives
  • Parents & children
  • Masters & slaves

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

– Ephesians 5:21 [NIV]

  • 18 – Wife put your husband first
  • 19 – Husband love wife
  • 20 – Children obey parents
  • 21 – Parents don’t be hard on children

Husband and Wife (Colossians 3:18-19, Ephesians 5:22-33)

Loving leadership equals mutual respect – Ephesians 5:21

Husband sacrifices (Christ like sacrificial leadership by husband will keep the ultimate good of his wife in view at all times)

Wife submits (honors & affirms his leadership, helps him exercise role in family)

He loves her. He wants the best for her. She knows this and she submits.

  • Wife does not practice absolute surrender – that is only to Jesus.
  • Wife is not naturally or spiritually inferior

Parents and Children (Colossians 3:20-21, Ephesians 6:1-4)

  • Children obey parents in everything as it pleases the Lord
  • Parents don’t provoke less they become discouraged and give up
  • Parents parent with firm loving guidance – not dictatorship
  • Parents encourage – children obey

Bible Study Questions:

1) Read Ephesians 5:31-33.

What does verse 31 say husbands should hold fast to?

Verse 33 says that the man shall ________ the wife and the wife shall __________ the husband. What does this passage mean?

Which command is harder or are they both equal?

2) The Bible says that the man is to love his wife and the woman is to honor her husband. How does love and honor go hand in hand?

3) Regarding parent child relationships, both have responsibilities. Parents are called to ____________ their children. Children are to _______ their parents.

4) How does encouragement and obedience go hand-in-hand?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Men of Rules

Men of Rules

[Colossians 2:16-23]

  • Let no one steal your freedom (v. 16)
    • Legalism = slavery/bondage à Christ accomplished the Law
    • Spiritual elitism – believed if circumcised, watched diets, observed days – then elite
    • Asceticism (self-denial and self-modification) – Christ does more than restrain—He puts new desire within a person
  • Let no one disqualify or condemn you (v. 16)
    • There is NO condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1)
    • Your qualification is from God (2 Corinthians 3:5)
  • Let no one beguile you of your reward (v. 18-19)
    • Beguile = to declare unworthy of a prize à “Don’t be cheated”
    • You do receive a different degree of glory (1 Corinthians 3:8)

TRADITION CANNOT BE EQUAL TO THE WORD OF GOD

Tradition of Man or Truth and Grace of Christ…

  • Does is stress man made rules over grace?
  • Is it condemning or discipline in love (truth in love)?
  • Does it focus on knowledge and formulas or on the Word of God?
  • Does it elevate rule keepers over Christ?
  • Does it act like elite group?

Bible Study Questions:

1) In verse 16-17, we read not to let anyone say we must celebrate a list of items.

What are these items we should not be forced to celebrate?

Why are these items not mandatory?

What are we to celebrate? (see v. 17)

2) The message mentioned “asceticism” which is a life of self-discipline. It involves practicing strict punishment and restriction (self-denial) to one’s body to modify or change behavior. What are some examples? What is the difference between it being part of the Law or something more?

3) Read verses 20-23.

            How does following the rules makes you appear? How is this not true?

The end of this passage says all of this doesn’t “have any power over our desires.” If this doesn’t have the power, where do we get this power over our desires?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Foolish Philosophies

[Colossians 2:1-15]

Fooled by fancy talk / persuasive speech / well-crafted arguments / enticing words / smooth rhetoric / nice-sounding words / wild-goose chase (v. 4) – speech adapted to persuade, speech to lead others into error

“Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may SOUND WISE, but they are ONLY HUMAN TEACHINGS. They come from the POWERS OF THIS WORLD and NOT FROM CHRIST.” [CEV]

captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy [NIV]

Captive – ignorant of TRUTH – of Word of God – sulagógeó “to carry off as spoil” like a predator carrying off prey

Remember:

  • You belong to Christ (v. 9)
  • Christ is over every power and authority (v. 9)
  • You have been raised to life through faith (v. 12)
  • Your sins have been forgiven (v. 13)
  • The charges have been wiped out (v. 14)
  • With Christ alone, we have victory (v. 15)

“What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that “they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.” The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.”J.C. Ryle

Bible Study Questions:

1) Paul uses the term “wonderfully blessed” or “full riches” or “wealth” in verse 2:2. What is Paul saying gives us this wealth or full riches—why or how are we wonderfully blessed?

2) Paul used the term “mystery” and said that Christ was the key to God’s mystery (v. 2). This term “mystery” was used a lot by the false teachers at that time. Some people believed there was a high level of hidden knowledge one could achieve by particular actions. What does Colossians 2:2-3 say about Christ and this mystery?

3) Paul makes it clear that we are to never stand still. Read Colossians 2:6-8. What does this mean for us?

4) Other religions attempt to figure out what problems people have and then how to solve those problems. Christianity is different. The Gospel wisdom is backwards from the worldly wisdom. How?

5) Read Colossians 2:15. The verse uses the word “disarm” or “defeated.” What does this mean when it says Christ defeated or disarmed all powers and forces?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: Ministry to Maturity

[Colossians 1:21-29]

1) Must stay DEEPLY ROOTED and FIRM IN FAITH (v. 23a)

2) Must NOT GIVE UP HOPE received (v. 23b)

  • Warn every man
  • Teach every man all wisdom
  • Present every man mature in Christ

3) Must PREACH COMPLETE MESSAGE (v. 25)

plērōsai (play-ro’-o) Fulfill, complete, to make full, full to individual capacity

  • In its fullness [NIV]
  • Entire message [NLT]
  • Fully carry out [NASB]
  • Fully known [HCSB]
  • Fully deliver God’s message [Weymouth]

Our task is to make the Word of God known – to EVERYONE

Verse 28 says EVERYONE 3x’s – “each one”– emphasizing Christian teaching for all

WHY I work so hard?

Christ followers will GROW & MATURE

Goal (v. 28) – Present every man COMPLETE IN CHRIST.

How is it possible?

HIS POWER mightily works within me. (v. 29)

Bible Study Questions:

1) In verse 22, Paul wrote that God lets you stand in His presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.

What does it mean to be holy?

What does it mean to be faultless?

What does it mean to be innocent?

2) The passage notes that this “message was kept secret from everyone, but now it has been explained to God’s people” (v. 26). The word “mystery” is used (v. 27).

What was the word mystery referencing?

Why was the message kept secret? Why was it now explained? (v.27)

3) The goal is “all of Christ’s followers will grow and become mature” (v. 28). How is this accomplished?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Colossians Study: The Gospel Truth

[Colossians 1:1-8]

The Gospel is…

  • Good News of God (v. 5)
  • The Word of Truth (v. 6)
  • The Message of God’s Grace (v. 6)
  • Centered in a person – Jesus (v. 4)
  • Universal – It is for the whole world (v. 6)
  • Humanly transmitted (v. 7)
  • Productive – Multiplies (v. 6)

People believed. People were discipled. People were faithful in Christ.

FAITH in Jesus and LOVE for God’s people that spring from HOPE stored up in heaven (v. 4-5)

HOPE…

God’s way = the best way

How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. (Psalm 128:1 NASB)

God’s way = the only real peace

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 ESV)

God’s way = the only real joy

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (John 15:11 NLT)

God’s way = the only true and lasting reward

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (Hebrews 10:35 NIV)

Bible Study Questions:

1) How does Paul introduce himself to the Colossians? How does he address the Colossians?

2) Paul wrote that he was thankful for the Colossians. What specifically made Paul thankful and excited for this church in Colossae? (see v. 3-8)

3) Paul never met the people in Colossae. Who shared the Gospel with these people? How is he described?

4) What is the Gospel? Read Acts 2:22-24, Acts 16:30-31, and 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

5) One of the unmistakable characteristics of the Gospel is God’s grace in all its truth. John 1:14, 17 says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (ESV).

How do you define grace?

How do you define truth?

How can you share God’s grace?

How can you share God’s truth?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

More Than a Story: Kingdom-Focused

[Matthew 13]

Contains EIGHT parables!! All of these parables speak about the kingdom of heaven.

  • Parable of the Sower
    • Readiness to hear and receive the Message of the kingdom of heaven.
  • Three parables about growth: Weeds, Mustard Seed, Yeast/Leaven
    • Parable of the Weeds – weeds among good seed, test between true disciples and others.
    • Parable of the Mustard Seed – seed into large tree
    • Parable of the Yeast – hidden in the flour till all leavened
    • Mustard Seed & Yeast speak about small beginnings. God’s work may appear unimpressive at first but appearances are deceptive. BE PATIENT. Little equals big when God is at work.
  • Three more parables: Hidden Treasure, Pearl of Great Value, Net
    • Parable of the Hidden Treasure shows wholehearted response to Kingdom of heaven—no sacrifice is too large and equals joy and fulfillment
    • The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value – when found sold all had and – similar to Hidden Treasure
    • The Parable of the Net – fish of every kind, sorted good in containers and threw out the bad
    • The Net is similar to the Weeds – sorting good & bad. The church will always be mixed until the final judgment.
  • Parable of the Householder / Master of the House – speaks of new treasures (the teaching of Jesus Christ) and old truths

Readiness

  • ready to hear and receive the Message (Parable of the Sower)
  • ready to give Jesus first place (Parable of the Hidden Treasure, Parable of the Pearl of Great Value)
  • ready for testing (Parable of the Weeds, Parable of the Net)

Faithfulness

  • faith to allow God to grow you into who He made you to be for greater things (Parable of the Mustard Seed, Parable of the Yeast)
  • faith to follow God’s leading and to adhere to God’s timing (Parable of the Mustard Seed, Parable of the Yeast)
  • faith to speak the Truth (Parable of the householder)

Bible Study Questions:

1) Looking at the Parable of the Weeds, why did the master want to wait for the harvest time to gather the weeds? What does this mean for us?

2) Let us consider leaven. In the Parable of the Leaven, the passage says that the woman puts a little leaven in the flour and then it all was leavened. She added some leaven and all was impacted. What does this mean for us?

3) The Parable of the Leaven speaks about inner growth, while the Parable of the Mustard Seed focuses on outside growth. Do you think one is more important than the other? Do you think they are related?

4) The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Parable of the Pearl of Great Value both talk about selling all that was owned for the field containing the treasure and the pearl. What is the risk in selling all you have? What might slow you down or keep you from doing this? What does this mean for us?

5) The Parable of the Net speaks about gathering fish of every kind. It also speaks about the net being full. What is the takeaway when looking at the gathering of the diverse fish? What are your thoughts on the net being full?

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused