DEV 15FN Studying the Bible

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Session 15: Studying the Bible

In this session, you will be introduced to a simple way to study the Bible and teach it to others.

Heart of a Leader (40 min)

  • Worship together in the big group
  • Have participants get into groups of 3-4 people and discuss the following:
    • What are you learning and how are you abiding in Christ through word, prayer, obedience, PCS, relationships and fellowship?
    • What unresolved conflict do you have?
    • What areas of your life is obeying God a challenge?
    • What happened as you trusted God with your goals from our last meeting?

Vision Casting for the Heart

Read Luke 3:21-23. We often struggle with a sense of worth and value and feel insecure in who we are. This is no less for leaders, in fact sometimes with the added expectations upon the same insecurities are magnified. At the very beginning of Jesus public ministry, before he had made any disciples or performed any miracles and before he was known, he was baptized. It was a simple act of obedience to his Heavenly Father’s prompting. How powerful was what followed that simple act. Luke records that Jesus was praying and as he prayed “heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form” as a visible sign to others and the Father spoke. This is before any public ministry. What did the Father say? It is a powerful affirmation of identity and security in relationship with Him. “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Being secure in knowing who we are all flows from understanding who’s we are. The love and pleasure of the Father are not based upon what we do and how we perform or what results we show but wholly and solely on our identity as his child. He knows us. He loves us unconditionally. He wants us to remember who’s we are.

Celebration of Faithfulness (20 min)

[NOTE: Celebrate Faithfulness in the large group so that all can benefit and be encouraged.]

  • Give opportunity for participants to share what has happened since the last meeting. Ask them to relate it to goals from the last meeting.

Iron on Iron: Sharpening Myself and Others (45 min)

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”

  • Have everyone return to their Iron on Iron small groups, draw their network of missional communities and churches then share and evaluate with their group.
    1. What is going well?
    2. What is not going well? What obstacles are you facing?
    3. What are possible solutions from the other group members?
    4. What do you need to do to add the missing characteristics into each group?
    5. Where will you start a new group or church this month?
  • Have everyone set goals for improvement from their evaluation and share their goals with their small group. Then have them pray for one another.

New Lesson (45-60 min)

Relevance: Why is it important and helpful if we study the Bible?

  • Have participants get into new groups of 4-5 people (or they can continue in their Iron on Iron groups)
  • In the following sections, each group assign verses to each participant. Each participant will then read the passages below and tell what they learned.

Discovery Bible Study – How to Study the Bible

Section 1: Scripture’s teaching about Scripture

From God: 2 Peter 1:20-21

Gives Us Hope: Romans 15:4

His Word is Sure: Isaiah 55:8-11; Matthew 24:35

Builds Us Up: Romans 10:17; John 17:17

Useful For Us: Psalm 19:7-11; Hebrews 4:12-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-17

  • After they have all shared their assigned verses, have each person in the groups share:
    • What caught your attention? (or What did you like best?) Why?
    • How would you summarize what you learned about scripture?

Summary: The Scriptures are God breathed – their source is from God that is why we can call the Scriptures, God’s Word. The Scriptures are God’s Word and contain what we need to equip us to do every good work. Because of that, we deeply study God’s Word.

Section 2: A Basic Bible Study Method

  1. Begin each time of study in the written word of God with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit (who is already within you) to help you understand God’s truth in the passage you will read.
  2. After prayer, read a passage of Scripture. It is best to read a complete section, for example, a complete story or a complete teaching.
  3. Take a moment to understand the context of the passage. Look over the passages just before and just following your study passage.
  4. Now, to clearly understand the meaning of the Bible passage, ask yourself the following questions, in this order. If you like to write, you can write down your answers on a sheet a paper or in a notebook you keep for Bible study. This is especially helpful if you are studying an entire book passage by passage. The questions fall into four general categories. The first three are useful for personal Bible study, and the last category applies when you teach others or are studying a passage together as a group.
    • Observation: What does it say?
    • Interpretation: What does it mean?
    • Application: What should I do?
    • Teaching to others or Group Study: Sharing insights with one another

Explain the different parts of Bible Study

A. Observation

This type of question first asks you to understand the facts of the passage. You must first know the details of the passage before you can accurately understand the meaning. Questions like these will help you clarify exactly what Scripture records. (You may not be able to answer each of the questions below for each passage you study.)

  • Who was involved?
  • What happened?
  • Where did this take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How are things accomplished?

B. Interpretation

Once you know the facts of a passage, you must then seek to understand the intended meaning clearly. The exact meaning of a passage is often obvious, but questions like these can ensure you discover Biblical truth. For very difficult teachings, these questions will also help you discover an acceptable interpretation to the passage. You may not be able to answer each of the questions below for each passage you study. Your goal is to be able to clearly say (or write out) in a few sentences the main spiritual truths contained in a passage.

  • What did it mean to the original audience?
  • What are similarities and differences between this passage and our situation?
  • What is the main idea?
  • How does this passage relate to the rest of the book?
  • What other Scripture passages might shed light on this one?

C. Application

After determining the spiritual truths in a passage, you must ask, what am I to do now that I understand God’s truth? How am I to apply these truths to my life? One passage may have many application points. The questions below can help you identify your response to God’s word.

  • Is there a sin for me to avoid or confess?
  • Is there a promise to claim? A praise to give? A prayer to pray?
  • Is there an example for me to follow?
  • Is there a command for me to obey?
  • Is there knowledge for me to learn?

When believers identify sin to repent from, they will often need a plan on how to overcome that sin. Brothers and sisters can help them develop a plan, and even role-play situations they expect to encounter where they will face temptation. Such a plan includes:

  • When will we obey?
  • When will it be difficult to obey?
  • What will we do to obey?
  • Where will we be when they obey?
  • How often will we meet with a brother or sister for spiritual accountability?

Teaching Others

Once you have applied the passage to your personal life, you can think how this passage would help others.

  • Who is someone who would be helped by something from this passage? When and how will you share it with them?
  • When you gather as a group, is there something from this passage that would help or encourage your group?

D. Group Study

When you are studying a passage together in a group, you can use the questions below as a discussion format. These questions will replace the more in-depth questions you ask yourself in a private Bible study. However, it is best to prepare for group study by first studying a passage privately using the method discussed above. Someone should be picked to lead out in asking the questions, but everyone in the fellowship should respond as God leads them. Often, there is no right or wrong answer to these questions; rather, they are designed to start conversations within your group about God’s truth contained in the passage, so you can learn from one another. When discussed with a godly attitude, the result will be mutual encouragement, closer Christian relationships, and greater knowledge of God and his ways.

  • What is this passage about? What is the main idea of the passage?
  • What do we learn about God from this passage?
  • What is the most interesting part of this passage to you?
  • What does it mean now (How is it relevant for today)? How are these same things similar today?
  • What do we have to do in order to obey the intention of this passage? How will we apply this?
  • With whom will you share this story or truth?

'Summary: Discipleship is not merely knowledge. There is a knowledge component, but it is primarily patterns and processes to practice and pass on. This means that as much is taught by example as by content. The methods and principles of Bible study, the patterns of prayer life and worship, and the encouragement, fellowship, support and equipping of, the Body are all being learned as the leaders model. An attitude of servanthood, humility, urgency, faith, passion for extending God’s Kingdom, and love for fellow believers and the lost on the part of the leaders are also vital aspects of this approach. These aspects of discipleship are caught more than taught.

4 parts of Studying the Bible: Observe, Interpret, Apply, and Teach to others

Preparing for Mission (20 mins)

  • In small groups, have each participant Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in the area of studying the Bible and Make a Plan on how they will improve.
  • Write “I will by when” statements. Include “Who will you teach this lesson to?”
  • Practice any additional skill that the leaders need in leading their groups or starting new ones

Sending the Laborers

  • Reinforce the overall vision: a church or faith community for every 1,000 people
  • Spend time in prayer:
    • committing everyone’s goals to the Lord.
    • for God to raise up a movement of churches.
    • for more laborers to come out of the harvest.