Wk 5 // A Whole New Year... // The Authority of Scripture
If you could become an expert in one subject or field of study, what would it be and why?
How are the teachings of the Bible distinct from all other teachings we receive?
In your own words, what is the purpose of the Bible? Why is studying it important?
In our information-driven culture, people want to know more about everything. People are interested not only in gaining new skills but in learning more to grow personally as well. Unfortunately, many people lack a spiritual hunger for God’s Word, and many who do have the desire to study the Bible haven’t developed the discipline to make Bible study as profitable and life transforming as it can be.
In this week’s message, Pastor Mike spoke on the authority of scripture and the power it has in our lives if we take the time to read it, memorize it, study it, and meditate on it. In this study we are going to explore two passages from scripture and discover what they have to say about God’s Word.
Spend a few minutes recapping this week's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.
What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?
Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?
Was there anything that challenged you?
We believe that the Bible is inerrant, that it is the perfect, inspired Word of God. The apostle Paul encouraged the younger disciple Timothy with this truth in his second letter.
In his encouragement to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church at Ephesus, Paul instructed him to hold firmly to what he had learned in Scripture, which he had studied since he was young. Because the Bible is our primary tool for growing as Jesus’ disciples, it is crucial that we believe the Word of God is totally accurate, free of error, and inspired by God Himself.
Have a volunteer read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Verse 16 teaches us that all Scripture is God-breathed. What does this imply?
Why is the divine inspiration of Scripture important? What would change if you didn’t believe Scripture was divinely inspired?
Paul reminded Timothy that Scripture instructs Christians on how to believe, grow, and serve the community. He first noted to Timothy that Scripture is inspired by God. The complete contents bear God’s stamp of approval.
What words in these verses emphasize the importance of studying Scripture?
What does Scripture equip us to do? How does this work?
The Bible is a guide that teaches us how to grow in our faith and how to live as disciples. It’s profitable for teaching, so it’s profitable for learning. The Bible, when actively read, provides us all we need to mature in our faith, a process that God designed to happen in the community of His church.
Have a volunteer read Hebrews 4:12-13.
In this section of Hebrews, the writer was making the point that his readers needed to give close attention to obeying God’s Word. In these two verses he stated the reason.
What similarities do you see in this passage and the passage from 2 Timothy 3?
How is the Word living and active?
How is the Word of God sharp like a two-edged sword? What is an example from your life when you’ve experienced the Bible in this way?
The living God speaks His living Word. God’s Word is not confined to a distant past but comes to us now with freshness, power, and clarity. God’s Word judges the ideas and thoughts of the heart. Bible study is one of the main ways God speaks to Christians. It is the way we learn about God and His will for our lives. Bible study provides the spiritual food for growing believers into Christlikeness.
What is one thing that distracts you from daily studying the Word of God? What habit or routine needs to change in order for you to make the study of the Word a priority?
How does your knowledge and understanding of Scripture impact your interactions with nonbelievers? Are you prepared to share the truth of the Word of God at any time? What can you do to be better prepared?
What do we lose if we choose to only study Scripture on our own, rather than being an active part of a biblical community where we can be taught the Word of God? What do we lose if the opposite is true?
Close in prayer, asking God to increase our appetite for His Word. Pray that our group will be better students of God’s Word, not just to increase our knowledge but to conform us to His image. Also pray that we will have the boldness to share the Word with other people in our lives.