God's Word Speaks Today
Why are there so many churches? How can the different denominations hold to differing doctrinal positions and yet all appeal to the same Bible for authority? How can I find out what is Bible truth? Can those of us who are not theologically trained really understand the Bible?
The above list of questions could go on and on. No doubt you could add a few crucial questions of your own. This just illustrates the confusion that is in Christendom today. There is uncertainty concerning religious truths and Christian values.
Over the past few decades many people have walked in a spiritual wilderness convinced that science or education would solve the world’s problems. While science has made many beneficial contributions to life on earth, we are still better prepared to destroy ourselves than ever before. National, and political, unrest has steadily increased, along with an escalating crime rate that includes everything from petty theft to mass murder.
Many people believed that education would provide the answers. Tell people what is right and wrong and they will do what is right. Show them what is the right choice and they will make it. Sadly, this approach has failed too. The question that many have asked is “How do we instill in people the motivation to do what is right?” Fear of punishment does not seem to be sufficient motivation to adjust lifestyle or consider others.
These Bible study guides have been prompted by the belief that love is the greatest motivating force of all. They are an attempt to introduce people to the great Creator God whose love for us erring mortals is so amazing, and can be so motivating too.
Some explanatory notes are included along the way, and the Exhibits will give more information designed to illustrate and inform.
Remember that this study series is governed by the same principle that governs all other projects; that is, you get out of it exactly what you put into it.
Joe A Webb D. Min. Writer & Compiler
A SERIES OF BIBLE STUDIES ON THE FOLLOWING TOPICS
A note to those studying this series of study guides
Congratulations, you have either made a request to study the Bible, or you have responded to an invitation to study this series of study guides. A few preliminary remarks are in order before you begin studying. I suggest that the following are a good ten point check for those completing this series of study guides.
Point one. You may have begun to study the Bible because you have some specific questions that you are seeking answers to. Because this series is designed to build upon each preceding study guide your pressing questions may not be answered in depth right away. It is important to understand the importance of building a firm system of belief. You will be better able to understand what the Bible says on issues that concern you as you build a firm foundation of truth.
Point two. This may not be the first time that you have attempted to study the Bible. It is possible that you have found God’s Word hard to understand in the past. Let me encourage you as you make another attempt to understand what God is saying to you. These study guides are designed to lead you into an understanding of basic bible truths as they relate to daily life and experience with Jesus.
Point three. You may consider that you have a good understanding of Scripture, and you may well have. However, I can guarantee that you will still be challenged by what God’s Word has to say as pointed out throughout these study guides. Please understand though that these bible studies are not an attempt to discredit cherished beliefs. Rather, they are an attempt to clearly teach what God has revealed to us in His Word.
Point four. When studying the Bible it is easy to get sidetracked as you explore and discuss topics. It is important that you keep as closely as possible to the subject of the lesson under review.
Point five. These study guides are designed to be the basis of a discussion that will last approximately forty-five minutes. Many have found that prolonged and tiring study sessions are somewhat counterproductive as those involved get overloaded with information and struggle to maintain understanding and interest.
Point six. Questions are important. As you proceed through your study guide make sure that you write down any questions you may have. Address these questions to the person who is helping to review your study guide. If they don’t have the answers to your questions at once, they will have the resources to find biblical answers for you.
Point seven. It is important to read and study Bible texts within their context. This means that we cannot lift out one or two texts and isolate them from the setting that the Bible puts them in. When we do this there is the danger of making the text say something that the Bible did not intend it to say.
Point eight. Because studying the Bible is a spiritual exercise it is important that you ask God to be present, and to bless, during your study times. When you have completed your study time, thank God for His help and ask that He bless you as you contemplate upon what He has revealed to you.
Point nine. While it is perfectly acceptable to study the Bible by oneself, and then review it with the study guide reviewer, it is also good to study in a group. Studying in a group gives opportunity for discussion and the sharing of ideas and convictions. If you have some family members or friends that would like to join the study time, ask your study guide reviewer for some extra copies of the study guides.
Point ten. I would like to issue a challenge to you for when you have finished this study guide series. The challenge is that you would seriously consider sharing with others what you have learned. This is how Jesus intended that the good news of His gospel go into the entire world. You can be an important link in the chain that brings the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who you know and love.