Field Note Guides will help you talk through the Foundations Workbook in a discipleship relationship. As you consider what it might look like when you get to Step 5 of the Loved Bible process – “Invest and Invite” – these Field Notes can help you navigate real-life conversations about God and his Word. Whether you’re making a Loved Bible together or talking through one you already made, these guides will give you simple talking points about important Christian truths.
We invite you to spend some time discussing “Who is Jesus?” with your fellow disciple. The Foundations Workbook just scratches the surface on basic doctrines of Christianity. You could spend a lifetime studying each topic! But As you go through this section with someone, we hope you’ll be stirred to ask questions, dig deeper, and ultimately grow in your affection for Jesus. We pray you‘ll be left in awe of our Lord and Savior.
Previous Field Notes:
- Field Note Guide #1 – What is the Bible?
Let’s get started on Field Notes Guide #2! Turn to page 10 of the Foundations Workbook. Foundation 2: “Who is Jesus?”
Introduction: Who is Jesus?
CONVERSATION STARTER: Take a minute and write down how you would answer the question “Who is Jesus?” if asked. How have you heard Jesus described? (These could be true or false statements.)
Some possible responses could be – a good person, teacher, liar, prophet, savior, Son of God…
Where we’re going: In the next section, we’ll focus on building a deeper understanding of Christ throughout the entire Bible. The “Key Truths to Remember” section will provide answers to the question “Who is Jesus?”.
Read this first paragraph out loud. You might circle or highlight in your Workbook “all 66 books point to him.”
CONVERSATION STARTER: Sometimes people may think Jesus only arrives on the scene in the New Testament with the familiar passages of his birth found in the gospels. The Old Testament can feel intimidating and even out-dated, making us wonder, ‘Where is Jesus in the midst of all these battles and rulers?’ Discuss together your experience with the Old Testament.
- Have you ever started (and/or completed!) a ‘Bible in a year’ reading plan, which included the Old Testament?
- What books of the Old Testament have you read, or which books haven’t you read?
- Perhaps on your own you could write out the statements from J.D. Greear’s blog, for example: On the title page of Genesis, write, “In Genesis, Jesus was the Word of God, creating the heavens and the earth.” This would be a great ‘take home’ activity.
- Create a bookmark with Jen Wilkin’s summary from Proclaim truth:
- The Old Testament says, “Messiah is coming.”
- The gospels say, “Messiah is here.”
- The book of Acts is Messiah proclaimed.
- The epistles are Messiah explained.
- Revelation says, “Messiah is coming again.”
- Write out a card with J.A. Medders’ overview of each major section (see graphic).
- See the TLBP blog for more ideas!
CONVERSATION STARTER: Talk about the Trinity. What do you know or wonder about the Trinity?
You may have heard the term ‘Trinity’ before in reference to God, but may be wondering what it really means. Have you heard any of these (inaccurate) descriptions? — Describing God and the Trinity as an egg and its 3 parts of yolk, white, and shell. Or like the 3 parts of an apple with seed, core, and skin. We’ve also heard the Trinity described as the 3 forms of water: vapor, liquid, and solid (ice).
It can be difficult to grasp, because our understanding is not infinite like God’s. Since there is no one like God, we can not look to creation to find a complete picture of who He is.
The best way to gain understanding is to look to the Bible, because it’s God’s revelation to us. We believe Scripture tells us there is one God who is three in person. The Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, but they are not each other.
LOVE A BIBLE: Look up Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” In your bible, highlight those bold words and add this note: “The Trinity: There is one “name,” showing the unity of God. The name is tied to each of the three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe Scripture tells us there is one God who is three in person. The Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, but they are not each other.”
Look up these other places the Trinity is mentioned in Scripture: Matthew 3:16-17, John 15:26, Acts 2:33, Romans 8:11.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: This is often a difficult concept to wrap our minds around! If you want to learn more, here are 2 resources we suggest:
DISCUSS THIS PARAGRAPH: The more we understand who Jesus is, the more we’ll grow in our love for him. This is an ongoing pursuit since he is infinite, and we are finite. “Christ” means “Messiah” or “anointed one.” As the Christ, Jesus is the one who fulfills all Old Testament expectations.
When you start to read the Bible as a story about Jesus, you begin to understand the depth of Christ, fully God, fully man, and how he is the promised Messiah. When you see how Jesus fulfills prophecy (prophecy: that is, events and details which the writers of Old Testament expected to come from the One who would save them), you’ll also grow in seeing the inerrancy of the Bible and the beauty of Jesus.
LOVE A BIBLE: Be reminded that the Bible reveals a person, not a personal task list. Take a moment and just write the word “BEHOLD” on a notecard, and its definition: “to see or observe (a thing or person, especially a remarkable or impressive one)”.
We become what we behold. Let us behold Jesus and grow in our Christ-likeness.
TAKE HOME ASSIGNMENT: Until the next time you meet, start practicing these ways you can behold Jesus.
- Are you currently reading a book of the Bible as part of a study or reading plan? If possible, start reading a book of the Bible together and begin meditating on God’s Word. (Or, if you’re both in different books or studies, continue to do this on your own and share your thoughts when you meet. Consider doing a shared Bible study in the future.)
- If you are not currently reading a book of the Bible or completing one, commit to investing time with each other and study the Bible. You could go through a year-long Bible reading plan and encourage each other through, or join a Bible study hosted by your local church. We are often inclined to do this on our own, but we encourage you to learn in community and share what you are observing from the text. (Philippians 4:8)
- If you are both reading different books of the Bible, come together with a Psalm! Come together praising the Lord. One of the beautiful realities of the local church is singing praises in community. Go with your friend to church or do a smaller gathering at your home. Read a psalm together, sing a psalm together! (Shane & Shane is a band and has two great Psalms albums.)
“When awe of God has captured your heart, ministry will fill your schedule. You won’t need the church to schedule ministry for you; you will approach work, marriage, parenting, extended family, friendships, and community with a ministry mentality.”
Paul David Tripp, Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do
LOVE A BIBLE: You could look up a couple of the Old Testament prophecies and see how they are fulfilled in the New Testament.
The Old Testament contains many prophecies pointing not just to Jesus’ birth but also to the salvation he would accomplish. Look up the passages below and see how they illustrate this truth.
Old Testament Prophecy | New Testament Fulfillment
Genesis 3:15 | Romans 5:6–8; Galatians 4:4–7; Colossians 2:13–15
Isaiah 9:2 | Matthew 4:12–17; John 1:4–5; 12:46
Isaiah 53:10–11 | Romans 5:1–2
Isaiah 53:4 | Matthew 8:14–17
Isaiah 61:1–4 | Luke 4:16–21
Source: The Village Church Advent Guide
DISCUSS THIS PARAGRAPH: The apostle Paul’s phrase “in Christ” indicates the intimate relationship between Jesus Christ and his people (Colossians 3:1-3, 1 Corinthians 6:17). He is the head of the Church, often called his body. He leads and unifies this body, which is made of diverse parts with unique purposes (Ephesians 1:22-23, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). – Foundations Workbook, page 10
In the book of Ephesians, you can find the phrase “in Christ” or “with Christ” mentioned 35 times! What is this important concept of being “in Christ”? To be “in Christ” means that God no longer sees our imperfections; He sees the perfect righteousness of His own Son, Jesus! This is also referred to as our ‘union with Christ.’
We love how Cale Fauver says it on the For The Church blog…
“This union means this: you identify with Christ and he with you. His life is your life, his death is your death, and his resurrection is your resurrection — or as Paul writes in Romans 6:5, “For if we have been united with him…” Believer, you were chosen in Christ, made alive together with Christ, counted righteous in Christ, hidden in Christ, baptized into Christ, and will one day be glorified with Christ. Friends, this is why we shall not live in our sin. We have died to sin in his death and are now alive to God in his resurrection. By Adam’s disobedience, we became sinners; and so by Christ’s obedience we have been made righteous (Romans 5:19). How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2). Open to Romans 5:18-6:11 and your soul will fly to heavenly heights laden with imperishable gold.”– Cale Fauver, ftc.co
LOVE A BIBLE: Look up and highlight all of the Scriptures in this section of the Workbook.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: Investigate the following resources to learn more about union with Christ:
- Read: article by Cale Fauver at For The Church blog
- Read or listen: interview with John Piper at Desiring God
- Listen: if you have 40 minutes, listen to this Knowing Faith podcast
TRUTHS TO REMEMBER: JESUS
LOVE A BIBLE: Focus on each truth about Jesus.
REMEMBER: For each truth:
- Look up the referenced Scriptures and highlight them.
- Write out the Key Truth (in the green box) and include it next to one of the Scriptures.
- Write out the quote and include it next to the referenced Scripture.
SAVOR GOD’S WORD. Don’t try to rush through the process just to “complete” a Loved Bible. As you look up each Scripture, highlight, and add notes, you are becoming familiar with navigating the Scriptures. Many of us may have become accustomed to ‘flipping’ through pages of our Bible digitally. But looking up and highlighting verses will help grow some muscle memory and practice finding Scriptures. Also, don’t be afraid to use the Table of Contents!
You may decide to do this Loved Bible activity on your own during the week. Then when you meet together, go through the Conversation Starters below or discuss any questions that might have come up in your time alone.
Truth 1: Jesus is God in human form. He is the Word of God. Fully God, fully man.
CONVERSATION STARTER: After you’ve highlighted the Scriptures (Matthew 1:18, Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 1:3) and made the note that Jesus is God in human form. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is fully God, fully man, you could spend more time discussing this in your discipleship relationship. What does that mean?
Go to Philippians 2:5-8. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
What does “form” mean here? [Jesus was in the ‘form’ of God…]“Form” is the expression of something that reflects fully and truly (and permanently) the essence of what something is. Look up the definition of FORM and write it on a sticky note.
FORM (noun): “the visible shape or configuration of something; a particular way in which a thing exists or appears; a manifestation”– Oxford English Dictionary
Jesus is God.
This passage of Scripture tells us that Jesus is God; he is God in human form. It was not an emptying of his deity or exchange of his deity for humanity. He set aside his privileges so he could humbly serve.
DISCUSS: Why is it important to understand that Jesus is fully God (fully divine) and fully man (fully human)? Read this article for more.
Truth 2: Nothing was created without Jesus.
CONVERSATION STARTER: Is Jesus creator or was Jesus a created being? And why does this matter?
If you are trying to answer the first question together, go through the following exercise to see how Scripture illustrates the point that Jesus is Creator.
- Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
- Take a moment and highlight that in your Bible.
- Circle “God created.”
- In the margin, note that this points to an attribute of God. He is Creator.
- Now, keep reading, and pause at verse 26. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’
- Highlight “us” and highlight “our.”
- From the very beginning, we see that the Bible is pointing to Jesus. “Us” and “Our” are referring to the Trinity. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
- It is important to see that Jesus is Creator, He was NOT created!
You could also look up and highlight the following Scriptures to support this truth:
— Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
— John 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Was Jesus created? We can look to Scripture for the answer to this question. Jesus did not come into being, Jesus has always been. Jesus is Creator, not a creation!
Here are further Scriptures to confirm this point:
- John 1:3
- John 17:5
- Colossians 1:16
- Hebrews 1:3
- Jude 25- highlight the words “before all time”
- 2 Timothy 1:9-highlight the words “before the ages began”
- Revelation 22:13
There was never a time when the Son did not exist. He was never created.
Truth 3: Jesus lived a sinless life. There is no salvation apart from him.
CONVERSATION STARTER: Why is it important that Jesus never sinned?
Christ’s obedience separates him from the rest of the human race. No one else has lived a perfect life. He is the only truly righteous one. His perfection further validates that he is the Son of God, and the only qualified substitute capable of paying for the sins of his people. (Hebrews 10:11-15)
CONVERSATION STARTER: Is Jesus the only way?
Scripture is clear that Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and man. There is absolutely no way to the Father but through the Son.
Take time to look up and discuss these Scriptures which show how Jesus is the only way to the Father:
- John 3:18
- John 14:6
- Acts 4:12
- 1 Timothy 2:5-6
Jesus is the only way and mediator. Apart from Jesus, there is no salvation.
Truth 4: Jesus’ death on the cross defeated the power and consequence of sin.
CONVERSATION STARTER: Depending on the stage of your discipleship relationship, talk through these questions generally or more specifically.
- Do you get frustrated thinking about sins you committed before you became a Christian?
- Do you still battle with sin currently?
- Are you longing for a day with no sin?
READ AND DISCUSS: this article, How Salvation Brings Freedom by Jen Wilkin
Truth 5: Jesus’ resurrection defeated death and brought new life.
CONVERSATION STARTER: What does it mean to have new life in Christ?
Take a moment to open your Bible to Ephesians 1. In the Christ-Centered Exposition by Tony Merida, he outlines our position -> who we are in Christ. Read about how God, in His glorious grace, saves sinners through Jesus Christ, granting them spiritual life. The focus is not on what we must do, but rather on what God has done for us. (Take a look at the verb tenses in the passage – they are mainly passive. God is the one doing the saving.)
This is a great place to go when talking to someone about Christianity.
“We find here that Christianity:
– is not about becoming religious.
– is not about conforming to a list of rules.
– is not about adopting a philosophy.
– is not about financial prosperity.
– is not about becoming a nice person.
+ is about becoming a new person.
+ is about going from death to life.
+ is about going from darkness to light.
The missionary’s task is not to call people to religion but to call people to Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.” (Exalting Jesus in Ephesians, a Christ Centered Exposition, Tony Merida, p. 15)
DISCUSS: the following truths about our new identity as believers
- We have been chosen and adopted by the Father. (Ephesians 1:4-6)
- We have been redeemed by the Son. (Ephesians 1:7-12)
- We have been sealed with the Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
- We have been given resurrection power. (Ephesians 1:19)
- We have been given eyes to see the lordship of Jesus. (Ephesians 1:15-23)
- We have been brought from death to life by grace through faith in Christ. (Ephesians 2:1-10)
- We have been raised and seated with him in the heavens so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:5-7)
- We have been created for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
Truth 6: Jesus will return for his people, his bride.
CONVERSATION STARTER: Do you think about the fact that Jesus is coming back? How does that impact your life right now?
We believe that Jesus is coming back. So, how does that affect us now? This concept gives us a whole new perspective on life! Consider reading this article, and talk about it together. JD Greear’s 4 Ways Jesus’s Second Coming Changes Us Now.
The 4 ways mentioned are:
- Spiritual Alertness
- Mission Urgency
- Power to Forgive
- Hope in Suffering
Truth 7: Jesus rules as King over heaven and earth.
CONVERSATION STARTER: How often do you think of Jesus Christ as King? How does his kingship impact your life?
You might then ask: “So what does this mean for Christians today? What are the implications of the kingly ministry of Jesus Christ?”
Several practical implications of Jesus Christ’s work as a King of kings:
- 1. We trust his sovereign rule.
- 2. We submit to his divine lordship.
- 3. We anticipate his coming kingdom.
Read more from For the Church.
CONVERSATION STARTER: Is it easy to submit to his Lordship? What is most difficult for you?
HOMEWORK: Read through one of the gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John)
John 1:18 ”No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” This verse shows us that if we want to know more about God, we should study Jesus. A great way to learn more about who Jesus is is to read the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each author has a specific audience and emphasis for his depiction of Jesus.
There are 4 unique gospels, but they all testify to the one Gospel which is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Have you ever tried reading through a gospel in one sitting? Give it a go! We suggest starting with John followed by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Make it a priority to read through one of the gospels this week! It will help you learn who Jesus is!
WRAP UP: As you finish up Foundation 2, “Who is Jesus?”, take time to pray. Ask God to reveal more of the beauty of Jesus Christ through his Word. Pray that your heart and affections would be stirred for Jesus as you learn more about him. Thank God for Jesus, and for the way he revealed his heart for humanity by putting on flesh and walking on Earth. Ask God to help you begin to grasp the incredible riches of his grace and love for you in Christ.