all printables can be found here / psd: feebies
- Print: Foundations Workbook and Getting Started Guides
- Print: Story of Scripture Printable
- Print: Literary Genre printable
- Colored pencils or Highlighters
- Library Card pockets
Prepare Your Heart
Play this worship song as your group gathers. You might print out a copy of the lyrics. Austin Stone Worship also provide theology papers/devotionals that go along with many of their worship songs. These are helpful as a Prepare Your Heart exercise.
“God is not silent; He is communicative. The opening verses of the Old Testament tell us that God speaks (Genesis 1:3), and the opening verses of the New Testament refer to Jesus with communicative language by referring to Him as “the Word” (John 1:1). “A Better Word” reminds us that our God is a God who is not silent but speaks powerfully, personally, and truthfully” – Matt Blackwell
In this section, we want to grow in understanding what is the Bible, it’s basic structure, who wrote it, and what is it about. When you make disciples, remember to talk about these foundational truths.
- “What are some general ways you’ve heard the Bible explained” (answers might include a book about how to live, God’s Word, moral guidelines, a myth, an outdated book irrelevant for todays culture, some inspirational proverbs to live by)
- If someone says they read their Bible, what are some different things they might mean by that? (Some say it might look like a Scripture verse here and there. Others say it’s trying to find a verse that applies to a current feeling – feeling anxious, tired, weary, or ugly, etc. Some might say it’s reading one Proverb, Psalm, or a devotional every day.)
- Who wrote it: The Bible is God’s Word and that is how He communicates with us. Help your group understand how the Bible is written by human authors carried along by the Holy Spirit and “God-breathed”.
- The Bible is one big unified story: You want your group to understand that the Bible is God’s big story, one story, a seamless story. Do the Bible activity “Story of Scripture”.
- Story of Scripture Printable: Print on cardstock and have available during the workshop. Participants each get a copy to print and cut out.
- Library card pockets: These have a sticker on the back. Remove and adhere to the inside cover of your Bible and add your Story of Scripture cards.
- Alternative way to make it: Don’t have a printer or library cards?
- Understanding Literary Genre: Introduce your group to literary styles by doing the Bible activity highlighting and marking the Table of Contents with Literary Styles of law, history, etc. Have everyone pick 8 different colored highlighters or colored pencils. Pro tip: Have printed copies so everyone can easily reference.
- Not a conspiracy: A point that can be made is that the Bible was not put together by a group of people who conspired and sat in a room together. It was over a period of 1500 years by a diverse group, yet unity and common themes.
- 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Truths to Remember
- The Bible is sufficient to lead us to Christ.
- What does this mean in our current culture and for decisions we’re making here and now? The Bible was sufficient for back then, but is it still today?
- The Bible is God’s Word, and because God is all-knowing and his presence has no bounds, his Word transcends time and culture. It was enough then, is enough now, and will continue to be enough.
- Everything we need to know about how to live in the world God created is found in Scripture. No, it won’t tell you who to marry or to sell your house but the principles for living and growing in faith are found in its pages. The Bible tells us it’s “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), which means God uses its words to speak to our hearts and minds. The Holy Spirit clarifies God’s perfect will. As we read the Bible, study it in its context, and discuss it with other maturing Christians, the Holy Spirit helps us how we ought to think and live.
- This is a good follow up article: The Bible is not an Encyclopedia and discuss.
- Share a practical example: Consider ‘How do we use social media?’ The book of Proverbs alone has 150 references to the lips, tongue, and our speech. Look up some passages on speech: Proverbs 12:22, James 3:1-12, Proverbs 11:13, Proverbs 27:2, Proverbs 28:23. Consider how we’re also Christ’s ambassadors by looking up 2 Corinthians 5:20 and reading this short post from Paul Tripp. Look up ‘ambassador’ in the dictionary and write it next to the passage. When we live in light of what it means to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ, it will transform the way we use social media platforms.
2. The Bible is authoritative.
- Define authority: power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior
- When the Bible is authoritative, it means “every area of our lives is being brought under the control of the Word of God.” – For example: your relationships, your work, your money/taxes, your parenting, your body.
- If there is time, talk about which of those areas where you/or generally people want to be their own authority.
3. The Bible is without error.
- Theologically this is typically referred to as the inerrancy of the Bible. We believe the Bible does not contain errors or any mistakes.
- In other words, “because there is no hint of falsehood or error in God, neither does the Bible contain such errors” (Geoff Ashley)
- This is an article that is very accessible if someone wants to understand more.
4. The Bible is the Christian’s joy and delight.
- Read Psalm 1. Think about these blanks “But his delight is in ____________, and on ____________ he meditates day and night.”
- What is it that you’re delighting in? What are you taking joy from? What are you meditating on? What are you giving your thoughts to day and night? (discussion questions adapted from Jen Wilkin, TVC Psalms Study)
Follow up email:
After the workshop, send a follow up email with links.
Thank you for coming to the “What is the Bible” section this week! Here are links to the in workshop activities if you didn’t finish. Continue to read and highlight notes from the Biblical Overview and Truths to Remember. Below are some additional articles and resources if you want to dig deeper.