Lesson 4 - God’s Word
How to understand and read the Bible
The goal of this lesson is to give the new believer a very basic understanding of the Bible.
The first important preparation is to make sure everyone in the group has their own Bible. This may have become evident during previous lessons, but your group members may also have been borrowing a Bible. This could be a great time to encourage them to buy one for themselves. Maybe you could even shop together for the best choice.
Since the lesson speaks about God’s word, you should be prepared to tell them what the word of God means to you personally. Mention a specific, meaningful, experience that you have had with the Bible. Think about your favorite verse and story and be prepared to explain why you like them. This will give a real life story behind the facts that are being communicated. There is no specific place for you to tell your personal story in this lesson, so you will have to determine where it fits best.
You may also want to read Micah 5:2 and Psalm 22:12-18 in the “study” section (question #1) before the lesson. These are Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah (Jesus) that are very important.
Again, we want to remind you that this “speak” section is NOT about teaching. It is about you listening and your group talking. In this case, it is about THEIR experiences with the Bible. True, they may have had bad experiences or no experiences with the Bible, but that is ok. Don’t be tempted to react when you get responses to these “speak” questions that reflect their poor opinion of the Bible. That is not abnormal. New believers have their whole lives to come to appreciate the Bible for its full worth. Just listen and then let the Holy Spirit do the work for you through the lesson.
John 1:45-46/John 8:4-15 – In these verses, Philip expressed his knowledge and dependence on the Old Testament for prophecies about the Messiah (which he now realizes is Jesus from Nazareth). You may want to take time to read these verses.
Key Questions to Answer
In this section, we investigate just a couple of the fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament that help prove that the Bible is from God and has authority. These two examples from Micah 5:2 and Psalm 22:12-18 concern Jesus as the Messiah. Because the Old Testament predicted the life, ministry and death of Jesus, we believe that it is also trustworthy in its other ideas. Of course this is not the only proof of the trustworthiness and authority of the Bible, but our desire is just to give the new believer a taste of the Bible’s divine and miraculous nature.
This subject may cause many questions about mistakes and contradictions in the Bible to be raised. You don’t have to pretend to know all the answers. If you don’t know an answer, just say, “That’s a great question. I’ll see what I can find out about that for you”, and then write down the question and commit to helping the new believer answer their questions. Usually, your pastor, youth leader or missionary will be glad to help you with these questions. The Bible is trustworthy, and it’s a joy to provide the proof that God has given us on this subject.
Facts about the Bible –This section is intended to provide an outline of the books of the Bible. Use this section to look together with your group at the major parts of the Bible and to become familiar with their places and time periods.
In this skills section, it’s all about getting your group to start good habits of feeding themselves on the Word of God. You are already memorizing a verse each week from the Elements lessons. So, focusing on helping them keep up with their daily Bible readings (from the “habits” section) is essential. From those readings they can practice their listening, studying and meditating.
For the stories this week we have Lukasz from Poland who talks about the Bible as he cooks dinner for his friends and Sladja from Serbia who speaks about the Bible while taking a walk during her lunch break. Both videos speak about personal reading, memorization and study of the Bible. They both emphasize how they began to read God’s word, how they apply it to their lives and what they do every day to feed themselves on God’s word. Again, watch both videos beforehand and think of some key questions that could help the group remember this lesson.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Through the Week Study: Question #7 is a great question to follow-up on. Ask your group to tell you what they wrote down (in the previous week) for this question: “Can you think of some untruth or lie that you are battling against in your life today?” You might be vulnerable first and share your own answer and then ask them to share.