What is the new normal? Nobody knows for now. Who knows if we may return back to normal as we knew it. However in the past months the exposure of our church and school has been significantly different. Many things went online such as chapel, worship services, and school. Our exposure to the community significantly changed. Members started posting worship services on their Facebook pages and as a result new connections have been made outside of the church. This Bible study will help us become more comfortable in understanding and sharing the word of God. The format is simple. Each week a Bible study will be released with about a half a dozen questions. The next week, Monday through Friday, Pastor Farnsworth will go through those questions one or two a day explaining each one. We hope this Bible study is a blessing to you. Please share it with others.
Week of July 19th, 2020
The Importance of Law and Gospel
From your catechetical studies as a child you should have learned the two great doctrines of the Bible are Law and Gospel. From Luther’s small catechism we learn “the law is that doctrine in the Bible to which God tells us how we are to be and what we are to do and not to do.” (LSC 1943. P. 42) We also see from Luther’s Small Catechism the definition of Gospel, “the Gospel is that doctrine of the Bible in which God tells us the good news of our salvation in Jesus Christ.” (LSC p. 43)
Below are several Bible verses. Identify them as Law or Gospel, highlighting key phrases.
1. Romans 1:16 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
2. Exodus 34:11 11 “Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
3. Leviticus 19:2 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, you shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
4. John 3:16 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
5. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
6. 1 John 4:9 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
Week of July 26th, 2020
What’s important about these two laws is that they’re the basis for sharing our faith. The problem is significant to us as human beings because we are sinners. God established the law and we have broken the law. As a result we have sinned against God and our fellow man. The problem today is that many people think that they don’t sin. Let’s identify the three functions of the law which helps us get to the heart of the matter of why we evangelize.
The law has a threefold purpose:
1. A curb—the Lord checks, to some extent, the course outburst of sin and “thereby helps us to keep order in the world.” (LSC, page 85) Review the following Bible verses and identify how the law is a curb.
Romans 2:14-15 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them
1 Timothy 1:9 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers
2. A mirror—the law shows us our sin. (LSC, page 86)
Romans 3:20 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Romans 7:7 7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
3. A rule—the law teaches Christians which works we must do to lead a God pleasing life.
Psalm 119:9 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Luke 10:27 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
Week of June 21st, 2020
We begin by looking at a text that is very timely because it shows up in the lectionary this Sunday, June 21st. This text identifies fears that come and interfere with the mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please read through the text below and the answer the questions that follow.
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,
33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
1. Reading over the text can you identify three separate fears Jesus disciples faced?
2. Identify the first fear found in the text and explain the solution Matthew shares with us.
3. Identify the second fear in the text and explain the solution Matthew shares with us.
4. Identify the third fear in the text and explain the solution Matthew shares with us.
5. How do these solutions empower the disciples in their proclamation of the gospel? How do they empower you?
6. Make two lists:
Please send your lists to Pastor Farnsworth at: email@example.com
Week of June 28th, 2020
When considering sharing your faith, many roadblocks seem to be in the way. Perhaps the first is how do I start? Many can observe a common sign in many communities, “Jesus saves“. One might put themselves in the mind of a un-churched person or an unbeliever and ask this question; “saves from what?” The fact is that people don’t see a need for a savior. They don’t see a need for a savior because they don’t believe they are sinful. Sometimes it’s arrogant to think that this is a modern problem that those of the past didn’t have to deal with. That is a clear mistake.
Let’s consider one encounter of Jesus in Mark 10:17-22.
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”
20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”
21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
After reading this scripture answer the following questions:
1. Is Jesus impressed with the man falling at his feet?
2. What was the man convinced of in regards to the 10 Commandments?
3. What do you believe was instrumental in that conviction?
4. The man asks, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” What is wrong with that question?
5. Why does Jesus answer the question in a way that seems to support works righteousness?
6. After confessing to Jesus His keeping of the 10 Commandments Jesus states that he lacks one thing. What is that one thing?
7. What does that one thing indicate about this man’s life?
8. In this Discourse between the man and Jesus, what is Jesus teaching us about sin?