A Basic Bible Study For Women Seeking the Truth
This is a basic Bible study that can be used as a starting point to share with our friends and neighbors as to why we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and His church is the body of the saved.
I. Inspiration of the Bible
A. The Bible claims to be inspired (of divine origin). Let’s begin by examining the evidence of this claim:
- Read: 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:3
- If the Bible is from God (and not man), it will not contain any errors or contradictions.
- The books making up the Bible were written over a span of 1500 – 1600 years by about forty writers from different backgrounds and cultures. If these writers were not inspired, we would see some major contradictions instead of a unified theme running through the entire Bible.
- Prophecy is one area that supports the inspiration of the Bible
.a. In order to truly prophesy, one must be able to do so well in advance of the time of the event about which one prophesies and be able to give specific details – the Bible does just that.
i. The city of Tyre – Ezekiel 26…The destruction of Tyre (by Alexander the Great) occurred in 332 B.C. hundreds of years after Ezekiel wrote the details of the event.
ii. The Old Testament (written hundreds of years before the 1st century A.D.) contains more than 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah. A few examples:
- Isaiah 7:14……Matthew 1:23
- Daniel 2:44…...Luke 2:1
- Micah 5:2…….John 1:1, 14
iii. Israel’s decline and captivity by other nations is prophesied and recorded (Isaiah 10:5, 6; Jeremiah 25:9-11; Isaiah 13; 2 Kings 17:24; Daniel 5:28). Secular history alone verifies that these historical events took place as prophesied.
5. Brevity is another aspect that supports the inspiration of the Bible.
a. The Bible is extremely brief in parts.
b. As humans we would write in detail on many of the accounts that the Bible only mentions in passing.
c. Clearly, the Holy Spirit in His wisdom knows what man needs to hear for the purpose of salvation.
i. For example, the gospel accounts record the birth of Christ and almost immediately speak next of His ministry as an adult. (Luke is the only one to mention an instance when Jesus is twelve years old, Luke 2:40-52).
- We know very little of what happened in Jesus’ early life. If mere humans had written this it would include more detail – (compare some of the uninspired Apocrypha writings as a prime example of what writings of human origin produce)
.ii. Another example would be Paul’s listing of his trials and hardships (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).
- The apostle uses four verses to sum up his tribulations. Would that be the case if you or I had written the text? As uninspired writers, we would have elaborated and given our readers more detail about our hardships.
iii. As humans, we want every detail. The Divine Writer knows that every detail is not essential for man’s redemption.
6. The Accuracy of the Bible is further evidence that it is inspired of God.
a. We can examine any work of man and find errors and inaccuracies.
b. Since we as humans are not all-knowing, errors occur frequently in our writings; however, since God is all-knowing, He will not err and His Word will not contain any inaccuracies.
i. Leviticus 13 – God gives the Israelites health regulations in the Law of Moses. Only hundreds of years later with the knowledge of bacteria are these laws fully understood.
ii. The book of Acts – Luke, writing this letter, mentions many countries and cities all over the Mediterranean area. Some have initially criticized his writing only to find that it is correct in every detail upon further examination.
d. Skeptics will claim there are contradictions, but once the alleged “errors” are carefully examined, the Bible stands true and accurate in all of its details.
B. Questions to Consider:
- If the Bible contains no errors, can we trust it to be true in the area of spirituality
- How do other books that claim to be inspired (Book of Mormon, Quran) compare to the Bible in the areas of accuracy, prophecy, and brevity.
- If the Bible is inspired by God, should we read, study, and obey it?
II. Jesus Christ, the Son of God
A. God’s Word claims that Jesus is the Son of God (as does Jesus Himself). Let’s examine the evidence of this claim.
- Read Matthew 1:23, 11:27, 28:9; John 1:1, 5:43, 8:54-56, 10:30; Luke 4:34.
- Jesus’ Historicity – Some people have made the claim that Jesus never existed – He never walked the earth – He is a fictional character.
a. This claim is absurd since we have many secular documents that record a Jewish man named Jesus and his actions (such secular documents correspond well to the New Testament documents).
b. These secular documents include Jewish and Roman writings as well as non-Christian historians such as Flavius Josephus.
3. If Jesus did exist as a man on earth, was He also God in the flesh or just a good man?
a. Skeptics argue that Jesus is one of many men who claimed to be the son of God.
b. Many cultures have stories of mythical gods whose lives are similar to that of Jesus’.
c. If one looks closely at these stories it seems they arose independently of each other, coming from Asian, Roman, and Norse mythology.
d.This makes sense because from the time Adam and Eve sinned and sacrifices had to be made for sins, man has looked for a “savior” in one form or another.
e. Indeed, since the beginning of time, God has foretold and used human prophets to tell of a Savior who would redeem mankind (Genesis 3:15, Luke 1:67-70, Acts 3:19-21). We know (by typical, human behavior) that man (unbelievers) would hear of this and twist it into fictitious stories.
f. None of the myths about a “redeemer” are the same nor are they accredited by evidence; whereas, Jesus’ birth, life, death, burial and resurrection are well documented and consistent.
4. Jesus’ Teachings – Based on fact, supported by Old Testament evidence, confirmed by divine power, and unlike any other (Matthew 7:28, 29; John 7:46).
a. He was concerned with individual’s souls and often stopped to talk to people even against the day’s social, gender, and racial barriers (John 3:1-5; 4:1-42).
b. Matthew 12:22-30 and John 8 are just two examples of Jesus’ profound logic in answering questions and addressing charges made against Him.
c. He did not try to stir up trouble (as many leaders do) but rather answered His critics with irrefutable reasoning and truth.
d. Parables are another aspect of Jesus’ teachings that are unique to Him – with them He revealed spiritual truths to His disciples that remained mysterious to those not seeking Truth (Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35).
5. Jesus’ Miracles – The “signs and wonders” that Jesus exhibited confirm His claim to be Who He says He is (John 10:25, 20:30, 31; Acts 2:22).
a. Jesus, in His 33 years on the earth, fulfilled all prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah (over 300 - many of which are uncontrollable factors for a mere human). For example:
i. Born of a virgin – Isaiah 7:14
ii. Born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2
iii. Son of David – 2 Samuel 7:16; Isaiah 9:6, 7
iv. Existed before David – Psalms 110:1
v. Suffered/killed with the wicked – Isaiah 53:8, 9
b. Jesus performed many miracles. His miracles varied and were out in the public eye. Even though His enemies did not believe in Him, they did recognize His “many signs” (John 11:47; Luke 13:10-17).
c. The greatest of Jesus’ miracles is His resurrection (Luke 9:22; John 2:19-22; Luke 24).
d. It is noteworthy that the Scriptures mention that Jesus’ disciples did not believe Jesus’ body was raised from the dead until they remembered His words and saw Him (Luke 24:1-11; John 20:2, 24-29).
e. The resurrected Jesus was seen by over 500 people (John 21:24, 25; 1 Corinthians 15:6), and He did not die again, but ascended to the Father to reign over His kingdom (Acts 1:3, 9-11; Luke 1:33; Hebrews 12:2)
6. Jesus Christ has had more influence and impact on the world than any other person in history. He both claimed Deity and has the credentials to support it. Indeed, He is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)
B. Questions to Consider:
- How do the lives of other so-called spiritual leaders (Muhammad, Joseph Smith, etc.) compare to that of Jesus Christ?
- Would you suffer terrible persecutions even to the point of death (as Jesus’ disciples have) for something that you knew to be false? What does this say about the testimony of Jesus’ disciples?
- If Jesus is the Son of God, should we believe and obey His Word
III. Christ’s Church
A. Since the Bible is the inspired Word of God and Jesus Christ is God’s Son, what do such facts imply about Jesus’ church?
- What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth?
a. Ultimately, Jesus came to be the sacrifice for man’s sins (John 12:23-33; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 7:27).
b. Jesus came to fulfill the law, make the supreme sacrifice and establish His church (which He purchased with His blood). Jesus’ church consists only of the saved and was foretold in prophecy (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44; Acts 2:47; 20:28).
c. During His ministry, Jesus preached the kingdom of God, emphasizing the necessity of obeying His Word in order to enter into His kingdom (Matthew 4:17, 23; 26:29; Luke 4:43; John 18:36).
2. How many churches did Jesus establish?
a. Jesus told the apostle Peter, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18).
b. Christ’s church is His body (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18, 24).
c. Does Christ have more than one body?
i.God’s Word teaches that there is only one church of Christ.
ii. The church began on Pentecost (50 days after the Passover) as recorded in Acts 2 and foretold in Isaiah 2:2-4 and Joel 2:28-32.
iii. Those who obeyed (repented and baptized) were added to the body of the saved (the church) by God (Acts 2:38-41, 47).
d. The New Testament uses the word, “churches” in places; but if we look closely at the context, the writer is speaking about many congregations (of the Lord’s one church) in a geographical area (examples: 1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 11:28; Galatians 1:22).
e. The church is Christ’s bride; how can He have more than one bride? (Ephesians 5:23-32)
f. The inspired writer, Paul, wrote for all to “speak the same thing” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Do the many denominations in the world teach the same thing?
g. The Bible nowhere mentions that denominations or different religious sects are to make up the church. The Lord’s body (church) cannot be divided (1 Corinthians 1:12, 13).
3. What is the nature/characteristics of the church?
a. The church was in the mind of God before the beginning (Ephesians 1:4).
i. As noted above, the Old Testament prophets foretold of it and the mosaic system was designed to prepare the way for the coming of Christianity (Galatians 3:24-25).
b. The Lord’s church has one Head, Christ, who reigns from heaven (Ephesians 4:15, 16, 5:23).
i. There are no earthly headquarters or one man that rules.
ii. The congregations making up the one church are self-governing and have their own elders to shepherd their own respective congregations (Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:2).
c. The church has one creed, God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:3).
i. The Bible is our authority in all matters and no other document is inspired (Galatians 1:6-10).
d. The church is universal in scope; all people are invited (1 Timothy 2:4) and all are equal in Christ (Galatians 3:28).
e. God’s Word teaches that the church is the body of born again individuals who have been called according to the gospel (John 3:1-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).
f. A person who obeys God’s Word is made right in the sight of God, is called by a new name (Christian), and has his sins washed away by Jesus’ blood (Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 2:9; Colossians 1:22; Revelation 1:5).
B. Questions to Consider:
- Would Jesus pray for unity among His disciples (as He did in John 17) if it were all right for His followers to teach different things (thus making different denominations)?
- The first Christians held to the “apostles’ doctrine” and “had all things common” (Acts 2:41-47). Does this sound like the denominational world today?
IV. What should I do now?
A. Mankind has a problem: sin
- Sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4, 5:17).
- Every accountable human has sinned (James 1:14; Romans 3:23).
- God desires that we choose not to sin and serve Him (1 Timothy 2:4).
B. God has the remedy for sin: Jesus Christ
- God has showed His love to humanity by providing the perfect sacrifice to take away our sins (John 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:26-28).
- God’s grace is extended to all nations and peoples (Romans 6:23; Titus 2:11-14).
- His grace is extended to mankind alone (angels who sin receive no redemption). Thus, hell is prepared for the rebellious angels (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). Only through Jesus can humans escape hell (John 3:18; 14:6)
C. God’s Word commands us to do certain things in order to come into contact with Christ’s blood and be saved by grace. (These are not works designed to earn our salvation but rather an obedient response of our faith in Christ – Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 5:1-2, 10:17, 16:26).
- When a person truly believes in Christ, they will desire to fulfill God’s commandments concerning salvation (Mark 16:16).
- We are commanded to repent of our sins (a change of mind that leads to a change of action) – (Luke 13:3, 15:7; Acts 3:19, 17:30).
- We must be willing to confess Jesus as God’s Son before others if we want Jesus to confess us as His followers before the Father (Matthew 10:32; 1 Timothy 6:12).
- We will want to be immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins. Through baptism we meet Christ’s blood, which washes us clean of our sins. When we are immersed in the water, we are dying to sin (as Christ died), being buried (as Christ was), and arising to a new life (as Christ arose) – (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26; Colossians 1:13-14).
- We will strive to live faithful lives filling them with good works, which glorify God’s Name (Colossians 1:10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Titus 2:14, 3:8; Hebrews 10:24; James 3:13; 1 Peter 2:12).
D. Questions to Consider:
- Many individuals claim that all one has to do is believe in Jesus to be saved. What about the demons (James 2:19)?
- Is it important to obey all of God’s commandments?
- Do you desire to do all that God has commanded?
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