Study: What are the promises and the obligations found in these verses?
Apply: What does your tithing (or lack thereof) say about your own spirituality and relationship to God?
Share: Your friend says there is no way he can tithe and feed his family. He says God understands He can’t afford to tithe. What do you tell your friend? How could 1 Kings 17:8-16 help, Especially verse 13?
Study: What are the “ifs” and “thens” of God’s proposal here?
Apply: What does it mean to “heal their land?” In what ways do we need healing today?
Share: Can you think of a friend or family member who is struggling with making a full commitment to Christ? Besides praying for them, is there any way you could speak a word of encouragement to them this week?
Study: What is the ultimate message of these passages?
Apply: Many secular writers, without the hope of eternity as presented in Scripture, have lamented the meaninglessness of human existence. Though they are wrong about the future, why is it hard to argue with their point about the meaninglessness of life without a future hope?
Share: You friend asks, what we will be doing in heaven all eternity? Won’t it get boring? What things will be similar to our lives now? What will be different? What do you tell your friend?
Study: How can we harmonize the description of the great multitude of the redeemed serving God “day and night in His temple” (Rev. 7:15, NKJV) with the statement that John “saw no temple” in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22, NKJV)?
Apply: Revelation 21:3 reads: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God” (NKJV). These verses reflect numerous other passages (Jer. 32:38, Ezek. 37:27, Zech. 8:8, Heb. 8:10). What does it mean for us now, still here on earth, that God will be our God, and we will be His people? How do we live out this amazing truth now?
Share: Your friend asks, Isn’t God already with us now? In what ways is God already with us? How will it be different in the new earth? What do you tell your friend?
Study: What do these passages tell us about the supreme privilege of seeing God?
Apply: Read 1 Peter 1:22. How does this text reveal to us the link between obedience and purification? What is it about obedience that purifies us? How, specifically, does Peter say our obedience will be made manifest?
Share: Your friend’s child asks you, if God is real why can’t we see Him? What do you tell your friend’s child?
Study: How is Christ’s resurrection related to our own resurrection? Why did Jesus tell His disciples He would come again so they could be together, instead of just promising them they would be together as soon as they died? What does this tell us about the importance of the resurrection?
Apply: Isaiah 59:2 tells us sin has caused a separation between us and God. Exodus 25:8 tells us the Sanctuary service solves the sin problem so we God can dwell with us again. How does this help us understand why it is taking 2,000 for Jesus to prepare a place for us so we can be together again? Is His work so much with bricks and mortar or is it more with stony human hearts? How does John 14:1-3 help us understand what Jesus is doing for us in the sanctuary of our hearts right now?
Share: Your friend says that Jesus went to paradise with the repentant thief as soon as they both died. So we all go to heaven as soon as we die. What do you tell your friend? How would John 20:17 help you explain this?
Read in Class: John 6:26-51. Discuss the main idea of this passage.
Study: How did Jesus associate the gift of everlasting life with the final resurrection of the righteous?
Apply: Dwell on the words of Jesus that, if you believe in Him, you have (as in rightnow) eternal life! How can this wonderful promise help you deal with the painful reality of our present, though only temporary, mortality?
Share: Your friend asks, “What did the loaves and fish have to do with the manna?” What do you tell your friend?
Study: What hope did Paul give to those who thought their dead loved ones had forever perished?
Apply: Which is more comforting to you and why? The idea that the dead are all in heaven now? Or that the dead in Christ will be raised in the resurrection? Why does Paul say. “comfort each other with these words” instead of telling us to comfort each other with the hope that our dead ones have “gone to be with the Lord?”
Share: Your friend says that Paul promised that Jesus will bring with Him those who are dead when He returns. This must mean they are already in heaven and return with him. What do you tell your friend? Click here for a hint.
Apply: This is such an amazing promise, something so different from anything that we have experienced that it’s hard to grasp. But think about the vastness of the cosmos, as well as the incredible complexity of life here. Creation itself testifies to God’s amazing power. What does all this teach us about the power of God to translate the living and raise the dead at Jesus’ second coming?
Share: Can you think of someone this week who needs to hear about the hope of the resurrection? Can you share it with them this week?
Study: What are the consequences of sin? How did Jesus solve the sin problem?
Apply: What have we personally learned about the consequences of sin from our own sinful acts?
Share: Your friend says it is not fair that we were born into a sinful world by no choice of our own. How do you answer your friend? How did Jesus make it fair? How did Jesus undo all the damage Adam caused? See We are Saved by His Life.
Study: In what ways was “You will not surely die” a lie?
Apply: the serpent had absolutely now power other than the power of persuasion. How can we defend ourselves against these lies and persuasions when we are tempted?
Share: Your friend says that the Bible contradicts the norms of society in so many ways, its hard to believe that the Bible is even relevant in today’s society. What are some ways the Bible contradicts our current society and how do we know we can trust the Bible to be right?
Study: What are the consequences of sin found in this passage? What was God’s solution? Where do we find a Savior in this passage?
Apply: What can we learn from the consequences of our sins and the results of our actions? Why do some not seem to receive consequences for their sins?
Share: Your friend states that if people do horrible things and God just forgives them then no justice is served. It doesn’t seem fair for them to get away with these horrible sins. What do you tell your friend? See Forgiveness is not Saying it is Okay.
Read in Class:1 John 4:7-16. Discuss the main thought of this passage.
Study: What can the certainty that “God is love” tell us about the nature of His creative activities? What does this passage tell us about free will as a condition to cultivating love?
Apply: Free will, a gift from God, is sacred, but comes heavy laden with powerful consequences, not only for yourself but for others, as well. What important decisions are you, using this gift, about to make, and what will be the consequences of whatever choices you make?
Share: Your friend asks you why didn’t God only create people who would choose to serve Him? Wouldn’t that still be giving free choice to all his creation? Why would that be or not be free choice? Another friend claims that if we die for not choosing Jesus then Jesus is not really giving us free choice. He is intimidating and manipulating us. Is there a difference between free choices and consequences?
Share: Your friend says there is no way we can have total victory over addictions in this life. How can you sue Hebrews 11:30 to show how faith makes victory a reality.
Read in Class: Acts 16:16-34. Define the main idea of this passage.
Study: Why did this event cause the jailer to focus on his own need of salvation? What role do you think Paul’s and Silas’ prayers and songs played in the prisoners’ not running away, and in the conversion of this man and his whole family?
Apply: Who do you think could be influenced for God by a song of praise that could come from your heart? Make a concerted effort to be more open and effusive in your praise to God around others. You don’t know the positive effect it could have.
Share: Your friend asks if Paul and Silas sing hymns of praise caused the earthquake? What do you tell your friend?
Study: What was the meaning of this test? What spiritual lessons come from this amazing event?
Apply: What does the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah say to you personally about your faith and how you manifest it?
Share: Your friend tells you that it sounds like God is contradicting his own law in forbidding human sacrifices. How do you make sense of this apparent contradiction? Hint: See the note at the end of this page.
Study: How do these verses help us understand what happened at the Cross, which is prefigured in the sacrifice here on Mount Moriah?
Apply: How does what happened here help us better understand what happened at the cross and what God has suffered in our behalf? What should our response be to what has been done for us?
Share: Your friend comments, “My pastor preaches that when we become Christians God makes us highly favored and prosperous. Instead of calling us to sacrifice, God calls us to prosperity.” How do you answer your friend, particularly in light of Genesis 22?
Read Together: Genesis 24. Define the main idea of this passage.
Study: Why is Abraham so concerned that his son not marry a woman from the Canaanites?
Apply: Why is it so comforting to know that while not all things are God’s will, He is still in charge? How do prophecies like Daniel 2, for instance, prove this point to us?
Share: Your friend says that God’s providence in the story of Isaac and Rebekah prove that our entire lives and predestined and predetermined. How do you respond to your friend, especially in light of Genesis 24:58?
Study: What is the meaning of these final events in the life of Abraham?
Apply: In the end, God kept His promise to Abraham. How does God’s faithfulness to Abraham encourage you?
Share: Your friend asks, “What is the greatest promise anyone ever made to you and actually kept?” How does that faithful friend help you appreciate the promises God has made to us?
Note: “They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.” 1 Peter 1:12 NLT
“The sacrifice required of Abraham was not alone for his own good, nor solely for the benefit of succeeding generations; but it was also for the instruction of the sinless intelligences of heaven and of other worlds. The field of the controversy between Christ and Satan–the field on which the plan of redemption is wrought out–is the lesson book of the universe. Because Abraham had shown a lack of faith in God’s promises, Satan had accused him before the angels and before God of having failed to comply with the conditions of the covenant, and as unworthy of its blessings. God desired to prove the loyalty of His servant before all heaven, to demonstrate that nothing less than perfect obedience can be accepted, and to open more fully before them the plan of salvation. Heavenly beings were witnesses of the scene as the faith of Abraham and the submission of Isaac were tested. The trial was far more severe than that which had been brought upon Adam. Compliance with the prohibition laid upon our first parents involved no suffering, but the command to Abraham demanded the most agonizing sacrifice. All heaven beheld with wonder and admiration Abraham’s unfaltering obedience. All heaven applauded his fidelity. Satan’s accusations were shown to be false. God declared to His servant, “Now I know that thou fearest God [notwithstanding Satan’s charges], seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me.” God’s covenant, confirmed to Abraham by an oath before the intelligences of other worlds, testified that obedience will be rewarded. It had been difficult even for the angels to grasp the mystery of redemption–to comprehend that the Commander of heaven, the Son of God, must die for guilty man. When the command was given to Abraham to offer up his son, the interest of all heavenly beings was enlisted. With intense earnestness they watched each step in the fulfillment of this command. When to Isaac’s question, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham made answer, “God will provide Himself a lamb;” and when the father’s hand was stayed as he was about to slay his son, and the ram which God had provided was offered in the place of Isaac–then light was shed upon the mystery of redemption, and even the angels understood more clearly the wonderful provision that God had made for man’s salvation. 1 Peter 1:12.” -Patriarchs and Prophets, Pages 154-155.
Main Theme: The promises given to Abraham are for all believers. “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” Galatians 3:29 NLT
Study: What is the role of hospitality in the church?
Apply: What more can we do for those who are in prison, whether church members or not?
Share: Your friend opposes the church’s prison ministry because many of the prisoners are con artists and instead of being sincere are only looking to take advantage of people. How do your respond to your friend?
Study: What two evils are found in the passage, how could they be tied together?
Apply: What are the ways that contemporary society undermines sexual purity and, at the same time, feeds the human love of money? In what practical ways can we strengthen our defenses against these two dangerous vices?
Share: Your single friend confides how hard it is to stay sexually pure. He/she believes its easier to stay pure if you are married? How would you use this passage to help your single friend? See also Overcoming Sexual sin When you are Single.
Study: Where is grace obtained? How are our hearts strengthened?
Apply: Dwell on Christ’s complete sacrifice. Why, then, is the idea of anything that we do “adding” to this sacrifice contrary to the gospel and the grace that is found in Jesus?
Share: Can you think of someone who may be shut in or lonely who needs to be shown brotherly love? Can you reach out to them this week or even find a way to reach out to them every week?
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:34-40 NKJV
Main Theme: Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.”-Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 25.
Study: What does this passage say about the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary?
Apply: Think what you would face if you had to face the just punishment for your sins. How should that truth help you understand what Christ has done for you?
Share: Your friend asks you why Jesus is ministering in the sanctuary? Wasn’t everything already accomplished on the cross for our salvation? Why is He in the sanctuary now? What do you tell your friend? For Hints see The Sanctuary in Light of the Cross.
Read Together:Hebrews 2:9. Discuss the main idea of this passage.
Study: How did Jesus taste death for every man? Especially since everyone seems to die their own death? Hint: See The God-forsaken God.
Apply: How does Jesus’ death on the cross not only atone for our sin, but also help restore our faith in God’s love?
Share: A friend tells you they have read where Jesus died for everyone, but how can they know for sure that they can have eternal life? How do you answer your friend? Hint: See The Gospel Presentation.
Study: How is Jesus’ sacrifice described in these passages?
Apply: The cross is the basis for all the benefits that God bestows upon us. It provides purification from sin, sanctification to serve, and nourishment to grow. How can we better experience what we have been given in Jesus?
Share: A friend asks, why did all those innocent animals have to be killed in the Old Testament if Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished forgiveness for all time? What do you tell your friend?
Study: What does Redemption in the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins reveal about God?
Apply: Why does the cross and the ministry of Jesus in our behalf suggest that we should look confidently, but with humility and repentance, toward the judgment?
Share: Have you ever shared the Gospel Presentation with someone? Can you think of someone this week you could share it with?
“No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. If we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace. If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good we shall have something to tell. Like Philip when he found the Saviour, we shall invite others into His presence.” -Ellen White, Steps to Christ, Page 78.