Connect Bible Study Notes
Term 4 2017
500 years on – Echoes of the Reformation
This year marks 500 years since Martin Luther launched the Protestant reformation with his 95 Theses. This movement shook the world. We take a fresh look at the 5 “pillars” of
reformed doctrine: Scripture alone, Grace alone, Christ alone, Faith alone and Glory to God alone and then three great reformation outcomes that shape our church and our lives: The priesthood of all believers, The freedom of the Christian and Assurance of salvation.
Glory to God Alone Ephesians 1:3-14 19th November
- How would you define the word “Glory”?
- The Westminster Confession states that “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever”. What do you think it means to glorify God in practical terms – in your work, relationships, friendships, family, study etc? Why do you think the authors of this confession combined glorifying God and enjoying him? Do you see any possible tensions between these two things? What could resolve these tensions?
- The reformers taught the importance of giving glory to God alone. What temptations do we face when it comes to giving glory to other people/things besides or as well as God? Why do you think it is important to give glory ONLY to God.
- Read John 1:1-18 and Hebrews 1:1-2:4. What do these passages teach about where we see the glory of God? How has Jesus changed this?
Christ Alone Romans 5:1-11 12th November
- What do you understand by the phrase, ‘Christ Alone’?
- What has Christ done for us? See Romans 5:8.
- What benefits do we receive from Christ’s actions? See Romans 5:9-11.
- What does ‘justified’ mean in Romans 5:9?
- What are we saved from, according to Romans 5:9?
- How have we been justified, according to Romans 5:1-2 and 9?
- In the history of the church, what have people wanted to substitute or add to Christ Alone? Why did they do this?
- In modern times, what do people want to substitute or add to Christ Alone? Why do they do this?
- What practical steps can you take to ensure that you maintain your trust in Christ Alone? What practical steps can you take to ensure that your church maintains trust in Christ Alone?
Faith Alone Romans 1:16-17 & 3:20-4:8 29th October
- Think of some everyday things you trust, or have faith in.
How does this help you to understand biblical faith?
- In Romans 3:28, what is being contrasted with faith? Why is faith superior?
- Why is there no room for boasting (Romans 3:27)?
- What does the Christian have faith in, i.e. what does the Christian trust? (Romans 3:22-25)
- How does Abraham help us understand faith (Romans 4:1-8)?
- Put Romans 1:16-17 into your own words.
Grace Alone Ephesians 2:1-10 22nd October
- Verses 1-3 paint a rather negative picture of men and women. Is this how people often think of themselves? Is Paul saying all people are bad or is he saying something more profound? What does “dead in transgressions and sin” mean? How do we know Paul includes himself in this category?
- How does the first word of verse 4 give us hope? What does this hope depend on?
- How does Paul describe the character of God in verse 4? What does God do to demonstrate this character?
- In verses 4-10 list the actions God takes.
- Paul describes God as rich in mercy (v4) and rich in grace (v7). What is the relationship between these? In what situations should we display mercy and grace?
- How do good works fit into a godly life? What would be lost if we said we are saved “by grace PLUS good works” rather than “by grace alone”?
- Someone has defined GRACE with the acronym “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. How well does this summarise the teaching of this passage?
Scripture Alone 2 Timothy 3:10-17 15th October
- Why do you think it is important that the Bible is available in a translation that people can read easily?
- What qualities would you look for in a Bible translation?
- Someone has said “God’s word comes to us in the context of relationships.” Read 2 Timothy 3:10-17 and find evidence that supports this statement.
- How would you describe the relationship between the authority of the Church and denominational leaders and the authority of the Bible?
- What mistake were the religious leaders making in John 5:39-40. In what ways could we make this same mistake today? What is the relationship between Jesus and the Bible?
- How would you make a case for the authority of the Bible in the current same sex marriage debate to a person who does not accept the Bible’s authority?