1. Focus attention. Below are four possibilities. :
1) Announce that you will explain the basics of Christianity.
2) Announce that you will explain how God changed your life (a testimony).
3) Announce that you will talk about a common problem that people have, such as guilt, worry, or fear. These common problems can be called “felt needs.”
4) Announce that you will talk about a common objection that people have against Christianity.
2. Announce your goal.
3. Present the topic that you have announced. be sure to include the failings and needs of people,
4. Present the four concepts: problem, answer, invitation, benefits.
5. End by asking whether the goal has been met.
VII. A SAMPLE “INTRODUCING FAITH” STUDY: JESUS TEACHES HOW TO HAVE A FULL LIFE.
A. FOCUS ATTENTION. Talk about your own life, and how you often did not feel fulfilled and happy; tell the difference in your life after you believed in Jesus.
B. STATE GOAL. I hope that through this Bible study, you will understand how Jesus can bring you a fulfilled and happy life.
C. PRESENT THE LEARNING MATERIAL. (In the sequence below, the words in brackets give you suggestions for how you will give the answer to each question. In a large group, you will introduce the question and give your answer. In a small group, you cold allow the listeners to suggest the answers).
1. Please read together ╬Jn 10:10
1) Jesus says he came to give what to us? [a full life]
2) Do you think many people today are satisfied with their lives and would describe their lives as “full?”[no, not many regard their lives as ‘full’]
3) What would a “full” life entail? [wealth, respect, meaningful activity, etc]
4) What are the things that prevent people from having a “full” life? [lack of a good job, conflict with other people, illness, unjust treatment, etc]
5) In the sentence we read, what three things does the thief do that prevents people from having a “full” life? [steal, kill, destroy]
2. Now let’s see how Jesus explains to deal with those who rob us of a “full” life. Please read together Jn 10:11-15.
1) Jesus compares himself to what kind of worker? [a shepherd]
2) By deduction then people are compared to what type of animal? [sheep]
3) In the verses we just read, Jesus does not talk about a thief. However, he speaks of what animal that seeks to rob us of a “full” life? [wolf]
4) How does the hired hand show that he is less reliable than a shepherd? [runs away]
5) What kind of feelings toward the sheep does the hired hand lack? [caring]
6) The shepherd protects his sheep, in spite of encountering what problem? [losing life]
7) From these verses what do we learn about Jesus’ attitude toward people? [He cares for all people, even to the point of giving up his life for them, so that they might enjoy a full life.]
The most important point of the Bible is that Jesus did give up his life for people. About the year 30 AD Jesus’ enemies nailed him to a cross and he died.
3. Let’s look at Jesus attitude toward death. Please read Jn 10:16-18
1) Jesus speaks of “other sheep.” This means Jesus’ promise of “full” life is not limited to his own people, the Jews, but is available to all peoples of the world.
2) How do people show that they want to receive “full” life from Jesus? [They, like sheep, follow their shepherd Jesus.]
3) Did Jesus die willingly or unwillingly? [willingly] How do you know? [He lay down his life for the sheep; no one took his life from him.]
4) Even should he die, Jesus says he has the power to do what? [take up his life again] This means that Jesus will live again. That is the second fundamental teaching of Christianity: Three days after he was crucified, Jesus rose from death.
5) Who commanded Jesus to die? [His Father] In this section Jesus is referring to his Father in heaven, who is God.
4. The next verses we will look at also discuss the relationship between Jesus and his sheep. Please read ╬Jn 10:24-28
1) In a preceding passage we discussed how Jesus seeks to give “full” life to people while they are on earth. In this passage what other sort of life does Jesus wish to give all people? [eternal life]
2) Those who receive eternal life find it easier to face death, so they are able to enjoy life day by day without worry. According to these verses, what characterizes a sheep of Jesus that receives life? [They believe Jesus is their Savior. They know the voice of Jesus and follow him.]
3) The miracles (works) that Jesus performed demonstrated that He was whom? [Christ or Messiah] Jesus is the Christ or the long-awaited Messiah of the Jews. God promised that one day he would send a King to save His people from their enemies and that this king would rule over all the earth.
5. Let’s explore a bit more God’s attitude toward us. Please read ╬Jn 10:29-33
1) Whose plan was it for the sheep to belong to Jesus? [The Father’s or God’s plan]
2) Why are the Jews angry at Jesus? [Jesus claims to be God by saying that he and the Father are one.] Another essential Christian teaching is that Jesus is not only a universal king but he is God. In Christianity it is important that the King be human because one of the chief functions of king is to suffer death on behalf of his subjects. At the same time it is also important that the king be God, so that His death would have unlimited value and be able to ransom all people of every age.
6. Let’s see why it was necessary for Jesus to suffer death for mankind. Please read ╬Rom 5:6-8
1) Christ’s death shows that who loves us? [God]
2) What were the problems of the people that Christ died for? [sinners, ungodly] The word “sinner” means “someone who has disobeyed God.” This disobedience might be something big, like murder, or it might be something small, like cheating. Any kind of disobedience reveals that people have disregarded God and deserve to be punished by God. Yet there is good news for sinful mankind. Jesus acted as our substitute, bearing the punishment that we deserved on account of our disobedience.
7. Please read ╬Rom 5:9-11
1) What words are used to describe why people deserve punishment? [God’s enemies]
2) What words are used to describe the benefits provided by Jesus? [justified, saved from God’s wrath, reconciled to God, saved by Christ’s life]
3) What action was necessary to provide all these benefits to man? [The death of God’s Son]
D. This next verse will conclude our study and provides a summary of the ideas that we just discussed. John wrote about another follower of Jesus named Thomas. Thomas was absent on the day that Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by the other followers. The verse we will now read discusses an event that occurred one week after Jesus’ Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Please read ╬Jn 20:24-31
1) The author, John, hopes that you will receive what benefit? [life]
2) The author desires that you will do what? [believe]
3) Concerning Jesus, he desires that you will believe what? [Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, Your Lord, Your God]
E. Our Bible study is now concluded.
- Would any of you be willing to learn more about the teachings of the Bible at a future time?
- Are there any parts of the teaching today with which you agree?
- If there are any parts that you do not agree with, I invite you to mention them. If time permits you can give an account of why you believe what you do.
- If someone has placed their trust in Jesus, please tell me privately. I will share with you how you can grow in your faith and pray that the Lord would strengthen in your new life as His child.
- Thank you for your willingness to spend this time together studying the Bible. See you next time.