spiritual impact

Spiritual Impact

The power is in the gospel.

Romans 1:16 says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes”

In 1 Corinthians 15:1-14, Paul defines his use of the word “gospel.” The key elements are the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is possible to include gospel in your Bible study, no matter what the topic is, through this approach:


Goal.  Bring the group to consider the question “what does this mean practically for daily living?”

Blockade.  Consider: why is it that I do not always live this way? Pondering this question gives insights into one’s sin nature.

Jesus.  Remind that Jesus is the answer to the problem of our sin nature, in these two ways: He has forgiven our sin, and He lives in us, providing strength to fight future temptation

This approach is meant to be a re-wording of the “goal-malady-means” sequence taught by Richard Caemmerer, former professor at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis.The adaptation on this page was created by Jim Found in 1982.


1)      You provide opportunity for discussion and conversation about matters that are important, maybe even of concern, to the people in your fellowship. At worship we listen, mostly, and there is not time enough to learn more about something that is said in the message. In your group conversations someone can pursue it or find out how to learn more.

2)      When a level of trust develops, then someone with serious doubt can voice it safely and receive comfort, assurance from the members of the group, and encouragement in the faith and love of Christ. Even deeper understanding of God’s grace and will for transforming out lives. Struggles are meant for us to learn and grow.

3)      In the safety of the group they may deal with a sense of guilt, disappointment or sorrow. Again, as above.

4)      Here individuals may meet and find friendship. I was talking recently to a member who joined Immanuel recently. She enjoyed the 101 class. After that, she didn’t know how to get to know people. Here the small group becomes almost a necessity, wouldn’t you think?

5)      The small group provides one of the finest ways to introduce someone to Jesus and to the fellowship of the church. Be it family, friend, neighbor, fellow worker or student, or someone whom you meet – anyone who expresses a spiritual need with you or asks to know Jesus better – the warmth to be realized in the small group provides incubation opportunity, so to speak. Make another disciple.

6)      Share some joy or excitement that someone has experienced and the joy becomes multiplied.

7)      A Christian is never meant to be alone. The Holy Spirit “calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the true faith.” So we learn from Luther’s Catechism. Here is how we keep Immanuel members from drifting away.

See samples of Bible studies based on these principles.
How to write studies based on this approach.

More on Gospel       More on Overcoming Temptation

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1 Richard R. Caemmerer, Preaching for the church (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House: 1959) 36-37