What are 5 good Bible study topics for your small group? What are ones that you would suggest?
Romans 12: How to live like Christians
This chapter is so powerful because it gives the believer a description of what the life of a believer should look like. Paul tells us that we are to present our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12:1b-2a). This chapter presents the true marks of a Christians (vv. 9-21) but it also reveals the structure of the Body of Christ and as “one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us” (Rom 12:4-6a). This chapter describes some, but not all, of the gifts of the Spirit and how they function within the Body of Christ, the church, and the purpose for which God has given these gifts. We are to make ourselves a living sacrifice, even if we crawl off the altar from time to time, by the renewing or renewal of our minds by the power of God’s Spirit. The Greek word Paul uses for “renewal” is “anakainōsis” and herein lays the power of this change in the mind. It means “a renovation” or “a complete change for the better” and this is only possible by God’s powerful Spirit working in our minds. If you are renovating a house, it may mean tearing down some of the walls and stripping off all of the old paint and pulling out the old carpet. A renovation is a complete makeover so Romans 12 should be useful in showing a small group what that looks like and how it is done.
God’s Names are God’s Attributes
If you read the Bible, you’ll see that God has many attributes but if you look at many parts of the Old Testament, you’ll discover that the Hebrew words used for God give many different names for God and these names are often attributes and sometimes they are descriptive of what God is doing for the Old Testament saints. For example in Genesis 17:3 God’s name is “El SHADDIA – the Mighty God” which means the “Almighty, the most powerful One.” Since Abraham and Sarah are beyond child-bearing age, God reveals that He is the Mighty God (El SHADDIA) and nothing is too hard for Him. When Isaac asked his father Abraham where the sacrificial animal was at Abraham said that “The Lord will provide” which is the Hebrew form of “Jehovah Jireh” and so in Genesis 22:14 “Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” When David wrote the 23rd Psalm he used the name YAHWEH-ROHI – the Lord Our Shepherd in Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” In Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you.'” Here God’s name is “YHWH / YAHWEH or HAYAH” which means “I AM THAT I AM” or “the Self-Existent One” meaning that He needs nothing outside of Himself to exist. He has been, is, and will forever be. There was a time when I was not.I became someone at conception but there was a time when I was not. Not so with God for He is the Great I AM. I believe that this study would be awesome for a small group.
In Matthew 5:2-12 Jesus gives what is called The Sermon on the Mount. In these verses it’s like Jesus amps up the requirements of the Ten Commandments to the nth degree. He includes multiple blessings on those who do the things that He mentions. A great Bible study would be what these look like in the Christian’s everyday life. What does it mean to be merciful in a merciless world? How can we bless those who are persecuting us so fiercely? Why are only the “peacemakers” called the sons of God? What does it mean to be a peacemaker? Does this apply only to the church or in the world or both? These potent verses remind us what Christians should be living like and how they can receive God’s blessings by walking in them. These things are humanly impossible which shows why we God’s Spirit for we cannot possibly do these things in our own strength.
Losing Your Life to Save it
Jesus once said that “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:39). What did He mean by this? How are believers supposed to lose their life in order to save it? Jesus clarifies this when He said “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). Why did He say if we try “to keep” our life we’ll lose it? What does it mean to lose our life? Not only are we commanded to lose our life but to even hate our life. In John 12:25 He says “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” What does it mean to hate our life and more precisely to “hate [our] life in this world” in order to “keep it for eternal life?” Jesus says that “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24) and so what does it mean to deny ourselves and to “take up his cross and follow” Him? Here is the model: Saving your life = losing it. Losing your life = preserving it. Hating our life = keeping it for eternal life. What is Jesus’ meaning in these verses that tell us to lose or hate our life in order to keep it or save it for eternal life?
What is the Gospel?
I believe that unless someone understands what the gospel actually is, they not only cannot share it with the lost as we are commanded, but they might not actually be saved themselves. The gospel is called the good news but why? Why is there good news? Why do we need the good news? Is there bad news that needs to be presented first? What is the reason that they call it the good news? Unless someone understands that they have God’s wrath abiding on them if they do not believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:36b), the good news means nothing. Does the good news include the command to repent? Is it enough to just believe in God? I know that the Devil and his minions believe in God but that isn’t enough to save them is it? What does the word “believe” mean? What are the essentials of the gospel? Would those in the small group know how sinners might be saved? What are they saved from.sin, hell or God? This study can help identify what the gospel is and that knowledge could help believers share their faith with those who do not yet believe more effectively. What Bible verses can be helpful in identifying what the gospel is?
You don’t always need to buy Bible study books to do small group studies. Some of the most effective Bible studies can be done using portions or sections of Scripture. Believers in a small group can be transparent with one another and they can confess their sins and faults with the group so that they can be accountable to one another. The Christian life is not a solo act because we need one another. The Bible teaches that “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Prov 27:17) and “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12) and this sword cuts both ways to the one using it and to the one hearing it. The Word cuts in order to heal so find a topic for your small group so that you and they can “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18a).
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.