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Bible Study is a basic tool we use to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God and His Word. Since it was inspired by God Himself, I believe that the Bible is the most important book that has ever been written and deserves to be read, memorised, studied, and meditated in. HotSermons Bible Studies are specially designed to promote group discussion as well as being suitable for individual private study.
As you will see, we have two kinds of studies available free.
The great thing about Expository Bible Studies is that you don't end up getting stuck on one topic. The Bible is full of profound, relevant information, and covers numerous topics. But sometimes people get stuck on one thing. Working your way through a book is a great way to avoid that.
That doesn't mean that the Scriptures can't still be misinterpreted. This is sometimes erroneously believed to be the case as people think that it's impossible to ignore the context. It's true that when doing topical studies people sometimes ignore the context as they dart around the Bible searching for one text after another to prove a point.
However, even expository studies can be abused. How else can experienced Bible students come to such a variety of conclusions on eschatology, divorce and remarriage, predestination, and more? Even when studying a passage of Scripture expositionally, people can still disagree.
The important thing is to constantly keep an open heart for what God wants to say to you in His Word. Do that and you will go from stength to strength in your understanding and experience of God.
On the other hand, maybe you're looking for help on a subject that is particularly relevant to your life. If so, then Topical Bible Studies is the way to go. These will help you to delve into a theme a little more deeply.
We hope you enjoy both kinds of studies. If you are a preacher, you can also use them as the basis for your sermon outlines.
Other Bible Studies that are available on HotSermons may really be a kind of expository Bible studies, but I've listed them separately just so you can find them more easily. These are studies on The Parables of Jesus. These parables are very powerful and worth checking out.<>
Each study is presented in question and answer form. They are not meant to be comprehensive, but basic studies that promote positive discussions. They can be used either for your own personal study of God's Word, or you can use them as the basis for a Bible Study Group.
If you are planning to use them for your own development, then they need no explanation. I hope you get a lot out of them. But if you are planning to use them for a group, then I'd like to make a few suggestions.
There are two ways you can lead a Bible Study group. First, you can lead your group through the Scriptures as you teach their meaning. This may make you feel like you are a great teacher, but it is not the most effective way to lead group studies. It is more likely that the leader who does this is a frustrated preacher. They want to preach, but haven't got the opportunity, so they try to do it in a Bible Study group.
A far more effective way of leading this kind of group is to see yourself as a facilitator. A facilitator doesn't do all the talking, but works hard at promoting good discussions. The value of this is that, not only do people feel more involved, but if you lead them wisely, they will come to the right conclusions themselves anyway. This way, they are far more likely to remember the lessons they have learned. You're still the leader, but if you treat them as if they are intelligent human beings, you will have helped them grow in their understanding more effectively. And for a lot of people, there's nothing quite like receiving your own revelation of what God's Word means.
There's an art to getting other people talking. The best way is to ask questions, and that's why the studies have been set up in the question and answer format. In a Bible Study group, you should regularly ask questions like, "What do you think this Scripture means?" or, "How do you think we can apply this to our lives?"
That second question is particularly important as it recognises that studying the Bible has no real value unless we put into practice what we learn.
I have made it a little easier for you to ask relevant questions by formatting all the Bible Studies in such a way that all the major headings are in question form. You can still add your own questions, but this will give you a head start. The answers I have given are (usually) deliberately brief so that you don't end up doing all the talking! Remember, the goal is to get them talking. If you do this, they will grow in understanding and their positive interaction will strengthen their relationships.
Simply ask the group whatever question is in the study, then wait for them to answer. Don't be afraid of a bit of silence. After some opinions have been given, or if no one ventures an opinion, get them to read through the relevant Scripture that is included in the study. Then you can ask people to say what they think it means and how it answers the question.
You will always find that in any group some people are more talkative than others. If one person is dominating the discussion, don't be afraid to interrupt them and say something like, "Let's just hold that thought for a moment. I'd like to hear what other people think about that." If there is someone who is particularly quiet, you can say something like, "I'd like to hear from some of the quieter ones in the group. I'm sure they've got an opinion on this. What do you think, so-and-so?"
But remember, never force a quiet person to talk. You can shut them down completely by doing that. Worse, they may not come back! They will become more comfortable with sharing their opinions as they feel safer in the group. So, if you've put a quiet person on the spot, and they look like they're about to die of fright, just say something like, "It's okay if you're not sure. Some of these questions can be a bit tricky." Then move on.
Another situation you will probably come up against is when someone voices an opinion that isn't in line with Scripture. What's the best way to handle this? Well, most of the time, it's not really a major issue. By that I mean that none of us has perfect truth, and all of us are on a journey with God where we grow in our understanding. You don't have to correct every minor difference of opinion that you hear and treat it like it's a major heresy. If you do, you will shut your group down completely.
The best way to handle most things is to say, "That's an interesting way of looking at it. What does the rest of the group think about that?" You can then easily sum up the correct view at the end without embarrassing, and drawing attention to, the person who made the mistake in the first place. In your summary, just say something like, "Okay, so to sum up what Jesus (or whoever) really meant here..."
If, however, there is a really argumentative person in the group, then you should talk to them privately. Explain to them that the purpose of the Bible Study group is to study God's Word, promote discussion, and encourage spiritual growth. The purpose is not to promote arguments or divisions. If they don't respond, then you may need to bar them from the group.
Ultimately, it is better to have a person with a wrong doctrine than a wrong spirit. If a person's heart is open and teachable, they will grow in their understanding anyway. But if their heart is not right with God, all the arguing in the world won't change their mind.
So may God richly bless you as you study His Word.
Just to keep you on track as you do these Bible Studies, it might might be helpful to keep a few things in mind:
The aim of Bible study is not just to increase knowledge, as knowledge alone produces pride. (1 Cor 8:1) The last thing you want to produce is highly knowledgeable egotists. The real aim is to produce godly character, i.e. love.
Watch the atmosphere in your group. If the group becomes polarised over differences of opinion, you have lost ground. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything, but maintaining "the unity of the Spirit" is paramount. (Eph 4:3)
Bible Study is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Make sure you have it clear in your own mind what it is you are trying to achieve in the group so you can steer them in that direction.
As with most of the resources on this website, these Bible Studies can be downloaded free. Just click on the link to download them as a PDF file.