Study Guide for 1 John

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The following background remarks come from: Studies in 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John, edited by Dub McClish, pp. 27-32, and relate to matters of the particular time in which John wrote

“The Johannine Epistles were written during a maelstrom of conflict! The first generation of church leadership (i.e., the apostles) had ‘finished the race and kept the faith.’ Now, only one remained alive; and while some apparently thought that the Lord Himself would return prior to John’s death, history would prove them wrong. To John fell the task of dealing with the conflict which now surrounded the infant church; and deal with it he would! …

“Who, exactly, were these false teachers that John wrote to expose, and what was their doctrine? The exact identity of these false teachers has been called by some ‘a matter of controversy.’ Others, however, have researched the matter in such a manner as to provide clues as to their identity. From extra-Biblical research, and from Biblical statements, there are certain things that we do know. As John R. W. Stott says, ‘John describes them by three expressions, which draw attention to their diabolical origin, evil influence, and false teaching.’ Stott lists the three expressions as (1) ‘false prophets’ (1 John 4:1); (2) ‘deceivers’ (2 John 1:7); and (3) ‘antichrists’ (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7). And, in each case there are ‘many’ – ‘many false prophets,’ ‘many deceivers,’ ‘many antichrists.’ …

“Gnosticism took on many forms, but can basically be discussed under two categories — (1) those who denied the Deity of the Lord (Cerinthian Gnostics), and (2) those who died the humanity of the Lord (Docetic Gnostics). These denials were ultimately brought about by the Gnostics’ dualistic belief that matter is inherently evil and only spirit is good. For the Gnostic, the spirit was from God, and therefore good, since the Gnostic held God to be perfect and good; but matter, and especially the body, was not from God and therefore evil. Of course, with this particular view came two problems: (1) how to explain the creation, and (2) how to explain the incarnation, if matter is inherently evil (which the Gnostic believed) and if God is inherently good (which the Gnostic also believed), then God could not have created the world, for God (good) would not (could not) create evil. Thus, the Gnostics eventually ended up with an artificial system of ‘aeons’ or ‘emanations’, (i.e., ‘lesser gods’), one of which created the world. This was their only way around the problem of God’s directly creating that which they believed to be evil. The body likewise, being composed of matter, must also be evil, said the Gnostics, and therefore the incarnation of Christ (Deity’s inhabiting a literal body) could not have occurred.  …

“After all is said and done, of course, the whole system of Gnosticism can be shown to be in error by simply noting that it makes salvation available only to a few select people (those to whom the ‘special knowledge’ had been made available), and thereby makes God a respecter of persons. Acts 10:34-35, however, makes it clear that God may not be charged with that error. Also, Gnosticism makes salvation meritorious, by making one’s mental efforts, not the blood of Christ, the basis of that salvation. Eph. 2:6ff and many other passages are thus violated.

We have listed below links to study guides for each of the individual chapters of 1 John and a combined PDF file which includes all five chapters. If the guides are helpful, please help us to make them available to others using the social media buttons below.

1 John ALL Chapters… 6200sgCombo

1 John 1… 6201sg

1 John 2… 6202sg

1 John 3… 6203sg

1 John 4… 6204sg

1 John 5… 6205sg

Study Guide on Mark

SGHeaderForWebsite.MkThings Emphasized in Mark [NIV First Century Study Bible, with notes by Kent Dobson, 2014, Zondervan, an Olive Tree Bible Study App Module].

  • The Cross. Both the human cause (12.12; 14.1-21; 5.10) and the divine necessity (8.31; 9.31; 10.33-34) of the cross are emphasized by Mark.
  • Discipleship. Special attention should be paid to the passages on discipleship that arise from Jesus’ predictions of his passion (8.34—9.10; 9.35—10.31; 10.42-45).
  • The Teachings of Jesus. Although Mark records far fewer actual teachings of Jesus than the other Gospel writers, there is a remarkable emphasis on Jesus as teacher. The words ‘teacher,’ ‘teach’ or ‘teaching’ and ‘Rabbi’ are applied to Jesus in Mark 39 times.
  • The Messianic Secret. On several occasions Jesus warns his disciples or others to keep silent about who he is or what he has done (1.34, 44; 3.12; 5.43; 7.36; 8.30; 9.9).
  • Son of God. Although Mark emphasizes the humanity of Jesus (see 3.5; 6.6, 31, 34; 7.34; 8.12; 10.14; 11.12), he does not neglect his deity (see 1.1, 11; 3.11; 5.7; 9.7; 12.1-11; 13.32; 15.39).

Click below for study guides on each chapter, or for one single study guide on the entire Book of Mark. If you find them helpful, please tell others where you found them.

The Book of Mark… 4100sg

Mark Chapter 1… 4101sg

Mark Chapter 2… 4102sg

Mark Chapter 3… 4103sg

Mark Chapter 4… 4104sg

Mark Chapter 5… 4105sg

Mark Chapter 6… 4106sg

Mark Chapter 7… 4107sg

Mark Chapter 8… 4108sg

Mark Chapter 9… 4109sg

Mark Chapter 10… 4110sg

Mark Chapter 11… 4111sg

Mark Chapter 12… 4112sg

Mark Chapter 13… 4113sg

Mark Chapter 14… 4114sg

Mark Chapter 15…  4115sg

Mark Chapter 16… 4116sg

Study Guides on James

LA.Logos.James“The consistent theme throughout the book of James is genuineness. Essentially, the entire letter is an attempt to cause members of the Lord’s body to recognize the ramifications of one’s becoming a new creature in Christ. It is as if James were simply saying that a real Christian will do such and such, and that he will refrain from responding in this or that way! It is an appeal to the Lord’s people to consider seriously whether or not they are living as true disciples should. Jesus had told believing Jews, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8.31). Since Christ’s disciples came to be called Christians (Acts 11.26), that is exactly what James was inspired to instruct his brethren to be—Christians indeed!” [“James—An Introduction,” by Garrell L. Forehand, in Studies in James, Valid Publications, 1990, p. 26].

The links below will take you to study guides based upon the wonderful Book of James. I hope they might be useful to you in mining the jewels to be found in this great treatise. If you will, please tell others about where they might come to find these guides.

James chapter 1… 5901sg

James chapter 2… 5902sg

James chapter 3… 5903sg

James chapter 4… 5904sg

James chapter 5… 5905sg

Combined PDF of all chapters… 5900.SGcombo

LemmonsAid Study Guides on Titus

LemmonsAidSGsTitusGraphic-LogosPBSmallThe Basic Message of Titus and How it Lives for Men Today… While Titus is not mentioned in the book of Acts, this able and devoted companion of Paul is referred to in other places. His birth place is not known, but probably was in Antioch of Syria. At least, this is the conviction of many great scholars. Titus played a great part in the early history of the church and was of such character that he was and could be depended upon for the advancement of the gospel.

It is remarkable to note the prominence which Titus enjoyed in Paul’s epistles to the churches, showing the fact that Paul did regard him highly. He is mentioned some nine times in Second Corinthians, and always with marked affection and appreciation. The strength of character and ability to deal with people was graphically portrayed in the difficult tasks which were given him. For instance: (1) The collection for the Jerusalem Saints. When Paul needed someone to motivate the Corinthians in their duties toward aiding the saints in Judea, which they promised, Titus was called upon for that task. (2) He was used as a peacemaker. The church at Corinth was not void of her problems and Titus was sent there according to 2 Corinthians 7.5-16, to help this situation. (3) He was used to demonstrate a principle (Gal 2.1-5). When Paul and Barnabas left Antioch to go into the Galatian area to establish churches, some Judaizing teachers came to Antioch and taught that circumcision was still binding. It is at this point and time that Paul uses Titus to teach a great lesson to the Jews. (4) His work on the Island of Crete. Sometime after Paul’s release from his first imprisonment he and Titus did some evangelistic work at Crete. Whether this was the first effort among these people we know not. We do know however, that on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, there were representatives from Crete and it is possible that some of the were converted during that time, and later returned to their homeland and established the work. Be that as it may, we see from Titus 1.5 that Paul had left Titus there to set things in order.

Purpose of this Book… When Paul left Titus in Crete, his work was truly cut out for him. The task which was committed to him was a most difficult one. The immorality of the Cretans had reached such a low ebb that they were given over to greediness, licentiousness, lying, and drunkenness; they were a people who could be labeled as unsteady insincere, and factious.

Among such a people it was no easy task which Titus had to sustain when commissioned to carry forward that work which Paul had already started, and to set in order the affairs of the churches which had arisen there. The first thing Paul instructed Titus to do was to select men who qualified for the work of elders. This is so necessary to the growth of a congregation when there are men who meet the requirements for such an office. Titus was also urged to teach sound doctrine to all classes; the old as well as the young, taking heed meanwhile that he himself is a pattern of good works. To stimulate faith in God’s chosen people and to lead them on to a more complete knowledge of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life was of utmost importance [William A. Wilder, “The Living Message of Titus,” in The Living Messages of the Books of the New Testament, Edited by Garland Elkins and Thomas B. Warren, pp., 244-245].

For a PDF copy of the Study Guides on Titus, click below:

Titus 1 Study Guide  5601sg

Titus 2 Study Guide  5602sg

Titus 3 Study Guide  5603sg

Combined 3-Chapters of Titus  5600.CombinedSGs

 

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Study Guides for 1 Peter

The Apostle Peter obviously has concern for his brethren and wants to motivate them faithfully to endure persecution which will surely come (if not already present).  His powerfully persuasive arguments should provide a strength to saints of all ages!  He attempts to help the brethren to appreciate more their own salvation by showing others (prophets & angels) had/have great interest in it.  We are urged to prepare for meeting temptations and persecutions and to keep it in perspective that these sufferings are only temporary.  He takes us to the Cross to remind us of the great cost of our salvation.  He reminds us of the importance of having sincere love of our brethren, who have so many things in common with us.

“The basic message of 1 Peter concerns suffering. It is obvious that the people to whom it was written were suffering because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Undoubtedly, this persecution took many different forms. We know that some of what they were subjected to involved being falsely charged with evil (1 Pet. 2:11-12). Those who have been wrongly accused of something know that it is not easy to endure. False accusations take a great toll on one emotionally. However, it seems that their suffering involved more than mere talk, for Peter calls it a “fiery trial” that was testing their faith (1 Pet. 4:12). One of the things Peter sets out to do in this epistle is to instruct God’s people on how to handle persecution. They must not react by retaliating (1 Pet. 2:21-25; 3:9), nor should they justify their adversaries by engaging in the things of which they are being accused (1 Pet. 4:15-16). Rather, he says, they must “put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Pet. 2:11-16) by living pure lives that do not justify the slander. Also, he says they should rejoice that they are suffering because they are Christians (1 Pet. 4:13).

“Not only is Peter instructing them on how to deal with suffering for the sake of one’s affiliation with Jesus, but above all else he teaches them that they must remain faithful to the very faith that is bringing the persecution. This is a high price to pay, and, undoubtedly, a price they had not counted on when they became disciples.

“If people are asked to pay a price, they must be convinced that what they are getting is worth the price they are paying. In this way 1 Pet. 1:1-12 fits into the persecution theme of this letter. These words are Peter’s effort to convince his readers that the Christian faith is worth holding on to despite their suffering. What does Peter tell them about Christianity that makes it worth suffering for? He tells them about the future hope they have as Christians (1 Pet. 1:3-4). Then, he tells them that their present trials will serve to prove that their faith is genuine (1 Pet. 1:5-9). Finally, he looks at Christianity from the past (1 Pet. 1:10-12). The prophets and even the angels were greatly interested in the faith they have had the honor of receiving.” [Gene Burgett, in Studies in 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude, Edited by Dub McClish, 17th Annual Denton Lectures, 1998, p. 29].

In combination with our radio program WALKING IN TRUTH, we produced study guides for the 260 chapters of the New Testament. We will be posting those study guides in the coming days to this site. If you benefit from these study guides will you please spread the word on social media by using the links below this post?

Chapter 1… 6001sg

Chapter 2… 6002sg

Chapter 3… 6003sg

Chapter 4… 6004sg

Chapter 5… 6005sg

All five chapters in one file… 6000sgCombo

 

Importance of Baptism

I have spent many years in an organized school environment (actually 12.5 years past high school). I continue to be in school in many ways. One of the ways is that I attend the School of the Walk. I listen to podcasts and other mp3 files as I walk for exercise. Today I had a couple of good classes. One was a class I have enjoyed almost every Thursday of the year for about five years from the podcast: PREACHERS IN TRAINING, by Robert Hatfield. The subject matter was: “Ministering to the Young and the Mature,” with Jacob Rutledge. This podcast is excellent and always helpful to those who carry on the work of a preacher and others who are interested in understanding preaching.

For my second class, I listened to another podcast. This was the regular recording of sermons provided by the West Huntsville church of Christ. I was so favorably impressed with the message I heard on the “Importance of Baptism,” preached by Dave Miller. I could use many adjectives to describe how wonderful the message was. It was certainly one of the greatest messages on baptism I have ever heard. It was so well developed; easily understood; powerfully potent with truth; impossible to refute; and, I recommend that you pause what you are doing right now and take a listen: by clicking H-E-R-E.

Baptism in Indonesia
Baptism is IMPORTANT!