No. 1: The Bible – The Maker’s Instructions
As we start to look at the Bible more, we will see that it is a fantastic love letter from God to each of us. God has gone to a great deal of trouble to preserve His Word for all men.
The word “testament” means a covenant, a promise and an agreement, so the Old Testament is a promise of a coming Saviour and the New Testament is the fulfilment of the promise in Jesus Christ. The whole Bible speaks firstly of God and all He has done, then of mankind and all we can receive at the mercy of His hand. It contains sixty-six books written by forty authors, as the Holy Spirit inspired them, all recorded over a period of 1,600 years.
He offers amazing new life for the here-and-now, plus eternal life with Him, giving endless peace, love and joy. All we have to do is believe and receive, which is active living, putting our continuous trust in Jesus Christ and His Word.
Study the Word as if your life depends on it: it does.
“All of the Bible comes from the Breath of God, words spoken by the Spirit of God and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience and for training in righteousness (that is in holy living in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose and action), so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP)
The Bible is an action book.
“But be doers of the Word (obey the message) and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves (into deception by reasoning contrary to the truth).” James 1:22.
The Bible needs the Holy Spirit to interpret it to us.
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God for they are foolish to him, and he cannot understand them”. 1 Corinthians 2:14. So unless we are born again of the Holy Spirit of God, we will find it difficult to get God’s full depth of meaning from the Bible, as the lines of communication with God are not clear.
The Bible must be spoken to put power into the Word.
“The Word of God should not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall deal wisely and have good success.” Joshua 1:8.The Word of God has the answer to life’s problems.7,000 promises of wealth, wisdom, health and success. Find the promise for your situation. HOW?
Read preferably aloud, until a verse or section excites your spirit.
Listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling you about it. Fix your eyes on the promise, not the problem.
Pray and bring the problem to God, cast it on Him and remind Him of His promise in the Word.
Praise God for the positive answer. He is faithful and will do everything He says He will do. Be patient.
N.B. Only let what God says about the situation come out of your mouth, as that never changes, Joshua 1:8. What you see is subject to change.
There is advice in the Bible on every subject under the sun and, if we follow the direction given, we will see dreadful situations completely changed around.
“For the Word that God speaks is alive, and full of power (making it active, operative, energising, and effective); it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breathe of life (soul) and (the immortal) spirit, and of joints and marrow, (of the deepest parts of our nature) exposing and shifting and analysing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart” Hebrews 4:12 AMP.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105
Jesus teaches in Matthew 7:24-29 that any person who hears the Word of Jesus and puts it into practice is very wise and can keep standing through any storm.
How blind and foolish to call Jesus nothing more than a good man or a moral teacher. Yet even if we like the Word we sometimes act as if it is not true. We casually toss around His words and go about living our own way. As we see through this study that Jesus is the only Son of God, we should pay close attention to His divine identity and life-giving message.
We must make a commitment to search through the study and discipline ourselves to follow all that God is saying to us personally and to make the Bible number one priority in our lives. As we achieve this, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will see that it is ‘more desirable than fine gold; sweeter also than the honeycomb’ Psalm 119:103.
There are more and more testimonies all over the world of what has happened to people when Jesus has entered into their lives. Desperately unhappy people, wealthy people, very sick people, without exception their lives have been changed, turned upside down, given a meaning and a hope, a future and a plan. If we take this study seriously and make it a priority in our lives we can get to know Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit better obeying the Word and allowing God to move in on our lives. As He did for them in the New Testament He will do for us.
The Word changes lives!
The Gospel of John
Introduction: This vital book in the Bible was written well after the other Gospels – in about AD 80. It came after the destruction of Jerusalem, written by John the apostle, before his exile on the Island of Patmos. “The beloved disciple”, the son of Zebedee and Salome, was a fisherman on Lake Galilee, with his brother James and his partner Peter.
He wrote his account of the Gospel story to new Christians and searching non-Christians, in order to prove conclusively that Jesus is the Son of God. John himself declares this in John 20:30-31:
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name.” John 20:30-31.
John certainly emphasises the deity of Christ; thirty-five times Jesus speaks of God as “My Father”.
Jesus meets with individuals, preaches to great crowds, trains His disciples and debates with the religious leaders. The message that He is the Son of God receives a mixed reaction. Some worship Him; some are puzzled; some shrink back and some move to silence Him. We see the same varied reactions today. Times have changed but people’s hearts remain hard. May we see ourselves in these encounters Jesus had with people and may our response be to worship and follow Him.
We must answer the question, “What do you think of Jesus Christ?”
We will be asked this question when we die (Matthew 25:32) so it is very important that we answer it now and that we answer with what He says rather than our own opinion. Find the answers as you travel through your study of Power up!
- Is Jesus only the world’s greatest teacher or is He actually God?
- Was He just a prophet or is He the Saviour of the world?
- Is He alive today by the power of resurrection?
Now is the time to bring all your doubts and questions to God and, as you look to the Word, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the answers.
Decide now to make a daily appointment with God. What will you have to sacrifice in order to keep your appointment?
- How many minutes am I going to give to God each day?
- What is the best time for my appointment with God?
- Where is the quietest place for me to pray and study?
Now take your Bible, home challenges, pen, and notepad and sit with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see wonderful things in the Word and just be still and believe by faith that God will speak to you as you listen, Psalm 119:18. If you do not have much desire to spend time with God or read the Word, ask God to put the desire in your heart and He will change you.
Jesus Christ had transformed John’s life. Make sure you are prepared to have that happen to you! You are about to begin a fascinating study focused on the greatest person who ever lived: Jesus Christ.
If you respond in faith and obedience to what John writes, like John, you will experience a whole new kind of life.
Home Challenges for Power Up! – No. 1: The Bible – The Maker’s instructions
Read the Introductory notes about the Bible.
1 a) Was there anything new for you?
b) Was there any challenge for you?
Read the Introduction about the Gospel of John.
2 a) What do you feel about the Bible only containing a very small number of all the miracles that Jesus did? (John 20:30-31)
b) What do you think of Jesus Christ?
c) Do you have a deep personal relationship with Him?
3. Have you made a quality decision today,
a) to spend time daily with your own Heavenly Father?
b) When and where?
c) What will you have to sacrifice to make that time?
Read John 1:1-18
4. From the first three verses what does it say about the Word?
5. Who created all things? Give the verse.
6. Read Genesis 1:26. Also John 1:14. Who is the Word?
7. What does John 1:4-5 say about Jesus and His work on the earth?
8. How has Jesus brought these qualities into your life?
9. Who was the man sent from God? John 1:6
10. Why did God send him? Give verses for your answer.
11. Give a simple explanation of what John 1:9 is saying.
12. To those who are willing to receive Jesus Christ, what power is given according to John 1:12?
13. Have you received this power? Make sure you know for certain. (1 John 5:13)
14. According to these verses can we do anything to save ourselves?
15. The Christian faith hinges on John 1:14. Express in your own words what it means to you.
16. What do you think grace means? Have you ever experienced the grace of God? Would you like to write your experience down?
17. From these verses what has really jumped out at you? If nothing, then read the passage again and ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to what He wants to say.
18. Memorise a short verse from this passage. Keep a record of the verse you have chosen somewhere else (e.g. in your notebook).