CORE STRENGTH - FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS TO OUR FAITH
Part 1 - The Word and the Core
This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
Big Idea: God’s Word Does God’s Work in the Heart of God’s People.
Question: How does God’s Word help build “core strength”?
Text: 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Today we kick off our “Core Strength” series with a topic that is crucial to your growth as a Christ follower.
Discuss the following:
“About one in seven Canadian Christians, or 14%, read the Bible at least once per week. The majority of Canadians, including those who identify themselves as Christians, read the Bible either seldom or never.” Hiemstra, Rick, Confidence, Conversation and Community: Bible Engagement in Canada, 2013
How do you stack up against the stats?
What do you think is the foundational issue for why so many Christ followers are not in the word?
What are the dangers?
The dilemma we find ourselves in is that the Word of God is the main way believers grow. It is the number one catalyst for spiritual growth. So where does that leave the believer if they are not in the Word?
Today we want to look how the Bible develops core strength in the believer.
Note the context of our key text. In 3:1-10 and chapter 4 Paul is talking about godlessness in the last days. So the instruction to be in the word is one way to remain godly when so many are simply listening to what their “itching ears” (4:3) want to hear. Also notice another set of book-ends that describe the function of the word:
- Function #1 3:15 Salvation- Timothy had a sound knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, which he had received from his grandmother and his mother, and he believed those Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God (2 Tim 1:5) Note this is a great commentary on the OT. That is all Timothy would have been exposed to until the NT Scriptures arose. This text can tell you how to get right with God.
- Function #2 3:17 Thoroughly equipped - Thoroughly – “artios”—“complete, capable, proficient in the sense of being able to meet all demands” and Equipped - To drive home his point still more emphatically Paul added equipped (exērtismenos, “furnished” or fitted out-) for every good work.
Note: The intention of the Word is not just to make us right with God(salvation) but to grow us up in that salvation (thoroughly equipped). You don’t read the word to stay where you are but to grow where God wants you to grow.
How does the Bible develop core strength in the believer?
Didaskalia- instruction, doctrines. There is an instructional aspect to the word. It can be like reading an instructional manual to put a new purchase together. The Bible instructs on how to put life together.
As a group brainstorm on all the issues that the word of God teaches on?
What particular teaching has been especially helpful to you in a certain chapter of life?
Here is where the heat is turned up.
Rebuke- An act of criticism and censure, to expose. The process of teaching reveals knowledge that I did not have, but also habits , attitudes, values and beliefs that I possess that are incorrect.
What do these first two functions of the word of God reveal about the nature of man? The nature of the word reflects on the nature and need of man. We are broken and one of the functions of the word is to expose and critique issues in our lives that are inconsistent with our liberation/salvation.
Talk about a time in your life where you argued with God over what it was saying and how it was challenging a particular issue in your life.
Do you believe people see the word as a book of liberation or oppression? Justify your answer.
This is a great word. The idea behind it is IMPROVEMENT. The act of offering an improvement (according to a standard) to replace a mistake. It is the idea of setting something right- which is so much the heart of God
In the NT “ὀρθός” is used in the healing of the lame man at Ac. 14:10 in the sense of “standing up straight.”
Paul sees the faith of the sick man and orders him: “Stand up straight on your feet.” Heb 12:12,13 quotes Prov.
4:26-How has God’s word introduced you to a better way when it comes to attitudes, values, relational patterns, marriage, sexuality, etc.?
Train in Righteousness
Training- The words “paideía” and “paideúō” relate to the upbringing of children, who need direction, teaching, instruction, and discipline
Righteousness- A life or lifestyle in conformity to justice, law, or morality as given by God. Jesus is the
ultimate example of righteousness.
Training implies repeated action- coming to the word, time and time again and training. Training includes not just my personal time in the word but my community time in the word.
“Our study found that reflection on the meaning of the Bible for people's lives is an important kind of Bible engagement, but that conversation with others about the meaning of the Bible is the key factor in deepening Bible engagement. “ Hiemstra, Rick Confidence, Conversation and Community: Bible Engagement in Canada, 2013
Talk about your group (assuming you are in a group) and its effectiveness in helping you get into the Word.
What could your group do better in helping the group be Biblically-centered?
What kind of help do you need to be in the Word daily?
Ask your friends, those in your group about what they do, tools they use to daily read and reflect on
Check out the app I use- https://www.youversion.com/
Start today if you haven’t already to develop your core by being in the word.
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org