How to Give Bible Studies
As you have studied through all these Bible study lessons, you may find that you are growing stronger spiritually and that you are building a closer relationship with God. So, what's next?
Let's turn to Revelation 14:6-7.
- According to verse 6, what does the angel have to preach?
Answer (highlight to read): The everlasting Gospel
- According to verse 7, what time has come?
Answer: The hour of God's judgment
- According to verse 7, what is the first thing the angel calls us to do?
Answer: Fear God and give glory to Him.
The beginning of the three angels' messages starts with the Gospel. Likewise, we need to share the Gospel in our lives. Time dictates our behavior. We are living at the time of the end, so the time to act is now.
You might be asking yourself, what does it mean exactly to fear God? Let's turn to Proverbs 8:13; Exodus 20:20; and Psalms 111:10 for some definitions.
- According to Proverbs 8:13, what does it mean to fear God?
Answer: To fear God is to hate evil.
- According to Exodus 20:20, what does it mean to fear God?
Answer: To fear God is to sin not.
- According to Psalms 111:10, what is the fear of the Lord?
Answer: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
When you fear God, you hate evil. When you fear God, you have a healthy enough reverence and respect for God that you do not want to sin. Moreover, as you learn more about God, you gain wisdom. So, what do you do with all this acquired wisdom as you grow in your relationship with God?
Let's turn to Proverbs 11:30.
- According to this verse, what do the wise do?
Answer: Win souls
As we learn more about God and His loving and merciful character, we will want to share with others. We will want to win them to Jesus Christ. How do we win souls? One good way is through Bible studies.
You might be asking yourself, "How can I give a Bible study? I just barely learned all this myself recently!" I know, I felt the exact same way. However, when I started giving Bible studies, I found that it really is not that hard. I would like to share with you some tips that you may find helpful in giving your own Bible studies. These tips are not comprehensive or definitive, but they offer a good starting point until you develop your own style.
1. Start with an introduction.
You should use an "attention-getter" - a story, an interesting fact, a quote, a visional aid, or even a rhetorical question. An introduction helps bridge the gap between conversation with your student and the actual Bible study.
2. Make sure you have key points in the Bible study.
When you have key points in your Bible study, they force you to be brief. In general, you do not want to go longer than 45-60 minutes for each Bible study. (You don't want to wear out your welcome with the student!) Key points help you stay on track and lead the student. In addition, key points help the student retain the information and allow them to be able to feel that they can share with someone else. Key points give you more time to listen to questions or objects and allow you to read your student to see if they comprehend the study.
How many points should you have? Usually, three points is good. You do not want to have too many points in a Bible study, as you might as well have no points if you have something like ten points in your Bible study!
3. Find the theme and choose the goal and objective of the lesson
For example, let's say in my next Bible study I want to show God's character of love in the Great Controversy.
God could have killed Satan immediately after he rebelled, but God did not
God did not destroy Cain immediately after his sin of murdering Abel
When God rejected Saul and took away his mantle of kingship, God did not immediately take away Saul's kingdom.
In each case, God kept them alive and was pleading with them to repent.
A theme is like a mission statement. It helps you guide your student to where you want to go.
4. Choose a few specific questions to ask ahead of time.
When you are giving a Bible study, the person who asks the questions has the power. For example, if your topic was the Sabbath, you could ask the following questions:
"Were Adam and Eve Jews?"
"If Adam and Eve kept the Sabbath and were not Jews, was the Sabbath made only for the Jews?"
"I know you believe that the Sabbath was done away with at the cross, but did you know that the Sabbath will be kept in heaven?" (Lead student to turn to Isaiah 66:21-23.)
5. Always bring out the cross in every Bible study.
Paul the Apostle gives good advice in 1 Corinthians 2:2 - "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified."
It is much more difficult for the student to deny a person than a doctrine. Always remember, it's about a relationship with Jesus Christ, not a religion.
Always bring every Bible study, no matter the topic, back to Jesus. If we go back to the Sabbath lesson as an example, you could say, "Even when Jesus died on the cross, He kept the Sabbath in His death."
6. Make sure every point has a Bible text attached to it.
John 5:39 - You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
You will ultimately run into trouble in your Bible study if you drift away from the Bible. The goal of Bible study is to bring a person to salvation in Jesus Christ. Focus on what the Bible says about a particular verse or topic, not what your opinion is of it.
7. Use illustrations from your personal experience.
When you share with the student on how the Bible study lesson has affected you personally, the student will be able to understand the lesson more concretely.
8. Read body language.
John 3:8 - The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Just as police officers and security guards learn to read the body language of the people around them, you should pay attention to the body language of the student. Focus on your connection with the Holy Spirit. Learn to sense the moving of the Holy Spirit upon the student you are studying with. This can only be developed through prayer.
Do not get too caught up in presenting the lesson exactly as is. You may find that the Holy Spirit may lead the study in another direction to a place where the student has a particular concern. Be flexible enough to deviate from the lesson plan if necessary. However, at the same time, make sure you do not jump around too much that the lesson loses its focus.
9. Close the lesson.
This is the most important part of the Bible study. You want to bring the student to a point of decision. Information that brings about transformation leads to salvation. Make sure you have your appeal planned out in advance. As you close, it may be helpful to have your student repeat the three points of the lesson to ensure understanding.
Let's go back to our Sabbath lesson example:
"In Genesis 2, Adam and Eve kept the Sabbath. In Isaiah 66, we will keep the Sabbath at the end of time in heaven. In Luke 4:16, Jesus kept the Sabbath as His custom was. In Acts 13, Paul kept the Sabbath. After listening to this study and hearing from the Scriptures what day Adam and Eve kept, the same day Jesus and Paul kept, and the day we will all keep in heaven, what day do you want to keep? Would you like to make a decision today to keep the Sabbath holy, from Friday night to Saturday night?”
When you make your appeal, it doesn't always have to a major life-changing decision, which can intimidate your Bible study contact. The appeal can be a very small decision such as "Will you read your Bible more?" or "Will you tell your friend what you have learned?".
Ultimately, with each lesson and appeal you make, you want to lead your Bible study contact closer to Jesus. Always remember that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Seek Jesus in every every subject and ask yourself, "How can this topic lead me and others even closer to Jesus?"
10. Pray for the student privately.
John 17:9 - I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
Pray for your student daily. Also pray that the Holy Spirit to guide you in the lessons you give to your student.
11. In addition to Scriptures, offer every available resource you can to help the student.
My friend, I hope these tips help you to conduct your own Bible studies. I pray that you grow in grace day by day and that you draw others closer to Christ, just as you have been drawn to Him. I leave you with a verse from Paul who believed with all his heart that the Gospel message is not merely words:
Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
God bless you, my friend, and may the Holy Spirit lead you to win more souls to Jesus.