Day Five

Week Six - Day Five
Share God’s Truth with Others

LISTEN

2 Timothy 3:14-17 - But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

John 5:37-39 - And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me

LEARN

Paul’s second letter to Timothy is full of encouragement to keep preaching the gos- pel. Paul encourages Timothy to “continue” in learning from the “sacred writings” which made him “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” What are these sacred writings? Jesus answered this in John 5. Jesus spoke about having God’s word “abiding” in us and that those words, the Scriptures, actually bear witness about Jesus, who gives eternal life. Paul is encouraging Timothy to be immersed in God’s word, which will not only allow Timothy and others to become “wise for salvation,” but also that Timothy and others will be equipped “for every good work” that God calls us to.

God’s word equips us for every good work by teaching, rebuking, correcting and training us in righteousness. We can use it for help and encouragement, growing in knowledge and understanding, fortifying our faith, learning more about the charac- ter of our God, and defending against spiritual attack. But as Paul indicates, Scrip- ture is most powerful when we apply it to our lives. God’s truth without application leads to dead orthodoxy. Therefore, we must put God’s word into practice. In order to do that, we must first know what his word says.

2 Timothy is full of Paul’s desire for Timothy to continue growing in his faith. But, Paul also strongly encouraged Timothy to pass along this knowledge and faith to others (2 Tim 4:1-2, 2 Tim 2:2, 2 Tim 2:14, the whole book of 2 Timothy). Paul’s desire for Timothy to be a disciple-maker extends to us, also. We ought to be versed in the “sacred writings” that explain how salvation is through Jesus and be able to equip disciple-makers with God’s word.

Live

  • Con you explain how salvation is through Jesus? Write out what the Gospel is in a few sentences. Use scripture to support your claim. Share your writing with a family member or Discipleship Group member and receive feedback or support. 
     
  • How could you use God's word to equip disciple-makers?

Day Four

Week Six - Day Four
Why Study the Bible?

LISTEN

2 Peter 1:16-21 - For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone‘s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

LEARN

In John 15, Jesus explained that abiding in him meant to have an understanding and practice of his words. The New Testament writers that followed expounded on this. Peter, as one of the 12 apostles, had the honor of being taught and discipled by Jesus. He was one of the two disciples who ran to see the empty tomb (John 20:3-9). Jesus called him the rock on which his church would be built (Matthew 16:18). Yet in this letter to the church, Peter says that Scripture is even better than his own eyewitness account because it comes directly from God. It is reliable to reveal truth, like a light shining in a dark place. What a precious gift he has given us! But we haven’t been given this gift without a purpose. Rather, as Peter goes on to warn his readers in chapter 2, false prophets and teachers will attempt to mislead the church with destructive heresy. In Ephesians 6:12, Paul reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” “Therefore,” Paul says, “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” (Ephesians 6:13a). Both Peter and Paul remind the church of the importance of being strongly rooted in God’s word (2 Peter 1:19, Ephesians 6:14-17), and Peter specifically warns the church to be on the ready for false teaching (1 Peter 5:8). God has given us his word not only as a reliable guide, but as a useful weapon in the battles we face.

LIVE

  • How has God's word been a gift to you?
  • Research shows that studying the Bible 4 times per week is a turning point for many Christians in how it affects their life. Is studying the Bible a priority in your life?
  • What evidence would prove this?
  • How can you help others see his word as applicable in their life?

Day Three

Week Six - Day Three
Why the Bible is important to you?

LISTEN

John 15:7-12 - “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

John 8:31-32 - So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

LEARN

How do you know if you are abiding in Jesus? This section of Scripture reveals four ways abiding occurs: knowing the Bible, prayer, love and obedience.

Verse 7 reveals the importance of both remaining in Jesus’ words and prayer. Je- sus spoke about abiding in him in John 8:31-32, also. Looking at these Scriptures together, Jesus explains that abiding in the words of Jesus will reveal to us a truth that sets us free from slavery to sin. When we abide in Jesus and remain connected to the vine, it is because we are spending time knowing his words and in communi- cation with him through prayer.

In verses 9 and 12, we see the importance of love. Jesus tells us to not only remain in his love (which comes from the Father), but also to love others with this same love. This is no small task given that the Father loves us with a deep, genuine, and sacrificial love. In fact, Jesus says that we cannot live up to God’s high calling without abiding in him (John 15:5). Thus, when we love others like God loves us, we know we are abiding in Jesus.

Lastly, in verse 10, we see that abiding also means obeying - not merely out of duty, but from a heart that desires to love God. For such a heart, the only response is obedience. So, we know we are abiding in Jesus when we are reading his word, spend- ing time with him in prayer, we are loving others with his love, and when we obey as an act of worship to him. When we don’t remain in him, we are left to our own devices, wandering o the path of life and into folly. As a branch, disconnected from the vine, we dry up and wither. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” His word is the most reliable anchor for which we could ever ask. Without it, we are “blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). To remain a steadfast follower of God, we must abide in his word.

Live

  • What fruit have you seen from abiding in Jesus as explained above?
  • In what aspects of abiding do you need to grow?
  • How might you encourage others to abide?

Day Two

Week Six - Day Two
God is the Gardener

LISTEN

John 15:1-8 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

LEARN

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, but the Father is the gardener. Most Isra- elites were either herders or farmers, so this analogy would certainly connect with most of Jesus’ listeners. A good gardener ensures his garden has the sunlight and water it needs to grow. He protects the garden from pests and rodents. He nurtures plant growth by pulling weeds, pruning limbs, and caring for sickly plants. So too, God prunes us (the branches) to be more fruitful, cutting back what is unhealthy or unwieldy growth in our lives so we will bear fruit that can thrive. It is the Father who “takes away” the branches that bear no fruit (v. 2). This might seem confusing at first, but the Greek word for “takes away” (airō) also means “to lift up.” So when the gardener sees a branch that is not bearing fruit, he does not remove it from the vine, but rather he lifts it up toward the sunlight to help it grow and thrive. The Mighty God bends down to help us be fruitful. That is beautiful! But, also shocking and incredible! This is exactly what God did when he came to Earth as a man - he humbled himself for our benefit, so we may live. The gardener is motivated by love; everything he does is to help the branches grow fruit. Ultimately, fruit brings glory to the gardener (v. 8). The presence of fruit in our lives demonstrates to the world that as Jesus’ disciples, we have remained in him (see Galatians 5:22-23 for a few examples). We know that nothing good comes from us without God (Romans 7:18, James 1:17). The fruit that comes from our lives is a testimony of God’s work in us. Because the story of the Bible isn’t really about branches or fruit; it’s about a gar- dener who loves the dying branches so much that he humbled himself and became the vine, so the branches might live.

LIVE

  • How is the Father pruning you or lifting you up right now?
  • How might you help others remain connected to the vine in the midst of pruning or lifting up?
  • Record your answers and share them with a family member or someone in your Discipleship Group this week.

Day One

Week Six - Day One
The Bible is the connection to living in Christ

LISTEN

John 15:1-8 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

LEARN

This chapter of John is right in the middle of a long goodbye speech from Jesus to his disciples. Shortly after this, he would be arrested in the garden and put on “trial” (John 18). But before the events of his death and resurrection, Jesus was not only comforting his disciples, but also preparing them for the work ahead of them. “I am the vine,” he said, “and you are the branches” (v. 5). Branches that are connected to the vine are fruitful and have life. But branches that are disconnected dry up and wither; there is no fruit, no life. Abide means to “remain in.” Jesus explains that apart from him, we can do nothing; a fruitful life depends on remaining in Jesus. Then, abiding means spending time in God’s word, so we know his heart and character more deeply (v. 7). This practically looks like spending time in prayer, so we can know the will of God in any given situation. 1 John 2:6 continues this idea: “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he [Jesus] walked.” It means loving our neighbor with a practical and generous love that is motivated by our love for him. It means humbling ourselves and seeking his glory over our own glory at home, at work, in our neighborhoods, in the car and at church. We will fail at this if we attempt it in our own strength or our own motivation and ability. Jesus knew we’d be tempted to try, so in this passage he gives a gentle warning: what- ever is ahead, you cannot do it alone; don’t disconnect yourself from me.

LIVE


• What areas of your life have seen fruit due to abiding in Jesus?
• In what areas is your heart disconnected from Jesus?
• What might you need to surrender in order to remain connected to the vine?

• Pray prayers of thankfulness that Jesus invites us to be connected to him in all things today.

Week Six Discussion Questions

  • What does abiding in Jesus look like for you on a daily basis?
     
  • Open your Bible to John 15:1-11. Why does Jesus want us to abide in him?
     
  • How can you help others abide in Jesus?
 

APPRENTICESHIP MODULE - ACTIVITY

Spend about 20 minutes doing Listen, Learn, Live on John 15:1-11. Focus as much time on the Live section as possible by praying, meditating, and journaling. Specifically ask the question, “What is God speaking to me through these Scriptures about my life this week?” After 20 minutes, pair up with another person and share what you’ve written. When someone shares with you, encourage and love them. Follow up this week to continue encouraging each other over the convictions God has given.