Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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What is life all about?

 Introduction

Is there meaning to life? What is its purpose? How should we live? All these are questions the Bible explores and the answers could change your life. In this study we will look at what Paul, the author of many Bible texts, discovered. What he found then is just as relevant today.


This section unpacks some of the thinking brought out in an illustration you may want to look at in parallel.  (Opens in a new tab).

The meat of this page is in links which point to pages throughout the site (opens in new tab).


Background

Paul, a man who started many churches, prayed for them what was of eternal value. These prayers are not only prayers we can pray, but pointers to what is really important in life, the things that will contribute to God’s purposes both in our lives, and for the whole world. Each prayer is a snap shot on life from one angle. Each of the sections below examines one of these prayers. The link below a section goes to a page that explores the wider implications.


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What we can be

Jesus appeals to people to enter into life with Him.  Jesus describes the person who has come into life with Him.

  1. What was it that Paul prayed for God to give the people? - This is the root or source.
  2. What outcomes was Paul expecting to flow from this prayer?


Colossians 1:9-12 We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.   11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,*12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.


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Life through God

The life that God is looking for is one that overflows with the abundant fruit that comes from His life at work in us. The trio of Faith, Hope and Love are key themes that God is looking to be worked out in each of us. They are in essence what brings the colour of God into a grey life. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

  1. What does Paul commend in the lives of the Thessalonians?
  2. How might you live out ‘faithful work’, or in some other translations, ‘work of faith’?
  3. What difference does love make to the way we go about doing what God asks of us?
  4. How can we know what we can hope in when we don’t know the future?
  5. How does Jesus make all of the above real?


1 Thessalonians 1:2-3  We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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Enabled to live

The transformed life brought about by the life of Jesus in us brings about a new glory. There is a purity and reality that surpasses circumstances and experiences. It is refined through our understanding and knowledge of God.

  1. What does Paul describe as the fruit of salvation?
  2. What does it mean for love to overflow?
  3. How would you go about growing in knowledge and understanding?
  4. What outcome is Paul expecting from this growth in understanding?


Philippians 1:9-11  I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ's return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ*—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.


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Empowered to live

The power of God is not some power source that enables us to do what we want with greater force. God is a person and He will not be used by us in such a way. Rather, while we walk with Him in faith, He joyfully empowers us to live out expressions of His love.

  1. What is a life worthy of God’s call?
  2. What does it mean that faith prompts us to act?
  3. How have you seen God honoured through the life of a person?


2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.*


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Developed in Life

The Lord is not content for people to be merely saved, having new life and so not going to hell. He is looking for His people to be a people of a certain quality. He is looking for His people to be able to stand before Him unashamed and with confidence when Christ returns.

  1. What transformation was being sought from God in this prayer?
  2. What would be the result of this transformation?
  3. How is this preparation related to Jesus’ return?
  4. What qualities will Jesus be looking for in us when He does return?


1 Thessalonians 3:10-12  10 Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.

  11 May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon.12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.


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God gives hope

As we learn to trust in God, we are filled with His hope..

  1. What is the connection between God and hope?
  2. What contributes to our receiving hope?
  3. What difference would it make in your life if you were to receive such hope?


Romans 15:  13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.


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Understand who God is

Jesus appeals to people to enter into life with Him and receive all that which will enable us to know the Father.  Jesus calls these people His holy people, those set apart for Him, those who are His inheritance.

  1. How do you go about getting to know a friend or colleague?
  2. What is prayed for in order that Knowledge of God can be gained?
  3. What do people you know commonly hope for?
  4. Why would our being God’s inheritance give hope?


Ephesians 1:17-18  I pray for you constantly,17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.


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Strengthened for life

God gives strength for us to live His good life. God is our strength, but we only know this is true when we have depended on Him through times requiring strength.

  1. What have Jesus and the Father given?
  2. What does the prayer ask for in the current situation?
  3. Why do we need comfort and strength to do good?


2 Thessalonians 2:16-17  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope,17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.


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Filled by God

God is constantly at work in each one of us to help us come to a place where we can welcome Him into our lives as His home. When He lives with us, our lives are transformed by His power.

  1. What contributes to inner strength?
  2. With what resources can God strengthen?
  3. What is the difference between inner and outer strength?
  4. What is the fruit of a life with inner strength?


Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.


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