Use the notes and questions in this area to assist in your study of the Bible. This material is suitable for both individual and group use. It will often accompany the preaching series so that you can further explore Bible passages from which sermons have been prepared.
Romans 1: 1-17
The good news of Jesus is powerful to transform life and indeed all things. In this first chapter of Romans, Paul introduces his readers to the wonderful gospel of Jesus.
Romans 1: 18-32
Romans 1:18–32 is a hard-hitting look at what happens to human lives when we turn from the truth about God. Paul considers idolatry, intimacy, ethics and the things we approve of when desire for God disintegrates. How can we cultivate the right desires in our lives? And how do the larger themes of Romans begin to appear in these verses?
Romans 2: 1-11
God does not want his people to be judgemental while he himself is a judge. His judgements contain many dimensions: truth, wrath, glory, giving over, kindness and a longing for repentance. How do we live with and for a God like this?
Romans 2: 12-29
In Romans 2:12-29, Paul develops some closely argued theology. He wants his readers to know who they really are and what it means to live in right relationships with God and each other.
Romans 3: 1-20
In Romans 3:1–20, Paul is reaching a conclusion about how tough the problem of human sin is deep and wide. But he presents us with a debate—like the scribblings on the whiteboard during a brainstorming session. Even ideas that will be left aside can have something to teach us.
Romans 3: 21-31
Romans 3:21–31 opens with the phrase ‘But now…’ shifting the book of Romans toward amazingly good news. These verses have been considered one of the most important paragraphs ever written. How do they invite you to celebrate God’s solution to our guilt, shame, slavery and separation from him?
The book of Zephaniah contains some of the most tender images of God’s love yet it opens with an overwhelming picture of judgement. Is it possible to be thankful for the fact that God is a judge?
Bible study questions to accompany John McClean’s sermon on Zephaniah 2.
The culminating chapter of Zephaniah is full of hope and joy. This is one of the greatest Old Testament texts.
In Esther 1-2 the stage is set for God’s remarkable deliverance of the Jews. What are we to make of some of the main characters in this story – Ahasuerus, Vashti, Mordecai and Esther? In this study we consider the text of Esther 1-2.
Bible study questions for Kirk’s Sermon on Esther 2-7
Esther is a story of great reversal. The climactic final scene in this drama is contained in 9:23-10:3. Here we read of the triumph of truth and peace.
Ecclesiastes 1 and 3
Bible study questions for Sermon on Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 and 3:1-8
In Ecclesiastes the Teacher is rich and powerful. He sets himself to understand the meaning of life – pleasure, work, wealth, wisdom … what does he find out? Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26 describes what he finds out.
What is good? What is a good life? How do we know the answer to those questions? In Ecclesiastes 7, the Teacher searches out the meaning of living a good life.
Bible study questions to accompany sermon.
Since our lives are fleeting, what’s the wisest way to live? Focus on eternity? Squeeze as much as we can out of today? Dig into the end of Ecclesiastes to find out.
Thinking about human frailty and death can make us wise. What can the death of Moses teach us about regret, greatness, vision and the purposes of God?
Numbers 20: 1-13
At Kadesh, Moses strikes the rock. God’s judgement is that Moses will die before entering the Promised Land. This is a decisive and important portion of Scripture in which God shows himself to be holy.
Our God is a consuming fire. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? In Exodus 19–20 Moses and the people have the formidable experience of both the nearness of God and his unapproachable holiness. What can this reveal about God and our life with him today?
Who is Moses? An Israelite or an Egyptian? A slave or a prince? In Exodus 3–4 we see Moses struggling to come to terms with his place in the purposes of God. But in the end, Moses’ identity is not the most important thing. The passage invites us into a staggering and profound revelation of who God is.
Study questions for Exodus 2: 1-10
Study questions for Psalm 25
Study questions for Revelation 22
Revelation 21 is a culminating vision, not just of the book of Revelation, but of the entire Bible. Read, study and enjoy these visions of hope!
Revelation 19:11 – 20:15
John sees Jesus as the Warrior Judge who is Faithful and True in this passage of Scripture. The final judgement is in the hands of the completely trustworthy, all-powerful King of Kings.
Revelation 19:1-10 explodes with Hallelujahs as the celebration of God’s victory of evil and suffering begins.
Questions to accompany Kirk’s sermon on Revelation 18.
John sees the beginning of judgement against Babylon in this chapter, which draws much of its imagery from Daniel 7. What does John see? What does judgement mean for the church in the present and the future? This study explores these questions.
In Revelation 15, John sees bowls of anger being poured out on the earth. What are we to make of God’s anger and God’s judgement? How does this impact our faith, hope and love for God? We consider these issues in this study.
In the face of impending devastating judgements, Revelation 15 presents a vision of victory and praise to God. This chapter impels us to trust God even in the midst of very troubling times.
Revelation 14 contains fearful visions of judgement as well as strong visions of protection and security for God’s people. In this study we explore the challenges of living in a world that God loves and yet will judge.
In Revelation 13, John reveals that world empires are under the domain of Satan (the dragon) and other spiritual powers (the beasts). In this study, we explore John’s words and his challenge to grow in persevering faith during tough times.
Ephesians 6:10 – 24
In this final passage of Ephesians, we are challenged to become soldiers of peace, armed with integrity, faith and hope, and holding out the word of reconciliation to a world that is broken and divided.
Ephesians 5:21- 6:9
Some questions to help you delve deeper into Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9.
Ephesians 5: 1-20
Ephesians 5:1-20 explores what it means for the church to imitate God in the midst of a culture where many lesser gods beckon to us, Paul reminds the church of their identity as dearly beloved children of God. His words are ones of encouragement to live together as children of light, exposing hollow ways of living and redeeming the time.
Ephesians 4: 17-32
Some questions to help delve deeper into Ephesians 4: 17-32.
Ephesians 4: 1-16
In Ephesians 4:1-16, the apostle turns his attention to the characteristics of healthy churches. How do healthy church communities live? How do people who are really different to each other live in unity and peace?
Ephesians 3: 1-21
In Ephesians 3: 1-21, Paul continues to celebrate the triumph of God – in his own life! And then he cannot help but burst into prayer. This is the culminating passage of the first section of Ephesians.
Ephesians 2: 11-22
In Ephesians 2:11-22 we read of the church as the “new humanity”. This is a powerful, even revolutionary, portion of the Scriptures.
Ephesians 2: 1-10
What does it mean that the church is the fullness of Christ? In Ephesians, this is unfolded in 2: 1-10 as the apostle marvels at how churches, made up of both Jews and Gentiles in Christ, are part of an entire new creation!
After blessing God for the abundant and rich blessings in Ephesians 1:3-14, the letter to the Ephesians bursts into prayer. We explore this profound prayer in the study questions provided.
Ephesians is a majestic letter which explores the purposes of God for creation and humanity. In this study we delve into the profound words of Ephesians 1:1-14.
Hosea 11: 1-11
Hosea 2: 2-23
In Hosea 2 a great reversal occurs as judgement is replaced by restoration and blessing. Go’s covenant changes everything, for people in Israel, the nations and indeed the entire creation.
The Scriptures in Hosea 1-3 are full of challenges as God commands the prophet to love his wife in spite of her immorality and then to pay a price to buy her out of enslavement. What can we learn about God and his purpose for our lives from these chapters? This study explores the meaning of God’s covenant commitment to restore his people and indeed the entire creation.
Hosea 1: 1-11
In this first study of the OT prophet Hosea, we begin to explore a troubling and yet hope-filled story from a time of calamity and chaos in the history of Israel. We commence with reading and studying Hosea 1:1-11.
Job and Disability
Here’s a Bible Study for ‘The Outside Outsiders’ sermon on Job and Disability.
Wisdom in healing – James 5:14-16
Our church is exploring how we can move into ministries of restoration. James 5:14–16 can seem to promise too much and can puzzle us with its teaching on healing techniques. On the other hand, the passage can be inspiring in terms of expectant prayer and courageous conversation. What wisdom can we gain about healing?
Strength in Weakness – 2 Corinthians
God’s grace and power do not replace our weaknesses, rather work in and through our weaknesses. 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 is one of the most important passages in the Bible about life and discipleship.
Hope – Lamentations 3
Life’s experiences sometimes sap us of any sense of hope. What does it mean to hope – from a Biblical perspective? Lamentations 3 and 1 Peter1 help us understand where to look for hope and when we can expect to find hope. Hope if for now!
Alive@5 Hope – Week 2
We have different ways of engaging with the present and they express our connection with the past and our vision of the future. What would happen in your life if you engaged with your present life as a person of HOPE?
The people of God are to be people of hope. But what does biblical hope look like? Romans 8:18-30 encourages us to understand that hope stems from the deep groaning of the whole creation longing to be made new. Paul explores hope in this passage by addressing the questions of:
- Why do we hope?
- What do we hope for?
- What is the foundation of hope?
You can download a discussion paper prepared by the Assembly’s Gospel, Society and Culture Committee below.
Acts 20: 17-38
“Special attention should always be paid to how leaders conclude their leadership and the words they use in doing so. It is usually in their last words to their friends and followers that the leader reveals what is weighing most heavily on their mind and heart.” Preston Manning. What is on the heart and mind of the Apostle Paul as he says goodbye in Acts 20, …is for you!
1 Timothy 2
The slides from Kirk’s sermon on 1 Timothy 2 are available to download below.
1 Timothy 2
1 Timothy 2 is a portion of the Scriptures over which God’s people have debated over long periods of time. What do we make of this important teaching? The following questions and information will help us to read and study 1 Timothy 2 well.
1 Corinthians 14: 26-40
What is “evangelism? What is our responsibility in telling others about Jesus? We begin to explore this issue from John 4:1-42 and John’s account of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well.
I don’t like the God of the Old Testament
Questions to go with Bob Johnston’s Alive@5 sermon from 12th August 2018.
Restoring and being restored
In John 21 Jesus restores Peter to the ministry of a shepherd. What does it mean to be restored? How can we have a ministry of restoration?
Forgiving – Forgiveness
Questions to go with Russell James’sermon from 30 Sept 2018
New technologies such as smart phones call for thoughtful discernment. With reference to Genesis 11:1-9 and the book 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke, we explore the shaping power of new technology on our lives.”>
Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem when he accepts a meal invitation from a ruler of the Pharisees in Luke 14. What follows on that Sabbath Day is remarkable and indeed revolutionary.
Luke 11: 29-54
Jesus is the light of God and the voice of God. He pronounce woes on all who do not see and hear him clearly. Luke 11:29-54 is challenging for all who seek to be disciples of Jesus to say the least!
Luke 11: 1-28
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus’ answer contains profound content and addresses our motivation in a most engaging way. If you’re feeling tired or wanting to be tenacious as a disciple, Luke 11 can inspire you to pray. It will also remind you of a Jesus who lifts up those who are bowed down in a way that can make us long for God’s kingdom.
Luke 10: 20-42
Luke is writing about Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem in this section of Scripture. Jesus is joyful on the road! And as he is confronted by an expert in the Law, he tells a story about a compassionate Samaritan which has become one of the best known stories from the Bible.
Luke 10: 1-20
Jesus sends out seventy-two messengers and invites them into the risk of love. There are wolves out there! And there are also experiences of healing, hope, power and joy. We need to face both the tragic and triumphant elements of the mission of the kingdom. Luke 10:1–20 also gives us a chance to reflect on how we’re going as both listeners to the gospel and proclaimers of it.
Luke 9: 37-62
Some questions to go with the Sermons on Luke 9: 18-36.
Luke 9: 18-36
Some questions to go with Kirk’s Sermon on Luke 9: 18-36.
Luke 9: 1-17
The feeding of the 5,000 is one of the most important in Scripture teaching us what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. What is a disciple? Luke 9:1-17 speaks to that question.
Luke 8: 40-56
A bleeding woman and a dying girl create some memorable moments for Jesus and his followers. Explore Luke 8:40–56 to see Jesus’ power to restore the body, hope and the presence of God in the world.
Luke 8: 22-39
In Luke 8:22-39 there are two wonderful restoration events, as Jesus brings calmness to chaos on the lake and in the life of a demonised man. Enjoy studying this wonderful passage.
Luke 8: 1-21
Questions to go with Kirk’s sermon.
Luke 7: 36-50
Jesus has already pronounced forgiveness of sins for a crippled man. Now he makes the same pronouncement for a woman known as a sinner within the city. In Luke 7: 36-50 we have a stunning example of the transforming grace of Jesus.
Luke 7: 18-35
From his prison cell, John questions if Jesus truly is the Messiah. Jesus addresses this question in Luke 7: 18-35 for John and for a generation in which prophets were persecuted and many stumbled over and rejected God’s way in Jesus. This passage continues to be deeply important for our generation.
Luke 7: 1-17
In Luke 7:1-17, we read of two remarkable events in the life of Jesus – a healing and a resurrection – which Luke sets side by side in his portrayal of Jesus as Saviour of both Israel and the nations. This is an astonishing portion of Scripture!
Luke 6: 27-49
In Luke 6:27-49 Jesus describes the way of discipleship in terms of practices – what we do. true discipleship is characterised by a set of practices that are radically counter-cultural.
Luke 6: 12-26
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? In Luke 6:12 – 26, attention turns to discipleship and particularly the twelve disciples chosen by Jesus to be apostles. This portion of Scripture is crucial for our understanding of discipleship in our own places and times.
Luke 6: 1-11
In Luke 6:1-11, Luke reports about the ministry of Jesus on two Sabbath days. Jesus continues to challenge traditions that have lost their meaning and purpose; that have become separated from and contrary to the love of God. And Jesus provocatively asserts that ‘the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”.
In Luke 5:27-39 Jesus challenges expectations, crosses boundaries and announces that a bright, new era has begun. So it's time to celebrate. What does it mean for us to live in the light of this new day?
On the heaven-and -earth world stage, Jesus is re-enacting and rescripting the history of humanity and Israel in his own person. He is authoring a new history. A new future A new humanity. As he does so, Jesus is under scrutiny. Watched. Tested. Searched. Known. Not only by God, but by opponents who will eventually want him dead.
There is nothing small about the Jesus of Luke. On the stage of heaven-and-earth world history, Jesus authors the future of a new humanity and an entire new cosmos. Jesus has authority! Jesus is amazing! Luke 5:1-11 presents Luke’s account of a miraculous catch of fish – as Jesus “catches” his first disciples.
Luke 4:31-44 recounts the authority of Jesus as demons and sickness are rebuked! Those who come to Jesus are healed. The captives are being set free. But what does this mean for us? This portion of Luke insists that we address some tough questions about faith, healing, suffering and God’s purposes in our lives.
Luke affirms that Jesus, on a heaven-and-earth world stage, is re-enacting and rescripting history in his own person. Jesus invites us to join him in the history of the new humanity, empowered by the Spirit of God. In this passage, Jesus commences his ministry. His marvellous works and authoritative teaching, in places such as Capernaum, bring high praise. But then he returns home to Nazareth…
What is the way of Jesus? Luke challenges his readers to walk in the way of a history-changing, community-forming, joy-filled Jesus who seeks the lost and excluded, ushering them into a new life of hope and purpose. In this series, we will seek to more fully know Jesus through the writing of Luke.
Offerings and Sacrifices
The ritual of the burnt offering seems strange as we read the first chapter of Leviticus. Yet it is so crucial to an understanding of this book and indeed of scripture more widely, that we dare not miss its significance. To young people, our children and students, it must be even stranger. In our secularised western nations, any sense of the holy and the sacred, and conversely of the polluted and the profane, is almost completely gone.
Ordination of Priests
The tent of God’s presence was in the centre of the camp. Israelites huddled around holiness as they slept. Heaven’s majesty rested on earth, utter purity lived among impurity, uncreatedness with fragile mortality. This was a rare community indeed. Yahweh surrounded by his children!
Clean and Unclean
The primary meaning of “holy” is to be separated, apart from, distinct. God is initially holy in that he is utterly separate from and completely “other” than every created thing. And herein is the sum total of reality – the LORD who is the creator … and everything else that he has created. God and his creation. This is reality.
Day of Atonement
The Day of Atonement. It was the greatest day of the year!
Regulations for a Holy Nation
With what is “holiness” concerned? What do holy people do? Do we imagine hushed prayers and quiet reflections, hard beds and harsh diets, seriousness and silence, perhaps bald monks and cloistered nuns. Are these our primary images of holiness?