New Hope UMC

Bible Study

An important factor in a Church's worship experience and growth is Bible Study. We are not made to worship as individuals but rather with each other. Prior to 2015, we had a difficult time sustaining a Bible study although we made several attempts. That has changed and we have now met consistently in the Fellowship Hall. We have grown not only in our knowledge of the Word, but as a caring, sharing group delighting in discovering the truths the Bible has in store for us.tree

The study just completed was Romans 5-8, by Ralph Wilson. He entitled it The Christ Powered Life/ This is Paul's advice and instruction to the churches in Rome on how to lead a Christian life and the rewards that come from doing so. Our next study will see us remain with Paul as we study his letter to the Ephesians. This study begins in September, 2018. We have also completed studies of Phillipians and Galatians, also by Wilson. Phillipians is a deep dive into Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. Whether you are beginning your journey in faith or just adding to it, the Letters of Paul are a good place to start. It's good to have one of the gospels in your mind as well. We did that with Matthew, as we studied it just prior to Philippians. Galatians was another study we did. It is recognized as the first piece of Christian literature every written. 

It is hard to conceive of Christianity without Paul. It is the Apostles, led by Paul, who claimed divinity for Jesus and elevated Christ to Messiah. It is Paul who led the spread of a new religion to Asia Minor and then to Europe, where 300 years after his death the Roman Empire would sanction Christianity. In this country we can credit Europe for much of our culture, including music and art and religion. Christianity spread to all parts of the continent and then made it's way across the water with the early settlers. 

It didn't start out for Paul, or Saul as he was called, as a life of promise unless you consider persecution of followers of the Way a noble profession. After the resurrection, the followers of Jesus (know as the Way) were growing at a rapid rate. The Sanhedrin was deeply concerned and sought to stamp out this sect by whatever means possible. This including stoning of Stephen, a particularly eloquent evangelist for the Way. It is believed that Saul was present and played an active role in what happened to Stephen and many others. Saul was commissioned by the Sanhedrin to go to Damascus to bring back followers of Jesus to Jerusalem for prosecution. It was on this trip just outside Damascus that he was blinded by a light and confronted by Jesus in a vision. He recovered from his blindness and then proclaimed that Jesus was the true Messiah.

God intervened in history to bring the Gospel to us through Paul. He is a scholar, a poet, a theologian and the principal spokesperson for Christ in the New Testament. We are blessed to have his Letters and look forward to this study.    

 We have studied the Old Testament as well, including Daniel, Isaiah, Abraham and David. David was a central figure of the Old Testament. The second of a long line of kings, he was selected by God to replace Saul. His was perhaps the most storied reign of all of the 37 kings of Israel. But there is more to David than a man who occupied a throne. He was a musician, a poet, a warrior, But more than just a prolific lyricist and musician, David was a worshiper. His music wasn't just popular love songs. It was worship. It comprised the intense emotions of struggle and the high freedom of praise and everything in between. Music gave voice to David's faith and his soul-felt prayers. Wilson, Ralph F. (2012-08-05). He composed about half of the Psalms, which we read responsively every Sunday. We will learn about this man, his history and influence, his actions, but also we will look into the soul of one who loved the Lord and expressed it perhaps better than anyone before or after. 

Our first study was late in 2013 and was a Walk Through the Bible, based on the Baby Boomer's Bible. For a while we time were meeting in afternoon sessions but have since settled on Thursday nights. A description of our study with some details is available in this website on the Bible Study tab. Each week we publish a preview of the upcoming lesson which includes discussion questions, if applicable.