I. The Scriptures.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience; being inerrant in the original manuscripts. Psalm 19.7-10; Isaiah 40.6-8; Matthew 5.17-20; Romans 15.1-6; 2 Timothy 3.15-17; Hebrews 4.6-13; 2 Peter 1.19-21.
Discipleship: How are the Scriptures our guide for following Christ?
Fellowship: In what ways is the Bible the foundation of our fellowship?
Outreach: Why is a thorough biblical foundation essential for effective evangelism?
Prayer: What are some ways to use the Bible in prayer?
II. God the Father.
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. As Creator He is Father to all men, but He is spiritual Father only to believers. Genesis 1.1-2; Exodus 3.12-15; Deuteronomy 6.4; Jeremiah 10.1-16; Matthew 6.5-15; Romans 8.12-14; Ephesians 4.1-6; James 1.13-18; Revelation 4.
Discipleship: How is the Fatherhood of God different for you as a disciple of Christ as opposed to someone who has not been born again?
Fellowship: How is the spiritual Fatherhood of God essential to your relationship with other believers?
Outreach: How can knowledge of the Creator cause people to ask for mercy?
Prayer: What are some characteristics of God the Father that stimulate prayer?
III. God the Son.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe. Genesis 3.15; Psalm 110.1-4; Isaiah 53; John 4.24, 5.19-30, 14.6-13; Colossians 1.15-19; Hebrews 1.1-4; 7.11-28; 1 Timothy 2.5-6, 3.16; Revelation 5.
Discipleship: How does the doctrine of Christ’s sovereignty impact you as a disciple?
Fellowship: How does this description of the work of Christ influence our fellowship with one another?
Outreach: Why must people believe in Jesus’ humanity and deity in order to be saved?
Prayer: How might prayer relate to Christ in each of His divine offices of Prophet, Priest, and King?
IV. God the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration, He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Psalm 51:11; 139:7ff.; Joel 2:28-32; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 12:3-13; Galatians 5.16-23; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:13.
Discipleship: How are Christ’s disciples enabled to serve in the advance of His Kingdom?
Fellowship: What has the Spirit gifted to each Believer?
Outreach: How does confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit aid our evangelism?
Prayer: How might the Spirit’s three-fold work of conviction (see especially John 16.8-11) show itself through prayer?
V. The Trinity.
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being. Genesis 1.2, 26; 3.22; Deuteronomy 6.4; Psalm 110 and Matthew 22.41-46; Matthew 3.13- 17; Romans 8.12-17; 2 Corinthians 13.14; Ephesians 1.3-14; Colossians 1.15-20.
Discipleship: How is the doctrine of the Trinity important for Christian discipleship?
Fellowship: How is the fellowship of the Trinity a model for fellowship in the Church?
Outreach: How will you explain and defend Trinitarian belief to adherents of the Islamic faith?
Prayer: How does each Person of the godhead function in the response to prayer?
God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. Genesis 50.20; Psalm 103, 104; Proverbs 16.9; Isaiah 40.7-26; 45.5-7; 46.3-13; Matthew 6.26-33; 11.25-30; Acts 2.22-24; 17.24-31; Romans 11.33-36; 1 Timothy 6.15-16; Hebrews 1.1-4; Revelation 20.
Discipleship: How does the doctrine of the providence of God encourage you as a disciple of Christ?
Fellowship: How does your fellowship in the church demonstrate the Providence of God?
Outreach: Do you think evangelism is crippled or enhanced by a belief in God’s providence?
Prayer: How does prayer demonstrate the realities of divine sovereignty and human responsibility?
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life — not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ — in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified. Genesis 25.19- 26; John 6.37-40; Acts 13.48; Romans 8.28-38; 9-11; 1 Corinthians 1.26-31; Ephesians 1.3-11; 1 Thessalonians 1.3; 2 Timothy 2.10; 1 Peter 2.1-10.
Discipleship: How does the knowledge of God’s foreknowledge encourage you as a disciple?
Fellowship: How is the doctrine of election a unifying principle in the fellowship of the church?
Outreach: How would you answer someone who asks, “How can you believe in election and still feel compelled to evangelize?”
Prayer: How might thoughts of election influence the prayers of a believer?
VIII. The Fall of Man.
God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his descendants inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors. Genesis 3; 6.5-8; Psalm 51; John 3.19-21; 8.30-47; Romans 3.9-20; 5.12-19; Ephesians 2.1-10; Titus 3.3-7.
Discipleship: How does an understanding of Satan affect you as a disciple?
Fellowship: How did the Fall of Man affect the fellowship of Adam and Eve?
Outreach: How should Titus 3.3-7 cause believers to walk in humility toward unbelievers?
Prayer: In what ways should your moral choices be effected by your discipleship commitment?
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who awakens the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone. Deuteronomy 30.1-6; Jeremiah 31.31-34; Ezekiel 11.17-21; 36.25-29; John 3.3-7, 5.24; Acts 2.38-39; Romans 8.1-2; Titus 3.4-7; James 1.18; 1 Peter 1.3, 22-25.
Discipleship: Are there any regenerate people who are not disciples?
Fellowship: How is the Spirit’s work of regeneration an essential starting point of fellowship?
Outreach: Because of Jesus’ instruction on the necessity of regeneration, why must we not artificially rush people into “the sinner’s prayer?”
Prayer: How does regeneration amplify the importance of prayer?
Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, hatred of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things. Job 42.1-6; Psalm 51; Luke 3.3-14; 19.1-10; Acts 2.22-38; 2 Corinthians 7.8-13; 1 Thessalonians 1.9-10; 2 Timothy 2.25; Titus 2.11-14.
Discipleship: How have you practiced biblical repentance? What have been the effects?
Fellowship: How does an attitude of repentance foster fellowship in the church?
Outreach: What dangers might arise from teaching an easy belief system that neglects repentance?
Prayer: What do you think prayer would look like for a person that is repentant?
Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. Genesis 15.1-6; Matthew 11.22-30; John 3.16-18; 6.35-36; Romans 1.16-17; 3.21-26; 4.1ff; 6.1-10; 10.8-10; Galatians 2.15-21; Ephesians 2.1-10; Hebrews 3.12-19; Hebrews 11; Revelation 13.10; 14.12.
Discipleship: What is the role of faith in discipleship?
Fellowship: How is faith both an individual experience and a corporate reality?
Outreach: In your gospel ministry, how will you communicate the essence of biblical faith in Christ?
Prayer: How does Paul connect faith with prayer in Ephesians 6? For what purpose(s)?
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith. Psalm 32.1- 2; Isaiah 53.4-6; Micah 7.18-20; Romans 3.21-26; 4.1-5; 2 Corinthians 5.17-21; Galatians 2.15-21; Titus 3.3-7.
Discipleship: What is the relationship between acquittal before God and following Christ?
Fellowship: How does the doctrine of justification affect your view of other believers?
Outreach: What must a person be convinced of before being able to appreciate the doctrine of justification?
Prayer: How is justification a compelling influence toward prayer?
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands.Matthew 28.18-20; John 17.14-19; Romans 8.28-30; 1 Corinthians 1.2; 6.7-11; 2 Corinthians 3.7-18; 6.14-7.1; 2 Thessalonians 2.13-15; Hebrews 2.11; 10.10, 14; 12.14; 13.12; 1 Peter 1.2.
Discipleship: How is one’s sanctification manifested in their life of following Christ?
Fellowship: How is one’s sanctification manifested in the corporate body, the church?
Outreach: How does God use suffering on account of the gospel to inwardly renew His people?
Prayer: How might a person’s prayer life change according to sanctification?
XIV. Perseverance of the Saints.
Those whom God has accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. John 6.37-40; 10.27-30; Romans 5.9-11; 8.1, 28-39; 1 Corinthians 1.4-8; Hebrews 7.23-25, 10.19-31; 1 Peter 1.3-5; 1 John 2.19, 28-3.3.
Discipleship: Does grace motivate or relax one’s desire to follow Christ?
Fellowship: As believers, how does we help each other to persevere in Christ?
Outreach: How might you teach this doctrine to sinners as part of your evangelistic efforts?
Prayer: How does prayer correspond to perseverance?
XV. The Church.
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular assemblies or churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops, or Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses. Matthew 16.15-19; 18.15-20; Acts 2.41-47; Ephesians 2.11-22; 4.11-16; Philippians 1.1- 2; Colossians 1.15-18; 2.4-7; 1 Timothy 3; 5.3-18; 6.14-16.
Discipleship: What are the dangers of discipleship that is not connected to a local church?
Fellowship: At this stage in your Christian life, what do you appreciate most about the local church?
Outreach: How do “civil wars” between members of the body of Christ impede evangelism?
Prayer: What are some functions of prayer in the Church, and what are their importance?
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a public profession of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper. Matthew 3.13-17; 28.18-20; Acts 2.38-42; 8.35-40; Romans 6.1-11; Colossians 2.11-15.
Discipleship: How is baptism by immersion significant for discipleship?
Fellowship: How is baptism a foundation of church fellowship?
Outreach: In what ways can baptism be a healthy reminder of God’s grace in the life of a new believer?
Prayer: How is prayer an expression of our union with Christ (see especially Romans 6)?
XVII. The Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the cup, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate and proclaim His death, to confirm the faith of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship. Matthew 26.26-30; Mark 14.22-25; Luke 22.14-23; Acts 2.46-47; 1 Corinthians 10.14-22; 11.28-32; Hebrews 9.11-28.
Discipleship: How does participation in the Lord’s Supper affect corporate discipleship?
Fellowship: How does a regular practice of the Lord’s Supper maintain the fellowship of a local church?
Outreach: How can the Lord’s Supper be a spur to Christ-centered witness?
Prayer: How does partaking in the Lord’s Supper a stimulation for prayer?
XVIII. The Lord’s Day.
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28.1ff; Mark 16.1-9; Luke 24.1-12; John 4.21-24; 20.1-9; Acts 20.7; Romans 14.5-10; 1 Corinthians 16.1-2; Colossians 2.16-23; 3.16-17; Revelation 1.10.
Discipleship: How does a regular observance of Christ’s resurrection empower Christ’s disciples?
Fellowship: How can you use this Lord’s Day to foster fellowship in the church?
Outreach: How is the regular gathering of God’s people significant for the proclamation of Christ?
Prayer: Is there any particular function and efficacy of prayer on the Lord’s Day versus any other day?
XIX. Liberty of Conscience.
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil leadership being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be done by us in the Lord, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience sake. Matthew 22.15-22; Acts 4.19-20; Romans 12.18-13.7; 14.1-23; 1 Corinthians 6.1-7; 8.4-13; 1 Timothy 2.1-4; 1 Peter 2.11-25.
Discipleship: As a disciple of Christ, how is your conscience to be regulated?
Fellowship: How is our fellowship in Christ to be expressed in our relationship to the governing authorities?
Outreach: Are there particular methods of evangelism that might offend your conscience and Scripture, and are thus worthy of being avoided?
Prayer: What is the usefulness of this doctrine with regard to prayer?
XX. The Resurrection.
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God — the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. Matthew 16.24-28; Luke 16.19-31; John 11.17-27; 14.1-6; 1 Corinthians 15.24-28, 35-58; Philippians 3.20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18; 2 Peter 3.8-13.
Discipleship: How does this future reality of the resurrection of believers affect your discipleship today?
Fellowship: How does the reality of the resurrection stimulate our fellowship now?
Outreach: How should a firm belief in bodily resurrection quicken your fervor for proclaiming Christ in dangerous settings?
Prayer: What is it about the resurrection that forms the grounds and motivation for believers to pray?
XXI. The Judgment.
God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked will go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life. Matthew 25.31-46; John 5.24-30; Acts 17.30-34; Romans 1.18-2.16; 1 Thessalonians 1.10; Hebrews 10.26-31; Revelation 20.1-22.13.
Discipleship: How does the doctrine of the judgement affect you as a disciple?
Fellowship: How does God’s righteous judgement motivate believers in their relationships with one another?
Outreach: Why is a thorough knowledge of eternal judgment so foundational for biblical evangelism?
Prayer: How does the Judgement connect with Romans 8.26, 34 regarding prayer?
XXII. The Family.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Genesis 1.26-28; 2.15-25; 3.1- 20; Deuteronomy 6.4-9; Proverbs 1.8; 5.15-20; 23.13-14; 31.10-31; Matthew 5.31-32; Mark 10.1-12; 1 Corinthians 7.1-16; Ephesians 5.21-33; 6.1-4; 1 Timothy 5.8,14; 2 Timothy 1.3-5; Titus 2.3-5; 1 Peter 3.1-7.
Discipleship: How does your discipleship affect your role in your family?
Fellowship: How does the Christian family foster spiritual fellowship?
Outreach: How can Christ-exalting families be used by God to reach the lost?
Prayer: Why is prayer of great importance as it concerns the family? Can you show an example of this from Scripture?