Sermon Bible Study Guides

Showing items filed under “James”
in James

Psalm 126 - 27th August 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Psalm 126.
  2. What moods or emotions does the psalmist express? (look for emotional words or punctuation)
  3. What imagery does the psalmist use?
  4. Do you see any similarities between this Psalm and the previous Songs of Ascent? (Psalm 120, 121, 122, 123, 124)
  5. Are there repeated words or ideas?
  6. What contrasts do you see? (e.g. light and darkness)

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What event(s) do you think that the psalmist had in mind when he says "when the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion"?
  2. What do you think this expression means: "We were like those who dream"? What emotion does it convey?
  3. How is the blessing of Israel connected to the nations? (cross-reference Josh. 4:24, Ps. 96:10, Deut. 29:24-28)
  4. In verses 1-3, the Psalmist seems to be looking back at God's past restoration. How does the mood shift in verses 4-6?
  5. The Negeb was an arid, desert region in the southern part of Israel. What, then, do you think is the meaning of the simile in verse 4?
    1. How does this connect to the the imagery of "seed for sowing" in verses 5 and 6?
  6. Is there anything in this passage that points to or foreshadows truths of the gospel? (e.g. Has Jesus fulfilled any of the prayers or longings we see? Is there anything pointing to sin, judgment, salvation, God's love, etc.? )

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. How have you seen "great things" has the Lord done in your own life?
    1. Does this encourage you to pray?
    2. Does it give you joy that is seen by others?
  2. In Christ we have been saved, but we are still waiting for His return and our salvation being complete.
    1. How does this connect with the prayer in verse 4? 
    2. How can you be praying for restoration for yourself and for one another?
  3. What do you think it looks like for Christians to "sow" through tears and weeping?
    1. Do we know that things will always get better? That what makes us sad today will be gone tomorrow or next week or next year?
    2. What does it mean for Christians, then, to "reap with shouts of joy"?
    3. How does the hope of heaven encourage you to endure suffering today?
in James

James 5:13-20 - 20th August, 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read James 5:13-20.
  2. Who does James address?
  3. What are the repeated words/phrases/ideas?
  4. What commands are given?
  5. What reasons are given?
  6. Do we see anything that connects to other sections of James?
  7. What does this text teach us about God and how he works in the world?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What are some common ways that people respond to suffering?
    1. How should Christians respond?
    2. If we are suffering, what should we pray for?
  2. Why is it important for Christians to sing praise in their cheerfulness?
    1. What does it say about our hearts if we do not praise God when we are joyful?
  3. What is the prayer of faith in verse 15?
    1. Whose faith is being described, the faith of the sick person or the faith of the one praying? 
    2. What do you think it means that this prayer will "save the one who is sick"? (physical healing, spiritual salvation, both, or something else?)
  4. Healing, when it comes, is always a gift from God. Why might God choose not to heal someone?
    1. Why does James give us the example of Elijah?
  5. Is verse 19 talking about a believer or a non-believer?
    1. What does it mean to "bring back a sinner from his wandering"? (cross-reference Matthew 18:15-20)

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. Are you suffering? Pray!
    1. What would it look like to be faithful in praying through your suffering?
    2. Are there other people in your life who are suffering? What can you ask God for on their behalf?
  2. Are you cheerful? Sing praise!
    1. What are some ways things that have made you happy this week? How can you praise God for those things?
  3. Are you sick? 
    1. Have you ever called the elders of the church while you were sick? Why or why not?
    2. Is there sin in your life that you need to confess? Is there someone in your life that you can regularly confess to?
      1. God promises healing and forgiveness if we confess our sins to one another and pray for one another.
  4. Do you know someone who is wandering from the truth?
    1. How might God be able to use you to bring them back?
    2. Church members have a special obligation to their local assembly. If someone in your church was wandering, would you know?

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