Sermon Bible Study Guides

Psalm 123 - 23rd July 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Psalm 123
  2. What moods or emotions does the psalmist express?
  3. Do you see any similarities between this Psalm and the previous Psalms of Ascent? (Psalm 120, 121, 122)
  4. Which words are repeated?
  5. What connecting words do you see?  (therefore, yet, however, likewise, so then, because, for, etc.)

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What do you think it means to "lift up your eyes" to the Lord?
    1. How do the illustrations of a servant and maidservant help our understanding?
  2. What do the words "us" and "we" show us about this Psalm?
  3. Why do the people ask for mercy from the Lord?
    1. Why might the people need relief from "those who are at ease" or from "the proud"? 
  4. Is there anything in this passage that points to or foreshadows truths of the gospel? (Remember there might be many answers to this question: does it mirror Jesus in any way? Anything pointing to sin, judgment, salvation, God's love, etc.?)

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. During the journey to Jerusalem, the people sang this song for more than just a safe journey.
    1. How can Christians today learn from this prayer?
    2. Are there things that you are lamenting? What about others in the church?
    3. What does it look like to "look to the Lord" for these things?
  2. The culture we live in (and even others in the church) might be proud or living at ease.
    1. How can we follow Jesus faithfully among these things?
    2. How can we encourage, exhort, or correct other Christians who are living pridefully or living at ease?
in James

James 2:1–13 - 7th November, 2020

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read James 2:1-13 
  2. Who is addressed and mentioned in the passage?
    1. How does James describe them?
  3. What questions does James ask?
  4. What commands are given?
    1. What reasons are given for the commands? What conclusions are drawn?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What is wrong with "making distinctions" or "showing partiality" between rich and poor? 
  2. How has "God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom" (v.5)? What does that mean?
  3. Who are the rich and the poor?
  4. What is the royal law? What is the law of liberty?
    1. What is required?
  5. How are judgment and mercy connected? Who will receive judgment without mercy according to this passage?
  6. What sections do you see in this passage? How would you summarize them? How are they connected?

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. How and to whom are you tempted to show partiality? Why?
    1. Who do you show favoritism toward, and/or who do you look down upon or avoid? (Spend time confessing and repenting of this!)
  2. How does the gospel confront the sin of partiality? How does "holding our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory" (v.1) empower us to "show no partiality"? 

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