question & study sheets for the evangelistic Bible study booklet
ONE TO ONE: 15 minute Bible studies to share with a friend by William E. York, Jr.
published by Inter-Varsity Press, the copyright page of which says,
“(c)1972 by the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of the United States of America
All rights reserved
Except for pages 45-64, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from InterVarsity Press. …ISBN 0-87784-438-0″
This ASCII file consists of the outline of the studies plus the text of those pages. The text of the booklet, ONE TO ONE, contains additional insights and guidelines for leading another individual or small group through the series of studies in as little as 15 minutes per session. Use of a modern English version is strongly recommended.
OUTLINE OF TOPICS
GOD study A: what is God like?
SIN study B: what is sin?
study C: what are the results of sin?
CHRIST study D: who is Jesus Christ? study E: what did Jesus Christ do?
study F: how can I receive Jesus Christ?
what is God like?
1/ What do we learn about God from Psalm 97:1-9? Read the passage silently, stating aloud what you learn about God.
2/ What do we learn about God from Psalm 139:1-6 and 7-12? Read verses 1-12 silently, then tell the main thing you learned from each section.
3/ From 1 John 4:7-10, what does God think of us?
4/ How did God show his love for us?
5/ From John 3:16-18 and 36, what is the result of rejecting God’s love?
6/ From verses 18 and 36, how do we receive, and how do we reject God’s love?
what is sin?
Review/ What did we learn from the first study about God?
1/ From Genesis 1:27, what is man’s basic relationship to God?
2/ From Genesis 1:26-31, what did God think of man in the beginning?
3/ From Genesis 6:5-7, what did God think of man?
4/ Why did he want to blot man out?
5/ From Genesis 2:15-17 and 3:1-7, what had happened to change man, and therefore change God’s thoughts about him?
6/ Was it just the act of eating the fruit that God did not like, or was there something more basic?
7/ Who else was involved in this episode?
8/ What did the serpent say about God’s command and warning?
9/ Which of the two did Adam and Eve believe?
10/ Why did Adam and Eve disobey God?
what are the results of sin?
Review/ What did we learn from the last study about sin?
1/ From Jesus’ words in Mark 7:20-23, how does rebelling against God cause a person to act? Read these verses aloud.
2/ Do you recognize some of these things in yourself? Notice that they include not only acts, but thoughts and attitudes.
3/ What do these things do to a person?
4/ What does “defile” mean?
5/ From Psalm 5:4-6, what does God think about sin?
6/ According to Isaiah 59:1-2, what does sin do to our relationship with God?
7/ According to Romans 6:23, what is the result of sin?
8/ From Romans 5:8, what did God do because he loves us?
9/ From Isaiah 55:6-7, what are the conditions we must meet for God to pardon our sin?
who is Jesus Christ?
Review/ What did we learn from the last study about the results of sin?
1/ From John 20:30-31, why did John write about Jesus?
DIRECT claims made by Jesus Christ
2/ Pick out the claims Jesus made for himself in John 14:1-11. Read the passage silently, stating the claims aloud as you find them.
3/ Pick out Jesus’ claims in John 6:35-40.
An INDIRECT claim made by Jesus Christ
4/ Read John 5:10-18 to answer the question: Why did the Jews try to kill Jesus?
Our RESPONSE to Jesus’ claims
5/ From John 5:19-24, what response does Jesus expect from us?
6/ What will be the result of a proper response?
what did Jesus Christ do?
Review/ What did we learn from the last study about who Jesus Christ is?
1/ From Mark 2:1-12, what was Jesus doing when the paralytic was brought to him?
2/ What did he do for the paralytic that could be seen by the crowd?
3/ What power did Jesus claim for himself in this incident?
4/ What is the main implication of his claim plus his act of healing?
5/ From Mark 2:15-17, what did Jesus say he came for?
6/ From Mark 10:33-34, what do we learn about Jesus and his death?
7/ From Mark 10:45, what did he say was the purpose of his death?
8/ What is a ransom?
9/ In the light of previous study we have done, from what would his death be a ransom?
10/ From Matthew 28:1-7, did Jesus fulfill his prediction that he would rise from the dead?
11/ According to Romans 6:20-23, what can God do for us because Jesus Christ died?
12/ From 1 John 5:11-12, what relationship must we have with Jesus Christ if we are to benefit from what he did?
how can I receive Jesus Christ?
Review/ What did we learn from the last study about what Jesus Christ did? What relationship must we have with him to get the benefit of what he did?
1/ From John 1:12, what two things must we do to become children of God?
2/ From John 3:16, what is the result of believing in Jesus Christ?
3/ From John 13:13, if we receive Jesus into our lives, who are we receiving?
4/ Since he is Teacher and Lord, what can we expect him to do when he comes into our lives?
5/ From Romans 10:9-10, what is involved in receiving Jesus Christ?
1 John 5:11-12
2 Timothy 3:16-17
what is God like?
What do you think of when you think of God? An old man with a long white beard, sitting on a cloud? A stern judge, passing stiff sentences on those who break his laws? A strict policeman, looking for people having a good time and stopping them? A nebulous, non-physical being, “way out there somewhere”? An impersonal “ground of all being”?
The purpose of this first study is to learn what the God presented by the Bible is like. He has not hidden himself from us, but rather is, and always has been, eager to be known by the people he has created. He “desires all men to … come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).
For hundreds of years, millions of people from all parts of the world have been learning the truth and coming to know God through the Bible. Many literary tools were used by the Bible writers to communicate their message. Poetry is an effective medium for description, and Psalms 97 and 139 are poems describing God. Here we find him to be not a weak old man, but a powerful God who reigns over all the earth. His rule is characterized by righteousness and justice. Rather than being “way out there somewhere,” this righteous, just and powerful God is inescapably present everywhere, and knows every move we make and every thought we think!
Since God knows all about us, it is helpful to know what he thinks of us. God’s supreme revelation of himself was by Jesus Christ, his Son. “In these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” who “reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature” (Heb. 1:2-3). John the apostle, a close friend of Jesus Christ, wrote of God’s thoughts toward us. An impersonal God could not love, but John wrote that God loved us enough to send his Son to be the means of atonement for our sin. Love is an essential attribute of God–“God is love” (1 John 4:7-10).
Love must be accepted voluntarily. It is possible to reject love and thereby exclude oneself from its benefits. If we reject God’s love, the alternative is his wrath and condemnation. God’s supreme act of love was to give his Son to die for our sins. If we reject his Son, we reject his love. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him” (John 3:36).
We are condemned by God and under his wrath because of sin. The next study will be on the question “What is sin?”
what is sin?
“God created man in his own image” is the Bible’s terse description of the beginning of the human race (Gen. 1:27). Basically, man is in a creature-Creator relationship with God. Man is God’s crowning creation. God thought enough of him to give him dominion over all other life on the earth. When God first evaluated what he had created, his judgment was that it was all good, including man (Gen. 1:26-31).
Several generations later, God thought differently about man. In the sixth chapter of Genesis we find that “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” God wanted to blot out man. What made the difference? If we can find out what happened to cause man to change from good to evil in God’s sight, we will discover the essence of sin.
What happened is recorded in Genesis 2:15-17 and 3:1-7. God placed one restriction on the man he had created–he was not to eat the fruit from one particular tree. This negative command gave man an alternative to the will of God. Man could then exercise his freedom by choosing to obey or to disobey God, his Creator. God warned that the result of eating of the forbidden fruit would be death.
A third party, in the form of a serpent, elsewhere in the Bible identified as Satan, the arch-deceiver, spoke to man and contradicted God’s command and warning. Man was faced with a decision. He could continue to live in a proper creature-Creator relationship of obedience to God, believing God’s warning, or he could believe the serpent and set himself free from God’s control by disobeying him and eating the fruit. Man chose to believe the serpent rather than God. He took the step of disobedience, acting for the first time independently of God.
This is the essence of what the Bible calls “sin”. SIN cannot be defined by a list of acts, although it results in acts which the Bible calls SINS. SIN is the disease, SINS are the symptoms. Sin is a state of rebellion against God– acting independently of God. Sin is making decisions without consulting God. To run one’s own life is to live in sin. Isaiah the prophet put it this way: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isa. 53:6).
It is not enough merely to acknowledge that God exists and to try to live up to certain morel standards. In order to escape the results of sin, one’s life must be completely reoriented. God must be willfully reinstated as one’s personal sovereign.
In the next study, we will examine some of the results of sin.
what are the results of sin?
Living independently of God and setting ourselves up as our own boss, the essence of what the Bible callse “sin”, manifests itself in many ways and has certain results that God himself has warned us about. The manifestations of sin are what the Bible calls “sins.”
Our rebellion against God is evident in our conduct. We fail to live up to God’s moral standards. Some people are more openly immoral than others, but when Jesus Christ analyzed the heart of man he said, “…From within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within” (Mark 7:21-23). Notice that he includes as “evil things” not only actions, but also thoughts and attitudes. Who is free from all of these evidences of rebellion, these symptoms of sin? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
Our evil conduct resulting from sin has an effect on us. It defiles us; that is, it pollutes us, makes us dirty, dishonors us. It does so in the sight of a righteous, allknowing God.
Evil cannot remain in the presence of a righteous God. He hates evil. It destroys a proper relationship with God. It separates us from him (Isa. 59:1-2). The result of persisting in sin is destruction under the wrath of God (Ps. 5:4-6).
God’s first warning to man was that disobedience would result in death. The apostle Paul repeated that warning when he wrote, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). The person who lives his life independently of God, acting as his own boss, is living in a state of spiritual death which manifests itself in the evil things mentioned above. He faces a final death and separation from God in the future.
God is just and will not overlook our sin, but he is also loving and wants us to escape death and have real life. “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
There is no need to remain in a state of spiritual death, separated from God. “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:6-7).
An understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what he did will help us to understand how and why God can justly pardon us. The next study takes up those subjects.