Age Group: High School
Key Text: All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16, NIV)
Materials needed: Paper, pens, chalk board
One cold night, a colporteur encountered a robber who ordered him to light a bonfire and burn his books. The colporteur lit the fire, and then asked to read a little from each book first. He read the twenty third psalm from one; the story of the good Samaritan from another; the Sermon on the Mount from another; 1 Corinthians 13 from another. At the end of each reading, the robber said “It’s a good book. We won’t burn that one; give it to me.” In the end, none were burned; the robber left with all the books. Years later the man turned up again. Only this time he was not a robber; he was a Christian minister. (William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible, The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, St. Andrews Press, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1975, p 201)
Option 1: Give each several pieces of paper and pen. Ask them to put their Bibles away and say: “Pretend all our Bibles are destroyed. You have to rely on your memory. For the next five minutes, write down all the Bible verses you can say from memory (once verse per piece of paper), including the reference if possible. Post the verses on the wall under the categories Law, History, Poetry, Prophets, Gospels, Epistles.
Then ask questions like What made this exercise difficult? Why is it we reproduce so little of the book we use so much? What difference should the Bible make in our lives? Why do we feel more comfortable with some parts of the Bible than others? What is it that keeps us from studying and learning more from the Bible?
Option 2: Distribute portions of a recent newspaper. Have them glean stories of people who were in a difficult, happy, sad, or strange situation. Encourage the class to contribute recent, personal experiences. Draw a 2-column table on a chalkboard. The heading of the left column is “In this the situation.” The heading of the right “The Bible says.”
As the class finds stories, write a brief description of each in the left. Stop when you have about a dozen stories. Now have the class find encouraging, faith-affirming Bible texts that can be encouraging to the individuals in the stories.
Option 1: Divide into five groups and have each study 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 along with one of these passages: Hebrews 4:12; James 1:22-24; Luke 16:17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 2:15. Questions they could tackle: What do these verses say about the Bible? What is function and purpose of Scripture? What results can you expect in your life from studying the Bible every day?
Option 2: Divide into five groups and have each rewrite one of the following passages to give it a personal and contemporary application. Then have each group read aloud the original passage from the Bible followed by their paraphrase: Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 8:38, 39; 1 Corinthians 13:4-12; Philippians 4:4-7; Hebrews 13:1-3; James 1:2-8. After the sharing of these paraphrases, emphasize the relevance of Scripture and the importance of personal application in the studying of Scripture.
- If you know the Word and don’t do as it says, what does that say about your respect for God and His authority?
- How can you develop a personal checklist to ensure you say and do what is biblically right?
- If someone told you the Bible was just a how-to book for good moral behavior, how would you defend it as being the inspired Word of God?
- How can you communicate the message of the Bible with confidence and yet without arrogance?
- How can you safely compare what people say about God with what the Bible says?
- What can you do when you find it difficult to believe without seeing?