Rom. 13:8-10 What is our responsibility to one another (Rom. 13:8)?
[Gk. “agape” – means to intelligently, intentionally will (choose) the best for another – Dr. T. Miethe, The Compact Dictionary of Doctrinal Words, p. 131.].
What is one description of what love does not do (Rom. 13:10)?
[A “neighbor” could be any Christian in the world, but seems to specifically be any Christian whom you have personal contact with.].
What are some practical and specific ways in which you can fulfill this responsibility?
Jn. 13:34-35 What new commandment (and, therefore, a responsibility) did Christ give to His disciples (and to us as well, according to Matt. 28:20)?
To what degree or extent are we to love one another?
[Christ loved them by protecting them (Jn. 17:12), teaching them the truth at the risk of His own well-being (17:8, 14), praying for them (17:11, 15, 17), and dying for them (Jn. 10:15).].
What will all people know if we fulfill this responsibility?
Based on the above qualification, do you think that people know that you are a disciple/pupil/follower of Christ?
How do you know (on what basis)?
Heb. 10:23-24 What are we to “consider” how to do (carefully observe and give attention of the mind to so as to acquire a proper perspective)?
Upon realizing what the word “consider” means, do you think that you have been fulfilling this responsibility?
If so, specifically, how have you been doing so?
If not, why not, and how do you plan to start doing so, specifically?
Heb. 10:25 What is our responsibility to those who forsake the assembling together of themselves with you (those who totally abandon the Christian group/church, rather than just erratically attending a Christian fellowship)?
[Gk. “ekklesia” – means church or called out ones. It’s another word for believers or Christians, as seen in Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philemon 1:2 – Dr. T. Miethe, The Compact Dictionary of Doctrinal Words, p. 59. A church does not have to have a pastor/elder in order to be a church, Acts 14:21-23 – Dr. A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol. 3, p. 216.].
Why should we, all the more, encourage them not to forsake their assembling together with us (along with their loving and doing of good deeds)? See 1 Cor. 3:13-15; 2 Cor. 5:10 also.
Can you think of any Christians right now, who have forsaken getting together with you at your Bible study/church, and who aren’t attending any other biblical church/Christian group?
If so, what are you planning on doing since judgment day is drawing near?
Rom. 15:1-3 What should we who are strong (more knowledgeable in our understanding of the Scriptures and how it relates to living the Christian life) do for our weaker (less knowledgeable – Rom. 14:1-2) Christian brother (or neighbor)?
For what end in view should we please him and bear/put up with the doctrinally uninformed Christian’s wrong ideas/beliefs regarding what a Christian may or may not do (Rom. 15:2)?
Who demonstrated visibly this responsibility of not just pleasing Himself, but did God’s will?
How (Heb. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; 8:9)?
Do you just think about pleasing yourself most of the time, if not all the time, and why?
What are some specific ways you can please other weaker (less biblically knowledgeable) Christians who differ from you as to what they think is morally wrong and who have personal contact with you in your church/Bible study group?
When will you start doing this?
Rom. 15:5-6 What is the wish addressed to these Christians that God would accomplish in them in this implied exhortation?
[“To be of the same mind” is a plea for both the strong and weak Christians (in their knowledge of Scripture) to not just please themselves but to please each other for the other’s good and edification.].
[“According to Christ Jesus” means according to His example as demonstrated in Rom. 15:3, as He didn’t please Himself but did God the Father’s will.].
Why should both strong and weak Christians be of the same mind?
Are you able to control yourself, refrain from saying or doing nasty things, and even appreciate those Christians who differ from you in how they view a holy life is to be lived?
What can you do, so that you are able to (Eph. 5:18; 1 Jn. 5:14-15; Jn. 15:5; Gal. 5:22-23)?
Rom. 15:7; 14:1-3 What is our responsibility toward those Christians who differ from us in what they believe is morally right or wrong to do (but which things are not specifically stated in the Bible as being necessarily right or wrong)?
How are we to accept one another into fellowship?
How are we not to accept the weak-in-faith Christian (one who doesn’t know the Bible very well, especially related to our inheritance or freedom in Christ, and the doctrine of grace and law)?
Do you pass judgment on the opinions of Christians who think that it is morally wrong for a Christian to do a certain thing, even though it doesn’t specifically say that it is morally wrong in the Bible?
If so, how, and when will you correct this sin?
Rom. 14:10-13 What responsibility is ours, according to Rom. 14:13 ?
[“To not judge” is to not be negatively critical with or condemn. Here, “an obstacle or a stumbling block” is used metaphorically to convey the thought of a trap to cause a person to fall into sin.].
[The strong (scripturally knowledgeable) Christian is regarded as placing a stumbling block when he does not desist from what becomes an occasion of stumbling for the weaker (less biblically knowledgeable) Christian. What is condemned is the inconsiderateness that discards the spiritual interests of the weak.].
Why should we not judge our fellow-Christians’ differences of opinions as to how they want to live a holy life, in areas that aren’t specifically stated as right or wrong (Rom.. 14:10)?
Do you ever go ahead and do something in the presence of another Christian (who thinks that what you are doing is morally wrong) regardless of his/her beliefs on that issue, and why?
What should you do in this situation?
What are some examples of things that some Christians think are morally wrong for the Christians to do, but for which the Bible does not so state it as being morally wrong?
Rom. 12:16 What is our responsibility here?
How are we to do this?
Do you ever give preferential treatment to Christians who are wealthy, intelligent, good-looking, athletic, positionally important, etc. over those Christians who are lowly or lacking in areas that most people hold in high regard, and why?
How will you change your relations to the so-called “less fortunate” Christian, now that you know what the Bible says?
[This passage is not dealing with discipleship training standards, qualifications, or relationships, but with associating with Christians in general.].
Phil. 2:2-4 What is our responsibility?
[This passage is dealing with the importance/value of other people rather than with their skills, abilities/talents, gifts, intellect, etc.].
How are we to carry this responsibility out?
Is this hard for you to do?
What is the only way that it can be done (Rom. 12:2; Phil. 2:5-8; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:18; 1 Jn. 5:14-15; Jn. 15:5)?
Do you think that it would help to meditate on these verses daily, and why?
Then what do we need to do (Col. 3:12)?
Jas. 5:8-9 What are we not to do, and why?
[The expectation of the coming Lord and Judge should have a transforming effect in the lives of those grumblers and eliminate their complaining against one another. To ‘complain’ is a half-suppressed groan or murmur of impatience and harsh judgment, not uttered aloud or freely. They are to patiently tolerate the offenses given to them by other Christians.].
Do you ever inwardly groan or murmur at the injustices done to you by other Christians, and why?
How can you keep from being guilty of this sin, and instead have an attitude of patience and love (Jas. 5:10-11; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:18; 1 Jn. 5:14-15; Rom. 8:28)?
1 Jn. 4:10-11 To what extent or degree is it our responsibility to love one another?
Is your love that sacrificial?
What do you think that it will take to be that way?
Heb. 3:12-13 What is our responsibility here?
How often, and why?
What sin is it (Heb. 3:12)?
How often do you encourage Christians in their spiritual lives so as to keep them from an evil, unbelieving heart?
How can you encourage a Christian in this area?
Gal. 6:2 What is our responsibility to one another?
What are we doing when accomplishing this responsibility (see also Gal. 5:14; Jn. 13:34; Jas. 2:8)?
[To “bear” means to carry, shoulder, or help lighten. It applies to every type of oppressing affliction, difficulty, or grief that is capable of being shared by the brotherhood; but does not refer to responsibilities (which cannot and should not be transferred, Gal. 6:5).].
What and when was the last time you helped carry another Christian’s burden?
Why did you do so?
If you haven’t done so for quite a while, why has that been so?
How can you be more aware of other Christian’s burdens?
How does a Christian develop this kind of concern for his/her fellow Christians?
Rom. 12:10 What two responsibilities are ours?
[“Devoted” means “committed”.].
[“brotherly love” – means “family affection”.].
Are you devoted/committed to the Christians in your church/Bible study group in a family-like affection relationship, and why?
[“To give preference to one another in honor” means “to take the lead in showing honor (giving respectful value) to one another.].
Give an example of when you have done this, and why?
1 Thes. 5:9-11 What two responsibilities are ours, and why?
What does it mean to build up another believer (Eph. 4:11-13; 2 Tim. 4:2)?
Are you building up other Christians by teaching them the truths of the Bible and their application to everyday life, by helping them grow through correcting, reproving, rebuking, encouraging, admonishing, comforting, serving, training/equipping them to live a Christ-like life?
If so, when, and how?
Is it wrong to remind Christians to do something they are already doing (1 Thes. 5:11)?
Why (1 Thes. 4:1)?
Rom. 14:19-21 What are our two responsibilities here?
What are some specific ways of doing this?
When do things that are clean (right to use, e.g., different kinds of foods) become evil?
Is there anything morally questionable that you do that you know offends another Christian in any of the fellowship groups that you are a part of?
If so, do you refrain from participating in it (or them), especially when you know that the Christian who would be offended by it is around you?
1 Pet. 5:5 With what are all Christians to clothe themselves, and why?
Would you say that you are prideful or humble, and why?
How does a person develop humility as a part of his/her character (Eph. 5:18; Rom. 12:3, 16; Col. 3:12)?
Col. 3:16 What are your two responsibilities to other Christians, and how (or by what means)?
Are you teaching and admonishing other Christians (warning and urging them to fulfill their Christian duties / obligations) with psalms (scriptural psalms set to music), hymns (words of praise to God), and spiritual songs (songs with Christian themes other than praise)?
If so, when, where, and to whom have you fulfilled these responsibilities recently?
What preparation work is needed on your part in order to have this kind of wisdom to teach and admonish others?
Col. 3:12-13 What two responsibilities are ours here?
[“Bear with”, Gk. “anechomai”, means “tolerate or put up or be patient with”.].
How are we to do this (heart preparation, Col. 3:12)?
From where (or Whom) do we get these qualities (Gal. 5:22-23)?
If you have a complaint against anyone, what should you do, and how?
When was the last time you exercised this responsibility, and what was your complaint (no need to mention who it was with, though)?
Eph. 4:1-3 What are we to show one another, and how?
[“Forbearance” is patient restraint.].
Why should we do this?
Why preserve the unity (Eph. 4:11-13)?
Can there be diversity in unity (1 Cor. 12:12-27)?
How does diversity help accomplish God’s ultimate goal?
Are splits among Christians ever right (1 Cor. 11:18-19)?
If so, when, and why (Acts 15:36-41; Rom. 16:17)?
Eph. 4:31-32 What are we to be to one another?
[“tender-hearted” means to have compassion, warm sympathy, pity, and understanding.].
What are some specific ways to express these qualities to other Christians?
Do you find it hard to be this way when someone does you wrong?
How can you maintain a forgiving attitude?
Eph. 4:25 What should we lay aside (quit doing) and start doing, and why?
Are you doing this?
If so, how often?
Gal. 5:13-14 What is our responsibility as stated here?
Through what attitude?
Do you ever find yourself doing something for someone, but with a complaining attitude or half-heartedly instead of through love?
How can we be motivated by love to serve others?
[Think of someone right now who needs help whom you could serve in some way, and then do it through love.].
1 Pet. 4:10 What are we to do with our (special or spiritual) gift?
How should we employ it?
What do you think your (spiritual or special) gift(s) is (or are), and why?
How can you find out?
How often are you employing your gift(s), and in what capacity?
Where, when, and to whom?
Jas. 5:14-16 What is the responsibility of the sick Christian who has sinned against some other Christian?
Why should the sick Christians do this?
[Sometimes (not all the time) the reason a Christian becomes ill is because of sin in his life, so that he would deal with it and get right with both his fellow man and God.].
Has this ever happened to you?
What did you do when you realized that the reason you were ill was because of a sin you had committed against another person, and for which you never confessed and repented of it (changed your thinking so as to turn away from)?
1 Pet. 4:9 What responsibility should we do without complaint?
What are some specific ways that a person can be hospitable?
Would you consider yourself a hospitable person, and why?
When was the last time that you invited a new person over for dinner or just to relax and get acquainted with you?
Eph. 5:21 What is the responsibility stated here?
[To be “subject” is to be willing to co-operate in humility with fellow Christians whose authority you are presently under in a particular ministry or task (e.g., a choir member under the choir director, a youth leader under the youth director, or a deacon under the pastor, or a Bible study member under the Bible study teacher) – Dr. H. Kent, Ephesians, p. 98.].
How are we to be subject to (co-operating with) one another?
[“In the fear of Christ” means with a conscious regard for His clearly revealed will, every member of the body should be willing to recognize the rights, needs, and wishes of the others.].
Do you find it hard to subject yourself to other Christians who are placed over you?
[This passage is not dealing with the seeming unsubmissiveness of a Christian who is called by God to a different ministry than the one he may have started in. Rather, it is dealing with an unsubmissiveness or uncooperativeness with those whose authority he/she is under and is working beside in a group effort, such as in a choir or an evangelistic team outreach.].
How can you have a submissive (cooperative) attitude (Eph. 5:18)?
1 Pet. 4:8 In what are we responsible to keep fervent (sincere, strong, and lasting), and why?
[To “cover” means to “forgive” (Psa. 32:1; 85:2).].
How fervent is your love for other Christians?
How does a Christian develop a fervent love for others?
Can you easily forgive the sins others have committed against you?
Col. 3:9-10 What are we not to do to one another, and why?
[The “old self” (the former non-Christian you) no longer has you in bondage to itself so that you have to lie any more. Because you have the “new self” (the Christian you) operated by the new nature and the Holy Spirit, you are free to obey God and cease lying.].
How often do you lie, and why do you do so?
What will it take to cause you to cease this sin?
[Remember that deliberate exaggeration or making statements or promises that you don’t really mean is lying, even if your intent is to make someone feel good.].
Gal. 5:25-26 Why should we not become boastful?
[Boastfulness challenges competition and anger to which the stronger-natured Christian responds in kind, while those who are passive or weaker-natured are moved to envy (ill-will that hates the possessor of whose qualities it covets).].
Do you think that you are ever prideful or boastful?
Does the boastfulness in your life cause other Christians to become angry with you, motivate them to compete with you, or become envious of you?
How can you tell or find out what reaction different Christians have to the boastfulness or pride in your life?
What is it, in or about your life that you are boastful of (abilities, possessions, position, looks, intelligence, etc.)?
Why (realizing that all you have or are comes from God – 1 Cor. 4:7)?
1 Thes. 5:12-15 What are we told to do with one another (1 Thes. 5:13, 15)?
How are you doing this?
[“Peace” means harmonious relationships.].
Does being at peace with one another mean that you have to agree with everything someone else says or does; do everything the same way; or that you should compromise your convictions just to not stir up trouble (1 Thes. 5:14; Acts 15:36-41; Matt. 16:21-23; 15:12-14, 1 Cor. 12:4-7)?
Why does it not mean the above (Rom. 12:4-8)?
To what extent should we be at peace with all people (Rom. 12:18)?
Will your attempts at being at peace with all men mean that you will have peace (Jn. 15:18-21)?
Did Christ come to bring peace on earth (Lk. 12:52-53; Rom. 5:1)?
Who produces peace in and through us (Gal. 5:22)?
So, to be at peace with all people, as far as it depends on you, what should you do (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:12-14)?
1 Cor. 12:18-29 What responsibility should Christians (members of the body of Christ) have for one another (1 Cor. 12:25)?
[“Division” is used here in the sense of schism, which commonly included the idea of alienation of feeling, or the idea of not needing the other members who differ from you (especially, when you think that you are more important, right, or needed more than the other members of the body of Christ). It is not saying that to leave one’s present location or channel of ministry is wrong or even considered a division (as the term is used here) if one is using his/her gifts where and how God wants him/her to elsewhere (Acts 6:2-4; Rom. 12:4-8; Acts 15:36-41).].
Do you have the same care for Christians in your church/group whose spiritual gifts or ministry channels may differ from yours, and why?
[The context is dealing with the people in your local church or group and not being prejudiced because of differing gifts or ministry functions. It is not dealing with or addressing the training of disciples where extra attention, time, and energy is legitimately to be devoted.].
1 Thes. 4:13-18 What is our responsibility (1 Thes. 4:18)?
What is so comforting about these words (this message)?
Have you ever shared these words with someone who has had a Christian in their family die, or a close friend who died?
If so, how did the person respond?
If not, what kept you from comforting them with this good news?
Jas. 4:11-12 What should we not do against one another?
[We cannot help forming opinions of each other, but we can avoid negative, destructive criticism or sharp and needless verbal condemnation of others because their outlook is different from our own. He is not saying that we should eliminate constructive criticism, nor to avoid all judgment about the character and abilities of others (Jn. 7:24; 1 Cor. 5:1-3, 12-13; Gal. 2:11-14; Matt. 26:34-35; 2 Tim. 4:10; Matt. 8:26).].
[To speak evil against another Christian is to not love him, and to not love him is to judge the law (James 2:8) or think that you are above the law so as not to have to obey it. And to do this is to set yourself up as God and Judge.].
Do you ever speak against (destructively condemn for self-centered reasons) other Christians?
[There are legitimate times, however, to speak negatively about other Christians, for example: Acts 5:1-11; 15:36-39; 1 Tim. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 1:15; 2:16-18; 4:9-11; 3 Jn. 1:5-11.].
1 Jn. 4:7 What is our responsibility to one another, and why?
What does having this love tell you about your relationship to God?
[“Agape” love is a fruit of God’s Spirit, and is, therefore, supernaturally produced. It is unconditional in its nature toward the one loved. It is an attitude of seeking the other person’s best welfare in accordance with God’s values and truths, and follows through with the corresponding actions that that attitude prompts. It is not an emotion or feeling necessarily.].
Is this the kind of love that you have for others?
If not, how can it be yours (Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:18; 1 Jn. 5:14-15; Col. 3:12)?
Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 1 Pet. 5:14
What privilege as well as responsibility is ours here?
What would be our present-day cultural way of greeting someone with the same warmth of expression?
Do you feel out of place greeting other Christians this way?
To what extent should we let what other people think of us influence us, and why?