By one who is working
where his name
cannot be made public, for security reasons
studies on the seven major commands of Christ are an easy way to begin
teaching others. They start where Jesus told us to start, as we make
disciples--with all that Jesus commanded us. Don't wait for a big crowd!
Begin teaching a family member or a friend around a table. Or, invite a small
group to join you using these simple studies to discover what Jesus taught us
many things but they can be summarized in the seven major commands that these
studies deal with. They are:
1)Repent, believe and receive the Holy
Spirit (these three essentials for salvation go together; one cannot do any
of them without the other two. For example, one cannot have heart-felt
repentance without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, being born again of the
3)Love (love God and neighbor in practical
ways, forgiving enemies and showing mercy to the needy)
4)Break bread (Communion)
5)Pray (this includes all aspects of
6)Give (this includes all aspects of
7)Make disciples (this includes teaching
the Word, shepherding and sending workers to neglected peoples)
(Command # 1)
us to repent, believe, and receive the Holy Spirit, all of which makes up our
24:33-53 focuses on the
death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, the foundation of our faith. His
resurrection clearly portrays Him as the Christ (Messiah). This Bible passage
also clearly teaches that repentance and faith in Him is to be preached
throughout the whole world for the forgiveness of sins. Please read it now.
In the life of Jesus, when
did this story take place?
Why were the disciples
frightened when Jesus entered the room? (v.37) Think about the setting.
The disciples had just gone through the three darkest days of their
lives... during which their Master had been mercilessly beaten by the
Roman soldiers and then suffered the agonizing death through
crucifixion. They were filled with sorrow, despair and confusion,
because all their hopes they had built up over the last three years were
now dead. Then they heard from the women that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Others gave the same report. Then Jesus appeared to them! They could
hardly believe it, and now so much was spinning in their minds!
After He tried to convince
them that He was not a ghost, what did Jesus have to explain to His
disciples that would clear up much of their confusion of why He had to
What title did Jesus call
What did Jesus say was to be
preached to all nations? (v.47) In whose name (authority) was it to be
What did Jesus preach at the
very beginning of His ministry? (see MK 1:14-15).
Do you believe that Jesus
also died and rose again for you? Do you believe that your sins are
forgiven when you repent of (forsake) your old way of life and trust in
Jesus to wash away the past and give you new life in Him?
At the end of the chapter
(Luke 24), what happened to Jesus?
What did the disciples do in
response to Jesusí resurrection? (The Jehovah's Witnesses teach that we
should not worship Jesus. Does the scripture teach differently here? As
you read the New Testament on your own, take mental note of all the
times you see Jesus being worshiped and given equal standing with God.)
After repentance and faith,
what should be our response to the ascended Christ?
Study II. Faith(Luke 18:9-17)
(Command # 1,
command was to repent and believe. Let us focus on what He meant be
Ďbelieve." We will examine a parable and a graphic illustration that
Jesus gave, to grasp salvation by faith.
Luke 18:9-17 now.
To whom did Jesus speak the
parable? (v. 9)
What was the basis of the
Where was the focus of the
tax collector's prayer? Did he show any confidence in what he had done
to make himself righteous in God's eyes?
According to Jesus, who went
home justified (made right) before God?
Notice the physical posture
of each man. (standing? kneeling? sitting?) Was there a difference? Can
you describe the "heart posture" of each man? (pride?
humility? sorrow?) Was there a difference in the two men? From this
observation, what was Jesus' emphasis in this parable: physical posture
before God or heart posture? (See Isaiah 29:13: Here there was honor to
God physically with lips but the heart was far from God. God alone can
see the heart.)
In your own life... do you
see the importance of continuing in a posture of humility and
gratefulness before God throughout your Christian life for His free gift
of mercy toward you through His Son, Jesus Christ? Are you committed to
continue in the place of faith in Jesus throughout your life?
In the illustration of the
children (v. 15), who tried to hinder the babies from being brought to
Jesus? Why do you suppose they did this?
What false concept about
God's kingdom did Jesus correct?
Jesus said we must receive the
kingdom of God like a little child or we will never enter
it. Related to this story...what trait, do you suppose, is found in
little children that is so desirable to God?
Can you think of other
scripture passages that illustrate and enhance our understanding of this
Can you think of individuals
who need to know this "good news"? The tax collectors,
prostitutes, and sinners received Jesus gladly and entered the kingdom
because he shared this good news with them. With whom can you share
these simple stories? Other related Bible passages are Matthew 5:3-6;
Psalms 32 & 51; Romans and Galatians.
Study III. Let the Seed Grow in our Hearts (Mark
(Command # 1,
further Jesus' first command to repent and believe, let us examine the
parable of the sower in Mark 4:1-20. Please read it now.
"Can you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all
of the parables?" The word of God, the seed, comes regularly to us,
teaching many truths. If we don't tend our garden to receive the truth he
gives us, then lack of understanding, or hardness of heart, or weeds of the
world will prevent the fruitfulness that the seed is intended for. If we
don't understand this elementary truth about the importance of taking God's
word seriously, and do something about it, then how can we go on to hear and
receive all that God has? Our fields will not be prepared to receive it, each
time it comes (because the Word of God comes often to us, in the form of a
sermon, a Bible study, the Spirit bringing to mind what has been taught,
etc.) This sower and seed teaching is elementary if we're going to go on and
benefit each time God's Word that is sown in our hearts. otherwise, it's
What obstacles to faith do
the various soils represent?
What does it mean to take
God's Word into the heart and watch it bear fruit in our lives? There
are obstacles along the way that must be dealt with: the enemy who would
steal it away, the rocky ground that doesnít allow personal roots to go
deeper into Christ, and the weeds that crowd out the life in Christ. The
fruitful ones hear the word, understand it, obey it, and hold it fast
with patience until it bears fruit in their lives.
What does this parable teach
us about repenting?
What does this parable teach
us about persevering faith?
Are we ready to hold onto
God's word through thick and thin, even as we wrestle with our own flesh
and its warring against the Spirit? If we really want to, Godís Holy
Spirit will give us the power to do so. As we do, the Word clearly
teaches we will reap eternal benefits.
Study IV. PERSEVERING FAITH (Hebrews
(Command # 1,
This study adds
more about Jesus' first command, to repent and believe.
must not see faith as something we do only at the beginning of our walk with
Christ. Followers of Jesus learn to "walk by faith," keeping in
step with the Spirit, learning to trust God and His Word throughout our
lives, in the hard times as well as the good. The Bible is full of examples
of people who persevered in their faith and "reaped a harvest"
because of it.
relates the accounts of saints through the ages who were commended for their
persevering faith. They were tested, but their faith came out like pure gold in
the end. Please read Hebrews through now.
Our faith is based in these
questions: (Can you find the answers?)
What has been provided for us? (Hebrews 10:19-21)
What has been
promised? (See John and related promises)
Who has made
What is the reliability of
the One who made the made the promises? (Hebrews 10:23)
What should be the result, in
our hearts, in response to the above truths? (Hebrews 10:22a, 23a)
What should be the result of
our faith? (Hebrews & 25)
How do we please God?
Was Noah's faith in God
dormant or active? What did he do in response to His faith in God's
Word? (Hebrews 11:7)
Did Moses suffer for His
faith? How? (Hebrews 11:24-27)
What happened to some who had
persevering faith in the Old Testament? (Hebrews 11:32-38) The Old
Testament "heroes" were people just like us who struggled with
their own sinfulness. The Old and New Testaments do not hide their dirty
laundry. However, the Bible emphasizes their persevering faith that
helped them to overcome.
Why did the writer of Hebrews
tell US about the people of old who persevered in their faith? (Hebrews
When the Lord disciplines us,
we often respond wrongly. In what two ways do we wrongly respond to His
discipline? (Hebrews 12:5)
What should motivate us to
respond rightly to His discipline?
What is the result of God's
Study V. Water Baptism (Luke
(Command # 2)
us to be baptized in water, and to live the new life that baptism initiates.
This story of
John the Baptist shows that in Jesus' day baptism confirmed repentance, faith
in God's forgiveness, and the BEGINNING OF A NEW WAY OF LIFE. Jesus'
three-year public ministry (some biblical scholars say four) began with His
baptism. After His resurrection, He instructed His disciples to continue to
baptize all who believe in Him throughout the world. Please read Luke
How did John the Baptist
"prepare the way of the Lord?" (vv. 3 & 4)
What did John mean when he
said "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance"?
Was John easy on the people
of Israel? What was the source of John's message? (v.
To what did John compare
those people whose "repentance" did not aim for a changed
What advice did John give to
those who asked what they should do to produce good fruit? (vv.11-14) In
each case, was it practical?
Did these people who came to
hear John respond to His message? How quickly? Did they wait for a while
after their repentance before they were baptized?
Compare this with Acts
2:37-41. How long did these new believers wait before they were
John spoke of someone coming
after him who had a different kind of baptism. Who was it? What kind of
baptism did this next person come with? (Luke 3:16)
mention baptism in His Great Commission? Why do you think Jesus commanded His
disciples to continue to baptize as they spread the gospel around the world?
Have you obeyed the Lord's
command to be baptized in water? Do you see from this study that baptism
is the START of a new life where good fruit is produced?
What areas of your life do
you need to "produce good fruit in keeping with your
repentance?" Will you ask the Lord to fill you afresh with the Holy
Spirit to help you in this?
Study VI. Baptism by the Holy Spirit (Luke
(Command # 2,
commands us to receive the Holy Spirit, in John 20:21-23. †††††††††††
11:5-13 focuses on the believer's part in receiving and walking in the
fullness of the Holy Spirit.
What time of day did the
person go to His friend to ask for help? (v.5) In biblical times as well
as our own times, what did the night represent?
What did the man ask of His
friend?(v.5) What did he want to do with this gift?(v.6)
Though the friend would not
get up and give the bread because of friendship, what would be the
motivating factor for the giving?(v.8)
What was Jesus' point in
telling this parable? (v.9) What happens when people do ask/seek/knock?
What kind of gifts do earthly
fathers give their children? (11, 12) What contrast does Jesus make
between the character of earthly fathers and the character of your
Father in heaven? Read v. 13 again. Meditate on "how much
more" and share your thoughts.
What good gift does the
Father give? (v.13) To whom does He give it?
Read John 4:
4-15 and -39
How does Jesus describe the
water in John 4:10? What did he say the woman's response to Jesus would
have been if she had known who he was?
What will the water that Jesus
gives become in a person? (John 4:14) What are the characteristics of
In John 7:37-38, Jesus uses
the same analogy. What does he say is the responsibility of the one who
Paul was speaking to
believers who had already received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Yet
he exhorted them to "be filled with the Holy Spirit." From
this (and many other passages), can we say that it is possible for
believers to walk in less than the fullness of the Spirit on a daily
basis? What, then, should be our earnest cry before the Lord?
Ephesians 5, verses 19-20,
links to v. 18. Meditate on these verses and offer your comments on what
they have to do with being continually filled with the Spirit.
Study VII. LOVE (Luke -37)
(Command # 3)
important command is to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as
10:25-37 Jesus helps an expert in the Jewish law understand that knowing
the law and doing it can be two different things. Please read it now.
How did the expert in the
Jewish law summarize the law's requirements?(v.27)
Did Jesus agree with His
answer? According to Jesus, what would be the results of doing these
Why did the man ask "who
is my neighbor?" (v.29)
In the story, what was the
occupation of the two men who left the hurting man? Should they have
known the law?
Do you know who Samaritans
were in the days of Jesus? They were social outcasts. Why do you think
Jesus used a Samaritan in this story in contrast to the religious
Who was the true neighbor?
Did being a "neighbor" cost the Samaritan anything? What?
What was Jesus' instructions
to the expert in the law when the story was over?(v.37)
How can we apply this to our
lives today? Think ahead. What type of sacrifices may need to be made to
walk in such love? Name them.
Have you seen in your own
life that merely KNOWING what the scripture teaches and DOING IT can be
two very different things? What word did Jesus use (in Luke 12:1) to
describe those who talked one way and lived another? Are you committed
to "Go and DO LIKEWISE" as Jesus instructed the expert in the
Can you foresee that
sometimes choices of sacrificial love will involve a battle with your
own desires? What practical things can be done to help us overcome the
Study VIII. Pray (Luke 18:1-8)
(Command # 4)
major command is to pray.
emphasizes in Luke 18:1-8 that our faith is demonstrated when we
persevere in prayer. Also, He shows us that the loving Father hears and
answers our prayers speedily. Please read it now.
Why did Jesus tell this
How is the judge described in
this story? (v.2)
Who kept coming to him? Did
Jesus use widows in any other stories he told? Why do you think he uses
widows in some of His illustrations?
What did the widow want from
How long did it take the
judge to act on her behalf? Why did the judge finally give in to her
What adjective does Jesus use
for the judge in verse 6?
In verse 7 Jesus switches
from talking about the unjust judge to talking about God. Who does Jesus
say bring their requests to God? (v.7-8) How often do they bring their
requests? What do these verses say that God will do for them? How
quickly will God do it for them?
Scripture often uses
comparisons and contrasts to illustrate certain truths. Comparisons show
how two things are very similar. Contrasts show how two things are very
different. Is Jesus comparing or contrasting the unjust judge and God?
Is Jesus comparing or contrasting the widow (and her relationship to the
judge) to the chosen ones (and their relationship to God)? What about
the time it takes for justice to be granted... Is that comparison or
contrast between God and the unjust judge?
What is Jesus' final
statement after he gives this parable? What kind of insight does that
give you about the heart of Jesus?
Are you committed to trust in
a loving Father who promises to hear and answer your prayers... even
when you can't see what God is doing? Will you portray that type of God
Will the study of this
scripture make a difference in your prayer life?
Study IX. GIVE (Mark -44)
(Command # 5)
major command is to pray. He shows in Mark 12:41-44 that our giving is
not measured by the dollar amount we give to His kingdom but rather by our
wholeheartedness in our giving. Please read it now.
Who was watching as the
crowds put their offering into the temple treasury?(v.41)
Who gave the large amounts of
Who gave the small amount?
What was the monetary worth of her coins?
Do you think this amount
helped significantly in the upkeep of the temple? Would this small
offering be honored and praised in the eyes of men? Which offerings that
day were most likely noticed by men?
Who did Jesus call to him to
show them what he saw?(v.43)
Whose offering was most
significant to Jesus? According to Jesus, who gave the biggest offering
that day? Why?
In this passage does Jesus
say that we must each give away our last penny? Are we made right with
God by the amount we give to Him? What then is the point of this
Are you committed to live
wholeheartedly for the Lord, offering all that you have to Him for His
Have you ever stopped to
think about how much you give to the growth of Christ's kingdom? Is it
your best? Is it wholehearted? Would the Lord take notice, as He did
with the widow?
Study X. Communion (1
(Command # 6)
major command is to break bread together in remembrance of Him, the Lordís
focuses on the Lord Jesus and His wholehearted sacrifice. It also contrasts
His servant's heart with church members who are concerned only about
themselves. Please read it now.
What did Paul say about the
Corinthian church gatherings? (v.18)
What complaint did he have
regarding their partaking of the Lord's Supper? (v.20-22) Was it really
the Lord's Supper that they were eating?
According to Paul, what
happened on the night Jesus inaugurated the Lord's Supper?(v.23)
What did Jesus call the
bread? What did he call the cup of wine? When they partook of them, what
were they proclaiming? (v.26) Who were they remembering?
improper conduct of the Corinthian church (verses 17-22) and the humble ways
of Jesus on the night he was betrayed (verses 23-26), you now have the
context of verses 27-34.
27-34 again. What do you think Paul was addressing when he spoke of taking
the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner?
What does he mean in verse 29
by "without recognizing the body of the Lord"? How did the
Corinthian church's attitude during the Lord's Supper not recognize the
body of the Lord? Did they exhibit the humble attitude that Jesus showed
on the night he was betrayed?
According to Paul, is it
proper to examine and judge ourselves? In this passage, what happens
when we judge ourselves? What happens when the Lord judges us? (v. 32)
Read again Paul's summary
statements in v. 33 and 34. †††††††††† What
attitude was he trying to cultivate in that body of believers? Whose
attitude was he trying to display as worthy of imitating?
When you partake of the
Lord's Supper, what's to be your focus?
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Will
you now take the Lord's Supper with a new attitude of "recognizing
the body of Christ" and all He has done for you? Will you strive
for unity in the body of Christ?
Study XI. Make Disciples (Mark -20)
(Command # 7)
major command is to make disciples of all nations.
Where did Jesus go to call
His first disciples? (Mark ) What were their occupations? (Were they trained religious
After he told them to follow
him, what did Jesus say to these men? (Mark )
and others followed Jesus for an estimated 3 years. They heard him teach
wonderful truths, saw him perform miracles of compassion and power, stood
beside him as he stood up to the religious hypocrites who pretended to follow
God, and watched His example of true humility and servant's heart. They were
LEARNERS, the meaning of DISCIPLES. As they spent more time with Jesus, he
sent them out to do what they saw him doing.
Why do you think Jesus called
disciples? (Wasn't he big enough to do the job on His own?)
On the mountain, after Jesus'
resurrection, he gave a command to His disciples to do something in all
nations. What was it? (Matthew 28:19)
What did making disciples
involve? (Matthew 28:19 & 20) What were the disciples to teach the
new disciples? (Matthew 28:20) What did Jesus promise to those who were
discipling and those who were discipled? (Matthew 28:20)
Timothy through 2:7. Paul is writing an encouragement letter to Timothy, whom he
calls affectionately "my son."
Meditate on verse 2 Timothy
2:2. What is Paul asking Timothy to do?
Look at this chain of
entrusting the spread of the gospel to others:
Paul--->Timothy--->more faithful men--->still others.
Do you think the chain
Are you a LEARNER (disciple)
of Jesus Christ? Are His teachings changing the way you think, speak,
and act? "Are you learning to "obey all that [he} has
Do you see yourself in the
above chain? Do you want to be used by Him to keep the chain continuing?
Ask the Lord to fill you with His Holy Spirit to help you reach out to
others. Then share with confidence.