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You may have heard it said that the bible was written not for our information but for our transformation.

The question I want to pose to you is, How do we get to the point in our groups were the bible is not just a book we are learning about but a life giving message that is changing us to be more like Jesus?

Before I answer the question I want to assert that this should be the direction of every group. We begin with God’s word, reading and trying to understand the facts so we can begin to understand the doctrine. At this point many groups may stop and feel satisfied by a job well done.

However, stopping here is like being in a baseball game where you are rounding 2nd base only to slow to a walk and move off the field into the dugout while the play is still live! In other words, you would have quit before you crossed home, before the job was done.

To carry the baseball analogy a step further, let’s say every base represents a step in successful bible study within a group setting. The batter gets a hit. This means the person is coming to the group creating the opportunity for spiritual change. Rounding first means the person has read the text and understands the facts of the passage. They get what it is saying.

Rounding second base means the group has extracted theological principles or biblical doctrine from the passage. This is good! We need biblical truth to help us for what happens next. If we are to replace the worldly lies that we have believed with biblical truth, then we need to know that biblical truth first. Often times, once we discover biblical truth it exposes the lies we’ve believed that had remained hidden.

Rounding third base means the group has begun to discuss how this principle is affecting them personally. I’ve noticed that men’s groups really struggle here. We tend to be great studying the facts and developing doctrine but poor when it comes to examining how this doctrine affects us personally.

Only after people share how the biblical doctrine or truth is affecting them can the player run home. Crossing home plate is answering the question, what am I going to do about this?

This is our how bible studies move from information transfer to spiritual transformation. In other words, we want to move from just informing the mind to inspiring the heart and mobilizing the hands for Christ. Let’s all seek to move in this direction as we lead our groups. I believe it will bless our Father’s heart to see so many people pursuing spiritual change.

Need help? Below are some questions that will help you draw out theological principles and move into personal reflection.

Questions that lead to Discussion:
1.   In your own words, what is the overall message of this passage? What is the author trying to communicate?
2.   Why do you think it was necessary for the Lord to include these verses in the Bible?
Questions that cause Reflection:
1.   Have you had someone in your life that modeled the principles taught in this passage? Explain?
2.   Can you think of a situation or circumstance in your own life where you experienced what these verses are teaching?
3.   What are some of the benefits of applying this verse to our life?
4.   What are some obstacles to applying this verse to our life?
5.   As we’ve been discussing this, what is the Holy Spirit showing you personally?

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