An Introduction To Systematic Theology

Welcome to An Introduction To Systematic Theology. Small groups will form as needs arise to progress through “Know the Truth, A Handbook of Christian Belief” by Bruce Milne. The book is organized into 39 lessons which are listed below. Each lesson will involve 10-15 pages of reading and discussion questions. A PDF is available for each lesson if you would like to print it out for note taking.

Notice that every 6 or 7 weeks a lesson is devoted to review and application. The intent is to slow the pace to aid in comprehension and life application. While “Know the Truth” is organized into 39 lessons it is assumed that the group will decide upon the pace. It may be necessary to devote two or three meetings to a particular topic. Our hope is that groups, being led by a trained leader, would meet weekly or every other week for about a year.

While growing in your understanding of Christian doctrine is key to the discipleship process, it is not everything. It is important that the group leave time for developing relationships, for accountability, and for prayer. Our hope is that the Lord would use this process to lay solid Christian foundations in the lives of many, all to his glory, honor, and praise.

Lesson 1: Know the Truth: Forward, Preface, and Introduction

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Forward, Preface, and Introduction (Pages 7-17)

Questions for Discussion

1. What is doctrine? What is theology?

2. Have you encountered this “anti-doctrine spirit” that Milne refers to?

3. How would you respond to Milne’s claim that “every Christian is a theologian?”

4. Can you give examples from your own experience that support the claim that “getting doctrine right is the key to getting everything else right”?

5. Why is it that “doctrine itself is not enough” in the Christian life?

6. Look up Matthew 22:37 and discuss the meaning of that text. Have you loved the Lord with all of your mind, as Jesus has commanded?

7. Elaborate upon the statement, “doctrine is vital because it is impossible finally to separate Christ from the truths which Scripture reveals concerning him”. What does the author mean by this?

8. Are you convinced that the study of Christian doctrine (or theology) is worth the time and effort?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ Catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 1 PDF

Lesson 2: The Final Authority in Matters of Faith: Authority

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 1: Authority (Pages 21-24)

Questions for Discussion

1. State the Christian view of authority.

2. Explore the implications of this view for (a) Christians working at all levels of education, (b) questions of law and order, (c) a Christian approach to the arts.

3. Summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the various claimants to final authority in the sphere of Christian truth.

4. Outline the advice you would give a Christian seeking to know God’s will in a specific matter.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 24-25). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 2 PDF

Lesson 3: The Final Authority in Matters of Faith: Revelation

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 2: Revelation (Pages 25-33)

Questions for Discussion

1. ‘Only God can be a fit witness concerning himself.’ ‘We can know God only as he places himself within the reach of our knowledge.’ Can these maxims be supported from Scripture? Investigate the implications for the way in which God can be known by us.

2. Distinguish between general and special revelation. Is this a necessary distinction? Can you suggest an alternative terminology?

3. What are the implications of general revelation for (a) evangelism, (b) a Christian view of culture, (c) Christian apologetics, (d) the Christian view of the state?

4. Is there any sense in which God is known in other world religions?

5. In what sense may conscience be a guide to our knowledge of God?

6. Explore the relationship between Christ and Scripture in Christian revelation.

7. What is the function of the Holy Spirit in our coming to know God truly?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 33). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 3 PDF

Lesson 4: The Final Authority in Matters of Faith: Scripture (Part 1)

Reading

Notice: This chapter will be covered in two parts. Do not read the entire chapter this week.

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 3: Scripture (Pages 34-49)

Questions for Discussion

1. Distinguish the various meanings of ‘Word of God’. Outline the case for viewing the Scriptures as God’s Word.

2. What was Jesus’ view of the OT, and what is the significance of that for our attitude to Scripture today? How would you answer the objection that his view was culturally conditioned and hence not relevant to us?

3. What is the ‘inward witness of the Holy Spirit’ and what is its significance for our understanding of the authority of Scripture?

4. What is meant by ‘the inspiration of Scripture’? Outline the various approaches, assessing their strengths and weaknesses.

5. Why do we speak of (a) verbal inspiration and (b) plenary inspiration?

6. Explore the link between the authority of Scripture and its inspiration.

7. What is meant by the ‘canon of Scripture’? Outline the process by which (a) the OT canon and (b) the NT canon were settled.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 61-62). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 4 PDF

Lesson 5: The Final Authority in Matters of Faith: Scripture (Part 2)

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 3: Scripture (Pages 49-61)

Questions for Discussion

1. Examine the basis for the claim that the Bible is infallible and inerrant. How far does the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture extend?

2. List the considerations that need to be weighed when facing an apparent contradiction or inaccuracy in Scripture. How would you answer the charge, ‘The Bible is full of errors’ and ‘Intelligent people no longer believe the Bible is true’?

3. Identify the main hermeneutical principles. Illustrate their significance with examples of errors which arise from their neglect.

4. ‘The Holy Spirit is all we need to understand the Bible.’ Discuss.

5. What is the role of ‘secondary helps’, such as Bible study notes and commentaries, in understanding Scripture? What is the place of preaching in increasing the understanding of Scripture, and how do hermeneutical principles affect it?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 62). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 5 PDF

Lesson 6: Review & Application from Part 1

Reading

Briefly review the content of Part 1 (Pages 21-61)

Read Know the Truth: Application (Pages 63-65)

Questions for Discussion

1. What in Part 1 has been most impactful to you?

2. Discuss the four points of application made by Milne on Pages 63-65. Which one applies to you the most?

3. Can you think of any other applications that can be drawn from Part 1?

4. What questions do you have about the teaching you have encountered in this section?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 6 PDF

Lesson 7: The Doctrine of God: The Being of God

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 4: The Being of God (Pages 67-78)

Questions for Discussion

1. Rehearse the various philosophical arguments for God’s existence. Which do you find most persuasive?

2. Assess the role of these arguments in the light of (a) the Bible’s teaching on the nature of God, (b) the Bible’s teaching on the nature of humankind, (c) the witness of the apostles.

3. What are the function and limits of apologetics in (a) strengthening the faith of Christians, (b) defending the faith against critics, (c) presenting the gospel to non-Christians?

4. What is the Bible’s view of the relationship between faith and human reason?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 78-79). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources

Lesson 7 PDF

Lesson 8: The Doctrine of God: God the Holy Trinity

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 5: The Holy Trinity (Pages 79-84)

Questions for Discussion

1. What does the doctrine of the Trinity assert?

2. Show how this Christian truth is rooted in Scripture (a) in the OT, (b) in the NT.

3. Imagine yourself speaking to (a) a Jew (who accepts the OT), (b) a Muslim (who denies biblical authority but accepts the reality of one God). How would you expound God’s three-in-oneness to each of them?

4. Respond to the comment, ‘The Trinity is an unpractical doctrine of relative unimportance.’

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 84). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 8 PDF

Lesson 9: The Doctrine of God: The Attributes of God

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 6: The Attributes or Perfections of God  (Pages 84-94)

Questions for Discussion

1. What is meant by (a) the glory of God, (b) the lordship of God, (c) the holiness of God, (d) the love of God? Establish the biblical basis of each.

2. Try and relate each perfection to the three persons of the Trinity.

3. How do these perfections affect (a) Christian evangelism, (b) the priorities of a local church, (c) our Christian character?

4. How would you try to relate these divine perfections to someone facing (a) severe illness, (b) personal moral failure, (c) bereavement, (d) temporary loss of faith, (e) acute disappointment, (f) a broken relationship?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 94). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 9 PDF

Lesson 10: The Doctrine of God: The Work of Creation

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 7: The Work of Creation (Pages 95-106)

Questions for Discussion

1. State the Christian doctrine of creation and indicate its basis.

2. Explain why Christians over the centuries have understood creation as ‘out of nothing’. Explore the implications of this position (a) negatively, i.e. what it denies, (b) positively, i.e. what it affirms.

3. What significance does God’s ‘upholding’ of the universe have for the way we think of his relationship to the world?

4. In what respects may biblical teaching on creation contribute to scientific investigation?

5. List the considerations to be borne in mind in interpreting the account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2.

6. ‘Miracles do not happen’ (Matthew Arnold). ‘A miracle must be experienced before it can be believed.’ Discuss.

7. What does Scripture have to tell us about the angels of God? What profit can the Christian derive from this teaching?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 106). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 10 PDF

Lesson 11: The Doctrine of God: The Work of Providence

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 8: The Work of Providence (Pages 107-112)

Questions for Discussion

1. What is meant by the providence of God? What biblical basis is there for this notion? Explore the implications of a belief in providence for daily living.

2. Discuss the propriety of the distinction between God’s directive and permissive will.

3. What is the ‘problem of evil’, and what are the insights for responding to this problem which derive from (a) the fall of humankind, (b) the incarnation, (c) the cross, (d) the return of Christ?

4. What would you try to say in reply to someone who asks, ‘Why are my prayers for healing from cancer not answered?’ or, ‘Why did God allow my mother to be killed in the road accident?’

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 112). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 11 PDF

Lesson 12: Review & Application from Part 2

Reading

Briefly review the content of Part 2 (Pages 67-112)

Read Know the Truth: Application (Pages 113-118)

Questions for Discussion

1. What in Part 2 has been most impactful to you?

2. Discuss the five points of application made by Milne on Pages 113-118. Which one applies to you the most?

3. Can you think of any other applications that can be drawn from Part 2?

4. What questions do you have about the teaching you have encountered in this section?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 12 PDF

Lesson 13: Humanity and Sin: Essential Human Nature (Part 1)

Reading

Notice: This chapter will be covered in two parts. Do not read the entire chapter this week.

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 9: Essential Human Nature (Pages 119-125)

Questions for Discussion

1. Discuss the relevance of the Christian view of humankind in face of (a) the contemporary threats to its survival, (b) the present confusion in anthropology.

2. Can biblical and scientific accounts of human origins be harmonized? Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various solutions proposed.

3. What do you understand by the phrase ‘the image of God’? Examine the implications of this view of humankind for (a) Christian evangelism, (b) Christian living, (c) Christian hope.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 136-137). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 13 PDF

Lesson 14: Humanity and Sin: Essential Human Nature (Part 2)

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 9: Essential Human Nature (Pages 126-136)

Questions for Discussion

1. In your view, is the human person bipartite, tripartite or something else? Show how your answer finds support in Scripture.

2. ‘Man is man-in-community.’ Examine the biblical teaching relevant to this claim and explore its implications for (a) society, (b) marriage and family, (c) the church.

3. Explore the relevance of Genesis 2:18–25 to (a) Christian marriage, (b) human sexuality, (c) today’s marital confusions.

4. What do the terms ‘dominion’ and ‘stewardship’ mean with reference to a Christian response to the natural environment? Why, and to what extent, should a Bible-respecting Christian be a ‘green’?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 137). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 14 PDF

Lesson 15: Humanity and Sin: Humanity in Sin

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 10: Humanity in Sin (Pages 138-146)

Notice: The sections under the headings “Further Issues” and “Present Debates” are not included in the reading for this lesson. If the group would like to cover these topics it is recommended that an extra week be devoted to them before moving on to Lesson 16.

Questions for Discussion

1. Which interpretation of the fall do you believe to be truest to Scripture? Why is the mythical view not adequate?

2. ‘The fall is the silent hypothesis of the whole biblical doctrine of sin and redemption.’ Discuss.

3. What does ‘total depravity’ mean? Consider the importance of this notion for the evangelist’s message and methods.

4. What do you understand by Paul’s statement that ‘through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners’ (Rom. 5:19)?

5. Identify the principal effects of sin on our relationship with (a) God, (b) our neighbour, (c) ourselves, (d) our environment, (e) time. Find examples of these effects from biblical biography and from your daily newspaper or newscast.

6. Consider sin’s effects upon our relationship with our neighbour (a) in international relations, (b) in your own society, (c) in your immediate neighbourhood, (d) in your place of work or college, (e) in your church or Christian group, (f) in your own life.

7. Imagine yourself speaking to (a) a Spirituality/New Age follower, (b) a ‘my god is Nature’ individual, (c) a postmodernist, (d) a believer in free-market economics, (e) a religious pluralist: how would you present the gospel of Christ to each of them?

8. In what senses is Jesus ‘the only way to God’?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 159-160). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 15 PDF

Lesson 16: Humanity and Sin: Humanity in Grace and Glory

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapters 11 and 12: Humanity in Sin; Humanity in Glory (Pages 161-166)

Questions for Discussion

1. What do you understand by the reference to Christ as ‘the second Adam’? Explore the implications of this title.

2. Marshal the biblical evidence which supports the Christian claim that Jesus was the perfect and normative human being.

3. At which points does Christ’s perfect humanity most sharply challenge present experience and attitudes, (a) in your local church/Christian group, (b) in your own life?

4. Consider ways in which the future glorification of humankind should affect our present attitudes.

5. Explore the implications of the Bible’s teaching about humankind for (a) Christian social and political attitudes, (b) racial discrimination, (c) economic development in the Majority World, (d) the women’s movement, (e) abortion, euthanasia and organ transplants, (f) the campaign for the conservation of the environment and the protection of endangered species.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 166). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 16 PDF

Lesson 17: Review & Application from Part 3

Reading

Briefly review the content of Part 3 (Pages 119-171)

Read Know the Truth: Application (Pages 166-171)

Questions for Discussion

1. What in Part 3 has been most impactful to you?

2. Discuss the points of application made by Milne on Pages 166-171. Which one applies to you the most?

3. Can you think of any other applications that can be drawn from Part 3?

4. What questions do you have about the teaching you have encountered in this section?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 17 PDF

Lesson 18: The Person and Work of Christ: The Humanity of Jesus Christ

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 13: The Humanity of Christ (Pages 173-176)

Questions for Discussion

1. Summarize the NT evidence for Christ’s true humanity. Which aspects appear to you the most convincing and why?

2. How would you respond to the accusation that Jesus’ (a) temptations, (b) confession of ignorance, were unreal, or else irreconcilable with his deity?

3. Consider the theological implications of the true humanity of Christ for (a) the Christian doctrine of humanity, (b) the Christian doctrine of redemption.

4. How would you seek to use the fact of Christ’s true humanity to help someone who was experiencing (a) acute temptation, (b) a sense of having been forsaken by God, (c) intense physical suffering?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 166). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 18 PDF

Lesson 19: The Person and Work of Christ: The Deity of Jesus Christ

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 14: The Deity of Christ (Pages 177-193)

Questions for Discussion

1. Outline your response to the statement, ‘The NT nowhere states that Jesus is God.’ (It would be worthwhile to memorize the main NT passages where his deity is asserted.)

2. Marshal the main biblical evidence for the identification of Jesus Christ with Yahweh.

3. What are the implications for Jesus’ person of (a) his claims, (b) the virgin birth, (c) his resurrection?

4. Why is it important to insist on the bodily resurrection of Christ?

5. Explore the implications of Jesus’ deity for (a) the human search for truth, (b) the search for salvation.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 194). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 19 PDF

Lesson 20: The Person and Work of Christ: The One Person

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 15: The One Person (Pages 195-204)

Questions for Discussion

1. State the major heresies concerning the person of Christ. Can you identify contemporary expressions of some of these errors?

2. ‘No Christology can ever go back on Chalcedon.’ Discuss.

3. What is meant by ‘kenosis’? To what extent does the concept help or hinder in understanding Christ’s person?

4. Consider the importance of a correct Christology for (a) our view of God, (b) the gospel of redemption, (c) our view of humankind, (d) our approach to Scripture.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 204). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 20 PDF

Lesson 21: The Person and Work of Christ: The Work of Christ: Biblical Teaching (Part 1)

Reading

Notice: This chapter will be covered in two parts. Do not read the entire chapter this week.

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 16: The Work of Christ: Biblical Teaching  (Pages 205 – 215)

Questions for Discussion

1. What are the points of continuity and discontinuity between OT and NT atonement teaching?

2. What is meant by Christ’s prophetic office? ‘I am the truth’; ‘in [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’: explore the implications of these biblical statements for (a) Christian discipleship, (b) Christian doctrine, (c) human investigation in the arts and sciences, (d) forms of political and social organization, (e) human culture, (f) the home and family life.

3. Why is Christ our ‘great high priest’? What are the implications for (a) cleansing from sin, (b) a guilty conscience, (c) temptation and other trials, (d) Christian worship, (e) Christian fellowship? Find and study passages on each in the letter to the Hebrews.

4. State as precisely as you can the meaning of justification, supporting your definition from Scripture. Why can God not just ‘overlook’ our sin?

5. What is meant by the ‘imputed righteousness of Christ’, and what are its implications for the Christian’s attitude to failure?

6. How may ‘penal substitution’ be defended against the suggestion that it is unjust?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 223). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 21 PDF

Lesson 22: The Person and Work of Christ: The Work of Christ: Biblical Teaching (Part 2)

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 16: The Work of Christ: Biblical Teaching  (Pages 216-222)

Questions for Discussion

1. What is meant by ‘propitiation’? Support your answer from biblical texts. Is ‘expiation’ a viable alternative term?

2. Examine the place of (a) substitution, (b) ransom price, in the atonement. Support your conclusion with biblical texts.

3. What is meant by Christ’s ‘kingly office’? How does (a) the resurrection, (b) the ascension, relate to the understanding of the atonement? Examine the implications for (a) the church and its mission, (b) Christian living and evangelism, (c) Christian involvement in society, (d) Christian hope.

4. What are the points of contact between the incarnation and the atonement?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 223-224). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 22 PDF

Lesson 23: The Person and Work of Christ: The Work of Christ: Historical Perspectives

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 17: The Work of Christ: Historical Perspectives (Pages 224-237)

Questions for Discussion

1. Discuss the relative place of subjective and objective theories of the atonement. Why is the objective indispensable?

2. ‘Truth, but not the whole truth.’ Is that a fair estimate of the ‘classic’ theory of the atonement?

3. Find a biblical text which conveys the essence of each of the primary atonement models. Rough out a presentation of the gospel on the basis of each of the texts. Consider in each case how you would illustrate your exposition to help your hearers grasp its truth. Consider in each case the moral, spiritual and psychological needs in your hearers which each model could address.

4. What are the indispensable features for ‘a theory of atonement for today’?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 236-237). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 23 PDF

Lesson 24: Review & Application from Part 4

Reading

Briefly review the content of Part 4 (Pages 173-236)

Read Know the Truth: Application (Pages 237-244)

Questions for Discussion

1. What in Part 4 has been most impactful to you?

2. Discuss the points of application made by Milne on Pages 237-244. Which one applies to you the most?

3. Can you think of any other applications that can be drawn from Part 4?

4. What questions do you have about the teaching you have encountered in this section?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 24 PDF

Lesson 25: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: The Person of the Spirit & The Spirit of Promise

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapters 18 & 19: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: The Person of the Spirit & There Spirit of Promise (Pages 245-250)

Questions for Discussion

1. State the biblical evidence for the deity of the Holy Spirit.

2. Explore the implications of the Spirit’s Godhood for (a) the authority of the Bible, (b) the person of Jesus Christ who gives the Spirit, (c) the authenticity of Christian experience.

3. Identify the essential elements of the Spirit’s work in the OT. Show how these are developed in the NT.

4. ‘The Son is at once the bearer and dispenser of the Spirit.’ Does this statement correctly reflect the NT evidence?

5. What implications may be drawn from the fact that the Spirit ministered to Jesus at certain points in his ministry?

6. Examine the biblical passages dealing with the relationship between the work of the Spirit and the work of the Son. What implications does this carry for our experience of the Spirit today?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 246-247, 250). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 25 PDF

Lesson 26: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: The Spirit and Christian Beginnings

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 20: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: The Spirit and Christian Beginnings (Pages 250-261)

Questions for Discussion

1. What does Scripture mean by ‘grace’? Discuss the view that it is the primary term in the Christian’s vocabulary.

2. What do you understand by ‘union with Christ’? Explore its implications for (a) Christian salvation, (b) Christian service, (c) Christian fellowship, (d) Christian discipleship.

3. What is ‘divine election’? What light is thrown on it by the election of Israel? Assess biblically the claims made for (a) foreknowledge as the basis of election, (b) reprobation. What are the implications of election for (a) the Christian’s assurance of salvation, (b) Christian worship, (c) Christian hope for the future?

4. Does the Bible make a distinction between God’s general and effective calling?

5. What does regeneration mean? Must it be consciously experienced? What implications does it carry for our understanding of the work of the Spirit in general and in particular for our evangelism?

6. What are the respective places of faith and works in relation to our justification and to the Christian gospel?

7. What is meant by adoption? What are its implications for (a) the Christian’s thanksgiving, (b) the Christian’s self-image, (c) Christian fellowship, (d) the Christian’s prospects beyond death?

8. Explain as simply and fully as you can what is meant by ‘believing in Christ’. What does repentance mean and what place does it have (a) in the gospel, (b) for Christian living (cf. Rev. 2:5, 16; 3:3, 19)?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 260-261). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 26 PDF

Lesson 27: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: The Spirit and Christian Growth & Historical Perspective: The Holy Spirit Today

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapters 21 & 22: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit: The Spirit and Christian Growth & Historical Perspective: The Holy Spirit Today  (Pages 261-278)

Questions for Discussion

1. What does ‘sanctification’ mean in both Scripture and common usage? In what ways is sanctification distinguished from justification?

2. What significance does our union with Christ have for sanctification? How would you try to interpret a ‘crisis’ experience of the Holy Spirit? What are the problems associated with the ‘second blessing’ approach to sanctification?

3. According to Scripture, does sanctification in any sense depend on our efforts?

4. What do you understand from scriptural teaching by (a) ‘baptism in the Spirit’, (b) the ‘fullness of the Spirit’?

5. What would you consider the essential marks of increasing sanctification in all Christian lives? Apart from these common elements, how might one expect increasing sanctification to be particularly expressed by a Christian (a) homemaker and mother, (b) student, (c) painter and decorator, (d) teacher, (e) factory employee, (f) civil servant?

6. Can we enjoy a firm certainty that we truly are Christians? Support your answer from Scripture.

7. Consider the role of the Spirit with reference to Scripture. What is the Bible’s function in living the Christian life?

8. Can a truly regenerate Christian be finally lost? How do you interpret the ‘warning passages’ in Hebrews?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 274). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 27 PDF

Lesson 28: Review & Application from Part 5

Reading

Briefly review the content of Part 5 (Pages 245-278)

Read Know the Truth: Application (Pages 278-281)

Questions for Discussion

1. What in Part 5 has been most impactful to you?

2. Discuss the points of application made by Milne on Pages 278-281. Which one applies to you the most?

3. Can you think of any other applications that can be drawn from Part 5?

4. What questions do you have about the teaching you have encountered in this section?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 28 PDF

Lesson 29: The Church: The Identity of the Church

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 23: The Church: The Identity of the Church (Pages 283-297)

Questions for Discussion

1. Examine the relationship between the individual and the community in the experience of salvation in (a) the OT, (b) the NT.

2. Explore the primary biblical images for the church, identifying what each has to teach about (a) God and his attitude to us, (b) the privileges of the church, (c) the responsibilities of the church, (d) the church’s mission in the world.

3. Discuss the value and dangers of the distinction between the visible and invisible church.

4. Take the ‘marks’ of unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity and examine with respect to each (a) the biblical basis, (b) the application to your local church and Christian group, (c) the application to the church worldwide.

5. How biblical and relevant are the Reformers’ ‘marks of the church’?

6. Do you agree with the claim that mission belongs to the essence of the church? Justify your answer from Scripture. If so, examine the implications for the present weekly programme of activities at your local church.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 296-297). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 29 PDF

Lesson 30: The Church: The Function of the Church

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 24: The Church: The Function of the Church (Pages 297-306)

Questions for Discussion

1. What were the principles which underlay the worship of God’s people in the OT? In which ways is worship under the new covenant (testament) different?

2. Discuss the roles of freedom and order/form in worship: what guidance does Scripture offer here?

3. What does fellowship (koinōnia) mean? Examine ways in which fellowship was expressed in the NT churches. What are today’s equivalents?

4. Assess the significance for true fellowship of (a) ‘apostles’ doctrine’ (Acts 2:42), (b) the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 10:11), (c) the Spirit and his gifts (1 Cor. 12 – 13).

5. What is the significance of the Bible’s teaching about spiritual gifts as far as ministry in the church is concerned?

6. List the NT requirements for specialized ministers in the church (cf. 1 Tim. 3:1–13; Titus 1:9–15; Acts 6:3f.).

7. How does the church’s witness serve God’s glory?

8. What does ‘mission’ entail?

9. What are the main biblical bases for Christian social involvement?

10. What does Scripture teach about mission through (a) prayer, (b) financial gifts, (c) personal witness, (d) corporate church witness? Examine in each area the implications for your personal commitment to mission.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 306). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 30 PDF

Lesson 31: The Church: The Life of the Church

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 25: The Church: The Life of the Church (Pages 307-322)

Questions for Discussion

1. What do you understand by ‘the means of grace’? Show from Scripture the role they play in the growth of the people of God.

2. ‘The church cannot rise higher than its expository preaching.’ Discuss.

3. Examine the benefits and the problems associated with (a) personal Bible study, (b) group Bible study.

4. What is a ‘sacrament’? Clarify the biblical basis for the view that there are two, and only two, sacraments.

5. What place should be found at the Lord’s Supper for (a) the Word of God, (b) the fellowship of the whole congregation, (c) the recollection of Christ’s suffering at Calvary, (d) the assurance of forgiveness to the penitent believer, (e) the expectation of the return of Christ in glory?

6. What can be learned about baptism from (a) the OT, (b) Jesus?

7. What are the main biblical arguments used in support of the baptism of infants? Do you find them persuasive? Explore the possibilities of genuine fellowship and cooperation among those who differ on this issue.

8. In what ways are (a) fellowship, (b) suffering, ‘means of grace’? Illustrate their value from (a) biblical teaching and biography, (b) your own experience, (c) the experience of other Christians known to you.

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 323). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 31 PDF

Lesson 32: The Church: The Church in History

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 26: The Church: The Church in History (Pages 324-334)

Questions for Discussion

1. State and assess the biblical support for the Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Congregational forms of church organization. ‘As far as church government is concerned the NT gives principles rather than a detailed pattern.’ Discuss.

2. What are the benefits to be derived from the study of the history of the church over the centuries?

3. Identify signs of hope in the present development of (a) your local church or Christian group, (b) the national Christian scene, (c) the progress of Christianity worldwide.

4. What is the destiny of the church? What values derive from contemplating that prospect?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 334-335). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 32 PDF

Lesson 33: Review & Application from Part 6

Reading

Briefly review the content of Part 6 (Pages 283-355)

Read Know the Truth: Application (Pages 335-337)

Questions for Discussion

1. What in Part 6 has been most impactful to you?

2. Discuss the points of application made by Milne on Pages 335-337. Which one applies to you the most?

3. Can you think of any other applications that can be drawn from Part 6?

4. What questions do you have about the teaching you have encountered in this section?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 33 PDF

Lesson 34: The Last Things: The Kingdom of God

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 27: The Last Things: The Kingdom of God (Pages 339-341)

Questions for Discussion

1. What do you understand by ‘the kingdom of God’? How does it relate to the OT? What are the main points in Jesus’ teaching about it?

2. ‘The kingdom of God is inaugurated, but not yet realized.’ Discuss.

3. How is the kingdom of God connected with (a) eternal life, (b) salvation, (c) union with Christ, (d) the new birth, (e) the final glory of the church?

4. How does the Bible’s teaching on the kingdom affect the Christian’s response to human society and its needs?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 342). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 34 PDF

Lesson 35: The Last Things: The Second Advent of Christ

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 28: The Last Things: The Second Advent of Christ (Pages 342-356)

Questions for Discussion

1. List the major passages in both OT and NT which refer to the return of Christ. Why is it mistaken to expect a detailed description of it? What will be its main general features?

2. How would you answer claims that biblical references to Christ’s return concern (a) his first coming only, (b) his coming spiritually to people now through the preaching of the gospel?

3. What does Scripture teach about the time of Christ’s return? What does this imply for our lives now?

4. What does the Bible teach about the role of (a) the antichrist, (b) Israel, in relation to the end?

5. What is the ‘two covenant’ view, and what are its problems?

6. Which view of the millennium do you find most consistent with biblical teaching? What are its implications for (a) the life of the church, (b) your personal discipleship, (c) evangelism, (d) Christian concern for social issues?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (pp. 356-357). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 35 PDF

Lesson 36: The Last Things: The Final State (Part 1)

Reading

Notice: This chapter will be covered in two parts. Do not read the entire chapter this week

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 29: The Last Things: The Final State (Pages 357-364)

Questions for Discussion

1. Why is the resurrection of the body to be preferred to the immortality of the soul to describe the Christian’s future hope?

2. What is the basis of the Christian’s hope in the face of death? What would you say to someone recently bereaved of someone he or she loved dearly?

3. What does the Bible teach about the ‘intermediate state’? Why are the theories of (a) purgatory, (b) ‘a second chance’ to be rejected?

4. How can the importance of ‘works’ in the final judgment be reconciled with the Bible’s teaching on salvation through faith alone?

5. What does Scripture teach about hell? Is it compatible with God’s eternal love?

6. Does the Bible support universalism or conditional immortality/annihilationism?

7. What does the Bible teach about rewards in heaven?

8. What are the principal features of the life to come? What differences should belief in it make to (a) daily discipleship, (b) family relationships, (c) church relationships, (d) evangelism, (e) attitudes to society?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 370). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 36 PDF

Lesson 37: The Last Things: The Final State (Part 2) & The Last Things in Christian Thought

Reading

Read Know the Truth: Chapter 29: The Last Things: The Final State (Pages 364-370) & Chapter 30: The Last Things in Christian Thought (Pages 371-373)

Questions for Discussion

1. What does Scripture teach about hell? Is it compatible with God’s eternal love?

2. Does the Bible support universalism or conditional immortality/annihilationism?

3. What does the Bible teach about rewards in heaven?

4. What are the principal features of the life to come? What differences should belief in it make to (a) daily discipleship, (b) family relationships, (c) church relationships, (d) evangelism, (e) attitudes to society?

Milne, Bruce (2012-11-28). Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief (p. 370). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 37 PDF

Lesson 38: Review & Application from Part 7

Reading

Briefly review the content of Part 7 (Pages 339-373)

Read Know the Truth: Application (Pages 373-377)

Questions for Discussion

1. What in Part 7 has been most impactful to you?

2. Discuss the points of application made by Milne on Pages 373-377. Which one applies to you the most?

3. Can you think of any other applications that can be drawn from Part 7?

4. What questions do you have about the teaching you have encountered in this section?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 38 PDF

Lesson 39: Review & Application from Know the Truth

Reading

Take some time to review Know the Truth from beginning to end.

Questions for Discussion

1. What have you learned?

2. How has what you’ve learned impacted your life?

3. Now that you have completed this introduction to Christian doctrine, what questions remain? What topic are you interested in studying further?

Scripture Reading, Scripture Memory and Catechism

Please visit emmauscf.org/passages to view a suggested Bible reading plan, suggested scripture memory verse, and Emmaus’ catechism. Once there, please select the appropriate week of the year.

Other Resources 

Lesson 39 PDF

"Him we proclaim,
warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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