Why Study the Doctrine of the Church?
1 Timothy 3:14-16
1. Can you summarize your understanding of ecclesiology, i.e., the doctrine of the church, in a few sentences?
a. What key passages do you instinctively refer to when articulating the doctrine of the church?
b. What are the most important books in the Bible that deal with the doctrine of the church?
c. What are the key issues in 1 Timothy regarding the church that Paul took the time to write to Timothy about?
2. What is the church’s role regarding the truth according to our passage?
a. The truth has a hard side, i.e., “the law,” and a soft side, i.e., “the Gospel” to it. Do you tend to focus on one more than the other? If so, which one?
b. Do you think our church is more inclined to one or the other?
c. What can our church do better to properly represent the truth to our community?
3. God is concerned about how churches behave according to our passage.
a. “How one ought” is literally “it is necessary.” Peruse 1 Timothy and make a list of the issues Paul tells Timothy about the regard the church’s behavior.
b. How important do you think the instructions in 1 Timothy are for a local church to follow?
c. Are some of the instructions in 1 Timothy more important than others?
4. Paul saves the best for last: what a church is supposed to believe.
a. How does belief produce behavior? Can you give a positive example from your life of how your belief in sound doctrine produced a positive behavior?
b. Can you give a negative one?
c. Jesus is the central doctrinal issue that Paul says is “great.” Every local church should be a faithful representation of Christ on this earth. When people come in contact with NRBC either with individual members or with our church as a whole, people should say, “Oh, that’s what Jesus is like.” Do you think this is a realistic expectation for NRBC? Why or why not?
d. What do WE need to do better to properly represent Jesus to our community? What do YOU need to do better to properly represent Jesus to our community?