As part of our arrangements whilst church meetings are suspended we are holding fortnightly Bible studies via Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 8.00 - 9.00pm. Click here if you would like to join our Zoom Bible studies. The studies from April - July were recorded and are available to listen to - see below.
Click here for details and recordings of our Autumn Bible study programme.
Lisa has shared her experience of joining the Zoom Bible studies: 'I've had the great pleasure of being able to join Halesworth Community Church during their bible study sessions over this series of studies. Each week I finish the meeting in awe of God at work through members of the church. It can only be God that can speak words so perfectly into the space where I need them, giving encouragement, peace, love and excitement of a life with him. A close non-Christian friend asked me recently if I have other friends that I speak at depth to (as the two of us do together). On thinking about this, I knew the answer was 'no' but I realised at that moment that it was also a 'yes'. Whilst I am on the HCC Zoom call, even though I don't know everyone personally, we are together as one on the same journey in a context of openness and honesty. I feel understood and this is what counts. I'm so thankful to HCC and to God for his generous provision in this area.'
Wednesday 29th July 2020 - Living in the big picture
The first part of the Bible study gave the opportunity for people to share what has been the most helpful or most meaningful from the series of 10 previous studies. The second part of the study focused upon the following - 'How to live the life of the future in the present and how to live in the present in the light of the future.’ John shared some practical applications of this subject to take with us into the summer.
Wednesday 15th July 2020 - What does the Bible say about anxiety and how can we handle it
Read: Psalm 94:18-19; Isaiah 26:3-4; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Luke 12:22-31; Romans 8:6; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7.
Points to Ponder: 1. Is there a proper place for anxiety? 2. What causes you the most anxiety? Remember that anxiety can express itself in many different ways – e.g. false guilt, fear, excessive sense of obligation. 3. What part does our view of ourselves play in determining our levels of anxiety? 4. What has been the most help to you in dealing with anxiety?
Wednesday 1st July - How do 'works' and 'grace' fit into how we live our Christian lives?
Salvation by faith alone: 1. Titus 3:4–7: But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 2. Ephesians 2:8–10. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 3. Acts 16:31. They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Further reading: the letter to the Galatians Salvation based on what we do: 1. Romans 2:6-8. God “will repay each one according to his deeds.” To those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honour, and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow wickedness, there will be wrath and anger. 2. 2 Corinthians 5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 3. Matthew 24:36 through to 25:46. Are these plain statements telling us that we have to keep working so that we don’t hear those words, ‘Depart from me…’?
How do we put these apparently contradictory statements together? Any ideas?
Can you see ways in which we can start on our walk with Jesus knowing we are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus, but quickly slip into a mix of faith and works that puts us under pressure? If so, how might that show itself?
Wednesday 17th June - What the Bible says about our value
Read: Zephaniah 3:17; Mark 12:31; Luke 12:6-7; John 3:30; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 15:9-11; 2 Corinthians 10:7-18; chapters 11 and 12; Ephesians 2:10; 5:25-33; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
Points to ponder: 1. What did John the Baptist mean when he said, ‘He must become greater; I must become less’ (John 3:30) and what bearing does this have on how we view our value? 2. Where does humility fit into this subject of value? 3. Is it wrong to boast? 4. How important is it that we have a right sense of our value? What are the consequences if we don’t? 5. Where does our value come from?
Wednesday 3rd June 2020 - Taking responsibility (part 2)
Please read Luke 19:11-27.
The first question in our 'Points to Ponder' has been sent in: 1. Is there a difference between taking responsibility practically and emotionally, and whether our temperaments play a role in that? 2. How did you get on with last week's suggestion that you write two lists? 3. On a scale of 0-10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is excellent, how good are you at taking care of yourself - spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically? 4. Using the same scale, how good are you at taking responsibility for the roles entrusted to you? This can include roles within the family - husband, wife, parent etc. or within the family of God, or the workplace. One of the indicators to how well you have taken responsibility is how you respond if 'a better way of doing things' is pointed out. 5. What do you think about the statement, 'muddled roles equals muddled relationships'? Do you think it is true and, if so, what kind of scenarios could it produce? 6. Again, using the same scale, how well do you take responsibility for material things that are entrusted to you - e.g. taking care of them, using them wisely including for the benefit of others? 7. If you are familiar with your temperaments, are there ways in which you can see that they would hinder or help in taking and discharging responsibility well? 8. How much of your sense of value is rooted in your roles in life? 9. What would you take from the Parable of the Minas concerning responsibility (Luke 19:11-27)?
Unfortunately our Bible from 3rd June didn't record.
Wednesday 20th May 2020 - Taking responsibility
We will be looking at the subject of 'Taking responsibility' from several angles. Here are some Bible passages and points to ponder that will get us thinking in readiness for the time together. Bible passages: Acts 6:1-7; Matthew 25:14-30; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Luke 10:25-37
1. What does the phrase, ‘being responsible’ mean to you? 2. What does the following statement do to you - ‘all people everywhere are accountable to God for everything they do, say or think’? 3. What can we learn from the way the apostles dealt with an organisational difficulty in Acts 6:1-7? 4. What does the image of the church as a body tell us about taking responsibility – 1 Corinthians 12:12-31? 5. Do you think we will have responsibility in heaven? 6. Do you shy away from responsibility? If so, why? Be specific. 7. Do you take on too much responsibility? If so, why? What factors in you make it difficult to be objective as to what you should take on?
Wednesday 13th May 2020 - How to discipline our minds - continued
It will be helpful to read Psalms 42 and 43. Here is a reminder of some of the other Bible passages that were sent out last week and are worth looking up: Matthew 6:25-34; 11:28-30; John 14:1, 27; Romans 8:5-6; 38-39; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 2:1-5; 4:6-7; Colossians 3:15; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:7.
1. How would you define ‘attitude’? 2. How do you think attitude affects what we feel and think? 3. Where do you think ‘nature and nurture’ fit into all this? 4. Do Psalms 42 and 43 teach us anything about how we can handle troubled thoughts and feelings? 5. What do you think Paul meant when he wrote to the Christians in Rome to ‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind’? (Romans 12:2). 6. What do you think the phrase means ‘we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’? (2 Corinthians 10:5). 7. What does it mean to have ‘the mind of Christ’? 1 Corinthians 2:16.
Wednesday 6th May 2020 - How to discipline our minds
John has put together some passages that will show us that God wants us to have peace and has made it possible: Psalms 42 and 43; 94:19; 139:23-24; Proverbs 12:25; Isaiah 26:3–4; 40:31; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Matthew 6:25-34; 11:28-30; John 14:1, 27; Romans 8:5-6; 38-39; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 2:1-5; 4:6-7; Colossians 3:15; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:7. Firstly, we have a question that has arisen out of Tim’s talk:
1. Do you think it is possible to control your thoughts? 2. Do you think it is possible to control your emotions? 3. What are the kind of thoughts and feelings that you find most difficult to control? 4. How have you tried to control them? 5. How do you think thoughts and feelings are linked? For example, which comes first? Do feelings produce thoughts or thoughts produce feelings? 6. How would you define ‘attitude’? 7. How do you think attitude affects what we feel and think? 8. Where do you think ‘nature and nurture’ fit into all this? 9. Do Psalms 42 and 43 teach us anything about how we can handle troubled thoughts and feelings? 10. What do you think Paul meant when he wrote to the Christians in Rome to ‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind’? (Romans 12:2). 11. What do you think the phrase means ‘we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’? (2 Corinthians 10:5). 12. What does it mean to have ‘the mind of Christ’? 1 Corinthians 2:16.
Wednesday 29th April 2020 - What does it mean to be called?
By way of preparation, it will be helpful to read Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 139:13-18; Ephesians 1:4-6; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31; 2 Timothy 1:8-12
1. Someone said, ‘The two greatest days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.’ Do you know why you were born? 2. What do you think it means to ‘be called’? 3. Is there a difference between God’s call and what we think of as a career or a specific ministry? 4. What did Jesus mean when he said, ‘For many are called, but few are chosen’? Matthew 22:14. 5. Why was it important for Paul to know the specific task he had been called to – e.g. 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; Galatians 1:15-16?
Wednesday 22nd April 2020 - What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
The topic was prompted by a question I was asked, ‘How do we let God into the more hidden parts of us? The parts that resist what he would want for us, what we even we want for us?’
Relevant passages to study: Luke 24: 45-49; John 20 19-23; Acts 2:1-21; Ephesians 5:18
1. What is your answer to the above question? 2. What does ‘being filled with the Spirit’ mean to you? 3. Do you see it as a ‘one-off’ experience or ongoing? Can you suggest verses that will back up your position? 4. Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth in this way, ‘Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). See also 2 Corinthians 5:5 and Ephesians 1:14. What do you think these passages tell us about the role of the Spirit in our lives? 5. Can you give other reasons why God has sent his Spirit into our lives?
Wednesday 15th April 2020 - How can I know God's will?
Relevant passages to study: Proverbs 3:5-8; Acts 11:1-18; 27-30; 21:7-16; Galatians 5:22-26; James 1:5-8.
Points to ponder: 1. What is the most remarkable guidance that you have experienced from the Lord? 2. What do you find most difficult about hearing the Lord? 3. Is there something that you have found to be of particular help on this issue of hearing God? 4. What do you think about the ‘Gideon’s fleece’ approach? (Judges 6). 5. Where does the role of prophecy come into how we determine the will of God? 6. Mary and Julie have asked: ‘Why is it easier to be sure of knowing God's will when making major decisions than in smaller day-to-day decisions?' 7. Cathy asks, ‘How do we hear God's voice to encourage another?'