Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: Get in the Game
Week 1 – Playbook
PDF file for printing: 09-08&09-2018
- Icebreaker: Which football team do you root for, and why?
- Read our Scripture for this series and begin to memorize it together as a group:
2 Timothy 3:16–17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
What do you notice in this passage? What questions come to your mind?
- The word “Bible” isn’t in the Bible. It comes from the Greek word “byblos” and the Latin word “biblia” meaning “books.” The Bible isn’t actually just one book, it’s a collection of 66 books. The first 39 make up the Old Testament, written primarily about and to the Jewish people. The other 27 books are the New Testament, which is made up of four biographies of Jesus’ life, a record of the history of the church, and lots of letters from first century Christian leaders to Christ-followers and to local churches.
What has your past experience with the Bible been like? Be honest.
- The word “Scripture” means sacred writings. There were lots of other ancient writings that didn’t make it into the Bible. What makes the writings in the Bible special?
- Paul, in 2 Timothy, says that all Scripture is “God-breathed.” This word is also translated “inspired.” What does it mean for the Bible to be inspired? How did the process of inspiration take place?
- Read 2 Peter 1:21:
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
What does this verse add to your understanding of what it means that the Bible is inspired?
- How has the Bible’s teaching on the following topics been misunderstood or misused at certain times in history?
What are some other topics where the Bible has been misunderstood?
- Read Psalm 1:1-6:
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
What does this passage communicate about the Bible? What happens to those who make an effort to know and understand it?
- In 2 Timothy, Paul describes the Bible as “useful.” The Bible is useful because it illuminates things in our lives and helps us do life better. Give some examples of how the Bible has done this in your life.
- Read Psalm 119:105-106:
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.
What do these verses communicate about God’s intent for the Bible?
Five things you can do to get in the game with regard to Scripture
- Read from a translation you can understand.
The King James Version isn’t the only valid version of the Bible. There are many good translations, and most people find a more modern translation easier to understand. We recommend the New International Version (NIV) or the New Living Translation (NLT).
- Decide on a regular time to read it.
Any time you want to do something important, you make an appointment for it in your calendar, rather than just leaving it to chance that you’ll get around to it sometime. So it’s a good idea to schedule some Bible reading time into your daily calendar with a firm appointment.
- If you have a specific time when you read the Bible each day, share that with the group.
- Find a place where you can read the Bible without being distracted.
- Where is your favorite place to read the Bible?
- Start reading in the right spot.
Unlike most books, we don’t recommend starting the Bible at the beginning and reading from front to back. The first half of the Bible (the Old Testament) is quite challenging for a new Bible reader to understand and apply to your life. This is because it’s older, so the culture was very different from ours, and because much of it was written primarily for Jewish people. We suggest you start with a New Testament Gospel like the Gospel of Luke.
- Read Luke 1:1-4: Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
What do you notice from these verses about how Luke wrote his biography of Jesus’ life? Why does this matter?
- Pray for illumination
Start with a prayer inviting God to help you understand the Bible and to guide you regarding what He wants you to apply to your life.
- Pray a prayer like that of Psalm 119:18: Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
What difference does it make when we start with a prayer like this, compared to when we don’t?
- Many people at Community of Hope use our church’s daily reading plan, reading one chapter of the Bible each day. This reading plan can be found on the YouVersion Bible app under “Word of God Speak” Part 1 – Part 4, and can also be found on our website If you stick with this plan, you will have read the entire New Testament in under 9 months, and then you’ll get an overview of the main storyline of the Old Testament in the last 3 months of the year.
What is your current Bible reading plan?
- How has daily Bible reading made a difference in your life?
- Why is it important to read the Bible on your own, rather than just hearing about what the Bible says from sermons or devotionals?