“WORKING OUT YOUR OWN FAITH: First Things First!” (Section 2)

10 Aug


I’ll be teaching an undergrad theology course this coming Fall semester and I’m developing five theological Workbooks which my students will fill in.  I’m referring to these Workbooks as “retro,” because they are in a lay-flat format and the questions will be answered in the Workbook with pen or pencil.

I thought you might find this first Workbook interesting.  The topic, “First Things First,” refers to the introductory issues in theology which must be considered before diving into the doctrine of the Bible, or the doctrine of God, etc.

What I will seek to do over the next few weeks is provide several of the 50 questions which make up this first workbook.

The Workbooks are designed to be used by those who are not students in my class, so they may be purchased here:


Many people resist “doctrine” because they don’t know what it is, don’t comprehend its importance, or have experienced it divorced from proper behavior.  When my family and I moved to Canada, we got skating and hockey lessons for our son (who was 10 at the time).  He did okay, but was a bit small for his age.  So the coach often just told him to go skate into the opposing team’s players!  Someone has defined hockey as a form of disorderly conduct in which the score is kept!  That’s kind of true in the Christian life, isn’t it?  Let’s think about the relationship between doctrine and behavior.

7. The term “doctrine” (didaskalia) is used in the following Scriptures:  I Timothy 1:10; 4:16; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9 and 2:1.  Write out five specific truths you learn from those five texts:

8. Listen to my message entitled “Doctrine: What Is It Good For?” found on our website or on my blog at Take a few notes below on the acrostic D-O-C-T-R-I-N-E discussed in the message . . .
















9.  Why do you think many believers in Jesus don’t grow?  Carefully look over the following text from Hebrews 5 and write out several conclusions you draw from this passage to answer that question:

10.  Let’s invest some time in thinking about the relationship between BELIEF and BEHAVIOR.  We often believe far more than we behave, don’t we?  Please unit-read the book of Jonah and check this box when you have done so:

11.  Complete the following chart, writing out Jonah’s orthodox (= “correct”) statements and his heterodox (“other than orthodox”) behavior:

12.  Someone has said that we Christians “owe it to the world to be supernaturally joyful!”  What verses in Scripture teach that our beliefs, our theology, ought to bring us JOY?  How do you know when your theological joy is gone?

13.  Analyze the passage below (from Heb. 12) and answer the questions given on the issue of good theology and the Christian life:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

(a) What are the imperatives (commands) in this passage?  List them below:

(a)  How is the Lord Jesus our example in running the race of faith?

(b)   How does considering His endurance help you in living out what you say you believe?


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