Email copy of Study Manual from Tom Weaver
John- here it is pasted in and as an attachment in Word. I have no idea
how the formatting survived. If you find the format too difficult I can
still mail a hard copy.
The Gospel Dilemma - My Faith Challenged
Study Guide For Chapter 1
Is it OK to even question?
Jesus causes his enemies to question in Matthew 22:42-45.
Nicodemus was questioning in John 3.
How does questioning differ from unbelief?
What other Biblical supports can you see to demonstrate that it is good
In this portion of our study, you are being asked to do something
unusual. We will be looking at portions of the gospels that have been
problematic for many believers. Our natural tendency is to attempt to
solve these problems or to gloss over them. Perhaps you have insights
that have helped you with these portions in the past. At this time you
are being asked to define why these portions have plagued many. Please
withhold your solutions for now. The recognition of the problems as
perceived by many, whether they have plagued you or not, can be the
gateway into better understanding.
Many have trouble with the bold promises of answered prayer given by
Jesus in Mark 11:22-24. Read these verses and note Jesus’ promise.
pg 6 para 6 We all have experiences of unanswered prayer, but are there
any ‘monuments’ to unanswered prayer in your life?
pg 6 para 7 Lewis viewed the Lord’s promise in his own words as being
downright “embarrassing.” Even with his great intellect, he could not
reconcile this staggering statement, especially in the shadow of his own
wife’s untimely death from cancer. He stated: “I have no answer to my
problem, though I have taken it to about every Christian I know, learned
or simple, lay or clerical, within my own Communion or without.” C. S.
Lewis, Christian Reflections, “Petitionary Prayer: A Problem Without An
Answer,” Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1967, p. 150.
Have you ever wondered why the Lord did not answer your prayer?
pg 7 para 2&3 Have you ever wondered if God’s seeming failure to answer
your prayers was a judgment on your life?
A Sense of Loneliness
The high expectations of the Sermon On The Mount are staggering. Can
anyone meet Jesus’ demands in Matthew 5? Carefully consider Matthew
5:21-22, 27-32, and 48.
A more critical question would be, do you meet the demands of Matthew 5?
Why Can’t I Do This?
pg 10 para 2-4 Why might Matthew 18:34 - 35 and Matthew 6:12 - 15 cause
this woman to begin questioning her salvation?
pg 10 para 5 - pg 11 para 1 Have you at times struggled with a sense of
failure because of not meeting Christ’s demands in the gospels?
Do the Gospels Offend You?
pg 13 para 2 & 3 What is your reaction to Lewis’ statement that all the
most terrifying texts come from the mouth of our Lord?
Compare and contrast the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5:17-20 and Paul
in Galatians 3:19-25 with regard to the Law of Moses.
Jesus and salvation. - Compare and contrast the teaching of Jesus and
Paul with respect to salvation.
Matt. 19:16-22 ¶ And behold, one came to Him and said, "Teacher, what
good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" And He said to
him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is
good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." He
said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, " You shall not commit
murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall
not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love
your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to Him, "All these things
I have kept; what am I still lacking?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish
to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and
you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the
young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who
owned much property.
Luke 10:25-28 ¶ And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the
test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And He
said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" And
he answered and said, " You shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all
your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And He said to him, "You have
answered correctly; do this, and you will live."
Rom. 3:21-24 ¶ But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has
been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the
righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who
believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short
of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the
redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Eph. 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not
of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no
one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in
Other Difficult Teachings
pg 18 para 2 Two attempts are suggested as ways people attempt to keep
Jesus’ commands. One way is to trivialize them and the other is to see
them in a relativistic manner. What do you think the author meant by
each of these two ideas?
1. To trivialize Jesus’ words-
2. To see them in a relativistic manner-
The teaching of John’s Gospel with respect to salvation is in harmony
with Paul’s letters. The object of The Gospel Solution is to develop a
context that makes sense of the seeming conflict between the synoptic
gospels, (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and the rest of the New Testament.
We hope this study is a blessing to you.
Hopefully The Gospel Solution can guide you, and it will not be the
blind leading the blind. It is OK to question the Bible because the
Bible stands up to all honest questioning.
The Gospel Solution - My Problem Resolved
Study Guide For Chapter 2
>From the authors study of Matthew, Mark, and Luke some observations were
made that led to four principles of interpretation. These four
principles are profitable for resolving the conflicts developed in
Chapter One of The Gospel Solution. It is important before moving on to
determine if these principles are indeed Biblical. Observe the
suggested scriptures for each principle, and determine if it is
The author referred to a widely held view of the solar system. Why was
Ptolemy’s view questioned and reevaluated?
How does this illustration relate to chapter One of The Gospel Solution?
A Case of Covenants Page 24 para 2 ff.
Principle #1: Transitional
The ministry of Jesus is lived under the old covenant. While it prepared
people for the coming new covenant, it was primarily directed towards
those still living under the law.
The most basic observation one can make about the Bible is that it is
divided into two major sections, the Old and the New Testaments. The
words ‘testament’ and ‘covenant are interchangeable when applied to the
two major Biblical agreements: between God and Israel, and between God
and the Church. In this study guide we refer to the actual agreements
as ‘covenants,’ and the written portions of the Bible as ‘testaments.’
This arbitrary distinction is the same as used in The Gospel Solution.
The first direct reference to the new covenant in the Bible is in
Jeremiah 31. Read Jeremiah 31:31 -34.
According to verse 31 and 32, when and where was the old covenant made?
The writer of Hebrews tells us of the beginning of both the old and the
new covenants. Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians to help them
understand the relationship of the two covenants. Please read Hebrews
According to verses 18-21, when was the first covenant made?
What was sprinkled on the people, the Law, and the Tabernacle?
According to verses 16-18 what was necessary for a covenant to take
Look at the words of Jesus in the inauguration of the communion, Matthew
How does Jesus tie His death to the new covenant?
Based on these passages, it is concluded that Jesus’ death is the
beginning of the new covenant. Therefore, Jesus lived His life during
the time of the old covenant period. His purpose was to prepare for the
beginning of the new covenant at His death. His life is lived before
the new covenant just as Adam, Noah, and Abraham lived before the
beginning of the old covenant.
Other passages of interest are;
Exodus 19:5-8 The covenant offered and accepted by Israel.
Exodus 24:3-8 The covenant with Israel ratified with the blood of
The Need for Conviction pg 27 para 4 ff.
Principle #2: Conviction
The purpose in the Lord’s teaching ministry was to bring his people, the
Jews, to a conviction of sin so that they could grasp their need for a
savior and be ready for grace.
The Gospel Solution would never have been written if it were not for the
seeming conflicts encountered with the words of Jesus and the teaching
of the epistles. These seeming conflicts compel us to find a way to
reconcile the teachings of Jesus with the gospel of grace. This second
principle is the key that unlocked the door of understanding for the
Read what Jesus teaches in Matthew 5:17 -19 and 19:16-19. Compare
these teachings with what Paul teaches in Romans 6:14 and Galatians
2:16. Now read Galatians 3:19-22 and Romans 5:20.
According to Matthew 19:17, how does one ‘enter into life’?
According to Galatians 3:21, can any law ‘impart life’?
The solution the author is suggesting for this seeming conflict comes
right out of Galatians 3:19-22.
According to Galatians 3:22 what is the immediate purpose of Scripture?
(At the time Galatians was written, ‘Scripture’ would have meant The Old
>From the same verse, what is the ultimate purpose of Scripture for those
How is this taught in Galatians 3:24, 25?
What word in Galatians 3:24 is a synonym for Scripture in Galatians
The author is suggesting that Jesus’ primary teaching purpose during His
lifetime was to facilitate the purpose of the Law, to show all men that
they are sinners.
Other passages of interest are;
Romans 3:9-20 The Law makes all the world accountable to God.
Matthew 3:1-12 Old covenant ministry of repentance contrasted to new
Matthew 5:17 -30, 48 The Law as presented by Jesus in His Sermon on the
Catch the Lord’s Flavor pg 32 para 3 ff.
Principle #3: Evocative
Jesus meant to evoke (or even provoke) a response from his audience
rather than just to clarify his meaning. The significance of what he
said was often meant to dawn on his hearers with unexpected and subtle
Why did Jesus teach in parables? Mark 4:10 - 12
According to John 2:18-22, did the disciples understand what Jesus
meant in verse 19 during His earthly ministry?
According to Matthew 16:17 who revealed to Peter that Jesus was the
According to Matthew 16:20, did Jesus want the disciples to teach that
He was the Christ?
What does Matthew 26:63; Luke 22:67 and John 10:24 seem to indicate
about the openness with regard to Jesus’ being the Christ?
According to Luke 2:48-50 did the Virgin Mary understand Jesus?
Comparing Mark 3:21 with Mark 3:31, why did Mary and other relatives of
Jesus come to Capernaum?
If Jesus had clearly taught His own resurrection from the dead, how
would one account for;
1. Why the women went to the tomb to finish the burial on Easter? Mark
2. The response of unbelief on the part of the disciples to the
resurrection? Mark 16:11; Luke 24:4, 11, 21-24; John 20:9, 13.
Did the disciples understand Jesus’ teaching about the resurrection Mark
8:31-33; Mark 9:10; Mark 9:30-32.
Other passages of interest are;
Matt. 16:11 The disciples misunderstand Jesus.
Luke 9:44, 45, Luke 18:34, John 10:6, John 12:16, John 20:9 -Jesus’
teaching intentionally concealed from the disciples.
John 6:52-71 Jesus intentionally offends many of His disciples.
Luke 12:41 Note the vague relationship between Peter’s question and
Seeing the Bigger Picture pg 36 para 4 ff.
Principle #4: Interwoven Context
Any single passage within the synoptic Gospels should be viewed and
understood in the light of the larger context of the Scripture
surrounding it. Adjacent passages are often interwoven together to
interpret one another.
One of the most exciting elements of this approach to understanding the
gospels is the insights found in interwoven context. This is not a
reference to a few verses nearby, but a collection of questions,
answers, miracles, parables and events. These are larger portions than
are normally taught in a church service. Luke 18:9 - 19:10 is typical
of what the author talking about. Note the living out of the parable in
Luke 18:9-14 in the following events in the life of Jesus.
18:9-14 The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-collector
15-17 The disciples treat children with contempt. cf. v.9
18-23 The Ruler trusted he was righteous. cf. v.9 with v.21
24-30 Note! Peter’s self interest. cf. Matthew 19:27
31-34 Note! The disciples do not understand Jesus.
35-43 cf. v.13 The blind man seeks mercy.
19:1-10 cf 18:13-14 The tax-collector is justified.
Verses that seem particularly out of place are almost certainly ‘in
place.’ Looking for why they are there will pay big dividends. They
stick our like out of tune keys on a piano and grate on our
Can you see an interwoven context in Matthew 14:1 - 16:12?
James Brooks on page 73 of his commentary, Mark, Broadman Press 1991,
gives some examples;
Mark 4:1-20; 5:21-43; 6:7-29; 11:12-25; 14:1-11; 14:53-15:15.
One of the examples developed in Chapter 11 of The Gospel Solution is
Some Final Thoughts
pg 39 para 4,5 What two aspects of Jesus’ ministry are distinguished by
What parallel does the author make between Jesus’ hearers and modern
pg 40 para 2 How would you distinguish application from interpretation
Why did the author go to an extreme in drawing sharp distinctions in
interpreting the gospels?
Is Jesus Looking for a Few Good Men - The Rich Young Ruler
Study Guide Chapter 3
If someone were to ask you how to be saved, would you tell them they had
1) keep the Ten Commandments
2) plus give everything they owned to the poor,
3) and then to follow Jesus?
Compare and contrast this to Acts 16:30-31
How Good Is Good?
pg 43 para 2 Would the rich young ruler have thought of Jesus as God?
pg 42 para 4 Read Matthew 16:20. In His public ministry, was Jesus
openly declaring either His deity or that He was the Christ.
Do you suppose the disciples would have thought of Jesus as God at this
time in His ministry?
How does this conversation relate to the principle of Jesus being
pg 43 para 4 Which of the four principles of transitionalism would you
think is most at play in this exchange?
Keeping the Commandments?
pg 44 para 2 Please look up Romans 3:20, Galatians 2:16 and 2
Corinthians 3:7 to see if the author uses them in context.
If someone were able to completely keep the commandments their entire
life, would that person need to be saved?
How would James 2:10 impact someone's understanding of keeping the Law?
How Were Old Testament Saints Saved?
pg 45 para 1 According to Ephesians 1:4, when did God decide to send His
Son to be the Savior of the world?
According to Romans 5:20, why was the Law given?
pg 46 para 2 According to Galatians 3: 6-9 and Hebrews 11:1-2 how were
the Old Testament saints saved?
How Much Does Salvation Cost?
Using the normal value judgments of society, and applying them to the
rich young ruler and to Zaccheus, what is your response to the
inability of a “good” man to give all his wealth to the poor and the
natural response of a “bad” man who receives salvation to spontaneously
give half of his wealth to the poor?
Make a specific list of the commands that Jesus gave to inherit eternal
Compare the lists you have made with the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20
and Deuteronomy 5. This is done for you on page 48 of The Gospel
Solution, but it is important for you to evaluate this material for
(There are various manners of enumerating the Ten Commandments. Some
systems break the commandment against coveting into two portions.
These systems give three commandments toward God and seven toward man.
This is done by lumping the command to have no other gods with the
command against idols. Even with a list of seven commands toward man,
the two that are left off both deal with coveting.)
pg 49 para 2-4 and pg 50 para 1 which element of transitionalism is at
pg 50 para 2 What does the author see as the danger of misapplying
pg 50 para 3 According to the author, what is the proper relationship of
works and faith in the Christian life?
Threading the Camel Through the Needle
pg 51 para 1-3 There are two general categories for interpreting what
Jesus was trying to say with His camel and a needle statement. One
approach is that it can be done, but it is difficult. The author
suggest a second possibility. What is the author’s suggestion?
pg 52 para 2 Based on the disciples response to Jesus, what do you think
the disciples thought Jesus meant?
pg 52 para 3 & 4 Why do we normally equate ‘eternal life’ and ‘being
Is it conceivable to have ‘eternal life’ without being ‘saved’?
Does a person who is not lost need to be saved?
A Few Good Men?
pg 54 para 1, 2 How can being “good” turn into a handicap?
pg 54 para 3 According to Luke 5:27-32, did Jesus come to seek “a few
Luke 5:32 refers to the “righteous” in contrast to the “sinners”. Is
there a group of righteous people who are not sinners when considered on
their own merit?
If there are no “righteous” people, why does Jesus refer to them?
How is this related to transitionalism?
pg 54 para 4 According to Matthew 3:1-6 what is John the Baptist’s
pg 55 para 3 & 4 Romans 3:9-20 uses a series of Old Testament verses to
show man’s sinfulness.
Isaiah 64:6 appears to be a specific reference to Israel, but what do
you think God would say about your righteousness?
pg 56 para 2 What do we have to believe before coming to Christ?
Page 58 ff. of The Gospel Solution develops the interwoven context of
this story in Luke.
A challenging exercise would be to develop the interwoven context in
Matthew of Mark. Some starting observations of interest;
I would suggest Matthew 19:1-20:28 and Mark 10: 1 - 45
Matthew 19:3 a test of Jesus as He demonstrates His power
Matthew 19:7 an appeal to the Law by the enemies of Jesus
Matthew 19:10 the disciples reveal their pride.
Matthew 19:13-15 pride of the disciples and the humility of Jesus.
Matthew 19: 27 compare Peter and Ruler with regard to coveting.
Matthew 20: 1-16 a parable of the self-centered.
Matthew 20:17 cf 20: 20,21 cf 19:27 greed on everyone's part.
Matthew 20:24 all the disciples fail.
What If I Just Can’t Forgive - Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Study Guide For Chapter 4
How effectively could you have forgiven those who abused Diana Ortiz if
she were your daughter/sister?
pg 62 para 2 In this illustration, why do you suppose the mother would
not believe her daughter?
How might the mother tell the story, but put the blame on the daughter?
Isn’t it possible the mother might actually commend herself for
forgiving the daughter?
How Must We Forgive
pg 62 para 5
How is Peter’s suggesting to forgive seven times a sign of
Read Matthew 20:20-28 How was Peter doing at being forgiving?
Read Mark 10: 35-45 We know the disciples squabbled over who was the
greatest. Do you suppose all of them had trouble forgiving?
pg 63 para 2 Do you suppose Jesus wants us to keep accurate records to
know when we reach 490 times?
Note! Jesus’ pattern of building on a question with a parable.
pg 64 para 2 Matthew 18:34 Even in an eternity, how could we ever pay
God the entire debt we owe Him? (Outside of the cross.)
pg 64 para 3 After the synoptics, there are no places in the New
Testament that make salvation conditional on forgiving others. How
would you interpret that fact?
pg 64 para 4 Would you really want God to forgive you as you have
What specific things have you experienced in your life where you have
needed to forgive?
At times it is difficult to remember specific times of unforgiveness in
our lives, but events will cause them to surface on occasion. (Note the
illustration on pg 71 para 3.)
Is There Any Hope For Us?
pg 65 para 3 Do Jesus’ words at all suggest that wanting to forgive is
pg 65 para 4 “Resent” from the Latin to reexperience negative feelings.
Have you ever had feelings of resentment overwhelm you years after an
Do you ever feel condemned by testimonies of people who apparently have
forgiven gross injustices?
Do these testimonies ever remind you of Peter’s boast, “Though all would
forsake you, I (Peter) will never forsake you.”?
pg 66 para 1-3 Do you have latent bitterness against those who should
be closest to you?
(e.g. your mate, siblings, children, parents)
pg 67 para 1,2 pg 68 para 1-3 Note the contrasts between;
Matthew. 6:12-15 ; Matthew 10:35
2 Corinthians 2:7-11, Eph. 4:32; and Col. 3:13
pg 68 para 4 What motives does Jesus appeal to in Matthew 18:35?
What motives does the Apostle Paul appeal to in Eph. 4:32 and Col.3:13?
What Was The Lord Saying?
pg 70 para 2,3
Do you see your sins against God as greater than the sins of others
Compare 2 Samuel 12:1-4 and Psalm 51: 4
Why does David see his sin against Uriah and Bathsheba as primarily
against God Himself?
pg 70 para 4 Do you feel a joy when evil is punished?
Could this be a sign of unforgiveness on your part?
God’s judgment is real and will be exacted, but it is never God’s
desire. Jonah 4: 1-2
Does our pleasure at the judgment of others demonstrate how unlike God
Are Unforgiving Christians Bound for Hell?
pg 72 para 2 Do you see the contrast of self perfection and the
perfection that comes through the cross of Christ?
pg 73 para 1,2 How does a Christian being frustrated over their own
inability to forgive demonstrate the reality of their faith and their
What Color Is Your Parachute?
pg 73 para 3,4 How does this illustration relate to the old adage,
“There are no atheists in foxholes.”?
Why should Christians be the most humble of all people?
pg 75 para 2,3,4 How does the gospel turn a recognition of our
sinfulness into good news?
pg 75 para 5 Compare the concept of remnant sin in the life of the
believer with what Paul says in Romans 7:15-25.
How Can Anyone Be This Good? - The Good Samaritan
Study Guide Chapter 5
“You can either be good or you can be comfortable. Now, most people
choose to ‘solve’ the problem by giving 10% of their income or some
other number they feel comfortable with. But if there are people
literally dying because they don’t give 15% are they good? They’re not
even a little better.....And I’m not immune to this problem. I don’t
give 100%. So I’m evil. The only thing that’s different is that I walk
through every day of my life thinking, ‘I’m a little bit evil.”
Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip “Dilbert,” in the New York Times
January 24, 1999
pg 81 para 1 ff Do you sometimes find it easier to sympathize with the
plight of animals than with people?
What was the world’s response to the movie “Free Willie”?
pg 82 para 3 How does modern communication make meeting the needs of
those around us more daunting than in ages past?
pg 82 para 4 How can a story be “beautiful” and at the same time cause
pg 82 para 5 On page 52 of The Gospel Solution, there is a suggested
distinction between “eternal life” and “salvation”. What is that
What is the primary difference between the question asked by the rich
young ruler and the lawyer in Luke 10?
So Tell Me Your Answer
pg 83 para 3 ff How would you have answered Jesus if you had been the
Did you receive eternal life by keeping the two great commandments of
the old covenant?
pg 84 para 4 Why are these six words of Jesus so terrifying?
pg 84 para 6 What is the significance of there being two tables of the
See pg 48 for a visual presentation of the two tables of the Law.
Who Is My Neighbor?
pg 85 para 2 Who is your neighbor?
Luke gives us two times when people sought to justify themselves. One
here in our story.
What does it mean when it says the lawyer was trying to justify himself?
Compare how the word “justify” is used in the second place in Luke
Read Romans 3:30. How would you contrast how God justifies us with our
pg 85 para 4-6 How does Jesus shrewdly avoid an argument through the use
of a parable?
How Can Anyone Be This Good?
pg 86 para 1-4 What do you suppose Jesus’ purpose was in using two such
religious men as examples of failure?
Why is the parable strengthened by the one who helped being a Samaritan?
How is the story stronger because a Samaritan helped a Jew, than if a
Jew had helped a Samaritan?
pg 87 para 1-5 What personal sacrifices does the Samaritan make in the
Visualize yourself making an open ended commitment for someone who is a
How does this commitment make you feel?
Would you spend your last dollar for the care of your child or other
close loved one?
Would you spend your last dollar for the care of your enemy?
Do you ever resent what is spent on foreign aid to other countries?
The “Boomerang” Question
pg 88 para 4 Look up these other examples of boomerang questions.
Matthew 21:40 compare this with Matthew 21:45
How is the Lawyers answer certain to cause him problems?
pg 88 para 7 What are the terrifying words in Luke 10:28?
Why are they so terrifying?
pg 89 para 3 Jesus gave six terrifying words in Luke 10:28 (“Do this and
you will live.”) Then He gives five more terrifying words. What are
If your eternal life depended on living up to the standard of the Good
Samaritan, where would you spend eternity?
Such a Nice Story?
pg 89 para 4 ff How does reducing the story of the Good Samaritan to a
relative pattern of Christian living reduce its impact?
How does the context of Luke 10:25-37 demand a complete fulfillment of
the standard of the Good Samaritan for eternal life?
What Was the Lord’s Purpose?
pg 91 para 2 ff What do you think was the Lord’s purpose for telling
We do not know the lawyers reaction to the words of Jesus. Remembering
that the Jewish leaders reaction to Jesus was quite hostile, what
negative comments do you suppose the lawyer might have said about Jesus?
How Does This Apply?
pg 95 para 5 The Gospel Solution suggests the parable was never meant
to lead directly to eternal life. How is the parable meant to lead
indirectly to eternal life? (see pg 96 para 4)
What About the Church?
pg 97 para 1 Have you accepted the gift of salvation through the cross
of Jesus for yourself?
If you have not accepted this gift, do you hope to meet God’s standard
on your own merit?
pg 97 para 2 How would the mixing of Law and Grace place us on
probation rather than give us salvation?
pg 97 para 4-5 How does giving up on loving our neighbor as ourselves
for salvation actually enhance the quality of the life we live and how
we love those around us?
pg 97 para 5 Some have suggested that Jesus was literally the Good
Samaritan. One problem with this view is that we know that Jesus was a
full blooded member of the tribe of Judah. Therefore He could not have
been an actual Samaritan. But the Good Samaritan is a picture of the
kind of person Jesus was in fact. Jesus made His enemies whole at His
own expense on the cross.
pg 101 para 2 - 3 How is the story of Mary and Martha tied to the
parable of the Good Samaritan?
How is it shown that the story of Mary and Martha is out of context for
thematic reasons in Luke’s Gospel?
pg 101 para 4 - pg 102 para 1 How are the woes of Luke 11:37-54 related
to the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan?
Note the relationship of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the Lawyers
to the Lawyer in our story.
Do I Really Love God Enough - The Great Commandments
Study Guide Chapter 6
Opening three illustrations
Why would a dedicated Christian feel like such a failure at loving God,
while an unchurched gentleman would feel quite successful at loving
The most dangerous lies are those that are mostly true. Is it necessary
to go to church to love God?
If one truly loved God, would they go to church?
What answer would you have given Rabbi Stanley Wagner?
The Great Commandments
pg 106 para 2 What are the two great commandments?
pg 106 para 3 What is the source of the two great commandments? (See
page 84 para. 3 of The Gospel Solution)
The Purpose of the Great Commandments
What would be different in your life if you loved God with all of your
heart, soul, strength and mind? What do you suppose these four words
Heart - perhaps the things we value/love-
Soul - perhaps the value we place on life itself/ego-
Strength - perhaps the activities we work at-
Mind - perhaps the things we spend time thinking about-
How do you measure the love you have for your mate?
How do you measure your mate’s love for you?
For some the most telling proof of their limited love for God is in
their thought patterns. Some Christians become angry at God because He
has disappointed them. (loss of a love, death of a child,
childlessness, disappointment with ones lot in life) Is there some
glaring area in your life that shows you do not love God with all of you
heart, soul, strength and mind?
pg 109 para 3 How does “You are not far from the kingdom of God,” imply
the man is still lost?
pg 109 para 4,5 What do you see in the lawyers answer that made Jesus
treat this lawyer more sympathetically than the lawyer He encountered in
Luke 10:25 ff?
pg 109 para 6 How does “You are not far from the kingdom of God” imply
the man is close to salvation?
The Two Covenants
The primary theme of Hebrews was to inform the Jewish Christians of the
superiority of the New Covenant over the Old Covenant. Based on the
following verses in Hebrews, in what ways is the New Covenant superior?
Hebrews 9: 11-14 & 18-25?
Hebrews 10:1-4 & 10-14?
In Galatians 4:21-31, Paul speaks of an allegory about the two
covenants. How would you interpret Galatians 4:30 & 31?
How Should We Love God?
pg 113 para 2 Had you realized that the command to love God was not
repeated after the Gospel of Luke?
pg 113 para 3 In what ways does 1 John 4:10 contrast with the greatest
pg 114 para 1 The idea of the two great commandments not being part of
the New Covenant is so radical that some struggle with the suggestion.
If you are struggling with this, ask yourself, “Can I keep those two
New Commandments for the New Covenant
pg 114 para 2 What are the two summary commandments of the New Covenant
1 John 3:23?
pg 114 para 2 The two tables of the Law, the two great commandments of
the Old Covenant and the two commands of the New Covenant are similar in
pg 114 para 3 & 4 What is the greatest contrast between the first
command in the two covenants?
pg 115 para 2-4 What are the two major contrasts between the second
command in the two covenants?
pg 117 para 1 The major truths of the New Covenant are repeated
throughout the New Testament. Please look up the passages in footnotes
76, 77, and 78 on page 117.
The Power to Be Good
pg 118 para 1 & 2 According to Romans 4:5 and Ephesians 2: 8-10 What
place does works have in your salvation?
pg 118 para 3 According to James 2:10, is a pretty good attempt at
keeping the Law enough?
pg 118 para 4 through pg 119 para 3 How is the command to love the
brethren self fulfilling for the Christian?
pg 119 para 5 Would you rather depend on the strength of your faith, or
on the faithfulness of Jesus?
pg 120 para 2 What is the result of recognizing the place of grace in
pg 122 para 1 How would pretending to be keeping the two great
commandments of the Old Covenant make us like the enemies of Jesus?
Why Do I Feel So Condemned - The Sermon on the Mount
Study Guide Chapter 7
....the Lord Jesus Christ did not come to tell us what we have to do in
order to make ourselves Christians. There are some who think they can
put themselves right with God without mentioning Christ at all. But
there are others who believe that His main purpose in coming into the
world was to teach us, and to instruct us, and to give us a stimulus and
an example as to what we have to do in order to save ourselves. But
that is equally wrong. What He tells us to do is even more impossible
than the law that was given through Moses. The Sermon on the Mount,
which is our Lord’s exposition of the Ten Commandments, shows how
utterly impossible it is for anyone to keep the Ten Commandments in his
own strength. Our Lord did not come to tell us what we have to do in
order to save ourselves; He came to save us. He came to do something
for us, to act on our behalf. That is the very essence of the gospel.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ephesians Volume 1, Baker Book House, Grand
Rapids, 1978, p.150
As to ‘caring for’ the Sermon on the Mount, if ‘caring for ‘ here means
‘liking’ or enjoying, I suppose no one ‘cares for’ it. Who can like
being knocked flat on his face by a sledge hammer? C. S. Lewis, God in
the Dock, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1970, p.182
Look back at the quote of Philip Yancey on page 9 of The Gospel
Solution. Comparing Tom Weaver’s and Philip Yancey’s reaction, have
you ever been struck by your own failure while reading the Sermon on the
Quickly read through the sermon in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 or Luke 6:20 -
49. Note areas of particular concern for you.
Do you find it desirable;
to be poor
to be hungry
to be hated by men?
pg 126 para 3 What would a person be like who was extremely hungry or
Think of a time you may have been dieting. Think of any cravings you
might have had. Has the desire for food ever occupied your mind so much
that you were driven to eat, perhaps in secret so no one would know? If
we become obsessed when dieting, what if we were actually starving? Do
you ever feel so driven for righteousness that you can think of nothing
else and cannot rest unless you do righteous deeds?
pg 126 para 4 the ‘woes’ of Matthew
The counterpart to the Beatitudes are even more perplexing.
Are we to be poorly fed?
Are we to mourn at weddings, birthdays and parties?
Are we to resent those who praise us?
Are we to disparage our children so they can be blessed?
How Do We Treat Others?
pg 127 para 5 Do you find it easy to love Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin,
Osama bin Laden, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy...?
What would you tell a parent whose child was killed by some fiendish
Would you tell them to pray for the murderer?
If it was your child, could you pray for your child’s murderer?
Do you pray for those who sell drugs to children?
pg 128 para 2 Think of other movies you have seen. How did you feel at
the moment of resolution?
Ben Hur at the chariot race?
Saving Private Ryan when the Germans where stopped at the bridge?
“101 Dalmatians” when Cruella DeVil got her come-upance?
pg 128 para 3 How does the command to give to those who ask of you
apply to telemarketers?
If you are a pastor, have you ever had hateful feelings toward your
Have you ever had hateful feelings toward your pastor?
pg 128 para 4 Distinguish between the Golden Rule and the negative
version of that rule. what are the implications of that distinction?
pg 129 para 2,3 List a few of the kind deeds you have done for those
List any kind deeds you have done for those you consider ungrateful and
List any kind deeds done for you by individuals who would consider you
pg 129 para 4, 5 How does anger and lust make us murderers and
Do you think advertising appeals to our lust?
What does the pervasive presence of pornography on the internet imply
about the nature of many men?
Are any of these men Christians?
pg 130 para 2 The author closes this paragraph with, “I can’t do any of
this!” Can you?
(If your answer is yes, The Gospel Solution is not the book for you.)
The Danger of Hypocrisy
pg 130 para 3 How do these three illustrations demonstrate hypocrisy?
pg 131 para 2 The author lists several examples of his hypocrisy.
Can you think of any examples of politicians/businessmen who are
Can you think of any examples of your hypocrisy?
pg 131 para 3 How can a love of Jesus and an honest desire to do good
sometimes lend itself to promoting hypocrisy on our lives?
The Call to Obedience
pg 131 para 4 Can partial obedience fulfill the demand of obedience?
pg 132 para 4 Try to imagine what it would have been like for the
original hearers of this sermon. Jesus was not widely respected. He
was distrusted and reviled by those “church” leaders, both the
pharisees and the sadducees. Some even in His own family considered
Jesus to be mentally unbalanced. (Mark 3:21, John 8:22) With these
reservations about Jesus, what do you suppose your reaction would have
been to this sermon?
pg 133 para 2 If a person could fulfill the demands of the Sermon on the
Mount, would they need grace?
Do the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 7:19 resonate in your life?
The Roman Centurion’s Reaction
Note the contrast in the attitude between what Jesus taught in Luke 6:32
and that of the Jewish elders in Luke 7:4, 5.
pg 134 para 2 What was the contrasting opinion of the elders toward the
centurion and the centurion’s view of himself?
Could the centurion's view of himself be related to his godly lifestyle?
pg 135 para 2 Note the various meanings of the same word in different
contexts. How does the word “worthy” vary between Luke 7:4 and Luke.7: 6
Another example is the word “Good” in Luke 18:19 and Luke 23:50.
Another example is the word “World” in John 3:16 and John 18:36.
Only a Few Good Men
pg 135 para 4 through pg 136 para 2 What does the author think is the
pg 136 para 3 What are some of the purposes of the Sermon on the Mount
for Christians today?
If it were not for Jesus and the cross, would you see yourself as a
sinner who was in desperate need of salvation?
How could a judgmental attitude on your part be interpreted as not fully
seeing yourself as a redeemed sinner?
pg 137 para 2 Compare and contrast the absolute standards in the Sermon
on the Mount with the progressive growth called for in the letters, such
as Ephesians 4:15 and 1 Peter 2:2.
pg 138 para 2 What message does the Sermon on the Mount prepare us for?
pg 138 para 3 Why are sensitive and introspective individuals prone to
pain and guilt from reading the Sermon on the Mount?
pg 141 para 3 What are the two meaning of the lepers words?
Am I Too Religious? - The Prodigal Son
Study Guide Chapter 8
There are those who teach that the whole of the doctrine of salvation is
found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. But that is not so; and it
was never meant to be so. That parable was meant to teach one thing
only, namely, that God was ready to forgive publicans and sinners as
well as Pharisees.
D, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ephesians Volume One page 166 Baker
Would those who came to Jesus be welcome in your church?
pg 143 para 3 How do you feel about the sentence, “But our God isn’t
He’s Reading Their Minds
pg 145 para 2 To who did Jesus aim these three parables in Luke 15?
pg 145 para 3, 4 Do you receive criticism well?
Do you find the negative reaction of the religious leaders
understandable? (Understandable does not mean correct or commendable.)
The Lost and Found Department
pg 147 para 2 What is the seeming purpose of the first parable?
pg 147 para 4 How does the author suggest the Pharisees would interpret
the 99 sheep who did not go astray?
Read the story told by Nathan for the purpose of bringing King David to
the point of conviction. 2 Samuel 12:1-7
pg 148 para 2 In this second parable, Jesus reiterates that there is joy
in presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. What is
left out of the parallel statement from the first parable?
pg 148 para 3 Have you ever seen someone make a spiritual profession
while your attitude about them was; “Well, we will see.”?
pg 148 para 4 Note the progression of the percentage in the lost items.
Later in the chapter the author develops one more stage in the
progression. Can you guess what that next step will be?
The Prodigal Returns
pg 149 para 4 Does the son’s generous reception seem fair to you?
Contrast this to King David receiving back his son Absalom in 2 Samuel
pg 150 para 3 What does the author suggest as the two conflicting
thoughts of the Pharisees?
The Sins of the Older Brother
List the nine sins of the older brother suggested in the book.
pg 151 para 4
pg 151 para 2
pg 152 para 3
pg 152 para 4
pg 152 para 5
pg 152 para 6
pg 153 para 2
pg 153 para 3
pg 153 para 4
Can you think of any other sins of the older brother?
pg 153 para 5 What does the author suggest as the real contrast between
the two brothers?
The Coming Sequel
pg 154 para 2 What sort of a standard should we use if we want to make
ourselves look good?
pg 154 para 3, 4 What is the first step toward salvation?
pg 155 para 1-3 The author suggests this parable is unfinished for a
reason. What is that reason?
Who Is the Older Brother?
pg 155 para 5 Have you seen any of the nine sins of the older brother in
pg 156 para 2 Do you ever feel that certain people don’t deserve to
Ted Bundy is supposed to have made a decision for Christ before his
execution. Does it seem fair that he would go to heaven?
Have you considered that some of Ted Bundy’s victims will possibly not
go to heaven?
The Rest of the Story
pg 157 para 2 When Pharisees become Christians do they necessarily give
Do gentile Christians ever exhibit tendencies of legalism?
Do you ever exhibit tendencies of legalism?
Are We Able to Fish for Men?
pg 158 para 2 Are you living your life in such a way that others would
be drawn to the Savior?
pg 158 para 3 What is one of the destructive attractions of legalism?
pg 158 para 4 How would your children/parents see you with regard to
pg 158 para 5 Is it OK to reject legalists?
Do you care as much about legalists as Jesus did?
pg 160 para 1 When evaluating your own righteousness, do you compare
yourself to God, or to other people?
pg 160 para 3 Do you judge carnal sins more severely than self-righteous
Why Doesn’t God Give Me a Sign - Lazarus and the Rich Man
Study Guide Chapter 9
Have you ever asked the question, “Why doesn’t the Lord give a sign?”
What does the request of the Jews for a sign from Jesus tell you about
the power of miracles to build faith?
After the ten plagues on Egypt, including the Passover, the crossing of
the Red Sea, and the events of Mt. Sinai, was the faith of the
The Crafty Steward
What sins does the crafty steward commit in this parable?
The Real Audience
What are the four keys to understanding the parable suggested by the
pg 165 para 6
pg 166 para 2, 3
pg 166 para 4
pg 166 para 5
pg 167 para 2 What parallel does the author draw between the stewardship
in the parable and the stewardship of the pharisees?
pg 167 para 4 What does Jesus imply about the stewardship of the
pg 168 para 1 The author believes that the four gospels are carefully
developed editorial presentations of the life of Jesus. Nothing is done
in a haphazard manner. Therefore, he seeks to find how verses are
designed to fit when they appear out of place or appear clumsy on the
page. He likes to call these verses ‘vignette’ verses. Some examples
of these kinds of verses are Mark 10:18, Mark 11:14, Luke 16:28, John
What was the authors view on why Jesus brought up the subject of
The Two Economies
What are the two methods of achieving holiness?
What does 2 Corinthians 5:21 tell us about our righteousness through
The Pharisees did not believe in Jesus for which of the following two
1) Lack of a miracle?
2) Their lack of repentance from their sin?
Lazarus and the Rich Man
pg 169 para 5 Which of the principles of transitionalism is at play with
pg 170 para 3 Is Jesus condemning wealth or commending poverty?
pg 170 para 4 & pg 167 para 2 What parallel idea does the author see
in the use of money in these two parables?
The Barb in the Story
pg 171 para 4 - pg 173 para 3 How does the rich man express his unbelief
even in Hades?
If we suggest that God should do something miraculous so that others
might believe, how are we like the rich man in Hades?
pg 173 para 3 What did Jesus say was an adequate basis for faith for
those who were willing to believe?
Now Why “Lazarus”?
Some suggest the use of a name, (i.e. Lazarus) implies the story may be
a real event rather than a parable. The author feels the use of the
extremes in the story, the details of the story that could only be
known by someone who could see heaven and hell, and the unnamed rich man
point to a parable and not a historical event.
pg 173 para 5 Are the two men named “Lazarus” the same man?
pg 174 para 1, 2 What is the author’s suggestion as to why Jesus used
the name Lazarus in the parable?
pg 174 para 3 What was the reaction of some of the Jewish leaders to
the resurrection of the real man Lazarus?
pg 175 para 1 What great miracle of Jesus led to a request for a sign
and ultimately a major falling away from Jesus?
pg 175 para 3 What four opportunities did Cain have to make himself
right with God?
pg 175 para 4 In what way is Balaam like the Pharisees?
An interesting study would be to list the six opportunities Balaam was
given to submit to God.
Why No Miracle?
pg 176 para 1,2 What does the author suggest about the commonness of
miracles in the Bible times?
pg 176 para 3 What three periods of time does the author suggest as
having the greatest concentration of miracles?
pg 176 para 3 What is the suggested purpose of these miracles?
Having Ears to Hear
pg 177 para 1 What does seeking a sign from God as a requisite for faith
imply about the quality of God’s revelation, the Bible?
pg 177 para 2 Are you willing to let God be God?
pg 178 para 2 What was Jesus’ desire for the Pharisees?
pg 178 para 3, 4, 5 What does the author suggest is ‘unbelief’?
Do you ever think of yourself as a Christian because you are good enough
to be a Christian?
Are you judgmental of others?
pg 179 para 3 How does judging others demonstrate you have developed a
standard of righteousness of your own that you have substituted for
Who Will Cast the First Stone? - Church Discipline
Study Guide Chapter 10
Those who are filled with unholy ambition are glad to see a brother
blemished by some transgression. Yet they do not see that their
spiritual pride is the worst blemish yet.” R.C.H. Lenski
Think back on any times you have seen public discipline in a church
Were you uncomfortable with what you saw?
Did the process seem in harmony with how you picture Jesus and His
The Meaning of Matthew 18
pg 185 para 4 What bold suggestion does the book make about the teaching
ministry of Jesus?
pg 186 para 2 How often does the word ‘church’ appear in the four
Which is the only gospel that includes the word ‘church’?
pg 186 para 3, 4 Two examples are given of words translated
consistently one way in the King James Bible and in various manners in
most other translations. What is the primary determining factor for how
a word should be translated in a specific instance?
pg 186 para 5-7 The author suggests that ‘church’ in Matthew 18:17
should have been translated ‘congregation’ and mean Jewish synagogue.
What are his three contextual reasons for this idea?
The All Important Context
pg 187 para 4 which principle of transitionalism does the author think
is vital to Matthew 18:15 - 17?
pg 188 para 1, 2 Comparing these two paragraphs with Luke 9:46-48 and
Mark 9:35, how do the disciples display their failure to comprehend the
Kingdom of God?
Do you ever see this negative trait of the disciples in yourself?
pg 188 para 3, 4 Occasionally we read of someone who in response to
Jesus’ words has actually plucked out an eye or cut off a limb or had
themselves castrated. Is this an effective method to avoid sin?
According to Mark 7:20, what is it that defiles a man?
If self mutilation does not work for stamping out sin in one’s life,
what reason does the author suggest for Jesus using these strong words?
The Brother Who Offends
pg 189 para 3 Jesus shifts the discussion to bring the emphasis from
little ones who are offended by us, to us being offended by others. Of
these two subjects, which brought a reaction from Peter?
1) offenses by disciples against others, particularly children.
2) offenses brought by others against the disciples.
pg 190 para 3 If we forgave as Jesus teaches in Matthew 18: 22 would it
ever be possible to use Matthew 18:15-17 to discipline others?
pg 190 para 3 What are two elements of encouragement for us?
pg 190 para 4 Does the author suggest that because he thinks Matthew 18
is not about discipline in the church, that we should never judge
Misusing Matthew 18
pg 191 para 2 The author suggest a use of Matthew 18, not from its
interpretation, but from its application. (An old adage of Bible study
is that a passage has one interpretation but many applications.) What
is that application?
pg 191 para 3, 4 The author never confronted his minister friend. Was
that a correct course of action/inaction?
pg 192 para 1 How does this paragraph relate to the opening
illustration of this chapter.
pg 192 para 2 Which principle is not taught in Matthew 18.
1) Humble ourselves
2) Seek reconciliation
3) Avoid offending others
4) Take offense at sin
5) Offer forgiveness
6) Seek reconciliation
What About Church Discipline?
pg 192 para 4 What action does Paul propose in First Corinthians 5?
pg 193 para 2 Is judgment of non-Christians appropriate for the church?
pg 193 para 3, 4 Does the author think the man in First Corinthians 5 is
a true believer?
What do you think?
Some other passages of interest/ reflection are Second Thessalonians
3:6-15 and Ephesians 4:17-32.
Who Should Be Disciplined?
pg 194 para 3 What sins does the Apostle Paul address in the Corinthian
With all of this sin, why is this one man singled out?
pg 194 para 4 What does the author consider the three elements
necessary for public church discipline?
pg 195 para 2 How pervasive is sin in the lives of Christians?
According to Romans 7:15 - 24 how pervasive was sin in the Apostle’s
How pervasive is sin in your life as a Christian?
If you should happen to feel sin is not significant in your life, how do
you distinguish yourself from the Pharisees in the gospel accounts?
pg 195 para 4 Who is the accuser of the brethren?
Does repentance equate to victory over sin?
Some of the disciples of Jesus were originally disciples of John the
Baptist. John’s primary message appears to be repentance from sin.
Assuming these disciples must have been repentant, did these disciples
sin as disciples of Jesus?
Did sin motivate the disciples of John the Baptist in John 3:22 - 26.
pg 195 para 5 In what way was the man’s sin in First Corinthians 5
encouraged by the church?
Don’t Let the Church Go Ugly
pg 196 para 2 Read through the three scripture passages suggested for
correct church discipline.
Think about specific cases of church discipline you have personally
witnessed. (Not cases you have only read about or know of from afar.)
Were they appropriate?
pg 196 para 3 What two ugly elements does the author feel pollute most
What does the author mean by the phrase, ‘an ugliness that is baptized
by their misapplication of the scriptures’?
pg 198 para 1 Who takes primary responsibility for the discipline of
The Redemptive Lifestyle
pg 198 para 2 What does the author mean by the phrase, ‘primary
pg 198 para 3 Looking at the attitudes of the disciples in Matthew 18,
would you suggest they were gentle or humble?
pg 198 para 4 Have you ever let yourself be cheated as an act of faith?
Have you ever subsequently said bad things about the person you allowed
to cheat you?
pg 199 para 3 Why was David so indignant over the man who had supposedly
stolen a lamb?
How was David readily able to ask and expect God to forgive him?
List three characteristics of a redemptive lifestyle-
pg 200 para 1
pg 200 para 4
pg 201 para 2
pg 201 para 4 What bold but hopefully appropriate thing are you saying
about yourself when you seek to restore someone caught in a trespass?
How will you balance the self-proclamation as ‘one who is spiritual,’
with personal humility?
pg 202 para 3 The author suggest that the church is not a pure people,
but a community.
How do the wedding policies of your church reflect the attitude of Jesus
pg 203 para 2 Do you see in yourself something of the inappropriate
attitude of the disciples of Jesus?
Why Don’t I Have Enough Faith? - Mustard Seed Faith
Study Guide Chapter 11
If the parents had taken Wesley to a doctor or resumed his insulin, what
response do you suppose they might have received from their church?
pg 209 para 3 What would be your answer to the last question in the
paragraph, “Didn’t even one person have adequate faith.”?
The Mustard Seed Faith Passages
pg 210 para 2 Does the typical Christian that you know move mountains or
trees by their faith alone?
Does the exceptional Christian that you know move these things?
The Root of the Problem
The following two questions are very difficult! You may be unable or
unwilling to answer them.
pg 211 para 3 How have you offended others because of sin in your life?
pg 211 para 5 How do you feel when those who have offended you have an
unfortunate event in their life?
The Desire for a Magic Solution
pg 212 par 4 - pg 213 para 2 What attempts have you seen in yourself or
others to manipulate God through thoughts, words or actions.
pg 214 para 2, 3 Have you ever used the ‘put God to the test’ or the
‘grit your teeth’ method of prayer?
How would you distinguish these two methods of ‘prayer’ from a genuine
prayer of faith?
The Mustard Seed Mystery
pg 214 para 5 What two meanings are often suggested for the meaning of
‘mustard seed faith’?
pg 215 para 4 What are the two problems the author sees with these two
A Simple Faith
pg 216 para 3 The author believes the reference to ‘mustard seed faith’
is not a promise, but an ________________________ .
pg 216 para 5 - pg 217 para 1 How do the events of Acts 8:14-25 relate
to some false teaching on miracles today?
pg 217 para 2 How could a misunderstanding of Jesus’ words with regard
to ‘mustard seed faith’ cause a genuine believer to doubt their faith?
What About the Slave?
Which principle of transitionalism is being developed in this section.
pg 217 para 4 How would you distinguish ‘faith’ from ‘faithfulness’?
The author uses the phrase, “the church can apply,” in this paragraph.
How would you distinguish Bible interpretation from a biblical
Explain the author’s warning in the last sentence of this paragraph.
pg 218 para 2 Are you being faithful in your Christian disciplines?
The Obedient Leper
pg 218 para 4 What unusual element of this miracle is emphasized in this
pg 219 para 3 Compare this paragraph with John 4: 9 and 20 to see how
the Jews and Samaritans felt about one another. Also notice Acts 21:
29-31. This passage deals with a gentile rather than a Samaritan, but
it demonstrates the way Jews felt about their temple.
pg 219 para 6 - pg 220 para 3 The author applies this passage to the
faith life. Are you being obedient to God’s will for you?
Five groups are listed. What are these five groups, and what are the
Which of these groups apply to you, and how are you doing?
Do We Have Enough Faith?
The book goes beyond its scope of the synoptics to address a parallel
problem passage in John’s Gospel.
Which of the following is the greater work;
-the salvation of a man by faith?
-the resurrection of Lazarus?
-giving sight to a man born blind?
-healing a man born lame?
If all four of these events were reported in your newspaper as current
events, which would receive the least attention?
Most of us would consider the three healing miracles more phenomenal
than salvation. What does that say about us?
Why Doesn’t the Lord Answer Me? - Unanswered Prayer
Study Guide Chapter 12
How would you have answered the father’s question, “Why didn’t God
answer our prayer?”
If it were your child who had died, would you have found your answer to
that question satisfactory?
An Embarrassing Promise?
pg 226 para 2,3 Most Christians, because they have good theology,
condition the words of Jesus far beyond the text. C. S. Lewis takes the
words for what Jesus actually says. How would you paraphrase Lewis’
pg 227 para 1 How is Mark 11:23, 24 supportive of the positive
pg 227 para 4 Which principle of transitionalism does the author turn to
The Cursing of the Fig Tree
pg 228 para 4 - pg 229 para 2 Looking at Mark 11: 13 & 14 , does it
seem reasonable to curse the fig tree for not having figs out of season?
pg 230 para 3 There is a reference to ‘living parables’. How might the
parable of Luke 13: 6-9 be related to Mark 11: 12-26?
The Cleansing of the Temple
pg 231 para 1 Where is the record of the first time Jesus cleansed the
Note - Jesus began and ended His ministry with the cleansing of the
pg 231 para 4 The principle of purchasing a sacrifice and items for the
festivals was established by Moses. (See Deuteronomy 14: 22-27)
pg 232 -All If this trade was legal, how are the merchants robbers?
How Big Is This Promise?
pg 233 para 4 How long did it take the fig tree to wither?
pg 233 para 4 Some have suggested that “No” can be considered an answer
to prayer. Why doesn’t this satisfy what Jesus actually said in Mark
Is It a Living Parable
pg 235 para 1 Which element of transitionalism is discussed in this
pg 235 para 2 This paragraph shifts to another element of
transitionalism. What is this element?
pg 235 What are the two events in Mark 11 that are symbolic
illustrations of judgment?
Do You Have Faith?
pg 236 para 1-4 How can a theology that praying with faith guarantees
one will receive what they ask for cause one to doubt their own
An Interesting Inclusion
pg 237 para 1 What is the great danger of judging the Jews who were
enemies of Jesus?
pg 237 para 2 How is this portion of Mark 11 parallel to Matthew 6:
pg 237 para 3 - pg 238 para 1 What are some indications that we might be
a den of thieves?
pg 238 para 2 This short story, by W. W. Jacobs can be read on-line at
pg 238 para 3, 4 In your past study of this portion on prayer, have you
spent time thinking about your need to forgive?
Our Real Motives
pg 239 para 1 , 2 William Hendriksen in his commentary on Mark published
by Baker, conditions answered prayer on;
a humble and childlike faith
a sincere heart and mind
a will to persevere
a love for all concerned
submission to God’s sovereign will
prayed in Christ’s name
a loving heart
If someone were to say they fulfilled this list, would you be able to
distinguish them from the Pharisee in the parable?
New Covenant Balance
The author goes beyond the scope of The Gospel Solution, to emphasize
the importance of prayer in the life of the believer. A recognition
that prayer does not bind God to act should not be extended in any way
to diminish the great importance and power of prayer.
pg 239 para 3 What are the two sides of the balance on prayer as taught
by James in his letter?
The Lords Goals
pg 240 para 3 - pg 241 para 1 What is the suggestion as to three goals
of Jesus in this portion on prayer in Mark 11?
pg 241 para 4 How does a proper understanding of this section on prayer
serve to encourage us as believers?
Some Final Thoughts on Prayer
How does transitionalism help us to understand why the letters of the
Apostles in the New Testament are more easily understood and applied
than the Gospels?
Is Divorce the Unforgivable Sin? - Jesus’ Divorce Teachings
Study Guide Chapter 13
Since the writing of The Gospel Solution, the man who thought the author
was too easy on divorce has been divorced and has remarried. Now he
agrees with the author’s position.
Why can we accept the failings of those we know and love, especially
ourselves, and condemn those we dislike or those who are nameless and
Do We Follow the Lord?
pg 246 para 1 & 2 What would your denomination do if one of it’s widowed
pastors/leaders married a divorced woman?
pg 246 para 3 - pg 247 para 3 Would rejecting the divorced and
remarried make us more like the pharisees than Jesus?
What’s Your Position?
What is your position on divorce and remarriage?
How has your position been modified over the years by the experiences of
yourself and those you love?
Those Hardhearted Pharisees
pg 246 para 3- pg 251 para 1 What new element of the teaching did Jesus
add to the debate?
pg 251 para 2 Does the response of the disciples surprise you?
pg 251 para 3 The author makes an interesting assumption about the
uncertain meaning of the disciples statement. What do you think the
1) It is better for a man to remain celibate than to marry if divorce
is not an option.
2) It is better to just live with a woman if divorce is not an option.
3) Some other meaning.
pg 252 para 1-3 Which two elements of transitionalism are combined and
high lighted in these three paragraphs?
New Rules for the Church?
pg 252 para 4 - pg 254 para 2 This section of the book has five
paragraphs demonstrating why the author thinks the teaching of Jesus
cannot be new rules for the church. Which paragraph fits which of the
following five reasons.
1. Those who cannot defeat lustful thoughts are also guilty of
adultery. Therefore they would need to be condemned along with the
divorced and remarried.
2. There would be no basis of repentance outside of celibacy for
3. Grace is as effective after salvation as it is before salvation.
4. The burden of the New Covenant would be more sever than the Old
Covenant and everyone would be condemned by the New Covenant.
5. The public teaching ministry of Jesus does not include the gospel of
Is Divorce and Remarriage Ongoing Adultery?
pg 254 para 3 How would you distinguish “condemnation” from
pg 255 para 2 How would you characterize Jesus’ opinion, and that of the
gospel writers, of Moses and Moses’ writings based on the follow
Matthew 23:2, 3
Mark 7:10, 11
Mark 12: 19-27
Luke 24: 44
John 5: 45, 46
John 7: 19-23
Some read the words of Jesus, “Moses permitted,” to imply “But Moses was
wrong and should not have allowed divorce and remarriage. Based on the
references above in the Gospels, does this negative connotation with
regard to Moses’ teaching make sense?
pg 255 para 3 What distinction does Jesus make with regard to the
Samaritan woman’s relationship?
Can God Ever Approve of Divorce?
List the four times in the Bible where divorce is spoken of in a
pg 257 para 2 What does the author mean when he contrasts ‘property
rights’ and ‘marriage rites’?
pg 258 para 3 What is the significance of Malachi 2:15 and Galatians
4:21-25; 28-31, with regard to Abraham’s divorce?
pg 258 para 4 How would hardheartedness be involved in each of these
four examples from scripture?
What Is God’s Plan
pg 260 para 4 How does teaching that a divorced person must remain
celibate put that teacher in direct conflict with Jesus teaching in
pg 261 para 2, 3, 4 How is the teaching against remarriage in conflict
with the Jerusalem Council?
What About I Corinthians 7
While still in the manuscript form, several individuals asked the author
about I Corinthians 7: 10 & 11. Doesn’t this forbid remarriage after
divorce? The author gives four reasons why he does not believe that
that was the intent of the Apostle Paul. Put the four reasons in the
order given in the book.
1. Paul gave a general freedom to marry.
2. This is one of twelve times in this chapter where Christians are
encouraged to remain single. Why is this the only time it is binding?
3. ‘Not under bondage’ does not make sense, unless it means free to
4. Paul recommends marriage as a concession to sexual desire.
How Can We Apply This?
pg 264 para 1 How is I Timothy 5: 11-15 (a portion dealing with widows,
and not divorce women) related to the logic in this paragraph?
pg 264 para 4 The author suggests that generally divorced people should
live their lives anticipating that they will marry again. He believes
this is the most effective way to live ones life to the glory of God.
What five things does the author suggest for those who are divorced?
Does Transitionalism Work?
Study Guide Chapter 14
The three gospels previously written, having been distributed among all,
and also handed to him (John) , they say that he admitted them, giving
his testimony to their truth; but that here was only wanting in the
narrative the account of the things done by Christ, among the first of
his deeds, and at the commencement of the gospel. And this was the
truth. For it is evident that the other three evangelists only wrote
the deeds of our lord for one year after the imprisonment of John the
Baptist and intimated this in the very beginning of their history.
Eusebius Ecclesiastical History , Book 3 Chapter 24, pg 108, Baker
Will Transitionalism Help You?
pg 269 para 4 Where does the author suggest is the source of Christian
pg 270 para 2, 3 What are some fears expressed about transitionalism?
pg 270 para 4 In contrast to fear and guilt, what should motivate a
believer to live righteously?
pg 271 para 2-4 Alan Greenspan once reported that the ability of U. S.
employers to freely lay off employees gave them a freedom to hire
employees more readily, resulting in less unemployment. How is this
related to these three paragraphs?
What Makes Us “Good”?
The section speaks of two systems of life. Fill in the spaces with the
Christian Before Faith
Spirit of Adam
Dead to Law
Newness of spirit
How New Is Transitionalism?
pg 274 para 2 Transitionalism is not new doctrine, but a
___________________ of _______________.
pg 274 para 3 The Gospel Solution has no new principles, but is only a
_____________ of ideas hinted at in other places.
All of pg 275 - Four theologians, a Catholic, an Evangelical Free, a
Presbyterian, and an Anglican, all express a seeming conflict between
the synoptics and the epistles. Looking at C. S. Lewis’ quote, how does
Lewis contrast Jesus’ teachings to Paul’s?
Why Do We Have the Synoptics?
Put the following reasons in the order given in the book.
A historical knowledge of the life of Jesus.
Interprets the Mosaic Law and reveals God’s holiness.
Helps us see our own need for a Savior.
Reveals the passion ministry of Jesus.
Means of preparing an unbeliever for the gospel.
Reveals the Lord and His genius.
Prepares us to understand the epistles.
Reveals Jesus’ interaction with individuals.
A historical event requires a historical setting.
What About John’s Gospel?
pg 279 para 2, 3 What is John’s stated purpose for his Gospel?
What technique does the author suggest that John used to meet his
pg 280 para 2 The synoptics emphasize Jesus’ ministry as it relates to
___________ and John’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus ministry as it relates to
pg 280 para 4 What events of Easter morning show that the disciples did
not understand Jesus’ purpose in the cross?
What Makes a Teacher ‘Great’?
pg 281 para 3 - pg 282 para 2 What are five observations that could be
used to show that Jesus was not a great teacher?
pg 282 para 3 Why are these five observations not valid in evaluating
Jesus as a teacher?
According to the author, what were the goals of Jesus?
pg 283 para 3 Why was Jesus the greatest teacher that ever lived?
What About Theology?
What is the most common impact that transitionalism has on theology?
How does transitionalism help overcome hypocrisy?
Three Areas of Practical Growth
pg 285 para 1 What cautions are given about public confessions of sin?
pg 285 para 2 Why do pastors often keep a distance from their
pg 285 para 3 According to J. Grant Howard, what does sin make us do?
2. Transparency Leads to Confidence
What is the counter intuitive nature of the gospel that allows us to see
ourselves as sinners, yet have self esteem and confidence?
3. Confidence leads to peace
pg 287 para 3 The author suggests it is possible that we can be at peace
with God yet not at peace with ourselves. What do you think he means by
The author suggests three reasons why we may feel that we are not at
peace with God. What are those three reasons?