Small Group Studies

Text Week 4 Study


We have been learning a lot about the Bible over the last few weeks. We’ve been learning about how we got the Bible, how we know the Bible is reliable, and more. This week, we are talking about studying Scripture in community. The Bible is not meant to be studied only individually. It was meant to be studied with others in community. When we study the Bible with other people, God uses that community to help us gain a better understanding of Him and His Word. Today you live this out when you gather in your small group. We hope that as you take a closer look at the book of Nehemiah, you might learn to study and celebrate when you read God’s Word.


What is the best church service you have ever been to? What made it so great?


Bible Study Questions

1. What are some downfalls of living life in solitude? How might this relate to exclusively studying the Bible alone?


2. Read Nehemiah 8:1-8. How did the Israelites respond to seeing Scripture and hearing it being read?

Nehemiah 8:1-8

all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey.

So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. To his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah. To his left stood Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.

Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah—then instructed the people in the Law while everyone remained in their places. They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.

3. Describe the way Ezra and the other religious leaders approached reading and teaching from Scripture.

4. Read Nehemiah 8:9-12. What are some reasons why the Israelites needed to remember the Lord while they were weeping and mourning over their sin?

Nehemiah 8:9-12

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.” So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them. 


5. After reading about the Israelite’s response to hearing and learning from Scripture, what stands out to you about their response?

6. Why was studying Scripture in community so important for the Israelites?

7. How important is it for you to study the Bible with us every weekend at church? What are some ways that you can get more out of our worship service this week?


Studying Scripture in community is invaluable. Your small group is a great place to come to when learning through and processing Scripture. Pick a passage of Scripture to read this week as a group. It can be an entire book of the Bible, a few verses, or even one particular verse you want to reflect on each day. Then, as you go throughout your week, share the things God has been teaching you and showing you through His Word with each other.

Going Deeper[*]

Over the last few weeks, we have looked at several steps in studying the Bible to help us become better students of God’s Word. So far, we have looked at observation, interpretation, and correlation. Today, our focus is application. Application is the step that moves us from thinking about Scripture to doing something based on what we have read. Application is all about action.

 To help us become better at application, let’s look at three application methods to assist us in this process.  

Relationship Application Method: This method asks three questions, all dealing with the realm of relationships.

1. How do the verses I have read speak to my relationship with God?

2. How do the verses I have read speak to the way I relate to myself?

3. How do the verses I have read speak to my relationship with others?


SPECS Application Method: The acronym “SPECS” helps us to remember the steps in this method.

1. Is there a Sin to avoid?

2. Is there a Promise to claim?

3. Is there an Example to follow?

4. Is there a Command to obey?

5. Is there a Scripture to memorize?

• This question has an easy answer! There is always a Scripture that we can memorize!


2 Timothy 3:16 Method: Based on 2 Timothy 3:16, this method asks a list of 4 questions to ask during observation:

1. What does this passage teach?

2. How does this passage rebuke?

3. How does this passage correct?

4. How does this passage instruct?


Over the last few weeks, we have observed and interpreted Matthew 6:25-34. Take a few moments with your group to read these verses. After reading, review your study of interpretation and application over the last few weeks. Then, prepare to apply the versed you have read.  

Practice applying Matthew 6:25-34 to your life. First, choose one of the above application methods and ask the designated questions about these verses related to the application method you have chosen. Then, spend some time discussing these questions. After discussing, tell your group how to apply Matthew 6:25-34 to your life this week.

[*] These Bible Study steps were adapted from Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 101 at Dallas Theological Seminary, a class taught by Dr. Mark Bailey in 2015