The Ridge Church
Bible Study Outline for 9:00 am, September 30, 2018.
Locations & Times
  • The Ridge Church
    7350 Old Hwy 13, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 9:00 AM
Welcome Home: Connecting and Engaging People in Your Church

Session 1: Reality Check
Session 2: Open Arms
Session 3: Gracious Hospitality
Session 4: Intentional Love
Session 5: Authentic Joy
Session 6: Going Out
The Point
Authentic joy flows from a relationship with Jesus
The Bible Meets Life

Between 1590 and 1613, William Shakespeare wrote close to forty plays that are still performed around the world. So in 1795, when William-Henry Ireland produced documents supposedly written by Shakespeare, the world took notice. Several experts authenticated the documents. When Ireland “found” a previously unknown Shakespearean play called Vortigern and Rowena, it was immediately put into production. But the first performance revealed a play so bad that fighting broke out and Ireland was revealed as a fraud.

Ireland didn’t find these documents at all. He had cleverly aged parchment paper and learned to forge the handwriting of the famous playwright; eventually however, these works were seen for the forgeries they were. At some point, inauthenticity will always be revealed—even when it is in a Christian’s attitude. Most of us can be polite and friendly when we have to, but genuine joy calls for something deeper. People can detect the difference between a superficial “I’m glad to see you” and authentic joy. We cannot manufacture such genuine joy, but we will possess it when we’re consumed with the gospel and the love of Christ.
The Setting

Paul wrote his first letter to the believers at Thessalonica in approximately AD 50, about eighteen years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. This makes 1 Thessalonians both one of the earliest of Paul’s letters and one of the earliest writings in the New Testament. As such, it provides one of the earliest glimpses of the first-century Christian community, with its emphasis on faith and love.
“What’s the best forgery, fake, or fraud you’ve seen or heard about?
What do work, labor, and endurance have to do with faith, love, and hope?”

When have your relationships with others inspired your faith in God?
What are some ways your life reflects the joy of the gospel?

When have you seen the power of the gospel displayed in someone’s life?

How does demonstrating joy in difficult circumstances make a difference in the kingdom?
Macedonia and Achaia (v. 7)—When the Romans gained control of Greece, they divided it into two provinces. Macedonia was the northern and Achaia was the southern province. Thessalonica was the capital of Macedonia.

How can the truths of these verses help our group be more welcoming?

What obstacles get in the way of our living with a sense of love and joy?
Live It Out

Thank someone. Who is one person in your life who lives with authentic joy? Write a note and thank that person for his or her example.

Grow in joy. Take a hard look at the three suggestions for growing your joy (see page 49 of the PSG). Write them on index cards and place them in spots where you will see them on a daily basis.

Journal your thanks. Because joy is linked with gratitude, begin a “thankful” journal. Each day for the next month write down something you are thankful for and watch your joy begin to grow.

Wrap It Up

Happiness and a plastic smile can be manufactured easily enough, but time and circumstances will reveal the phoniness behind it. Authentic joy, on the other hand, will shine through, for it is rooted in what God has done for us in Christ.


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