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Billings Church of Christ - Getting ready to define our hope - Lesson materials

I Pet 3:15, Getting ready to defend our hope

Week-1 Handout … for the class-session on 04/21/21

NOTE: Portions of this Handout will likely be referenced during every session

Session-1 outline

Welcome to the class

Brief description of Zoom etiquette that we will try to follow

Brief description of the uniqueness of session-1

Identification of central text; and how that impacts the major objective(s)

   Of the 5-week class

Quick walk-through of this parts of this Handout which emphasize things that

   will be utilized in weeks 2-5.

Key passage: (NAS) I Pet 3:15

   This verse is not an isolated thought, but we will deal more with that

   next week.  For tonight, we are going to focus on the highlighted portion.

(15) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a 

     defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is

     in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” …

Primary Objective of this 5-week class:

   Utilize a fairly simple methodology to get ourselves in a position in

      which we are “always … ready” to defend our Christian hope.

   A simple methodology can still require time, reflection, & Bible study.

      But I believe this is a case where the end (___________ _________) does

         justify the means (________________ the ____________).

A few premises on which this class is based:

   _1  Participants already have _______________ Christ as ____________.

   _2  Participants ___________ to “always be ready”, but that may not be

       the best description of our current status.

   _3  With so many texts touching on the subject of “defending our hope”,

       memorizing even just their locations is a daunting task!  BUT …

       The methodology that we will emphasize does not require us to memorize

       a single instance of _________ / ______________ / ____________.


    4  While it will be necessary this evening for me to do much/most of the

       talking, there will be weekly homework assignments, and interactive-

       exercises each on every subsequent Wednesday evening which will

       encourage every member to share from the results of his homework.

The methodology we will emphasize in this class is called “chaining”.

Definitions & descriptions of terms used for the methodology of “chaining”:

   Chaining – ONE method of helping Christians to “always be ready”

                 to “defend our hope”.

   This methodology utilizes the imagery of chains & their components.

      Horizontal-chains (aka H-chains) are used to represent

         the teaching-path used to share any Bible-topic.

     (We will talk in terms of helping a questioner move

         from Point-A to Point-B.

      His movement will be along the H-chain, one sub-topic at a time)

      Horizontal-LINKS (aka H-Links) are the manageable-sized,

         Scriptural sub-topics, that collectively make up the H-chain.

      Vertical-chains (aka V-chains) are used to represent all of

         the Scriptural TEXTS that will be shared for each sub-topic.

         So, there is exactly one V-chain for every H-link.

      Vertical-LINKS (aka V-Links) are the individual Scripture texts,

         which collectively provide a good picture of what the Bible says 

         about the sub-topic being studied.

In my estimation … “defending our hope” is essentially equivalent to

“sharing our faith”!  That equivalence is reflected in my H-chain.

There are many methodologies that could be used to defend our hope.  Each has its strengths and weaknesses.  I chose the “chaining” methodology for this class because its strengths outweigh its weaknesses in my estimation.

   We will discuss these strengths & weakness either at the end of tonight’s

   session … or next week if we run out of time tonight. 

  

What follows on the next pages are examples of each component of the chaining methodology … primarily as it is applied to I Pet 3:15.  These examples will hopefully be useful as references while doing your homework AND while participating in the interactive, in-class exercises.


                      “Defending our hope

               Visual-illustration of the H-chain

  Point-A                                             Point-B

                |---|  |---|  |---|  |---|  |---
Questioner is   | 1 |--| 2 |--| 3 |--| 4 |--| 5 |  Questioner now
  BAFFLED       |---|  |---|  |---|  |---|  |---

by our hope                                        ______________ // our goal

For purposes of this class, the H-chain for “Defending our hope” will have five H-links (ie: 5 Scriptural sub-topics).  The five H-link descriptions

shown below are “abbreviated” for use in other parts of the “chaining”.

  

   Link 1 = Spiritual Authority   (Wk_1 discussion, Homework for wk_2       )

   Link 2 = A Universal Problem                    (Homework for            )

   Link 3 = God’s soul-saving Gifts                (Homework for            )

   Link 4 =    Universally available               (Homework for            )

   Link 5 =    Conditional Efficacy                (Homework for            )

   -------------------------------------  This line represents conditionality

   (Link 6) = Counting the Cost (Conditional)    (not to be handled in class)

After the final class session, you can personalize the H-Links in any way

that assists in your presentation of “Defending our hope”.  (You will have the opportunity to personalize your V-Links every week … as we start them in our homework & enhance them as part of our interactive-weekly-exercises.)

Once the H-chain & its corresponding H-Links have been determined, the next step is to prepare a list of texts from which we will build one V-chain for each H-linkOnly for this evening’s “examples” will we bypass the homework & interactive-exercises.  I have simulated an “enhanced”-list of texts representing the V-links for H-link-1 (Spiritual Authority).  You will notice that this list is not very robust but that is okay; because your first homework assignment will be to build on it!

The 3 texts below, applicable to H-link-1 (ie: “Spiritual Authority”) …

   illustrate the list created during phase-1 of your homework and 

   the corresponding interactive-exercise. 

The order of the texts is immaterial at this stage

      “Enhanced”-list of texts related to Spiritual Authority (H-link-1)

 (This includes texts you found AND texts shared by other participants.

  Pretend your “starter”-list contained only Mt 28:18. The other two texts

  were “contributed” by other participants during the interactive-exercise.)

   Reference     Content

   Mt 28: 18     All AUTHORTY … has been given to Me

   II Tim 3:16   All Scripture is inspired by God

   Prov 3:5      Trust the LORD, not your own understanding


The SAME 3 texts related to spiritual Authority … in an order you decide to  

   share them with a questioner.  (This is ARBITRARY for my example, but

   it illustrates the value of creating your V-links using a tool like WORD;

   because they can easily be re-arranged as you give the list more thought.)

   Phase-2 of your homework each week will be to think through the ideal

   texts and their ordering … to be included in your final V-chains.)

   Reference     Content

   II Tim 3:16   All Scripture is inspired by God                 (WAS 2nd)

   Mt 28:18      All AUTHORTY … has been given to Me              (WAS 1st)

   Prov 3:5      Trust the LORD, not your own understanding       (WAS 3rd)

The next step in the “chaining” process is to prepare a “chains-list” …

to tape into the inside-back-cover of the Bible that you plan to use.

We will enhance the “chains-list” sometime before the final session.

      Chains-List: Scriptural topics to “share” (or use yourself!)

   Main-Topic: Defending my hope (based on I Pet 3:15)

   Links of Horizontal-chain       First vertical-link 

      Spiritual Authority           II Tim 3:16

      A Universal Problem           1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse

      God’s Soul-Saving Gifts       1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse

         Universal Availability     1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse

         Conditional Efficacy       1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse

      -------------------------     This line represents conditionality

     (Counting the Cost)            1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse

  We will be working together ONLY on the chains for “Defending My Hope”.

  BUT the following entries illustrate that an endless variety of Main-topics

     can utilize the chain-methodology! (I chose NT church & Money as expls)

   Main-topic: N.T. church

   Links of Horizontal-chain       First-vertical-link 

      Spiritual Authority           II Tim 3:16

      Usages of the word in NT      Some text

      Organization                  Some text

      …                             …

   Main-Topic: Money

   Links of Horizontal-chain       First-vertical-link 

      Spiritual Authority           II Tim 3:16

      Money                         Some text

   Main-Topic: …

   Main-Topic: …


The final step in the “chaining” process is to enter the V-links into the

   main-body of the Bible that you plan to use.

We will also enhance this step sometime before the final session.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

   In the main-body of your “defense” Bible

                                                       In right-hand margin

II Tim 3 …     

          15                                                  Nothing

          16  All Scripture …                             ->  Mt 28:18

          17                                                  Nothing

Mt 28 …

          17                                                  Nothing

          18  And Jesus came up & spoke …                 ->  Prov 3:5

          19                                                  Nothing

Prov 3 …

           4                                                  Nothing

           5                                                * Final Link *

           6                                                  Nothing


                     Final Notes and Comments for Week-1

As we work at building our chains & links … we will also touch on some other subjects.  This will include, but may not be limited to:

   Other aspects of our “getting ready”

   Considerations of preparing/sharing that apply to all methodologies

 

Homework (phase-1) for Week-2 class (04/28/21)

   Prepare an un-sequenced list of texts that you can personally think of and

       then locate … applicable to the sub-topic “Spiritual Authority”.

   An exhaustive Concordance is a useful aid for this!

   NOTE: Phase-2 of the homework does not get performed until after the

         interactive-exercise associated with the sub-topic.

  

General format of weeks 2-5

   Opening prayer

   5-minute Devo  (may not be included every week)

   20-25 minutes of interactively sharing results from our homework,

           and correspondingly updating the results of our own homework

   5 minutes discussion of some best-practices that apply to our sharing …  

           regardless of methodology being used

   5-10 minutes discussing upcoming homework assignment & any questions from

           the evening’s current session

   Class is dismissed … but you are welcome to stay connected & visit

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