BIBLE STUDY HELPS
BIBLE STUDY HELPS
Many people feel fine speaking freely about God, and describing what he is like to them, according to their opinion. Some people even profess that God speaks to them, outside of Scripture, and gives them things to say to others - as if they were directly from God himself. But what has God really said? And what is he like? We need to be careful to test all things according to Scripture - that we might hold onto what is good, and reject every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) .
And that brings up an important point. God does in fact want us to know certain things. He has revealed himself in specific ways to accomplish this -
1. Through Creation (General Revelation)
2. Through Scripture (Special Revelation)
3. In the Person of the Son (whom we read of in Scripture, and know through salvation).
Therefore, in order to know God (and even ourselves truly), we must look to what he has said himself, not relying only on nature (which is subjective and only gives enough light to reveal the existence of God), but instead, by depending on grace through the Spirit he's given us, as we read his objective Word, individually and together.
There are many great resources that we can take advantage of when it comes to reading God's Word. We at First Family Church use the English Standard Version (ESV) in our worship services, but also recommend the NASB, the CSB, the NKJV, and the KJV. It's important to use a translation that is literal or "word for word" so that it conveys what God intended. Below, is a helpful chart that will give you an idea about where specific translationas fall, and on the right hand side of the page (if you view this on your phone, it will also be below), are some resources to assist you in reading.
In your phone's App store, search for the following Bible Apps -
Some people benefit from a reading plan. If you have never tried one before - here are some suggestions. There are others out there, and of course - you can make up a plan yourself!
The Holy Scriptures - Genesis to Revelation - are the sole authority of the Church of Christ and they are profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, that we may be complete, equippped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). They are the authority, and sufficient, but that doesn't mean that other resources aren't helpful. As individuals, filled with the Holy Spirit, we aren't automatically any better than other Spirit filled believers when it comes understanding God's Word. Sin still blinds us all in certain regards, leading to differing views of doctrines among believers. One day - when we meet Jesus face to face, those differences will all be worked out, but until then, we would be wise to take advantage of the many resources available to us.
After all - we are a church body that listens to preaching every Lord's Day. And the pastor does more than just read the Word of God. He explains it. He exegetes it. He draws out the meaning from it. We know we need help from others in the Church to grow into maturity in Christ. Just like God ministers to us through the means of grace in preaching, we are also benefitted by studying God's word, and being helped by the efforts of other men and women from history, and from contemporary sources along those lines.
Below is a list of recommended, online resources, broken down into different kinds. These aren't the only good things out there, but simply some suggestions. There are many, VERY BAD resources out there, but what is below, is listed because we believe them to be helpful, accurate and God glorifying. That doesn't mean that we would agree with everything that each resource has to offer (see the Statement of Belief page for a framework of belief that we adhere too), but generally speaking - you will be edified in taking advantage of these resources. Also - it would be impossible to list everything that is good and helpful - so these recomendations aren't meant to be exhaustive. If we missed something good that should be on list, let us know. If you don't think something should be listed here, let us know. If you're wondering about a resource and it's not on the list, let's talk about it. Lastly, there have been many sound theologians over the years, and there are countless books that will bless you. It's too great a task to list those works and those men & women here, but if you're not sure about something or someone, please do speak to an elder. We'd love to help in that regard.
The following websites cover a vast amount of different topics and are generally helpful to your study. Be discerning as not everything is agreeable on some of these websites (especially post covid and the theological and cultural drift in the west). Also - you may want to consider the online Bibles & Apps listed above as many of them contain commentaries and original language helps.
Theopedia.com - An Encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity
Monergism.com - Articles, MP3's, Resources on the Historic Christian Faith
CCEL.org - Christian Classics Etheral Library
1689Federalism.com - Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology
Founders.org - Blogs and Theological Journals
Challies.com - Blogs, book reviews and more.
Ligonier.org - Teaching ministry of R.C. Sproul and others
GTY.org - Teaching ministry of John MaCarthur
pbministries.org - A.W. Pink online resources
9marks.org - Resources for the local church
Bestcommentaries.com - A compilation of ranked commentaries
Baptist21.com - Pastor led network within the SBC
DesiringGod.org - Blogs and other teaching resources
TheAquillaReport.com - News and commentary on the church
TheCripplegate.com - Blogs from pastors associated with GTY.
DBG.com - Blogs & Sermons
Heidelblog.net - The online blog of R.S. Clark
Whitehorseinn.org - Blogs & Articles
MLJtrust.org - Martin Lloyd Jones sermons and resources
Gotquestions.org - answers to many topics on the Christian life an doctrine
CARM.org - Christian Apologetics Research Ministry
Answersingenesis.org - Resources on Creation
AOMIN.org - Alpha and Omega Ministries - James White
Livingwaters.com - Evangelism and more
Reformed.org - CRTA - Center for Reformed Theology & Apologetics
Reformedreader.org - Commited to historic Baptist and Reformed beliefs
Reformation21.org - Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals blog (multiple authors)
Tabletalk Magazine - An online/print magazine with a daily devotional and helpful articles published monthly.
Confessions & Creeds:
Some people view Confessions & Creeds as divisive. Not here at FFC though. They are unifying, helping us to be united around common truth, and most of these documents were formed to combat false teaching. Though there are theological differences between some of the confessions, there is more agreement between these works than disagreement, and this is something to rejoice over and praise God for. Simply search for them online in your browser. If you need help finding one, or understanding something they are teaching, please ask. We especially value and like the 1689 LBC which is hyperlinked in the list below.
The Apostles' Creed - c. 200 AD
The Nicene Creed - 325 AD: On the Trinity/Christology
The Chalcedon Creed - 451 AD: On Christology
The Athanasian Creed - 500 AD; On Theology Proper/Christology
First Helvetic Confession - 1536 AD: Continental Reformed
Belgic Confession - 1566 AD: Continental Reformed
Thirty Nine Articles - 1571 AD: Anglican (Church of England)
The Book of Concord - 1580 AD: Lutheran
Canons of Dort - 1619 AD: Continental Reformed
First London Baptist Confession of Faith - 1644 AD
Westminster Confession of Faith - 1646 AD: Presbyterian
Savoy Declaration - 1658 AD: Congregationalist
Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (LBCF) - 1689 AD (originally written in 1677)
The Philidelphia Confession -1742 AD: Baptist
The New Hampshire Confession - 1833 AD: Baptist
The Abstract of Principals - 1858 AD: Baptist
The Baptist Faith and Message - 1925, 63, 98, 2000 AD: Baptist
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Innerancy - 1978 AD: Evangelical
The Ligonier Christology Statement - 2016 AD: Evangelical
The Nashville Statement On Biblical Man and Womanhood - 2017 AD: Evangelical
The Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel - 2018 AD: Evangelical
Similiar precaustions here as with "Creeds and Confessions." Also - we are fond of the Baptist Catechism which is hyperlinked below.
Heidleberg Catechism - 1563 AD: Continental Reformed
Westminster Shorter/Larger Catechism - 1649 AD: Presbyterian
Keach's Catechism (Baptist Catechism) - 1677- 1689ish AD (multiple reprintings - it's hard to say when it was first published)
The Orthodox Catechism by Hercules Collins - 1680 AD
A Catechism for Boys and Girls - 1995 AD: Baptist
New City Catechism - c. 2010: Presbyterian/Evangelical
Search for these titles on your podcast playing device:
The Briefing: News from a Christian World View with Albert Mohler
Wrath and Grace Radio: Theological discussion
Doctrine & Devotion: Theological discussion
The Baptist Broadcast: Theological discussion
Renewing your Mind: Sermons/Theology/Music
The London Lyceum Theological discussion
No Compromise Radio: Theological discussion
Iron Sharpens Iron: Theological discussion - prominent guests
Fighting for the Faith: Apologetics/Theological discussion
Theocast: Ministry/Theological discussion
Reformed Forum: Theological discussion (technical)
Mortification of Spin: Theological discussion
The Glory Cloud Podcast: Theological discussion
Alpha and Omega Ministries: Theological discussion
The Sword and the Trowel: Theological discussion
Covenant Podcast: Theological discussion
The Pactum: Theological discussion
The Heidlecast: Theological discussion
Conversations that Matter
Theology on the God
Theology in Particular
The Particular Baptist Podcast
Two Age Sojourner
The Blessed Hope Podcast
Just Thinking Podcast
Sermonaudio.com is a great resource for listening to sermons. There are many pastors on there who rightly divide the Word and make proper law/gospel distinctions. Here are some we like -
Trinity Reformed Baptist Church - Washington
Trinity Reformed Baptist Church - La Marida
Pray Mills Baptist Church - Josh Buice
Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church- Don Fry
Miguel Nunez (spanish speaking)
Grace Baptist Church - Tom Ascol