Investigators Bible Class
Study sheets, Copyright (c) 2006-2018, Dusty Garison. All rights reserved.
For over ten years I have taught the “Investigators Bible Class” at Beltway Park Church in Abilene – most of that at the south campus, but now at the north campus. These study sheets were written specifically for my class. You are welcome to print these for personal use, but please do not edit, revise, copy, distribute or otherwise republish without specific permission.
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, 7)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls His followers into a new and different way of living. At its heart, however, the message isn’t about rules – it’s about a relationship with God that transforms who we are and how we see the world.
The class can be joined at any time. Study sheets will be provided, and participants are encouraged to bring their Bibles and a pen. Come be a part of the Summer in the Sermon!
- Matt. 5:1-6 – The First Four Beatitudes: Our Relationship with God
- Matt. 5:7-12 – The Next Four Beatitudes: Our Relationships with Others
- Matt. 5:13-16 – New Attitudes and a New Approach
- Matt. 5:17-26 – The True Spirit of the Law: Murder
- Matt. 5:27-46 – The True Spirit of the Law: Adultery and More
- Matt. 6:1-4, 6-18 – Acts of Righteousness: Giving, Fasting
- Matt. 6:6-15 – Acts of Righteousness: Praying
- Matt. 6:19-24 – The Values of Our Lives
- Matt. 6:25-7:6 – Kingdom Ambitions
- Aug. 12 – Matt. 7:7-29 – Kingdom Consequences
- Aug. 19 – Putting It All Together
- Aug. 26 – Class Not Meeting
Life in Christ – Studies in Ephesians
There is a large middle-class living a relatively prosperous lifestyle. Everyone talks about the latest entertainers, and sports figures are wildly popular. Despite a layer of respectability, sexual immorality is rampant. Many Christians are divided against each other and struggling to know what their faith means for daily living. Sound familiar? Actually, it’s a description of Ephesus in the first century. That’s why Paul’s letter to the Ephesian believers is so timely for us today, as is his message about what it means to live “in Christ.”
- Spiritual Blessings in Christ – 1:1-14
- Our Calling in Christ – 1:15-2:10
- Unified in Christ – 2:11-3:13
- Living in Christ – 3:14-4:6
- Serving in Christ – 4:7-16
- Made New in Christ – 4:17-32
- Shining in Christ – 5:1-20
- Relationships in Christ – 5:21-6:9
- Standing in Christ – 6:10-24
Walking the Roman Road
How can a person be saved? We are saved through faith in Christ, right? But what does that really mean? For that matter, what IS faith, and what does it look like in our everyday lives? Many Christians today are struggling with these questions. And these are the very questions Paul wanted to answer in the Book of Romans.
We will consider what it really means to live by faith, and how to put that faith into practice. We will find assurance from knowing that we have peace with God and that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus; we will also learn what it means to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God.
- Romans at 30,000 feet
- Introductions – Romans 1:1-17
- The Gentiles Have No Hope – Romans 1:18-32
- The Jews Have No Hope – Romans 2:1-3:8
- Life in the Spirit – Romans 8:1-17
- Watching and Waiting – Romans 8:18-30
- More than Conquerors – Romans 8:31-38
Studies in Isaiah
- Let us Reason Together – Isaiah 1
- The Mountain of the LORD – Isaiah 2
- Vineyard & Vindication – Isaiah 5
- A Great & Terrible Vision – Isaiah 6
- Signs & Symbols – Isaiah 7
- Judgment & Hope – Isaiah 8-9
- A Branch from Jesse – Isaiah 11
- (more coming)
More Precious Than Gold
Many believers struggle with the challenges of living out their faith. What does the Bible mean when it says we are to “submit to God,” or that we should “be holy”? Fortunately, we do not have to wonder.
The letters of James and First Peter are full of practical advice on how Christians ought to live for God, day in and day out. This study will provide practical insight on what it means to live as a Christian, and show us habits to help us be more devoted followers of Christ.
- James 1:1-18 – Persevering Through Trials
- James 1:19-2:13 – Pure & Faultless Religion
- James 2:14-25 – Living Faith, Dead Faith
- James 3:1-12 – Taming the Tongue
- James 3:13-4:12 – Wisdom from Heaven
- James 4:13-5:6 – Walking in Humility
- James 5:7-20 – Patience and Prayer
- 1 Peter 1:1-2:3 – A Living Hope
- 1 Peter 2:4-12 – Chosen by God
- 1 Peter 2:13-3:7 – Redeeming our Relationships
- 1 Peter 3:8-22 – Living as a Believer
- 1 Peter 4:1-19 – Suffering as a Christian
- 1 Peter 5:1-14 – Strong, Firm & Steadfast
Celebrating the Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are among the most familiar pieces of scripture in the entire Bible – they even have their own movie! They have been quoted, debated, and discussed; they have also been at the center of many lawsuits. And yet, many people don’t really know them, or understand their continuing importance. Even many Christians seem unsure how to apply them to everyday life.
In this class we will explore each of the well-known commandments, and will discover that each of them holds a valuable principle that matters to our lives today. Rather than seeing them as harsh or restrictive, we will explore the life-giving truth contained within each, and understand how these ancient verses are still relevant for believers in the 21st century.
- A Fresh Look at the Commandments
- Accept No Substitutes
- Celebrating the Name of God
- Shabbat Shalom
- Celebrating a Godly Heritage
- Celebrating Life
- Celebrating Faithfulness (2-part lesson)
- Celebrating Integrity
- Celebrating Truthfulness
- Celebrating Contentment
First Corinthians: Tough Questions, Timely Answers
The book of First Corinthians remains one of the most relevant in the entire Bible, and even today, we are still wrestling with the issues it confronts. How much should I limit my freedom in Christ to avoid offending others? How does being in Christ affect my sexuality? What about speaking in tongues and other spiritual gifts? Did Jesus really rise from the dead, and besides, what difference does it make?
- Overview & Introduction – 1:1-9
- God’s Wisdom, God’s Foolishness – 1:10-2:5
- Wisdom Among the Mature – 2:6-3:9
- The Dangers of Divisions – 3:10-23
- Genuine Servant Leadership – 4:1-21
- Carnal Christians – 5:1 – 6:20
- Christian Sexuality – 7:1-17
- More on Marriage – 7:18-40
- Christian Freedom – 8:1-13
- Rights & Responsibilities – 9:1-27
- The Dangers of Idol Worship – 10:1-11:1
- Instructions About Worship – 11:2-34
- Spiritual Gifts – 12:1-31
- The Most Excellent Way – 13:1-13
- Speaking in Tongues – 14:1-25
- Decently and In Order – 14:26-40
- Raised on the Third Day – 15:1-58
- Strength & Courage! – 16:1-24
Tales of the Kingdom
What are parables? Are they just simple stories Jesus used to entertain the crowd, or do they have a more lasting significance, even to modern day audiences? In this study, we will examine many of Jesus’ best-known stories and sayings to discover the timeless spiritual truths they contain. We will discover how He used amazing word pictures and vivid imagery to describe life in the Kingdom of God, to teach His disciples and confront His enemies.
- Once Upon a Time…
- A New Kingdom
- The Nature of the Kingdom
- Who is my Neighbor?
- Parables On Prayer
- The Sower, the Seed, and the Soils
- The Generous Employer
- Parables On Forgiveness
- Parables on Faithfulness
- Parables on Wealth
- Special Study: “God Helps”
- The Parable of the Vineyard
- The Fabulous Dinner Party
- The Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost Boy
- Jesus’ “I Am” Statements
- Putting it into Practice
Calling on His Name
In the Bible, names have great significance. More than just a way of referring to someone, a name represents a person’s character and true nature. It should not surprise us to learn that God is known by many names, especially in the Old Testament: Yahweh, Lord, Father, Husband, Healer, the God who sees, the Holy One of Israel, and many more.
This study will consider the different names by which God is known, to discover what they reveal to us about His character, and to explore the various aspects of the relationship He offers. We will also examine how knowing these different names and titles for God can enrich our prayer life and strengthen our daily walk with the Lord. GO DEEPER: RECOMMENDED RESOURCES.
- Ha’Shem: For the Sake of His Name
- Elohim: Creator and Sustainer of Life
- Yahweh: The Great I AM
- God Relates to His Creation: King, Judge, Master
- God Relates to His People: Father, Husband, Beloved, Shepherd
- From the Throne Room: The Holy One, Ancient of Days, LORD of Hosts
- God of Power: God Almighty, Most High, of Eternity, Strong Tower
- God of Provision: The God Who Sees Me, the LORD Provides, Banner, Rock and Redeemer
- God of Peace: The LORD our Healer, the LORD our Peace, Who is There, Our Righteousness, Who Makes Us Holy
Son, Savior, Shepherd – A Study of Hebrews
The book of Hebrews is one of the most inspiring and challenging books in the entire Bible. It was written to first century Jewish believers in Jesus who were being pressured to abandon their faith and return to their old way of life. This book examines the complete superiority of Jesus in everything, and affirms that the law and the sacrifices were only shadows of things to come, but Jesus is the reality.
In this class we will consider all the ways that Jesus is God’s final word to us: eternal and better than anything or anyone else. We will also examine such questions as, What does it mean to be part of the community of believers? If Jesus has triumphed, why do we still face trials and suffering? How can we remain faithful, even in the face of opposition? In the process, we will see Jesus as our Brother, High Priest, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith – the same yesterday, today and forever.
- God’s Final Word (1:1-4)
- Better Than Angels (1:5-2:9)
- The Captain of Our Salvation (2:10-18)
- Jesus and Moses (3:1ff)
- Sabbath Rest for God’s People (4:1-13)
- Jesus Our High Priest (4:14-5:10)
- Got Milk? (5:11-6:8)
- An Anchor for Our Souls (6:9-20)
- King of Righteousness, King of Peace (7:1-10)
- A New Kind of Priesthood (7:11-8:6)
- Special Study: Shadows of Things to Come
- Greater and More Perfect (8:7-9:14)
- Superior Covenant, Superior Sacrifice (9:15-28)
- A Work Completed (10:1-18)
- A Call to Community (10:19-25)
- A Call to Perseverance (10:26-39)
- The Evidence of Things Not Seen (11:1-16)
- Seeing the Invisible God (11:17-40)
- Keep On Keeping On (12:1ff)
- Final Encouragements (13:1ff)
The Gospel According to Isaiah – Christmas, 2014
The prophet Isaiah lived hundreds of years before Jesus was born, yet God gave him incredible visions about the coming Messiah, the nature of His work and the Kingdom He would bring. In this class we will look at some of Isaiah’s prophecies about Jesus and His birth, how they were fulfilled, and what they mean for us today.
Feasts & Festivals of Israel
Are you curious about Jewish festivals and traditions? Do you want to know what they mean for Christ-followers today? Does the mystery of a “High Holy Day” still matter? In this 12-week course, we will consider each of the festivals and its fulfillment in Jesus and what they mean to us today.
- Introduction to the Festivals
- Sabbath (With Jase Wilson)
- Jewish New Year / Feast of Trumpets
- Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement
- Succoth / Tabernacles
- Tisha B’Av AND Purim
- Passover, Part 1
- Passover, Part 2
- Unleavened Bread
- First Fruits
The Fruit of the Spirit
Fresh fruit is not just a sweet treat to eat – it’s also a source of life-giving nutrition to those who receive it, as well as a reflection of the health of the plant that produced it. Perhaps that’s why Paul described love, joy, peace and more as being “The Fruit of the Spirit.”
More than just random character traits, the Spirit produces these qualities in us as a way to bless those around us, and also reflect our progress towards spiritual maturity. In this study, we will discover a Biblical definition for each quality, and explore the ways they encourage us to becoming even more fruitful for Christ.
- Not a Watermelon: Introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit
- The Greatest of These (Love, Part 1)
- The Only Thing That Counts (Love, Part 2)
- The Joy of the LORD – With Eddy Smith
- Peace Like a River, 1
- Peace Like a River, 2
- Patience Towards All
- Kindness & Goodness
- Self-Control – With Eddy Smith
Ancient Wisdom, Timeless Truth
Life Lessons from Proverbs
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,” Proverbs tells us, but what does that really mean? How does one gain wisdom, and more importantly, what connection does it have to everyday life? This ten part study will consider the ancient book of Proverbs and discover its insights into how to live in a way that God says is wise. And we just may discover truth that is as relevant today as it was 3000 years ago.
- A Matter of Life and Death
- God & Wisdom
- Statue of a Fool
- Work & Money
- Apples of Gold: The Power of the Tongue
- The Character of a Godly Man
- Far Above Rubies
- Home & Family
- Friends & Neighbors
- Talk to the Animals
That You May Believe
The Gospel of John is unique among the four accounts of the life of Jesus found in the New Testament. John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” was an eyewitness to nearly all that Jesus did and said during His ministry, and this book represents John’s memoir of the life of Christ after a lifetime of thinking about it. Small wonder that so many believers today regard it as their favorite book in the Bible.
- 01 – Introduction
- 02 – The Prologue
- 03 – Calling the First Disciples
- 04 – Jesus Begins His Work
- 05 – A Meeting by Night
- 06 – He Must Increase
- 07 – The Woman at the Well
- 08 – Signs and Wonders
- 09 – Like Father, Like Son
- 10 – A Day at the Lake
- 11 – Jesus, The Wonder from God
- 12 – The Feast of Tabernacles
- 13 – The Light of the World
- 14 – The Adulterous Woman
- Special Study: A Morning in Jerusalem
- 15 – Who’s Your Daddy?
- 16 – Sight to the Blind, Blindness to the Sighted
- 17 – The Good Shepherd
- 18 – Do You Trust Me?
- Devotional on “Do You Trust Me?”
- 19 – Mary Anoints Jesus
- 20 – Lifted Up
- 21 – The Beginning of the End
- 22 – The Way, the Truth and the Life
- 23 – The Counselor Who is to Come
- 24 – The Vine and the Branches
- 25 – Love and Hate
- 26 – Grief and Joy
- 27 – Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer
- 28 – Jesus is Arrested
- 29 – Jesus on Trial
- 30 – Before Pilate
- 31 – Jesus is Condemned
- 32 – Lifted Up
- Special Study: A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion
- 33 – Tetelestai
- 34 – The Resurrection
- 35 – Life in His Name
- 36 – Breakfast by the Beach
In this class, loosely based on the popular television program, we examine questions such as, How can we know God exists?, Why does God allow suffering?, How do I know I can trust the Bible?, Is the resurrection just a myth?, and more. Learn more about what it means to love God with our minds (Matt. 22:37), and be better prepared “to give the reasons for that the hope that we have within us” (1 Peter 3:15).
- 01: Know Why You Believe
- 02: Does God Exist?
- 03: Objections to Faith
- 04: The Problem of Pain
- 05: The Bible: Is It Reliable?
- 06: How We Got Our Bible
- 07: A Man of History
- 08: The Resurrection: History or Hoax?
The Once and Future King
For Christmas, 2012, we made an examination of the numerous Old Testament prophecies concerning the lineage and birth of Jesus.
My Servants the Prophets
During the Summer of 2012, our class studied the Minor Prophets – those lonely voices speaking for God, crying out for repentance and social justice while envisioning God’s coming Kingdom and warning of judgment to come.
- 01 – Who You Calling Minor?
- 02 – Hosea
- 03 – Joel
- 04 – Amos
- 05 – Obadiah & Jonah
- 06 – Micah
- 07 – Nahum & Habakkuk
- 08 – Zephaniah & Haggai
- 09 – Zechariah
- 10 – Malachi
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus