Bible Studies

 

“Let the word of Christ dwell within you richly….” – Colossians 3:16

Winter Bible Studies

2023


Sunday Classes

 

Connections – 9:30 am @ Church in the Great Room – Leaders: Multiple Members of our congregation

 

Connections is Christian Education for the whole congregation! Any and all households are welcome to join this "faith family" as we study familiar accounts from scripture, applying God's truth to our lives. We begin and end our time each week with brief intergenerational components.  Unpacking and discussing the lesson happens in appropriate age groups for students and adults. Let's take time to CONNECT - with one another and with the Word! 

 

The Bible Project – Video Based Overview of the Entire Bible: One Book at a Time – 9:30 am @ Church, Downstairs, Rm #2 in the Education Wing – Leaders Doug and Rita Martin.

 

The videos are excellently produced and provide a panoramic view of the various books of the Bible. The videos tend to range from 6 minutes to 10 minutes in length and are use as a springboard to propel the class members into great discussion.

 

Monday Classes

 

 “Following Jesus Through the Gospels” – 10:00 am @ Church in the Great Room – Leader: Bill Cullen

 

This study approaches the four Gospels as Jesus’ discipling course for his follower (both 2000 years ago and today). In the study participants will read, reflect on, and discuss both the teachings of Jesus through both Jesus’ words and through His deeds. Participants will also observe and discuss how the different people Jesus encountered responded to both His person and to His message. The course is meant to enable participants to be discipled by \Jesus today.

 

Tuesday Classes

 

Ladies Bible Study – 2nd & 4th Tuesdays – 10:00 am @ Church – “Life’s Principles from Paul’s Co-Workers”

 

In this study we will explore stories from Scripture of ordinary men and women who worked with the apostle Paul. These stories can and will challenge and inspire us in our own lives.

 

Wednesday Classes

 

What It Means to be Lutheran – 9:30 @ Church, Downstairs, Rm #2 in the Education Wing – Leader: Jeannie Newton

 

This study uses the book Grace, Faith, Scripture  by Daniel Paavola. It takes the heavenly ideas of the Reformation (Scripture alone, grace alone, and faith alone) and brings them down to earth. With a mix of story, analogy, and scriptural truth, the book serve up a delightful appetizer to the meal that is Lutheran theology. This book will prove to be a valuable introduction for those wondering what it means to be Lutheran as well as a delightful reminder for seasoned Lutherans.

 

Thursday Classes

 

Genesis – 6:30 pm via ZOOM – Leader: Bill Cullen

 

The book of Genesis is a book of beginning and new beginnings, of sin and forgiveness. In Genesis we learn the beginning of God’s heilsgeschichte – God’s salvation story which will continue to be unfolded and revealed through the rest of Scripture (as well as today). Heilsgeschichte is a German word meaning “holy history” or “holy story.” It is God’s story as He works to redeem and restore humankind to His originally created purpose(s). – Gen. 1:26-31; Eph. 1:9-10 – Please join us as we (1) explore and reflect upon God’s story, and (2) as we explore and reflect our part in God’s story as He continues to work out His created, redemptive, and restorative plan. – Gen. 50:20-21; Jn. 15:1-17; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:17-20; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 2:12-13 The link to join the Zoom study is:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81587401965?pwd=bmhHRUhwQ0hKQ3ZOUXFPdG5uV0Q0dz09

 

Saturday Classes

 

Judges – 1st & 3rd Saturday, 9:00 am – Breakfast Bible Study in the Great Room – Leader: Bill Cullen

 

The book of Judges ends with the words: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” In Judges the cycle of (1) Israel’s rebellion and disregard of God, (2) God’s responsive discipline through the oppression by other nations, (3) Israel’s repentance and crying out to God for help, (4) God’s response by raising up a Judge to deliver and retore Israel His wayward child. There are many powerful lessons for our society today to learn from the book of Judge as many today are “doing as they see fit” rather than heeding the Word of God.

 

Vocation: The Pastoral Epistles & The Priesthood of All Believers – 2nd & 4th Saturday, 9:00 @ Church, Downstairs, Rm #2 in the Education Wing – Leader: Bill Cullen

 

Jesus enacted the reign of God through his mighty deeds, his cross and resurrection but he also enacted the kingdom by the stories he told. The gospel accounts call them parables, but we seldom fully appreciate how these stories bring about and reveal God's reign in the person of Jesus. Join pastor Alex in a 10 session exploration of Jesus' parables in the Gospels. 

 


Christ For Us, Christ In Us, Christ Through Us

Join Pastor Alex and Dr. Bill Cullen as they lead us through Galatians for the Lenten season.

Each part of the study will look through the lens of Christ For Us, Christ In Us, and Christ Through Us. Click on the links below for the bible study and discussion questions.


Christ For Us-Part OneDiscussion Questions

Christ For Us-Part Two -  Discussion Questions

Christ In Us-Part One

Christ In Us-Part TwoDiscussion Questions

Christ Through Us-Part One - Discussion Questions

Christ Through Us-Part Two

Discipling Handbook

When the Holy Spirit brings a person to saving faith in Jesus Christ (be it through infant baptism, reading Scripture, someone sharing with him or her God’s message, or some other means) the person has been “born again” and is a Christian. Jesus, through His Spirit now indwells him or her. Jesus lives in that person.


Just as a human infant is fully human at birth (really at conception), so a person is fully Christian when s/he is “born again.” However, just as a human infant, although fully human, is not yet fully developed or mature, so a Christian, although fully Christian when s/he is “born again” (comes to faith), is not yet fully developed or mature. Jesus lives in him/her, but Jesus is not yet fully “formed” in him or her. Developing and maturing as a Christian is a lifelong process. Although we do not become “more Christian” through this developing and maturing, through this developing and maturing Jesus does become more fully formed in us. 


As Jesus becomes more fully developed and formed in us, we become increasingly transformed into His image, His likeness. We do not become more Christian, but we do become more Christ-like. As Jesus increasingly is formed in us, His presence and character are increasingly demonstrated and experienced in and through us in the fruit of His indwelling presence: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. 


To be a disciple is more than being a “believer” who knows salvation through Jesus’ cleansing blood, and it is more than living by a certain “moral code.” While being a disciple of Christ most certainly includes knowing salvation and living by a moral code, it is much more than that. To be a disciple is to be a “follower,” and to be a follower of Jesus is to be a person of mission and in mission, for Jesus is a missionary God. He is a God of mission in mission. This means we are to be “fishers of men [+ women and children]”, to love as Jesus loves, and to bear fruit. Jesus tells us: "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men.""A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.""This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."


Public worship, Bible study, and Christian fellowship are important activities meant to feed and nurture discipleship, but they are not the primary evidence of discipleship. The primary evidence of discipleship is seen in and through the missional lives we live in our daily environments – our regular and natural spheres of influence. It is in loving (agape) all those we encounter. Discipleship (being a disciple and discipling others) is the process of Jesus increasingly becoming formed in us and of our becoming more and more Christ-like (doing what Jesus did and does). This handbook has been developed and put together to aid in that process. 


Think of this handbook as a toolbox in which you have a variety of tools. A carpenter picks and chooses the tool(s) s/he will use depending both upon the job needing to be done, and, also upon his or her skill level. Individuals and groups using this handbook need to pick and choose the tools in it that best fits the occasion in which they are using it and the particular participants involved. There is no “one” way to use the handbook or tools, nor even a “best” way. Pray for guidance and get creative in your use of the various sections and tools herein – make them work for you! My prayer is that users of these materials might grow not merely in knowledge, but in discipleship – in their personal relationship with Jesus and in their following Jesus in missional living as they grow in Christlikeness. May God guide and bless you. - Bill Cullen

 

Find the Discipling Handbook here.

Find the Discipling Handbook Companion here.  Grow your Christian faith with these Bible study resources.

Worship Resources

Join us for online worship with our live stream each Sunday at 8am. This week's service can be viewed here.

You can also see previous services here at our YouTube channel.



Personal Study Resources

Here you can find a variety of resources to aid your personal and devotional study on a variety of subjects, prepared by Dr. Bill Cullen. Click on the red titles to download. We hope these bless and strengthen your Christian walk!

Bible Study Resources


Aides for Personal & Group Bible Study: Dr. Cullen's resource for anyone interested in digging deeper into personal and devotional Bible study.


Genesis Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Genesis


Exodus Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Exodus


Judges Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Judges.


Daniel Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Daniel.


Micah Study Guide: The Mt Olive Staff is currently studying Micah together; this is the guide we are using. Sharing with anyone who wants to study this book on their own; feel free to ask questions of Dr. Bill or the Pastoral staff!


Habakkuk Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Habakkuk.


Following Jesus in the Gospels: This bible study guide will assist you for learning to do and doing what Jesus does with the same heart, mind, and demeanor of Jesus as you study the Four Gospels.


Gospel of Matthew Study Guide: Dr. Bill has made us a number of these studies on various books of the Bible, to accompany and/or guide you in personal study of each book. Enjoy!


Gospel of Mark Participant's Guide: the devotional guide from the Connections summer 2020 session, which can be used anytime you find yourself studying this Gospel. 


Gospel of Mark Devotional: to accompany personal study of Mark.


Gospel of Luke Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Luke.


Gospel of John study guide - to accompany our Monday morning Bible study study


Acts Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Acts.


Romans Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Romans. 


1st Corinthians study guide - to accompany personal study of 1st Corinthians.


2nd Corinthians study guide - to accompany personal study of 2nd Corinthians.


Galatians Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Galatians.


Ephesians Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Ephesians.


Philippians Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Philippians.


Colossians Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Colossians.


1st & 2nd Thessalonians Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Thessalonians. 


Pastoral Epistles: to accompany personal study of Timothy, Titus and more.


Hebrews Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Hebrews.


James Study Guide: to accompany personal study of James.


1st & 2nd Peter Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Peter.


Bible Study Resources cont.


1st Epistle of John Study Guideto accompany personal study of 1st John.


One Chapter Epistles Study Guide: to accompany personal study of Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, Jude.


Heilsgeschichte: a study on the unfolding of God's covenant promises


Discipleship Resources


Disciple, Discipling, Discipleship: An article on....you guessed, it, what it means to be a Disciple! 


“The Priesthood of All Believers” – Love: the Vocation of All Christians: A tool to help groups and individual better understand how their role and how they fit into God’s plan of the redemption and restoration of His creation.


Activating the Church : A resource for honing vision in mission. This can be applied to our daily lives, as well as our church lives. 


Jesus did not Come to Set Up a Program: A tool to get us to think about how we "do" church, and what assumptions we bring to church work.


Cutting to Grow: Who do we want to be? Who does God want us to be?


Mission/Outreach Resources


“Come, Follow Me” Discipleship/Apprenticeship = Outreach MinistriesBible study on Outreach


Neighboring Seminar handout- What does it mean to be a neighbor, and how can this be part of our Christian mission?


Five Point Friend - advice on intentional friendship


Proclaiming the Gospel Vs Defending the Gospel: What is the difference and why is it important?


Education Resources


Being Strategic in Christian Education: A resource to get us thinking about missional thinking in discipleship and education.


Christian Education Using the Social Sciences: Using educational theory and methodologies to enrich the teaching-learning experience


Teaching With Humility: Education Vs Indoctrination: A guide on this nuanced distinction and how it comes to bear on the effectiveness of our teaching. 


Word Study--Kingdom: A detailed guide on how to do a Biblical word study and teach concepts surrounding the Bible's references to the Kingdom


Word Study--Love: A detailed guide on how to do a Biblical word study and teach concepts surrounding the Bible's various love languages


Theology Resources


Luther's Theology: an introductory guide to some of Luther's theology


Luther's Treatise on Christian Liberty: a guide for the study and application of this core text on Lutheran discipleship


Law and Gospel: This is a phrase we hear a lot, but how do we understand it?


Justification and Sanctification: Two integral concepts with a lot to unpack. A guide for doing so. 


One Way to Measure Spiritual Maturity: What does it mean to have spiritual maturity?


The Ethic of Love: Scripture and LutherA modified and simplified rendering of Dr. Bill Cullen’s doctoral work written for small group study and discussion.


Confession with Conviction: notes on understanding confession, conviction and forgiveness

High Deep and Wide- 

Summer Sermon Series Bible Studies

This July we explore our mission identity at Mt. Olive: loving people to Jesus by being


High in Worship,

Deep in the Word, and

Wide in Witness.


Are these just fun slogans for our church or are Worship, Word, Witness a more central aspect of God’s plan for his Church?

As we focus on this aspects of our mission in our sermon series, our prayer is that we grow more into the full biblical story as we “Love People to Jesus".



Below are the links to the bible studies written by Dr. Bill Cullen to accompany the sermon series.

High Deep and Wide- Loving People to Jesus - Bible Study

HIGH-Worship With Variety- Bible Study

DEEP-Going Deep With Jesus Through His Word- Bible Study

WIDE-Witness Through Word and Deed-Bible Study


Following Jesus With James - Bible Study

The book of James is a challenge for Christians of all times and places as the half brother of our Lord bids the Church to live out its confession of faith. In his relevant call to embody our discipleship, James provides wisdom for how to be Christians in the world in difficult times. He addresses the hard topics of temptation, prayer, where we find wisdom, how we use our words for teaching others, the stress caused in communities of faith by attending the needs of the rich and ignoring the poor, among others. Throughout all these topics we hear in James' words the echo of Jesus' own teaching found in the gospels, freshly applied to the needs of contemporary Christian living. This makes this a book worth exploring as we listen to the living voice of our Savior.

We are excited to invite you all to join us, this lententide, in "Following Jesus with James.", produced by Pastor Alex, Pastor Krause, and Dr. Bill Cullen.


Week 1: James 1:1-18  Maturing Through Trials- Pastor Alex video

Discussion questions click here.

Handout for bible study click here.


Week 2: James 1:19-27 Hearing and Doing the Word- Pastor Krause video

Discussion questions click here.

Handout for bible study click here.


Week 3: James 2:1-26 Faith Displayed Through Works- Dr. Bill Cullen video

Discussion questions click here.

Handout for bible study click here.


Week 4: James 3 Faith Displayed Through Works and Wisdom-Pastor Krause video

Discussion questions click here.

Handout for bible study click here.


Week 5: James 4 Wars and Battles- Pastor Alex video

Discussion questions click here.

Handout for bible study click here.


Week 6: James 5 Following Jesus in Mission- Dr. Bill Cullen video

Discussion questions click here.

Handout for bible study click here.

God's Story Our Mission

God's Story Our Mission Curriculum

This Bible Study is a church-wide small group series, with a curriculum written by Pastor Alex.


Week 1 video lesson available HERE

Week 1 participant guide available HERE

Week 1 facilitator's guide available HERE


Week 2 video lesson available HERE

Week 2 participant guide available HERE

Week 2 facilitator's guide available HERE


Week 3 Video Lesson available HERE

Week 3 participant guide available HERE

Week 3 facilitator's guide available HERE


Week 4 Video Lesson available HERE

Week 4 participant guide available HERE

Week 4 facilitator's guide available HERE


Week 5 Video Lesson HERE

Week 5  participant guide available HERE

Week 5 facilitator's guide available HERE


Week 6 Video Lesson HERE

Week 6 participant guide available HERE

Week 6 facilitator's guide available HERE


Week 7 Video Lesson HERE

Week 7 guide for both facilitators and participants HERE


Week 8 Video Lesson HERE

Week 8 guide for both facilitators and participants HERE


Week 9 Video Lesson HERE

Week 9 guide for both facilitators and participants HERE

1st Peter Bible Study


Click HERE for Session 1

Click HERE for Session 2

Click HERE for Session 3

Click HERE for Session 4

Click HERE for Session 5

Click HERE for Session 6

Click HERE for Session 7

Click HERE for Session 8

Click HERE for Session 9