Bible Study 1 and 2 for December Conference 2023  Click  Here to download





1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:9,10


Progress and growth are desirable in all spheres of life. We always feel concerned whenever there is no growth. When a child does not grow, parents always feel sorrowful and want to do everything possible to make him grow. When students do not make progress, teachers and parents are concerned. We are sad when we do not see progress and growth in important areas of life.  The spiritual growth of each of us is the desire of the Lord. If there is no growth in our lives, we will not bring joy to the Lord or honour to His holy name.



Hebrews 5:12,13; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 2 Chronicles 25:2; Matthew 26:58; Luke 18:34; Ephesians 4:14


Paul the apostle was concerned about the spiritual state of the Hebrew and Corinthian Christians. He was worried that they were stagnant spiritually. Though he laboured much in the Lord for them, he was very disappointed with their slow spiritual progress. What does it mean to be stagnant? To be stagnant means to be at standstill, to experience no growth at all.

What are the signs of spiritual stagnancy? It is characterised by half-hearted obedience to the Lord. When you find yourself obeying the Lord superficially, when you are not totally given and consecrated to the work of the Lord, when you do it but with a wrong motive, not with a sanctified heart, it means you are still a baby Christian. The question is, how are you following the Lord? Peter followed Him from “afar off.” He was not zealous and consecrated as he ought to be. Eventually he denied the Lord. That is the condition of stagnant people. When we remain stagnant, we do not move forward. We do not make progress. There is no spiritual maturity if the Lord is unable to commit greater things into our hands.

There ae some indicators and signs of spiritual stagnancy and these include:  One, spiritual ignorance. Two, inability to offer essential Kingdom service. We need the service of everyone because the field is white for harvest. But spiritual babies cannot get the work done. Three, lack of spiritual revelation and insight. Four, withdrawal from strong meat. Five, superficial obedience and satisfaction. Six, weak attachment to Christ. Seven, spiritual dullness and blindness. Eight, immaturity and instability. Nine, carnality and worldliness. Ten, eventually, there will be sin and backsliding. The Lord wants us to have a change. Stagnancy will lead to spiritual backsliding.


Question 1: What are the characteristics of spiritual stagnancy?




Deuteronomy 1:6-8; Hebrews 6:1; 1 Peter 2:1,2; 2 Peter 1:5,6; Job 17:9; Psalm 84:7; 1 Timothy 4:15


We need to make progress. The Lord says, “Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount. Turn you, and take your journey.” If you have been in a particular situation for too long, it is time to move on to spiritual progress and maturity. Without progress, we will be disappointed terribly in eternity. To experience qualitative growth in our lives, we need to lay aside things that make us to deteriorate rather than progress. When we make progress, it will be evident to us and to everyone.

To make progress spiritually we must take the following steps: (1) There should be thirst and desire for real spiritual growth and greater spiritual height. We must be dissatisfied with our present spiritual state. (2) Proper feeding on the word of God. We should not look for only the milk but also for the meat and bone of the word of God. (3) Prayer – constant, fervent prayer not for mundane but for spiritual things. (4) Consecration unto the Lord. To make progress, we must lay everything on the altar and tell the Lord to do with us as it pleases Him. (5) Change of spiritual diet. We will need to change our diet so as to be able to develop a taste for the strong meat of the word of God. (6) Separation from things that hinder spiritual growth.


Question 2: what are the steps a believer can take to make progress spiritually?




1 Thessalonians 3:12: 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Ephesians 4:15; Isaiah 7:15; 1 John 2:14; Hebrews 5:13,14


There is no evidence of spiritual growth when we live like everyone else, when we do not know what to accept and what to reject. Spiritual growth, like physical growth, cannot be hidden. There will be: (1) more love for the things of God and for God Himself; (2) stronger faith; (3) better fellowship with the Lord and the brethren; (4) more submission and obedience to the Word of God; (5) greater zeal for the Lord and concern for the lost; (6) hatred for sin and for any appearance of evil; (7) greater understanding of God and His Word; and (8) brighter hope and greater expectation for the coming of the Lord.

Question 3: How do you recognize spiritual growth?





John 15:1-16


True believers are variously compared to fruit-bearing trees in Scripture such as “trees planted by the Lord”, beautiful “Olive trees” receiving the dew of heaven, “trees planted by the rivers of water”, “a green fir tree”, and “trees of righteousness” (Psalm 104:16; Hosea 14:4-8; Psalm 1:1-3; Jeremiah 17:7,8; Isaiah 61:1-3). These picture languages used by the Bible reveal God’s plan and purpose for true believers – to live an abundant life.

Christ also spoke about the great provisions made for believers and used signs and symbols to depict the abundant life as consisting of an unceasing flow of rivers of living waters. This underscores an abundance of God’s grace and blessing, contentment, full satisfaction and supply of all believers’ needs. He portrays a situation in which the believer shall never thirst, hunger or walk in darkness (John 4:14; 6:35; 8:12; 7:38; Isaiah 43:18-21; 41:17,18). In this regard, there is no room for spiritual dryness; rather, what is envisaged in the believer’s life is fellowship that is real and sweet.

Our text, gives a beautiful figure of the vine in explaining the fruit-bearing life. It also explains how abundant life comes about as well as the consequences of its presence or absence in the believer’s life.



John 15:5-7; 1 John 1:3; John 17:20,21; 15:1,2,5; Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:1-3


Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me”. Jesus Christ repeatedly emphasised that believers who will bear fruit must abide in Him. This is repeated in verses 5,6 and 7 of John 15. This intimate relationship and fellowship is also spoken of by the Lord in John 17:20,21.

The union with Christ begins by repentance and believing in the Lord. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

It is abundantly clear from the Scriptures that if we are true branches in the vine, our lives must reveal the nature and life of Christ from whom we derive our spiritual strength. Only in Christ can we bear fruit, so a believer should maintain daily fellowship with God through prayers, reading the bible and communion with God to increase in fruit bearing


Question 1: How can you increase in spiritual fruit bearing?




John 15:4,8,2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2


The purpose of our fellowship with the Lord, of the abiding life, is that we bear much fruits. “…And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2). Many are ignorant of the full revelation of Scripture on fruit-bearing; hence, they narrow it to soul-winning. But fruitfulness or fruit-bearing is much more than bringing souls to the Lord. Beyond the fruit in evangelism, other fruits to be found in a believer’s life include the fruit of: (i) Honoring God (Malachi 1:6). (ii) True worship (John 4:23,24). (iii) Service to God and man (John 12:26; Ephesians 6:7,8). (iv) Righteousness and holy living (Proverbs 11:30; Hebrews 12:11). (v) Praises and gratitude (Hebrews 13:15). (vi) Repentance (Matthew 3:8). (vii) Christian love (John 13:34,35; Galatians 5:22).


Question 2: what are some of the fruits that can be found in the life and character of a believer in Christ?


Fruitful branches have some things in them that may hinder abundant fruit-bearing. Hence, the need for purging so that we can bear much fruit. Sanctification is necessary after salvation for much fruit-bearing. It is the work of God, through the blood of Christ and by His Spirit.



John 15:15; James 2:23; Proverbs 17:17; John 15:9; 17:23; 15:13,5,7,8,16


Christ takes all true believers into a covenant of friendship. “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends” (John 15:15). As a friend, Jesus Christ fellowships and converses with us, bears and shares our burden, pleads for us in heaven, takes interest in our spiritual progress, preserves the fruit of our labour, grants our requests and influences the Father favourably on our behalf.


Question 3: what are some benefits of being a friend of Jesus Christ.


In the Old Testament, Abraham was called a friend of God and he had special privilege with the Lord. “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23). What a glorious privilege we have! We are loved by God, and Christ, and served by angels. We are, by faith, Abraham’s seed and enjoy similar friendship and fellowship with God, as did Abraham.

The Father loved Christ. In that same measure, has Christ loved you as a branch in the vine, as a believer in the Church and as a citizen of the kingdom of God – “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.”

In order to bear much fruit, we must abide in Christ, keep our union with Him by obedience and faith. We abide through dependence, communion and love to God. As we abide in Christ and in His love, we are not only called believers, but friends of Christ.

Bible coloring page of the week for children.