Theological Foundations: Scripture, God, Sin, Christ, & Salvation

A Ten-Lesson Series on What the Bible Teaches about Scripture, the Trinity, God’s Sovereignty, Creation, Sin, and the Person and Work of Christ

Curated from a lecture series by Johnathon Bowers
In partnership with Bethlehem College & Seminary

Course Introduction

About Johnathon Bowers

Johnathon Bowers is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Reflection Questions
  1. Why is systematic theology something we should attempt?
  2. Is systematic theology possible—is there a coherent unity to the Bible? (see Romans 1:1-3, Luke 24:25-27)
  3. According to 1 Timothy 1:5, how does teaching help produce love?
  4. Why is it important for churches to seek both unity and truth?

Resources prepared by David Clifford and Amy Guibal from Bethlehem College & Seminary.

Scripture: Its Nature & Interpretation

Reflection Questions
  1. What is significant about how Jesus describes the Old Testament in Luke 24:44?
  2. Why is John 14:26 especially critical for establishing the reliability of the New Testament?
  3. How does sin inhibit our interpretation? How does the Spirit help us accept God’s Word (spiritual truth) as trustworthy and authoritative?

God: One & Three

Reflection Questions
  1. What are some analogies for the Trinity that you have heard? Which aspects are helpful about them and which aspects are inaccurate?
  2. Why is it important to be able to defend the doctrine of the Trinity?
  3. Where in Scripture do we see that the Triune God is a happy, joyful community of three persons?

God: Eternal Purpose & Election

Part 1

Reflection Questions
  1. What comfort do we receive from knowing that God plans everything that happens?
  2. If God controls all things, why should we bother praying? Why should we bother evangelizing?
  3. What is the Author & Story analogy for God’s Sovereignty? How is it helpful to you?

Part 2

Reflection Questions
  1. How important is it to affirm the absolute sovereignty of God and unconditional election? Should churches split over disagreements concerning these doctrines?
  2. According to Ephesians 2:4-7, why does God make us alive, raise us up, and seat us in the heavenly places?
  3. According to Isaiah 60:21, why does God ordain all things and create a people for himself?

God: Creation

Reflection Questions
  1. How does God’s freedom in creation relate to his glory and our joy?
  2. Why is it important to affirm that Adam and Eve are historical, literal people that God created? (see Romans 5:12-14)
  3. How should Christians defend the truth of Genesis 1 and 2 in the public square?

Man: His Sin & Fall

Reflection Questions
  1. Compare Adam and Eve’s temptation with the temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11). How did Jesus succeed where Adam and Even failed?
  2. Is there a sin that is at the root of all other sins? If so, what is it?
  3. How should viewing “every new day of life as a God-given, merciful reprieve from imminent judgment” change the way we live?

Jesus: His Person

Part 1

Reflection Questions
  1. Why did Jesus have to be both human and divine in order to save us?
  2. Reflecting on Hebrew 4:14-15, why is it important to affirm that Jesus was without sin?
  3. In what ways should our ministries look like the ministry of Jesus, and what ways should they look different?

Part 2

Reflection Questions
  1. How does the composite picture of the Messiah found in the Old Testament become complete in the person of Jesus?
  2. Would it be possible to affirm that Jesus was raised from the dead while still refusing to believe in his message?
  3. What happened after Jesus ascended to heaven? (see John 16:7, Romans 8:33-34, Hebrews 7:22-25)

Jesus: His Saving Work

Reflection Questions
  1. How does the Old Testament background inform our understanding of Jesus’ death? (see 1 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 9:11-14)
  2. What does it mean that God put Jesus forth as a propitiation for our sin? How is this of central importance to his work on the cross? (see Romans 3:23-26, 1 John 4:10)
  3. Should the doctrine of limited atonement make us any less zealous to preach the gospel to unbelievers? What motivation can we take from John 10:14-16 to labor for all people to find life in Christ?