International Student Ministry, Inc. The Basics of Christian Beliefs - International Student Ministry, Inc.

Basic Bible Study Series by Karen Bjornstad

Karen Bjornstad, former ISM director at Calvary Chapel, Madison, created these Bible studies for use with international students, The funding for this project was made possible through a grant from the Siebert Foundation, Milwaukee, Wis.

Karen created twenty lessons that cover basic Christian beliefs. With the help of Teresa Fairow, the material includes a student and leader's guide for each lesson. The material may be printed at local ISM sites at no cost. The material is copyrighted by ISM, Inc. and should not be sold. All of the lessons are available in pdf format.


Lesson 1: The Source of Life

Leader  Student
All cultures have ideas about the beginnings of life and especially about the origins of human life. What are the most common beliefs in your culture about how life on earth began? How do you personally think that life began? The Bible makes very clear statements about the origin of all things, non-living things as well as living things


Lesson 2: Who is the Spirit of God

 Leader  Student
When people in your country have a decision to make, what kind of moral or spiritual principles do they use as a guide? The Spirit of God is talked about in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Bible says that the Spirit of God was present with God’s people during Old Testament times and later times.


Lesson 3: Jesus, Savior of the World

 Leader  Student
Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, disobeyed God and lost the intimate relationship they had with God. But God promised them a Savior, someone to take away the pain of sin and death, and restore a right relationship between God and man. In Old Testament times, God’s people, the Israelites, turned to God in times of trouble and prayed that He would help them and save them.


Lesson 4: The Father and I are One

 Leader  Student
In the beginning of the world, God and man had a very close relationship and walked and talked in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, that relationship was broken, but God promised them a Savior and continued to love them. Throughout Old Testament times, God spoke to His people through prophets, but many people did not know God. In time, God chose to speak to us more directly.


Lesson 5: God's Law

 Leader  Student
Adam and Eve disobeyed God and broke their wonderful relationship with Him. God sent them out of the Garden of Eden, but He still loved Adam and Eve. He showed His love by promising to send a Savior to redeem the people and restore the broken relationship between Him and humans.


Lesson 6: Jesus and God's Law

 Leader  Student
Because God wanted men to know how He wanted us to live, He gave the Law (the Ten Commandments) to Moses. These Ten Commandments can also be expressed as the two Great Commandments that Jesus gave us.


Lesson 7: Free at Last

 Leader  Student
There are many places in the Bible that talk about doing wrong (sinning) and feeling guilt for that sin.


Lesson 8 Jesus and Eternal Life

 Leader  Student
The Bible has many things to say about what happens to us when we die.


Lesson 9 Someone's Knocking

Leader  Student
What is Jesus asking us to do when He knocks on the door? What are possible reactions? Can we choose not to open the door? Are you choosing not to answer the knock and refusing to let Jesus in? When Jesus asks to come in and eat with us, what does He really mean?


Lesson 10 I'm Thirsty

 Leader  Student
Our bodies themselves are made up mostly of water, and we can live only a short time without it. Obviously it is very important, even basic, to physical life. The Bible often speaks of water in a spiritual sense as well.


Lesson 11 The Light of the World

 Leader  Student
When God decided it was the right time, He kept His promise to send a light for the people who walked in darkness.


Lesson 12 My Righteous Servant

 Leader  Student
As humans, many of us probably do not want to become servants to others. But God’s ideas about things are often different from the world’s ideas.


Lesson 13 Jesus the Vine

 Leader  Student
Do we depend on Jesus in all things, as a branch would depend on the main grapevine


Lesson 14 New Life

 Leader  Student
Many verses in the Bible speak of something that is new or renewed. In Revelation, the last book in the Bible, there are many visions that God gave to the apostle John. Among the visions is a passage about new life.


Lesson 15 Lord, Heal Me

 Leader  Student
Both in Old Testament times and after the coming of Jesus, God’s people turned to Him for help. The book of Psalms is considered the prayer book of the Bible. In the Psalms, the writers talk with God about their problems, their diseases, and their need for help and healing.


Lesson 16 I Wish, I Wish

 Leader  Student
While many people’s wishes in life are the same the world over, there are differences in cultures. Some people may well disagree with the predominant values in their own culture. The questions also allow for identifying specific differences in the values of the people in the group.


Lesson 17 Talking to God

 Leader  Student
God wants us to communicate with Him. He has told us this. He himself has communicated with us in many ways. He has spoken to us through the prophets; through His Son, Jesus Christ; and through the Bible. In the book of Psalms, we can see how God’s people communicated with Him through prayer thousands of years ago.


Lesson 18 Can I Help You?

 Leader  Student
We often want to avoid a certain job. If we had a servant, that is the job we would give the servant. Jesus’ whole life, including His death, was the life of a servant. He was a servant to each one of us. The evening before He died, He had a special meal with His disciples. At that time, Jesus taught them a very special lesson by washing their feet.


Lesson 19 Race to Win

 Leader  Student
Many people work very hard to win a prize in sports, business, or literature. They can be very happy about their achievement. But those prizes and accomplishments are prizes that have meaning only in this world. Jesus invites us to think about another dimension of life, the spiritual dimension.


Lesson 20 Proud or Humble

 Leader  Student
When we are baptized into our new life with Jesus, we are to become more like God. During His life here on earth, Jesus showed us what God is like. He also showed us the right kind of attitudes.