An exegetical and theological study of the books of James, 1st Peter, and 1st John.
Students will list themes that are shared and themes that are different in these epistles, and explain the background and audience with the goal to explain the basic focus for each book. Using their exegesis, students will do a theological analysis of the major themes of holiness, perfect love and faith expressed through obedience as found in these books. Theological comparisons will be drawn from other books as well. Students will be able to explain and practice how faith must be reflected in both the quality of relationships and deeds of compassion without regard to the social status of the person who receives our attention.
The relationship of faith an obedience remains a debated issue in the Evangelical and Latin Church. The confusion over the relationship has led to the twin excesses of legalism (the attempt to be forgiven and reconciled to God by doing good stuff) and antinomianism (the idea that if I feel religious – love God – then what I do or don’t do is not important). These three books introduce students to non-Pauline concepts dealing with these issues and broaden students’ ability to use a wide range of resources when preaching and teaching.
CN-3 Ability to describe the basic content and theological themes of the New Testament, identify the principal people and events and their roles in New Testament history.
CN-4 Ability to explain the basic principles of biblical interpretation.
CN-6 Ability to explain how the theological foundations of Christianity proceed from the Scriptures.
CN-7 Ability to explain scriptural holiness from the Wesleyan-Armenian holiness perspective.
CP-2 Ability to prepare biblical messages for effective and sound preaching and teaching.
CP-13 Ability to interpret and apply Scripture to personal and congregational life. CP-13
CH-1 Ability to find, understand and utilize resources for one’s own spiritual growth in prayer, Bible study, and personal devotion with the goal of becoming like Christ.
CX-7 Ability to respond with a biblical perspective about issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific context including issues like magic, spiritism, demonic possession, ancestral veneration, divine cure.
ACC-4 Explain how loving obedience to Christ is the necessary response of faith in Christ.
CED-1 Develop the mind of Christ through growing closer to God, studying God’s Word, the needs of the cultural context, and ways to help others grow spiritually.
CON-5 Explain the biblical foundation of counseling and the importance of knowing how to counsel people using the resources of the body of Christ.
DIS-2 Testify each week to love by putting the needs of someone else ahead of their own.
DIS-4 Use the reading of God’s Word to foster spiritual growth and for personal devotions.
DIS-9 Describe the difference between a “works salvation” and the obedience that proceeds from faith.
DIS-14 Prepare, organize, and deliver a biblically sound lesson or sermon using culturally sensitive techniques and skills.
ICO-2 Identify various tangible ways the church can connect with the community and demonstrate involvement in the community.
ICO-4 Tell several Biblical stories where the people of God made a positive or negative impact in the community. Identify vocational training opportunities the church can initiate in a given context in partnership with the community leaders. Explain the process and steps of organizing a culturally appropriate evangelistic outreach.
PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.
PRE-2 Interpret the Bible within its historical and cultural contexts, recognize different literary genres in the Bible and how to interpret them in appropriate ways, identify the message and key theological concepts for the original audience, and apply the message through a sermon to contemporary audiences in contextually relevant ways.
PRE-3 Tell the story of the Bible including important dates, people, and events, in order to show the human problem and God’s answer in Jesus Christ.
PRE-6 Describe how the early church grew, the key themes of early Christian preaching, the methods used to spread the gospel, and how these are relevant today.
PRE-11 Identify how holiness was experienced in the Bible and how this applies in the cultural context in which the student will most often find themselves.
PRE-13 Explain how God communicated his word to humanity as recorded in the Bible and the place of preaching in this.
PRE-14 Demonstrate 5 different ways to organize and deliver a sermon for a culturally appropriate length of time and explain how to call people to respond in obedience or change in response to the truth of the sermon.
SMG-3 Explain potential conflicts that threaten a healthy small group and church and how to deal with these potential conflicts in a family or small group. (Such as: becoming too self-focused, gossip, exclusiveness, lack of clearly defined start and end dates, loss of purpose, power struggles between groups, thinking that just talking makes the group important, disconnected from the mission of the congregation).
Serrao, C. Jeanne Orjala. James: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (New Beacon Bible Commentary). 2011
Powers, Daniel. 1 & 2 Peter / Jude: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (New Beacon Bible Commentary). 2010.
Williamson, Rick. 1, 2, & 3 John: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (New Beacon Bible Commentary). 2010.
The teacher or their assistant will group the students into groups of 2 or 3 (mostly groups of 3).
- The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
- Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Ezekiel 29 – Daniel 12 and 1 John – Jude. The focus of the Scripture reading and prayer time for this course is on students’ response to God’s call to love others. Sometime during each week, in response to what God is peaking to them about, students should determine one tangible way to express love to others. This may be a family member, a neighbor, friend, co-worker, or stranger. Students will then write at the close of the week at least one paragraph of 200 words reporting their experience and what God taught them through this experience.
(Outcomes CH-1, CED-1, DIS-4, PRA-1)
- Inductive Book Study: Choose one of the three books studied in this course to complete an inductive study (students can be divided into groups or work individually on this assignment, depending on the context). Use the following methodology learned in other courses:
- Give a short title for each chapter.
- Give a short title for each paragraph or section.
- Note verses that talk about the following topics: sin, salvation, Christ, descriptions of God, exhortation and expected responses from the audience.
- Develop a list of at least 10 questions on the contents of the book.
(Outcomes CN-3, CN-4, DIS-9, PRE-2, PRE-3, PRE-6)
- Sermon: The student will develop an expository holiness sermon based on a passage from one of the three books studied. The sermon should be designed for a specific audience, preferably one that the student serves or will serve in the future. It should be age appropriate if it is designed for children or youth. The sermon will be graded on the quality of the exegesis and contemporary applications to the specific ministry context.
(Outcomes CN-6, CN-7, CP-2, DIS-5, PRE-11, PRE-13, PRE-14)
- Bible Study Lesson: Write a complete lesson plan related to the topic of the church (community life, ethics, loving relationships, conflict resolution, or related topics). Design the lesson for a specific ministry context such as a mid-week Bible study, small group, community outreach, or Sunday School lesson. The study should have a clear theme, objectives, activities (questions, illustrations, etc.), and explore in detail a specific passage from one of the three books studied in this course.
(Outcomes CN-6, CP-2, ICO-4, PRE-6, SMG-4)
- Preaching or Teaching: Students will choose either the above sermon or lesson and present it in a real-life ministry situation. If none is available or possible, then it can be presented during class time. At least two people such as a pastor or lay leader should be present to complete an evaluation form in order to offer constructive feedback to the student.
(Outcomes CN-7, CP-2, CP-13, DIS-14, PRE-11, PRE-14)
- Community Impact: Work in groups of 2 or 3 to determine a compassionate need within the community. Find the biblical basis for a compassionate ministry outreach based on the three books studied in this course. Develop a strategy and plan and, if possible, implement the project during the course. Students may also work through a local church or community outreach.
(Outcomes CP-13, CX-7, ACC-4, ICO-2, SMG-3)
Journal 10 %
Sermon 20 %
Bible Study Lesson 20 %
Preaching or Teaching Application 25 %
Community Impact 25 %
45-59% (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)
If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level
- Interpretative Methodologies
- Background Issues of the General Epistles
- 1 Peter
- 1 John
- Preaching and Teaching from these Books in the Local Church