40 Day Study
Written by: Sound Doctrine BBS Posted on: 02/19/2003
Category: Bible Studies
Source: PC Pursuit through Denver
40 DAY STUDY
In all probability someone has shared this study guide with you immediately
following your decision to die with Jesus in water baptism. You have just
come forth from the water and all your sins have been forgiven and there is
now the new power of the Holy Spirit in your life. You were willing to 'count
yourself nothing' and now God has raised you up to live a new life unto Him.
You have now become a 'bond-servant' of the Lord. That is, a servant who
serves without thought of pay.
One of the things a disciple of Jesus learns very quickly is that there is
much that he or she doesn't know or understand. You too will learn this, but
it should in no way discourage you. It should only humble you. This study
guide is designed to help you have some direction each day for the next forty
days as you start listening to the voice of God as He begins to direct your
Determine right now that you are going to make this a rich and powerful study.
Open wide your heart and let God do with you all He wants to. Make sure that
you have a definite time and a definite place reserved each day to be studying
the Scriptures so you can keep hearing the Word of God as the Holy Spirit will
teach you. God is your only strength and if you stray from Him you will fall
away. Don't let anything or anyone keep you from this most crucial time.
Keep a notebook and be prepared to share it with an older brother and sister.
Why forty days? Because right after Jesus' water baptism where He received the
Holy Spirit, He was led into the desert to be tempted by Satan for 40 days.
You too will face temptations. Now just as Jesus was victorious over those
temptations you can too be if you will draw close to God. Satan will attack
you. He knows you are young and vulnerable, but God is with you and with the
weapons of righteousness in the right and the left hands you can defeat
anything that would take your new life from you.
"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he
was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily
form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love;
with you I am well pleased.'...Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from
the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for 40 days he was
tempted by the devil." Luke 3:21-22 & 4:1
WEEK ONE--'DEAD TO SELF, ALIVE TO CHRIST'
This week you will be studying passages in the Scriptures that show us so
clearly what the problem is. The problem is the 'self' that lives for itself.
Christ calls us to crucify the old self and he promises to raise up a new and
very different self.
1. Before you actually begin your Bible study program please take a few
minutes and write down in your own words that your baptism into Jesus
Christ meant to you. Why did you do it? What is it going to mean?
If you will keep this in a safe place it will mean a great deal to
you for years to come. As the years pass on it will mean a great
deal to you for years to come. As the years pass it will serve as a
reminder to you of the serious commitment that you made this day.
2. Turn to Luke 9:18-26. Read and study this passage several times.
3. Now turn to Luke 18:28-30 and look at the promise that is attached to
discipleship, indeed to the very decision that you have just made.
4. These two passages will become very important as you will share your
life in Christ with others. Remember where they are and what they
say. As you continue to go through this study, remember that
everything you learn is something that the Holy Spirit will have you
pass on to others.
5. Be sure to spend time in prayer at the end of your study sessions.
Learn to deeply communicate with your Father who loves you so very
1. Turn to Romans 6:1-14. Read and study this carefully. Each time
you come to the word 'we' or 'us' substitute your own name. [For
example: vs. 2--'By no means. John died to sin, how can he live in
it any longer.']
2. Write down some of the things about your old self that caused it to
receive the death sentence.
3. Write down some things about your new self that you really want to
4. How do you specifically plan today to live out vs: 13?
1. Before you start today's study, ask yourself a very important
question: Am I staying in close touch with older Christians? This is
crucial, and all next week the Bible study will focus on this. If
there is anything in you that is not wanting to see or be with other
disciples, then you can be sure that this is something that is not of
God and must be crucified. It is your old independent self, not the
new self God is giving you.
2. Turn to Romans 7:14-25 and read how powerless we are to live this new
life alone. Do you see why God's Spirit must be the one who
crucifies your sinful nature? Do you see how wicked you are? Notice
3. But now go on to Romans 8 where we see how we can do the impossible.
You were told at your baptism that you would receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit; now study some of what the Spirit means in your life.
Read and study verse: 1-17, making notes on the things that strike
you the hardest. How do you get sin crucified in your life? Read,
1. As you have questions about things that you are studying or things
that are happening to you, seek out some of your older brothers and
sisters and let them help you. They have been through many things
you will go through.
2. For this Bible study you will need both the Old Testament and a New
Testament. If you don't have both, make arrangements to get them
3. When we are children, we need to be taught things we don't know; and
we need correction when we are wrong. You are a baby in Jesus
Christ. There is much you don't know how to live and much you will
need to be corrected in. How you take correction is going to affect
your spiritual walk with God. Read, Proverbs 12:1-2, 12:15 & 10:17.
4. Write down your own attitudes toward being corrected. Distinguish
between those things that are left over from your old self and those
things that Jesus Christ is putting in your heart. Be praying for
the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom here.
5. Go to the New Testament now and read 2 Timothy 3:16 and answer this
question: Why are older brothers and sisters to bring the word of
God to you? What is going to be your attitude when they do?
1. In your new life you will find that 'attitude is everything'. If you
develop a critical or negative or pessimistic attitude, you will put
out the Spirit's fire in your life. Today the Bible study will focus
on the reason you can keep a great attitude even in the worst of
2. Read and examine each of the following passages: John 16:33, Romans
8:23, Philippians 4:12-13 & 19, and James 1:2-4.
3. When does this fit with having a good attitude regardless of what is
4. When these are all put together, what are they promising you about
everything in your life?
5. List anything that is tending to cause you to have a bad [negative,
complaining, pessimistic] attitude. Confess these right
away to another disciple and ask for their prayers and encouragement.
1. By today, you have certainly realized that you are not doing all for
Jesus Christ that you determined to do five or six days ago. You
want to love him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. But
you have failed in some specific areas. What you will study today
will be very important in dealing with this for the rest of your
2. Turn to 1 John 1:5-10. Read it carefully.
3. Think of the difference in light and darkness. Think of the
difference between a bright open room with lots of windows and a
totally dark basement area. In one, things are out in the open. You
can see them as they really are. In the other, things are hidden and
covered by the darkness. With this in mind, what does he mean when
he calls us to 'walk in the light'? Do you see how this fits with
verse: 9 and the call to confess our sins?
4. We all [from the oldest to the youngest in Christ] sin. If we claim
that we don't, we lie, [v. 10]. How then are we to handle all this?
Do we cover and hide our sins? Or do we bring them out into the open
through confession where the blood of Jesus can cleanse us?
5. Look at the two results of walking out in the light as described in
vs: 7. How will this cause a deeper fellowship with the brothers and
6. Remember this trustworthy saying: Satan's only ground is darkness.
When we confess our sins and bring them out into the light, we take
away from him his power over us.
1. As you come to the end of this first week as a committed disciple of
Jesus Christ, go back to the most basic idea of discipleship. Turn to
2. Every time your old nature tries to assert itself you can say, 'I
have been crucified with Christ'. Concerning what things do you
especially need to say that today? Write them down.
3. As you determine what you should do with your day remember:
'I , no longer live, but Christ lives in me.' Meditate on
this great truth in scripture and then determine to let the Holy
Spirit make it a reality. Let Jesus Christ use you to meet His needs
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4. Focus on Paul's words today. 'You are not your own; you were bought
with a price', [1 Corinthians 6:19-20] Believe that with all your
heart. You are not your own. You no longer go where you want to go
or do what you want to do. You are a bond-servant, a slave unto
As a new baby, you need to be daily in touch with others who are ready to give
you encouragement and guidance. If you have been avoiding that contact,
determine now to deal with that wrong attitude that is developing.
SECOND WEEK- 'NO LIFE OUTSIDE THE BODY'
1. Begin today by reading Matthew 28:18-20 concentrating on v. 18 and
v. 20. What do these two verses say to you?
2. Jesus Christ who has all authority taught us that the church is very,
very important. In Matthew 16:16-18, Jesus hears Peter confess him
to be the Christ, the Son of God; and immediately Jesus said, 'Upon
this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not
prevail against it.' Jesus saw the church as the center of his
plan. He wanted to build it and he intended to make it so strong
that the forces of Satan could not stand against it. What Jesus
counted as so important, we too must count as so important.
3. For a true picture of what the church should be striving to become
every day, look at Acts 2:40-47
4. What can you do today and the rest of this week to contribute to this
kind of life among God's people, [the church]?
1. Paul describes the church as the 'Body of Christ'. Read Romans 12:1-
8 and see how giving yourself first to God leads to giving yourself
to other people in the Body of Christ.
2. Notice particularly v. 5 which says, 'each member belongs to all the
others' or 'we are all members of one another'. How does this fit
with or conflict with the American ideal of individualism?
3. List three things that you know already that you can do for other
members of the Body of Christ. Share these with another
brother or sister.
4. List at least three things that you know you need from the Body of
Christ in order to grow in Christ. Share these also with another
1. Read Ephesians 4:1-5. Why does it seem to you that God is so very
concerned about the Body of Christ being in unity and peace?
2. Turn to Romans 14:12-15:3 and read how far we should go and how much
we should bend to keep the Body of Christ together.
3. Is there anything in your life that is so important to you that you
would not give up even if it was keeping people from coming to Jesus
Christ or growing in him? If there is, look back at v. 21 and seek
help in dealing with this sin in your life.
1. God is greatly concerned about the unity of the church, but he is
also greatly concerned about the purity of the Body of Christ. We
are called to a holy life and a pure life, and sin in the Body that
is being hidden or ignored will destroy the power of the church.
2. Check out the tape, 'The Fellowship of Believers' from the SOUND
DOCTRINE CHURCH and listen over it writing down your comments.
3. Read Ephesians 5:1-14. List those things which are described here as
improper for God's holy people.
4. How would living as 'children of the light' be totally different from
these things you have just listed? What is the basic difference?
5. You are a young Christian, but what should you do if you see brothers
or sisters falling into some sin? Read Galatians 6:1-2.
1. What is the one thing that must be in the church and in our
relationships above all else? Read the following passages: John
13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Galatians 5:6 and 13-14, Ephesians
5:1-2, Colossians 3:14, 1 Peter 4:8
2. For a more precise definition of love, compare John 13:34-35 with 1
John 3:16. List all the things you can think of that describe the
way Jesus loved us.
3. How are you progressing in your relationships with your new brothers
and sisters in Christ? Are they seeing your love for them? Many new
Christians just want to be loved and to be served. Ask the Holy
Spirit to crucify this self centered Christianity.
1. One of the things we can all do for one another in the Body is give
encouragement. Read a powerful statement about his in Hebrews 3:12-
2. According to this passage, what is to be the specific purpose of our
encouragement? What do you think will be involved in giving this
kind of specific encouragement? Ask an older brother and sister how
the Spirit might lead you to do this.
3. Look at 2 Timothy 4:2. Notice that we can encourage people by
bringing the Word to them. In your relationships try to share with
someone every day something you have found in God's Truth that is
inspiring and encouraging to you.
1. When problems develop in the Body between brothers and sisters, they
must be dealt with so that Satan is given no opportunity to enter
in. Read Matthew 18:15-20 which gives us the right way to deal with
2. Determine early in your Christian life that you will not complain or
grumble behind someone's back about what they have done. Determine
that you will always go to them and resolve the problem with God's
WEEK THREE-'GO MAKE DISCIPLES'
This week we want to look at how God plans to use you to bring others into the
freedom from sin that you have found in Christ. First, we will consider how
important your own life is in sharing with others.
1. To be a disciple is to come under the discipline of Jesus Christ. To
be a disciple is to let Jesus Christ be Lord in all the areas of your
life. Examine carefully the following items and make sure that you
are opening up and working on those that are applicable to you. Are
you hearing the voice of the Spirit directing you on the following
areas? Sexuality, greed, money, time management and gentleness?
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.
1. Turn to 1 Peter 3:13-17 and especially note vs. 15 & 16.
2. What is involved in each of these statements:
a. 'In your hearts acknowledge Christ as the Holy Lord'
b. 'Always be prepared to give an answer...'
c. 'With gentleness and respect'
d. 'Keeping a clear conscience'
3. Who are the people around you? Write down their names. They need to
hear the answer about Jesus Christ as Lord. Stop now and pray for
1. The last words a person speaks usually tell us a lot about the major
things on the heart. Turn to Matthew 28:18-20 and read again the
final commission of Jesus before he left this world.
2. What does it mean to you that 'all authority has been given to Jesus
Christ'? What does it mean that he has given all authority over to
3. What are the implications for your life of this statement to 'Go'?
What is the Holy Spirit telling you this means for your life?
4. When we 'go', what does Jesus want us to do?
5. Look back over the list of people you wrote down yesterday. Begin
praying for them specifically that you may 'go' to them with the
message of Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit for the words and then step
out to share what you know.
1. Start today with Colossians 4:2-6.
2. List all the things you find here that relate to sharing your faith
3. What does it mean to 'Make the most of every opportunity'?
4. How did you use the opportunities the Lord gave you this week?
1. We tend to think that certain situations are not good ones for
sharing the Gospel. Most of us would find being in prison and in
chains a terrible circumstance for evangelism. Read Acts 16:22-34.
2. What situations are you in right now? Write down why these
situations make sharing the Gospel difficult. Having done this, now
give all these excuses up to the Lord and claim the fact that he is
able to work powerfully in all circumstances. Turn over to
Philippians 4:4-6 for encouragement.
1. To 'Go make disciples' we need great boldness and courage. In
ourselves we don't have what it takes. The Holy Spirit will fill us
with the boldness we need. Read Acts 4:8-13.
2. Also notice the message we must proclaim. It is found in verse: 12.
Don't water this message down. It is the only thing that can change
3. Look also at 2 Timothy 1:7. When you find yourself being timid, you
can be sure that it is your self. For God has not given you a spirit
of fear. Deny your fear and God will give you courage.
1. No real evangelism or discipling takes place until we have brought a
person into the body of Christ. As you share with people, make every
effort to introduce them to the members of the Body.
2. Look at Acts 2:42-48. This is to be the spirit found in our
fellowship. Then those who visit will know that God is really alive.
3. You have now been a disciple for three weeks. You should be having
an impact on others for Jesus Christ by now. If this is not
happening, or if you see that it could be happening much more, get
with an older brother or sister and share what is going on. Let them
help and encourage you.
WEEK FOUR-'THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT'
During this week of the study, we will look at the God we worship and the way
he expresses himself in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
1. Turn to Mark 14:32-35. Notice the word Jesus uses for God. It is
the Aramaic word 'Abba'. It was an intimate word and no Jew ever
used it before Jesus to describe God. It was the word little boys
and girls used for their daddies. Look at Romans 8:15-17 and
Galatians 4:6. Do you see the kind of God we have and how we can
2. Read John 1:1-18. According to these passages, what is it that we
find in Jesus Christ? What does it mean to your personal life that
he is this way?
3. Look closely at what he went through for you. Take an Old Testament
and read Isaiah 53 and see the statement made about him even before
he appeared on earth.
1. When you were baptized into Jesus Christ, you received the gift of
the Holy Spirit. Today and tomorrow we want to look at some of the
ministries of the Holy Spirit in your life.
2. Turn to John 16:5-15 and read carefully, looking for teaching about
the work of the Spirit.
3. Notice he is, the Spirit of Truth; will be with you forever; and will
live in in you. What is this going to mean to your life?
4. Read John 16:5-11. The work of the Spirit involves convicting us of
sin, righteousness and judgement. How would you relate this passage
to the ideas found in Ephesians 6:17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews
1. Continuing to look at the work of the Holy Spirit, turn to Romans 8
and read verses: 1-17.
2. Focus in on verses 9-11. What kind of promise is made to you here?
3. In our lives we have been enslaved to various passions and desires.
On our own we found we had no real power to break free from those.
Notice the message vs. 12 and 13 How do we put to death the misdeeds
of the body?
4. Notice vs: 14-17 how the Spirit of God in us brings us into an
intimate relationship with God.
1. It is important to learn all you can about Jesus Christ because of
what the following scriptures teach: 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Romans
8:29. What do these passages teach about our relationship to Jesus
2. Look also at 1 John 3:2-3. What is the 'hope' referred to in
3. List at least three things that are found in Jesus Christ that you
want to work on in your own life.
4. How would you respond to someone who might say, 'Trying to be like
Jesus Christ is an impossible dream. It can only frustrate you'?
REMEMBER: GET HELP FROM AN OLDER DISCIPLE AS YOU MOVE DEEPER INTO THIS STUDY.
LET HIM OR HER CHECK OUT WHAT YOU ARE FINDING.
1. Look at the picture of Jesus Christ found in Hebrews 4:14-16.
2. Write down what each of these statements means to your life:
a. Jesus is the great high priest who has gone into heaven.
b. Jesus is able to understand and relate to our weaknesses since he
was tempted in every way like us.
c. Because of Jesus, we can approach God's throne [a throne of
Grace] with confidence.
3. How does this understanding of Jesus Christ affect you right now at
school, on the job, in the home? Write down the way it changes your
1. There may be some things that will happen to you to make you wonder
if God is for you or against you. Read Romans 8:31-39 to see the
kind of God you worship.
2. Go back to verse 28 for still another promise.
3. Paul lists in the first passage a number of things that might seem to
cut us off from the love of God. What are some things in your life
that are difficult or threatening? Write out verse 37 just as Paul
says it and then write verse 38 substituting the things in your life
that might interfere with your relationship to God.
4. What role do you play in keeping this victory?
WEEK FIVE-'SUBMIT TO EVERY AUTHORITY'
This week you will study one of the keys to the Christian life. It is totally
opposed to worldly wisdom, but it is something we see perfectly in Jesus and
he wants to see it in us. It is the principle of submission.
1. Already you have studied passages that tell you who really has all
the authority today. It is Jesus Christ, but God has set up certain
orders in society. These maintain order and teach us to be
submissive and obedient in spirit so we can ultimately and basically
submit to and obey Jesus Christ.
2. To follow Jesus Christ one must have an obedient spirit. One must be
willing to submit to another's authority. Read 1 Peter 1:2 and 1
Peter 1:14. What kind of children does God want?
3. Read Ephesians 2:1-2 to determine what kind of spirit God is opposed
4. Look at Hebrews 5:7-9 for an important statement about Jesus Christ
who is our example in all attitudes. What did he learn? How was it
learned? What does God want us to learn? How will it be learned?
1. Return to 1 Peter where yesterday we learned that God wants obedient
children. Now look at 2:11-17.
2. Our old self with its sinful desires as described in vs. 11, does not
want to obey. It wants to do things 'my own way'. It
doesn't like to be told what to do. That's why Jesus says 'deny
yourself'. It is not willing to cooperate with God's plan.
3. Notice in vs: 13 why you submit to every authority.
4. List all the authorities that you can think of that are in your life,
meaning all the people that are in some role where they can tell you
what to do or strongly expect you to do what they ask. What is your
attitude toward these authorities?
1. The question is often asked, 'Do I have to submit to these
authorities in my life even when they are wrong?'. What do you think
the mind of Christ would say here.
2. Continue the passage you started yesterday. Read 1 Peter 2:18-23.
What does it contribute to the question raised above?
3. What we are being told here in Ephesians 5-6 and Colossians 3 is that
we should have a submissive and obedient attitude all the time. We
should be ready to obey those God has put over us. However, there
will come times when we cannot obey. See Acts 4:18-20 for a clear
example. Study this carefully.
1. In the body of Christ, God has placed certain men over you. First
there are the elders or overseers in the body and then those who have
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