IVP Biblical Topic Study Guides

All of these study guides feature the inductive Bible study approach, and are thoroughly field-tested prior to publication. They are proven and popular guides for digging into Scripture on your own or with a small group. In them you will find solid biblical content and throught-provoking questions.

 

Click on the links to see descriptions of our Old Testament discussion guides.

Christian Disciplines
Decisions: Seeking God's Guidance
Distorted Images of God: Restoring Our Vision
Images of Christ:
Images of God
Listening to God
Loving Justice
Meeting God: (J. I. Packer)
Self-Esteem: Seeing Ourselves as God Sees Us
Songs from Scripture
Spiritual Gifts
The Messiah: The Texts Behind Handel's Masterpiece

Christian Disciplines

by Andrea Sterk and Peter Scazzero

Depth.

Strength.

Wisdom.

Maturity.

We long to be people who exhibit such qualities. We want to strengthen our character and deepen our relationship with Christ. But spiritual depth requires spiritual discipline. These Bible studies by Andrea Sterk and Peter Scazzero are designed to help us learn how God intends for us to live and show us how God helps us grow to maturity.


ABOUT ANDREA STERK LOUTHAN

Louthan is a church historian teaching at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

 

ABOUT PETER SCAZZERO

Scazzero is senior pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. He formerly served as a staff member with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Decisions: Seeking God's Guidance

by Donald Baker

Do you sometimes wish that the Bible could make your decisions for you?

Donald Baker is familiar with this desire. He writes, "God has given me free will, and while I appreciate his confidence in my ability to choose, there are times when I wish that he would make the decisions for me."

The Bible won't give you a direct answer to each choice--or dilemma--you face. But the Bible will teach you how to make decisions wisely, confidently and in harmony with God's will. These studies introduce you to the Bible's lessons on decisionmaking--and show you how to apply what you learn to your own decisions, big and small.


ABOUT DONALD BAKER

Baker is pastor of First Reformed Church of Doon, Iowa, and Bethel Reformed Church of Lester, Iowa. He formerly served as a staff member with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Distorted Images of God: Restoring Our Vision

by Dale Ryan and Juanita Ryan

Though we say God is loving, trustworthy and all-powerful, our actions and thoughts reveal the subtle and not-so-subtle lies we're believing: that God is impossible to please, manipulative and likely to abandon us. Written with compassion and conviction, these eight studies bring to light our distorted thinking and point us to the truth of who God is--the great healer who knows us intimately and pursues us with love.


ABOUT DALE RYAN

Dale Ryan is CEO of Christian Recovery International. He is also an assistant professor of recovery ministry and director of the Fuller Institute for Recovery Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has consulted with ministries in several countries who are seeking to develop support groups for alcoholics and addicts and their families. He is a coauthor of The Twelve Steps: A Spiritual Kindergarten, Rooted in God's Love, and Bible study guides published by InterVarsity Press.

 

ABOUT JUANITA RYAN

Juanita Ryan is a clinical nurse specialist with an MSN in psychiatric mental health nursing. She has taught mental health nursing at Bethel University, Rio Hondo Community College and Biola University. She is currently a therapist in private practice at Brea Family Counseling Center in Brea, California. She is the coauthor of The Twelve Steps: A Spiritual Kindergarten and the author or coauthor of over thirty InterVarsity Press Bible study guides.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Images of Christ

by Dale Larsen and Sandy Larsen

Good Shepherd. Branch. Bridegroom. Cornerstone. There are many images of Christ in Scripture. Some of these word-portraits are easier for us to grasp than others, but each reveals an important aspect of who Christ is.

By helping us understand the different images, these ten studies by Dale and Sandy Larsen lead us to know and respond to the reality behind the images--Christ himself--in new and deeper ways.


ABOUT DALE AND SANDY LARSEN

Dale and Sandy Larsen are both writers living in Rochester, Minnesota. They have written more than thirty books and Bible studies together including Living Your Legacy and more than ten IVP Bible study guides.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Images of God

by Dale Larsen and Sandy Larsen

Rock. Warrior. Peacemaker. Builder. Husband. Potter. The pictures of God in Scripture are multifaceted. In each of the ten studies in this study guide, Dale and Sandy Larsen show you another aspect of your powerful and peaceful Lord. But the purpose of this guide goes far beyond surveying the images of God. The Larsens also lead you to focus on your relationship to the reality behind the images. God will lead you to know him better through these inspired word-portraits.


ABOUT DALE AND SANDY LARSEN

Dale and Sandy Larsen are both writers living in Rochester, Minnesota. They have written more than thirty books and Bible studies together including Living Your Legacy and more than ten IVP Bible study guides.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Listening to God

by Carolyn Nystrom

Does God hear us? Does God speak? How can we connect with God when all seems to be lost? What is our role in listening? Through exploring both biblical characters and teaching, the ten studies in this LifeGuide Bible study helps us understand how to seek and find an ever deeper dialogue with God.


ABOUT CAROLYN NYSTROM

Carolyn Nystrom (MA, Wheaton College) has written more than eighty books, Bible study guides, and children's titles. She coauthored Praying with theologian J. I. Packer and Is the Reformation Over with scholar Mark Noll. She is also the author of the IVP Bible study guides 1& 2 Peter and Jude, Money and Work, Friendship, Listening to God and more.

In addition to actively serving in her church, she has been a foster parent, an elementary schoolteacher, the stated clerk of her EPC presbytery, and a book editor. Carolyn lives in northern Illinois with her husband, and they have four grown children.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Loving Justice

by Bob Hunter and Carol Hunter

God is loving and powerful. He is able to work against some of the strongest forces of hate in the world.

You can imitate God's justice by fighting against these same powers in your own life and in the lives of those around you.

Taking a fresh look at this theme throughout Scripture, Bob and Carol Hunter challenge you to love justice as God does. And they show you how to work for justice in your everyday life.


ABOUT BOB HUNTER

Bob Hunter is a specialist in multiculturalism and justice for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. As adjunct associate professor of peace and global studies, he often teaches courses in the religion and math departments, and he has several times taught a course on racism for the college. Hunter also chairs the Human Rights Commission for the city of Richmond.

 

ABOUT CAROL HUNTER

Carol Hunter (PhD, State University of New York, Binghamton) is professor of history at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Meeting God

by J. I. Packer

His majesty will fill your thoughts.

His love will soften your heart.

His holiness will purify your life.

When you meet God, you will be changed.

Meet him now as J. I. Packer, author of the bestselling Christian classic, Knowing God, leads you through twelve key passages from the Old and New Testaments. These inductive Bible studies will engage your heart and mind. And enlarge your vision of the God you worship and serve.


ABOUT J. I. PACKER

J. I. Packer is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He is Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and his writings include books such as Knowing God, A Quest for Godliness, Growing in Christ (Crossway) and Rediscovering Holiness. He has preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America and served as general editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible published in 2001, and theological editor of the Study Bible version. In 2014, Packer was named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores. He is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today and has written numerous articles published in journals such as Churchman, SouthWestern Journal, Reformation & Revival Journal and Touchstone. He received a BA, MA and PhD from Oxford University.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Self-Esteem: Seeing Ourselves as God Sees Us

by Jack Kuhatschek

The world encourages you to love yourself, believe in yourself and tell yourself that you are intelligent, capable, beautiful, wonderful. But deep down, what do you most want to know? What does God think of you? What is your true worth?

As Jack Kuhatschek leads you through nine Bible studies on self-esteem, you'll gain an essential understanding of who you are and how God is restoring you to wholeness.


ABOUT JACK KUHATSCHEK

Jack Kuhatschek was formerly executive vice president and publisher for Baker Publishing Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of many Bible study guides and the books Applying the Bible and The Superman Syndrome. He and his wife, Sandy, currently live in Deland, Florida.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Songs from Scripture

by James W. Reapsome

"Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding," (Psalm 47:6-7).

Throughout the Bible there are songs. Some are songs of celebration and hope while others express despair or humility and still others recount God's redemption. "Songs lift our hearts and minds," writes James Reapsome. "They powerfully convey truth poetically and musically. God commands us to love him totally and exclusively with the union of our emotion, intellect, and will. That's why he included songs when he inspired the words of the Bible."


ABOUT JAMES W. REAPSOME

James W. Reapsome is a retired pastor who also formerly served as editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly and the World Pulse newsletter. He was also executive director of Evangelical Missions Information Service in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the co-editor of Innovation in Mission and the author of several IVP Bible study guides including Exodus, Hebrews, Grief, and Marriage.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Spiritual Gifts

by R. Paul Stevens

You are unique.

You have been created and invited by God to participate in his kingdom work.

Yet, you have probably also experienced feelings of uncertainty about how to serve God, about what gifts you have to use, and about God's purpose for your life.

In these studies, R. Paul Stevens helps you to recognize your spiritual gifts and the gifts of others. And he leads you to consider how to practically use these gifts to glorify God in your relationships, your work and your world.


ABOUT R. PAUL STEVENS

R. Paul Stevens is professor emeritus of marketplace theology and leadership at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, and a marketplace ministry mentor. He has worked as a carpenter and businessman, and served as the pastor of an inner-city church in Montreal. He has written many books and Bible studies, including Doing God's Business, Work Matters, Marriage Spirituality, The Other Six Days, and Spiritual Gifts. He is coauthor (with Pete Hammond and Todd Svanoe) of The Marketplace Annotated Bibliography.

For more on Stevens's work as a marketplace ministry mentor, visit rpaulstevens.com.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


The Messiah: The Texts Behind Handel's Masterpiece

by Douglas Connelly

Prophets prophesied about him. Angels and shepherds rejoiced at his birth. Friends cried for joy at his resurrection. And we still celebrate him today. He is Jesus, the Messiah.

Perfect for Advent or Lent, this study guide explores some of the key passages in the Old Testament about the Messiah and their completion in the life and saving work of Jesus. These passages have had a profound effect on the imagination and worship of Christians for two thousand years, leading George Frederic Handel to write one of the greatest expressions of worship and adoration—his oratorio, the Messiah.

We hear parts of it sung every year during the Christmas season, but what many listeners fail to realize is that the entire text of Handel's Messiah is drawn from Scripture—and many of the Old Testament passages that shaped Israel's hope for their Redeemer are included in that text. This guide leads you through Scripture passages used in Handel's work that highlight who Jesus is and what he came to do. It might change the way you listen to the Messiah. Even more, it might change the way you live.


ABOUT DOUGLAS CONNELLY

Douglas Connelly (MDiv and MTh, Grace Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at Davison Missionary Church near Flint, Michigan, after serving twelve years as senior pastor at Parkside Community Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan. A writer and speaker, he has written seventeen IVP Bible study guides as well as several books, including The Bible for Blockheads and Angels Around Us. He and his wife Karen have three adult children and six grandchildren.

 

Back to the Top

 

 


Marriage: God's Design for Intimacy

by James W. Reapsome and Martha Reapsome

What makes a good marriage even better?

How can you build an intimate relationship that endures?

How do you live out your roles of husband and wife?

The Bible takes a realistic and practical approach to these questions. As you explore what the Bible says about marriage, you'll discover how following God's design for intimacy helps you enjoy and grow your marriage to the full.


ABOUT James W. Reapsome and Martha Reapsome

James W. Reapsome (d. 2017) was a pastor for many years. He also served as editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly and the World Pulse newsletter. He was the coeditor of Innovation in Mission and the author or coauthor of LifeGuide studies such as Exodus, Hebrews, Grief, Marriage, and Songs from Scripture.

Martha Reapsome is retired and living in Downers Grove, IL. Formerly she served as midwest director of Neighborhood Bible Studies, Inc., now known as Q Place, Dobbs Ferry, NY.

 

Back to the Top