These Bible studies are designed to use in small groups. They may provide a useful introduction to a meeting where different topics from the Guide are being discussed. Choose a study that will be linked to the topic you plan to study or that is relevant to your situation. During the studies, encourage people to think about what they read, to discuss the meaning and the implications of what they learn and, finally, to pray together about what they have learnt.

BIBLE STUDY 1: Food traditions and customs

All cultures develop a variety of traditional beliefs and customs concerning food. Sometimes there are certain foods that people eat at special festivals. Some foods may be avoided on certain days. Certain foods that are avoided in one culture may be valued in another. Most of these beliefs have little effect on nutrition. However, sometimes certain taboos or customs may have a considerable impact on health.

Read Acts 10:9-16

The Jewish tradition considered certain foods unclean and for Paul these taboos were part of his life. But then God challenged him on this. God is able to make all things clean and to change people’s way of thinking.

BIBLE STUDY 2: A wise choice of diet

Read Daniel 1:1-7

This story comes from a time when Judah was invaded and captured by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. He wanted to teach people in the country he now controlled about his own culture and religion.

Read verses 1:8-17

BIBLE STUDY 3: Sanitation

Read Deuteronomy 23:12-14

There is very little teaching in the Bible about sanitation apart from these verses. The Israelites were given these clear instructions thousands of years ago. However, a huge number of people still lack access to good sanitation.

Verse 14 talks about how this command was given to keep the camp holy, but the practice would also have kept the camp healthy. God was aware of the need for good sanitation long before people understood about the diseases caused by poor sanitation. Physical cleanness is linked to moral holiness.

BIBLE STUDY 4: The good wife

Read Proverbs 31:10-31

In these verses we read about a model wife. Many bible scholars believe that rather than being about an ideal wife, this story is really about wisdom and how we can learn to be wise. This lady’s behaviour is wise and worthy of praise in every way. She sets an example that we can all learn from, even if we do not manage to meet all these characteristics!

Read verses 14-17

Read verses 20-31

BIBLE STUDY 5: God’s provision of food

Read Genesis 1:11-13 and Genesis 1:29-31

Read Genesis 9:1-5  God makes a new covenant concerning food, this time with Noah and his family.

BIBLE STUDY 6: Our bodies as a temple of the holy spirit

Read I Kings 8:12-21

In old testament times, the temple was thought of as a building where God lived and it was set apart for His worship.

Read Psalm 51:16-17  Old Testament worship placed an important emphasis on the need for animal sacrifice in order for sins to be forgiven.

Read John 2:12-22  In New Testament times Jesus teaches that there are other ways of thinking about the temple.

Finally, read I Corinthians 3:16  The role of God’s temple was to bring inner spiritual cleansing. Christ’s sacrificial death has now made this possible for each one of us, through faith in Him and he sends us his Holy Spirit to guide us.

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