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Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

Seven Questions for Training Your Family in God’s Word

Martin Luther once recommended to his barber four basic questions to contemplate when meditating upon Scripture (Luther, A Simple Way to Pray, 1535):

  • What does this passage instruct me to do (instruction)?
  • How does it reveal my sin (confession)?
  • For what does it teach me to be thankful (thanksgiving)?
  • For what does it teach me to ask God (petition)?

The seven questions below expand Luther’s advice into an inquiry suitable for both individual and group Bible studies, whether in the home or at church.

Some questions may be more applicable to certain chapters of Scripture than others, and the sequence of questions may be varied. The following sequence, which puts Law before Gospel and Justification before Sanctification, memorably spells C-A-P-T-I-V-E. It is through the study of Scripture that Christians learn to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

  1. CONFESSION: Of which sins does this passage convict me?
  2. ABSOLUTION: How does this passage reveal God’s forgiveness for me in Christ?
  3. PRAYER: For what does this passage instruct me to ask or thank God?
  4. TRADITION: How has this passage inspired the creeds, confessions, liturgy, hymns, or catechism of my church?
  5. INTERPRETATION: How do other passages help me to interpret this one? or How does this passage help me to interpret others?
  6. VOCATION: How does this passage guide me in my life as a(n) [insert my station in life]?
  7. EVANGELISM: How can I share with an unbeliever what this passage has taught me about God’s grace in Christ?

Please click below to download a free Bible study guide, based on the seven questions listed above and suitable for use in your home or distribution in your congregation.

[Bible-Study Guide - PDF]

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