Table of Contents:

  1. Purpose
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Statement of Faith

DFL: Purpose Statement

Discipling for Life is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes, that qualify as exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code; more specifically "to provide free and low-cost Bible study programs and resources to help people to understand the Bible from which they can experience spiritual growth and maturity."

DFL: Mission Statement

The purpose statement of DFL, as registered with the state of PA in its’ articles of incorporation, is as follows: “To provide free and low-cost Bible study programs and resources to help people understand the Bible from which they can experience spiritual growth and maturity.” Therefore, DFL shall follow these mission statement guidelines:

Foundation
  1. Bible: The Bible, which is canonical, is known as the Christian Bible, excluding the apocrypha
  2. Bible translation: a Bible translation (not a paraphrase) based on the standard Hebrew and Greek texts, produced by a committee in lieu of an individual, with a balance between dynamic and formal equivalence, and uses common language, such as the NIV.
  3. Bible study programs and resources may be provided for other popular and widely available translations but the primary basis for interpretation will remain based upon a Bible translation defined in item 2.
Target Audience

Anyone, anywhere, at anytime

Design of Bible study programs and resources All DFL Bible study programs and resources will be designed with the following criteria:
  1. Encourage personal reading and study of the Bible
  2. Encourage learning through a question-oriented style of lesson plan
  3. Encourage the use of or reference to Bible reference sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and historical-cultural resources
  4. Strictly limit commentary placed in each lesson plan by the author in order to maximize personal study of the Bible and Bible reference sources.
  5. Restrict the use of exegetical or homiletical commentaries to consideration only after a person has first, read and studied the Bible; and second, considered Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and background/cultural commentaries.
Goals for Bible study programs
  1. Provide various levels of study including basic/beginner and advanced studies
  2. Provide studies for each book of the Bible
  3. Provide topical studies of the Bible
  4. Provide studies for books written about the Bible or biblical topics
  5. Provide studies for the majority of Bible translations
  6. Provide studies translated into other languages
Interpretive Approach

Proper biblical interpretation is based on the understanding that the true meaning of the biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken. This understanding of the original meaning is to then be applied to current life context. Therefore, the following guidelines will direct the design of Bible study lessons and resources and the teaching of biblical interpretation principles.

  1. Pre-understandings and pre-suppositions: Be aware of preconceived understandings, doctrinal teachings, presuppositions, and their influence on interpretation; and theological agendas looking for Biblical support
  2. Context: context determines meaning
    1. Historical-Cultural: consideration of the biblical writer, the biblical audience, and any historical-cultural elements touched on by the passage itself.
    2. Literary:
      1. Genre: as an understanding between author and reader as to how to understand the writing, establishing the rules used to understand the words
      2. Surrounding context: words, phrases, verses are best understood in context of the given scripture passage, chapter, book, OT/NT, and the whole Bible
Distribution of Bible study programs and resources

DFL intends to use the internet via a website as a low-cost primary method of distribution to reach its target audience. Other distribution methods will be used as needed.

Resulting Transformation Expectations

DFL, with God’s blessing and the working of the Holy Spirit, intends to achieve the following results:

  1. People entering into a relationship with God of eternal life through Jesus Christ
  2. People being transformed by the renewing of their mind and conforming less to the patterns of this world
  3. People learning Jesus’ teachings, understanding them, and obeying them
  4. People discovering God’s will for their lives and following it
  5. People laying down their lives for others and loving others as God has loved us

DFL: Statement of Faith

  1. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New testaments, to be the only inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative written Word of God. (Psalm 119:89, Matthew 5:18, John 16:12-13, II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:20-21)
  2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19, II Corinthians 13:14, I John 5:7)
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood, in his bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 16:21-28, Matthew 24:42, Luke 1:26-35, John 14:1-3, John 14:9, John 20:26-29, Acts 1:9, Acts 1:11, Romans 3:24-25, Romans 5:8-11, Romans 6:4, I Corinthians 15: 3-4, II Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 1:19-21, Hebrews 4:15, I Peter 2:21-22, I John 2:2)
  4. We believe that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and commit sin by desire, by choice, and by practice. Because of sin, each person stands guilty in and separated from the presence of a just and holy God, rightfully deserving everlasting punishment. (Romans 3:10-12, Romans 5:12-21, Romans 6:23, I Corinthians 15: 21-22, Galatians 3:10)
  5. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential, and that the salvation is received through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and not as a result of good works. (Isaiah 55:7, Luke 13:3, John 3:16, Romans 3:22-26, Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-5)
  6. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life in this sinful world. (I Corinthians 6:19-20, Ephesians 4:22-24, I Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 13:20-21)
  7. We believe in the visible, personal, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:9-11, John 14:3, I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
  8. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved; they that are saved unto the resurrection of eternal life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of eternal damnation. (John 11:23-27, II Corinthians 5:1, II Thessalonians 1:7-10, Revelation 21:12-15)
  9. We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 12:4-5, I Corinthians 12:12-20, Ephesians 4:1-6)