Study Guide

The Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith

Dr. Wayne Grudem

(Fill in the boxes below with the answers that you discover as you read the book)

Introduction to Systematic Theology

1.  Define systematic theology (page 17).


2.  Define historical theology (page 17).

  1. Define philosophical theology (page 17).
  1. Define apologetics (page 17).
  1. Define Christian ethics (page 18).
  1. Define biblical theology (page 18).

7.  Define the word “doctrine” (page 20).

8.  Explain the difference between a major and minor doctrine (page 21).

9. Explain why Christians should study theology (page 22).

10.  Explain how Christians should study theology (page 23).


(The Bible)

The Authority & Inerrancy of the Bible

1.   Define the authority of the Bible (page 33).

  1. Explain the meaning of 2 Timothy 3:16 (page 34).
  1. What does it mean that the Bible is self-attesting? (page 37)

4.  Explain that God did not dictate the Bible (page 38).

5.  What is the primary characteristic of the greatest preachers throughout church history? (page 40)

6.  Explain that the Bible is without error (page 40).

7.  Explain that the Bible is the final standard of truth (page 41).

8.  Define the inerrancy of the Bible (page 42).

9.  Summarize the problems that arise when Christians deny the inerrancy of the Bible (page 47).  

10.  What is the final form in which the Bible is authoritative? (page 47)

The Clarity, Necessity & Sufficiency of the Bible

  1. Define the clarity of the Bible (page 50). 

2.  Explain the meaning of the word hermeneutics (page 52).

3. Explain the meaning of the word exegesis (page 52).

4.  What is the role of Bible teachers in the church? (page 53)

5.  Define the necessity of the Bible (page 54).


6.  Explain the meaning of general revelation (page 57).

7.  Explain the meaning of special revelation (page 57).

8.  Define the meaning of the sufficiency of the Bible (page 58).

9.  What are the warnings related to the sufficiency of the Bible? (page 60).




The Character of God
(Incommunicable Attributes)

1.  Explain humanity’s inner sense of God (page 67).

2.  Explain what it means to believe the evidence in the Bible and nature (page 68).

3.  What does it mean that God is incomprehensible (page 69).

4.  Explain how we can know God truly (page 69).

5.  What does it mean that Christians can have a personal relationship with God? (page 70)

6.  Define the incommunicable attributes of God (page 71).

7.  Define the communicable attributes of God (page 71).

The Incommunicable Attributes of God

  1. Explain the independence (self-existence) of God (page 71).


  1. Explain the unchangeableness (immutability) of God (page 73).

10.  Explain how God is both infinite and personal? (page 75)

11.  Explain the eternity (infinity) of God (page 76).

12.  Explain the omnipresence of God (page 78).

13.  Explain the unity of God (page 81).


The Communicable Attributes of God

The Attributes of God’s Being

  1. Explain the spirituality of God (page 86).
  1. Explain the invisibility of God (page 87).

The Mental Attributes of God

  1. Explain the knowledge (omniscience) of God (page 88).
  1. Explain the wisdom of God (page 88).

5.  Explain the truthfulness (including faithfulness) of God (page 89).

The Moral Attributes of God

6.  Explain the goodness of God (page 90).

7.  Explain the love of God (page 91).

8.   Explain the holiness of God (page 92).

9.   Explain the righteousness or justice of God (page 93).

10.  Explain the jealousy of God (page 94).

11.   Explain the wrath of God (page 94).

The Attributes of God’s Purpose

12.   Explain the will of God (page 95).

13.   Explain the omnipotence (power including sovereignty) of God (page 98).

Summary Attributes

14.   Explain the perfection of God (page 99).

15.   Explain the blessedness of God (page 99).

16.   Explain the beauty of God (page 100).


The Trinity

1.  Define the Trinity or Tri-Unity of God (page 104).

2.  Explain what it means that the doctrine of the Trinity is progressively revealed in the Bible (page 104). 

3.  Explain that God is three persons (page 106).

4.  Explain that each person in the Trinity is fully God (page 108).

5.  Explain there is only one God (page 110).

The Errors of Denying the Trinity

6.  Explain Modalism (page 112).

  1. Explain Arianism (page 113).
  1. Explain Tri-theism (page 114).

The Distinctions Between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

9.  Explain the different primary functions of the persons of the Trinity in relating to the world (page 115).

10.  Explain the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (page 116).

11.  Explain the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the   being of God (page 118).

God’s Creation

  1. Define the doctrine of creation (page 124).

2.  Explain that God created the universe out of nothing (page 124).

3.  Explain the creation of Adam and Eve (page 125).

  1. Explain what it means that humans were created in the image of God (page 126).

5.  What does it mean that God is transcendent? (page 127)

6.  What does it mean that God is immanent? (page 127)

7.  What is materialism? (page 127)

8.  What is pantheism? (page 128)

9.  What is dualism? (page 128)

10.  What is deism? (page 129)

11.  What does creation show about God? (page 130)

12.  Explain what it means that it was a totally free act of God when He created the universe (page 131).

13.  Explain the implications that God’s creation was very good (page 131).

14.  Is there a conflict between the Bible and natural science? (page 132)

15.  Explain theistic evolution (page 133).

16.  Explain Darwinian evolution (page 135).

17.  Explain the difference between the “old” and “young” views of the earth (page 138).

God’s Providence

1.  Define God’s providence (page 142).

2.  Define preservation (page 143).

3.  Define concurrence (page 143).

4.  Define government (page 151).

5.  Explain how God works through human actions in his providence management of the world (page 152).

6.  Explain how Arminian Evangelicals understand the providence of God (page 153).

7.  Are the responses to the Arminian points convincing?


1.  Define prayer (page 158).

2.  What are the distinct kinds of prayer? (page 158)

3.  Explain why God wants us to pray (page 158).

4.  Identify the keys characteristics of effective prayer (page 162).

5.  Explain why some prayers are not answered (page 166).

6.  Explain how praise and thanksgiving are essential elements of prayer (page 166). 

Chapter 10
Angels, Satan, Demons

  1. Define angels (page 168).

2.  What are the three other types of heavenly beings mentioned in the Bible? (page 169)

3.  Explain the rank and order among the angels (page 169).

4.  Explain the primary purpose of angels (page 170).

5.  Explain false teaching concerning angels (page 173).

6.  Define demons (page 174).

7.  What happened between Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 3:1? (page 174)

8.  What is the personal name of the head of the demons? (page 175)

9.  What are some of the other names for Satan? (page 176)

10.   Who was the originator of sin? (page 176)

11.  What is Satan and demons trying to do? (page 176)

12.  Explain the limited nature and power of Satan and demons (page 176).

13.   Explain whether Christians can be demon possessed (page 179).

14.  Explain the authority and power that Christians have over Satan and demons (page 180).



The Creation of Man

1.  Why did God created humans? (page 188)

2.  Explain our ultimate purpose in life (page 188).

3.  Explain what it means to glorify God and enjoy him forever (page 189).

4.  What does it mean that humans were created in the image of God? (page 189)

5.  Explain that humans are similar, but not identical to God (page 189).

6.  Explain how God’s image was distorted, but not lost when man fell in sin (page 190).

7.  Explain how God’s image is being progressively restored through Christ’s redemption (page 190).

8.  Explain how God’s image will be fully restored at the second coming of Christ (page 191).

9.  Identify the specific aspects of our likeness to God (page 191).

The Essential Nature of Man

10.  Define trichotomy (page 193).

11.  Define dichotomy (page 193).

12.  Define monism (page 193).

13.  Explain the benefits of holding to dichotomy with overall unity (page 196).

Man as Male and Female

1.  Explain the unique interpersonal unity found in the creation of male and female (page 199).

2.  Explain the equality of male and female (page 200).

3.  What are the different of roles of male and female? (page 202)

4.  What is the application difference between egalitarians and complementarians? (page 206)


1.  Define sin (page 210).

2.  Where did sin come from? (page 211)

3.   Why does the author use the phrase inherited sin instead of original sin (see footnote on page 213).

4.  What does inherited guilt mean? (page 213)

5.  What does inherited corruption and sinful nature mean? (page 214)

6.  Explain what happens when a Christian sins (page 220).

7.  Explain the unpardonable sin (page 222).



The Person of Christ

The Humanity of Christ

1.  Summarize the biblical teaching about the person of Christ (page 229).

2.  Explain the virgin birth of Jesus Christ (page 229).

3.  Explain the human weakness and limitations of Jesus Christ (page 230).

The Deity of Christ

4.  Define the word incarnation (page 236).

5.  Identify some of the attributes of deity present in Jesus’ life (page 239).

6.  Explain why the kenosis theory is wrong (page 240).

The Incarnation

7.  Define Apollinarianism (page 241).

8.  Define Nestorianism (page 242).

9.  Define Monophysitism (page 243).

10.  Explain the Chalcedonian Definition of A.D. 451 (page 243).

The Atonement

1.  Define the word atonement (page 248).

2.  Identify the two ultimate causes that led to Christ’s coming to earth and dying on the cross for our sins (page 248).

3.  Explain whether the atonement was a necessity of God (page 249).

4.  Explain the two primary aspects of Christ’s redemption on the cross (page 250).

5.  Who was the primary influence in Christ’s redemption on the cross? (page 250)

6.  Identify New Testament terms that describe different aspects of Christ’s atonement (page 255).

Resurrection & Ascension

1.  What is the doctrinal significance of Christ’s resurrection? (page 263)

2.  What is the doctrinal significance of Christ’s ascension to heaven? (page 267)





Common Grace

1.  Define common grace (page 273).

2.  What is saving grace? (page 273)

3.  Identify the categories of life in which we see God’s common grace (page 274).

4.  Identify the reasons God gives common grace to undeserving sinners (page 277).


  1. Explain the order of salvation (page 281; read Romans 8:30).

2.  Define the word predestination (page 282).

3.  Define the word election (page 282).

4.  Explain the statement “Election is not based on God’s foreknowledge” (page 286).

5.  Explain the statement “Election is unconditional” (page 288).

6.  Explain the Reformed distinction between the secret and revealed will of God relating to election (page 290).

7.  Explain the doctrine of reprobation (page 291).

8.  There are many Christians that object or disagree with the doctrine of election as explained in this book.  After studying this chapter, what are your thoughts?


The Gospel Call

1.  Define the effective calling of God (page 296).

2.  Explain that calling is an act of God (page 296).

3.  Explain the idea that God’s call guarantees a personal response (page 296).

4.  Explain the difference between the general (external) and effective (internal) calling of God (page 296).

5.  What are the three primary elements included in the preaching of the gospel? (page 396)

6.  What is involved in coming to Christ? (page 297)


1.  Define regeneration (page 300).

2.  Explain that regeneration is totally a work of God, and is often called irresistible grace (page 301).

3.  Explain why the nature of regeneration is mysterious to us (page 301).

4.  Is regeneration an instantaneous event? (page 302)

5.  Explain how regeneration precedes faith (page 302).

6.  Explain how we recognize genuine regeneration (page 304).


(Faith and Repentance)

1.  Define conversion (page 307).

2.  Define repentance (page 307).

3.  Define faith (page 307).

4.  Explain what is involved in true conversion (page 308).

  1. Explain the how faith and repentance work together (page 309).

6.  Explain how faith and repentance must continue throughout our lives (page 313).

Justification & Adoption

1.  Define justification (page 316).

2.  Explain that justification is a legal declaration of God (page 316).

3.  What does God declare? (page 317)

  1. What does it mean that God imputes Christ’s righteous to us? (page 318)

5.  How does justification come to us? (page 320)

  1. Explain that God justifies us through faith alone (page 321).

7.  Define Christian adoption (page 323).


1.  Define sanctification (page 326).

2.  Explain the differences between justification and sanctification (page 326).

3.  Explain the three stages of sanctification (page 326).

4.  Explain how God and man cooperate in sanctification (page 331).

5.  Explain how sanctification affects the whole person (page 333).

6.  What are the motives for obedience to God in the Christian life? (page 333)

7.  Explain why sanctification brings joy into our lives (page 334).

The Perseverance of the Saints
(Remaining a Christian)

1.  Define the perseverance of the saints (page 336).

2.  Explain what is meant by the statement that “all who are truly born-again will persevere to the end” (page 336).

3.  Explain what is meant by the “external signs of conversion” (page 339).

4.  Explain the evidence of genuine Christian conversion? (page 343)

Death, Intermediate State, Glorification

1.  Explain why Christians die (page 348).

2.  Explain how should we think of our death and the death of others? (page 350)

3.  Explain what happens when people die? (page 352)

  1. Define Christian glorification (page 356).



The Nature of the Church

1.  Define and explain the nature of the Church (page 363).

2.  Explain the difference between Israel and the Church (page 367).

3.  Identify the distinguishing characteristics (marks) of the Church (page 369).

4.  Explain the relationship of the purity and the unity of the Church (page 371).

5.  Identify the primary purposes of the Church (page 273).

Water Baptism

1.  Explain the “mode” of water baptism in the New Testament Church (page 377).

2.  Explain the “meaning” of water baptism in the New Testament Church (page 377).

3.  Explain “believers” baptism (page 378, be sure to read the alternative views).

  1. Explain the idea that water baptism is a “means of grace” (page 384).

5.  Explain why water baptism is not necessary for salvation (page 384).

6.  How old should a person be before being baptized in water? (page 385)

The Lord’s Supper

  1. Explain how the Lord’s Supper relates to eating in God’s presence in the Old Testament (page 387).

2.  Identify what is symbolized and affirmed in the Lord’s Supper (page 388).

3.  Explain how Christ is present in the Lord’s Supper (page 390).

4.  Explain who should participate in the Lord’s Supper (page 392).

5.  Who should administer the Lord’s Supper? (page 393)

6.  How often should the Lord’s Supper be celebrated? (page 394)

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

(General Questions)

1.  Define Spiritual gifts (page 396).

  1. Explain the difference between Pentecostals and Charismatics (footnote, page 396).

3.  What is the biblical purpose of Spiritual gifts? (page 397)

4.  How many Spiritual gifts are there? (page 398)

5.  Explain the importance of discovering and seeking Spiritual gifts (page 401).

6.  Explain the different viewpoints on whether certain Spiritual gifts have ceased (page 402).

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
(Specific Gifts)

1.  Define the Spiritual gift of New Testament prophecy (page 408).

2.  Does prophecy have the same authority as teaching? (page 414)

3.  Define the Spiritual gift of teaching (page 415).

4.  Explain the Spiritual gift and application of healing (page 415).

5.  Define the Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues (page 421).

6.  Define the Spiritual gift of interpreting tongues (page 423).



The Return of Christ
(When and How)

1.  Define eschatology (page 427).

2.  Explain the primary characteristics of the second coming of Christ (page 428).

3.  Explain what it means for Christians to long for the second coming of Christ (page 428).

4.  Explain when Christ will return (page 429).

5.  Explain the final and ultimate result of Christ’s return (page 430).

6.  Explain whether Christ can return at anytime (page 430).

The Millennium

1. Define the word “millennium” (page 438).

2.  Define A-millennialism (page 438).

3.  Define POST-millennialism (page 441).

4.  Define PRE-millennialism (page 442).

5.  Explain the difference between classical and dispensational Premillennialism (page 445-446).

6.  Explain the “Great Tribulation” (page 449).

  1. Explain the “PRE-tribulation Rapture” view (page 449).

8.  Explain the “POST-tribulation Rapture” view (page 450).

Final Judgment & Eternal Punishment

1.  Explain the fact of the final judgment of God (page 453).

2.  When will God’s final judgment occur? (page 454)

3.  Explain the nature of God’s final judgment (page 454).

4.  What is the purpose of God’s final judgment? (page 457)

5.  Explain the justice of God in the final judgment (page 457).

6.  How does God’s final judgment serve as positive moral influences in our Christian lives? (page 458)

7.  Define and explain the nature of eternal hell (page 459).

The New Heavens and New Earth

1.  Explain how we will live eternally with God in the new heavens and new earth (page 465).

2.  Explain how the doctrine of the new creation provides a great motivation for us as Christians to store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth (page 469).

  1. Explain what the eternal new creation will be like (page 469).