Bible Study

January 2017 starts a new quarter with new classes.  As the Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”  Our prayer is that the Spirit of God will develop in each of us the heart and mind of Jesus.  To that end may God be glorified.  Here is the schedule for January thru April.

 

Sunday AM: Downstairs: Discovering Our Past—[Alan Hill]

                     Balcony: John 3:16 [Doug Frazier]

 

Sunday PM: When God Reigns: A Study in the Parables of Jesus

 

When Jesus taught those who gathered around him, He frequently used parables.  When He wanted them to understand what their lives would be like if God were to reign, He turned to parables.  Parables provide a window into both the mind of Christ and His vision for His people.  As Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear let him hear.”

 

Jan. 1 & 8        No Sunday Eve Class

Jan. 15            Praying Offensively/Preemptively/Defensively  [Alan Hill]

Jan. 22            A Test Case [Doug Frazier]

Jan. 29            Why Parables? To Confuse or Make Clear [David Hill]

Feb 5               No Class

Feb. 12            When God Reigns—I’ll Know and Appreciate His Grace [Gardner Jefferies]

Feb. 19            God’s Invitation to Join in His Reign [Verne Foreman]

Feb 26             When God Reigns—There Will Be Joy [Gary Kentner]

March 5           No Class

March 12         When God Reigns—I’ll care About Others [Bob Saxton]

March 19         When God Reigns—My Money and Things [Steve Miller]

March 26         When God Reigns—My Talents and Opportunities [Jack Groves]

 

April 2              No Class                    

April 9              When God Reigns—His People Will Pray [Alan Hill]

April 16            What It Means to Be a Disciple of the Kingdom – Athan ?

April 23            When God Reigns—More Will Come to Him - Del

April 30            God’s Reign and Judgment - ??

 

Wednesday PM The Letters of John—Darryl Wray

 

 

 

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  (Psalm 119:105)

 

To give the Bible its rightful place is to bring glory to God, health to God’s people and light to the world.  John Stott

He who is of God hears the words of God…John 8:47 (NAS)

What Scripture Does For Us

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. " Romans 15:4 (NIV)

"All scripture is inspired by God.  It is useful to teach us what is true, and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right."   2 Timothy 3:16  [NLT]

"And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to.  If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. " James 1:22  [NLT]

 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, 'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.'  And this is the word that was preached to you."  1 Peter 2:22-25  NIV)

How To Take Positive Steps Of Action

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16  [KJV]

 

1. Doctrine: Do the principles and values of God control your life?

This involves the operating principles and values that center your life.  If these are flawed the whole foundation is flawed.  Unless the Lord builds this framework, your life will crash and fall apart.  (Matthew 7:24-27; John 8:31-32; Romans 8:28-30)

 

2.  Reproof: What are the conflicts in your relationships that need to be reconciled?

This involves the key conflicts experienced in your relationships with self, God, family, authorities, and friends.  These conflicts grow out of a violation of doctrine.  If the doctrine is flawed, the fruit will not be healthy.  Healthy doctrine leads to Godly character.  (Luke 6:43-45)

 

3.  Correction: What are the specific steps of action God is asking you to take?

This involves accepting responsibility.  Responsible steps of action are based on wisdom from above.  This wisdom from God gives us insights into the bigger picture.  The bigger picture involves the grand plan of God and his purpose.  His purpose is the compass that always points us North, so we can stay on course.  It is inevitable. We get off course with our lives.  Knowing when and how to make corrections is absolutely essential.  (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Hebrews 12:1-13; James 3:13-18)

 

4.  Instruction: Will you place yourself before God in humility and do what He asks?

This involves the application of the corrective steps.  It involves the one another” commands from scripture and the relationships with brothers and sisters growing out of fellowship with God.  In worship, meditation and prayer, we help each other stay on the path Jesus walked.  We learn His love and obedience.  (James 1:19-25; Hebrews 5:7-10)

 

Because the Bible is the word of God, then to neglect it is to neglect God.  The Bible is a message sent to us from God, focused on Christ and written upon our hearts by the Spirit of God.  The admonition to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16) not only enriches our lives but honors and glorifies God.  How can we worship and honor God if we do not know who he is and what he is like? 

“He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Located in the Bayerische Staatsmuseum in Munich hangs a painting Italian painter Domenico Feti (1589–1623) entitled Ecce Homo (“Behold the Man”). At the bottom of the canvas the Latin inscription, “Ego pro te haec passus sum, Tu vero quid fecisti pro me: This have I suffered for you; now what will you do for me?” After seeing this painting Francis Havergal was moved to pen the words to the beautiful hymn “I Gave My Life For Thee.” It is time that we as Christians not only sing these hymns but truly commit to meaning what we sing by making the necessary changes in our lives.

We need to be reminded that Jesus said, “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33). We come to Christ to be saved and are required to submit to His will, to give up our own selfish ambitions, and put God and others above ourselves. Yet, few do. And sadly many of the problems we see in the church are solely due to the fact that we have to have things done our way or we pout and/or throw a fit. Paul admonishes us to “put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Just as egregious are those who sing the last stanza of the great hymn stating “None of self, and all of thee” and are for all intents and purposes lying to themselves and God.

There are two types of people I would like for us to consider:

Those Who Have Never Forsaken Anything: Like the Rich Young Man who comes to Jesus desiring eternal life (Matthew 19:16–22; Luke 18:18–23). When Jesus told him that in order to be perfected he would need to go and “sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:22) he “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:22).

Those Who Have Returned To Their Old Life: Much like the prodigal son who wasted his father’s inheritance (Luke 15:11–32), are those who forsake their Lord in order to return to the love of the world. Yes, we know the Bible says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Nonetheless we are “choked cares and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). Indeed, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The fact remains that you and I have either forsaken all for Him or we have not. There is no middle ground! What do I treasure in my heart more than heaven; Family, friends, sinful behavior, selfish ambition (even that which is disguised in righteousness)? “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).

Be faithful my friends!  

Paul tells us that on the night He was betrayed, Jesus took bread, “and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). Jesus instituted this supper to be done in remembrance of Him. Paul said, “as often” as Christians partake of this memorial supper, they “show the Lord's death till he come.” There is no question that the church should partake of the Lord’s Supper (communion), but how often? Is the frequency of partaking of communion just a matter of opinion?

It would be strange if the Lord instituted a memorial and gave no guidance how often it should be done. The Jews received explicit instructions when they were to observe the Passover, Pentecost, and other memorials. The New Testament is clear that the early church assembled each first day of the week [Sunday] for worship. 1 Corinthians 14:23 speaks of the whole church “come together into one place” and Hebrews 10:25 warns against “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” The first day of the week was the time for the early church to assemble and partake of communion.

Luke tells us that Paul came to Troas “and upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). The verse before states, “we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days” (Acts 20:6). Paul and his company had waited a full seven days at Troas so that they could meet with the Christians of Troas on the first day of the week, “when the disciples came together to break bread.” Their stated purpose in coming together was “to break bread,” meaning to partake of the Lord’s Supper, or communion. The writings of many ancient writers such as Pliny, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and others show that the universal practice of the early church was to meet each first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

But was it every first day? When God told the Jews to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8), they understood that it was every Sabbath day that was intended, even though God did not specifically say to remember every Sabbath day. When Paul wrote, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:2), didn’t he mean that each first day of the week was the day for Christians to give? Each first day of the week, [the day of the Lord’s resurrection, and the day the church was established], is the day Christians are to observe communion. No other day is authorized by command or example of scripture.

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