Saturday, July 3, 2010

When the Good News Gets Even Better

Yes, I'm doing it again, starting a new Bible study. Since I'm now DONE with studying for school, maybe I'll actually complete this one!

Have any of you done this study? I'd love someone to discuss this with, if so!

So today I begin!

Interesting thoughts:

Throughout the Old Testament, Israel is called the "bride of God."...They, like each of us, have loved God and yet have disobeyed Him, often trusting in their own abilities rather than in His faithfulness and sovereignty. God's beloved bride sought other lovers, yet He continues, even to this day, to pursue them with His unfailing love.
But God had been strangely silent during the four hundred years from the end of the writing of the Old Testament until the beginning of the New Testament...At the right time, He wraps Himself in human skin and pitches His tent in the midst of humanity and lives among those He created, identifying with every human emotion and every human hurt. Never again would a man or woman be able to say,"God, you don't understand what it's like to be me."

Did you know Luke was the only gospel writer who was not a Jew? I didn't! He writes to the fellow Gentiles, specifically Greeks, who were consumed with the concept of the "ideal man."

On the sidebar of p. 11...
You may wonder how these men could have remembered exact conversations and teachings of Jesus 30-60 years after the fact....Every word is from the very breath of God. How can we know they were accurate? In John 14:26, Jesus tells them that the Holy Spirit will give them perfect recall. (He will "bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.")

Write a brief definition of the "gospel" as it is typically used today. ("We left our former church because the minister didn't preach the gospel.")

I wrote: gospel = teachings on life of Jesus

If the Word is a person and not simply doctrinal information, can we not properly conclude that the "gospel" is also a person?...We will never all agree on every point, but we can agree that the gospel IS this unique, God-man, Jesus Christ, fully and completely, and believe if He is lifted up as the centerpiece, the whole world will feel welcome to gather around Him, explore His free gift of life, and become His companion.

From the sidebar on p. 12: "...Doctrine is a tool that god uses to change our perception of reality, but only the person of Jesus can change teh heart. Everything was intended to revolve around this person. Life is a person (Col. 3:4); Truth is a person (John 14:6); Love is a person (1 John 4:16). A particular theology may draw some, but only the person of Jesus can draw every human being. If we gather around the centrality of Jesus, our theological differences will slowly dissipate because our desire will change from wanting to be right to wanting only Him."

Also from p. 12 sidebar: 5 women appear in Matthew's genealogy of Christ: Tamar (a Jew), Rahab (a Gentile prostitute), Ruth (a Moabite), Bathsheba (a temptress who brought down a king), and Mary (a simple peasant girl)
Matthew is telling us that a new age is coming; a time when Jews and Gentiles, men and women, saints and sinners will all be on equal footing with God. the Messiah will make no distinctions. This would have been revolutionary.

Finally finished with Day 1...only took me 3 days! LOL