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31 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 3 — Galatians 3:1-18


Study 3 From The Book of Galatians Is: Galatians 3:1-18
These verses are a fourfold argument in proof of 2:16: (a) verses 1-5, an argument from experience, (b) verses 6-9, an argument from Scripture teaching about Abraham (c) verses 10-14, an argument from the meaning of Christ’s death, and (d) verses 15-18, an argument from the fact that the covenant of promise was long prior to the giving of the law.
     1.      Unravel the arguments used by Paul in these verses to demonstrate that justification and enjoyment of the gift of the Spirit are by faith in Christ, and not by ‘works of the law’ (i.e., our own law-keeping).
2.      Verses 10-18. Distinguish between law and promise and between works and faith as bases in God’s dealing with men.  What two benefits has Christ made available for us by His redeeming work?


Notes
  1. Verses 2, 5. ‘By hearing with faith’: this is an abbreviate expression for hearing the word of the gospel and receiving it with responsive or obedient faith. Cf. Rom. 10:8-17
  2. Verse 7. 'The sons of Abraham': in the sense of spiritual likeness. Jn. 8:39.
  3. Verses 8.9. Paul interprets the promise of Gn. 12:3b to mean that just as Abraham received the blessing of justification by faith (Gn. 15:6), so a time would come when men of all nations would ' in Abraham', i e, through his seed, which is Christ (verse 14, 16), receive the same blessing in the same way.LINK TO THE VERSES LISTED

30 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Galatians 2

Study 2 From The Book of Galatians Is: Galatians 2


1.      Verses 1-10. Why does Paul consider his Jerusalem visit significant? What issues were at stake, and what facts were confirmed?

2.      Verse 11-21. What were Paul’s motives for his opposition to Peter?  How does he justify the stand which he took? Try to express in your own words the truth declared in verses 16 and 20.

3.      What may we learn from this chapter concerning the principles which should govern Christian fellowship, church unity and ministerial co-operation?


29 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 1 — Galatians 1

Study 1 From The Book of Galatians Is: Galatians 1


1.      What does Paul say in verses 1-10 (a) about God; (b) about Christ; (c) about himself; (d) about the gospel?  Note these things carefully, for they lay the foundation on which the Epistle rests.

2.      Verses 11-24. How does Paul show that the gospel is a revelation of God?  What does his personal testimony demonstrated? What significance has this for the Christian?

Note. Verse 10 is parenthetical. Paul appears to have been charged by his opponents with being a man-pleaser.  So, after writing verses 8 and 9, he interjects a pertinent question. What he means is: ‘Words such as I have just written do not look like man-pleasing, do they?’  

                                                             

28 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — Galatians Introduction

Study 0 From The Book of Galatians Is:  Introduction to Galatians


The particular situation with which the Epistle deals must be kept in mind if its great argument is to be understood. Paul had preached the gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ to the Galatians, who were of Gentile race.  They had welcomed him with enthusiasm, and many had believed (4:14, 15). But, they had later been visited by Jewish-minded Christian teachers who had told them that it was not enough simply to believe on Jesus Christ: they must also be circumcise and keep the law of Moses.  These teachers had further cast doubts upon Paul’s apostleship, and had sought to undermine his authority. We can understand with what mingled sorrow, indignation and deep concern Paul refutes the teaching of the legalists, and defends both his own position and the truth of the gospel which he had proclaimed.


The question at issue assumes a different form today, but is nonetheless vital. Is acceptance with God to be obtained by any effort of ours, or is it, as the gospel declared, the free gift of God’s grace through the redemptive work of Christ, to be obtained by faith alone?  The enduring value of this Epistle lies in the answer given by Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, to this question. 

27 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 17 — Revision of the book of Joshua

Study 17 From The Book of Joshua Is: Revision of the book of Joshua


With this revision, we conclude the book of Joshua. I hope you have been blessed through this lesson I know I have been. So, tomorrow, we will start the book of Galatians. I can’t wait.

1.      By looking through the book of Joshua as a whole, clarify the outline of events in your mind.

2.      What encouragements and warnings have you gained? What does the book teach of (a) the character of God, and (b) His purposes for His people?


26 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 16 — Joshua 24

Study 16 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 24


1.      Note the place chosen by Joshua for this occasion. Cf. Gn. 12:6, 7; 33:18, 19; Jos. 8:32-35 Acts 7:16. In what other ways did he seek to make this as impressive and memorable an event as possible? Consider verse 2:13; 14, 15; 19, 20, 23; 25-28.

2.      What evidence is there in this chapter, despite all that God had done, of the superficiality and instability of the Israelites’s religious life? Cf. Ho. 6:4.


25 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 15 — Joshua 23

Study 15 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 23


1.      Verses 1-13. To whom was Joshua speaking on this occasion?  On what conditions does the fulfillment in verse 5 depend?

2.      How is the faithfulness of God shown in this chapter? Cf. the similar statements in 21:43-45 and 1 Sa. 7:12. Can you endorse these?


24 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 14 — Joshua 22

Study 14 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 22


1.      What was Joshua able to commend in the conduct of these tribes? What charge did he give them? With verse 5 cf. 1:8

2.      What roused the remaining tribes to anger?  Was their anger justified? (For the background to the reference in verse 17, see Nu. 25:1-9).  What warning can we take from this incident?  


23 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 13 — Joshua 20 and 21

Study 13 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 20 and 21


1.      Check the facts.  Using a map, find the cities of refuge. In whose area were they, and in what type (s) of territory?  Why were they established? And who became responsible for them?  Why were the Levites given property?  What type of property was it?  Who provided it and on what plan?



22 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 12 — Joshua 18 and 19

Study 12  From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 18 and 19


1.      With 18:3, cf. Heb. 4:1. What attitude is Joshua’s pointed question designed to correct? See Heb. 6: 11, 12.

2.      What evidence do you find in these chapters that God’s promised blessings in Christ, though ours already by God’s gift, are claimed and experienced only through the fight of faith, resolute action, and steady progress?  Cf. 2 Pet. 1:4-11; 1 Tim 4:13-16.


21 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 11 — Joshua 15: 13 – 17:18

Study 11  From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 15: 13 – 17:18


1.      Is your environment as unpromising as the arid, giant-ridden Negeb seemed to Achsah? If so, compare her attitude with Lk. 11:13 and Phil. 4: 19, and be thankful!

2.      Whose inheritance is described in today’s section? What attitudes were shown by the tribes and by Joshua?  Why were the people of Joseph not praised as Caleb had been (14:13), when they made a particular claim to territory?

3.      Using a concordance, study the character of Ephraim.  Do you agree with Ellicott’s statement that ‘They were constantly asserting their right to the supremacy in Israel, without exhibiting any qualification for it’?

Note. 15:63, together with 2 Sa. 5:6, 7 shows that this book was written before David’s time.


20 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 10 — Joshua 13:1-15:12

Study 10 From The Book of Joshua Is: Joshua 13:1-15:12

     1.      13:1-7. Consider how exactly the Lord amplifies the statement at the end of 13:1. Are there in your life blessings promised to us in Christ which are not yet possessed, and remaining enemies to be subdued?  Ask Him to reveal them to you with similar precision.

     2.      Note the inheritance given to the different tribes and individuals notice particularly the contrast between Levi and Caleb, and the reasons given for each.  With 14:6-13, cf. Nu. 13:17-14:10.

Note. 14:7, 10.  These verses, combined with Dt. 2:14, show the preliminary conquest of the land took seven years.

LINK TO THE VERSES LISTED

19 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 9 — Joshua 11 and 12

Study 9 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 11 and 12


1.      Again the aid of a map is needed to follow this summary of a war which lasted several years. Which area is covered here? To what causes was Joshua’s final victory due?

2.      Note the verses which point out the finality and harshness of the treatment which Joshua carried out.  Why was this necessary? What spiritual lesson can we learn from this? Cf. Mt. 18:8, 9; Col. 3:5.

3.      Meditate on the statement at the end of chapter 11 in the light of the continued conflict in chapters 13ff.  See esp. 13:1. In what ways does this history provide encouragement and challenge to us today? Cf. the order and progress of Rom. 6-8.

Notes
1.        11-20. See Dt. 9: 4,5; and cf. Ex. 9:12. The Canaanites, like Pharaoh, were in the end provoked to go further on their already self-chosen evil way.  This brought their judgment to a head.
2.        In 11:20. We read that Joshua cut off the Anakin from Hebron, Debir and other places; in chapters 14 and 15 it is Caleb and Othniel who take Hebron and Debir; while in 10:36-39 we have read that at a still earlier time Joshua took Hebron and Debit, and ‘destroyed all the souls that were therein’. The explanation is that those whom Joshua is said to have killed on the earlier occasion  were those whom he captured in the cities when he took them the first time; a considerable part of the population must have fled before he attacked the cities, and must have returned and reoccupied them while he was away in the north.  11:21 describes in summary form operations which covered a long time, and attributes to Joshua as Commander-in-Chief what was done by Caleb and others under his orders.






18 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 8 — Joshua 10

Study 8 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 10


    1.      Using a map briefly to clarify in your mind the events described here. In what ways is this chapter an interesting sequel to chapter 9? What lessons had Joshua and Israel learnt?

     2.      These things ‘were written down for our instruction’ (1 Cor. 10:11). What examples can we follow?  See verses 6ff; 16-22; 24, 25; 26-40; 42; and cf. Ps. 15:4 and Col. 3:5.

Notes
    1.        Verses 12, 13. See NBCR, p. 243. By the actions of God’s sovereign providence conditions were granted, which we cannot fully explain, which enabled the Israelites to gain a complete victory.
2.        Verse 40. ‘The Negeb’ was the arid southern land.


 MAP 

17 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures 7 —Study — Joshua 9

Study 7  From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 9


1.      See Dt. 7:1-6 as the background to this chapter.  What factors led to the disobedience of Joshua and his leaders?

2.      Having realized their error, how did the Jewish leaders deal with the situation? What principles can be draw from this for ourselves?

3.      Trace the subsequent history of the Gibeonites, seen in Jos. 10:2; 11:19; 2 Sa. 21:1-9; 2 Ch. 1:1-13.


16 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — Joshua 8

Study 6 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 8


1.       Using a map, following the plan of campaign. Note the contrasts and similarities to the conquests of Jericho.  What principles of victory emerge from chapters 6 and 8 for the people of God?

2.      The background to verses 30-35 is to be found in Dt. 11:26-29; 27:1-28:68. What were the purposes of this dedication service?

15 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — Joshua 7

Study 5  From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 7


1.       What sins are described here? What were their results? Cf. also Is. 59:1, 2.

2.      What steps were necessary to rectify the situation? Why was the punishment so drastic? How ought this chapter, Is. 53: 5 and 1 Pet. 2:24 to affect our view of sin?


14 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — Joshua 5 and 6

Study 4  From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 5 and 6


1.      Before the conquest of Jericho come the events described in chapter 5. Note their order.  What is their significance (a) for the Jews; (b) for Joshua; (c) for us?

2.      6; 1, 2; cf. Heb. 11:30. What may we learn here concerning the conditions and demands, of conquering enemy strongholds by faith? Have you a faith that preserveres ? Cf. Heb. 3:14; 6:11, 12; 10:35, 36.

3.      Follow the rest of Rahab’s life in 6:22-25 and Mt. 1:5, 6. Salmon may have been one of the spies.  What truths does Rahab illustrate concerning God’s ways of dealing with men?   
         

13 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 3 — Joshua 3 and 4

Study 3 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 3 and 4


1.      Work out the order of events, as the people entered the Promised Land. Note the parts played by God and by the people.  What principles of progress in the Christian life are here illustrated?

2.      Compare and contrast the position and attitude of the people here with that of their fathers in Nu. 14:1-10. Which group reflects your own attitude?  
                 

12 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Joshua 2

Study 2 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 2


1.      How does the story in this chapter justify the statement in Heb. 11:31?  Compare Rahab’s word with the actual position of the Israelites at the time, and note especially verse 11.

2.      Observe how Rahab’s faith kindled the faith of the spies. What stimulus does this give us in the life of faith?  What parallel is suggested to you by the house protected by the scarlet thread? With verse 19, cf. Ex. 12:22.


11 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 1 — Joshua 1

Study 1 From The Book of Joshua Is:  Joshua 1


1.      Verses 1-9. Cf. Dt. 31:7, 8. List the promises God made to Joshua. What conditions of success was he given? What picture of Joshua is given in this chapter?

2.      What principle, warnings or encouragement to be found here can I apply to my own life?

Note. Verse 12-18.  These Israelites wished to settle east of Jordan, but had promised to help in the conquest of Canaan.



10 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —The Book of Joshua - Introduction

Study 0 From The Book of Joshua Is: The Introduction 


The book of Joshua tells us nothing about its authorship, but in Jos.15:63 we have a clear indication that it was written before David’s capture of Jerusalem.

The book tells the story of the crossing of Jordan, the conquest of the Promised Land and its division among the tribes, ending with the death of Joshua after he had obtained from the whole people a solemn promise (soon to be broken) that they would be faithful to God.

The apparent discrepancy between the seemingly universal conquest of Palestine (in 9 -11) and the stubborn and often unsuccessful fighting referred to in the latter part of the book and in the early  part of Judges, is explained by the fact that in 9-11 the united army of Israel was meeting and crushing organized resistance.  But, after the division of the land, the Israelite army broke up into its component tribes, each of which attempted to possess its own lot, meeting with a stubborn resistance from those who had fled from the united army or had not come in its way. Other factors may have been the spiritual declension of the people and the ruling geographical factor of Palestine, the division into the hill country and the coastal plain.  The latter remained unconquered until David’s time.


The book is an account of the Israelites’ fight to claim their promised inheritance. The lesson they learnt concerning the conditions of possession can teach us much about the condition of our obtaining the blessings promised to us in Christ. (cf. Heb. 4:1, 2, 8-11; 11:30)

09 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 8 — 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:17

Study 8 From The Books of Thessalonians I & II Is: 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:17


With this study, we end the books of Thessalonians and we are getting ready for the book of Joshua next…

1.   2:13-15. We are shown here that God has taken the initiative in our salvation.  What steps has He taken? What is His purpose for us? And what part is our responsibility?
2.    Consider Paul’s four prayers for his readers and also the prayer which he asks them to pray for himself.  What can we learn about Paul’s circumstances and about his ambitions, both for himself and for the Thessalonians?  Do we share similar ambitions when we pray?
3.    2:6-13. What is the place and importance of daily work and other mundane tasks in the life of the Christian? Is there a tendency to underestimate the importance of these nowadays?

Note. 3:2-4. From the unbelief of men Paul turns to the faithfulness of the Lord. This is now turning to the Lord to pray can afford fresh confidence and hope.


08 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 7 — 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Study 7 From The Books of Thessalonians I & II Is: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12



1.   What advice and warnings does Paul give here to encourage a healthy attitude towards the Lord’s return?

2.   Examine the methods, motives, power and end of Satan and his human agents. What does this teach us about the subtlety and nature of sin? Who are to be deceived thereby, and for what reasons?

Note.  Verse 3 ‘the man of lawlessness’: in the New Testament this seems to refer to both a principle and a person.  Cf. 1Jn. 2:18. In the last days he will appear in his final form as the incarnation of evil, the Antichrist, but he has had and will have precursors up till that time.



07 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — 2 Thessalonians 1

Study 6 From The Books of Thessalonians I & II Is: 2 Thessalonians 1


1.   Verses 5-12. When men suffer for Christ what two prospects of things which are to be fulfilled by Christ at His return should be a comfort to them?  What two complementary things will Christ then do?  
2.   Notice the subjects of Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer for his fellow-Christians at Thessalonica.  Is this how you pray for others? Compare your aims in the Christian life with those here implied to be desirable.
Notes
1.     Verse 5. ‘This evidence of the righteous judgment of God’: it affords proof-since God is righteous—that His day of judgement and just recompense will certainly come.
2.     Verses 7-10. Cf. Is. 66:15, 16; Mt. 13:40-43; Lk. 3:17.


06 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — 1 Thessalonians 5

Study 5 From The Books of Thessalonians I & II Is: 1 Thessalonians 5


1.   Verses 1-11. How will the ‘day of the Lord’ break upon the world, and what will it mean (a) for men in general, and (b) for Christians? Cf. Mt. 24:32-44; Lk. 21:25-28.
2.   What practical effect should the prospect of the Lord’s return have on our attitude and behaviour? Make your own list of the injunctions of this chapter and examine your own life in the light of them.
Notes
1.     Verse 2. ‘The day of the Lord’: an Old Testament phrase, signifying God’s future intervention in history in salvation and judgement. (Is. 2:12; 13:6; Zp. 1:14; 3:11, 16), and applied in the New Testament to the second coming of Christ. (Lk. 17:24; 1 Cor. 1:8, etc).
2.     Verses 6, 7, 10. The word ‘sleep’ is used in this passage in three meanings; in verse 6 in the sense of spiritual insensibility, in verse 7 in the meaning of natural sleep, and in verse 10 in the sense of physical death, as in 4:14, 15 (cf. 4:16 ‘the dead in Christ’)


05 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — 1 Thessalonians 4

Study 4 From The Books of Thessalonians I & II Is: 1 Thessalonians 4


1.   Verses 1-12. What aims and aspects of Christian living are emphasized in these verses? Why should we so live? And what
2.   makes such a standard of living possible for us?
3.   Verses 13-18. In what ways do these words on the Lord’s return bring comfort? State in your won words what Paul says will happen.  On what grounds can we be sure of your share in such a wonderful hope?
Notes
  1. Verse 8. “Who gives his Holy Spirit to you”: the indwelling Holy Spirit is the seal of God’s ownership, the evidence that we are His.  Cf. Eph. 1:13; Rom. 8:9b. It is by the power of the Spirit that we overcome the flesh Cf. Gal. 5:16.
  2. Verses 11, 12.  Cf. 2 Thes. 3:10-12; Eph. 4:28.
  3. Verses 1-12. Notice the repeated emphasis in the verses, not only on upright behaviour, but on the need to advance and progress in the thing of God.