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31 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 41 — Isaiah 65

Study 41 From the Book of  Isaiah is: Isaiah 65
1.      Verses 1-7.  What picture of God is unfolded in verses 1 and 2? Cf. Mt. 7:2. Why has He been unable to answer the prophet’s prayer for Israel’s salvation?  Cf.  59:1-3.  How does God purpose to deal with them (verses 8-12)?
2.     What is to be the lot of God’s chosen people in Jerusalem in the new age that is to dawn (verses 17-25)?  What in contrast is going to be the life and end of those who forsake God (verses 11:15)?
Notes
1.      Verses 3-7. A condemnation of various idolatrous practices.
2.     Verses 8. ‘When a bunch of grapes hold some good wine, men say, ‘destroy it not, it holds a blessing’ So, God will save the good in Israel.
3.     Verse 11. ‘Fortune and ‘Destiny’:  the Hebrew words are Gad and Meni, the names of two gods.

30 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 40 — Isaiah 63:7 – 64:12

Study 40 From the Book of  Isaiah is: Isaiah 63:7 – 64:12
1.      63:7-14. How does the suppliant begin his prayer?  What has Israel learnt of God’s mercy and love in her past? What lesson is there here for us when in our need we pray to God? Cf. Eph. 1:16; Phil. 1:3; 4:6; Col. 1:3.
2.     What five pleas are found in 63: 15-19?  In 64:4, 5, the suppliant begins to advance another plea.  What is it, and why is he unable to continue it (verses 6, 7)? Do you know how to plead with God? What pleas may we rightly make?
Notes

1.       63:10, 11, 14. The references to the Holy Spirit in this prayer are strikingly clear and full.
2.     63:17a. The prolonging of the suffering was tending to increase the ungodliness

29 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 39 — Isaiah 61:1 – 63:6

Study 39  From the Book of  Isaiah is: Isaiah 61:1 – 63:6
1.      How would you summarize the teaching of chapters 61 and 62 regarding the Lord’s purpose of good for Zion? What do we learn, for example, about (a) the relation to God into which God’s people will be brought (61: 6, 8, 9; 62:4-12), and (b) the response of God’s people to His promised salvation (61:10)? Is your experience of this kind?
2.     In chapter 61 the coming salvation is proclaimed, in 62 it is prayed for (verses 1, 6, 7). If the gospel is to prevail on earth, are not both the proclamation of it and prayer concerning it still necessary? Cf. Rom. 10:14, 15; 2 Thes. 3:1. What characteristic of prevailing prayer is emphasized here?
3.     In Lk. 4:17-21 our Lord says that the opening words of chapter 61 were spiritually fulfilled in His own ministry.  Why did He cut His reading in the Synagogue short in the middle of 61:2? Meditate on the scope of our Lord’s ministry as revealed in these verses.
Notes
1.       62:2. ‘A new name’:  the symbol both of a new character, and of a new relation to God.  Cf. Rev. 2:17; 3:12.
2.      63:4. The day of redemption is also a day of judgment. Cf. 61:2; Jn. 3: 17-19.

28 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 38 — Isaiah 60

Study 38  From the Book of  Isaiah is: Isaiah 60
An inspired vision of Zion, when God shall have fulfilled toward her all His purposes, and clothed her with His glory.
1.      Try to build up the picture of the glorified Zion as given in this vision.  Gather out the references to God, and observe carefully the place He occupies in Zion. Has He this central place in your life, and in your Christina fellowship?
2.     Consider how many of the features of beauty and glory in the Zion of this chapter are to be found, in their spiritual counterpart, in a life dwelling in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. See especially verses 2, 5, 7 (last clause), 13 (last clause, 16b, and 17-21; and cf. 2 Cor. 3:18; 4:6; 6: 16; Eph. 3:14-21.
Notes.
1.      Verses 8, 9. The ships coming from the west, with their white sails, looking like a flock of doves.
2.     Verse 13. ‘The place of my sanctuary’: i.e., the Temple, called also ‘the place of my feet’.
3.     Verse 21.  ‘That I might be glorified’: compare ‘he has glorified you’ (verse 9) and ‘I will glorify my glorious house’ (verse 7; so also verse 13).  Where God is glorified, all else is glorified in Him. Cf. 2 Thes. 1:12.

27 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 37 — Isaiah 59

Study 37 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 59
This chapter in its opening verses is an exposure of the sins that separate from God (verses 1-8). In verses 9:15a the people describe their sorrowful state, and make confession. But they feel that if action on God’s part is to be for ever restrained by their sinfulness the position seems hopeless indeed (see Note 2 on ‘justice below’. Then in the closing verses of the chapter comes the triumphant divine answer (verses 15b-21). God is not baffled, and when there is not human help He Himself comes to the rescue, in judgment upon evil-doers on the one hand, and in redemption for the penitent on the other.
  1. Verses 1-15. What various sins are mentioned here, and what are the consequences in the personal, social and spiritual life of the people? With verses 1, 2 cf. 1:15-17; Mi. 3:4.
  2. What is the motive of God’s intervention, as described in verses 15b – 27)? What is its twofold purpose, and what its world-wide issue? When does St. Paul look for this to be fulfilled to Israel (Rom. 11:25-27)? Yet, for us who believe on Jesus Christ, it is not in part fulfilled to us now, and not least verse 21? Cf. Jn. 14:16, 26.
Notes
  1. Verse 5, 6. The plan and plots of evil doers working fresh evil, and giving no useful result.
  2. Verse 9. The word ‘justice’ is used in these verses in two senses, (a) as right done by man (verse 8, 15b), and (b)b as divine judgment, exercised on behalf of Israel against her oppressors (verses 9, 11, 14). The people’s lament was that the latter was withheld, because the former was lacking.

26 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 36 — Isaiah 58

Study 36 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 58
  1. Has fasting itself any value in God's sight? What does He look for in His people, and why is such conduct called 'fasting'? In verses 8:12, what promises of spiritual blessing does God give to those who are right in spirit towards Himself and their fellowmen?
  2. Examine your own attitude to Sunday in the light of verses 13:14.
Notes
  1. Verse 4. 'You fast only to quarrel and to fight...' Fasting, if not done in the right spirit, is apt to make men irritable and contentious, quick to use their fist.
  2. Verse 9. 'The pointing of the finger': probably a gesture of haughty contempt.
  3. Verse 13. 'If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath': i.e, regard it as holy ground, not to be profaned by common business. Cf. 56:2; Ne. 13:15-21.

25 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 35 — Isaiah 56 and 57

Study 35 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 56 and 57
The good tidings of Jehovah's purpose to bring back the exiles and to restore Jerusalem produced many repercussions among different classes of hearers. In the opening verses of today's portions the prophet replies to the questionings of two special group: (1) non-Jews, who had joined themselves to Israel (56:32, 6-8), and (2) eunuchs, who feared God (56:3b-5. Might they also participate in the promised deliverance? The Lord's answer is that if they fulfilled the condition of the covenant, they would be welcome to a full share in its blessings. In 56:9-57:14 the prophet rebukes tow other groups: the leaders of the community in Jerusalem (56: 9-12), and those who were openly practicing idolatry (57: 1-14). There follows a striking description of the kind of persons with whom God will dwell, and of His purposes of grace towards His people (57: 15-21).
  1. What were the spiritual conditions on which the Lord would recognize a man, whether a Jew or not, as being one of His own people? See 56:1-8. How does this anticipate the News Testament offer of the gospel to all, and how does it fall short of it? With verse 7 cf. Mt. 21:13; and with verse 8 cf. 10:16.
  2. What do these two chapters, and more particularly 57:15-21, teach us about God?
  3. Consider the sad picture in 56:9 – 57:14 of a community whose leaders were unworthy, and whose members were forsaking the Lord for idols. What warnings for ourselves may be found in it?
Notes
  1. 56:3b – 5. In the new community physical and racial disabilities would not longer be a ground of exclusion. Cf. Dt. 23: 1, 3-8.
  2. 56:10. 'Watchmen': i.e., the leaders of the community, also called 'shepherds' (verse 11). They loved ease, gain and drunken carnivals.
  3. 57:3. A reference to their idolatrous practices; so also in verses 7, 8.
  4. 57:11. 'You went on fearlessly, in faithlessness, giving no thought to me, in your indifference. Is it not so? I said no word, I hid my face from you and on you went, fearing me not.

24 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 34 — Isaiah 55

Study 34 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 55
  1. Is the appeal in this chapter any less applicable or less urgent in our day than it was to the Jews living in Babylon? Are you then proclaiming it to those around you? Try to state its argument in present-day language.
  2. In verses 8-13 what do we learn about (a) man's inability to comprehend God; (b) God's word of promise; (c) the future for God's people? How ought we to act in response to such truths?



23 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 33 — Isaiah 54

Study 33 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 54
  1. In verses 4:10 consider all the reasons given why god's reconciled people should not fear. In what ways will God be like a 'husband' to His people (verse 4-7)? How does God reveal in His treatment of His people that He is faithful to His covenants (verses 9, 10)?
  2. 'This the heritage', says the prophet, 'of the servant of the Lord' (verse 17). What is this inheritance? List the blessings here promised. What guarantees that we can enjoy them?
  3. William Carey applied verses 2 and 3 to the missionary enterprise, and summoned the church to reach out to the evangelized nations. What does this chapter mean for you? In what direction does it summon you to 'lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes' your stakes'? Have you grasped how great your God is, how far-reaching His purposes of blessing?

22 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 32 — Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12

Study 32 From the Book of  Isaiah is: Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12
This is the fourth of the 'Servant' passages, which portray with much marvelous accuracy the mission, character, and redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. (see introduction). Today's portion falls into three parts:(1) an introductory summary, announcing the Servant's exaltation after extreme suffering, and the effect of this upon surrounding nations and kings (52:13-15); (2) the story of His life and suffering unto death, told by His now penitent fellow-countrymen (53:1-9) and (3) the glorious issue, both for Himself and others, of His sufferings, and redemptive work (53:10-12).
  1. How is God's Servant the Lord Jesus Christ depicted in 52:13-15? Notice the depth of His suffering, His exaltation, and the effect of this upon the nations. Cf. 49:7; Jn 19:1-5; Eph. 1:20, 21.
  2. Work out in detail the many close parallels between 53:1-9 and the actual life of the Lord Jesus, as for example, (a) the form of His manifestation to the world; (b) the reception accorded Him; (c) His sufferings and the meaning of them; (d) His behavior when arrested; (e) the manner of His death and of His burial.
  3. Who are the 'offspring' spoken of in 53:10, and what benefits are shown in this whole passage to have been procured for them by the Servant's substitutionary death? Cf. Heb. 2:10. Do you belong to this number?
Notes
1. 53:1. The nation had not heard (52:15); but Israel, hearing, had not believed.
2. 53:8. 'Considered': or possibly 'complained', in the sense of making an appeal against the sentence.  All were indifferent and even scornful. Cf. Mt. 27:39-44.

3. 53:11. 'By his knowledge' may mean 'by means of His knowledge or 'by the knowledge of Him' (on the part of others). Cf. Jn. 17:3.



21 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 31 — Isaiah 51: 17 – 52:12

Study 31 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 51: 17 - 52:12
  1. Consider the seeming hopelessness of Zion'scondition in 51:17-20, 23.  How and why does God promise to act on her behalf (51:22; 52:3-6)? What must she herself do (52:1, 2)?  What  message has this for a backsliding Christian? Cf. 1 Jn. 1:9.
  2. Let your imagination picture the joy of Zion, describe described in 52:7-12. What application does the apostle Paul make of this passage in Rom. 10:14, 15 and 2 Cor. 6:17?
Notes:
  1. 51:23. An allusion to the practice of making captives lie face downard on the ground, and using their backs as a road to walk on.
  2. 52:8. 'Eye to eye': i.e.,  face to face.  This is how they will see the Lord when He returns to Zion.
 
 

20 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 30 — Isaiah 50: 4 – 51:16

Study 30 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 50: 4 - 51:16
1. What qualities are revealed in this picture of God's servant? Meditate on the fulfilment of these in Christ. Cf. Jn. 12:49;  Mt. 26:67.  Consider from His example and experience what you may count upon God to do for you, and on what conditions. 
2.What comfort and encouragement for your own faith do you find in 51:1-6? What divine reassurances are given to those who are frightened by the hostility of men. (verses 7, 8, 12-16)?

19 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 29 — Isaiah 49: 1 – 50: 3

Study 29 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 49: 1 – 50: 3
In Chapters 40-48 the prophet has been concerned to show the supremacy of the God of Israel over the nations and their gods, and that God's purpose is to be accomplished through Cyrus. These two themes now disappear, and attention is turned to Israel's glorious future. Much of the section 49-55 consists of words of encouragement, spoken to overcome the doubts, hesitations and difficulties which the message of the proceeding chapters had around in many minds. It contains also three of the 'Servant' passages in which the mission, the sufferings, and the atoning death of the Lord's Servant are set forth. (See Analysis)
  1. Verses 1-6. The 'Servant speaks to the nations. What does he say concerning (a) his call; (b) his equipment; (c) his initial non-success, and his attitude in face of this; (d) the new task which God gave him to do? Although the passage applies to the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul uses part of it of himself and Barnabas. Wee Acts 13:47. How is this? Have we then a share in the Servant's task? Cf. Jn.
  2. How does the Lord answer Zion's doubts, first that the Lord has forsaken her (49:14); second, that her children are taken from her and lost to her (49:21); third, that Babylon was too strong to give up its prey (49:24); and fourth, that her covenant relation with Jehovah is broken (50:1)?
  3. Try to put yourself in the position of Israel in exile, as described in 49:7a (cf. 41:14, 'worm'); and then contemplate the faith that could see and declare the transformation announced in 49:7b-13. On what is the prophet's faith founded? With verse 7 cf. Ps. 22:6 and 27-29a.
Notes.
  1. 49:12. See mg. Some scholars connect 'Sinim' with China, but it seems unlikely that Jewish exiles would have traveled so far East by this period. The rsv 'syene' refers to the more southerly country mentioned in Ezk. 29:10; 30:6
  2. 50:1-2. 'What writ of divorce did I ever hand to your mother? The meaning is that the breach between God and Zion and her children is not irreparable.

18 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 28 — Isaiah 48

Study 28 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 48
There seems to have been a party among the exiles which received God's message concerning Cyrus with disfavour. God has already rebuked them more than once (45:9-13; 46:12, 13; and now in verses 1:11 of this chapter He answers an objection they seem to have raised that the teaching was novel, and not in accord with God's usual procedure. He tells them that in spite of their rebellious attitude, He will carry out His plans.
  1. What does God condemn in the nominal religiosity of the Jews? Why did this cause God to announce His intentions beforehand (verse 3:5), and yet to keep some of His purposes hidden (verses 7, 8)? Do we grieve God by failing to acknowledge Him, and to give Him glory?
  2. Verses 17:22. What conditions does God lay down before we can experience the fullness of His grace and peace in our lives?
Notes
  1. Verses 3:6a. 'The former things': a reference to prophesies long foretold and now fulfilled; see also verse 5a. In verse 6b God acknowledges that He has now used a different method, keeping back the revelation of His intended action until just before it happened, but in this also He had a purpose (verse7).
  2. Verse 10. 'But not like silver': a phrase that seems to express the divine sorrow that the refining process had not given a better result, such as happens when silver is refined. Cf. Je. 6:29, 30.
  3. Verse 14. 'All of you' refers to Israel; 'who among them' to the nation; and 'the Lord loves him' to Cyrus.

17 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 27 — Isaiah 46 and 47

Study 27 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 46 and 47
These tow chapters concern Babylon, the first showing the impotence of Babylon's gods and the folly of worshiping them (45:1-7), and rebuking those Jews who would not receive God's revelation of his purposes (46:8-13); and the second depicting Babylon as a proud queen humbled to the position of a menial slave, with none to help her.
  1. Observe the difference in 46:1-4 between the gods of Babylon that have to be borne by beasts, and carried away by their worshipers, and the God of Israel who bears His people throughout their history. Is your religion one that is a burden to you, or do you know One who will bear you even to old age?
  2. What sins brought about Babylon's downfall, and God's judgment upon her? What did she assume was her security against future disaster (47: 8-13)?
  3. What is the attitude of the Word of God to all forms of fortune telling telling, crystal-gazing, and the like? What may we learn from chapter 47 about what will happen in the hour of judgment if we have been trusting in any other than in God?
    Notes
    1. 46: 1, 2. The inhabitants of Babylon laid their chief idols (Bel and Nebo) on beasts, and carried them away in their flight.
    2. 47:6. 'I profaned my heritage': i.e., allowed the holy land to be defiled by foreign conquerors.

16 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 26 — Isaiah 44:24 – 45:25

Study 26 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 44:24 – 45:25
Allusion has already been made to Cyrus, but not to name (41:2, 25). Now he is directly and personally addressed, as one whom God has chosen as an instrument of His purpose of good towards Israel, and the purpose for which he has been raised up is declared (44:24-45:8). Those who object to this view of God's relation to Cyrus are rebuked (45:9-13), and there follows a remarkable prophecy of universal acknowledgment of the God of Israel as the one God, in whom alone is salvation (45:14-25).
  1. What is said in 44:24 -45:8 concerning (a) God's power in creation and in human history; (b) Cyrus, and what God will do for him and through him? What assurance should such a passage afford us?
  2. What is the twofold answer given in 45:9-13 to those who question God's purposes and ways? Cf. Rom. 9:20. Are you ever guilty of feeling resentment against God?
  3. In 45:14-25 what are the reasons given for the turning of men of all nations from their idols to the worship of the one true God? How does this anticipate the universal scope of Christ's redemption? Cf. Rom. 1:16.
Notes
  1. 44:28. 'Shepherd': used frequently with the meaning of 'ruler'.
  2. 45:13. 'Not for price or reward': this seems to contradict 43:3, 4, but that passage speaks of the reward God gave, this of Cyrus' motive.
  3. 45:14-17. Spoken to Israel. Verses 14b, 15 are the confession of the nations mentioned in verse 14.

15 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 25 — Isaiah 43:14 – 44:23

Study 25 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 43:14 – 44:23
In making reference to Babylon's impending downfall (43:14, 15) God answers an unspoken objection that such a thing is incredible. 'Do you not remember what I did at the Read Sea? He asks (43:16, 17). 'Yet what I am about to do now is greater still' (43:18-21). He answers, too, a deeper cause of their unbelief, namely, a guilty conscience (43:25). 'My purpose toward you is one of blessing' (44:1-25).
  1. What was the new thing that God was about to do, greater even than His deliverance of Israel at the Red Sea? Cf. Chapter 35. What application has it to ourselves?
  2. How does 43:22-28 show that Israel was not justified by works, but only by free grace? Cf. Rom. 3:23, 24. What further gift had God in store for His redeemed people, and what blessings will it bring (44:3-5)? Cf. Jn. 7:37-39).
  3. What is the effect of idolatry on the mind of the worshiper? See 44:18-20. Have you realized the greatness of our privilege in knowing the true God? See 44:6-8.
Notes
  1. 43:2224. During the exile, God had not burdened them with demands for sacrifice and offering. But, they had burdened Him with their sins.
  2. 43:27, 28. 'Your first father': a reference probably to Jacob; cf. 48:1. 'Your mediators' may refer to priests and prophets; cf. Je. 2:8.

14 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 24 — Isaiah 42:1 – 43:13

Study 24 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 42:1 – 43:13
In chapter 41 Isaiah has shown that God has great purposes for Israel, His servant. That purpose is now declared. It is a purpose of blessing to all nations (42:1-4 and 5:9; cf. Gn. 12: 3b). In order to accomplish it, God will redeem His people from their present plight (42:13-16), confounding those that trust in idols (42:17), and calling forth from far and near a paeon of praise to His Name (42:10-12). Israel's present condition, under God's chastisement for her sins, is indeed pitiable (42:18-25), but God will ransom His people, letting other nations suffer subjection in their stead (43:1-7), and Israel shall then bear witness before the assembled nations to Jehovah's sovereign might and glory (43:8-13).
  1. 42:1-4. The prophet, in this picture of God's ideal Servant, perfectly portrays the Lord Jesus, Cf. Mt. 12:18-21. What is said concerning (a) His relation to God; (b) His equipment for His task; (c) the purpose and scope of His mission; (d) the qualities that characterize Him; (e) the method of His ministry; (f) His endurance; (g) the final fulfillment of His work?
  2. What does God promise to do for His people Israel in their distress (42:16-17; 43:1-7)? What witness will Israel, when redeemed, bear to God and His saving power (43:10-13)? Have we a similar testimony to the world around us concerning the reality of God's work of redemption?
Notes
  1. 42:19. 'Blind: i.e., to destiny and mission.
  2. 43:3, 4. The meaning seems to be that God will give to Cyrus other people to serve him in payment for setting the Jews free.

13 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 23 — Isaiah 41

Study 23 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 41
In this magnificent chapter the supremacy of the God of Israel is further demonstrated. First the nations (verses 1, 2) and then their gods (verses 21 – 29) are summoned before Him, and challenged as to what counsel they can give, and what control they can exercise in regard to the world-shaking onward march of Cyrus. They know nothing and can do nothing. It is the holy One of Israel who alone can predict the future, for He has planned all, and brought it to pass. Let Israel lift up his head, for he is God's elect and for him He has great purpose in view (verses 8:20).
  1. The nations in their fear make new idols (verses 5-7). How are these idols shown to be worthless (verses 23, 24, 28, 29)? The reference in verses 2 and 25 is to Cyrus; what is God's relation to this mighty conqueror, and to the events of history in general (verses 2-4, 25-27)?
  2. Tabulate the promises make to Israel in verses 8-20. How far and in what sense are they true for us today? Cf. 2 Cor. 1:20. In what measure have we tried and proved God's promises?
Notes
  1. Verses 2, 3. Here the first actor is God, and the second Cyrus.
  2. Verses 21-24. The idols are now summoned before God. Note how they are challenged.

12 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 22 — Isaiah 40

Study 22 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 40
The prophecies of chapters 40-48 have as their main theme the proclamation that God is about to restore the exiled Jews in Babylon. They refer to a time when the words spoken to Hezekiah (39:5-7) have been fulfilled. The first eleven verses are a prologue in which the prophet hears heavenly voices declaring to Jerusalem the glad me sage of redemption.
  1. In verses 1-11 what four great facts are proclaimed by God to give comfort to His people? How does this prophecy of the future coming and glory of the Lord find fulfillment in the New Testament? Cf. Mt. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; Jn. 10:11.
  2. In verses 12-26 how is God shown to be beyond the petty mind of man to comprehend or to explain? How may we, as His creatures, draw on His infinite strength and power? See verses 29-31.

11 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 7 — The Epistle of 2 and 3 John

Study 7 From the Books of John is: The Epistles of 2 and 3 John
As I mentioned before the break from Isaiah was a short one. Tomorrow we will go back to the book of Isaiah chapters 40-66.
  1. Compare the tests of a true Christian found in 2 John with those given in 1 John.
  2. Consider the three men mentioned in 3 John, all professing Christians. What does the apostle praise in Gaius? What faults does he find in Diotrephes? What threefold witness does he give in praise of Demetrius?
  3. What dangers arise from listening to false teachers? What is John's answer to the claims of 'advanced thought'? See Notes 3.
  1. 2 Jn. 2. Cf. 'Whom I love in truth... for the sake of the truth'
  2. 2 Jn. 4. 'Following the truth...': i.e., living true Christian lives in obedience to the command which we have received from the Father.
  3. 2 Jn. 9. 'goes ahead': i.e., claims a knowledge superior to God's revelation.
  4. 3 Jn. 5. Cf. Heb. 13:2.

10 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — The Epistle of 1 John 5: 4-21

Study 6 From the Books of Epistle of John is: The Epistle of 1 John 5: 4-21
  1. The apostle has already given a warning against the subtle attraction of the world (see 2:15-17). Now he reveals how the world may be conquered. Who does he say will overcome the world, and by what means? See verses 4-6; see also Note 1 below.
  2. A faith that can effect such great results must be well attested. What five fold witness is given in verses 7-11, and what marvelous fact does the witness attest?
  3. Verses 13-20. There are here five great certainties concerning which John says 'We know'. What are they? Are you building your life upon this foundation?
Notes
  1. Verse 6. This verse probably refers to our Lord's baptism and death, and not to Jn. 19:34. He came not only to call us to repentance by the witness of His baptism, but also to wash away our sins with His blood. The two sacraments of the Christian church are the sanding memorials of these things.
  2. Verses 9 and 10. God has spoken to man in Jesus with the utmost clarity and finality. He that believes has an inward witness: he that believes not makes God a liar.
  3. Verses 16. ' A mortal sin': i.e, the deliberate, purposeful choice of darkness in preference to light.
  4. Verse 21. 'Idols': anyone professing to worship God, but who denies that Jesus is the Son of God is worshiping a false God. 'Be on your guard against all such idol's John's final word.

09 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — The Epistle of 1 John 4:7 – 5:3

Study 5 From the Books of John is: The Epistle of 1 John 4:7 – 5:3
We now begin the third section of the Epistle.
  1. 4:7-10. What arguments are used in verses 7 and 8 to show that true Christians must love one another? In verses 9 and 10 the apostle speaks of the manifestation of God's love in Christ. How does he describe the gift? What does he say of its purpose? By what means was this purpose achieved, and for whom did God do this?
  2. 4:11-18. The apostle goes over the same ground as before, but at a higher level. How does he here describe the Christian's relationship to God? How does he show that no higher or closer relationship can be conceived? Out of the depth of that relationship, the believer bears his testimony through the Spirit. (verses 13-16; cf. Jn. 15: 26, 27)
  3. 4:19-5:3. In view of Mt. 22:36, 37 why does not the apostle say in verse 11, 'Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love God? Why does John say. 'We ought also to love one another'? What other test of our love for God is also mentioned?
Notes
  1. 4:17, 18. 'Because as he is....' cf. Jn 3: 35 with 16:27. Those who are loved of the Father need not look forward with dread. If we are still afraid, the remedy is to concentrate more upon the love of God shown in the cross and the resurrection.
  2. 5:1 Faith in Jesus as the Christ implies receiving Him as such and to receive Him is to be born of God (Jn. 1:12, 13).

08 January, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — The Epistle of 1 John 3:11 – 4:6

Study 4 From the Books of John is: The Epistle of 1 John 3:11 – 4:6
  1. 3:11-18. By what various arguments does John show, in verses 11-15, that mutual love is the essential mark of the children of God and that hatred is inadmissible? After what manner should we love? See verses 16-18 and cf. Jn. 15:12; Eph. 5:1, 2.
  2. 3:19-24. A digression on the subject of assurance before God. The apostle first considers the case of a Christian whose heart condemns him. How is such a person to be reassured? See verses 19, 20. Cf. Heb. 6:9, 10. Next the apostle considers the case of a Christian whose heart does not condemn him, because he is practicing all the characteristics of a truly Christian life – obedience, love, and faith. What blessings does this man enjoy See verses 21-24.
  3. What two tests are given here by which to know whether a prophet is, or is not, speaking by the Spirit of God? See especially 4:2 and6; see also Note 2 below.
    Notes
    1. 3:14. Cf. Jn. 5:24. This gives the practical test whether a professed faith in Christ is genuine. Cf. Gal. 5:6b; Jas. 2:15-17
    2. 4:6. 'We are the God': the pronoun 'we' in the first half of this verse refers primarily, as in 1:1-3, to John as representing the apostles while not excluding those who, following after them, base their teaching upon the apostolic foundation.