Week Ten Bible Study

by | Mar 10, 2021 | 0 comments

I) Numbers 8-25

A) A reminder about Chronology: Leviticus and Numbers seem to overlap, and may not be strictly chronological.
B) The Promised Land: Numbers 13-14. The Israelites fail to go into the promised land. This account is massive in the greater narrative. Why does the book of Hebrews call this an issue of unbelief? After seeing God’s anger, they try to go in, but fail. Many lessons are here on following God in faith. They were viewing the situation without regard to God. The people rebel and want to go back to Egypt, giving Moses another opportunity at intercession for them. Everyone of accountable age (over 20) is punished except Caleb and Joshua. Those that incited rebellion were killed right away.
C) First Successes: First successful celebration of the Passover. First successful breaking of camp and moving on. First successful battles near the promised land.
D) Leadership challenges: God’s appointed leadership is challenged and Moses and Aaron are vindicated. Elders are appointed in addition to the 70 judges appointed in the book of Leviticus. Moses and Aaron are disqualified from entering the promised land after Moses strikes the rock (Numbers 20). Why do you suppose God was so harsh about this one ‘minor’ infraction?
E) More grumbling: More complaining leads to trouble in the camp. Did you notice that the episode of the Bronze Serpent is mentioned by Jesus in John 3? What is the relationship of grumbling to faith? Is this just an Old Testament problem? See Philippians 2:12-13.

II) Colossians 1-4

A)Colossians 1: Paul does not appear to have started or ministered at this church, yet he rejoices in what God is doing there. Like Philippians and Ephesians, as Paul reveals how he prays for this church, he shows us how we ought to pray for ourselves, one another, and all of our churches. The will of God for His people is to increase in knowledge of (relationship to) Him and to grow in good works. Paul lifts up who Christ is and what he has done for us. Colossians 1:15-20 is a concise and rich statement of Christology. He is preeminent over all things and has saved us. Then Paul rejoices even in his struggles recognizing God at work through them.
B)Colossians 2: Paul’s passion for them is obvious as he calls it a “struggle.” Colossians 2:6, as always, who Christ is and what he has done should lead to proper behavior and growth. Colossians 2:4, 8, 16, make clear that he is concerned about protecting them from false doctrines. Paul spends a lot of time on this in his letters. Do we hear enough of it from our pulpits? Do we try to master the truth to protect ourselves and our brothers and sisters around us? Colossians 2:16-17 echoes some of what the book of Hebrews taught. How should we understand the Sabbath particularly? Are we obligated to keep it according to this? Asceticism is the elimination of some ‘indulgences’ of life in preference for some ‘disciplines.’ The word here is literally humility, but the context shows clearly that these false teachings are teaching method over relationship. It’s obviously good to avoid sin, but religious practices themselves do not change the heart. The key to that is discussed in chapter 3.
C)Colossians 3: The real Christian life is an obsessive focus on Christ and the heavenly priorities that come with life in Him – the things that are above. Similar to Ephesians, this talks about putting on the new self and putting to death the old self. Then follows some very practical applications of the new self in our personal relationships. What are some of the ways Paul shows that we can accomplish the death of the old self, and the putting on of the new self? What happens when we make lists of things that “good Christians” do or don’t do? How is it better to keep our focus on Christ and heavenly things? Lists by themselves are not bad, but by our nature, these externals often become the focus.
D) Colossians 4: How is 4:1 relevant to today’s world? Paul recognized his own need for prayer. What do the personal greetings at the end of the letter reveal about Paul’s attitude toward Christian service? Prayer? Proper Christian relating to one another? Did you notice how many of these relationships are not in the same “church”?

III) The Gospel of Luke

A) Introduction: Notice that this is part one of two parts, the other being the book of Acts. Luke’s account is detailed, and has passed every tests archaeologists have given it. It is unclear who Theophilus was. Some believe that Luke’s work is part of the works assembled for the purpose of making Paul’s defense before the Roman court. Luke was apparently a physician, and obviously quite educated. Notice the emphasis in this gospel on the fact that Jesus was a servant of mankind who came to all people regardless of gender, race, or economic status.
B) Luke 1: Notice how God often works through miraculous births. Meet John the Baptist and his parents: Upright people serving the Lord. Zechariah was a priest, and on a rare occasion when he was the one to present the incense in the Holy Place, an angel brings word that he will have a son. He questioned the angel, and was struck silent until after John’s birth. Luke has more about Mary than any other gospel. Look how the Lord cared for her – she was related to Elizabeth who was already about six months pregnant. God confirms his calls upon us through others. He gives to Mary, her cousin Elizabeth, her husband Joseph, some shepherds, Simeon, and Anna for encouragement. Look at the worship service these two women had! What a blessing! Mary’s “song” is rich with theology and shows a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament. BTW – what does the leaping of John in Elizabeth tell us about the sanctity of life in the womb? Zechariah had a similar worship experience at the dedication of John. Praise leapt from the lips of this formerly silent man.

IV) Psalms

A) Psalm 28 – What beautiful petitions from the people of God to their refuge, their shepherd! Which of these verses needs to be your prayer today?
B) Psalm 113 – How do verses 7-9 go with Luke Chapter 1? This is part of the great reversal of the gospel – that the meek should inherit the earth, and that to them who do not have, much will be given.
About Eric Newcomer


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