Monday, June 02, 2008

Marking Your Bibles -- Part 2

I left off my last blog about 1/4th the way through our study on Bible authority. We are outlining the following passages in green ballpoint pen:

Genesis 1:1
1 Corinthians 10:26
Hebrews 1:1-3
Matthew 28:18-20
Ephesians 1:20-23
Colossians 1:18
John 13:20

So far we have learned that God has the ultimate authority because He made it all. He then gave all authority to His Son, Jesus. We left off with Jesus saying, "...he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." We already know that God sent Jesus from the passages we've studied. To find out who Jesus sent turn to Ephesians 3:3-5. Before turning to the passage in Ephesians, write Ephesians 3:3-5 in the margins next to John 13:20.

Outline the Ephesians 3:3-5. Verse 3 of this passage says that Jesus made known the mystery to Paul. Verse 4 says that we will be able to read what Paul learned about Jesus. Verse 5 says that the Holy Spirit revealed the mystery of Christ to His apostles. It might be helpful to underline "revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets" to help you remember what to emphasize in this passage. Write John 14:26 in the margins.

Jesus is talking to the apostles in this passage. He tells them that the Holy Spirit will be sent by the Father in Christ's name. The Holy Spirit will teach the apostles all things and help them to remember the things Jesus told them. Outline this verse, underline the words "the Holy Spirit" and write John 16:13 in the margins.

This verse is another assurance Jesus gives His apostles that the Holy Spirit will come and tell them the things they need to hear. Outline and write 1 Cor. 2:9-13 in the margins.

Paul is talking to the Corinthians in this passage. He is telling them that God has revealed the things He freely gave to them through the Holy Spirit. And it is these things that the Holy Spirit teaches that Paul and the other apostles are speaking. Outline and write 2 Peter 1:21 in the margins.

Peter says basically the same things that Paul and Jesus said -- that holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Outline and write 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the margins.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..." 2 Timothy 3:16. That sums up what we've been studying so far. God gave Jesus authority who sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles who wrote down what the Holy Spirit revealed to them. Since all scripture is from God, we can use it all for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction. Doing this will cause anyone following God to be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Outline and write Jude 3 in the margins.

Jude states clearly that the faith was "once for all delivered to the saints". It was delivered and is complete. There will be nothing new if it has been "once for all delivered". Outline and write 2 John 9-11 in the margins.

Since we know that the scriptures come from God and have been once for all delivered, it is important for us to respect what they scriptures say and to obey them. John says that if we do not obey the teachings of Christ, we do not have God. If we do obey, we have both the Father and the Son. He goes on to say that we should shun anyone who does not bring the teachings of Christ. Outline the passage and write Deut 4:2 in the margins.

This next passage takes us way back to the Old Law. It gives us an insight into how God expects those who follow Him to handle His Word. God clearly says that no one is to add to the word or take away from the word. Underline the words "not add" and "nor take from". Outline and write Deut 12:32 in the margins.

This passage echoes what was in the previous passage. God commanded the Israelites to observe His commandments. They were not to add to them nor take away from them. Again, underline "not add" and "nor take away". Outline and write Rev. 22:18-19 in the margins.

From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God expects the same thing from those who follow Him. Obey His words, do not add to nor take away from. Revelations 22 echoes the same thoughts that were in Deut. It adds a consequence of tampering with God's word -- "God shall take away his part from the Book of life...". Anyone who truly believes that God is the creator of all and the one true God, must believe His Word found in the Bible and must respect it enough to obey it without changing to in any way. Underline the words "adds" and "takes away". Outline the passage and write 2 Timothy 1:13 in the margins.

Paul tells Timothy to "hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me..." Paul wants Timothy to do what he has instructed him. He calls his instructions a "pattern". This pattern is written for all men to read, understand and follow. Since God gave us a pattern, we must follow the pattern if we want to be what God wants us to be. If we do not follow the pattern, we will not be followers of Christ (Christians). Underline "the pattern". Outline the passage and write 2 Pet 1:2-3 in the margins.

Peter summarizes the whole concept of Biblical authority. Jesus has given us all things that we need to live a godly life. Underline "all things". Outline and write 1 Corinthians 11:24 in the margins.

So far, we have seen that God has authority over everything because He made everything. God gave all authority to His Son, Jesus. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reveal all things to the apostles. The apostles taught those they came in contact with and wrote down (scriptures) what they learned from the Holy Spirit so that all men could read what the one true God wants them to do.

If the person you are teaching is receptive to what you've presented so far, then you now have a common ground to study other things. The next step in Marking Your Bibles will be looking at Bible interpretation by looking at one topic: Lord's Supper. This will lay the ground work for looking at all the other topics in the Bible. Then we'll take a look at the difference in the Old Testament and the New Testament. I'll try to cover both of those in my next blog.