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Monday, June 16, 2008

Marking Your Bibles -- Part 3

Tonight is our 2nd Ladies' Bible class where we mark our Bibles. We had 12 ladies come last time and they all seemed to enjoy it. It was the quietest class we had ever had, so I wasn't sure if they were enjoying it, but they were working marking their Bibles. They said they wanted to do this the rest of the summer. Our class meets every other Monday night. That will mean 6 more sessions.

Tonight we will be finishing marking the authority scriptures. These passages are outlined in green and the next verse is written in the margin. Last week we marked the following passages:

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
Ephesians 3:3-5
John 14:26
John 16:13
1 Corinthians 2:9-13
2 Peter 1:21
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Jude 3
2 John 9-11
Deuteronomy 4:2
Deuteronomy 12:32
Revelation 22:18-19
2 Timothy 1:13
2 Peter 1:2-3

After going through these passages, it is easy to see that the New Testament is our final authority. We can go to it for all we need and there will be nothing new added. After coming to an agreement on this, it is much easier to discuss anything else in the Bible. The passages we'll mark tonight will help explain how we are to interpret the scriptures. Then we'll answer the question "What about the Old Testament?" All 3 of these topics -- Chain ofAuthority, interpreting scripture and "what about the Old Testament?" -- will answer many of the questions that people commonly ask about the Bible.

When teaching someone, it is best if you both have a Bible open and, if possible, have the one you're teaching read the passages, or at least read along with you. It is important for him to see what God says with his own eyes. It's also a good idea to have a pad of paper (legal pad works great) with you. As you turn to a passage, write it down. Make any notes to the side that seem appropriate. Then, at the end of the session, let the person you're studying with take the paper home.

Tonight we will start marking our Bibles that show how to interpret scripture or to follow the pattern. There are just two passages that will used. These two passages will show an example of using a direct command, apostolic example and necessary implication. These three things are what we use in our every day life to interpret anything we read or see or hear. If you tell your child to wash his hands, you expect him to wash his hands. That would be a direct command. If your child sees you wash your hands before you eat, he'll learn that by your example that he is to wash his hands before he eats. If you tell your child that you want him to wash his hands before he eats, it implies that you want him to wash his hands every time he eats. That's the same logic we should use when studying scripture.

A common example when studying the pattern is the Lord's Supper. Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, before His death. We learn that this command was followed and taught after His resurrection and ascension. In 1 Corinthians 11:24 (if you didn't mark 1 Corinthians 11:24 at 2 Peter 1:2-3 do it now) we see where Paul was teaching the Corinthians to take the Lord's Supper. He quotes Jesus saying, "do this in remembrance of me". This is a direct command. Outline the passage and write Acts 20:7 in the margins. Also write Direct Command in the margin to help you remember what the significance of this passage to this study.

In Acts 20:7, we see both an apostolic example and necessary inference. An apostolic example is something the apostles did and so we do. A necessary inference is something that has to be concluded in the passage. It can't be understood any other way. The passage says that on the first day of the disciples came together to break bread and Paul spoke to them. This is an example of the disciples and Paul taking the lord's Supper on Sunday. This examples tells us that we should do the same thing. The passage states that this was done on the first day of the week. The first day of the week is Sunday. Every week has a first day (or Sunday). It is implied that we are to do this every first day of the week. To pick and choose the first day of the week that we want to take the Lord's Supper would be to add to scripture. We learned back in 2 John 9-11, Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18-19 that we are not to add to scripture. Write 2 Timothy 2:15 in the margin. Also write Apostolic Example and Necessary Implication

It's amazing how something as simple as that can be so misunderstood. We need to hold to the pattern and not our own desires.

Well, What about the Old Testament? It is inevitable that someone will ask about things that were commanded or practiced in the Old Testament. It is important that we understand how God wants us to use the Old Testament. Turn to 2 Timothy 2:15. Paul tells Timothy to be diligent (or study) and to rightly divide the word of truth. Timothy is to use the word in the correct manner. This implies that there is a wrong way to use scripture. Outline the passage, underline study and rightly divide, then write Galatians 3:22-25 in the margin.

The Scripture referred to in Galatians 3:22-25 is the Old Testament. The Old Testament guarded the Jews until faith came. The law is the tutor to bring us to Christ. After faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. In other words, after Christ has come, we do not need the old law any longer. It was there to prepare the Jews for Christ. Outline and write Colossians 2:14-15 in the margin.

In Colossians 2:14-15 Paul is teaching the Christians in Colossae that the what was the before (the handwriting of requirements) was again us. But Jesus took it out of the way. He nailed the old law to the cross. Outline and write Hebrews 8:6-7 in the margin.

The Hebrew writer in Hebrew 8:6-7 tells us that Jesus has given us a better covenant, established on better promises. The first covenant (old testament) was faulty, the second covenant (new testament) is better. Outline and write Hebrews 9:16-17 in the margin.

He goes on to say in Hebrews 9:16-17 that without Christ's death, there would be no testament. There must be the death of the testator, for the testament (will) to be in effect. This will that came into effect after Christ's death is the New Testament. Outline and write Hebrews 10:1-9 in the margin.

Again the Hebrew writer goes on in Hebrews 10:1-9 to compare the old law to a shadow of what is to come. It wasn't the very thing, it was a shadow. At the end of this passage he that Christ "takes away the first that He may establish the second." He took away the old law (the shadow) so he could establish the new law (the image). Underline "the law" and " a shadow" in verse 1. Outline "takes away the first" and "establish the second" in verse 9. Outline and write Romans 15:4 in the margin.

So, if the Old Law was nailed to the cross, taken away, and faulty, why do we have it in our Bible? Turn to Romans 15:4. Paul tells the Romans that whatever was written before was written for our learning. We are to learn from the Old Testament. What are we to learn? We are to learn how God created the world. We are to learn how sin came into the world. We are to learn how God responds to sin. We are to learn how God chose Abraham to be the father of His chosen people. We are to learn how much God loved the Israelites. We are to learn what He does to those that He loves when they obey Him. We are to learn what He does to those that He loves when they disobey Him. There is so much to learn from the Old Testament. Knowing all of these things about God and what He wants from those who follow Him should give us hope.