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Christian Doctrine 1

 Leadership Empowerment School of Ministry

 

Empowering Those who Empower Others with a Knowledge of God and His Ways

 


God

In this section we will study what the Bible teaches about God.  In particular, we will look at ten characteristics which we can learn about Him.

 

1. God is a Trinity

A. There is only one God

See Deut 6:4;   Jam 2:19

 

B. There are three beings who are God

There is a Father who is God; a Son who is God; and a Holy Spirit who is also God.  So while it is true that God is one, in another sense God is also three.  We call this the Trinity.  The three parts of the trinity make up the Godhead.

 

2. God is Holy

A. Isaiah 6:3

Each creature was calling to the others:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord All-Powerful.

His glory fills the whole earth."   (NCV)

 

B. High above

Holiness means that God is far above anything else in the world.  There is nothing or no one like Him. 

 

C. Set apart

It also means to be set apart for a certain purpose.  To be holy is to be different from others.  We are called to be holy in this way.  We are to be different from people in the world, so that God can use us for His purposes.

 

3. God is sovereign     

A. He is over all, and is in control of the world and our lives.

 

B. Nothing happens anywhere without God's permission

-- Eph 1:11Job 1:9-12

 

 

4. God is all powerful – Jer 32:17

Ah Lord God! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.  – Jer 32:17  (NRSV)

 

5. God knows everything

Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. Everything is clear and lies open before him, and to him we must explain the way we have lived. – Heb 4:13 (NCV)

 

6. God is present everywhere – Ps 139

 

7. God Cares

The Bible says that God…

A. Can be made sad (Genesis 6:6; Judges 10:16).

B. Takes pleasure in some things (Prov 8:30; Deut 10:15).

C. Hates other things (Leviticus 20:23).

D. Loves (John 3:16; 1 John 3:1).

E. Can be angered (Joshua 7:1; Romans 1:18).

 

8. God is good

O taste and see that the Lord is good;

happy are those who take refuge in him. – Ps 34:8  (NRSV)

 

9. God does not change – Mal 3:6

 

10. God is Love – 1 Jn 4:8

 

The Bible

The Bible is from God through man

A. Because it is from God, we can rely on it and trust it.

1. We need to judge every other teaching and revelation by the Bible. See Isaiah 8:20 ("Law" and "testimony" are the Biblical writings of Moses.)

 

2. The Bible speaks of future events with the same accuracy with which it speaks of past events.

 

3. The Bible has supernatural ability to change people's lives

 

B. God's Word was given through people

More than forty men were used to write God's Word to us.  They wrote over a time span of 1,500 years.  Their careers included fishing, shepherding, governing, tent-making and doctoring.  They wrote almost all of the Old Testament in the Hebrew language and the New Testament in Greek.

 

Jesus Christ

Jesus once asked His disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" (Matthew 16:13).  As the disciples answered His question, it became clear that the men of that time had a great many opinions as to who Jesus was.  The same is true today.  Men have a great many opinions about Jesus.  However, if we want to know the truth we must find out who God says Jesus is, as well as what Jesus said about Himself.

 

1. Jesus is God  --  Jn 1:1,10

Even many Christians struggle to believe that a Man who was in so many ways just like us, was actually the God who created all things.

 

2. Jesus is the Son of God – Mk 1:1

Jesus is not the Son of God because He was born to Him.  Jesus' relationship with God is that of a son with his father.  When He was born in Bethlehem He became Mary's Son, but He has always been the Son of God.

 

3. Jesus is Man

A. Not only is Jesus fully God, but He also came to earth as fully man.

 

B. It is important for us to accept and believe in Jesus' humanity.  See 1 Jn 4:2-3;  2 Jn 2:1-7

1. He defeated sin as a man -- Rom 5:12-21;

2. He provides an example which we can aim to follow.

3. He can relate to us -- Heb 4:14-15.

 

4. Jesus is Messiah

Messiah means 'Anointed One.' Because of the message of the Old Testament prophets, the Jews were waiting for this Anointed One to come and deliver them.  They believed that when He appeared He would immediately take away the dominion other nations enjoyed over Israel and make Israel the leader of the nations.

 

5. Jesus is Savior

The Bible tells us that Jesus came for many reasons.  He came to preach (Mark 1:38).  He came to heal and deliver and do good (Acts 10:38).  He came to gather Jerusalem to Himself (Matthew 23:37), and He came to explain God to us (John 1:18).  But more than anything else, Jesus came to die.  Shortly before His crucifixion Jesus said, "...But for this purpose I came to this hour" (John 12:27).  Other Scriptures speak as well to the part Christ's death was to play in His mission.

 

6. Jesus is Risen

As Jesus sought to prepare His followers for His upcoming death, He also sought to reassure them by telling them He would rise again on the third day following His death (Mat 16:21, Mk 9:31).  Many people were witnesses that He truly did rise, and their lives were changed as a result.  Our lives can also be in a state of continual transformation as we daily live our lives by faith in Him.

 

7. Jesus is ascended

A. Forty days after His resurrection, the disciples watched their Lord ascend into the sky until He was out of view.  He had returned to His Father.

 

B. The disciples' hearts were filled with longing as they watched Him being taken away.  Yet it was to their advantage -- and to ours -- that He went away.

 

8. Jesus is Lord

A. We do well to call Jesus Lord and Master for that is what He is (Jn 13:13).

However, calling Jesus Lord does not necessarily gain us His approval.  In fact, Jesus specifically stated that not everyone who called Him Lord would enter Heaven (Mat 7:21).

 

B. A true belief in the Lordship of Jesus will show itself through obedience to His commands.  How deeply do we believe that Jesus is Lord?  Only to the extent that we obey Him.

 

9. Jesus is returning – Acts 1:10-11

"Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!  -- Acts 1:11  (NLT)

 

The Holy Spirit

1. The Holy Spirit is God -- Mat 28:19; Gen 1:2

 

2. The work of the Holy Spirit before Jesus ascended

A. In the Old Testament

1. Inspiring the writing of the Old Testament

 

2. Empowering leaders.

Under the Old Covenant only certain of the leaders were inhabited by the Spirit of God.  These leaders included prophets, priests, kings and judges, (although not being limited to these and not including every king or priest.)

 

B. In the life of Jesus

1. The Holy Spirit was the Agent of Christ's conception (Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:35).

 

2. He appeared to John the Baptist  at Jesus' baptism, (Mat 3:16).

 

3. He came upon Jesus and empowered Him to do mighty works (Acts 10:38).

 

4. He was involved in the Lord's resurrection (Rom 8:11)

 

3. The Work of the Holy Spirit in us

A. Giving us new life – Jn 3:3-5

 

B. Giving us power to be witnesses – Acts 1:8

 

4. Spiritual gifts and love:  1 Cor 12:31 – 13:3

There is something more excellent than ministering in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit – having a supernatural love in the Spirit.

 

Angels

1. What they are – six characteristics of angels

Apart from God Himself, the most powerful and glorious creatures in all the Bible are angels.

 

A. Angels are the direct creation of God

1. Unlike human beings, angels do not reproduce (Mat 22:30).

This means that every angel has been individually created by God (Neh 9:6). 

 

2. We must never become too fascinated by angels.  We should recognize that God is the true source of our help.

 

B. Angels are glorious – Lk 9:26

             

C. Angels are mighty – 2 Pet 2:11

 

D. Angels are spirits -- Heb 1:14

 

E. Angels can appear as humans Heb 13:2

 

F. There are many angels -- Heb 12:22

 

2. What they do

A. Angels serve God

1. In Rev 22:8 we read of an emotionally overwhelmed John worshipping the angel who has brought him the revelation he has just received.  However, John is rebuked for this worship by this very same angel.  What does the angel tell John?

 

2. Angels do what God tells them to do.  See Ps 103:20.

 

B. Angels worship God – Is 6:1-3

 

C. Angels help us to spread the gospel

 

D. Angels carry out God's judgments

 

E. Angels communicate God's messages – Lk 1:19

 

F. They protect God's people – Ps 91:11-12

 

Home Assignment

 

In this section you will find more information on the topics discussed in class.  Be sure to answer all the questions within each assignment box.  This will be part of your grade for this course.  Also, as you study, write down any questions you would like to discuss in class.

 

God

1. God is Trinity

A. The trinity in the Bible

1. The word 'Trinity' is not used in the Bible, but it does mention the three members of the Godhead as being separate yet One.

 

2. Look at Gen 1:26

a. How does this verse show that God is more than one?

 

b. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that God had help in creating anything.

Creation was God's work and His alone (Isaiah 44:24).  So when we read of the creation of man being the work of more than one, we know that all of those who were involved are members of the Godhead.

 

3. The Baptism of Jesus shows us the truth of the trinity, because all three members were there at the same time.  See Mat 3:13-17.

 

4. Other references in the Bible about the trinity:

      • Mat 28:19
      • Jn 14:26
      • Jn 15:26
      • 2 Cor 13:14
      • 1 Pet 1:2

 

B. The positions of the members of the Godhead

1. The doctrine of the Trinity is that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are equal by nature.

 

2. Each person of the Trinity is equal to the other two, but they do not have the same position or role.  In 1 Cor 11:3 we see that Christ is subject to God.  Although Christ is God by nature, He has taken a role of being under the Father in order to save us.  In a similar way, the Holy Spirit is subject to the others in His work of sanctifying and empowering the church.

 

3. The word 'God' is sometimes used to refer to each member of the Trinity,  but sometimes the term refers specifically to the Father.

 

4. None of the persons of the Godhead seeks to exalt Himself over the other two.  Each seeks the glory of another.  We see the Father exalting Jesus (Phil 2:9) and Jesus glorifying and obeying the Father  (Jn 17:4).  We see the Holy Spirit glorifying Jesus (Jn 16:13-14) and Jesus speaking His harshest warning to those who would dare to speak against the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:32).

 

2. God is Holy

A. Psalm 99:9

Praise the Lord our God,

and worship at his holy mountain,

because the Lord our God is holy.   (NCV)

 

B. Revelation 4:8

Each of these four living creatures had six wings and was covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day and night they never stop saying:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.

He was, he is, and he is coming."  (NCV)

 

C. 1 Peter 1:15-16

But be holy in all you do, just as God, the One who called you, is holy.  It is written in the Scriptures: "You must be holy, because I am holy."  (NCV)

 

3. God is sovereign  (in control)

A. The authority of God is seen clearly in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar.  Read Dan 4

At the height of his power and pride, this king was struck with insanity.  For seven years he lived like an animal, eating grass and living outdoors.  What did Nebuchadnezzar finally come to realize after his sanity and kingdom were restored to him (see v 34-35)?

 

B. If God is in control of the world, why is evil?

1. Is it because God Himself is evil? No, according to the Bible, God is good.  This means that for now God permits evil to exist in His world.  This will not always be the case. One day He will put an end to it forever.

 

2. God can and does make use of evil and turn it to good -- Rom 8:28.  Consider the life of Joseph (Gen 37-50).  His brothers sold him into slavery to some men who took him away to Egypt.  Joseph rose to a position of great authority there.  After many years a famine came upon Joseph's homeland and his brothers came to Egypt for food.  When they discovered that Joseph was a ruler in the nation they feared that he would revenge the evil they had done him.  Look at Gen 50:19-29. What does Joseph say with regard to his brothers' intentions and God's intentions?  How did God use what Joseph's brothers did to accomplish something good?

 

3. God can even use Satan and his demons to accomplish His will.

a. For this reason, the crucifixion of Christ is attributed to both Satan and God (Compare Jn 13:2 and 14:30 with Rom 5:8 and 8:32).

 

b. The persecution of Christians is also attributed to both Satan and God (Compare 1 Pet 4:16-17 with 1 Pet 5:8-9).

 

c. God's enemies do not act unless He permits them to do so, and  God uses them for good to carry out His own purposes.  This, however, does not remove the guilt from God's enemies.

 

C. What about man's ability to choose?  If God is in control, does man have the ability to choose whether or not to be saved?

1. The Bible teaches that God elects

-- Jn 6:55, 15:16; Rom 8:29-30;  Rom 9;  Eph 1:4, 1 Pet 1:2

 

2. The Bible also teaches that man chooses

-- Deut 30:19-20, Jos 24:15

 

3. There are things which God desires, yet He does not cause to happen.  See Mat 23:37 and 1 Tim 2:4.  This is because He has chosen to give us the power to choose.  He does not force His will upon us, even though He could.

 

D. Is it possible for man to change the will of God?

1. See Ex 32:11-14 and Jer 18:7-10

 

2. Why would a change in people's behavior bring about a change in the way God responds to them? 

Because God chooses to deal with people in this way.  Why would God be moved to respond to the believing prayers of His people?  Because it is His will.

 

4. God is all powerful

A. Nothing can stop God from doing as He pleases.

-- Job 42:2Rom 9:19

 

B. The people of God are powerful also, because of God's power.

Look at Mk 9:23.  What does Jesus say concerning the person who believes?  The closer we are to God, the more of His power can be in our lives.  He likes to use His power for us, not just for Himself.

 

5. God knows everything

A. Joseph

In the story of Joseph, we see that God knew a famine was coming upon the land of Canaan.  So, years in advance, He sent Joseph to Egypt in order to preserve him and his family.

 

B. Esther

In the book of Esther, the Jews were in a terrible crisis.  Yet God had put Esther in the position where she could help her people.  Her uncle said to her, "Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"  (Esther 4:14). 

 

C. God knows what we will face in the future.

This is why it is so important to trust Him and follow His guidance.  Sometimes it is difficult to obey, because we do not understand why we are being led to do a certain thing.  This is when we need to have faith and simply trust the Lord.

 

D. God will judge the world based on His perfect knowledge -- see Heb 4:13.

Jesus said, "Beware of hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known"  (Lk 12:1-2

 

6. God is present everywhere

A. God has chosen some places as special from time to time, but He is everywhere.

1. God made Himself known to Moses on a mountain  (Ex 19:3) and later in "the tent of meeting" (Ex 40:34).  For centuries He made Himself known to Israel in the Temple in Jerusalem.  However, God has never limited Himself to being only in these places.

 

2. Even Solomon, the builder of the original Temple realized this.  See 2 Chron 6:18.

 

B. There is never a time when you are far from God – Heb 13:5

1. He is always there, close beside you, wherever you may be, for He is in all places.

 

2. We cannot go anywhere that He will not be with us.  See Ps 139.

 

3. David wrote in Ps 46:1 that God is an "ever present help in time of need."  The apostle Paul said that God "is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being."  (Acts 17:27-28).

 

C. Knowing his presence

We sometimes say that God's presence was in a service, or that God is going to be here tomorrow.  God is always with us.  However, there are times when we feel His presence more.  There are times when we are more aware that He is with us, but He is just as much with us when we are not even thinking about Him.

 

7. God Cares

A. The greatest revelation of God came to us in the man Jesus.

In Jesus we see a God who experiences deep feelings and emotions.  In the gospels we see Jesus weeping over a city's sad fate (Lk 19:41-44), being moved with compassion for a widow who has lost her only son (Lk 7:12-13), leaping for joy over the goodness of His Father (Lk 10:21), and longing for fellowship with His friends (Lk 22:15).

 

B. Our lives can bring God pain or delight.  They can anger Him or please Him.  May your life bring God great pleasure.  May He enjoy Himself as He does as He pleases with you.

 

C. Read Isaiah 62:5.  What illustration does the prophet use to show the depth of feeling God has for His people?

 

8. God is good

A. God is good to the unthankful and evil as well as to those who fear Him. (Lk 6:35).

 

B. God is merciful and loving (Eph 2:4)

 

C. He is completely trustworthy (2 Thess 3:3).

 

D. He gave His Son for all people (John 3:16).

 

E. He desires for all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

 

F. He brought us into His family by His own will, and His goodness to us will not change (Jam 1:17-18).

 

G. He supplies us with the power to keep from sinning (Gal 5:16).

 

H. It is His good pleasure to bring us into His Kingdom (Lk 12:32).

 

I. Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).

Jesus forgave sinners and healed sick people.  He was a friend to those nobody loved, and He comforted people who were grieving.  He gave up His life for us.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the express image of God (Heb 1:3), and that He did all that He did at the bidding of His Father (Jn 5:19).  Jesus shows us how good God is.

 

Assignment:

What do each of these verses say about God's goodness?

 

1. Psalm 103:3 --

2. Psalm 103:10 --

3. Nehemiah 9:17 --

4. John 3:16 –

5. Hebrews 6:10 –

6. Jeremiah 29:11 --

 

9. God does not change

A. Read Ps 102:25-27.  In what way does God not change in comparison with the universe?

 

B. God's intentions toward us are always good.  We will always find Him trustworthy and faithful.  He will never fail to respond to us when we sincerely seek Him.

 

C. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever -- Heb 13:8

 

10. God is Love

And so we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love.  God is love. Those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.   --  1 Jn 4:16  (NCV)

 

A. What does it mean to know God's love and to trust it?

 

B. What does it mean to live in love?

 

 

Making it Personal

Sometimes we know the truth about God in our heads, but it does not effect the way we live or think.  The following statements are based on the characteristics of God we have studied.  Meditate on each one.  Do you truly live like you believe them?  How can you make these truths to be more part of your life?  As You meditate, write down anything the Lord shows you.

·       God's holiness is in me.

·       God is in control of my life and all the circumstances I am in.

·       God's power is in me.

·       God knows everything I think and all I say and do.

·       God is always with me.

·       God cares about me.  I can give Him joy or cause Him grief.

·       God is good to me.

·       God loves me.


The Bible

1. The Bible is from God through man

A. Because it is from God, we can rely on it and trust it.

1. We need to judge every teaching and revelation by the Bible.

a. Isaiah 8:20

 

b. Acts 17:11

 

c. Galatians 1:8 (Keep in mind that Paul's gospel is recorded for us in the Bible.)

 

2. The Bible speaks of future events with the same accuracy with which it speaks of past events.

a. The majority of the prophecies of the Bible have already been fulfilled.  Obviously, many others have not.  Yet we can have the assurance that they will be fulfilled, because God Himself said they will.

 

b. The Bible also prophesied these events long before they happened (as well as others not listed here):

1). the destruction of Babylon (Isaiah 21:1-10)

 

2). the destruction of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 6)

 

3). the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25)

 

4). the destruction of the rebuilt Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26).

 

c. The most important prophecies in the Bible are about Jesus.  These include:

1) the place of His birth

2) the lineage from which He would descend

3) His rejection by His own people

4) His ascension to God

5) the impact He would make on the world

6) that He is going to come again

 

3. The Bible has supernatural ability to change people's lives  Look up the following references.  How do these passages speak of the Bible's ability to change lives?

a. 2 Timothy 3:15

 

b. 1 Peter 1:23

 

c. Romans 15:4

 

2. Types of writings found in the Bible:

A. History - Such writings were accounts of actual events.

 

B. Poetry - Poetic writings were emotionally-expressive writings.  They use much symbolic and figurative language.

 

C. Wisdom – Teach about practical ways to live and serve God.

 

D. Prophetic Writings - These books are often heavily poetic and filled with symbolic language.  The prophetic books are records of  the prophets who were sent to Israel to:

1. Exhort the people to keep God's Law

 

2. Speak of the judgment which was about to come

 

3. Counsel Israel concerning actions which needed to be taken

 

4. Speak of Israel's future. 

 

E. Gospels - The gospels were written to expose the world to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, and to tell the world of His teachings.

 

F. Epistles - Epistles followed the usual pattern used for letters during New Testament times.  They were written to correct specific problems in the lives of the Christians to whom they were addressed and/or to offer them encouragement and instruction.

 

G. Apocalyptic - This is a type of writing which spoke of the end times victory of God's people over the forces of evil.  These writings were heavily symbolic and filled with colorful images and pictures.

 

3. The structure of the Bible

The Bible is divided into two main sections. These are the Old and the New Testament. The Old Testament speaks of God's dealing with people before the coming of Christ.  It contains 39 books.

 

A. Books in the Old Testament

1. Historical

Genesis. Judges. 1 Chronicles

Exodus. Ruth. 2 Chronicles

Leviticus. 1 Samuel. Ezra

Numbers. 2 Samuel. Nehemiah

Deuteronomy. 1 Kings. Esther

Joshua. 2 Kings             

 

2. Wisdom

Job

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

 

3. Poetic

Psalms

Song of Solomon

 

4. Prophetic

Isaiah. Joel. Habakkuk

Jeremiah. Amos. Zephaniah

Lamentations. Obadiah. Haggai

Ezekiel. Jonah. Zechariah

Daniel. Micah. Malachi

Hosea. Nahum

 

B. In the Old Testament you will find:

1. The creation of the world and of man

2. The formation of a nation to whom God would reveal Himself in a special way (Israel)

3. How God gave His Law to this nation

4. The history of this nation

5. How God sent prophets to this nation, exhorting them to obey His Law

6. The old way of worship

7. Prophecies of a Savior to come who would establish a new covenant between God and humanity.

             

C. New Testament Books

1. Gospels

Matthew. Luke

Mark. John

 

2. Historical

Acts

 

3. Epistles

Romans. 1 Thessalonians. James

1 Corinthians. 2 Thessalonians. 1 Peter

2 Corinthians. 1 Timothy. 1 Peter

Galatians. Timothy. 1 John

Ephesians. Titus. 2 John

Philippians. Philemon. 3 John

Colossians. Hebrews. Jude

 

4. Apocalyptic

Revelation

 

D. In the New Testament you will find:

1. Accounts of the earthly life of Christ, including His death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven;

 

2. A history of the early Church;

 

3. Letters of encouragement and exhortation and rebuke to various Christian congregations and individuals;

 

4. Prophecies concerning the return of Jesus Christ and the formation of a new heavens and earth.

 

5. Discoveries

There are people who dig into the ground at ancient sites in order to learn about history.  This is called archaeology.  These people have found evidence of many things that the Bible describes.  A few examples are:

1. The existence of the Biblical King David;

 

2. The existence of the Biblical city of Jericho and the fact that its overthrow involved some very unusual circumstances.  (The Bible says that God caused the walls of Jericho to fall so that it might be successfully attacked by the Israelites (Joshua 6).  When archaeologists discovered the city, they found that its walls had fallen outward.  If an army had broken them down, they would have fallen inward.

 

3. Writings from Assyria which verify that Sennacherib laid a failed siege against Jerusalem.  (See 2 Kings 18-19).

 

4. The existence of Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate, who are found in the four gospels

 

5. The existence of the Biblical city of Nain and the cemetery which the Bible says was located just outside of it (Luke 7:11-12)

 

6. Pictures to describe the Bible

Look up the following passages.  To what do they compare the Bible?  What does this teach us about God's Word?

 

A. Eph 6:17

 

B. Heb 4:12

 

C. Mk 4:3-20

 

Making it Personal

We have seen that the Bible is God's Word to us, and that we can trust it completely.  What are some things in the Bible that are difficult for you to truly trust?  Make a point to meditate on these scriptures until they become a part of your life.  Write down what you learn.

 

Jesus Christ

1. Jesus is God – Jn 1:1,10;  Col 1:16;  Heb 1:1-13

A. Christ existed before anything that is in creation.

Even though He was born thousands of years after the creation of Earth, He existed before any man who ever lived.  For this reason we see John the Baptist, who was born before Jesus, stating that Jesus "was before me" (Jn 1:30).  We also have Jesus Himself angering people by claiming to have existed before Abraham (Jn 8:58), although Abraham had been dead for about 1700 years.

 

B. Because Jesus is God, He shared His Father's glory with Him before the world was created (Jn 17:5).  Men worship Him and are not rebuked (Mat 14:33Jn 9:38), and angels are commanded by God the Father to worship Him (Heb 1:6).

 

Assignment:

Below are a list of titles and descriptions which are given to God in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament.  Look up the Biblical references which appear below.  Then, record the reference next to the title or description that it refers to.  Write the Old Testament references in the spaces on the left side and the New Testament references in the spaces on the right side. 

 

Joel 2:32. Isaiah 6:1-10. Colossians 1:13-16

Romans 10:8-13. Hebrews 1:11-12. Isaiah 44:24

Isaiah 45:23. Psalm 102:25. Hebrews 1:10

John 12:38-41. John 19:37. Isaiah 48:12

Zechariah 12:10. Psalm 102:26-27. Philippians 2:10-11

Revelation 1:17

 

God in Old Test.. Jesus in New Test.

 

The First and the Last

 

Every knee to bow, and every

tongue to confess him

 

Laid foundation of earth and

created heavens

 

Will change the universe, but

He Himself will not change

 

His glory was seen by Isaiah

 

Created all things

 

All who call on His Name

will be saved

 

He will be pierced

 

 

B. There are many other Scriptures which speak of the Christ of the New Testament and the God of the Old Testament in the same terms.  A small portion of these include:

1. Ps 27:1 and Jn 3:19 (Light)             

 

2. Ps 23:1 and Jn 10:11 (Shepherd)             

 

3. Ps 95:3 and Rev 19:16 (King).

 

4. Isaiah 63:9 and Eph 1:7 (Redeemer)

 

5. Deut 32:29 and Jn 10:28 (Giver of Life)

 

2. Jesus is the Son of God -- Mk 1:1; Jn 20:31

 

3. Jesus is Man

 

Assignment:

How do the following verses show Jesus' humanity?

 

·       Jn 1:14

·       Lk 2:6-7

·       Lk 4:14

·       Mat 4:2

·       Mat 8:24

·       Jn 4:6

·       Jn 19:33

 

 

4. Jesus is Messiah

A. One of the first times The Messiah is spoken of is in Deut 18:15.

Here, Moses tells Israel, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from our midst, from your brethren.  Him you shall hear."  As the centuries came and went, God raised up other prophets -- although none quite like Moses -- who told Israel more about this One who was to come.  They spoke about the time of His coming, the nature of His mission, the kind of reception He would receive from Israel, of His ultimate dominion, and of many other things concerning Him.

 

B. However, there were prophecies about Messiah which were not so pleasant.

1. One of the prophets wondered whether his Jewish brethren would be able to withstand the appearance of Messiah, for He would cleanse Israel (Mal 3:1-3).

 

2. Isaiah foresaw the Messiah being rejected by Israel (Is 53:3-4)

 

3. Daniel prophesied the Messiah would be executed, and the holy city of Jerusalem afterward destroyed (Dan 9:25-26).

 

5. Jesus is Savior

A. Ways in which Jesus spoke of His death:

1. As being similar to the treatment John the Baptist received (Matthew 17:12)

2. As a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28)

3. As that which would begin a new covenant (Matthew 26:28)

4. As something that would cause the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28)

5. As a blow with which God would strike Him (Matthew 26:31)

6. As a fulfillment of Scripture (Matthew 26:54)

7. As the destruction of a temple (John 2:19)

8. As a cup the Father gave Him to drink (John 18:11)

9. As the purpose for which He came (John 12:27)

 

B. The most important aspect of Christ's death is the atonement

His death provides us with a means by which we may be forgiven of sin and escape the wrath of God.  It is this death which makes Christ our Savior.  Examine the Scripture references below and consider our spiritual state apart from the death of Christ and then the state we are now in because of His death.

1. Ephesians 2:12-13

2. Romans 5:10

3. Colossians 1:21-22

4. 1 Peter 2:24-25

 

C. Some other ways in which the Bible refers to Christ's death:

1. As a wounding for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5)

 

2. As an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10)

 

3. As the means by which we enter into the Holy of Holies (i.e., the very presence of God -- Heb 10:19)

 

4. As the means by which we were redeemed from our lives of futility (1 Peter 1:18-19)

 

5. As the propitiation for the sins of the world (1 Jn 2:2)

 

6. As the means by which we are redeemed to God (Rev 5:9)

 

D. Jesus' death for us inspires us to love Him.

We love the One who loved us and died for us.  We have faith in His motives and desires for us for He has proven His goodwill toward us.  As Paul said, so can we say, ". . . the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:20).

 

6. Jesus is Risen

Read the following verses.  What do they say about the importance of the resurrection of Jesus?

A. Romans 10:9

 

B. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

 

C. 1 Corinthians 15:14

 

7. Jesus is ascended

Jesus said that it is good for us if He goes back to the Father.  Look up these verses, and find what good has come because of the ascension.

A. Acts 2:33

B. Hebrews 9:24

C. 1 John 2:1

D. Jn 14:2-3

 

8. Jesus is Lord

Read Phil 2:5-11.  In this passage, Paul urges the Philippian church to follow the humble example of Christ.  Paul speaks of how greatly God exalted the Man Jesus for His humility.  Paul states that God gave Jesus the highest of all names.  Everyone will one day kneel before Christ and call Him by this name.

 

9. Jesus is returning

A. As the disciples watched their ascending Lord, two angels appeared to them and told them that Jesus would someday return (Acts 1:10-11).

 

B. It was the great expectation of the early church that Jesus Christ would return for His own people.  Look up the following passages:  2 Thess 1:9-10;  1 Thess 4:16-17

C. The Second Coming of Christ will be quite different from His First Coming.  It will not be a few people who gradually come to the realization of who He is, but all people and all things in all places will recognize Him as Lord and be instantly subject and accountable to Him.

 

Making it Personal

Are the following statements true in your life?  What difference have these truths made to you?  As you meditate, write down anything the Lord reveals to you.

·       Jesus can relate to me.  He understands me.

·       Jesus is my savior.

·       The same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead is in me.

·       Jesus is my Lord.

·       Jesus is coming back.

 

The Holy Spirit

1. The Holy Spirit's work in believers

A. Giving new life

1. The prophet Joel stated that the day would come when God would "pour out" His Spirit "on all flesh" (Joel 2:28).

 

2. The prophecy of Joel began to be fulfilled hundreds of years later, shortly after Christ had ascended to Heaven.

We read of this beginning in Acts 2.  In Acts 2:16-21 we even find Peter referring to Joel's prophecy.  Peter promises his hearers that they too would receive the Holy Spirit if they became followers of Jesus (Acts 2:38).

 

3. The Holy Spirit comes to give new life to every believer.

Jesus referred to this as being "born of the Spirit" (John 3:5).  This is when the Spirit who lived in Jesus enters the life of the Christian and begins to enable him to relate to God as a Father (Gal 4:6).

 

4. Because we have been given new life, we now have the power to please God. See Rom 8:14, 13

 

B. Giving us power to be witnesses

1. In John 20:22 we find the resurrected Christ breathing on His followers and commanding them to receive the Holy Spirit.  Yet in Acts 1:8 Jesus speaks of another experience with the Holy Spirit which His followers had yet to receive.  What is the result of this experience to be?

 

2. In the second chapter of Acts we see the disciples experiencing this second great work of the Holy Spirit in their lives and the impact it had on those who were staying in Jerusalem at that time.

3. Beyond the initial baptism in the Holy Spirit, the early disciples were filled and refilled with Him and empowered to mightily impact their world for Christ.

a. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).

 

b. Eph 5:18 says to be filled with the Spirit.  The meaning of this verse is for us to be continually filled with the Spirit, moment by moment.

 

2. Love and Spiritual Manifestations

A. Read 1 Cor 13:1-3

The reason Paul wrote this chapter is that he saw people in Corinth using the Holy Spirit's gifts in order to exalt themselves and make other people think more highly of them.

 

B. In Philippians Paul says that nothing we do should be done with selfish motives.  Look at Phil 2:3.

God's people should seek to excel one another in humility and service to one another.  Rather than seeking to lift ourselves above others, we should constantly be seeking out ways to be lower than others and of more service to them.  This is the way to obtain greatness in God's Kingdom (Mk 9:35), and this is the principle which also must rule our use of spiritual gifts.

 

C. It is a great honor to be called by God to exercise His gifts among His children.  The apostle Paul himself thanked God for this honor (1 Timothy 1:12) as we all should.

However, Paul did not think of his apostleship as something which was given him for the sake of his own exaltation.  In fact, Paul did not think of his gift in regards to himself at all.  Read the following passages and make a list of the reasons Paul gives for the gifts of God which were at work in him.

1. Ephesians 3:2

 

2. Colossians 1:25

 

3. 1 Thessalonians 2:6-12

 

D. God desires for the people in His family to love one another fervently from the heart (1 Pet 1:22).

1. Such a love gets rid of all self-exaltation and calls us to selfless service of one another.  This love for other Christians is to dominate all the areas of our lives just as the love Christ showed us dominated every area of His life.  Therefore, let us use our gifts, not with a desire for reputation, but out of a sincere desire to benefit those other people for whose sake we received them.

 

2. Look up the following verses and make a list of the reasons they give for the use of spiritual gifts.

a. 1 Corinthians 12:7

 

b. 1 Corinthians 14:26

 

c. Ephesians 4:11-12

 

d. 1 Peter 4:10

 

Making it Personal

·       What is the evidence of a new life in me?

·       How has the Spirit given me power to witness for Jesus?

·       Am I using the gifts of the Spirit in love for others?

 

Angels

1. What they are:  six characteristics of angels

A. Angels are the direct creation of God

 

B. Angels are glorious

1. "His body was like beryl, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze and the sound of his words like the roar of a multitude." (Dan 10:6)

 

2. "His appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow." (Mat 28:3)

 

3. "…two men stood by them in shining garments." (Lk 24:4)

 

4. "And I saw another angel coming down from Heaven, clothed with a cloud.  And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire." (Rev 10:1)

             

C. Angels are mighty

1. In Rev 7:1 we see angels actually holding back the winds.

 

2. Other Biblical accounts of mighty deeds performed by angels include:

a. rescuing a man from a raging mob, then blinding the mob (Gen 19:9-11)

b. overpowering lions (Dan 6:22)

c. opening locked prison doors (Acts 5:19)

d. causing chains to fall off a prisoner (Acts 12:7)

 

D. Angels are spirits

1. We read of angels appearing and disappearing suddenly (Judges 6:12-21, Acts 10:3-7).

 

2. The fact that we usually cannot see them does not mean that they are not there.

Gehazi, who was the servant of Elisha, was unaware that he was in the presence of angels, because he could not see them.  When God gave him supernatural vision, Gehazi saw that there were a multitude of angels surrounding him and Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17).

 

E. Angels can appear as humans

1. Although angels are spirits, we find places in Scripture where they take on the form of men in order to provide help for people.  It is often not known that these men are angels until after they are gone (see Heb 13:2).

 

2. Below are a list of some of the times that angels appeared in human form to people in order to bring them help from God.

a. Genesis 32:22-30

b. Joshua 5:13-15

c. Judges 6:11-21

d. Judges 13:3-20

e. Mark 16:1-7

f. Acts 1:9-11

 

3. Imagine the thrill of receiving help from a stranger and later finding out that he was one of God's spirit messengers, commissioned by God to aid you.  There are many stories which could be told by people receiving assistance from other people under wonderful and mysterious circumstances which lead us to believe that they were visited by angels.

 

F. There are many angels

 

G. Angels and the Angel of the Lord

1. All angels are mysterious and awesome to us, but the Bible speaks of one Angel who is more so than all of the others.  Indeed, the very angels themselves wonder at this Figure, for He is God Himself.

 

2. We have stated that Jesus is God in human form.  In a similar way, the Angel who is called the Angel of the Lord is sometimes the Lord God Himself taking on the appearance of an angel.

 

3. Read the passages listed below.  How do each of them tell us that the Angel spoken of  is indeed the very Creator of the angels?

a. Genesis 32:24-30 (compare with Hosea 12:3-5)

b. Exodus 3:2-6

c. Judges 13:3-22

 

4. After the appearance of Jesus Christ on Earth we read no more of God taking on the form of an angel.

 

2. What they do

A. Angels serve God

Look up the following passages. How do they show angels obeying God?.

1. Numbers 20:14-16

2. Daniel 9:20-23

3. Luke 1:11-19

 

B. Angels worship God

1. In Lk 2:8-14 we read of the angels glorifying God for the descent of Christ to Earth.

 

2. In Revelation, we read of the angels worshipping both the Father and the Son (Rev 5:11-13).

 

C. Angels help us to spread the gospel

1. Look up the passages listed below, and see how each one tells of an angel helping in the spreading of God's Word.

a. Acts 5:17-20

b. Acts 8:26-38

c. Acts 10:1-6

 

2. The type of angelic visitations these men received are not typical.  Probably these men received help from angels in more subtle ways, ways in which they were not even aware.

 

D. Angels carry out God's judgments

1. An angel kept Adam and Eve from the Tree of Life after they sinned (Genesis 3:24)

 

2. An angel came to slay the sinning prophet Balaam (Numbers 22:22-33)

 

3. An angel plagued Israel when David sinned (1 Chron 20:14-27)

 

4. Angels are involved in the final destruction of the wicked (Matthew 13:40-42)

 

5. The time will come when an angelic judgment will be brought upon Satan himself (Rev 20:1-3).

 

Assignment:

Study each of the following passages of scripture.  Remember to follow the three steps of Bible Study: 1). Observe;  2). Main Point;  3). Apply.  Write down the main point in the passage, and one way that it applies to your life:

1. 1 John 4:7-21 (God)

Main Point:

 

Application:

 

 

 

 

2. John 1:1-18  (Jesus)

Main Point:

 

Application:

 

 

 

 

3. 1 Cor 12:1-31  (Holy Spirit)

Main Point:

 

Application:

 

 

 

 

 


Discussion

1. Revision:

 

Discussion Groups:

Revise the material in this course together.  Ask one another the following questions (and more if you want to come up with your own).  Try to answer as many as possible without looking in your notes.

 

1. List the ten characteristics of God discussed in this class.

 

2. Why were the Bereans more noble than the Thessalonians?  Acts 17:11

 

3. What are some Bible prophecies that have been fulfilled?

 

4. What are some pictures that describe God's Word?

 

5. What does the word 'Messiah' mean?

 

6. What were some Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah?

 

7. What are some ways Jesus spoke about His death?

 

8. What did the Holy Spirit do in the Old Testament?  What is different about His work in the New Testament?

 

9. What are the two main works of the Holy Spirit in believers' lives?

 

10. What is a more excellent way than spiritual gifts?

 

11. What are the six characteristics of angels discussed in this class?

 

12. What are the six things that angels do which discussed in this class?

 

 

2. Questions:

Ask questions that you wrote down during the month as you studied the material, or any other question you may have.

 

Cell Groups

Look at the Making it Personal boxes from the home assignment.  What are some things God showed you about yourself through this study?  How are you putting these truths into your life?

 

In the section on the sovereignty of God we found that God sometimes uses difficult people and circumstances for our ultimate good.  What difficult person or circumstance might God presently be using for your good? 

 

Based on what you know about God's sovereignty and His goodness,  how would you help someone who came to you with this question:  "Why has God allowed such a bad thing to happen to me?"

 

What does it mean for Jesus to be your Lord? What difference can you see in the way you speak, act, & think since Jesus became your Lord?

 

What gifts do you believe the Holy Spirit has given you?  How are you using these gifts to benefit the Church?

 

Have you ever had an experience with an angel, or have you heard of someone who has?