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Archive for the ‘Bible Study’ Category

Going to be counted
1. Why did Mary and Joseph have to go to Bethlehem?

2. Where was Jesus born? Why?

3. What did Mary do with Jesus after He was born?

4. What happened out on the plains outside of Bethlehem that night?

5. To whom was the first recorded announcement of the birth of the Christ Child made according to Luke 2:8-14?

6. What does Luke 2:15-16 tell us was the shepherd’s response?

7. What was the response of the shepherds to seeing Jesus in the manager? (Hint: Luke 2:17-20)

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The Announcement

1. According to Luke 1:26, who came as a messenger from God to Mary?

2. Where was Mary living at the time?

3. To whom was Mary betrothed? Of what lineage was Joseph?

4. How does Gabriel greet Mary in verse 28?

5. What is her reaction in verse 29?

6. What does Gabriel say to comfort her?

7. For what job has Mary been chosen according to verse 31?

8. How does Gabriel describe Jesus in verse 32?

9. What does Gabriel say that Jesus will do in verse 33?

10. What is Mary’s very practical question in verse 34?

11. What is Gabriel’s response in verse 35?

12. What does Isaiah 7:14 foretell about the Messiah (promised one)?

13. What is Mary’s response to the message from God through Gabriel in verse 38?

14. Who does Mary go to visit during her pregnancy according to Luke 1:36-41. Why?

mary_angel

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As part of my mission to help others and myself improve Bible literacy, this post is dedicated to a Thanksgiving Bible Study I prepared for my friends. I hope you enjoy working your way through it.

thanks

THANKSGIVING BIBLE STUDY

When we begin to give it serious thought, we can find many things for which to be thankful–family, jobs, income, homes, running water, good weather–all of which are gifts from God. This Thanksgiving season, it may be helpful to turn our focus to some other intangible things we received from God through Jesus Christ.

Read Ephesians 1:3-14
1. List at least five things that God had done for you from this section of scripture.

2. Copy Ephesians 1:4 here or into you journal or simply onto a blank piece of paper.

3. What does it mean to be chosen by God?

4. What do the following verses teach about God’s having chosen us?
▸ Deuteronomy 14:2

▸ Psalm 4:3

▸ Romans 8:30

▸ 2 Thessalonians 2:13

▸ 2 Timothy 1:9

▸ 1 Peter 2:9

5. Copy Ephesians 1:7a here or into you journal or simply onto a blank piece of paper.

6. What does it mean to have redemption (be redeemed)?

7. From what are we redeemed?

8. What do the following verses teach?
▸ Psalm 49:7-8

▸ Matthew 20:28

▸ Galatians 3:13

▸ Galatians 4:5

▸ Titus 2:14

▸ Hebrews 9:12

▸ 1 Peter 1:18-19

9. Copy Ephesians 1:7b here or into you journal or simply onto a blank piece of paper.
10. What does it mean that we have forgiveness of sins?
11. What do the following verses teach?

▸ Romans 3:23-26

▸ 1 John 4:10

▸ Revelation 1:5

12. Copy Ephesians 1:5 here or into you journal or simply onto a blank piece of paper..

13. What does it mean that God has predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ?

14. What do the following verses teach?
▸ Romans 8:14-17

▸ Galatians 4:4-7

15. As you consider this study, what does your heart long to tell the Father? For what are you grateful? Pour out your thanks to God for all that He has done, is doing and will do for you and on your behalf.

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I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1

Acceptable to God?  What does it mean to be acceptable to God?

The apostle Paul says “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.  Romans 14:17-18.

The “these things” appears to refer to verse 17, “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  When we serve Christ in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, this is acceptable to God.

What does righteousness require?  Those who are righteous are in right standing before God.  They meet or match God’s standard of holiness and right conduct.

One doesn’t have to be a Bible scholar to know that no one can meet God’s standard.  The Bible teaches that there is none righteous.  Romans 3:10.   According to God, “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”  Isaiah 64:6

Therefore, since my own righteousness is insufficient, I must seek the righteousness of Christ.   When God looks at me, I want Him to see Christ’s righteousness, not my own.   How can this be accomplished?

Paul tells us in Romans:  For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  Romans 5:6-10.

So it is the blood . . . there is power in the blood . . . covered in the blood of the perfect sacrifice (Jesus), I can be seen by God as having the righteousness of Christ, the only one to ever meet God’s standard.

By grace I have been saved through faith, and that not of myself.  It is a gift of God, not of my works, lest I should try to take credit for the work Christ completed on the cross.

Hallelujah, What a Savior!

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Romans 12:1&2
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
 
How shall I present my body? . . .  As a living sacrifice
▸ Dead works are not sufficient
▸ Most sacrifices are dead before they are placed on the altar.  In this case, I must be alive, but my “self” or “self-focus” must be dead – totally yielded to Christ
▸ I must put myself on the altar knowing that I am submitting to the fire’s refinement.

If you can survive the imagery (burning flesh on the fire doesn’t really sound inviting), it begs the question, “how can I ever hope to present my body as a living sacrifice?”

The answer is found, in part, in 2 Corinthians 5:21.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  We are able to become righteous . . . an acceptable sacrifice by the shed blood of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, slain once for all.

I find more insight in Galatians 2:20 which reminds me that “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  This sacrificial life will be by faith in the One who already proved his love, His sacrifice.

Finally, I am told in Colossians 2:6-7, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.  The key to my being a living sacrifice is to walk in Christ, in His Word.  To be rooted in and built up in the experiential knowledge of Christ.  Then shall I be able to live this sacrificial life.

Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ!

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Romans 12, verses 1 and 2 are familiar and yet shrouded, within my grasp but elusive.

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

OBSERVATIONS:

Present your bodies . . .

∙ This is a commandsomething I  “must do” rather than merely “should do”
∙ Something is required of me
∙ The implication of the command is that my body is under my control, subject to my will
∙ This involves the discipline of self-control, a fruit of the Spirit in my life (Galatians 2:22-23)

We are not in this alone.  In Ephesians 2:8-10, Paul assures us, “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.   The things God would like me to do are not without meaning or import . . . they are my purpose, my destiny . . . God’s best plan for me.

When I feel I cannot obey this command, Jesus is my example.  I am told by the writer of  Hebrews, to lay “aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and . . . run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

 

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But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.   1 Peter 2:9

high priest

Peter, for all his awkwardness during the earthly ministry of Jesus, definitely pulled things together when he wrote his epistles.  This verse in his first epistle is just marvelous.  The whole section in 1 Peter 2 is worth an in-depth study.  The mention of us (the church) being a priesthood is especially interesting given its very “Jewish”  flavor.

Of course, there is nothing new under the sun and Peter lifted this imagery, probably very intentionally, from Exodus  19:5-6 where Moses is given this to tell the children of Israel by God:

 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

A couple of quick observations:

  • Priests in the Old Testament had privileges that no other member of the society Israel, namely they were the only ones with access to God and the only ones allowed to make sacrifices to God
  • The limited access to God of the Old Testament was represented by the separations in the Tabernacle (Gate, Court, Holy Place, Most Holy Place) and later the temple.  The veil represented the separation between God and man.  Only the High Priest could go past the veil into the Most Holy Place and then only once a year to make atonement for the people
  • When Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn and the separation between God and man was removed
  • We have access to God by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross
Peter reminds us from whence we have come:  who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.  1 Peter 2:10  It is good news!

As a final thought, let us consider our purpose as this “chosen generation,”  “this royal priesthood,” and “this holy nation.”  For Peter does tell us the why:  “that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  1 Peter 2:9

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