Written For Us

An essential part of our Bible study is to understand that the word of God was written for us. It is a personal letter to you in this very day and age. Aaron joins Tim to discuss many different passages that relate to us that the Bible is so much more then a history book.

Show Notes

Key Verse “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit  and of joints and marrow and is discerning of the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12)

Intro

It is a pleasure having the chance to talk about what I would suggest is a powerful and predominant characterization of Gods word …it’s a characterization, which…I would suggest, is incredibly pertinent to anyone who decides to read the word of God and that’s this description of Gods word as living.

And you know this is a description echoed throughout the bible…Peter in fact uses the same description. In 1st Peter 1 vs 22-25 he writes, “born again through the word of God which lives and abides forever“. It’s a powerful adjective….That we wouldn’t often attribute to most literature (when we think of living we think of something relevant and pertinent/ex. A book written in 1850 may not age well/ its message becomes old… perhaps stagnant).

But before we get into what exactly this characterization of a living word means, I think its important to preface why this is so important…because how we understand God’s word to be written, in many ways directly effects how we understand the Bible, and how we choose to read it as a document! Some Christians believe parts of scripture are irrelevant and outdated etc. So its really a fundamental thing to take the time to understand, how God’s word is intended to be received by us?

And I think what we will find as we take some time looking at this, is that the bible is actually fairly clear on how it was written and fairly transparent in how its word was intended to be received by the reader

Laying the foundation of scripture relevant for us and written for our benefit

Start by looking at how the Bible elaborates on this idea of a living word, and we can start by keeping ourselves in this same chapter 1st Peter 1 (is one of those overarching verses that I would suggest encompasses the way scripture was intended to be received).

With Peter, who seemingly has a lot to say on how the Bible was written, in vs 10- 12 “the prophets have inquired and searched carefully …but to them it was revealed that not unto them but to us they were ministering” (powerful statement for Peter to make here…100’s upon 100’s of years after these things were written, the ministrations of the prophets were written for his time!).

We see an example of what Peter is referencing in Daniel 12 vs 9 don’t we? (it wasn’t for Daniel to understand all the things he wrote/ the word of God was for those who were to come/ wrote things often incomprehensible to themselves because they wrote to a future generation).

We have David in Psalm 102 vs 19 “This will be written for a generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord” (the words and meditations of the psalms were written for generations to come!)

And to appreciate the significance of these statements is to appreciate how far off it would be to suggest the writings of these inspired writer’s to be irrelevant, or outdated, or that they’re writing with the misconceptions of their day…(that’s an accusation often leveled at the Old Testament).

(Paul elaborates on this) Romans 15: 4 “for whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures may have hope”.

Continue in 1st Cor. 10 vs 6- 11 “now all these things happened to them as examples but were written for our admonition”.

But if anything is evident from these verses, it’s primarily that they were not concerned with their day…they were communicating messages that would have a greater relevance to future days!… often writing things incomprehensible to themselves.

All of these examples work to paint a picture of God’s word that reflects that description of a living word/ timeless principles and stories (in other words it’s messages and principles are unmarred by the cultural influences of it’s day as many authors of scripture had little understanding of what they wrote) that we can take lessons and exhortation from.

Now all of this reinforces the idea of an inspired word, but I would really suggest there are two ways you could define a divinely inspired word.

We could suppose it to be …a verbatim account of what God caused to be written by special men centuries ago, leaving us a word which is profitable for instruction when we read it….or, while admitting this…we could take this understanding a step further… and when we do we come to a powerful conclusion….

Directly addressed to us (take the understanding of what a living word means to a more personalized level)

  • Matthew 22 vs 31 we think of Christ, who when speaking with the Sadducees references the account of the burning bush and God’s dialogue with Moses. instead of saying “that which was spoken unto Moses by God” he says “spoken unto YOU by God”…leaving us with the powerful reflection, that God’s intention was that those who read them should also be addressed by them!
  • We have Hosea 12 vs 3 where Hosea recounting the events of Jacob in Bethel wrote “in Bethel God spake with US!…( 100’s of years later, Hosea is telling his reader they are being directly addressed by God!!)…(That is the nature and the full reality of the living word of God!)
  • Hebrews 12 vs 5-7 referencing Solomon’s counsel to his son, Paul says “have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons!” words first spoken by Solomon to his son, but here we see God speaks to us as sons! The intention being that the reader should regard these words as a personal message to us.
  • 1 Cor. 9:8-10 – Even the law of Moses was written for all believers!

Word of God speaks to us! We use the present tense deliberately because these words spoken and recorded thousands of years ago are purposed for us the reader…The Bible is God’s dialogue with us…We often think of prayer in this way don’t we but how often do we perceive scripture to be the same?

  • Romans 4 vs 23 “The words, ‘it was account to him’ were not written for his sake alone but for us”. The message being that just as the word of God is characterized as living well so is the hope within this word characterized (the hope offered to Abraham and so many other faithful offered to us).

Conclusion

We have talked about a lot tonight, we have considered the character and the nature of Gods word…It’s a word whose principles and stories are as applicable now as they were thousands of years ago, it’s a word that has the power to prick the heart and conscience of the reader, but above all we are left with a picture of a word that is addressed and personalized to us. God’s word is like a personalized letter to us.

Hebrews 3:7-8 “Today if you hear his voice, Harden not your hearts”. Today was still today, and present when the letter to Hebrews written, and so to does those words speak to us! Now is the day of opportunity, Gods word is a living word, and we must be alive to its message.

 

The Joy of Bible Marking

Why would you write in your Bible? Marking our Bibles is a great way to make it personal. It helps us to get it into our heart and to have a ready answer. Tim and Josh discuss different types of Bible marking with lots of examples of what they’ve found to be helpful.

Outline

Introduction

  • What is Bible marking? Why do it?
  • Wide margin Bibles
  • Getting into a routine

Why Personalize Your Bible?

  • Duty of a King to write out the law (Deuteronomy 17:18)
  • It is about getting it into your heart (Proverbs 7:1-3)

Types of Bible Marking

  • Identifying words
    • Love – Agape / Phileo (1 Peter 1:22)
    • God – El / Elohim
    • Church – Ecclesia
    • World – Kosmos / Aion
    • Character traits of God (Exodus 34:6)
  • Contextual repetition
    • Seeing the context (Genesis 11:1-9; Luke 12:16-21; Mark 12:30,33 cp. v.44; Matthew 4:1-10)
    • Understanding organization and structure (Revelation 1-3; Matthew 5; Zechariah 1-6)
  • Topical notes / Theme studies
    • Using the back of your Bible
    • Chain reference marking

Testimony and Reflections Season 2

Martin Mostacedo joins Tim Young to wrap up season two. Martin talks about his beginnings in Bolivia, his Catholic upbringing and how he came to a changed life by reading and studying the Bible. Martin shares his favorite episode and his impressions on season two.

Key verse from John 4:23, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

Martin mentions Wrested Scripture which can be found in book form and a website.

Cover image from Wikipedia “La Paz Skyline” which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.

Using Lexicons: A Word Study of “Church”

The word “ecclesia” has been said a few times on the podcast without any definition. We fix that in this episode. Matt Colby rejoins the podcast to talk about one of his favorite Bible study tools, the lexicon. As a practical example, we look up the word “church” in different lexicons to see what sort of definitions they provide. The Greek word for church is “ecclesia” and we delve into the significance of this word and why we prefer to say “ecclesia” instead of “church”.

Scripture mentions:

  • 1 Corinthians 11:18
  • Romans 16:5,23
  • 1 Corinthians 1:1-2 (key verse)

Lexicon resources mentioned:

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
https://www.amazon.com/dp/078526020X

Louw & Nida
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1683072219

BDAG (Bauer, Danker, Arndt, Gingrich)
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0226039331

The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (English, Hebrew, Aramaic and Aramaic Edition)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/9004100768

New Testament Words
by William Barclay (Author)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/066424761X

With What Judgment You Judge

Our last study of the “eternal judgment” by our Lord Jesus Christ made us reflect on how we are judging now. We might read one verse that says “do not judge” and another one that instructs us to judge righteously. Frank Abel joins Tim Young to discuss these passages and how we have to take them all together to get a balanced view.

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”  (John 7:24)

Outline

Intro

  1. Many passages about the future judgment relate to how we are judging now (e.g. Rom. 14:10-13)
  2. Essential Bible studies are so we might exercise our discernment between good and evil (Heb. 5:14)
  3. We have to be wise about how we judge. Contrast between 1 Cor. 4:3-5 and 5:3; 6:5 (1 Cor. 11:28-32)

When Not to Judge

  1. When you are judging motives (1 Cor. 4:3-5)
  2. When you are a hypocrite (Matt. 7:1-3, see also James 3:1)
  3. When you are judging outward appearances (John 7:24; James 2:1-4; Isa. 53:2-3)
  4. When you have only heard one side of the story (Prov. 18:17; Deut. 19:18)

True Judgments

  1. God loves judgment
    • To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD (Prov. 21:3, see also Psa. 51:16-17)
    • In judgment he delights (Jer. 9:24; Micah 6:8; bonus Zech. 7:9; 8:16)
    • One of the weightier matters of the law (Luke 11:42)
  2. The need to balance love and judgment
    • What is a true friend? (Prov. 27:5-6)
    • How to love your neighbor (Lev. 19:17-18)
    • Loving like Jesus (Rev. 3:19)

For previous episodes visit www.essenitalbiblestudies.org and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Eternal Judgment

In Hebrews 6:2, one of the essential bible studies listed is that of “eternal judgment”. Frank Abel joins Tim Young to discuss the subject of the coming judgment. It is important for us to understand the Bible’s teaching on this as it says we will all have to stand before the “judgment seat of Christ”. Will you be ready?

Passage discussed:

  • Romans 14:10-12 – Key verse: Everyone to give an account at the judgment seat of Christ
  • Mark 16:15-16 – The gospel preaching to all the world is the basis of responsibility
  • Acts 10:40-48 – Jesus will be the judge
  • 2 Timothy 4:1 – The judgment will be at Christ’s appearing and kingdom
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 – The basis of judgment to come
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – The dead rise first, then the living
  • Acts 24:14-15 – A resurrection of the just and unjust that causes Felix to tremble
  • Romans 2:3-11,16 – A whole chapter on the judgment day
  • Matthew 22:11-14 – Final thoughts on many called, but few chosen

Ted’s Top Eight Baptism Passages

Ted Hodge is here to share with us his top eight passages on baptism.

  1. Mark 16:15-16 – Belief and baptism for salvation
  2. Acts 8:12 – Men and women (not children) who believed the gospel were baptised
  3. Acts 8:36-39 – Baptism is an immersion in water (see also John 3:22-23)
  4. John 3:5 – Cannot enter the kingdom if not born of water and spirit
  5. Acts 22:16 – Past: Baptism is for the forgiveness of past sins (see also 1 Cor. 15:31)
  6. Romans 6:3-6 – Present: Baptism is for walking in a new life (see also Matt. 3:17)
  7. Galatians 3:26-29 – Future: Baptism makes us heirs of the promises
  8. 1 Peter 3:20-21 – Conclusion

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The Coming of the King (Part 2)

This is the second part of our study on the Coming of the King in 1 Thessalonians. Paul encouraged the Thessalonians in their hope of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven. This is our hope too. Tim and Stephen converse on the importance of making this a reality and living our lives as if we were already in the Kingdom of God.

The music at the end is “Crown of Rejoicing” from the “Even So, Come” CD. Used by permission.

Overheads with “the royal triplet” can be found here.

You can listen to the full set of classes on Thessalonians by podcast or online

The Coming of the King (Part 1)

This episode is broadcast from a special place, the Manitoulin Island Christadelphian Bible Camp with a special guest. You’ll have to listen in to find out who it is. He shares with us his studies in Paul’s epistles to the Thessalonians with its emphasis on the coming of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “coming” is the Greek parousia and has a special cultural and historical significance. Our guest also shares with us an essential Bible study concerning faith, hope, and love, which he calls “the royal triplet”. This is part 1 of 2.

Overheads with “the royal triplet” can be found here.

You can listen to the full set of classes on Thessalonians by podcast or online