Q52 Week 38

Learn From Your Past

Have you ever done something and thought to yourself - “Boy that was a bad decision.” Unfortunately, I have had many moments like that.

MONDAY, September 19

Connect: Matthew 16

Discover:

  • What did Jesus ask the disciples, and what answer did they give – 16:14,15?
  • What question did Jesus ask next, and what answer did Peter give – 16:15,16?
  • From what source did Peter learn the proper answer – 16:17?

Respond:

  • There is no more important question than the one Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?”. No question has been more hotly debated, completely and partially misunderstood, ignored to one’s peril, and answered correctly to one’s great gain. The correct answer to that question is, in some respects, simple enough for a child to be saved, but also complex enough to keep theologians busy for all eternity. There are many “Jesus’” that are presented to us. Islam has a Jesus. Mormonism has a Jesus. Popular culture has a Jesus. None of them, however, have the power to save. Only the Jesus of the Bible, the only begotten Son of the living God, can save you.  If eternal life is to know Jesus Christ, we cannot afford to be ignorant about who he is.

TUESDAY, September 20

Connect: 1 Kings 12

Discover:

  • What was Jeroboam concerned about – 12:26-27?
  • What was his answer to this concern – 12:28-29?
  • What was the result of his actions?

Respond:

  • Jeroboam had a legitimate concern, but he went about addressing it in the wrong way. In all this, however, Jeroboam should not have feared the loss of his throne. God had promised to establish his kingdom if he obeyed the Lord. Instead he sought to maintain control his way, leading to the eventual loss of the northern kingdom. Augustine wrote “for all that, King Jeroboam of Israel, who had proof that God was true, when he got the kingdom God had promised, was so warped in mind as not to believe in him.” When we choose to not believe the promises of God through his prophets, disaster will always ensue. Today, we hear from the prophets and apostles in Scripture, and we must believe the promises in order to remain faithful.

WEDNESDAY, September 21

Connect: 2 Corinthians 4

DISCOVER

  • In 4:7, what is the treasure, and what are the earthen vessels?
  • Is the power of the gospel in the message or in the messenger?
  • In what sense did Paul bear or manifest the dying and the life of Jesus?

RESPOND

  • God told Paul that he wanted to keep him weak because “My power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Paul’s weakness and suffering kept him dependent on God, and became a channel for God’s grace to others. Jesus asked that the cup of suffering pass him by. We are never to seek suffering, but when it comes could it be that God is allowing us to take someone else’s pain, that they may have the strength to serve? Such a thought comforted Paul; it may comfort us as well.

THURSDAY, September 22

Connect: Galatians 2

Discover:

  • Why did Paul go to Jerusalem? 
  • What did he do there? 
  • What opposition did Paul run into there? 
  • What do we know about Titus?
  • How does taking personal responsibility for your actions help not only in the process of forgiveness, but also in your spiritual growth?

Respond:

  • Did you come to faith through a process or a crisis (or both)?
  • What is the difference between believing in Jesus as Lord and believing in him as Savior? Can you really do one without the other?
  • In what ways do you think the church has misunderstood or misrepresented Jesus’ true identity?
  • How is it that Christians taking up their crosses leads to salvation for society? Can you think of an example of how that works?

FRIDAY, September 23

Connect: Galatians 3

Discover:

  • What purpose did the law serve – 3:22? Was it given to save men from sin?
  • What was man’s condition under the law – 3:23?
  • What conclusion should we reach about our relationship to the Old Law – 3:25?

Respond:

  • According to Paul, Christians who go back to a life defined by the Mosaic law, not Christ alone, are spiritually speaking, like adults who revert to childhood. Continuing his teaching on the place of the Law in the history of redemption, Paul says that God’s people were imprisoned under the Law “before faith came (v. 23-24). Until that point the Law served as a guardian, or nanny. Paul’s main point in Galatians 3:23-26 is to explain the Law’s role in redemptive history. Whether the truths about our creator are revealed to us in creation or the commandments, we must all come to the point where we see our failure to live up to God’s standards and cast ourselves wholly on Christ.

SATURDAY, September 24

Connect: Galatians 4

Discover:

  • Guardians and stewards (4:2) remind you of what idea in chap. 3? 
  • What is the connection between chap. 3 and 4:1-7.
  • What are the “elements of the world” – 4:3
  • What was our relationship to them?

Respond:

  • In order to redeem those who are under the Law and grant them the adoption of sons, Paul describes the Savior’s coming in “the fullness of time.” Jesus’ work is the pivotal moment in history; it marks the day when His Father officially adopted His people as His heirs (vv. 1–2). The ease of communication and travel in the Roman Empire during the first century AD contributed to the quick spread of Christianity, according to several commentators. We can recognize God’s providential planning of history through the eyes of faith in order for His Son to bring salvation to the world and spread the gospel. Jesus was “born of a woman,” referring to His whole humanity, even though He is fully God. John Calvin tells us, that “Christ chose to become liable to keep the law, that exemption from it might be obtained for us.” On our behalf Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law that we might share with Him the rights and privileges as children of God.

SUNDAY, September 25

Connect: Philippians 3

Discover:

  • What did Paul say that he had not yet achieved – 3:12,13?

  • Toward what did Paul press – 3:14? 

  • What is this goal or prize?

  • How should Paul’s instructions affect our conduct and our thinking – verse 16?

Respond:

  • Philippians 3:12-16 calls us to forget what is behind and to press on towards the goal. Paul knew his reward was sure in Christ but he also knew that he would receive it only by pressing forward, working out his salvation with fear and trembling just as Christ was working in him. Our justification (our right standing before God) only comes to us by grace through faith. Our sanctification (growth in holiness), however, is a cooperative effort between us and God. He makes our victory certain in Christ, but we only know that it is ours if we press on away from sin and toward Jesus.