Sunday, May 31, 2015

How To Study the Bible

How To Study the Bible
  1. Prerequisites For Studying the Bible
    1. Faith
      1. Faith is needed to truly understand God's word
      2. Without faith, some truth may be grasped, but faith is needed to fully comprehend the revelation of God
      3. Faith is trusting that the Bible is the very word of God, but also believing it to be true and applicable
    2. Regeneration
      1. Faith is necessary, regeneration is essential
      2. An unbeliever cannot understand the things of the Spirit
      3. 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 2 Corinthians 2:15-18
      4. The believer is indwelt by the Spirit; the Spirit illumines the mind and gives understanding of the word
      5. The Spirit is the great Interpreter (Jn. 16:13)
    3. Commitment
      1. The believer must be confident in the word of God; this goes beyond intellectual assent
      2. The Bible must be read, studied, and applied; truth must be sought and discovered
      3. Believers must yield to the truth found in God's word
      4. Believers have to be determined when studying; it is often difficult; a person must persevere
    4. Prayer
      1. Believers must be committed to reading the word, but this discipline must not be divorced from prayer
      2. The person must rely on the Spirit; this means to pray for illumination, guidance, understanding, grace to obey, and wisdom to apply
      3. Prayer demonstrates dependence on God to speak through his word
    5. Humility
      1. Believers are not inspired or infallible
      2. An attitude of humility is necessary when approaching the Bible
      3. The reader is able to discern between God's truth and his own sinful knowledge or interpretations
      4. The Bible is God's truth; believers are to humbly submit to it's teachings
  2. A Good Translation
    1. Types of Translations
      1. Literal- Attempts to translate by keeping as close as possible to the exact words and phrases in the original languages
      2. Free- Attempts to translate the ideas from one language to another; is less concerned with the exact wording of the original
      3. Dynamic equivalent- Attempt to translate words, idioms, and grammatical constructions of the original languages into precise equivalents
    2. On Choosing a Translation
      1. Literal translations are accurate, but the wording can be wooden and rendered in ways that are never spoken or written
      2. Free translations become commentaries in that the translator updates the original authors meaning
      3. The dynamic equivalent is accurate but does update certain matters of grammar, style, and language
      4. It is recommended for study to use more than one translation in order to compare and contrast texts and to gain a fuller understanding of the original meaning
      5. This ensures that the student is understanding the meaning of a text but also that he or she is apprehending the significance
      6. Most modern translations include in the margins alternate translations, explanations of Greek and Hebrew terms, technical translations notes, and other explanatory notes (English equivalents, clarification of meaning, grammatical points)
    3. Study Bibles
      1. Many Bibles include cross-references
      2. These may prove helpful to trace threads throughout Scripture
      3. Other Bibles may incorporate commentary notes
      4. These are not the best Bible to use in study
        1. These Bibles will be theologically biased and usually only offer one interpretation of the text
        2. The reader may in his mind fail to distinguish between the text and the commentary; the human comments may blend with the text of Scripture in a person's mind
        3. The reader becomes dependent on the notes and does not study and search the Scriptures or rely on the Spirit to illumine
  3. Principles For Study
    1. Unity
      1. The Bible is from God who is truthful and orderly
      2. The sixty six books fit together to tell one story
      3. The Bible presents one consistent theology
    2. Noncontradiction
      1. Since the Bible was authored by God, sections of Scripture will not oppose or contradict another
      2. If they appear to contradict, our interpretation is in error
    3. Analogy of Faith
      1. The best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture; Scripture interprets itself
      2. Obscure passages will come to light by less obscure passages
    4. Context
      1. Passages of Scripture must be considered and interpreted within their context
      2. The context is the chapter where it is found, the book from which it is taken, and eventually the entire Bible
      3. Texts must never be ripped or divorced from their contexts and interpreted within the readers culture or time; this leads to misinterpretations, false theology, and wrong application
    5. Style
      1. The style of a passage must be considered
      2. Poetry must be interpreted as poetry, parables must be interpreted as parables, historical narratives interpreted as narratives, etc.
    6. Historical Versus Didactic Material
      1. Historical material is narration accounts of the past
      2. Didactic material is teaching material
      3. Didactic material is to be used to interpret historical material
      4. This is important because things that happen in history are sometimes right or sometimes wrong, sometimes normal and sometimes abnormal
      5. If historical material is used to determine what a person is to do or how a person is to live, they could be misled and misinformed
      6. An example of this is Acts 2:14-26. The events at Pentecost were spoken of by Peter as being a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. Some people then argue that these events are normal and the effects of wind, fire, and tongues should be present whenever a person is filled or baptized by the Spirit. The fact that this happened on one occasion does not make it normative for all occasions
    7. Purpose
      1. The purpose of the writing of the text should govern our interpretation
      2. A passage cannot be used to teach something that it was not written to teach
    8. Importance of Words
      1. Thoughts cannot be conveyed without words
      2. Therefore, it is important to study words and know their exact meanings
      3. Words and their usage may change over time; words must be interpreted within their context
    9. Obedience
      1. The Bible was given by God to provoke a response in its readers
      2. If the reader does not respond or responds in the wrong way, the Bible is misused and misinterpreted
      3. The Bible must be obeyed in order to understand it in its fullest sense
    10. Prayer
      1. The reader must pray for the Spirit to guide and give understanding, to enlighten and illumine
      2. It is easy to err in interpreting; readers need the Spirit's aid
      3. The Holy Spirit makes the study of Scripture effective
  4. Guidelines For Profitable Reading of Scripture
    1. Preparation For Reading God's Word
      1. The reader must: concentrate and put himself in the presence of God; promote a reverent spiritual mindset and be conscious of the fact that the Lord will speak through his word
      2. The reader must pray and lift his heart to the Lord, begging him to give understanding, enlightenment, perception of the truth, and illumination
      3. The reader must be inclined to obey God's truth, exercise faith, be warned, be comforted, be instructed, and be equipped for good works
    2. Practice of Reading God's Word
      1. Practice the ten principles under point III
      2. Methods of study
        1. It is beneficial to study/read the entire Bible
          • Take the time to read the word of God in order
          • Become familiar with the general scope and flow of the Bible
          • This may be done adequately in a years time
        2. Study an individual book
          • Read the same book through in one sitting (if possible)
          • Reread the book over several times
          • Each time, look for and notice the purpose, themes, arguments, doctrines, applications, key phrases, etc.
          • Then, read and focus chapter by chapter
          • Note references or quotes from other books and utilize cross-references to trace out similar themes within the book
          • Choose key verses or entire chapters to memorize (if desired)
          • Pray, interpret, reflect, obey, apply, live out, and meditate upon what was read
        3. Study a topic or doctrine
          • Trace a topic from the Old Testament to the New (or just in the Old or New) or study a doctrine
          • This may be done by simply cross referencing verses of Scripture that contain the teaching or by utilizing a concordance
          • Remember the context and purpose of each book where the verse is found
          • Note how different authors approach the subject, what they teach, how they teach it, and how it is applied
        4. Study the Bible verse-by-verse
          • This would best be done when studying a book of the Bible
          • Take time and meditate on one verse at a time
          • Note the words and phrases used, how they fit together, what they are saying, and how they harmonize within the context of the surrounding verses and chapter
          • Follow, if applicable, the argument presented
          • Or, note what the passage is teaching; take notice of doctrines or themes taught
          • If the passage falls within a narrative, focus on the overall story and what each verse adds to the whole; every word is important and used for a reason
        5. Old Testament then New Testament
          • It may be beneficial to study a book in the Old Testament and then one in the New
          • The reader will gain a greater understanding of the word of God and his works in both testaments
          • The reader will gain a better understanding of God's covenants and how Scripture forms a unit
          • Also, it is a great advantage for New Testament Christians to read the Old Testament; we have a greater insight into the word of God and how it is fulfilled in Christ
        6. Chapter and Psalm
          • Another way to study the Bible is to read a chapter (possibly following the guidelines presented) and then read a Psalm
          • This proves to be both edifying and worshipful
          • The Psalms are full of praise, prayers, emotion, practical teaching, everyday struggles, God, God's attributes and ways, sin, confession, repentance, faith, growth, wisdom, Christ, doctrine, joy, application, and life
    3. Reflecting On Scripture
      1. Give thanks to God for allowing his word to be recorded
      2. Be joyful that you have a copy of the word of God
      3. Strive to keep a good attitude toward the reading and studying of the word of God
      4. Meditate and think upon what has been read throughout the day; seek to apply the word
      5. Share the word of God with others, discuss what has been read and learned
      6. Seek to obey the word of God that has been studied; put Scripture into practice
      7. Pray Scripture; take a portion of Scripture and pray it back to God
  5. Read the Bible Theologically
    1. Quest For God
      1. To begin, the Bible is...
        1. God's book to man that guides sinners to salvation and leads them to a life of gratefulness and godliness
        2. The church's handbook for worship and service
        3. A divinely inspired and united narrative that gives a running commentary on the progress of God's kingdom established by Christ after his ascension and leading up to his return
        4. Focused on Christ (his life, death, burial, resurrection, glorification) and his covenant people doing the work of the ministry
      2. Reading the Bible theologically follows these leads and studies theocentrically (looking and focused upon God)
      3. Realize that revelation was progressive
        1. God's revelation was partial, then more full and complete
        2. To read theologically, the reader traverses the Old Testament in light of the New Testament
      4. The God of the Bible is Trinitarian
        1. Each person of the Trinity is involved in everything God does
        2. This is less obvious in the Old Testament, but there are glimpses
        3. The Trinity is fully revealed by Christ; believers are right then to read the Bible theologically and see this truth, their God, in both testaments
      5. The Bible is the ultimate source of our theology
        1. It is in its pages that we learn of our God
        2. The Bible also reveals anthropology (man), soteriology (salvation), Christology (Christ), ecclesiology (church), and eschatology (last things)
        3. The Bible should not be studied to support our theology, but in order to determine it
      6. Important doctrines are repeated in Scripture
        1. Teachings referred to only once or twice must not be stressed over doctrines that are mentioned repeatedly
        2. For example, Peter and the rock in which the church is built are only mentioned once; it is not wise to make an entire theological system out of one verse of Scripture
        3. Other doctrines are stressed and handled continually; teachings such as salvation by grace through faith in Christ, repentance, the coming judgment, love toward God and neighbor, and the glory of God ought to be the focus
      7. The New Testament interprets the Old Testament
        1. The more recent revelation aids in the understanding of the revelation that came before
        2. The New reveals that certain aspects of the Old have passed away (ceremonial law, sign of circumcision, the Sabbath, etc.)
        3. The New reveals that Christ is the fulfillment of the Old (Son of David, perfect sacrifice, High Priest, etc.)
    2. Quest For Godliness
      1. Theology (if done and understood correctly) must lead to doxology
        1. God is to be known and worshipped; treasured and praised
        2. Studying God and his word ought to lead to thankfulness and humility
        3. Knowing doctrine should result in holiness, obedience, and action
      2. The goal of theology is not to know much about God, but to know God personally
      3. Questions to ask when studying a passage in order to grow in godliness
        1. What does this passage teach about God the Father, Christ, or the Holy Spirit?
          • What have they done? What are they doing? What will they do?
          • Does this passage reveal God's attributes? The will of God? Works of God?
          • How can I apply this teaching and live a godly life in light of what I've read?
        2. What does this passage teach about the world?
          • Does it proclaim the beauty and harmony of God's creation?
          • Does the passage reveal sin, man's fallen nature, or evil and its consequences?
          • Does it warn against temptation or reveal sinful behavior?
          • Does it promote Christian stewardship?
          • How am I to live a godly life in this fallen world?
        3. What does this passage teach about living every day? This day?
          • Theology is practical
          • How can I be sanctified? What can I learn from day-to-day trials and tribulations?
          • How can I grow and trust God in this situation or these circumstances?
          • How can I use the mundane things of life to glorify God?
  6. Read the Bible To Commune With God
    1. What is Communion With God?
      1. Communion is God's revelation of himself and our personal, proper, and joyful response
      2. Communion with God assumes that God reveals himself in order to be adored by his creation and to have mutual fellowship
      3. Man responds with joy and awe in the presence of God, praising him for his beautiful perfections and willingness to make himself known
      4. Communion is spending time with God; reading the word of God, fellowshiping with its Author, praying, worshiping, asking God to teach and humble, revealing your heart and struggles, etc.
      5. Communion with God is the end for which God created mankind; it is why we exist! (Is. 43:7)
    2. The Gospel Makes Communion Possible
      1. The unthinkable privilege of unworthy sinners communing with the sovereign creator of the universe is only accomplished by the gospel
      2. God took the initiative to reconcile himself to his enemies (Rom. 5:10)
      3. The Father sent the Son to be a substitute for sinners; Christ's work is made effectual by the Spirit who enables believers to have joyful peace and communion with the Trinity
    3. How To Read the Bible To Commune With God
      1. Know that the central message of the Bible is how sinners are reconciled to a holy God for the glory of God
      2. There can be no communion with God apart from being saved from our sin and the wrath of God
      3. Read the word of God knowing that it is the only infallible and authoritative source in which God reveals himself, his plans, his works, his salvation, his will, his heart, etc.
      4. Without the Bible and the continual reading and studying of it, we would go astray following our own sinful hearts or others
      5. We meet with God in and through his word; we need to be in the word!
      6. The Bible is to be read for knowledge of God and enjoyment in God
      7. Read the Bible to understand it; seek its meaning, and pray that the Spirit will give the proper response
      8. There are a multitude of ways in which communion with God through his word is achieved
        1. God through his word indicts and convicts of sin (2 Cor. 7:8-10), our response is to repent and ask for forgiveness
        2. God commands certain actions , our response is to humbly obey
        3. God calls his children to holiness, our response is to pray for help and rely on God
        4. God makes promises (Heb. 13:5-6), our response is to be grateful, trust that he will fulfill them, marvel at his grace, and patiently wait
        5. God warns in his word (Lk. 21:34), our response is to take the warning seriously, thank God for his protection, and pray for grace to persevere and avoid temptation
        6. God reveal the gospel in his word, our response is to repent and trust Christ, daily apply the gospel to our lives, affirm the truth of the gospel, enjoy the privileges that the gospel affords, enjoy the blessed God of the gospel, revel in its beauty and splendor, share the good news with others, and glorify God by being transformed into the image of Christ
      9. Communion is not just learning about God, it is fellowshiping with God in the truth he has revealed (1 Jn. 1:3)
      10. Communion is possible with each member of the Trinity
        1. Father (1 Jn. 1:3)
        2. Son (1 Cor. 1:9)
        3. Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14)
      11. Believers commune with God by prayer; prayer must be scriptural- centered in and based on Scripture
        1. Confession (1 Jn. 1:9)
        2. Praise (Ps. 96:4)
        3. Thankfulness for the gifts of God (Ps. 118:21)
        4. Requests (Ps. 38:22)
      12. Prayer is the believers verbal and spiritual response in communion with God; it may be...
        1. Private (Matt. 6:6)
        2. Public (1 Cor. 14:16)
        3. May last all night (Lk. 6:12)
        4. May take a moment (Matt. 14:30)
        5. Desperate (Jon. 2:2)
        6. Full of faith (Mk. 11:24)
        7. Lack faith (Mk. 9:24)
      13. When believers pray, God receives glory and we experience joy
  7. Read the Bible For Personal Application
    1. Consolidate What Has Been Learned
      1. Answer basic questions about the word of God in order to determine what passages are most applicable in your life
        1. What passage, chapter, or book has made the most difference in your life?
        2. What passage do you find yourself returning to over and over again?
        3. What makes the passage so relevant, comforting, or piercing?
      2. The answers to the previous questions embody four foundational truths about reading the Bible for application
        1. The passage becomes yours; it is internalized
          • It is God speaking to you
          • God's word is true so you must act
          • When you remember the passage you are strengthened and strive to be faithful; when it is forgotten you drift and become vulnerable
        2. The passage and your life are fused together
          • You are connected to specific passages because they resonate with you, your struggles, life, situations, and circumstances
          • God's word meets your needs; his word is merciful
          • If you are honest as you read the Scripture, you will find application for your life and difficulties
        3. The passion for a passage reveals that God himself does the applying
          • He has already revealed himself and committed his word to writing, so he meets us before we meet him
          • In his sovereignty and providence, God has provided Scripture to meet the needs of his people, who at just the right moment and during specific situations and life events, remember or turn to the Bible wherein God applies his truth to their particular condition resulting in the desired effect and outcome- his glory and their good and growth
          • God gives wisdom as a gift in order for believers to understand and apply Scripture
          • Application, then, is a gift
        4. Application is usually straightforward
          • The Bible, for the most part, speaks of common human experiences
          • A passage becomes personal when your life overlaps with the details found in the text
          • Application moves from the general to the specific
    2. Look For Passages That Apply Directly
      1. Search for passages that generalize or summarize truth and then apply
      2. Consider the promises made by God, the wisdom of certain proverbs, the joys and sorrows of Psalms, and commands and warnings
      3. Focus on the details of a narrative, the emotions and choice of words used in a psalm, and the general motive of commands and the large categories that they cover
    3. Recognize That There Are Passages That Contain Less Direct Application
      1. Some passages read only apply by extension or analogy
      2. Simply put, there are passages that do not apply directly to us; if we read them as if they do, the Bible becomes distorted
        1. For example, “take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt” (Matt. 2:13) is not a command for us to buy a ticket and move to Egypt
        2. Further, “take your son, your only son Isaac... and offer him” (Gen. 22:2) is not a command for fathers to kill their sons if they are named Isaac
      3. Passages that do not apply directly teach us to think outside of ourselves and notice that God is involved in the lives of others; they change our perspective
      4. These passages also serve to humble us and make us realize that we are merely a small part of the entire story, which is bigger than our personal history
    4. Take On the Challenge To Apply Less Direct Passages
      1. Application is a life-long process which seeks to expand and gain wisdom
      2. This is done by reading the Bible and applying the obvious, but also by wrestling with the not-so-obvious application of certain passages
      3. An example of this are genealogies or a census
        1. It would appear that there is nothing to apply from a list of names
        2. However, there are many truths that are taught and applications to be made
        3. God is a God of people; people matter to God
        4. Individuals and communities play integral parts in the plans of God
        5. God is faithful to his promises
        6. God providentially guides all of history, even down to the minutest detail
        7. God uses sinners, and even their sins, to accomplish his purposes
        8. Christ was born into this world by God ordaining the lives of thousands of individuals
      4. When passages are viewed in this light, the application becomes clear
      5. Be responsible, do not force an application
      6. But, at the same time, accept the challenge of difficult passages in order to grow
  8. Other Reasons To Read the Bible
    1. Study Biblical History
      1. The life of Jesus
        1. The Bible may be studied to learn about the God Man, the Lord Jesus Christ
        2. The primary sources for this study are the four gospels
        3. The gospels reveal the person, work, and teachings of Christ
        4. The reader will learn of Christ's birth, life, fulfillment of prophecy, baptism, doctrine, temptations, sufferings, ministry, power to heal and cast out demons, transfiguration, arrest, trial, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, return, deity, humanity, and character
      2. The life and missionary journeys of Paul
        1. Gain a deeper understanding of God's work in the spreading of his gospel
        2. Study Paul's doctrine in order to grow and worship the God to which they point and exult
        3. Understand what the church is and how its members are to function
    2. Study the lives of other Bible characters such as Moses, Abraham, Jonah, Peter, and John
    3. Study key events in biblical history such as the exodus, David's rise to the throne, Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection, and the formation of the New Testament church
    4. Study moral teachings
      1. The Bible contains God's law which form the basis of moral codes and holy living
      2. There are many ethical teachings that ought to be studied and applied to our modern contexts (abortion, slavery, divorce, homosexuality, etc.)
    5. Study...
      1. Geography
      2. Biblical languages
      3. Old Testament laws and regulations
      4. Figures of speech
      5. Dates of events
      6. Military history and strategy
      7. Weapons
      8. Music and instruments
      9. Sacrifice
      10. Animals
  9. Tools For Study
    1. Bible
      1. The word of God is first and most important
      2. This ought to be obvious, but may not be to some
      3. The word of God is written in such a way that true believers, with the aid of the Spirit, can read its words, understand them, and apply them
      4. There are times, however, when commentaries will need to be consulted
        1. Do not begin your study with a commentary- Study the word of God first and do your work
        2. But, questions of content will arise; this is when a commentary should be consulted
    2. Commentaries
      1. Commentaries serve to check and balance an interpreter
      2. If commentaries are never consulted, the interpreter is in danger of relying only on his or her judgment, may be in error, or be guilty of prejudices
      3. A commentary needs to supply three things
        1. Aids on sources and information about historical context
        2. Answers questions about content
        3. Discusses difficult texts and lists all the possible interpretations and arguments supporting each
      4. How to evaluate commentaries
        1. Do not evaluate on the basis of agreement with the author
          • If exegesis was done well, then more often than not, agreement will be found between the reader and commentator
        2. Do not evaluate on the basis of enjoyment when reading or good application
          • The point of a commentary is exegesis
          • Homiletics is not the purpose of a good commentary, the meaning of the text is
      5. Criteria used to judge commentaries
        1. Is the commentary exegetical, homiletical, or a combination of both?
          • The primary use of a commentary is exegesis
          • If a commentary offers homiletical suggestions, that may prove helpful, but the student of Scripture wants content questions answered first and foremost
          • There are other sources and books for homiletical suggestions
        2. Is the commentary based on the Hebrew or Greek text or an English translation?
          • It is not necessarily negative if the commentary is based on an English translation as long as the author knows the text in the original languages and uses this knowledge when commenting
        3. When the text can be interpreted more than one way, does the author discuss all possible interpretations, evaluate them, offer arguments for each, and then give reasons for his choice?
          • A commentary does not completely inform the reader if it does not present and discuss all the possibilities
        4. Does the commentary discuss text-critical problems?
        5. Does the author discuss historical background and context?
        6. Does the commentator give bibliographic information for further study?
        7. Does the commentary have an introduction section in order to present the context and occasion of the book?
      6. Types of commentaries
        1. Single volume commentaries
          • The only advantage of this commentary is saving money
          • The disadvantages
            • Compact comments and brevity
            • No depth or proper analysis of the text
            • No one person can be an expert on the entire Bible (a single volume commentary written by various authors may prove helpful)
        2. Commentary sets
          • A series that is a collection of commentaries written by individual authors is to be preferred
          • These, however, are more expensive
          • Sets on either the Old or New Testaments by one author are more affordable, but then the expertise and exegetical precision may be lacking; one author simply cannot offer expert comments on an entire testament
    3. Other Tools
      1. Concordance
        1. A concordance traces a word throughout Scripture and lists every verse where that word appears
        2. Concordances are helpful when trying to find a passage with a certain word in it or when studying a theme or doctrine
      2. Bible dictionaries
        1. A Bible dictionary offers definitions and on biblical words
        2. Bible dictionaries are helpful for studying themes and words in a biblical setting such as: weights and measures, names, titles, places, geography, cultural oddities, ceremonies, traditions, etc.
      3. Bible Encyclopedias
        1. Biblical encyclopedias offer articles and more information than dictionaries
        2. Encyclopedias can be consulted for more in-depth information on biblical teachings and words
      4. Atlases
        1. Bible atlases may be used to study places in the Bible
        2. Atlases address geographic, demographic, population, cultural, agricultural, and similar information that other tools do not
      5. Surveys
        1. Surveys are written to give the reader a surface understanding of books in the Old or New Testaments
        2. Surveys are not commentaries; they usually only cover...
          • The author of the book
          • His audience
          • When he wrote
          • Why he wrote
          • Key texts or themes
          • Doctrines or theology presented
          • An outline
      6. Word Studies
        1. Word studies define key words that appear in the text; the same word may have alternate meanings and be used differently in various contexts or by other authors
        2. They may prove helpful in order to know just how a word is used and what it means    
Sources consulted:
Standing On the Rock, James Montgomery Boice
The Christian's Reasonable Service, Wilhelmus a Brakel
Understanding Scripture, Wayne Grudem, C. John Collins, Thomas R. Schreiner
Knowing Scripture, R.C. Sproul
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Friday, May 15, 2015

In Christ Alone- A Pastoral Study on 1 John 5:20-21

In& Through Christ Alone: 1 John 5:20-21

- Salvation only through Christ

1. God sent His Son

    a. Jesus took on flesh (Phil. 2:7-8; Jn. 1:14)

    b. Jesus lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to God the Father& the law (Heb.4:15; 1Pet.1:19-

2. Jesus died on the cross

    a. He died a substitutionary, penal, vicarious, propitious, atoning death (Rom. 3:25; Gal. 3:13)

    b. He who knew no sin became sin (2 Cor. 5:21)

        1. The sins of the elect were laid upon Him (Is. 53:4-6; 1 Pet. 2:24; Heb. 9:28)

        2. He bore the wrath of the Father (Matt. 27:46; Heb. 2:17; Is. 53:10)

        3. Jesus was buried (1 Cor. 15:4; Matt. 27:57-60; Is. 53:9)

        4. Jesus was resurrected (Rom. 1:4; 4:25; 10:9; 1 Cor. 15:4; Acts 2:24; 13:30)

            a. He paid the price for sin (Col. 1:14; 1 Cor. 7:23)

            b. He defeated sin, death, and Satan (Col. 2:15)

            c. He rose from the dead, lives today, and intercedes on the behalf of His children (Rom. 8:34;
                Heb. 7:25)

       5. This was all according to the scriptures

            a. It was planned, orchestrated, and ordained by God for His glory (Acts 2:23)

            b. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament (Lk. 24:13-27)

1 John 5:20-21

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols (ESV).

- One of the reasons Christ came was to give understanding

- Those who understand know him

- He is true; there are many that are false; many counterfeits

- Those who understand, who know him, are in him

- Jesus Christ is God

- Jesus Christ is eternal life

- Beware of imitations



Is your gospel presentation Christ-centered or is the focus on something else?

Does Christ permeate every aspect of your life? Ministry? Sermons?

Do you point people to Christ or your ministry, programs, church, etc.?

Why are counterfeits and idols easier than the true God?

How do you know if you are following an idol?

   a. you lack understanding

   b. the focus is something other than Christ

   c. your relationship is dead/stagnate; there is no growth or real fruit

   d. you have no joy! No answered prayer

   e. the Spirit does not testify with your spirit/there is no communion or fellowship

   f. your “Christ” looks more like the world than the word

   g. your “Christ” needs your help; needs your strength and ability; needs to feel loved

   h. Christ, the true God, is not treasured above everything!

       1. are you willing to die for him?

       2. are you willing to lose all for him?

   i. your “Christ” is accepted by the lost world
   j. your “Christ” approves of your apathy, pride, and other sin

   k. you do not suffer or experience persecution for your “Christ”

With all that has been said, we are ALL IDOLATERS!

   a. we are imperfect sinners who cannot follow Christ perfectly and therefore follow after idols (at

   b. we all need to repent and beg Christ for forgiveness!

   c. we all need to to strive to know Christ better; to follow only him

   d. we need to pray for grace, mercy, Christ-likeness, and guidance

   e. we need to be in the word, studying our Christ

There absolutely cannot be idols in your heart! Repent! Pray for grace! Then repent again! Then pray for grace and repent more!