Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The One Year Bible Feb. 15, 2006

Thank you all for your understanding and patience this week as I had so much to do. So without further ado here lets get into the study for the week.

Where We Have Been:

The Old Testament:
We are wrapping up the book of Exodus and the readings this past week have focused on God’s instructions to the people regarding the tabernacle. God was very intentional in his direction for the place that would be the earthy representation of Him. I know the details are a bit difficult to read at times but the point is that God had some definite plans and he expected the people to carry it out. Then we get into the whole fiasco of the golden calf. Even though God had given the people guidelines and had delivered them from slavery, some of the people rebelled. Even Aaron got in on the act. When Moses had been gone a long time the people gave up on him. We will continue to see how short the attention span is for the people of Israel as we go through the rest of the Old Testament. They give up so easily and start going their own way. Some see this as a weakness in the Bible. I tend to see it as an example for us. Even when we know what to do we often go our own way. Now God had every right to destroy the people but he had mercy on them and showed them his love. Who says there is no Grace in the Old Testament? He we have a great example of the Gospel message. Now remember there were also consequences for their actions (See Exodus 32:27-28). We will see this same pattern of rebellion, falling away from God, His anger at their actions, God sending a deliverer, and restoration of the people. Look for this as we go further.

We are also getting into a new book. The book of Leviticus can be a tough read especially when we get into all the rules and regulations for the people of Israel. Be patient and remember that this is all part of the old covenant that has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Here are the vital stats for the book:

Purpose: A handbook for the priests and Levites outlining their duties in worship, and a guidebook of holy living for the Hebrews.

Author: Moses

Setting: At the foot of Mt. Sinai. God is teaching the Israelites how to live as a holy people.

Key Verse: “Be holy because I, the LORD your God am holy” 19:2

Key People: Moses, Aaron, Eleazar (Aaron’s son)

Key Place: Mt. Sinai

Special Feature: Holiness is mentioned more times (152) than in any other book of the Bible

The New Testament:

We wrapped up Matthew’s Gospel with the story of the passion. I know this is familiar for most Christians, but it is the most important part of the story. Because of this event we now have a restored relationship with God. Try to remember that Jesus went the way of the cross for you. Our sins put him on the cross but his love for us kept him there. One other note: Pastor Kritzer just finished up a sermon series on being a “Great Commission Generation”. I hope many of you were able to hear that series. It came at a good time for our study to remind us of what Matthew 28 is all about.

We are starting the Gospel of Mark and I want to get you some stats for this book right away. I love the book of Mark and I suggest that this is a good book to start reading with a new Christian. Marks favorite word is “immediately”. He uses it often. Mark has been called the action Gospel or the Gospel to the Gentiles. We do know that it was probably the earliest one that was written. Here are the vital stats:

Purpose: To present the person, work, and teachings of Jesus

Author: John Mark. He was not one of the 12 disciples but he accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:13)

To Whom Written: The Christians in Rome, where he wrote the Gospel

Date Written: Between A.D. 55 & 65

Setting: The Roman empire under Tiberius Caesar. The empire with its common language and excellent transportation and communication system was ripe to hear Jesus’ message, which spread quickly from nation to nation.

Key Verse: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (10:45)

Key People: Jesus, the 12 disciples, Pilate, the Jewish leaders

Key Places: Capernaum, Nazareth, Caesarea Philippi, Jericho, Bethany, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Golgotha

Special Features: Mark was probably the first Gospel written. The other Gospels quote all but 31 verses of Mark. Mark records more miracles that does any other Gosple.

Where We Are Going:

The Old Testament:
Be patient with the rules and regulations of Leviticus. Remember that all Scripture is “God-Breathed” and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. This will be some tough reading but you will get through it.

The New Testament:
The Action of Mark will keep you on your toes. Notice how Jesus seems to go from place to place quickly and with purpose. It is a real page turner.

Key Verses:
Psalm 31:23-24
Psalm 32:1-2, 5
Exodus 33:19
Psalm 33:18-19
Matthew 27:54
Matthew 28:18-20

Have a great week everyone!!


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