5: The Role of the Bible

Dan Parks October 31, 2018

What is Christianity?  And what is the point?  Lesson 5: The Role of the Bible

Biblically, a Christian is a disciple — in other words, a follower — of Christ.

To follow Christ, we must repent — in other words, turn, by faith

from selfishness to selflessness (seeking good for others),

from seeking what we want to seeking what God wants.

In short, we must turn from doing things our ways to doing things God’s way.

And the point of all of this: Reconciled, restored, mutually loving relationships with God.

John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Ephesians 5: 1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

2 Corinthians 5: 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

1 Thessalonians 5: 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

Again, we all have a lot to learn about God & His will & His Word, about loving Him & others —

love is not natural or habitual for us.  So again, how do we follow Him now?

1) Follow His commands:

John 8: 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”

2) Follow His example:

John 13: 15 [Jesus:] “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

3) Follow His Spirit:

Romans 8: 14 … those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Where do we most directly get His teaching & commandments?  Where do we most clearly see His   example?

And where do we most reliably get the instruction of His Spirit?

John 6: 63 [Jesus:] “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”

Luke 3: 21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 4: 1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. …

 14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

   18The Spirit of the Lord is on me,    because he has anointed me    to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners    and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,    19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

Again, Who Is the Spirit?

John 14: 15 [Jesus:] “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Zechariah 7: 4 Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: 5 “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? 6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? 7 Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’”

 8 And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: 9 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’

 11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.

 13 “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty. 14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’”

Again, Jesus was clear about the Source & Authority of His teaching:

John 7: 14 Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?”

 16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.”

John 14: 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”

John 12: 44 Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

   47 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

John 8: 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”  …

 23 But [Jesus] continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”

John 3: 11 [Jesus:] “I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, & Luke 21:33: [Jesus:] “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Jesus was clear about the Source & Authority of Scripture as a whole:

John 5: 36 [Jesus:] “… the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

   41 “I do not accept praise from men, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?

   45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?

Matthew 5: 17 [Jesus:] “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

John 10: 35 [Jesus:] “… the Scripture cannot be broken….”

Jesus was clear that the Spirit would carry on the same ministry to His followers:

John 14: 23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

   25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 15: 26 [Jesus:] “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”

John 16: 12 [Jesus:] “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”

Jesus’s followers were clear about the Source & Authority of their teaching:

1 John 5: 9 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.

2 Peter 1: 16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

 19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 3: 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

James 1: 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.  …

 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

1 Peter 1: 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

1 Peter 1: 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

   “All men are like grass,    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,  25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.”

   And this is the word that was preached to you.

Jesus, the Father, & the Spirit all speak with one voice.  Through the Spirit, the prophets &

apostles speak by that same voice.   The voice of the Scriptures is the voice of

God, & vice versa.  (LOTS of implications of this…)

If we want to know God & love God (& we cannot love Him well without knowing Him

well), if we want to love people (in other words, learn to do what’s best for everyone,

including us), if we want to turn from our own lesser thoughts & ways to learn God’s

“higher” ones (Isaiah 55:9)in short, if we want to be Christians, disciples of Christthe

Bible is vital to all of it.

2 Timothy 3: 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Bible teaches us to read the Bible (& of course, right?  Who else could teach us?):

Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul

and with all your mind [and with all your strength*].’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”                  [*In parallel passage in Mark 12:30]

John 14: 21 [Jesus:] “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  …”

1 John 5: 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

2 John 1: 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

The Bible helps us spot falsehood & counterfeits:

John 21: 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.  …  21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

Jeremiah 23:      16 This is what the LORD Almighty says:

   “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;    they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds,    not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They keep saying to those who despise me,    ‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts    they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ 18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD    to see or to hear his word?    Who has listened and heard his word? 19 See, the storm of the LORD    will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down    on the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back    until he fully accomplishes    the purposes of his heart. In days to come    you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send these prophets,    yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them,    yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council,    they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways    and from their evil deeds.

 23 “Am I only a God nearby,”             declares the LORD,    “and not a God far away? 24 Can anyone hide in secret places    so that I cannot see him?”             declares the LORD.    “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”             declares the LORD.

 25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

 30 “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’ 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:        3 “They make ready their tongue

   like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth    that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another;    they do not acknowledge me,”             declares the LORD.  … 6 “You live in the midst of deception;    in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”             declares the LORD.

 7 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says:

   “See, I will refine and test them,    for what else can I do    because of the sin of my people? 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow;    it speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor,    but in his heart he sets a trap for him. 9 Should I not punish them for this?”    declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself    on such a nation as this?”

 12 What man is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the LORD and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?

 13 The LORD said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. 14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their fathers taught them.”

2 Corinthians 11: 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.  …

 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

1 John 4: 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Because the voice of the Scriptures is the voice of God (& vice versa), the Word & the

Spirit are always in agreement:

Acts 15: 1 Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

 5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.”

 6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

 12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

 16 “‘After this I will return    and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild,    and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of men may seek the Lord,    and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’  18 that have been known for ages.

 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”

Malachi 2: 13 Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

 15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

 16I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty.

   So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

So we must know the Word…:

Deuteronomy 11: 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

Proverbs 4:        20 My son, pay attention to what I say;

   listen closely to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight,    keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them    and health to a man’s whole body.

Psalm 119:          1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,

   who walk according to the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes    and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong;    they walk in his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts    that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast    in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame    when I consider all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart    as I learn your righteous laws. 8 I will obey your decrees;    do not utterly forsake me.  …

 9 How can a young man keep his way pure?    By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart;    do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart    that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD;    teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount    all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes    as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts    and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees;    I will not neglect your word.  …

 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet    and a light for my path.

Luke 6: 43 [Jesus:] “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

John 15: 7 [Jesus:] “If you remain in me and my words remain in you….”

and the Spirit.  This isn’t as easy as knowing some verses:

Matthew 4: 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

   “‘He will command his angels concerning you,    and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Mark 12: 18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

 24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”

John 5: 39 [Jesus:] “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

God Himself teaches us to read the Bible:

Luke 24: 44 [Jesus] said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

1 Corinthians 2: 1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

   “No eye has seen,    no ear has heard, no mind has conceived    what God has prepared for those who love him”—

 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

   The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:

 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord    that he may instruct him?”

   But we have the mind of Christ.

Hebrews 4: 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  …  17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

To see the full set of notes, you can download them here.

Dan Parks

B.A., English Writing, DePauw University 
M.F.A, Creative Writing, The University of Alabama

Dan and his wife, Brooke, have attended Faith since 2015. They have two children, Anna-Claire and Isaiah, and live in the North End of Lafayette. Dan helps to coordinate Faith Church North's men's ministries and the greeting team