Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bible Study Fellowship

BSF classes started up today, the beginning of a year studying the gospel of Matthew. From now on, each week on Wednesdays I will try to post a summary of the week's lecture and any highlights for me from the previous week's daily questions. (This week, of course, there were no pre-class questions.) I attend the Perth Day Women's class in Subiaco.

1. God's word - the Bible
Felicity taught that the Bible is God's book, through which God has chosen to reveal something of himself to us. The Bible is the final authority for faith in life, because its author is God.
2 Timothy 3:15 says "all Scripture is breathed-out by God", it was inspired by God, and issued forth from Him. God, who is all-powerful, was able to do this. Just as salvation is a gift from God, so too is our Bible; it is not dependent upon cultures or experiences, rather it is firm and unchanging, just as God is. The original Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic text was "inerrant", agreeing with the character of God, who is without error.
The overarching narrative and subject of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ. Every bit of the Bible reveals something about Christ. The main theme of the Bible is that the sovereign creator God through His grace and for His glory has provideed for the eternal salvation of sinners through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of His Son, the man Jesus Christ.
: The Bible is reliable because it is God's inerrant word for believers.
> Cultivate the habit of daily Bible reading.

2. The gospel - Matthew
The gospels are four different people's accounts of Jesus which together form one message. They are a combination of history, tract, letter, etc. They were not all written in chronological order, sometimes they are ordered thematically. They are "reliable good news".
Each gospel account has a different focus:
Matthew - Jesus is King, the Messiah;
Mark - Jesus is the suffering servant;
Luke - the humanity of Jesus;
John - the divinity of Jesus.
Each of the gospels was written, as John wrote in John 20:30-31 "in order that you may believe".
Matthew is a didactic (teaching) gospel. It was written by Levi the tax collector, who had his named changed to Matthew (meaning "gift of Jehovah"). It has three main features:
I - bridge the OT to the NT, showing how Jesus fulfilled the OT promises;
II - writing for Jewish readers to show that the Messiah had come, introducing the King and His kingdom, which requires a spiritual and moral response;
III - introduces the church composed of Jew and Gentile, illustrating the universal nature of the church.
: The Book of Matthew is relevant today
> Be moved to know Jesus through studying this book.
Q Is He King and saving ruler of my life? Yes.

God's word in the gospel Matthew is designed to make us Christians not scientists and to reveal to us the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ the Son of God.

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