Comanche Trail Church of Christ (Amarillo)
Sunday, September 1, 2019
Neighborhood Bible StudySeptember 5, 2019 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PMOur Summer study is beginning with the question: "What is it that is so special about this Jesus we Christians believe in?” Invite a friend!
- Bible Trivia
- With today’s sermon time I just want to tell the gospel—meaning that “good news” which is the basis of our Christian faith and hope and future. And I want to tell it from a big-picture point-of-view that looks at the overarching story of the Bible. The way of approaching this that has helped me the most is to think of the whole Bible in 5 parts (like five acts of a play you might watch in a theater).CreationGen 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.Not the popular view in today’s science books, but don’t think that means it’s illogical or wrong. It takes a great (illogical) leap of faith to explain the origin of life, the awesome splendor and intricate design of the universe without the Creator.With a word, God spoke all the colors of light into the darkness, spoke the stars and planets into being, formed the Earth with an atmosphere conducive to life and filled it with a stunning array of plant and animal life.The pinnacle of that creation was a man and a woman:So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.The man and the woman lived and worked in a garden called Eden. There were two trees of great significance: “The tree of life” (from which they could eat) and “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (off limits, resulting in death).Eve was tempted by the serpent. Eve ate. Adam ate.... Just as we all have.So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.There were consequences. God’s good creation was marred - there would now be enmity and pain and struggle and death. They were driven out of the garden, no longer able to eat of the tree of life.And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”Dark days followed: murder, violence, and devastating evil that grieved God. But God would reclaim and restore his good creation, humankind in particular.CommunitySometime later, while there were people of all kinds of languages, tribes, and nations scattered throughout the earth, God called a man named Abram and promised to make him into a great nation that would then bless all the families of the earth (Gen 12:1-3).Abraham, Isaac (God would provide the sacrifice), and Jacob12 Tribes - Given God’s blessing, guidance, deliverance, and law (10 Commandments, a distinct nation with unique customs and values)The history of this community (God’s people) is a roller coaster of highs (Moses/deliverance, Joshua/conqueror, Judges/rescue, David/great king, Prophets/God’s message) and lows (wilderness/persistent unbelief, Promised Land/compromise and corruption, Judges/spiral into darkness, king after king fails, prophet after prophet disregarded and killed).And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.Eventually, God’s people are exiled away from their land and temple and ruled by foreigners. Even when the time of exile is over—it doesn’t seem over. Nothing is like it used to be. What will come of God’s plan?As you read the OT, it seems that God’s purpose for this family to bless all families of the earth has completely unraveled… because of sin.“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.ChristThis is the climax of the story, and all of history pivots on this. Christ came to make that new covenant in which our sins are forgiven and forgotten—indeed to make it with his own blood. Christ is that King with everlasting dominion and glory. Christ is the that Son of Man to crush the head of the serpent. Through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and shocking resurrection of Jesus, God has dealt with our problem. Our sin longer alienates us; we are reconciled to God. The wrath and punishment that we deserved; nailed to the cross. And death will no longer have the last word; eternal life awaits all who are in Christ.“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.-opening the way back to the lifeFor our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.-reconciling us to God and restoring the image of God marred by sinHe has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,-reclaiming us as the people of His ruleNew Community“I will build my church” - Matt 16:18. Jesus had gathered disciples to make them fishers of men, now he sends them: Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...” Matt 28:19-20.Mission Continued: God’s promise to Abram (to bless all people on earth through him) is now ready to go viral (family of believers, Jew & Gentile)Gift of Family: we need others; sometimes we may under-appreciate and under-experience this gift of a Christ-built churchReversal of the curse: Holy Spirit, new possibilities (transformation), Pentecost is like a replay of the law given on Sinai (but with reverse effect), darkness is unravelingNow the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.We haven’t seen yet the final resolution that Jesus has secured, but already we live in the new possibilities that come under the rule of Jesus and continue to mission for the sake of all peoples.New CreationWhile the beginnings of this are already underway within and among us, the fullness of it is yet to come. God says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” (Rev 21). The same one who spoke everything into existence “in the beginning,” has told us in advance of “the end.”Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”There will be punishment for those not reconciled to God in Christ. For the church, the bride of Christ, all will be made new.Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
1 Samuel 8:7NIV2011
2 Corinthians 5:21NIV2011
2 Corinthians 3:17–18NIV2011
Neighborhood Bible StudySeptember 5, 2019 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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