img 1293Exod MapBible Study Notes

We offer here the opportunity for those who are not able to attend some of our Bible Studies, to keep up to date weekly with notes on where we are with our studies.  

Equally if you are visiting our website for the first time or you haven't had the opportunity to attend and would like to follow us. Just follow the Bible passages and questions in date order, starting with the earliest date first at the top of the page. Study summary notes for each study period are above the last date for that study period.

These passages will lead you into an understanding of God's word and its meaning in leading our daily lives. 

God's words are perfect and complete - they cannot be changed.

May God be with you as you study His word and what it reveals.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Church weekly Bible Studies are taken with kind permission of "The Way of The Spirit" Bible Teaching Course. Please visit http://www.thewayofthespirit.com/ for Resources, Courses and Conferences.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


REMEMBER to stay in His word and continue to fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our Faith. (Heb 12:2)

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.(Heb. 13:5) 

God Bless you all.

Pastor Victor Hardwick.


------------------------


PLEASE NOTE THE LAST BIBLE STUDY WILL FINISH ON THE 13TH OF DECEMBER.

AND

RECOMMENCE ON JANUARY 10TH 2018.


WE ALL AT THE CHRISTIAN WORSHIP 


CENTRE  PRAY YOU ALL HAVE A VERY 


BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY 

NEW YEAR. 


Times of Refreshing Vol 2.




BIBLE STUDY 25TH OCTOBER TO 13TH DECEMBER 2017.

DAVID’S EARLY REIGN (2 Samuel 1-12)

Beware of idolising David. You will find he had many spots, but you will also find in him a man of outstanding faith and vision. Although he was the greatest king Israel ever had, the stories about him were written to glorify not him, but God. While it is interesting to study David’s personality, keep your eye on the faith dimension, what God is doing and how David and others are responding to that. Remember to keep making full use of your maps.

....................................................................................................

 

25TH OCTOBER. Ch. 1: David’s lament over Saul and Jonathan.

 

What does this chapter tell you about David’s heart? Remember that he had spent many years fleeing from Saul’s hatred.

 

 

How do you relate to the Lord’s anointed leaders in your church?

 

 

 

(2 Samuel 1-12).

 

1ST NOVEMBER. Chs. 2-4: David moves to Hebron and becomes king over Judah.

 Amid all the political upheavals of these years, how did David deal with other men, both friends and foes?

 

And how did he seek to follow the Lord?

 

8TH NOVEMBER. Ch. 5: He becomes king of all Israel.

How did David follow the Lord in his political decisions?

 

How did he follow the Lord in his military decisions?

 

15TH NOVEMBER. Ch. 6: He brings the ark into Jerusalem. What happened when David gave way to fear?

 

 

How did the atmosphere change when he resumed his purpose in faith?

 

 

 

(2 Samuel 1-12)

22ND NOVEMBER. Ch. 7: God’s Promise to David, or the Davidic Covenant.

Why was David not allowed to build a temple? Do you sometimes do things God has not asked of you just because it seems good?

 

What is the central theme, the heart of God’s promise to David? What is its relevance for us?

 

29TH NOVEMBER. Ch. 8-9: David’s kingdom becomes an empire and he receives Mephibosheth.

Make your own map of David’s empire, noting the kingdoms he conquered.

 

You will meet Ziba and Mephibosheth again in chs. 16 & 19. Their relationship with David and each other becomes quite complex. How would you describe it here?

 

6TH DECEMBER. Chs. 10-12: David’s affair with Bathsheba.

How would you summarise the Lord’s verdict on David’s action?

 

What lessons do you learn from David’s reaction to that verdict?

(2 Samuel 1-12) 13TH DECEMBER.

REVIEW.

 In 1 Samuel we are in a harsh world of politics, war and social intercourse. If some of what you read offends you, that is probably why. Life in ancient times was just as brutal as today. But that is the context of our faith. It in not only in nice worship- settings that it has to operate, but in the nitty-gritty of every-day life. How far is your Christianity a matter of piety rather than faith?

 

What have you learned about trusting God’s promises, waiting for his moment and moving forward in faith?

 

 

What have you learned this week about seeking the Lord’s will in the circumstances of daily living?

 

 

What have you learned about righteousness and repentance?

 

 

What have you learned about wholesomeness in relating to others?






BIBLE STUDY.

                                        THE REIGN OF KING SAUL (1 Samuel 13-31 )                                         (30th August to 11th October)

Saul’s story is that of a charismatic leader going wrong. Power turned his head and he lost the gracious anointing of the Spirit that marked his early reign, though he never lost his Godgiven authority. The spectacle of Christian leaders having lost their spiritual anointing through compromise with the world yet continuing to exercise authority is not unfamiliar today. A study of Saul’s life has much to teach us.

30TH August.Chs. 13-15: Samuel breaks with Saul.

Read 10.8 again before reading ch. 13. Saul was given that word at the time of his call. What did the Lord ask of you at the time of your call? Have you done it?

 

Samuel charged Saul with rebellion and arrogance (15.22). What were the signs that his basic sin was pride?

 

6th September.Chs. 16-18: The Lord chooses David and Saul becomes jealous.

Note how the things of the Spirit happen secretly, in man’s inner heart, and yet they are the things that determine the course of history. What is God doing in the secret places in ch. 16?

Another’s gifting will only threaten our pride. Would you say that is the main lesson of chs. 17f? What else do they teach us?

 

13th September.Chs. 19-21: David flees from Saul. Note how naturally David first turns to prophets and priests in his plight. What does that tell us about him? Where would you go?

Jonathan accepts that David will be king instead of him and yet remains his friend. Could you willingly hand over your ministry to someone who shows a greater anointing than yourself?

 

BIBLE STUDY.

THE REIGN OF KING SAUL (1 Samuel 13-31)

 

20th September.Chs. 22-24: He becomes a fugitive in Judah.

Despite Saul’s murderous jealousy, David’s kindness moved him momentarily. When does a man go beyond the possibility of repentance (cp. Heb. 6:6)?

 

Jonathan helped David to find strength in God by reminding him of God’s promise (23.16f). Is there someone for whom you can become a Jonathan?

 

27th September.Chs. 25-27: He eventually goes over to the Philistines.

Why do you think David continued to live as an outlaw in the Judean highlands for so long before going into exile?

 

David’s first visit to Achish was disastrous (21.10-15), so why should David have gone to him again?

 

4th October.Chs. 28-31: Saul’s last days. In his extremity Saul got no help from God (28.6), whereas David found strength the Lord his God (30.6). Why? Saul’s last resort was to consult a witch and commit suicide. What should he have done?

 

 

 

 

 

11th October.REVIEW

Here are three men of God. Think again about each of them in turn and ask yourself how well have you tapped their spirits? How far have you identified with any of their feelings or experiences? What have you learned through reading their stories that will help you better live your own life in God?

 

Samuel, the revivalist preacher, broken-hearted at the prospect of his life’s work being endangered by another man’s conduct. Have you ever felt such grief? How do you handle it?

 

Saul, the Spirit-endowed leader whose anointing turns his head and so goes sour, a basically insecure man who finds his pride threatened by another man’s anointing. Have you ever felt threatened by someone else? How did you deal with your feelings then?

 

David, the young man living with a prophetic promise that he will one day become king, though with little tangible evidence of how that can be. Have you ever felt that your present experience of life falls short of what the Lord has promised you? How have you found strength in the Lord your God in such circumstances?





BIBLE STUDY

(28th June to 16th Aug.)

Revival (1 Samuel 1-12)

The mood changes radically this week, though not suddenly. The events are spread over most of Samuel’s lifetime. The story of revival, indeed of any move of God, is always the story of a man, of how he responded to God’s call, how he gave himself completely to it and how he moved others to repentance and faith. Now we read about one whose life we can do well to emulate, for the most part. ............................................................................................................................. 

28TH June. Chs. 1-3: Samuel’s birth, childhood and call.

How did Samuel manage to grow in stature amid all the decadence at Shiloh? Do you see the similarities between his and Jesus’ stories?

 

What is the connection between the visit of the man of God and Samuel’s call?

 

5TH July. Chs. 4-6: The fall of Shiloh and its consequences.

Why did the Lord allow his sanctuary to be destroyed? See the comments in Jer. 7.12- 14.

 

It seemed that ‘The glory has departed from Israel’ (4.22), but God cared for his glory. Do we feel the same when we see dereliction in our churches? What is God actually doing?

 

12th July. Ch. 7: Revival at last!

What precisely was Samuel preaching and what did he achieve? Note how the miracle was a sign following, not preceding, repentance.

Samuel followed up his revival with regular pastoral and discipling work for the rest of his life. Do we give up too soon when we see God begin to move?

19th July. Ch. 8: The people ask for a king.

Samuel, despite his great work for God, clearly had his failings (vv. 1-5). Do you know any great Christian leader who does not?

 

God clearly intended the Israelites to have a king, so what was wrong with their request? (See v. 5) Can we also be in God’s place for us, but with the wrong motives?

 

26th July. Ch.9.1 - 10.16: God chooses Saul and prepares him for his calling.

What evidences do you see of God’s hand (almost coincidences) in the choice of Saul? Do we dismiss ‘coincidences’ too readily?

 

Saul had to receive the Spirit and become a prophet (charismatic) before he could fulfil God’s calling. Is the principle significant for us?

 

2nd Aug. Ch.10.17 - 11.15: Saul is accepted by the people and crowned king.

Saul’s first reaction to his calling was clearly embarrassment. Do you sympathise with him from your own experience?

 

But when the time for action came, the Spirit gave him the courage to lead. Have you had any similar experience?

 

9th Aug. Ch. 12: Samuel’s review and challenge.

What are the main lessons and challenges Samuel presents to the people? How might they still apply in our day?

Last week we asked what difference having a king would make, if any. How would you answer that question now?

16th Aug. REVIEW

Have you been watching what God has been doing as you read these chapters. It is so easy to get caught up in men’s stories that you miss the movement of God. We started with decadence and have ended with a rising tide of revival. How has that happened? Not just through human determination. Think again about all God has done.

 

Note the part the Spirit has played in these chapters, first in making Samuel himself a prophet, then in raising up a group of prophet followers around him, and finally in raising up a prophet-king. What do you reckon is the relationship between prophetic/ charismatic endowment and revival?

 

How far are the patterns of the Spirit’s working and of revival ministry in these chapters like anything you can think of in the New Testament or in our present-day Church? How does it all relate to your own life and vision.



Note. 23rd Aug is a study of Gods General's




BIBLE STUDY

30th Aug to 11th Oct.

 

THE REIGN OF KING SAUL (1 Samuel 13-31)

Saul’s story is that of a charismatic leader going wrong. Power turned his head and he lost the gracious anointing of the Spirit that marked his early reign, though he never lost his God given authority. The spectacle of Christian leaders having lost their spiritual anointing through compromise with the world yet continuing to exercise authority is not unfamiliar today. A study of Saul’s life has much to teach us. .............................................................................................................................

30TH Aug.  Chs. 13-15: Samuel breaks with Saul.

Read 10.8 again before reading ch. 13. Saul was given that word at the time of his call. What did the Lord ask of you at the time of your call? Have you done it?

 

Samuel charged Saul with rebellion and arrogance (15.22). What were the signs that his basic sin was pride?

 

 

6th Sept.  Chs. 16-18: The Lord chooses David and Saul becomes jealous.

Note how the things of the Spirit happen secretly, in man’s inner heart, and yet they are the things that determine the course of history. What is God doing in the secret places in ch. 16?

 

 

 Another’s gifting will only threaten our pride. Would you say that is the main lesson of chs. 17f? What else do they teach us?


13th Sept. Chs. 19-21: David flees from Saul.

Note how naturally David first turns to prophets and priests in his plight. What does that tell us about him? Where would you go?

 

 

Jonathan accepts that David will be king instead of him and yet remains his friend. Could you willingly hand over your ministry to someone who shows a greater anointing than yourself?

 

 

20th Sept.  Chs. 22-24: He becomes a fugitive in Judah.

Despite Saul’s murderous jealousy, David’s kindness moved him momentarily. When does a man go beyond the possibility of repentance (cp. Heb. 6:6)?

 

 

Jonathan helped David to find strength in God by reminding him of God’s promise (23.16f). Is there someone for whom you can become a Jonathan?

 

 

27th Sept. Chs. 25-27: He eventually goes over to the Philistines.

Why do you think David continued to live as an outlaw in the Judean highlands for so long before going into exile?

 

 

David’s first visit to Achish was disastrous (21.10-15), so why should David have gone to him again?


4th Oct.  Chs. 28-31: Saul’s last days.

In his extremity Saul got no help from God (28.6), whereas David found strength the Lord his God (30.6). Why?

 

Saul’s last resort was to consult a witch and commit suicide. What should he have done?

 

11th Oct. REVIEW

Here are three men of God. Think again about each of them in turn and ask yourself how well have you tapped their spirits? How far have you identified with any of their feelings or experiences? What have you learned through reading their stories that will help you better live your own life in God?

 

Samuel, the revivalist preacher, broken-hearted at the prospect of his life’s work being endangered by another man’s conduct. Have you ever felt such grief? How do you handle it?

 

 Saul, the Spirit-endowed leader whose anointing turns his head and so goes sour, a basically insecure man who finds his pride threatened by another man’s anointing. Have you ever felt threatened by someone else? How did you deal with your feelings then?

 

 

David, the young man living with a prophetic promise that he will one day become king, though with little tangible evidence of how that can be. Have you ever felt that your present experience of life falls short of what the Lord has promised you? How have you found strength in the Lord your God in such circumstances?





BIBLE STUDY

 

TROUBLE IN CENTRAL PALESTINE (Judges 12-21)

Beware of thinking that every story in the Bible sets a godly example for us to follow. The stories here certainly do not. They do contain glorious moments, but on the whole they testify to disastrous decline in faith and morale, and stand as warnings. We may delight in some of Samson’s heroic exploits in the power of the Spirit, for the Lord did indeed use him, but his manner of life was no example for anyone. .............................................................................................................................

26TH April 24 Video Study of Gods Generals – Even Roberts.

 

03rd May. Ch. 13-14: Samson’s childhood and marriage.

Note where Samson lived, on the Philistine border, and note God’s purpose for him, to begin the work of delivering Israel. What is a Nazirite? See Num. 6.

 

 

What character-flaws does Samson show in ch. 14? Can men of the Spirit still have such flaws today? Read Gal. 5.13-26.

 

 

 

10th May. Conference at Fuerteventura.

 

 

 

 

 

17th May. Ch. 15-16: Samson versus the Philistines.

Samson caused havoc among the Philistines (ch. 15), but why was he never able to deliver Israel from them? What is the essential difference between his story and that of the other judges?

 

 

His weakness for women was his undoing. Does that have a modern ring about it?

 

 

 

24th May. Ch. 17-18: The migration of the Danites.

‘Unless the Lord builds the house …’ (Ps. 127.1). In what ways was the Danite sanctuary not of the Lord’s building?

 

 

 

How does the conquest of Dan’s new territories differ from the stories in Joshua?  

 

 

 

 

31st May. Ch. 19: Decadence in Benjamin.

‘In those days Israel had no king.’ (v. 1) What difference do you think having a king would have made, if any?

 

 

Do you see any similarities between this story and affairs in our own society today? What do you think the Lord’s answer might be?

 

 

7th June. Ch. 20: Civil War.

The story is of the execution of God’s justice, but the sadness is that it was against ‘Benjamin, our brother.’ How do we balance love and justice?

 

 

The Benjamites who died were ‘all of them valiant fighters.’ How could this tragic loss have been avoided?

 

 

 

14th June. Ch. 21: The final state of the nation.

The Israelites went to the sanctuary and prayed (vv. 2-4), so why did they take the action they did? What did the Lord tell them to do?

 

 

What lessons do you draw from this story about consulting the Lord yourself?

 

 

 

.............................................................................................................................

21st June.

 REVIEW It is always more exciting to read success stories, but there are profound lessons to be learned from the mistakes of the past. What particular lessons have you learned from this week’s study? What is the main difference between the way in which the Israelites related to God in the first and second halves of Judges? In the first part they sinned repeatedly, but they also returned to him for help as well. How often did you read about them returning to God for help in the second half? The Israelites clearly needed revival badly. Today we say we need revival? Why were they not getting it? Why don’t we? What did they need to do about it? What do we? What are you going to do about it yourself?







SETTLING IN THE LAND (Judges 1-12)

This week’s readings have both depressing and encouraging elements in them. After Joshua’s death faith began to weaken and Israel’s morale declined quickly. Others were not slow to take advantage, and so the stories of the judges are mainly about heroic efforts to rescue Israel by men moved by God’s Spirit. The lessons for us are therefore a mixture of warnings and encouragements. .............................................................................................................................

1st March. 1.1 - 2.5: Failure to drive out the Canaanites.

What reasons are given for some tribes failing to occupy their territories?

 

Did the Lord accept their excuses? (See 2.1-3) What do you think the Lord is saying to you about your excuses for your failures?

 

8th March. 2.6 - 3.6: Failure to remain faithful to God.

Israel’s sin was identifying with the ways of the pagans in the land. With what consequences? (See 2.20 - 3.4)

 

How far are you turning away from God’s ways and identifying with the ways of the world? The consequences are likely to be the same.

 

 15th March. Ch. 3: Othniel and Ehud.

What was the basic sin of the Israelites? (Cp. 2.11f) How far do our problems today have the same root-cause? (Cp. Rom. 1.21-32)

 

What marked the turning-point, enabling God to intervene? Do you believe the answer to our problems is still the same? (2 Chron. 7.14)

 

 

22nd March. Chs. 4-5: Deborah and Barak.

What lesson do you draw from 4.8f?

 

What lessons do you draw from 5.2,13-19? How often have you made your heartsearching, however honest, or your business, however worthy, (v. 16f) an excuse for not responding to the call of God?

 

29th March. Chs. 6-8: Gideon.

See what the Lord can make out of a timid man totally lacking in confidence! How does God’s Spirit do the same for you? (2 Tim. 1.7)

 

Why did Gideon’s revival eventually fail (8.27)? What about yours?

 

5th April. Ch. 9: Abimelech.

The story of Abimelech’s rise to power stands as a contrast to those of the judges. How?

 

‘It is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.’ (2 Cor. 10.18) How are we to apply that principle to church-leadership and ministry? (Cp. Acts 6.3)

 

12th April. Chs. 10-12: Jephthah. Another story of what God can make out of a nobody. Can you think of how the Holy Spirit still does the same kind of thing today? Also another story spoiled—why?

 

 

19th April. REVIEW Gideon, Barak and Jephthah are all named as great men of faith in Heb. 11.32. Indeed all the judges were men of outstanding faith, but none of them measure up to the stature of Moses or Joshua. Why? What short-comings made them different? Why could none of them lead a thorough national revival and set Israel properly on it feet?

 

You will probably identify many leaders like them in our churches today, but few like Moses or Joshua. Do we have problems similar to those of the age of the judges? Are the failings of faith and obedience outlined in Judg. 1-2 still our besetting sins? Are we and our leaders still too ready to compromise with the world’s (pagan) ways?

 

What has the Lord said to you about your own way of life and your relationship with him through reading these chapters?

 

Are you now ready to heed the voice of his Spirit convicting you of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16.8), and leading you to repentance, so that you can become a purer channel of his grace? 






THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE LAND (Joshua 12-22)

As well as take the lead and exercise faith himself, a leader has to inspire and sustain vision and faith among his followers. Few demonstrate the same faith; most need a lot of encouragement. Taking the land was only the first step, and in some ways the most straightforward.

Make full use of maps again. Don’t try to locate every place that is mentioned, just the main ones.

(Period 7th December to 15th February) Note Christmas/New Year breaks     21 Dec, 28th Dec, and 4th January.

.....................................................................................................................................

7th December

Chs. 12-14: The Transjordanian tribes and Caleb.

Transjordan had been taken and distributed by Moses (Num. 21 & 32). Make a copy of the map of Transjordan and the neighbouring kingdoms.

 

 

There was still territory to be taken in Canaan. Note Caleb’s spirit (14.6-12). How do you make that yours too?

 

 

14th December

Chs. 15-17: Judah and Joseph.

Make your own copy of the map of Canaan also, but don’t try to put in every town named in these chapters.

 

 

Note how Joshua dealt with the people of Joseph (17.14-18). Do you also complain of inadequacy while you actually have ample resources to do the work the Lord is asking you to do?

 

 

11th January

Chs. 18-19: The rest of the tribes.

Again trace the broad boundaries on your own map.

 

 

Note Joshua’s rebuke in 18.3 and see if it says anything to you about your own call.

 

 

 

 

18th January

Chs. 20-21: Cities of refuge and Levitical cities.

Israel had havens of refuge where justice could be administered (ch. 20). How far does your church provide such a haven?

 

 

Levites had no tribal territory because they worked full-time for the Lord, but they had to be provided for (ch. 21). How well do we care for full-time workers who have no other means of support?

 

 

25th January

Ch. 22: Initial problems in Transjordan.

What is the proper basis for unity among the Lord’s people? Read vv. 21-5,33 & Ps. 133.

 

 

How easily the best intentions can be misinterpreted unless there is communication. Are you allowing suspicion to accumulate between yourself and someone else? Is there someone you need to speak to?

 

 

1st February

Ch. 23: Joshua’s address to the leaders.

It is always important that leaders’ attitudes should be right (cp. Judg. 5.1,9). How would you summarise Joshua’s commission to them?

 

 

How should you be applying it to yourself, whether you are a leader or not?

 

 

8th February

Ch. 24: Renewing the covenant at Shechem.

What are the terms of the covenant Joshua spells out here?

 

 

Can you now renew your own covenant with God on the basis of these terms, as Joshua did?

 

 

 

 

 

 

15th February.

 

REVIEW

*Joshua died satisfied that he had done his part in the work he was called to, but well aware that the next generation had to go on in faith and not rely exclusively on his achievements.

The elders that outlived him did sustain the vision (24.31), but what will the next generation do?

 

 

*At present, you are perhaps enjoying the benefits of some leader’s vision and faith. What lessons have you taken from these chapters that should help you to sustain yourself in faith when you no longer have his encouragement?

 

 

*Perhaps you were nurtured in faith and vision by some leader who is no longer over you?

Have you built on what he taught you? Or have you gone backwards? Or perhaps stood still?

 

 

*What do you think Joshua would be saying to you now? And what will you do about it?

 

 










TIMES OF REFRESHING. TAKING THE LAND (Joshua 1-12)

 

God’s purpose is to restore his kingdom and Canaan was the base from which he planned to do so (Gen. 12 & 15). These chapters tell how the Israelites took possession of this base. It is a story about moving forward in faith. There are many lessons still relevant for Christian living and leadership here.

Get into the habit of tracing movements with a map. That will help you to visualise what is happening better.

 (Period 12th October to 30th November).

 

12TH October.

Chs. 1-2: Joshua takes up his leadership and sends spies into the land.

List the different instructions and encouragements God gave Joshua for leadership in ch. 1.

 

 

How should these be applied in Christian leadership?

 

 

19th October

Chs. 3-4: The Israelites cross the Jordan into Canaan.

Why did the crossing have to happen this way? Cp. 3.7; 4.14 & 4.24.

 

 

What lessons do you take from this story about moving on in faith in your own walk with God?

 

 

 

26th October

Chs. 5-6: They set up base camp at Gilgal and take Jericho.

Study 5.13-15 carefully. These verses contain the key to the story. What are their

implications for Joshua’s leadership?

 

 

 

How do you react when you know God is giving you unusual guidance?

 

 

 

2nd November

Chs. 7-8: The battle for Ai and the covenant renewal at Shechem.

When God’s work is not done God’s way, even the smallest obstacle can be impossible to overcome? True or False?

 

 

How do we overcome spiritual depression in God’s work? See 7.4-13.

 

 

 

9th November.

Ch. 9: Tricked into a treaty with the Gibeonites.

The Israelites were riding a wave of success when the Gibeonites deceived them. Note what Jesus said in Mark 13.

 

 

What lesson do you learn from this episode? Note esp. v. 14.

 

 

 

16th November.

Ch. 10: The conquest of southern Palestine.

Note v. 14. Should we expect such signs to attend our work for the Lord? Cp. Mark

16.17f.

 

 

If you are not seeing signs attending your Christian service, are you actually doing what the Lord has told you to do?

 

 

 

 

23rd November.

Ch. 11: The conquest of the North and so of the entire land.

‘So Joshua took this entire land.’ (v. 16) What was the secret of his success?

 

 

How would you apply v. 15 to your own life?

 

 

30th November.

REVIEW

Joshua’s leadership depended on his appointment by Moses, his acceptance by the people, but also on the direct commission of God himself. For the most part we see him march forward courageously in faith and obedience, though once we see him fall into despair and have to be re-established in faith. How has reading his story helped you?

Now Joshua was a man of the Spirit, and Christians are called to be men of the Spirit too. We do not fight today with swords and spears, but we are still a people at war for God against the forces of evil. Look at Ephesians and see how the Spirit still strengthens for battle, just as he strengthened Joshua. Note especially Eph. 1.3-14; 3.14-21; 4.1-16; 5.15-20; 6.10-18.

The spirit of Joshua is still needed among us today. Note again all the principles of faith you have learned. What are they?






PREPARING THE WAY FOR THE KINGDOM (Genesis - Deuteronomy)

Don’t try to read the whole of Genesis – Deuteronomy. Just browse through parts of it. Look at the key passages below and try to grasp the gist of the story. As you read, ask yourself:

What was God aiming to do through the men of earliest times?

What is his plan for saving our world?

What is my part in it?

 

(Period 10th August to 28th September)

.....................................................................................................................................

10th August.

Gen. 1-2: God’s plan for his world—his covenant with Adam.

What did God originally intend for man?

 

 

How can we today recover some of what he intended for us?

 

 

17th August.

Gen. 3: Man’s sin ruins God’s primeval kingdom.

How did man lose the good things God intended for him?

 

 

How do we still lose God’s best for us?

 

 

24th August.

Gen. 12: God’s plan for redeeming the world—his covenant with Abraham.

What did God propose to do through Abraham and his descendants?

 

 

How did Abraham respond to God’s proposal and how should I be responding to it now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

31st August.

Exod. 3: God sends Moses to rescue Abraham’s descendants.

What is the connection between what happened here and what you read about in Gen. 12?

 

 

Do you recognise anything of yourself in Moses’ reactions to God (see also ch. 4)? How does that help you in your response to God’s call on your own life?

 

 

7th September.

Exod. 19-20: God’s plan for his holy nation—his covenant with Moses.

What kind of life-style does God require for his people?

 

 

How far do I live up to it?

 

 

14th September.

Num. 13-14: The terrible cost of turning back.

Why did the Israelites turn back? Read Heb. 3.7 - 4.7 and note the key words: faith and obedience.

 

 

Have you ever turned back from God’s call on your life? What lessons of faith have you learned through doing so?

 

 

21st September.

Deut. 30: Moses’ final challenge to Israel.

What are the consequences of obedience, disobedience and repentance?

 

 

What lessons have you learned through your own acts of obedience, disobedience and repentance?

 

 

 

 

 

28th September.

REVIEW

God does not change. He still calls for faith and obedience with respect to his promises, but equally what he promised to Adam, Abraham and Moses he still promises us today—and has made more readily available through the gift of his Holy Spirit.

 

How far has the Holy Spirit given you a glimpse of Eden or a measure of the blessings promised to Abraham?

 

How is he helping you to live the life of holiness shown to Moses?

 

In what ways is he challenging you about faith (trusting him), or about obedience (doing what you know he is asking you to do)?

 

If you find these questions difficult to answer, then ask yourself: Am I resisting the Spirit?

 

Is he calling me back to himself in repentance? Am I willing to yield to him now?

Read Luke 11.1-13 and ask God to fill you with his Spirit now/again.




(Study for the period: 15th June – 3rd August 2016)

THE HEART OF THE NEW LAW OF THE SPIRIT (Romans 12-16)

The heart of the new law, as of the old, is love. Christ and love are virtually synonymous: Love is the fulfilment of the law (13.10), and Christ is the end of the law (10.4). Jesus lived a life of self-giving love and now, in Christ, that is our calling too. So ‘Live like Jesus!’—that about sums it up. The real challenge for us is not just to understand it, but to do it.

...................................................................................................................................................

 

15th June 2016

Rom. 12.1-8: Living the Christian life.

 As Jesus lived, sacrificially and by faith. How will doing that help us to learn what God’s will is?

 

The gifts of the Spirit also operate by faith, not effort. What are they given to us for? Cp. 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4. 

 

22nd June 2016

Rom. 12.9-21: Love.

As in 1 Cor. 12 & Eph. 4, teaching on love follows teaching on the gifts. Why do you think that is so?

 

Turn the commands into I-statements: ‘My love is sincere. I hate what is evil. I cling …’ How do you measure up? What must you do to improve? Not try harder, please! That is the old way of human effort. What is the way of the Spirit?

 

 

29th June 2016

Rom. 13.1-7: State authorities. 

Is there any difference between Paul’s teaching and Jesus’: ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’

 

The way of the Spirit is lived among men, not in the imagination. How do we live it so that we are ‘free from fear of the one in authority’?

 

 

 

6th July 2016

Rom. 13.8-14: Love again.

‘Love is the fulfilment of the law’. What use, then, is there for the law now?

 

What has love to do with the urgency of ‘the present time’ in history?

 

 

13th July 2016

Rom. 14: Love your weaker brethren. 

Criticism among Christians is anathema. What is the difference between criticism and right judgment?

 

Don’t tear each other apart, but build each other up. How should we be doing that?

 

 

20th July 2016

Rom. 15.1-13: Encourage one another.

Paul continues with the same theme as in chapter 14. Note vv. 2 and 7, and read 12.9-21 again. Are you truly living like Jesus?

 

What does it mean to ‘overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’ (v. 13)?

 

27th July 2016

Rom. 15.14-33: Paul’s future travel plans. 

Paul’s desire was to go further afield and tell more folk about Jesus. Do you feel what God has given you is precious enough for you to want to do something like that too?

 

What will you now do?

 

Rom. 16: Final greetings. 

Paul had lots of friends waiting to meet him, and that in a church he had never visited. The fellowship of faith is like that. So it can be for you too, if you will truly walk the way of the Spirit.

 

3rd August

REVIEW

To love is not just a nice thing to do, but urgently important. It is God’s way of winning men back to himself in these last days. This is no game. God is inviting us to put on his armour and go to war. That is why the heart of the new law of the Spirit is love.

 

How does the gift of God’s Spirit help us live that way?

 

 

Faith, obedience, sacrifice—these have been the main themes of this course, but the motive for each of them should be love.

 

How do we learn to love with that love? See Rom. 5.5.

 

 

Are you walking the way of the Spirit? Do you really want to?

 

 

Remember it is God’s way. Man’s way has led only to corruption. Which way will you walk?