Session 19: The Bible in Missional Communities

Early Church

The leaders of the early church were being pulled in every direction by the needs of everyone. They decided to focus on prayer and the word

  • Prayer—a declaration of dependence on God

  • Word—God needs to speak to us

  • Dependence on God through prayer and the word

2 timothy 3:16-17

  • in your MC there will be people that come to faith in Jesus, you will have to teach people how to use a bible; knowing how it is made, how it came to be, how it is organized, old and new

  • Our Posture as we look at God’s Word

    • All scripture is breathed out by God—it is the inspired word of God. “No prophesy was ever produced by the will of man, but man spoke from God as they were guided by the Holy Spirit.”

      • Hebrews 4—the holy spirit is sharpening, guiding

    • The spirit of God speaks to us as we read the bible.

    • We do not sit in judgement of God’s word, over it. We sit below the word, we do not pick and choose what it is true. Exegesis, not isogesis. God will speak out of his text, let it be authority in your life.

    • Whenever you open the word, prayer and ask God to make known to you by His spirit and His word all he wants for us and all His truth.

  • Context—every part of the bible was written in a particular context in a place and time with particular issues

    • Don’t just read and say ‘that’s for me.’—Jeremiah 29:11…know what the context is of exile in Babylon.

    • Cultural Context—know what is happening in and around the text

    • Textual Context—poetry, history, law, narrative, apocalyptic, know the genre. Know the purpose for the text—Corinthians where Paul is confronting rebellious Christians. We will read Genesis differently than Matthew.

    • Biblical context—the bible isn’t just written culturally…it is written as the larger narrative of the story of God. The overarching story of Genesis to Revelations. Just like if you tried to read one chapter from the Lord of the Rings…it would be tough.

      • Devote yourself to reading the whole bible. There are many reading plans. You can devote 15-20 minutes a day and get through it in a year.

      • Biblical contextual work is extremely  difficult without having read the whole bible. King, God’s People, Sin, Rebellion, Priest, Temple—these things are hard to understand if you don’t know the whole thing.

    • Redemptive Narrative Context—(RHM?)

      • A better king, a better prophet, a better father, a better people—they all point to Jesus. How is this part of scripture leading us to Jesus?

Back to 2 Timothy—how in daily reading to approach God’s Word

  • All scripture is breathed by God  and is profitable for

    • Teaching (instruction)

      • Encouraged to start at the beginning of Books—Gospel of Mark, begin at the beginning.

      • 1. Teach me about your character—God who are you?

      • 2. God, what are you doing?—God’s revelation of Himself is through his activity. This will tell us about who He is—Logos, what is he doing by taking on human flesh? God wants to be near, to enter our place and understand our suffering, and sacrifice himself. That tells us something about who he is through what he has done. This might be a little more difficult to understand in Leviticus—this is why reading in the contexts and with the spirit is so important.

      • 3. In light of that—who does God say we are?—If I believed this, and it was true…God must actually love us. Corinthians, God has been so gracious to you! God gives gifts even to rebellious people

      • 4. If we believe this, how then shall we live? Sometimes when we read, there are very clear commands. Do them, not so he will love you, but because he already loves you. EX: Love one another—the commands aren’t always that obvious. Temple, sacrifice…what is going on there?...we’re learning about how sacred our bodies are, the new temple.

    • Rebuke (back on the right path)

      • God, as I read, show me where I am not really walking by faith. Show me where I do not trust you.

      • We need God’s word to show us where we are in rebellion.

      • Where does my life show conformity to God, where does my life show rebellion?

      • Keep a journal as you read—write what God says to you…

      • Rebuke often leads to correction→

    • Correction (back on the right path)

      • You were going the wrong way, now turn. Correction leads to repentance. Learn to believe and live the truth about yourself and about Me. Where have I not trusted you? Show me how to turn and trust you.

      • Wonderfully, God will show you

        • things you didn’t know,

        • things you forgot, or

        • things you have rebelled against in God’s word

    • Training in Righteousness (what God wants us to do in light of getting back on the right path)

      • When we hear the truth about God, we’re rebuked and corrected—training in righteousness is our response.

      • The gospel sets us free to live the life of righteousness that God intended

      • How do you want me to begin to practice this in everyday life?

        • Repentance—turning back to who God really is.

        • Faith—if that is you on the water, call to me and I will walk. God will call you out in some way. EX: Honesty with your spouse, righteousness with money, with family, with the lost. Asking for forgiveness.

        • Obedience—I want to actually obey what you have taught. God’s word has wonderful instruction on what to do and how to do it. Wisdom is in the bible along with truth. (Read Proverbs, its wisdom)

      • Don’t read the word and refuse to obey it.

Questions for Reflection

  • 1. How have you perceived God’s word in terms of authority? Does it have authority over you or do you have authority over it?

  • 2. When’s the last time as an MC or as an individual you experienced God’s word doing this kind of work in your heart?

  • 3. What are you going to do as a group or individually to grow in really knowing your bible?