03 May 15
Series: The Book - Part 2
What do people see when they read our pages?
This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
We continue a new series called The Book. Over the next several months we are going to be teaching out of all the sections of the Bible and seeing how it’s put together, seeing common threads that connect the books of the Bible to make up The Book. See last week’s TB if you want to
see the breakdown of the bible into various categories.
Like last week, we are teaching out of the Pentateuch - the first five books of the Bible. The author of this book was Moses (in fact Jesus confirmed his authorship about 38 times in the Gospels!) You know what is really interesting about Moses - He was the guy! He is the crème de la crème! Cream of the crop! The best of the best when it came to authors.
Take a moment and think about who your favorite author is? What is it that you like about what they write or how they write? What themes do they write on that inspire you, engage your imagination or challenge your intellect?
Moses, in Jesus’ day and before, was the most popular Jewish author of the Old Testament.
He was read every Sabbath in the synagogues” (Acts 15:21):
“For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
The whole Hebrew nation guarded with intense jealousy the name and fame of Moses.
Many called themselves disciples of Moses (John 9:28–29). “We are disciples of Moses!”
Now have you ever read Moses? What did you think? What sections (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) thrilled you or put you to sleep? Tempted to speed-read any sections?
Well the greatest thing in the mind of a Jew was the Law… and guess who was its author? If you said Moses then treat yourself to a high five! Glad to see you are tracking with me.
As you look at all these laws you can categorize them into four sections:
Moral Law (e.g. you can’t marry your stepmother or murder someone)
Case Law (e.g. you must build a fence around your roof so no one falls off),
Ceremonial Law (e.g. dress codes for the priests, what kinds of offerings to make),
Civil Law (e.g. any new king of Israel must sit down and write out a copy of the Law when he becomes king)
But here is the best thing about Moses (or maybe the worst depending on which side of the fence you are on):
His life and writings pointed to the Greater.
Check out the following texts and discover who Moses was pointing to in his writings.
John 1:43-45 (calling of the disciples)
Luke 24:25-27 (on the Road to Emmaus)
Luke 23:36-44 (with the Disciples)
Notice Acts 3:17-26- And Peter went on to say "and Jesus Christ is that prophet."
Note Act 28:23 -24
Why did his life point to the greater?
Check out what Moses says about Abraham in Gen 15:6, and then what Paul says in Romans 3:20. Then check out Romans 8:1-4 regarding the solution.
This is one of the reasons people were angry at Paul, at Jesus, at the disciples. They were misinterpreted as being unfaithful to Moses but in actual fact… Jesus was the Greater One that Moses pointed to and Paul and the disciples simply acknowledged who Moses pointed towards!
What is the take-away? There could be several, like the powerlessness of law-keeping in earning our salvation, but let me leave you with this thought.
Use your life to point to the Greater.
Let’s face it, if the problem of humanity is sin, and that we fall short of God’s glory, then nothing we have in our back pocket, bank accounts or so-called wells of deep insight are going to help our fellow man the way Jesus can. The world ultimately doesn’t need you or me, but Jesus. Jesus is the answer!
Here are some more discussion questions:
If people were to read your “pages” would they find Jesus?
How do you prayerfully attempt to use your gifts and resources to point people to Jesus?
What are the unique challenges of pointing people to Jesus in the home, marriage, with your kids, friends, and workplace?
What is the toughest context and why?
What are the issues you need to be better read up on in order to talk to people about issues related to faith?
How can people pray for you regarding your impact on people’s lives for Christ’s sake?
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact our Director of Worship and Discipleship Amanda Van Halteren firstname.lastname@example.org
DID YOU KNOW?
The importance of the Old Testament in pointing to Christ cannot be overstated… a believer who ignores the Old Testament is only getting half the story as you’ll miss all the types and shadows that shouted “Messiah is coming!” One great example (thanks to Nancy Guthrie, in The Promised One – Seeing Jesus in Genesis):
In Genesis 3:15, we are told that eventually, the woman’s offspring would have his heel bruised but he would crush the serpent’s head.
In Hebrews 2:14 we see that Jesus, by his death, destroyed him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil.
In Genesis 6:16, God Himself sealed Noah and his family into the ark. In the ark, they were safe from God’s wrath and could not be lost.
In John 6:37, Jesus says, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” In Christ, you are safe from God’s wrath and cannot be lost!
(New this week) Longman III, Tremper. Making Sense of the Old Testament. Baker Books, 1998. Answers 3 questions: What are the keys to understanding the OT? Is the God of the OT also the God of the NT? How is the Christian to apply the OT to life?
Arthur, Kay. Teach Me Your Ways: The Pentateuch (New Inductive Bible Study Series) Harvest House Publishers, 2002. ISBN: 978-0736908054. Begin at the beginning - Creation, marriage, sin, civilization. Then learn about God's continuing lovingkindness and faithfulness to His covenant people, even when they let Him down.
Koukl, Greg. How Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Christians today? Available at the Stand to Reason website at http://www.str.org/articles/how-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-christians-today#.VTpOJSFVikp
Redford, Douglas. The Pentateuch. (Vol. 1, Standard Reference Library: Old Testament). Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 2008.
Schreiner, Thomas. 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law. Kregel Publications, 2010. (ISBN 978-0825438912) – all that Law… what still applies to us? What doesn’t? Why or why not?
y or why not?