We know Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us,” willingly sacrificed Himself on the cross for our forgiveness and salvation, and ascended into heaven. But what is the Son of God doing now?
Read Acts 2:33.
- What significant act did Christ perform after His ascension? Why was it important?
- How does receiving the Holy Spirit equip us to live a Christ-centered life?
Read Romans 8:34.
- Why are we not condemned for our sin based on this passage of scripture?
- Read the remaining verses of Romans 8, what blessing do we experience based on Jesus’ intercession? [think love]
In the Old Testament, God established a system of sacrifices. Two of the described sacrifices, the Sin Offering and the Trespass Offering, were compulsory, or required by law. When an Israelite sinned by breaking the commandment of God, they were required to offer either a Sin Offering or Trespass Offering, depending on the nature of the committed sin.
To avoid confusion, sacrifices did not literally forgive sins. Sacrifices were the symbolic, outward expressions of an Israelite’s inner repentance of sin, and God’s gracious forgiveness. The symbolic nature of sacrifices, however, did not excuse the Israelites to neglect the Sin and Trespass Offerings when they sinned. Both types of sacrifices were still required by God’s law, and an Israelite would follow God’s law as a response of faith.
Now you may be wandering, why don’t we still do sacrifices today?
Read Hebrews 10:1-25.
- How are the OT sacrifices and Jesus’ sacrifice contrasted?
- What do you think it means when it says, “Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins” in Hebrews 10:12?
- Hebrews 10:19-25 describe some effects of Christ’s permanent sacrifice for sin, what are they?
In the gospel of John, chapter 5, we read:
The Jews were seeking all the more to kill [Jesus], because not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God [John 5:18]
In order to provide proof for His claim as the Son of God, and show the Jews their error, Jesus presents a number of witnesses in John 5:30-47. A witness is one who provides evidence or support, and in the passage we see the evidence Jesus’ witnesses offer in support of His identity as the Son of God.
Read John 5:30-47.
- What are the different witnesses Jesus presents?
- Is there a reason Jesus provides multiple witnesses?
- Do the witnesses mentioned in the John 5:30-47 exist today?
Throughout the Old Testament there are numerous prophecies [predictions of the future divinely inspired] testifying of the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Knowledge of these Messianic prophecies is important in understanding Jesus’ ministry, God’s sovereignty, the Bible, and our faith.
Read the following passages of Scripture and reflect on how they relate to Jesus:
- Isaiah 7:14 & Matthew 1:23-25.
- Zechariah 9:9 & Matthew 21:1-11.
- Psalm 22:16 & John 20:25-27.
- Psalm 22:18 & Matthew 27:35-36.
- Psalm 16:10 & Mark 16:6-7.
What do these passages teach you about:
- Jesus’ Ministry?
- God’s Sovereignty?
How do these passages change your perception of the Bible?
Last week we discussed the Narrative, or Story, of Jesus’ birth and childhood, and discovered Jesus’ whole life was His ministry, not only the three years prior to His redemptive death on the cross. But believe it or not, last week was the “appetizer” to the “main course” of this week’s discussion. The impact of Jesus’ ministry on creation does not begin with His birth and end with His ascension. The impact of Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation begins “in THE beginning,” and extends infinitely forward through the expanse of eternal time [wrap your head around that].
The verses of discussion for this week are:
- John 1:1, 14.
- Philippians 2:5-8.
- Hebrews 4:14-16.
Read these passages of scripture while reflecting on the narrative of Jesus’ birth. Seek to understand the connection between the vastness of Jesus in the above verses with the smallness of Jesus in the manger [Luke 2:7].
Read through the passages multiple times, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you the full and correct understanding of these verses, and to increase your understanding of the greatness and humility of our Savior.
The story of Jesus’ birth is widely known. We know Mary was a virgin, Jesus was born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger, and wise men with gifts visited Mary and Joseph to witness Jesus after His miraculous birth. But is that it? Does the nativity scene fully depict the cosmic-scale impact of Jesus’ birth? Wouldn’t the Son of God and the Savior of humanity require a “grander entrance” into this world?
As you ponder these questions, read the following passages of Scripture:
- Matthew 1:18-25.
- Luke 2:1-7, 21-52.
- John 1:1, 14.
- Philippians 2:5-8.
How do all four of these passages relate?
Is your understanding of Jesus’ birth changed after reading these passages? Why or why not?
Christians frequently avoid discipleship and Gospel proclamation due to fear of awkwardness and rejection. Feeling unequipped to teach is another reason we avoid sharing the Gospel, and are these fears justified? YES. Presenting the Gospel often is awkward, we will be rejected, and inherently we are unequipped to share the Gospel. Should fear stop us from presenting the Gospel? NO, because Christ’s sufficiency working through God’s sovereignty trumps and overcomes all fear related to sharing the Gospel.
Read 2 Corinthians 3:4-6.
- Do you need to rely on your personal ability to share the Gospel?
Read Romans 1:16.
- Is salvation dependent on your power?
One of the popular quotes in Christian culture today is, “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” While not completely wrong [the Gospel needs proclamation through Christ-like actions], in Romans 10:17 the apostle Paul teaches, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Unbelievers need to hear the verbal proclamation of the Gospel. Witnessing Gospel-influenced actions certainly aids the presentation of the Gospel, but it is not equivalent to verbally communicating the Gospel.
Read John 4:1-45.
- Did Jesus present the Gospel while conversing with the Samaritan women?
- How did Jesus proclaim the Gospel?
- Contextualizing [in the Christian Context] is proclaiming the Gospel with language, concepts, and metaphors faithful to scripture and understandable to people [Patrick, 2010].
- What metaphor or image did Jesus use to contextualize the Gospel?
- How can you contextualize the Gospel with your peers?
Read Exodus 4:12.
- Does God equip us for proclaiming the Gospel?
- In what ways does God equip us to share the Gospel?
Christians are called to read the Bible devotionally, obediently, and prayerfully while depending on the Holy Spirit, working through faith, to bring about Christ-centered transformation in their lives. The Holy Spirit transforms individuals into a truer image of Christ by enabling us to correctly understand God’s Word, and empowering us to actively and logically study the Bible.
Read Multiply pgs. 124 – 126 & pgs. 133 – 136.
- What does considering the context of verses in the Bible mean?
- Why is the context important?
Read Multiply pgs. 127 – 128.
- Is there a difference between interpretation and application?
- Are there multiple interpretations of scripture?
Read Multiply pgs. 129 – 131.
- How do we find the “plain meaning” of scripture?
Read the “Let Go of Your Baggage” Section of Multiply on pg. 136.
- Why is it important to abandon our “baggage” when we read the Bible?
Weekly reminder Pointe Squad about the upcoming S.W.A.G [Students Wholly After God] Session this Sunday, August 18th. Begin to pray for God’s guidance as we seek Him for the Pointe’s direction this school year. Ask Him to align our hearts with His, that it will be His will not ours, and that He’d be glorified through our brainstorming.
Also remember the three questions we will be answering this Sunday during your prayers and begin to brainstorm:
- Why? [Why does the Pointe exist]
- How? [How live out the why]
- What? [What are the practical details of the how]
Here is an example to jump start your brain:
To encourage students to grow in their faith through further dependence on God.
Consistently provide opportunities where students learn about God through studying scripture.
Center Sunday morning fellowship around Biblical teaching.