John is known as the most theological gospel writer, though his name is never mentioned in the book as the author. Luke calls John an apostle in Luke 6. Polycarp, a direct disciple of the Apostle John, testified to knowing that John had written this fourth gospel while in Ephesus. Six times within the book, John is referred to as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Matthew tells us that John and his brother James were known as the sons of Zebedee. Jesus named them "sons of thunder" in the book of Mark. One of the three most intimate associates of Jesus during His earthly ministry, John writes of his own spiritually close relationship with Christ (1 John 1:1-4). After Christ’s ascension, John became a leader in the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2) and ministered with Peter all through the book of Acts. He was living in Ephesus when the gospel of John was written before Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70. The Roman government exiled John to the island of Patmos where his final work, Revelation, was written.
God’s providence is always active and moving in and through our lives. If we have any hope of flourishing as God intends, which is growing in holiness toward Christlikeness, we must discipline our inner man to the powerful impact of the fact of God’s providence. Flourishing is the property of those whose lives are lived according to the interest, values, and concerns that exist in heaven.
God’s purpose for each of us and our church is to flourish. God intends for us to naturally grow in holiness and Christlikeness. Holiness is flourishing from God’s perspective, becoming more like God and Jesus. If we have any hope of flourishing as God intends for us, we must discipline our inner man to the powerful impact of the truth and reality of God’s providence.
We are studying some areas where God has grown us as a church body over the past few years. Last week, we looked at our identity and how we must view each other first as children of God and not any other label. There will be harmony in the church when we maintain unity.
Romans 8:28-30 is a favorite passage for many Christians. Sometimes this can be for sentimental reasons which are not bad in and of themselves. It’s important to distinguish what the passage means to us from what the passage actually says, and to get its meaning right. As humans, we need to hear truth repeatedly.
We can be identified by many things about our person. The world with our country included have been in an identity crisis for the past few years like we haven’t seen in a long time. Many Christians were also distracted away from our identity and purpose in Christ.
Paul says we are God’s workmanship created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). The Bible is clear that salvation is never through our good works but through Christ alone, the lamb of God sacrificed on the cross for the sins of the world (Titus 3:4-7). Scripture is also clear that our faith in Christ is put on display through good works, the divine acts of love done by God’s redeemed. These good works allow others to learn more about our Savior, Jesus Christ. James teaches that we show our faith by our works which are inseparable from saving faith. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).
Sometimes we endure great difficulty, and like Job, we need to come to the realization that when considering God, some things are too wonderful for us to comprehend (Job 42:3), and that the end, or purpose, of the Lord is always mercy and compassion (James 5:11).
Psalm 61 opens with the author, David, not experiencing safety. Different scholars agree that this psalm was written when David was fleeing his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15-17), who not only wanted to overthrow David as king but also desired to kill him. David was far from home and emotionally overwhelmed (Psalm 61:2). This distressing situation was predicted by the prophet Nathan as a consequence to the sin David committed with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11-12). David is fleeing his own son who is now his enemy (Psalm 61:3). Psalm 61 is a hymn about safety, ‘to the choirmaster: with the stringed instruments,’ for the nation of Israel, who would sing this hymn then and later when in captivity. The understanding of safety is something God’s people should enthusiastically and whole-heartedly affirm.
Having concluded the content study of the book of Job, we will now consider the extensive wisdom applications for our lives.
At times, God uses our senses to make His presence known (Psalm 34:8, 1 John 1:1-4). This growth in knowledge of God deepens our relationship with Him. For examples, see Isaiah 6:1-5, Luke 5:8, and 7:6-7. Job has found that theology is only the beginning; it's important, but second to our personal walk with God.
Wisdom literature is one of the more difficult genres in the Bible. Though New Testament epistles might be the easiest for us to read and understand today, it's important to keep a balance of all biblical genres in our personal reading and corporate teaching.
Psalm 23 could accurately be called the most well-known Psalm and probably one of the most well-known passages in the Old Testament. We memorize it and recite it at sickbeds and gravesides. When passages become overly familiar, there is a danger that we will miss the details. However, there is needed truth about our great God, power for our godly living, and room to grow to be found in any familiar passage.
Why do senseless killings happen? What does God’s Word say we can do as believers?
These next two cycles of debate can be read in Job 15-33.
Are we trying to get the infinite things of God into our small finite minds? This is the reality of Job as he struggles through his horrific ordeal. As his friends wield accusations, Job seeks to press his mind and heart to know the wonders of the sovereignty of God. He believes it, yet it seems too wonderful for him to fully know. As he struggles through the months of his God-ordained calamity, God’s grace presses him to know and rest in the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.
If after a short time of great calamity such as Job experienced – his children killed, his lifestyle and position in the region taken away, and his body suffering like never before – would we be able to say like Job, "Blessed be the name of the Lord"? Could it be said of us that we did not sin with our lips? Job experienced supernatural grace in an hour of agony for those two verses to be written about him (Job 1:21, Job 2:10).
Today we will study sincere, unfeigned faith and how Timothy lived out this sincere faith that was modeled by his grandmother and mother.
By Job 2:10, Satan has done his worst to Job and retreated from his life. God is silent and doesn’t make sense, and Job is alone.
Three of Job’s friends come to commiserate with him in Job 2:11-12. They respect his agony and sit with him in silence for 7 days.
In chapter 3, Job speaks. He asks the question “Why?” twenty times in this book, and a few are in this chapter. He asks why he was born (Job 3:3-10), why he is still alive (Job 3:11-19), and why he can’t die now (Job 3:20-26).
Most Christians are enduring some level of difficulty at any given point in their life. The story of Job offers us wisdom in how to endure crisis and calamity in a godly way.
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