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The Certainty Of God's Word

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Lesson 2

The Certainty Of God's Word

One of the celebration themes of the Psalms is that God ahs given us clear answers to life's hardest questions in His word, the Bible. While He did not have to make Himself known to His creatures, God has chosen to reveal to us who He is and what our relationship with Him can be. The Scriptures also give us concrete wisdom about life's choices. Amidst a wolrd of uncertainty and changing philosophies, the Bible is the sure guide for life we all need. Through His word, God provides us with principles about life which enable us to experience fulfillment here an dnow and in the life hereafter. These aspects of God's revelations alone can provide for all our deepest needs.

The Bible, written by human authors whose words and thoughts were inspired by God (2 Peter 1:20-21), has stood the test of time like no other publication. Its 66 books were written by some 40 authors over a 1500-year period in three languages on three continents. These authors for the most part did not know one another, and they varied greatly in occupation (i.e. Luke, a physician, Amos, a farmer, David, a King) and education (ex: Peter, a fisherman probably having little education, and Moses, schooled in Egypt's finest institutions of learning). Even with these enormous variables, the Bible unforlds in an orderly fashion from beginning to end and exhibits one theme throughout: redemption. God, who made us intellectual beings, has given us enough logic in these facts alone to trust the Scriptures as His words, not man's, given for our highest good.

Handling life in all its complexities and chnages is difficult. While youth looks for a magic day when they will have conguered the difficulties of life one way or another, maturity is recognizing that this life never does become easy. Greater maturity is the joyful discovery that we can take the hand of God to walk through life, and that fiath in Him can lift us above the circumstances, as so beautifully depicted in Isaiah 40:31 ("But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.") But our hand only reaches God's as we hear and embrace His words to us in the Bible. As we receive and trust God's word, He leads us to teh spiritual health and freedom that brings rest amidst any of life's circumstances.

This is news worth celebrating! The Psalmist wrote, "I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." (Psalm 119:16, 32). In our second study on Reasons to Celebrate, we will look at the wonderful gift of God's word.

1. What is the result of looking for understanding about God and life apart from the Bible?

2. Read Psalm 19:7-11. What adjectives or phrases describe God's word (or laws) and the benefits of embracing godly principles?

3. How does Psalm 33:6-9 describe the power of God's word?

4.a. Chapter 1 of John describes Jesus Christ as the "Word" of God incarnate. What do the following verses tell us about Jesus?

John 1:1, 3, 14

b. What does Colossians 1:16-17 add to this description of Christ?

5. According to Jesus' parable in Matthew 13:18-23 (cf. 13:3-8), what can keep God's word from taking root in our lives?

6.a. How do the following verses describe the response to God's word that brings the greatest blessing?

1 Thessalonians 2:13

Psalm 119:11,97 (Deuteronomy 6:6-8)

b. What other decisions do the Scriptures encourage us to make regarding God's word?

Psalm 119:36:37

Psalm 119:127-128

Psalm 130:5

7. What do the following verses declare about God's word?

Psalm 111:7-8

Psalm 119:89, 152, 160

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Hebrews 4:12 (Psalm 119:96)

8.a. It is importatn tto remember that God has spoken to us in His word primarily to draw us to a loving relationship with Him. He knows that while knowledge of the Bible is valuable, it is no substitute for intimacy with the living Lord. The Psalmist trusted God's word because he knew God's character. List the attributes of God the Psalmist mentions that encrouage us to freely and frquently come to God as our very best friend.

Psalm 119:64a

Psalm 119:68a

Psalm 119:73a

Psalm 119:90

Psalm 119:114a

Psalm 119:132

Psalm 119:168b

b. The following verses capture the beauty of the Psalmist's relationship with the Lord displayed throughout Psalm 119. How would you describe this relationship?

Psalm 119:145-149

9. The more we comprehend God's gracious character, the more certain we become that His word is a gift to celebrate, a sure foundation upon which to build our lives. Summarize the benefits we will experience as we submit to God's way from a heart of trust.

Psalm 119:9,11

Psalm 119:29

Psalm 119:24, 105

Psalm 119:28, 50

Psalm 119:92-93

Psalm 119:32, 45

Psalm 119:165

Summary

10.a. The Bible has been called God's love letter to us. What is the primary purpose of God's word?

b. How does your perception of God's character affect your trust in His word? What about God's character makes you trust the Bible?

11.a. What decisions about God's word do you want to make on a daily basis and why?

b. What obstacles to God's word taking root in your life do you want to avoid?

12. What needs does God desire to meet in your life through His word? Why is the certainty of His word a reason to celebrate?

Lesson 2 Notes

Redemption. "The concept of redemption can only be fully understood by glimpsing the Biblical context of human beings held captive by the power of forces they cannot defeat. Only through intervention can that slavery be broken and freedom accomplished, often by paying a ransom. In the Old Testament, God intervened on behalf of Israel, taking the initiative in the great redemptive event from Egypt, the exodus (see Genesis 15:13-14; Exodus 1:11-14; 12:31-42; Psalm 105:23-39), where the goal was the enjoyment of life in the promised land. References in the Old Testament to redemption from sin point forward to the redemption from sin accomplished in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24; Colossians 1:13-14). Though in the human arena freedom can be purshased through money, no human being can break the bondage of anothe rhuman being to sin. No person can redeem another human being. We are all slaves to sin: Christ, however, paid the ransom with His blood, His death (Exodus 12:12-13; Leviticus 11, 14; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Timothy 2:6). The goal of our redemption is to enjoy freedom from the guilt and power of sin and to live a life of service that reflects our new standing (Romans 3:24; 6:7-22; Galatians 5:1, 13; 1 Peter 2:16). The goal will be fully achieved only at the resurrection on the last day (Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:14)." The NIV Topical Study Bible, pages 137-138, 1391.

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