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Doctrine Bible Study Why study doctrine? But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

Titus 2:1 It is important to understand God, because if we have a faulty view of God, then we will have a faulty view on how we should live. Week One: The Trinity Who is my God? Why should we study the doctrine of the Trinity? 1. love God with both heart and mind 2. nature- Triune (3 in 1). God thought it important enough to reveal it to us. 3. appreciate salvation 4. Christ's last words in John 13-17 Jesus explained it to the disciples. Helps us understand person and work of Jesus. 5. Cross enables us to share the unity and love that exists eternally between the Father and Son. It is important for each generation of Christians, particularly Christian leaders, to be able to lovingly and winsomely define and defend the doctrine of the trinity because no less is at stake than the issue of who God is. The secret things belong to the Lord our God. -Deuteronomy 29:29 -We must not try and fully comprehend the Trinity. What is the trinity? -The word trinity does not appear in Scripture. However, the One God who exists in three persons concept is found throughout Scripture. (p. 12) -The word trinity was first used by the Carthaginian theologian, Tertullian nearly 200 years after the resurrection of Christ (p. 12). Tertullian explained the Trinity, one in divine essence but distinguished in relationship as persons within the inner life of God himself. -To say that God exists as Trinity does not mean that there are three Gods, or that one God merely manifests himself as either Father, Son or Spirit on various occasions. Each member of the trinity is equally God, which means that each member shares divine attributes, such as eternality, omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. (p. 13) -The Trinity is one God, who eternally exists as three distinct persons-Father, Son and Spirit-who are each fully and equally God in eternal relation with each other. (p. 13) 1. There is only one true God. (p. 13) 2. The Father, Son and Spirit are equally declared throughout Scripture to be God. (p. 14) 3. Although they are one God, the Father, Son and Spirit are distinct persons. (p. 15) Father, Son, Spirit Trinity in Salvation (p. 23) (p. 29) Father- predestines (foreknowledge) Ephesians 1:4-13 Son- redeems through blood on cross. I Peter 1:2

Spirit- sealed by the Holy Spirit; makes us holy (set apart) Titus 3:4-6 Trinity in the Old Testament Concept of Trinity understood before Jesus in OT. Jewish rabbis interpretation of Genesis 1:1-2 Exodus 34:16-17 -person with name LORD -person; wants to relate -compassionate to hurting people -helpful -slow to anger -faithful (hesed) -dependable/truthful -forgiving -just (context of the golden calf) Trinity in the New Testament John 14:11, 16-17 John 1:1 (the Word was with God and was God), Luke 1:37 (Mary's conception), Matthew 3:16-17 (Baptism of Jesus; clearest pictures of Trinity) -Each person is doing something distinct. (Father speaking, Son being anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the Messiah and missionary). Matthew 28:19 (Great Commission) The Trinity in History -The Council of Nicaea (AD 325)- officially recognized the deity of Jesus -The Council of Constantinople (AD 381)- officially recognized the Holy Spirit -The Council of Chalcedon (AD 451)- officially recognized the hypostatic union (Jesus is one person with two natures, man and God) Errors in Understanding the Trinity Modalism- God is successively Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not simultaneously all three. The three are manifestations of the one true God. Arianism- Jesus was the highest created being. (This is the belief of Jehovah's Witnesses) Tritheism- plurality of the Godhead. Many churches mistakenly use these examples to explain the Trinity. Practical Implications of the Trinity 1. humble- reminds of the mystery. God can be known truly, he cannot be known fully 2. loving- love emanates from the Trinitarian community. 3. Worshipful- worship the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Spirit 4. Relational- face to face living just as God and Son were proverbially face to face in eternity past 5. unified and diverse- we are deeply connected as part of the body, yet we retain our own identity. 6. Submissive- Your will be done.

7. Joyful- Enjoy it simply for what it is. Your ultimate joy is to see them in joy.

Week Two: God Speaks -The doctrine of revelation is that despite sin, God still initiates a relationship by making himself known. (p. 38) -The opposite of revelation is speculation, whereby religions, spiritualities, and philosophies seek to discover who God is apart from God's self-revelation. (p. 38) -Revelation is all about getting to know God. Revelation culminates in mission in the same way that someone who has fallen deeply in love cannot stop talking about the

person that they enjoy and introducing him or her to everyone they know. (p. 38) How does God reveal himself? 1. General Revelationall people know God in a general way because he made himself known through creation, common grace and conscience. 2. A. Creation- Ps. 19:1,4, Isa. 6:3, Rom. 1:19-20, Ps. 104, Ps. 8:1, Rom. 2:14-15, Acts 14:17 1. -creation of the universe 2. -creation of the complex human body 3. B. Common Gracecommon grace is grace for all because Jesus reveals His love to all people, but not in a saving way. C.G includes water, food, sunshine, rain, air, etc. (Ps. 65:9, 104:14). Common grace allows for people not connected to Jesus to live somewhat decent moral lives. The result of common grace is that life as we experience is far better than would otherwise be possible if sinners were left to themselves. 4. C. Conscienceeveryone knows it is wrong to murder, lie, etc. We are aware of our original sin. The decision to ignore your conscience or listen to it only fully verifies the truth that God reveals Himself to us through a conscience. 5. 6. 7. Special Revelationa general revelation is not sufficient for salvation, so God bestows a special revelation to His elect. This is the faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. 8. -God continues to reveal himself today, and the primary way he reveals himself is through the divinely inspired, inerrant and authoritative Word of God called the Bible. What are the Scriptures? -Scripture is simply God speaking His truth to us in human words. -Written in 3 languages: Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic over a period of 1500 years, by more than 40 authors on 3 different continents. The Bible contains 66 separate books, 39 old, 27 new. -The Bible is the best selling book of all time. -There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible -There are 31,173 verses in the Bible -The original text did not have chapters and verses, and while chapters and verses are helpful, they are not necessarily authoritative. How is Jesus the hero of the Bible? -The Scriptures begin and end with the hero, God. The Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) portray Jesus as the hero of the Bible. See John 5:39-40. -Jesus in the N.T fulfills prophecy about Himself from the O.T. See Luke 24:44 -To correctly interpret Scripture, you must connect its verses, concepts and events to Jesus. -The O.T predicts the coming of Jesus and prepares His way. The N.T tells us the story of the life of Jesus in the four Gospels and the results of Jesus' life and ministry are written about in the Epistles. -The fulfillment of prophecy is something that is unique to Christianity, we see hundreds of prophecies fulfilled throughout Scripture ranging over hundreds of years. This shows God's sovereignty.

Who wrote the Bible? -Authors include kings, peasants, philosophers, fisherman, poets, statesmen, a doctor and scholars. -People who were providentially prepared by God and motivated by the Holy Spirit, were divinely used by God to write and record the divinely-inspired (God-breathed) Word of God. -Verbal Plenary Inspiration- (literally means the very words of the Bible every part of the Bible are God-breathed revelation), or in simpler terms, the Holy Spirit inspired not just the thought of Scripture but also the very details and exact words that were perfectly recorded for u as Scripture. (p. 48) This means that every word DOES matter. See Matt. 5:18, II Tim. 3:16-17, II Peter 1:19-21 What is the canon of Scripture? -The collection of books that the church has recognized as having divine authority in matters of faith and doctrine. -This collection of books is called the Bible. -In AD 397, in Carthage, the church recognized the canonical status of the N.T. The Church no more gave us the New Testament canon than Sir Isaac Newton gave us the force of gravity. God gave us gravity, by His work of creation, and similarly He gave us the New Testament canon, by inspiring the individual books that make it up. -J.I Packer The three criteria for a book being accepted as canon were: 1. Conformity to the rule of faith. Did the book conform to orthodox Christian truths? 2. Apostolicity- was the writer an apostle or directly related to an apostle? 3. Catholicity- did the book have widespread acceptance of churches everywhere?

Why were some books not accepted as Scripture? -Lost gospels like the Gospel of Thomas did not align with the 3 criteria for being accepted as canon. -Some books were legitimate heresies, but others are usable for historical content. -Books like Shepherd of Hermas fall short of canonical requirements, but are not heretical so they may be used as historical references. But they are not authoritative. Does Scripture contain errors or contradictions? -It can't. Because is the author of Scripture, it is perfect unlike every other uninspired writing and utterance. Inerrant- Scriptures are perfect, without error. (Psalm 12:6) (2 Timothy 3:16) -John Elder quote. (p. 60)- the Bible is reinforced by physical evidence as well. -Although Bible is inerrant, humans that read the Bible are not. (Romans 1:18-19; 1 Cor. 13:13) Can we trust that the Bible we have is God's Word? Yes, people argue that we cannot trust the Bible because we do not have the original copies. They don't say this about Plato, Homer or Caesar, we have fewer than ten copies which were made 1000 years after the fact?

Can Scripture be written today? -No. The Old Testament ended with the prophet Malachi promising that the next major event in redemptive history would be the coming of John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for Jesus. Likewise, the New Testament end with its final book, Revelation, telling us that no other books of the Bible are to be written after it and that we will again have silence until Jesus comes for the second time. -We are now in the church period, which is a period of waiting similar to the intertestament period when folks were waiting for John the Baptist, and we are now waiting for Christ's return. -The Bible also tells us that Jesus is God's final word to us. (Hebrews 1:1-2) -We have all we need for faith and godliness in the current Scriptures. (Revelation 22:18-19) -As far as further, non-canonical revelatation, we must not be skeptical or gullible; but test everything against Scripture. (I Thess. 5:20-21, I John 4:1) Why is Scripture authoritative? -Holy Scripture is God speaking. -Sola Scriptura- Nothing judges Scripture. Its authority is that in the inspired words we find how to connect with the forgiving and transforming power of the death and resurrection of Jesus. -The Bible is a living book of god authoritatively speaking as a perfect Father to children He dearly loves. Is the Bible sufficient or all I need for life with God? -Only the Bible teaches a complete Christian worldview that includes all we need to know about God. We will never know everything about God while on earth, and we don't need to. But we do know enough that we can be saved, live for Him and have proof to share with others. -Luke 16:29-31- story of the man in hell speaking with Abraham in heaven. Shows us that hearing Moses and the prophets will be more convincing than the rising of the dead. This shows us that Jesus was emphatically clear that the Scriptures alone are sufficient. Why are there different translations of Scripture? -The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek and some Aramaic, and not too many people were fluent in those languages, so reformers like Luther, Wycliffe and Tyndale risked and gave their lives to the cause of translating Scripture into languages more common. -The Bible is now available in 438 languages. -The English translations fall into 3 categories: 1. Word-for-word translations- ESV, NASB, KJV, NKJV 2. Thought-for-thought translations- NIV, NLT, CEV 3. Paraphrased translations The Message, AMP, TLB -While some translations are better than others, it is important to note that translations have different strengths and weaknesses, and that using multiple translations benefits a student of Scripture. How can we best interpret Scripture? Regular Bible reading is paramount. The very best way to interpret the bible is to read it. Read it carefully, prayerfully, and frequently.

-Also, the best way to interpret Scripture is by interpreting Scripture with Scripture. Five Questions To Ask When Reading Scripture: 1. What does the Scripture actually say? 2. What does the Scripture mean? 3. What timeless principle truths is this Scripture teaching that apply to God's people in all times and places? 4. How should I respond to what God has said? 5. What is the context of the Scripture that you are reading?

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How does our view of Scripture affect our lives? -Since God speaks to us through the Scriptures, we must listen to what it says, learn what it teaches and make every effort by the Holy Spirit's empowering grace to repent of our sin, renew our minds and redeem our lives. -We come to the Bible for transformation, not just information. -The Bible is the standard for all doctrine and teaching, faith and practice, life and holiness.