Updated: Mar 20
Notes and Comments by Cameron Smiley
LESSON 1 (March 5, 2023)
Biblical knowledge is useful in the church when balanced by humility and love
The Narrow and Wide Gate
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt 7:13-14)
What is the right balance between Bible knowledge and a Spirit lead walk?
Knowledge puffs up, love builds up (1 Cor 8:1-3)
Godliness is always a "narrow road".
Does God expect us to study?
My grandmother said “If you don’t know the Bible it is like showing up to Heaven naked!”
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1Cor 13:8)
Be ready to give an answer
(1 Peter 3:15)
Teachers and Preachers
Do not go beyond what is written
(1 Cor 4:6)
Example: Proof texting is USING scripture to
justify your opinions or tradition.
Always seek to convey God's opinion.
Rightly handle the word of Truth
“Study to show yourself approved”KJV
(2 Tim 2:15)
Scripture a great inheritance
What advantage being a Jew? (Rom3:1)
He called them gods to whom the word of God came (John 10:35, Ps 82:6)
Salvation is from(via) the Jews (John 4:22)
Scripture tells us their story
…and ours as we are grafted in (Rom 11:17)
Scripture vs the WORD of God
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me (Jn 5:39)
Jesus IS the WORD - the Way, Truth, and the Life.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.(Jn 1:1-5)
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col 1:15-17)
Law and Prophets prophesy about Jesus (Lk 24:25-27) All Scripture is “about” HIM. Read, understand through this lens.
Gospels - Jesus fulfilled what was written
“according to the Scripture”. (1 Cor 15:3)
Word of God living and active…dividing soul and spirit (Heb 4:12) double edged sword (Rev 1:12-16)
Double edge? HS and written word always in agreement. "The sword of the Spirit".
The Bible: what is in it?
Law - The Torah means a "target”
The pentateuch - 5 books written by Moses
The “way” -Exodus 18:20
Jesus as "the way, the truth, the life"
The Way (Acts 24:14)
Commandments = the definition of sin
Rom 7:7, Rom 3:20, 3:31
We all sin so the LAW cannot be used to justify us before God…only Jesus.
Sacrificial system =symbolic atonement for sin
Eternal justification found in Jesus
(Rom 3:21-26, Heb 7:11)
Prophets - Major and minor
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, etc.
Daniel, Esther, Ruth, Song of Solomon, etc.
Gospels – good news, written that you might believe
Acts - Luke book 2
Early dynamics and spread of the gospel
Letters - the administration of God’s Grace
Revelation OF Jesus Christ
All scripture is God breathed and useful in our spiritual walk.
The Bible is a great inheritance and tells us who we are and who's we are.
The WORD of God IS Jesus but all Scripture points prophetically toward Him. This is the lens through which Scripture is best understood.
Let the Word dwell in your heart as light to your path and a lamp to your feet (Ps 119:105) but always look to Jesus for your justification before God.
LESSON 2 (March 12, 2023)
What does the scripture say, how do you read it? Luke 10:25, Matt 22:34
Base assumptions/bias (your world view?)
The biblical base assumption (Heb 11:6)
The assumption of "science"- systematic doubt
Goal of science is to disassemble, manipulate
and ideally control its subject.
Don't bring a hammer to art class
Socrates "To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom."
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.(1 Cor 13:12)
Our cultural lens
Western criticism vs Jewish mysticism
(Clinical Dissection vs Prophetic Pattern)
Gentile - Intellect assent
Jewish - lifestyle immersion
Our personal lens
Scripture vs my story (God’s unique Grace to ME)
The word is before you. (Rom 10:8)
Choose whom you will serve (Josh 24:15)
Your day is TODAY (Heb 4:7)
Jesus and the lens of relationship
Abraham called the friend of God (Is 41:8, Ja 2:23)
I no longer call you servants but friends (Jn 15:5)
Law (Scripture) and Faith in balance
a narrow road
Law is good if used properly (1 Tim 1:8)
All Scripture God breathed/useful (2 Tim 3:16)
Law in effect till all is fulfilled (Matt 5:18)
Written code cancelled, nailed to the cross (Col 2:14)
What was nailed to the cross? The power of the Law to condemn us. The definition of sin did not disappear.
Faith without works is dead (2:14-26)
Be holy because I am holy (1Pet 1:15-16)
Word of God is your mirror , not other people, their opinions, expectation (or even yours).
The Word (“perfect Law”) (James 1:22ff)
You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free (Jn 8:31-32)
Truth – Justification found in Jesus
What do I have to offer?
The body of Christ has many parts (1 Cor 12:12-27)
One has knowledge, another has wisdom, another has compassion. ALL add value.
Live up to what you have. (Phil 3:7-12)
Parable of the talents. (Matt 25:14-30)
The Bible may be inerrant but are you? (The narrow road)
Scripture is many things
Window into the politics of Heaven
My measure of Grace/Faith
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Eph 4:7)
We each have a perception capacity, an “ear”.
“To him who has an ear let him hear”
Parables, what the Spirit says to the
churches (7 churches in Rev)your doctrine
vs my conclusion
vs I don’t know YET
Lean not on you own understanding (Pr 3:5,6)
Does that mean we stop trying? No
Respect the sacrifice of those who came before
Be open to illuminaion by the Holy Spirit
Be humble – Phil 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.
My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts.(1 Cor 4:4)
The Role of Love
What to teach vs what to tolerate (The narrow road)
NEWS FLASH! We don’t always agree. Church traditions are not always biblically supported(baptizing for the dead? 1 Cor 15:29)
BUT Jesus wants us to be “one” and love one another.
Is this “doctrine”(IMO) just misguided or fatal? We are all imperfect in behavior AND doctrine.
Interesting prophesy about the “ age of the gentiles” “A people without understanding” (Rom 10:19, Dt 32:21)
Not all should be teachers (James 3:1) but all are called to “give a answer for the hope you have”.
Have an answer for your hope
Don’t go beyond what is written
Rightly divide the Word (doctrine)
Not all teach but all have something to offer
Maintain “sound doctrine” without
disrupting the unity and love of the