Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, January 9, 2009

God's Relationship with Man Mirrors the Marriage Relationsihip

HBS Group – Genesis 1:27 (Continued)

Lesson Seven
It’s been a few weeks since we last met; so I want to welcome each of you back. June and I also wish each of you a Happy New Year.
Thank you for being here tonight and thank you for making Bible study a priority in your lives. When we put God first in our hearts and in our lives it does not go unnoticed. I pray this Bible study is a blessing to you all.
Here is a change for 2009 and beyond. I use the New American Standard Bible translation for my reading and for my Bible study. Therefore, the Bible verses I use in this class will come from the NASB. If I decide another verse captures the message I am teaching more suitably from another Bible translation, I will mark that Bible translation at the end of the verse being used. Otherwise, I won’t be placing (NASB) at the end of Bible verses. You may assume. I do this to aid you in your Bible study.
I recommend using a couple different Bible translations as you review these Bible lessons. This way you’ll get a better feel for the verse and you’ll see some differences when you compare the different translations. Now please don’t go out and purchase five different Bibles in order to do this. If you will visit Crosswalk.com, you will find multiple Bible translations and many other study tools available for free. No charge. There are also some fun things to be found there as well.
Well that’s enough of that. Let’s get into the Bible study.
In Lesson Six I introduced the importance of Bible study; and then I quickly reviewed several important topics we have covered since we began our Study of the Bible. We are using the book of Genesis as our “base of operations” so to speak, as we go out and explore various aspects and topics not just in the book of Genesis but throughout the Bible. I would like to follow up on that subject for just a bit as we lead off this first Bible lesson of 2009.
A Bible teacher I have come to know and trust once said, “Everyone out there has somebody only you and I can reach with the gospel message.” Isn’t that the truth? I remember my dear mother; she spent years on her knees in prayer asking the good Lord to bring us children to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. She never grew weary of putting the gospel message out there where we could hear it. My mother made sure we attended church regularly and she was right there beside us. She chose to live her life in a Christian manner ie. Always giving and always loving.
Looking back, I can see that now. But I couldn’t see it then. I was blind to it. All of me belonged to the world and “I fed at its trough” greedily. Then some time ago, a co- worker, who later became a friend, cared enough to share the gospel message with me. And over the course of a summer, with their help, I came to recognize the truth. I was dead in my sins, and living my life on the wrong side of salvation, despite what my church organization was teaching me. I admitted the truth. I am a sinner. God is right about me; and apart from Him I can do nothing to change this fact. I made a statement of faith. (See Romans 10:9).
How I got the message doesn’t matter to my dear mother. She is overjoyed to know I am saved; and her prayers have been answered.
This is why it is so important to not only know what is written in this Book, but we must also be able to communicate its truths to those who need to hear it.
In Paul’s letter to that little group of believers in Ephesus, he instructs them to not sit around waiting for the Lord to call them home. There is work to be done. Christianity is not a private club. We have a responsibility to bring the message of salvation, the gospel, to every ear that needs to hear it. (REF: 1 COR 15:1-4)
Romans 10:15 – “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Gospel means good news) of good things.”
Why is Paul talking about feet? Paul is using this analogy to make a very important point. In Paul’s day, there was no such thing as “beautiful feet.”
The roads back then were not paved, the roads were dusty, and they were unsanitary because the people would dump their waste onto the roads. There was no sanitation service, and no street cleaners. The people wore sandals or went barefoot. By the time a traveler had gone very far, their feet would become soiled. The feet were far from beautiful. When first arriving at a home, people would remove their sandals, and wash their feet prior to entering. If you were wealthy enough to afford a slave or two, one of these slaves would be assigned the task of washing the feet. This task was usually given to the lowliest of slaves. You see, no one wanted the job!
But, if someone came to your home bearing “good news” (The gospel), which Romans 10:15 indicates, the person receiving them would be thrilled to invite them into their home, dirty feet or not.
You my friends are the messengers of a glorious hope in a lost unbelieving world. And this is why God has left us here on earth.
We have been given this responsibility. Some would argue that it is the role of the church pastor/minister/priest to proclaim the gospel and then guide the lost to a right relationship with Christ Jesus.
Here is something to keep in mind, if you are in agreement with that concept. Lost people don’t attend church services. Lost people don’t even see the need to go to a church building. How then will they hear the gospel?
Paul writes, “But a natural man (Not a Spirit-filled man. Paul is referring to the unsaved individual) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are Spiritually appraised. 1 COR 2:14 God the Holy Spirit helps the believer interpret Scripture.
Bible study is comparing Scripture with Scripture. So, let’s look at other verses on this subject.
1 COR 1:18 – For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
John 14:17 – that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world (the unbelieving world) cannot receive, because it does not see Him, but you know Him because He (God the Holy Spirit) abides with you and will be in you.These verses make it so clear. A pagan cannot understand what is written in this Book. It is foolishness to him. It’s utter nonsense. Oh but we know different, or at least we should. The entire world needs to hear this message of hope. We deliver the gospel message when the opportunity presents itself. I do not believe we are to stand on the street corner and literally hit people over the head with our Bibles. But there will be instances where someone will approach you and they will ask this question, “Who is Jesus?” Don’t let that opportunity slip away. Give a care.
It’s true. We all have someone who needs to know they are lost in their unbelief. And as such, the Bible states they are an enemy of God.
James 4:4b – Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Let’s compare Scripture with Scripture.
Romans 8: 7 – because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God.
Romans 8:8 – and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
If you only reach one person this year with the gospel message, please know it will have been worth your time and your sacrifice.
As did my mother, I now pray continually for those members of my family and others who choose to resist the gospel message. I have not been able to reach them. Perhaps someone else can; this is my prayer; and this is why I teach.
And now let us once again return to Genesis 1:27.
The third teaching point I would like to introduce in regard to Genesis 1:27 has to do with why God created man in the first place. As we discussed in our last session, God created man, in His image, so that He could extend love and have love returned to Him.
Love is the very essence of any RELATIONSHIP whether it is between mankind and their Creator; between man and woman; father and son; or mother and daughter. The Apostle Paul writes in what is known as the Love Chapter: 1 COR 13:13But (Behold the underlying truth) now faith, hope, and love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
And again in Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit (what will be the visible evidence of our right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, 23: gentleness, self-control. Please note that the expression of love is listed first and foremost in the fruits of the Spirit. Love is listed first in this series because only from the position of love can the remaining fruits of the Spirit be manifested
(Or brought about).
We know now from our earlier studies that the invisible qualities God has given us, and which make up our personality, are the mind, the will, and the emotions. Love is a powerful emotion and the need for love is stressed over and over again throughout Scripture. Love is the reason the Son of God voluntarily surrendered His life for all His creation (For God so loved the world…).
Therefore, I believe this is why God has placed such emphasis on the marriage relationship.
God Created the Marriage Relationship
Genesis 1: 27 – God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him male and female He created them.
We are created in the image of God, given a will, so that we can choose to either be obedient or disobedient and the whole concept of this ideal agrees with the very attitude of marriage in the human relationship.
In other words, God has already had myriads angels. But the angels were never beings that He could fellowship with, or He could extend love and have that love returned unconditionally. But now He’s going to create mankind for the soul purpose, by giving him a will, and by man choosing to be obedient to his Creator, the Creator will have someone that He can fellowship with. God can extend love to His creation, for all eternity, and have that love returned.
As I see scripture, this is the primary reason for man being created in the first place. God wants a creature that He can love and then He will experience that love returned, again, unconditionally (or no strings attached).
Now, as I have said it is much like the marriage relationship. And we have been living in a time where marriage and the home are under ferocious satanic attack. And that’s all it is. But yet, if you’ll turn with me, and I want to use this verse for a twofold purpose, first to help our attitude concerning marriage and the home and the husband/wife relationship, but also to establish that this is the reason that man was put here in the first place; because these relationships (between man and his Creator and between husband and wife) are so much the same. Turn back with me, if you will, to Ephesians, Chapter Five. From my understanding of Scripture, and this particular portion of Scripture, I am of the mentality that if a marriage survives or doesn’t survive, the blame rests with the man. I believe the success or the failure of the home and marriage is primarily the man’s responsibility. Here in this passage Paul is dealing with this very thing – the marriage relationship.
Ephesians 5:21 – and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.The word “subject” in this verse in the Greek is Hupotasso (pronounced hoop-ot-as’-so, a verb) and it is a Greek military term meaning “to arrange (troop divisions) in a military fashion under a command of a leader. In non-military usage it is “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.”
So many husbands who only read their Bibles stop at this verse and order their wives to go get them something to drink or the man will order his wife to hurry up and make dinner while he carefully searches for the remote.
This is one of the problems you’ll encounter if you only read Scripture without studying it. Now, the word “subject”, as used in this verse, doesn’t mean that the wife is to be a slave or a step-and-fetch. It merely means that the woman recognizes that God has ordained that the man is to be the head of the home.
Now, he’s not to be a task master, or a slave master. But the man is simply given that place of authority. And before men develop a “big head” and immediately go on an ego trip, or in other words turn this into something God never intended, all we have to do is look at the succeeding verses. And what does the Word of God say?
Ephesians 5:22-23 - Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (This is the key to this verse.) 23. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.Not just of the soul and that’s what most of us have heard over the years – the salvation of the soul. And that’s all that too many spiritual people, theologians, concern themselves with. But what they’re missing is that God is just a concerned about our body. We’re going to have a new body someday, but until we do, it’s not just the salvation of the soul God is concerned with, but with the whole person – the body, the soul and the spirit. And in this verse he says he is the Savior of the body.
Ephesians 5:24 "Therefore as the church (the body of Christ) is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be (subject) to their own husbands in everything."
Now when you bring this in to that same relationship as the Church is to Christ and Christ is to the church, between the husband and the wife, there is no room for abuse of that authority or of the submission.
Everything is just so perfectly ordained, if we will just do it God’s way. Alright now pick up this thought in verse 25. And this is the verse that I use for putting the responsibility on the husband.
Ephesians 5:25a - "Husbands, love your wives,”
That is a commandment! God is speaking through the Apostle Paul. In case you have not heard this before, please understand when the LORD speaks He is not offering suggestions to us. This is a command from God. There are many such commands throughout the epistles of Paul. So then, we must begin to recognize this truth and look beyond the Ten in order to discover all the commands of God such as: “Pray without ceasing” – I THESSOLIANS 5:17; and “Pursue love” 1 COR 14:1. These are commands also.
The husband is to love his wife. And do you know what? The Scripture never commands the wife to love her husband. Never! Now, I know Peter says that mothers are to instruct their daughters on how to love their husbands, but that’s a far cry from commanding it. The reason is, and this is why I tie this in with Genesis chapter 1, just as surely as God put man on the scene with a will, that when God would extend His love and His Grace and blessings on this creature, God expected love returned.
Note: Bible Principle - If we truly love God, we will love what He loves. We will learn to disdain evil and thereby “reflect the image of God.”
God expects a response to His love. It’s the same way in the marriage relationship. I maintain that with rare exceptions, if the husband will truly love his wife, scripturally, as Christ loves the Church, then it automatically follows that the wife is going to respond to that love. If a woman doesn’t there is something wrong with her. Because God has created within the woman that responsiveness that when the man extends his love, she’s going to respond and you will have a happy relationship. It just can’t be otherwise.
But it all began back here when God created man and the whole concept is He’s going to give us a will. And God is going to give us the very best that He can give. And what does He expect in return? Obedience. That’s all He asks for.
Let’s also look at a verse in Galatians 5:13. We will see in this verse how this attitude we have towards one another has its roots in LOVE.
Galatians 5:13 – For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, (God's grace does not give us license to sin) but through love serve one another .
The Bible gives us the best definition of love. No, we are not speaking of sexual love which is more or less driven by desire; but rather it is “seeking another’s highest good.”
If you are seeking the other’s highest good, then Scripturally you are obeying the Lord’s command to “love one another.” (Yes, this is a commandment too).
Love is a verb. Love requires action on our part. Love is not expressed until it is freely given as a gift. The Bible is filled with God's expression of love towards us. Here are some examples of His love:
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love (love is a verb) towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
Now this next part is for the men in the group. Being directed by Scripture of course, I am of a mind that a man’s love for his wife should be so strong and so developed that he would give up his life for her.
1 John 4:16b – God is love, and the one who abides (who finds acceptable) in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Leviticus 19:18b – but you shall love your neighbor as yourself;
Love is a common “thread” found throughout the Bible starting with Genesis 1:1.
Now if you will, let’s come back to Genesis chapter 1, seeing that mankind was given dominion over all of creation, under God, naturally. And this is why God has given him the mind and the will and a set of emotions. So that as a created being he has all the capabilities for this dominion.
I don’t think any of us can really understand the tremendous intelligence and the perfection of this man, Adam. He had everything going for him. He was, for all practical purposes, immortal. He wouldn’t have had to die. He was made incorrupt. There wasn’t a corrupt cell in his body. Everything was put in place so that he could have lived forever. Now I say, "Could have". That was his potential.
But what did God also know? That he wouldn’t! But that’s beside the point. God puts him on the scene with that opportunity of living forever. He could have been the progenitor of a perfect race of beings. It was his potential.
Now then, in verse 27 we are introduced to a thought that a lot of people can’t quite comprehend. In fact, most people read right through this verse without understanding what they are actually reading.
And that is when God created Adam, within Adam, were both the male and the female. I didn’t make this up. Look what the next verse says.
Genesis 1:27 - "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (KJV)
We will explore this topic at our next we meeting.
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