Sat 16/3/19

1 Corinthians 15:35-58 … PAUL UNVEILS GOD’S PLAN OF TRIUMPH FOR THE SAINTS.

Q.1. What common question about the afterlife does Paul address? How do the heavens and earth declare the principle of resurrection? How does this apply to fallen humanity? – (1 Cor.15:35-44) =

Q.2. What point is Paul making about the first & last Adam and the first and second man? How are we connected to these two types? Why is it vital to be in Christ? – (1 Cor.15:42-50) =

Q.3. Is death the end of all hope? Will everyone die before the resurrection? How complete is God’s plan of salvation? Through Whom does this victory come? What difference should this make? – (1 Cor.15:50-58) =

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;[a] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[b] also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Mystery and Victory

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What common question about the afterlife does Paul address? How do the heavens and earth declare the principle of resurrection? How does this apply to fallen humanity? – (1 Cor.15:35-44) = The Bible does not avoid the difficult questions about life and death. Here Paul discusses – … How the dead are raised, and with what kind of body they come? (1 Cor.15:35). Paul asserts that the confusion arises because people do not stop to consider the natural order all around them. He points out – 36 …That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else (1 Cor.15:36-37). He claims that God has built the principle of resurrection into all of creation, from animal and plant life all the way to the heavenly bodies (1 Cor.15:38-41). The body that is planted and dies, is vastly different from the body that follows, in both substance and glory and – God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own (1 Cor.15:38).

Q.2. What point is Paul making about the first & last Adam and the first and second man? How are we connected to these two types? Why is it vital to be in Christ? – (1 Cor.15:42-50) = We all come from Adam and are therefore under the curse of death, so we are natural and perishable … sown in dishonour and weakness. However, for those related to the last Adam, Jesus Christ, we will be raised with a spiritual body that is imperishable … raised in glory and power (1 Cor.15:42-44). He shares the thrilling truth on which our hope is built, that – …The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Cor.15:45). There is a divine order (1 Cor.15:20-23) in which the natural gives way to the spiritual (1 Cor.15:46-49). He confidently reminds believers – Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Cor.15:49). However, it is a fact – … that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable (1 Cor.15:50). That is why Jesus told the learned rabbi Nicodemus – You must be born again (Jn.3:3 &5).

Q.3. Is death the end of all hope? Will everyone die before the resurrection? How complete is God’s plan of salvation? Through Whom does this victory come? What difference should this make? – (1 Cor.15:50-58) = Paul unveils the mystery of the resurrection, and rapture of all believers, both the living and the dead. This is in line with his teaching to the Thessalonian Church – 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Cor.15:51-52 c.f. 1 Thes.4:13-17). The bodies of all believers will then be changed into imperishable and immortal bodies as – Death is swallowed up in victory (1 Cor.15:54). Death’s curse will be forever banished for believers (1 Cor.15:55-56). With the apostle we proclaim – thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor.15:57). Until that day, the foundation has been laid so we can faithfully serve the Saviour and – be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor.15:58).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

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Fri 15/3/19

Isaiah 61:1-11 … GOD LAYS THE FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE BLESSING ON HIS PEOPLE.

Q.1. How did Jesus apply this Scripture to declare that He was the promised Messiah? Has all this prophecy been fulfilled? What does this passage mean to you? – (Isa.61:1-3 c.f. Lk.4:16-21) =

Q.2. . How would these promises encourage the soon to be exiled Israelites? Does God make His purpose for chastening clear? What promises does God make to His people? – (Isa.61:4-9) =

Q.3 What change will God bring to His people? On what basis will God achieve this? How certain is God’s promise to the nation of Israel – (Isa.61:10-11) =

The Year of the Lord‘s Favor

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;[a]
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[b]
to proclaim the year of the Lord‘s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.[c]
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
    they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
    the devastations of many generations.

Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;
    foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
but you shall be called the priests of the Lord;
    they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
    and in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;
    instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;
therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;
    they shall have everlasting joy.

For I the Lord love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrong;[d]
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
    and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their offspring shall be known among the nations,
    and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge them,
    that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
    my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
    to sprout up before all the nations.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How did Jesus apply this Scripture to declare that He was the promised Messiah? Has all this prophecy been fulfilled? What does this passage mean to you? – (Isa.61:1-3 c.f. Lk.4:16-21) = Isaiah was aware that he was delivering Good News of deliverance and restoration to Israel (Isa.61:1). However, before this, there would be – the day of vengeance of our God (Isa.61:2). As we so often discover, these prophecies looked to a future fulfilment, and we are not left to wonder Who it applied to and when. It was Jesus who opened this portion of scripture as He returned to Nazareth and began His ministry … and applied it to Himself (Lk.4:16-17, 21). However, He stopped mid-sentence with that part which was yet future – the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called the oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified (Is.61:2-3). That will not occur until after the Great Tribulation, and the comfort will come for Israel after that. The opening verses hold the secret of evangelism. Though Jesus would give His life for the whole world, His salvation is relevant for those who see their need – The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners (Isa.61:1). This scripture has taught me to look for, and be sensitive to the needy (i.e. afflicted, broken-hearted, captives, prisoners, & mourners). The further and faster we move into the Last Days, there will be more people that are bruised and broken.

Q.2. How would these promises encourage the soon to be exiled Israelites? Does God make His purpose for chastening clear? What promises does God make to His people? – (Isa.61:4-9) = Judah was facing devastation and exile. God’s vengeance would be poured out on Israel. Yet they were given a message of hope, when – … they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified (Isa.61:3). God was promising a bright future for His people and – Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs (Isa.61:7). Though – I will faithfully give them their recompense … He would – make an everlasting covenant with them (Isa.61:8). So His chastening was to bring permanent renewal and restoration. They will then be known as a special people among all the nations (Isa.61:9 c.f. Zech.8:22-23). PERSONAL TESTIMONY: God called me into the ministry from Luke 4:14-19 back in March, 1965. Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 61 and I have come to realize that it is almost a blue print for my ministry life including Prospect/Oakden Baptist Church, Adelaide College of Ministries, and Cedar College. It started when God touched us to go door-knocking the community back in May, 1977 which we continued till 1995 as we prepared to relocate to Northgate and establish Cedar College. It has included training and developing faithful men & women to spread the gospel with over 250 graduates serving in 11 countries as missionaries, pastors, and ministry leaders in local churches. Truly – 4 they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. 5 Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. 6 But you will be called the priests of the Lord; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God (Isa.61:4-6 c.f. Isa.58:11-12). All praise to the Lord!

Q.3 What change will God bring to His people? On what basis will God achieve this? How certain is God’s promise to the nation of Israel? – (Isa.61:10-11) = Isaiah presented a picture of a transformed people and exclaimed – I will rejoice greatly in the Lord. My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness.  As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isa.61:10). This is entirely the doing of the Lord and is guaranteed to happen just – as the earth brings forth and sprouts, and as a garden causes all things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all nations (Isa.61:11 c.f. 1 Cor.1:30). It will come to pass just as the seasons come and go, and the earth brings forth life (c.f. Gen.8:22).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Thurs 14/3/19

Proverbs 8:32-36 … SOLOMON CONTRAST TWO APPROACHES TO GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS.

Q.1. On what basis will God bless people? What attitude should we cultivate to God’s Word? How great are the benefits of heeding God’s principles? What is the end of those that reject His ways? – (Prov.8:32-36)

“And now, O sons, listen to me:
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. On what basis will God bless people? What attitude should we cultivate to God’s Word? How great are the benefits of heeding God’s principles? What is the end of those that reject His ways? – (Prov.8:32-36) = Our nation is overcome by vice, gambling, drugs, and alcohol abuse. The cry of our leaders is that we need more education. They fail to acknowledge that these problems occur when we remove God from life’s equation. Our problems are sin related, and require a heart change. It isn’t what you know or can write in exams or a thesis. It’s all about how you respond to God’s truth. The blessing comes from heeding and living it out. He pleads – 32 Now therefore, O sons, LISTEN to me, for blessed are they who KEEP my ways. 33 “HEED instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it (Prov.8:32-33). Solomon wanted his sons to passionately seek God daily (Prov.8:34). He promised that God would reward them with His favour – For he who finds me finds life and obtains favour from the Lord (Prov.8:35). He also makes it clear that to disregard God’s way would lead to ruin and death for – he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death (Prov.8:36). Our society pays a high price for rejecting the living God.


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Wed 13/3/19

1 Samuel 12:1-25 … SAMUEL LAYS THE FOUNDATION FOR THE SUCCESS OF ISRAEL IN FUTURE.

Q.1. How did Samuel want the people to remember his priestly service? What point was he making by tracing the history of Israel? Where did he get his facts from? Was God faithful to His people? – (1 Sam.12:1-11) =

Q.2. Who was to be Israel’s king? What options did Samuel place before the nation? How was Samuel’s explanation confirmed to Israel? What impact did the sign have on the people? – (1 Sam.12:12-18) =

Q.3. How great was the impact of the thunder and rain? What promise did God pass on through Samuel? What did Samuel to resolve to do for the people? What was his final challenge? – 1 Sam.12:19-25)

Samuel’s Farewell Address

12 And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me[a] and I will restore it to you.” They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” And he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

And Samuel said to the people, “The Lord is witness,[b] who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the Lordconcerning all the righteous deeds of the Lord that he performed for you and for your fathers. When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them,[c] then your fathers cried out to the Lord and the Lordsent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. But they forgot the Lord their God. And he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor,[d]and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them. 10 And they cried out to the Lordand said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.’ 11 And the Lord sent Jerubbaal and Barak[e] and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety. 12 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the Lord your God was your king. 13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. 15 But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king.[f]16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the Lord, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for yourselves a king.” 18 So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lordyour God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. On what basis will God bless people? What attitude should we cultivate to God’s Word? How great are the benefits of heeding God’s principles? What is the end of those that reject His ways? – (Prov.8:32-36) = Our nation is overcome by vice, gambling, drugs, and alcohol abuse. The cry of our leaders is that we need more education. They fail to acknowledge that these problems occur when we remove God from life’s equation. Our problems are sin related, and require a heart change. It isn’t what you know or can write in exams or a thesis. It’s all about how you respond to God’s truth. The blessing comes from heeding and living it out. He pleads – 32 Now therefore, O sons, LISTEN to me, for blessed are they who KEEP my ways. 33 “HEED instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it (Prov.8:32-33). Solomon wanted his sons to passionately seek God daily (Prov.8:34). He promised that God would reward them with His favour – For he who finds me finds life and obtains favour from the Lord (Prov.8:35). He also makes it clear that to disregard God’s way would lead to ruin and death for – he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death (Prov.8:36). Our society pays a high price for rejecting the living God.


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Tues 12/3/19

Exodus 4:1-31 … GOD EQUIPS MOSES FOR SERVICE TO CONFIRM HIS CALL TO ISRAEL.

Q.1. How did God address Moses’ fear of rejection? What were his miraculous powers to prove? How did God answer his other objections? What would his new relationship be to Aaron? – (Ex.4:1-17) =

Q.2. How did Moses prepare for his journey? When did God next speak to Moses? Would the mission of Moses meet with success? What message was Moses to give Pharaoh? – (Ex.4:18-23) =

Q.3. Why would God take the drastic step of killing Moses? Where did Aaron meet Moses? How did the meeting go? What was their meeting like with the elders of Israel? How did they respond? – (Ex.4:24-31) =

Moses Given Powerful Signs

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Again, the Lordsaid to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.”[a] And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous[b]like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18 Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son,23 and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”

24 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’[c] feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.

27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him to speak, and all the signs that he had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. 30 Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How did God address Moses’ fear of rejection? What were his miraculous powers to prove? How did God answer his other objections? What would his new relationship be to Aaron? – (Ex.4:1-17) = Moses had good reason to fear that his attempts to rescue his people would be rejected as they were 40 years earlier (Ex.4:1 c.f. Ex.2:13-14). God therefore gave him some special signs to confirm his divine call for him to lead them: (i) God turned his staff into a serpent. It was so realistic that Moses fled from it (Ex.4:2-4). (ii) He made the hand of Moses leprous, and then restored it again (Ex.4:6-8). (iii) He gave him the ability to turn water from the Nile into blood on the ground (Ex.4:9). All these were given – that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you (Ex.4:5). Moses then argued with God about his lack of eloquence, to which God replied – 11 … “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” (Ex.4:11-12). God was reminding Moses that He knew what He was doing! However, Moses still resisted and asked that someone other than him could take the message to the Hebrews (Ex.4:13). To this God responded with anger because of his stubbornness, and agreed to let him work in tandem with his brother Aaron (Ex.4:14). Far from changing His call, God commanded – 15 You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do. 16 Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him (Ex.4:15-16). Moses was to direct his older brother. The call of Moses underscores God’s tendency to choose the most unlikely candidates to serve Him, thus  highlighting His glory and grace (c.f. 1 Cor.1:18-31).

Q.2. How did Moses prepare for his journey? When did God next speak to Moses? Would the mission of Moses meet with success? What message was Moses to give Pharaoh? – (Ex.4:18-23) = Moses had served Jethro for forty years after fleeing Pharaoh. Though God had called him and assured him he would be safe, he still sought his father-in-law’s blessing before leaving (Ex.4:18-19). It was when he took his wife and sons on the journey that God gave him further details about his difficult mission – … When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go (Ex.4:21). However, God told Moses what he should say to Pharaoh – 22 … `Thus says the Lord, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I said to you, `Let My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.” (Ex.4:22-23). This would get the undivided attention of Pharaoh, and ensure there would be a confrontation that would enable God to reveal His power to His people, the Egyptians, and the surrounding nations.

Q.3. Why would God take the drastic step of killing Moses? Where did Aaron meet Moses? How did the meeting go? What was their meeting like with the elders of Israel? How did they respond? – (Ex.4:24-31) = There was a serious problem with the obedience of Moses which had to be rectified, so he would be fit to serve. It seems that Zipporah was not happy to have her son circumcised – the sign of God’s covenant people. Moses was not only to be God’s mouthpiece to His people, but also a model of what he taught. Amazingly, it is recorded – 24 Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 So He let him alone. The rescue mission would have failed before it started, if Moses had not persuaded Zipporah to obey. Moses then proceeded to the mountain of God where he met up with Aaron (Ex.4:27). The initial response by Israel to the dramatic signs was belief, and we read – So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped (Ex.4:31). However, increased trials would soon test the reality of the people’s faith.


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Mon 11/3/19

Matthew 26:69-75 & 27:1-10 … JESUS IS DISOWNED AND BETRAYED BY TWO OF HIS TWELVE APOSTLES.

Q.1. Who challenged Peter’s connection to Jesus? Why? How strongly did Peter deny knowing Jesus? What made Peter deny Jesus? How was his failure driven home? How did Peter react? – (Mt.26:69-75) =

Q.2. Why did the Sanhedrin take Jesus to Herod? How did Judas try to atone for his betrayal? What did he do? Why did the chief priests refuse to take the betrayal money? What did they do? Why? – (Mt.27:1-10) =

Peter Denies Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.”71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Delivered to Pilate

27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.

Judas Hangs Himself

Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[a] was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Who challenged Peter’s connection to Jesus? Why? How strongly did Peter deny knowing Jesus? What made Peter deny Jesus? How was his failure driven home? How did Peter react? – (Mt.26:69-75) = The Bible doesn’t pull any punches, and exposes the truth about the heroes of the faith. At least two of the people to challenge Peter about his relationship with Jesus were servant-girls. When he vehemently denied it, a bystander commented – even the way you talk gives you away (Mt.26:73). How could he deny with an oath – I do not know the man (Mt.26:72). To understand his actions, we need to understand his expectations. Peter was a child of his day and had a clear bias toward the Anointed One being a Messiah ben David (Reigning Ruler), rather than a Messiah ben Joseph (Suffering Servant). It was inconceivable to him that One with such power would meekly submit Himself to the cross. He had much to learn about the nature and character of God. In spite of the warnings from Jesus, the events of the last day were incomprehensible to Peter. The lesson for us is to make sure our expectations line up with God’s. He was spiralling out of control, and his third denial was the outcome (Mt.26:73-74). Then he heard the cock crow – and Peter remembered the word Jesus had said – ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny three times that you know Me’ (Mt.26:75). Peter was broken and confused with his failure – and he went out and wept bitterly (Mt.26:75).

Q.2. Why did the Sanhedrin take Jesus to Herod? How did Judas try to atone for his betrayal? What did he do? Why did the chief priests refuse to take the betrayal money? What did they do? Why? – (Mt.27:1-10) = Though the Sanhedrin had decided that the blasphemy of Jesus in claiming to be God deserved a death sentence, they had no authority to make it a reality (Mt.27:1 c.f. Jn.18:31). They sought for that authority from King Herod, and eventually the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. Matthew then relates the story of the remorse of Judas, and his attempt to – … return the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”… (Mt.27:3-4). Judas isn’t the first person to realize that no amount of monetary gain is worth betraying a friend. This would have been accentuated by the perfect way Jesus had loved him – 1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him (Jn.13:1-2). However, the chief priest refused to take it back so – he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself (Mt.27:5). Though the chief priest would happily condemn an innocent man, he wouldn’t take the silver, since it was ‘blood-money’ (Mt.27:6). They used it to buy the Potter’s Field as a burial place for paupers. Thus they fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 11:12-13.


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Sat 9/3/19

1 Corinthians 15:12-34 … PAUL ADDRESSES DANGERS OF DENYING THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION.

Q.1. What false gospel did some of the Corinthians hold to? How does Paul further refute their arguments? What was wrong with their view of the gospel? Why was their teaching so depressing? – (1 Cor.15:12-19) =

Q.2. What does Paul mean by his reference to the ‘first fruits’? Why is the resurrection crucial? What does Paul unveil about future events? What will happen after death has been abolished? – (1 Cor.15:20-28) =

Q.3. What other groundless tradition did the Corinthians practice? Why does the resurrection make sacrificial service worthwhile? Could the gospel of these Corinthians inspire holy living? – (1 Cor.15:29-34) =

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God[b] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”[c] 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What false gospel did some of the Corinthians hold to? How does Paul further refute their arguments? What was wrong with their view of the gospel? Why was their teaching so depressing? – (1 Cor.15:12-19) = It becomes apparent why Paul had recorded the witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (c.f. 1 Cor.15:1-11). Some of the Corinthians preached a ‘gospel’ that claimed – that there is no resurrection from the dead (1 Cor.15:12 c.f. Gal.1:6-9). Paul went on to examine what their heresy meant. He argued that, if there is no resurrection, there is no life after death … and it follows: (i) Christ wasn’t raised either – 1 Cor.15:13. (ii) Christianity has no substance and is worthless – 1 Cor.15:14. (iii) Christian preachers are all liars – 1 Cor.15:15. (iv) Man’s obvious problem with sin has not been dealt with – 1 Cor.15:16-17. (v) The dead are lost forever – 1 Cor.15:18. (vi) Believers are utterly deluded – 1 Cor.15:19. Paul makes it clear that a gospel without a resurrection is no gospel at all.

Q.2. What does Paul mean by his reference to the ‘first fruits’? Why is the resurrection crucial? What does Paul unveil about future events? What will happen after death has been abolished? – (1 Cor.15:20-28) = The seven festivals of Israel recorded in Leviticus chapter 23 have a New Covenant application. Christ died as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, at the time of the Passover (c.f. Jn.1:29; 18:28; 1 Cor.5:7). Paul also shared that – Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep (1 Cor.15:20 c.f. Lev.23:9-14). Whatever did he mean? The Festival of First Fruits was a sheaf offering made after the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was a faith offering, expressing the belief that there would be a harvest. This harvest offering took place seven weeks (on the 50th day = Greek: Pentecost) later on the day of Pentecost. The First fruits offering symbolized God’s promise to His people that here would be a harvest. In the N.T. Jesus rose 3 days after He died as the Passover Lamb. He was the guarantee that there would be other resurrections. This happened ‘when the day of Pentecost had fully come’ (Literally: been fulfilled), and God brought in a harvest of 3,000 souls (Acts 2:1, 37-41). Before the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, all sinners were under Adam’s curse of death (Rom.5:12-21). Paul explained – 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor.15:21-22). Since Christ rose, there is hope for all believers – each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Cor.15:23). He went on to unveil God’s eternal plan, that called for the incarnation of God’s Son. Christ’s role will continue until all God’s enemies are defeated, and then – When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all (1 Cor.15:28). God always planned to win!

Q.3. What other groundless tradition did the Corinthians practice? Why does the resurrection make sacrificial service worthwhile? Could the gospel of these Corinthians inspire holy living? – (1 Cor.15:29-34) = The Corinthians came up with the groundless tradition of baptizing for people who had died. Did Paul advocate baptizing a substitute believer in place of those that have died? Of course not!  Baptism must reflect a genuine surrender and faith in Christ, otherwise it is of no value. He used their false practice to highlight the stupidity of their reasoning. After all, why would you baptize for dead people if there is no resurrection? (1 Cor.15:29). He further reminded them of all the sacrifices he had made for the furtherance of the gospel, and argued that – If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised (1 Cor.15:32 c.f. 1 Cor.15:30-31). He then addressed the damage that a gospel without hope would have on their morality and holy living. We might just as well – eat and drink, for tomorrow we die (1 Cor.15:32). He warned the Corinthians to avoid such false teachers and added – Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor.15:33). Finally, he urged them to think about the consequences of this phony gospel, and to turn away from sin (1 Cor.15:34).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009