Canvey Methodist Church Bible Studies-10th May 2022

Canvey Methodist Church Bible Study - 10th May 2022

Psalm 148;

1 Praise the Lord.[a]. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. 2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars.

4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created,

6 and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away. 7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, 8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, 9 you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10 wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, 11 kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,  12 young men and women old men and children.13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendour is above the earth and the heavens.14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b] the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.

Footnote:

a Psalm 148:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 14

b Psalm 148:14 Horn here symbolizes strength. Symbol of messiah, of David’s anointing.

Comment:

Psalm 148 is a glorious psalm of praise. It is easy to see that praise is the theme. The command to praise the Lord is repeated nine times in the first five verses and twelve times in the entire psalm. The psalm falls into two sections:

1) In verses 1-6 the command is (148:1), “Praise the Lord from the heavens.”

2) In verses 7-14, the command is (148:7), “Praise the Lord from the earth.” Both main sections follow the same outline. First, there is the roster of everything and everyone that should praise the Lord, followed by the reasons to praise the Lord.

Verse 14 praises God for His grace. The horn refers to strength. If the psalm was written after the return from Babylon, on one level the horn refers to the new, secure city of Jerusalem. But prophetically, it looks ahead to the Messiah, to Jesus. As Luke 1:69 declares, the Lord God of Israel “has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant.”

“Praise” in the second line of verse 14 refers back to the horn. He is the object of our praise.

Questions:

1) Should Christians be environmentalists? To what extent?

2) Why is the doctrine of creation emphasized so often in the Psalms, which also emphasize praising God? What is the connection? How is God’s glory tied into His role as Creator?

3) What are some practical ways that we can carry out a  resolve to praise the Lord yet more and more?

John 13:31-35;

31 When he (Judas) was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified [b] and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him,[a] God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Footnotes

a John 13:32 Many early manuscripts do not have If God is glorified in him.

b John 13:31 to glorify -to give praise, honour, or distinction extended by common consent- to give worshipful praise, honour and thanksgiving.

Comment and Questions:

1. According to John 13:31 and 34 (printed below), when does Jesus give this commandment to love one another? What is significant about this?

After Judas had gone out, Jesus said, Now the Son of man shall be glorified, and God shall be glorified in him…(34) I give you a new commandment, Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another. (John 13:31,34)

Jesus gives this charge to His disciples after Judas has made his exit. The commandment expressed in verse 34 is exclusively given to Christians and is focusing upon that love which is to be exhibited by Christians for fellow-Christians.

2. In what way is Jesus’ commandment “a new commandment” in comparison to the Old Testament commandment found in Leviticus 19:18 (printed below?)

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am Jehovah. (Leviticus 19:18)

Jesus declares that this is “a new commandment”—in contrast to the Old Testament commandment recorded above in Leviticus 19:18.

This Old Testament commandment to love one’s neighbour is referring to a broad, all-inclusive, neighbourly love. It is a commandment that calls upon us to practice love towards all those in the community with whom we come into contact. It is a commandment that is patterned after our natural love for ourselves (note Matt 22:39  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] ).

This new commandment from Jesus is a little different. It is directed at the disciples to love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ

This is a more narrowly focused commandment that calls upon us to practice intentional love towards those who also believe in and follow Jesus.

(brothers for whom Christ died).

This is a commandment that is patterned after the divine love of Christ for His church (note John 13:34b. As I have loved you, so you must love one another).

3. Jesus then commands us, “Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another” (John 13:34).

What kind of love did Jesus exhibit for His disciples? Hint: What event occurred just prior to the giving of this commandment?

What type of love did Jesus exhibit toward His disciples?

It was a humble, serving love (the ministry of foot washing was an act of service). Just prior to issuing this command, and just prior to Jesus’ dramatic act of service (His washing of the disciples’ feet), these very disciples were arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greatest

(note Luke 22:24  A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest).

It was in this context that our Lord provided for His disciples a dramatic example of His teaching by taking upon Himself the humble task of washing the disciples’ feet.

Again, what type of love did Jesus demonstrate to His disciples? It was a sacrificial love (the foot washing was symbolic of His great ministry at Calvary).

Note, also, John 15:12-13.My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

5. What happens when Christians carry out Christ’s commandment to love one another? See John 13:35 (printed below)

All men shall know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)

Jesus informs us that the practice of the love He here commands will serve as a witness to the world. This Christian love expressed towards one another is the evidence which proclaims to the world that we are truly Christ’s disciples—because we are seen to be like our Lord: His character and His life are being reproduced in us.

This Christian love expressed within the church for one another as brothers in Christ is a demonstration to the world of the life of God and of life within the kingdom of God.

Acts11:1-8;

Peter Explains His Actions

11 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

Comments and Questions.

The news that non Jewish people were “receiving the word of God” spread throughout Judea, ahead of Peter's return to Jerusalem.

Why did the Jewish Christians Criticize Peter for this?

What can we learn from Peter's experience both in seeing God’s spirit in action as well as about receiving criticism?

Revelation 21:1-6;

A New Heaven and a New Earth

21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

 

Footnotes

a Revelation 21:1 Isaiah 65:17.(“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind).

b Revelation 21:4 Isaiah 25:8. (he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken).

 

Comments and Questions:

This is a vision of the fulfilment of the words of the Lord's Prayer, ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Almighty God, the beginning and the end of all things, the Word that brought everything into being, now speaks, completing the creative work by making “all things new” v5.

Idolatrous values and practices of a greedy and a violent world are swept away and the raging sea and waters of chaos are no more! Even death is overcome! In their place healing ‘water of life’ flows from the throne of God!

In short, God  speaks to “anyone who has an ear to listen”. 

This cosmic vision has its origin in Jesus. St Paul wrote prophetically

“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation”. 2 Corinthians 5:17;

In St John's cosmic vision, hope for the whole world depends on this.

 

Refs: https://bible.org, https://biblestudycourses.org,

https://www.bibleversestudy.com, Roots Resources,