Bible Study

Bible Study

Starting Wednesday, March 20 at 6 p.m.
With Dr. Darrel R. Tenney

Starting Thursday, March 14 at 11 a.m.

"How much do you value God's word, the fellowship of church and obedience to Jesus Christ?" - Jude 1:24, 25

The theme of Hebrews is simple: Jesus Christ is superior to and pre-eminent over everyone and everything. His absolute supremacy overshadows all else and demands the worship and allegiance of every individual. With eternity at stake, how one responds to Jesus Christ is the most important decision a person will ever make.

The key question of all times is - who is Jesus Christ to me? It is not just about believing, it is also about receiving Christ on the throne of our lives.

Christianity is not a religion; it is a living relationship with Christ. Christianity is not about working to earn our way to heaven; it all about receiving what Christ has already done by shedding his blood for us on the cross. I am a charity case and the only way I get to go to Heaven is by receiving a full scholarship, paid for by Christ. Dr. J. Vernon McGee (Introduction to Hebrews)
"From Adam to Moses, through 2,500 years, and from Moses to Malachi, through 1,100 years, the prophets were speaking for God to man. But at the end of the 3,600 years their revelation of God was only partial. Then after a silence of 400 years, when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, and in that Son the revelation of God is perfect."

E. Schuyler English, Studies in The Epistle to the Hebrews: "The Epistle to the Hebrews, one of the most important books of the New Testament in that it contains some of the chief doctrines of the Christian faith, is as well, a book of infinite logic and great beauty. To read it is to breathe the atmosphere of Heaven itself. To study it is to partake of strong spiritual meat. To abide in its teachings is to be led from immaturity to maturity in the knowledge of Christian truth and of Christ Himself. It is to "go on unto perfection."

The Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that the Law was good, but that grace, under Christ, is better and that the glory that is coming is going to be the best. The Epistle to the Hebrews presents that which is better. The word "perfect" occurs 15 times (with cognate words). It is an epistle that encourages us and challenges us. "Let us" occurs 13 times, and "let" occurs five times."

The writer of Hebrews contrasts the Old Testament system of the law with the New Testament ministry of grace. He encouraged the early Jewish Christians, being persecuted, to pay attention to the great salvation they had received from the Lord. He warns them not to slip or drift away from the true gospel. Too many Christians today take the word of God for granted and neglect it. Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe, a well-known pastor and author states, "in my pastoral ministry, I have discovered that the neglect of the word of God and prayer, publicly and privately, is the cause of most spiritual drifting". It is very likely that you have seen this in your life or have seen it in the lives of others. I know from experience what happens in my summer garden when I neglect it. After planting and hoeing my vegetable garden can be beautiful with the plants growing and thriving. But, if I go on vacation and neglect it for even a short time I find when I come back it has weeds growing. These weeds rob the vegetable plants of nutrients, water, and maybe even sunlight. A neglected garden is rarely, if ever, a productive garden. The writer of Hebrews warns us that more spiritual problems in our life are caused by neglect than perhaps any other failure on our part. Please plan to join us at Chestnut on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. for 11 weeks starting Mar. 20 and ending May 29, for a study of Hebrews. Out of this study we will likely see a command to obey, an example to follow, a lesson to learn, or a sin to confess. We will strive to better learn how to apply Biblical truths to our lives today as we study and share together.

The title of this class, "Sharing the Bible," was chosen very deliberately, Mrs. McCormick says. She wanted to indicate that it will be more collaborative in nature, more open to sharing, less like a lecture and more like an open discussion. "Your interpretation is as good as mine." She wants people to come prepared to discuss what chord a particular passage strikes in their own mind, and to not be intimidated when it comes to sharing that with others. In spite of that, this is not like Small Groups. It is similar in nature but not quite the same. The biggest difference is that small groups are just that - small; limited to groups of no more than eight. There is no upper bound on the number of people being allowed to attend "Sharing the Bible," McCormick said. Some might question the choice of Jude as subject matter; it's one of the lesserknown books of the Bible. It's also short, only one chapter in length. McCormick said she wished she had a high-minded, intelligent-sounding reason, but the truth is she and the three couples who were exploring subject matter and who asked her to teach said, they figured they could finish that one on time. So it started almost as a joke. There is more to the story, though, both the story of Jude and the story of this class. McCormick has taught it before and is familiar with the subject matter. Further, she intends to use it as a quick way out of the gate to tell if you're going to like the way she leads a class. The real story is the first session will be on Jude. After that she will move on to James. Attend the first session and see how you like it. If you do, come back for James.

Jerry Lawson is co-coordinator and back-up teacher. Lawson also has led Sunday School many times and is well versed in the subject matter.

Class starts on Thursday, Mar. 14 at 11 a.m. and will meet weekly through the end of May. The time was chosen because when Chappy was leading Bible study, that was the time that worked for a majority of people, and attendance tended to be high. "Seemed to be a reasonably good time," she said. If participation warrants it, the class will pick back up again in September.

There will not be a book to purchase. Bring your Bible. Bring all your Bibles, all your different interpretations. "Even one word" that is different, she said, can change the meaning in a subtle or not-so-subtle way. "There is no wrong answer," she said. "I just don't see a wrong answer." McCormick has a long history with leading these types of classes, and concludes with "I have a passion for it. But I think I'll learn more than they will."