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The Gospel Project - Session 12

Understanding How God Speaks 11/18/12
by

Shannon Combs

on 24 November 2012

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Transcript of The Gospel Project - Session 12

Understanding How God Speaks The Gospel Project
Session 12 To rightly understand God's Word, we need to understand how God communicated. Conclusion: 1. Interpreting historical narrative:
(Genesis 30: 1-6) Of all the genres of Scripture, prophecy is one of the most difficult to understand, interpret, and apply to our lives

When you hear someone in the media claim to know when Christ will return, what are your thoughts? 3. Interpreting prophecy:
(Joel 2: 28-32; Acts 2: 14-21) The letters (also called epistles) make up a major section in the New Testament.

Similar to a text that you might send to a friend or a group of friends, each letter has a particular author and audience. 4. Interpreting letters:
(Galatians 1:1-7) God's people were never meant to walk in the world alone.

When it comes to interpreting the Word of God, Jesus shows us how to correctly read the Scripture.

He delights in our seeing how everything (even the strange stories of the Old Testament) is designed to lead us to Him. FOUR GENRES OF SCRIPTURE:
historical narrative
wisdom literature
prophecy
letters By focusing on these four styles of writing, we can acquire the principles and guidelines needed to understand not only a particular passage of Scripture, but also how that passage fits into the overarching story of God's plan of redemption. 2. Interpreting wisdom literature:
(Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 26:4-5) When interpreting historical narrative, keep these principles in mind:

1. Context (what) and intent (why) are key.

2. Characters are not always heroes; authors are not always intending to present moral lessons.

3. God is the ultimate character of Scripture, and He is active in the lives of real people and in the events of history.

4. Scripture interprets Scripture.

5. Historical narrative describes, not prescribes. Taken out of context, what does this passage seem to allow? Abraham Samson Solomon Daniel Jonah John the Baptist Paul Rachel Immediate context:
the words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs immediately surrounding the biblical text

Remote context:
the chapters and sections surrounding the biblical text

Historical context:
the historical setting in which the biblical text was written How does knowing the context help us interpret and apply the individual story? Unlike the genre of historical narrative that purposes to tell a story, wisdom literature provides general truths about living in a way that honors God. "God helps those
who help themselves" "Spare the rod,
spoil the child" "God will not put more on us than we can bear" What are some proverbs that we live by culturally that aren't from the Bible even though some attribute them to the Bible? When interpreting wisdom literature, these are some principles to keep in mind:

1. Proverbs are general truths that are not to be interpreted as true all the time in every situation.

2. Wisdom literature incorporates poetry and figurative language.

3. Negative illustrations teach just as much as positive ones.

4. The psalms should be interpreted within their categories and subheadings.

5. God is involved in the nitty-gritty of everyday life. Job sheds light on the proper relationship between God and people

Psalms contains a variety of purposes: lament and petition, thanksgiving and praise, exaltation of the king, and expressions of trust

Song of Songs, when interpreted in the context of marriage, illustrates the beauty of intimacy shared between a husband and his bride...beauty that points forward to the relationship between Christ and His church

Ecclesiastes shows us by negative example how best to behave Read Deuteronomy 13: 1-5 and 18:21-22

According to these passages, what distinguishes a true prophet from a false prophet? When interpreting prophecy, these are some principles to keep in mind:

1. Seek to discover the original message of the prophet in his immediate context.

2. Expect figurative language.

3. Be aware of themes in prophecy, such as a call to the covenant, to social justice, and for faithfulness from the remnant of God's people.

4. Do not assume that all prophecy has been fulfilled.

5. Test modern-day prophesies against the truthfulness and coherency of Scripture. We can think of the prophets as preachers of their day, addressing issues of their day, who sometimes pointed to what God would do in the future as part of their message. How might something you say to one particular friend differ from the way you would tell the same info to another person?

What if you were describing a friend's party you went to.... how would your description differ if you were telling another friend, a teacher, or your boss? When interpreting letters, these are some principles to keep in mind:

1. Seek to discover who wrote the letter.

2. Seek to discover to whom it was written and why.

3. Investigate the historical context of the audience of the letter.

4. Consider the structure, sections, main points, and themes of the letter.

5. Determine whether the passage is culturally mandated. If so, seek to understand the principles behind the passage, and apply them to your own circumstances. In 1 Corinthians 11:6, Paul writes, "If a woman's head is not covered, her hair should be cut off." Does this mean that the women of our churches should wear hats to church every week or else shave their heads? What can you do to remember these truths as you read God's Word to help you properly interpret what is being said? Beginning with prayer and asking God to guide us is an extremely important part of studying the Bible. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" "When God shuts one door,
He opens a window" "God moves in mysterious ways..."
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