Life Group UPDATE
May 10 & 11, 2014 (Special BIBLE STUDY Edition)
Recommended Studies for Groups - On RightNow.Org
Recommended Studies for Group - Tullian Tchividjian
Recommended Studies for Groups - Jesus Revealed
Not on RightNow.Org? Let Me Know
RightNow encourages us to have as many church members sign up. Group Leaders, most of your are already on RightNow. If not, please email me. And also pass this Update along to your group with a word to encourage them to do the same.
Send me your email address and I will send an invitation to join via RightNow.Org. Then when the email comes, accept, visit the site, create a user ID and password and that's it.
BEACH BAPTISM Coming Up Sunday, June 8
What Does It Mean to Say the Bible Is "Inspired"?
All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (1 Timothy 3:16-17)
Inspired is a word we use with many shades of meaning today. We could say an artist's work was "inspired," or that we stepped on the scale and got "inspired" (yeah, right) to finally go on a diet. But that's not at all the meaning of the word in this passage.
Inspired is the English translation of the original Greek word that meant "God-breathed." That is, the original written text of our Bible, God directly revealed. It is not merely some "record of revelation," a favorite label of some with a low view of Scripture. It is revelation, not a record of it. Peter put it this way,
- 2 Peter 1 “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
So the written Scripture is itself a revelation from God, not the mere product of human endeavor. God prevented error from creeping in, even if the men themselves were fallible. Peter certainly made plenty of mistakes. If it were left up to his "human will," 1 & 2 Peter would have mistakes. But God prevented his humanness from corrupting His revelation.
Why does this matter?
Why does this matter? Some claim written Scripture is only a record of God's revelation, Jesus, the Word. That is, It is just a bunch of ancient documents written well-meaning humans, as if they were newspaper reporters covering Jesus' life. They did their best, but were prone to error because they were human. In some cases we are told that if you believe the Bible is without error, well, you are now worshiping the Bible and not the Word (Jesus). And you'll be prone to be too harsh with people, when you should be 50 shades of gray.
If you smell a rat your nose is working! Some want to distance the written word from what they call "the Word" of God, usually some vague reference to a cool, non-judgmental Jesus figure. But the Bible is a revelation from God, not just a record of it.
Sometimes even in evangelical circles, you will see a push to use only the Gospels in our doctrine or theology, especially on current cultural issues like homosexuality. Why? Probably because there were a lot of important topics Jesus never touched on by name, yet were addressed in the rest of the New Testament because the church faced them.
But it sounds cool to just say, "Jesus never spoke out about ______" as if He approved of it by dent of having not specifically addressed it in His brief 3 years.
But in 1 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul says that all of it has been breathed-out by God himself. It is not just inspired "in spots." We hold to Scripture's full (plenary) inspiration—which means that every word of the Old Testament is just as reliable and authoritative as any word in the New. And we dare not play one against the other.
TRANSFORMED by Rick Warren
All of our adult Life Groups will be aligning together this fall for our church wide spiritual growth campaign, Transformed! It's based on materials by pastor Rick Warren with the overall theme of how God wants to transform us (instead of our conforming) in Seven specific areas of life: spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, relational, financial, and vocational. That just about covers every facet where God wants you to "be transformed" according to Romans 12:2.
If you'd like to see Rick Warren's Transformed sermon series he preached it's free online. The sermons are NOT part of the group study, but what he preached each week in early 2014 for his own church to go along with it. It's great supplemental material.
The Transformed Participant Journal (leather bound)
This is the participant book every is encouraged to purchase and use. Just $12 each!
Study Outline & Discussion Guide
It has the study guide, discussion guide, a place for sermon notes....
Daily Devotional & Journal
....and wonderfully written daily devotionals to help reinforce the study and develop the spiritual discipline of a daily time in God's word and prayer.