Sunday, October 2, 2011

彼の足跡において In His Footprints

What He said and What He did. 「何を語り何を為したか」

That is what we find in the Bible.It is the story of what God said and what God did.  Also, it records what Man did or did not do with what He said and did.

The Bible is made up of 66 books, written by 40 authors and covering a time span of about 1,600 years.  

What we call the Old Testament was first written in Hebrew and then about 100 years before the Christian era, that was translated into the Greek language.  Greek is a very precise language that has not changed meaning of the words because the Greek that it was written in, is considered a dead language.

The authors of these books were kings, princes, poets and philosophers, prophets and statesmen.  Some were very well educated while others were unschooled farmers and fishermen.

The Old Testament (meaning covenant or promise) is made up of five books that deal with Law 律法; 12 that deal with history 歴史; 5 are poetical 詩歌and 17 deal with prophecy 預言.

The New Testament were grouped this way:
The Gospels 福音-4
History 歴史-1
Prophecy 預言-1
Epistles 書簡-21  (Paul-13 and General-8)

When you look at the wording of these books, we find that the New Testament quotes verses from the Old. (22 X in the Gospels +85 X in Hebrews + 245 X in Revelation =352 times.

Longest chapter=Psalm 119 (really too long to put in here--read it on your own.)
Shortest=John 11:35  Jesus Wept.

While it is not a book to sped thru, a famous preacher from a while ago said that the Bible could be read (at pulpit speed) in 78 hours. 

Look at 2 Peter 1:21  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2ペトロ 1:21 なぜなら、預言は決して人間の意志から出たものではなく、人々が聖霊に感じ、神によって語ったものだからである。
St Augustine once said: アウグスティヌスは言った: 
The New is in the Old contained, 古き中に新しきことが含まれる The Old is in the New explained. 古きことは新しきにおいて説明される。
The New is in the Old latent (dormant,waiting) 新しきは古きことに潜む、休み、待ち続けるTheOld is in the New (made obvious).古きは新しきにおいて明らかとされる)。

In short, the Bible is one Book with one history.  (His Story)

Why Study the Bible?
People might be in the Word but have a defeatist life: empty and powerless.  Why? Maybe they want and are looking for relationships in the wrong places and for the wrong reasons. They have a head knowledge but not a heart knowledge of Jesus.

They want to ACCUMULATE (Chishiki o chikuseki  知識を蓄積) knowledge: Got all the right answers, maybe even lead Bible studies.  Look to the wise information but do not apply what they know to life.  Analytical (logical) eye but not a humble heart-asking the Lord to transform their hearts/lives. They study Jesus but they don’t really want to know Him.

They come to the Bible with ARROGANCE (Gōman 傲慢): They enter the world of the Bible not to be transformed but to control.  They look for proof-text to support their misguided ideas. They look for ammunition for the battles of life.  They will need to learn how to allow God to shake them to their core and remake their broken hearts so they can recognize the true Enemy of their lives.

They might also be reading the Bible through all their BAGGAGE (Kako no keiken 過去の経験): Some feel that God is a “killjoy”, that He is not doing His job in bringing them happiness. They take verses out of context and develop a false teaching.  For example: “All that I need”… means to them, “all that I want.”

Because that person might have a bad image of their own father, then the Heavenly Father must be the same. If one would approach the Bible as The Living, active Book that it is, it would go well for us.  We need to savor the Word of God as a precious morsel from His Hand.  We will need to stop making God in our image and let Him make us in His.  Pray that the thirst that you have will not go away or be quenched in the mere hour or so you have each week.  

It is important to read the Book and not so much books about the Book.  The Bible can be understood and must be read by people of the Church.  Non-Christians in Uganda called us “The People of The Book.” Some of you might remember the Country Singer Johnny Cash.  He once said “the Bible sure does throw a lot of light on the commentaries.”

2 Peter 1:20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.
2ペトロ 1:20 聖書の預言はすべて、自分勝手に解釈すべきでないことを、まず第一に知るべきである。

Only God can complete you.  You can advance in your career…Fall in love…own a home, cars, and more…build a family…But NOTHING can make you whole like a relationship with God.

Next week, we shall start our walk through the Bible.  Start reading the Bible today.
If you are interested in getting one of three systems, contact Pastor Stan at ICCS.