Bible 101 is the (somewhat belated, due to my procrastination) follow-up to our Doctrine 101 leadership studies. Despite (or perhaps because of) my various doubts and frustrations, I suspect this will be a useful time of wrestling with how traditional theology addresses various difficult issues — and there’s a good chance I’ll learn something I hadn’t realized I missed!
1. Read Romans 1.18-21.
What words in these verses especially point to the fact that God must desire to reveal Himself?
I’m not sure. Clearly, it shows that God did reveal Himself, and that we need Him to reveal Himself because we (as humans) tend to suppress rather than seek out truth. But I don’t see how that implies He must desire it (unless I misread the question).
What specific ways has God used to reveal Himself, according to these verses?
He uses Creation to reveal His “eternal power and divine nature.”
How does this passage make it clear that man receives God’s communication?
It says that it “is evident”, “clearly seen”, and “understood” — so that we have no excuse. This implies that the only reason it isn’t “obvious” is because we have “suppressed the truth in unrighteousness.”
2. Read Heb 2.1-4. To what specific revelation is the author referring in each of the following?
“What we have heard” (v. 1)
From Hebrews 1, I presume it is “the prophets” and “His Son” (Jesus), and by implication the Old Testament Scriptures.
“After it was at the first spoken through the Lord” (v. 3)
“It was confirmed to us” (v. 3)
Who are “those who heard”? (v. 3)
The disciples and other witnesses to Jesus life, death, and resurrection.
To what is v. 4 referring?
The Acts of the Apostles (and other early believers).
3. Read Eph 3.1-10.
Who are the prophets mentioned in v. 5?
I presume those active in the New Testament church, since the context is “now”.
To whom is the mystery of Christ being proclaimed?
In this context, to the Gentiles.
Through whom is it being made known?
I would assume the first meaning is Paul and Sosthenes in particular, and by extension all the others who were part of Paul’s ministry team(s).
However, in this passage the “we” seems to expand to include his hearers, and thus the whole church who have been ‘born of the Spirit.’
Read 1 Cor 2.16. Who is “we” in this verse?
We who have received and been taught by the Spirit.
What common emphasis about truth and revelation are these three passages (Heb 2.1-4; Eph 3.1-10; and 1 Cor 2)making?
- The initiative comes from God
- We must submit to it
- Only when we walk by the Spirit can we accurately receive God’s truth
5. Now look at 2 Pet 3.1-2. To what do the following refer?
‘The words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets”
The Old Testament Scriptures.
“The commandment of the Lord and Savior by your apostles”
The words of Jesus, as passed down by those who knew Him.
6. Read John 16.13-15. How do these verses establish the consistency of revelation?
- All truth comes by The Spirit.
- The Spirit only speaks what He hears from The Father.
- The Spirit’s purpose is to disclose and glorify The Son.
- The Son partakes of all things belonging to the Father
Basically, ever facet of revelation springs from One Godhead, and is thus intrinsically consistent.