[Thought questions for Disciples and Scripture January 1, 2014]
1. Jesus and the Bible. Notice the caution built into the memory text. “Search the Scriptures;” it says, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39). Read verse 40 of John 5 as well. Does the Bible bring us eternal life? If not, what is our only source of eternal life? Does the Bible play a critical role in our obtaining eternal life? What is that role?
2. The Authority of Scripture. Without the testimony of Scriptures in His ministry on earth, could Jesus have been able to help us fully understand salvation? What about the time before Jesus life on earth? What did God provide as teaching tools before the complete Scriptures as we know them today were available? Why do so many people consider the flood, creation, and the resurrection of Christ to be nothing but myths? What would you do if you couldn’t obtain access to the Bible?
3. Public Proclamation. How was Jesus’ view of Scripture different from that of the Israelites attending the synagogues when He came to earth? What problems surface when we spend too much time looking in the Bible for rules and standards for behavior? Or is that the primary purpose of the Bible? How can God know our inner feelings, our thoughts, our sinful inclinations and still come to us “with tender compassion”? How is God’s attitude towards us sinners radically different from our attitude towards the sinners around us?
4. Personal Ministry. Does your church or congregation have a “personal ministries” department? As a member or regular visitor of your local Adventist church, do you have your own personal ministry in addition to supporting the organized work of the local church? Should you? Your lesson guide states that Jesus opened His ministry with teachings from the Old Testament. Why? Can we do more than we are doing to share the Bible with others? Should we start with passages of Scripture that are more familiar to all in our hearing? Or should we delve in deeply to reveal the mysteries of the Word?
5. The Next Generation. Following the example of Jesus, what should our attitude be towards the Scriptures? The lesson guide states, “Scripture touched every facet of the life of the early church.” Does it today? What about our own ideas and experiences? Aren’t they just as important in giving the church a sense of direction? How can you and I experience the thrill of reading and praying for understanding of the Word of God? Do we open the pages of your Bible with a sense of anticipation? Or do we rush through the passages we read without helping ourselves to the fruit of God waiting for us there?
6. In the New Year. What plans do you have for the Bible and you in 2014?