May Adult Bible Study Series (Spring-Summer quarter)

The Spearsville Road Church of Christ will begin studying the Book of Proverbs for our Spring-Summer quarter.  Please come and join us on Sundays at 10:00 am., and study this extraordinary book full of wisdom.

Here is an excerpt of our study guide: 

Proverbs

1. What Are the Proverbs?

OT Category: Wisdom Literature

The book of Proverbs is included in the “wisdom literature” or poetry of the OT, along with Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. These books present an array of lessons on everyday life: from worship to work, from speech to suffering, from family to foolishness.

“Truth, beauty, and goodness are summed up in the all-important term wisdom, and all forms of evil (personal or national) are pictured as folly or disobedience to divine law” (Herman O. Wilson, Studies in Proverbs, p. 8).

“The wisdom which is honored throughout the book of Proverbs is a prudential and practical wisdom. It is equated with such terms as understanding, knowledge, instruction, truth, good counsel, discretion, righteousness, and the fear of Jehovah. Thus the ethical and moral sense of the term is emphasized far more than the intellectual or rational idea of wisdom. To the Hebrews it meant a life directed by God’s unchanging will and in harmony with his own character …

Even from a “common sense” standpoint, there are lessons to be learned by observing life. Some choices inevitably lead to trouble, such as overindulgence in alcohol or committing adultery. There is an observable connection between the action and the outcome. Ultimately, however, the principles that come from God steer us in the direction of health and well-being. The world rarely learns the lessons of history and often gives the wrong advice. We must go to God for His instruction in how to speak, act, socialize, prosper, handle the things of this world and serve Him.

“God is the source of all true wisdom, and God is also the object. Thus to know the statues or laws of God, and to bring one’s life into harmony with his will, was considered not only perfect wisdom but the whole duty of man. Religion, knowledge, right conduct – all these and more were summed up in the general term wisdom and, therefore, bore upon all the day-to-day problems and relationships of men” (ibid, p 13).

The Structure of the Book

In short, there isn’t much structure in Proverbs. There are broad categories of authorship: Solomon (10:1; 25:1), Agur (30:1), Lemuel (31:1). Chapters 1-9 are in the form of personified wisdom pleading with men to seek it and implement wisdom in their lives. Otherwise, the proverbs are arranged rather randomly. This study will examine the proverbs primarily by topic.

The Form of a Proverb

The proverbs are often couplets, a pithy saying of two lines where the second usually repeats, reinforces or amplifies the first:

  • “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread” (20:13).
  • “Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord, And a false balance is not good” (20:23).

Sometimes the second line of the couplet states the opposite of the first line:

  • “The glory of young men is their strength, And the splendor of old men is their gray head” (20:29).
  • “The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly” (18:23).

Proverbs may also take the form of a short essay, such as the description of the man enticed into adultery (6:20-35) or a godly wife (31:10ff).

The General Use of Proverbs

The use of maxims, adages and/or proverbs is common to all cultures and times. They help express certain truths in a terse and easy-to-remember format:

Other examples in Israelite history (Look at the context and tell what they mean):

  • “Is Saul also among the prophets?” – 1 Sam 10:12.
  • “Wickedness proceeds from the wicked” – 1 Sam 24:13. (cf. Mt 7:17)
  • “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house” – 2 Sam 5:8.
  • “They shall surely ask counsel at Abel” – 2 Sam 20:18.
  • “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” – Ezk 18:2.

Jesus uses a parabolic form quite often:

  • “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine” – Mt 7:6.
  • “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” – Mk 2:27.
  • “Every city or house divided against itself will not stand” – Mt 12:25 (in use today).

Exercise: Can you think of three “modern proverbs”? List them and tell their meaning. Here’s a couple to get started:

You can’t judge a book by its cover. Meaning:

 

Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me. Meaning:

 

Your proverbs:

 

 

Overview of Proverbs: “Although its subject matter is far-reaching, this book is unified by one oft-repeated aim: to reprove the evil in men’s lives and to encourage each reader to seek wisdom, truth, and righteousness” (Wilson, p. 7).

“The overriding purpose of the book and the individual passages is to teach what is right and pleasing to God, to encourage the love of wisdom or true understanding, to warn against the sins of pride and the evils of carnality, and to contrast holiness and wickedness, wisdom and folly” (ibid, p 9).

 

 

The Glory of the Cross in and through the Resurrection

Philippians 2:5-10

Introduction:

    1. During Easter week people often accentuate on the sufferings of Christ (the Passion of the Christ).
      1. As a child (Mt 2:13-15)
      2. Because of his family (Mk 3:20-21; cf. Jn 7:3-5)
      3. Because of the crowds’ unbelief (Mk 9:19; Mt 17:17; Lk 9:41; cf. Mt 12:39; Lk 11:29; Mk 8:11-12)
      4. Because of the disciples’ slowness (Mk 8:17-21; Mt 16:8-11)
      5. Because of the religious leaders (Mt 12:14; Mk 3:6; Lk 6:11; cf. Jn 5:18; Jn 7:1; Jn 8:48)
      6. Because of human suffering (Lk 19:41; cf. Mk 7:34; Lk 7:13; Jn 11:33-35)
      7. Jesus Christ’s suffering at the time of his death
        1. He was inwardly troubled (Jn 12:27; cf. Mt 26:36-42; Mk 14:32-39; Lk 22:40-44; Jn 13:21)
        2. He was betrayed (Mt 26:21-25; Mk 14:17-21; Lk 22:21-23; Mt 26:47-49; Mk 14:43-45; Lk 22:47-48; Jn 18:2-5; Jn 13:18-30)
        3. He was humiliated (Mt 27:27-30; Mk 15:16-19; cf. Mt 26:67-68; Mk 14:65; Lk 22:63-65; Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Lk 23:22; Lk 23:11; Jn 18:22; Jn 19:1)
      8. This we do every Sunday during the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11)
    2. In addition to the sufferings of Christ during his earthly life, people also concentrate on His sufferings on the cross.
      1. He was crucified Lk 23:33; Mt 27:35; Mk 15:25; Jn 19:18)
      2. He suffered separation from God (Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Lk 23:46; cf. Ps 22:1)
      3. We commemorate this during the Lord’s Supper (Lk 22:19; 1 Cor. 11)
    3. Furthermore, Christians concentrate on the Passion and the Cross as if it was the finality of God’s plan.
      1. At the cross a human life ended, but the greatest joy began at the resurrection.  God’s plan went beyond the cross.
      2. Boxer illustration:  A boxer is taught to hit beyond his target-to pass through.  With God’s plan the cross took us to the Lord’s physical death, but it was in the resurrection that God showed His glory (Acts 2:29)
    4. In this lesson we want to consider:
      1. Where it all began.
      2. Christ’ earthly ministry.
      3. Passion of Christ.
      4. Glory of the resurrection.
  1. History:  Where it all began
    1. In the beginning
      1. God created the crown of His creation when He made man from dust and woman from man’s rib.  (Gen. 2)
      2. He placed man in the paradise call the Garden of Eden.  (Gen. 2:9ff)
      3. Total bliss, complete trust, everything was perfect.
        1. Adam and Eve were told to work the garden and enjoy the perfection that could be found in Eden.  (Gen. 2:15)
        2. God instructed His children that all the fruit and vegetables that grew in the garden was for their enjoyment, except for one tree, right in the center of the Paradise.  This tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  (Gen. 2:16-17)
    2. The disobedience and implications
      1. What Adam and Eve did not understand was that the day they decided to disobey God they were sealing their sentence, but what made matters worse is that it set in motion a whole remedial plan.
      2. Man would now be separated from God because of his disobedience, literally sent out of the garden (Gen. 3:20-24; Isaiah 59:2), and driven from the presence of God.
      3. What this meant was that the Son of God would leave heaven, take the form of man, and die on the cruel cross.
        1. “But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” (Is. 53:10)
        2. Can you imagine how the Godhead felt as they looked on and  seeing Adam and Eve taking from the tree.
        3. This is the darkest day in the human race  Even darker than the day when Jesus was crucified.  This is when sin entered into the world, when death began, when human suffering was ushered in, when shame and guilt originated, this was when, pointing from eternity past through history into eternity future, God decided that His very own Son would have to die on the cross.  I can almost hear the angels along with the Godhead in heaven gasping as they witnessed Adam eat of the forbidden fruit. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned”  (Rom. 5:12)
  2. Jesus took on the form of man and came to earth (Philippians 5-10)
      1. Birth (Matthew 1:18-24).
      2. Earthly ministry (Matthew 3:13-27:36)
      3. During the earthly ministry Jesus often spoke about His death.
        1. The death was necessary in order to bring man back into a relationship with God.    (Is. 59:1-2)
        2. Peter did not want Jesus to die, he wanted to stop the entire process.  Peter simply did not understand the implications of man’s sins and the remedy for that sin.  (“But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”  Matthew 16:23)
        3. James and John, the sons of thunder (Mark 3:17ff) wanted to sit on the left and right hand of Jesus, so they could send lightening from heaven and kill all those who wanted to kill Jesus.  They did not understand that Jesus had not come to kill, but to save.
        4. Jesus knew He must die for the benefit of mankind.
  3. Passion
    1. Week
    2. Scourging
    3. Cross
      1. The end?
      2. Just the beginning.
  4. The glory of the resurrection
    1. “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.  But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.” — John 20:1-18
    2. John 13:1-4; Hebrews 12:2
    3. The cross did not put an end to the plan, it just begun.
      1. The cross was considered degrading, disparaging, but for Jesus the humiliation was worth the reward-OUR REDEMPTION!
    4. This is why Jesus could say from the cross, “It is finished!”  (John 19:30).
      1. Jesus’ glorious work of ruling, reigning and interceding continues today.
      2. Through His resurrection He conquered death (1 Cor. 15), and gave us the promise that we too shall one day resurrect and shout the victory!

Conclusion:

 

TEN THOUSAND ANGELS
They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden where He prayed;
They led Him thro’ the streets in shame.
They spat upon the Savior so pure and free from sin;
They said, “Crucify Him; He’s to blame.”

 

Refrain
He could have called ten thousand angels
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.

Upon His precious head they placed a crown of thorns;
They laughed and said, “Behold the King!”
They struck Him and they cursed Him and mocked His holy name
All alone He suffered everything.

 

When they nailed Him to the cross, His mother stood nearby,
He said, “Woman, behold thy son!”
He cried, “I thirst for water,” but they gave Him none to drink.
Then the sinful work of man was done.

 

To the howling mob He yielded; He did not for mercy cry.
The cross of shame He took alone.
And when He cried, “It’s finished,” He gave Himself to die;
Salvation’s wondrous plan was done.