Sermon on Proverbs 2:1-6 from March 8, 2009
A. Chapter 2 is a set piece, a single poem in the father shows (1) how to obtain wisdom and (2) the value of wisdom.
B. Think: think of your persistent sin. Think of your persistent sin. A sin which you hold close at hand. Perhaps is it a sin which rarely if ever disclose to anyone; a sin which you fear even confessing to God. Perhaps it is a sin which you have confessed a thousand times and find that you can never put this sin wholly away.
This sin has caused you unhappiness. This sin has likely damaged your relationships with other human beings: it certainly has damaged your relationship with God. Read Romans 6:20-23.
C. Read Galatians 5:19-21.
1. List out the sins in this passage:
2. Do any of these sins pertain to you? Do you struggle with any of these sins?
3. What does Paul say is result of being who Apractices@ such sins?
4. The warning in verse 21 needs some explanation. Here we must avoid two errors: On one hand there is the error thinking that a Christian is only one who lives in sinless perfection. On the other hand is the error of who thinks that sin is of no true danger to a professing Christian. The true Christian will be one whose life is a struggle with sin (read Gal. 5:17). John Calvin explains this problem well as follows:
But in this way, we shall be told, all are cut off from the hope of salvation; for who is there that is not chargeable with some of those sins? I reply, Paul does not threaten that all who have sinned, but that all who remain impenitent, shall be excluded from the kingdom of God. The saints themselves often fall into grievous sins, but they return to the path of righteousness, Athat which they do they allow not,@(Romans 7:15) and therefore they are not included in this catalogue. All threatenings of the judgments of God call us to repentance. They are accompanied by a promise that those who repent will obtain forgiveness; but if we continue obstinate, they remain as a testimony from heaven against us.
The point here is not that you should despair, but rather that you should learn to take your sin seriously. Until you see for the true danger it is, you will never seek the biblical remedies for dealing with sin. That remedy is called wisdom.
D. Look at the list in Galatians 5 again: If you are honest, there is at least one sin on that list which describes a struggle of your heart. If that list fails to describe you in anyway, then read Colossians 3:5-8:
1. List the sins:
2. Which sins describe you?
E. Now remember that it is as much a sin to violate a command as it is to fail to perform a duty. Read Galatians 5:22-23:
1. What is the fruit of the Spirit?
2. Does this list describe you?
3. In what area are you lacking expression of the fruit of the Spirit?
F. At this point it is fair to say that you are less than perfect: correct? Having established the presence of sin in your life, we need to look for an answer to this problems, a means to obtain biblical change. With that in mind please read the following section from chapter 2 of Proverbs:
PROVERBS 2:1-: THE WORK
if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
(Proverbs 2:1-8, NASB95)
I. Overview: First, there is an introduction: Amy son@. After that, there are four pairs commands.
A. Please write down the four pairs of commands found in verses 1-4:
B. Read verses 5-8 again. What are the promises found for those who seek wisdom?
II. We will look to the introductory phrase: My son,
A. There is a wealth of help in these words, so please pay attention. While the phrase Amy son@ can refer to a biological relationship between a man and his son, it has a broader use here. It means a teacher speaking to a student. That relationship is so close, dear, intimate, that it is like the relationship between a father and a son. When you pick up this book and read, you must hold the words dear. They are the words of a kind and all-wise father who knows you and cares for you and seeks to protect you.
Here is wisdom being offered in the context of a close relationship. It is an offering of love. See this point first: If you are ever to acquire wisdom, if you are ever to take wisdom to heart and use it to guide your steps, then you must first see that it is offering from one who loves you dearly. These words are not the words of a tyrant; God does not speak to break your joy; wisdom does not seek to crush your hope. What does Christ say?
1. John 10:10:
B. How does Solomon describe his words of wisdom in the book of Proverbs.
1. Proverbs 3:8:
2. Proverbs 4:4
C. How does Solomon describe wisdom in Ecclesiastes 7:12:
D. Now read the following verses in the New Testament. After you read each verse, write down what you are told about wisdom:
1. 1 Corinthians 1:24:
2. 1 Corinthians 1:20:
E. And what does God think about worldly wisdom?
1. 1 Corinthians 1:19-20:
F. If the wisdom of God is of such good, and the wisdom of the world is so despised by God, then why does not your life show more evidence of wisdom? What do you think is the fault?
1. Is it because wisdom is too difficult to find?
2. Is it because wisdom is too difficult to do?
3. Is it because wisdom is not as much fun as your favorite sin?
4. Is it something else?
5. We are contrary by nature. It is in our nature: we have inherited it from Adam. God told Adam to leave alone a tree B then, the next we see Eve and Adam are practically hanging upon the tree. Eve talking to serpents; Adam disregarding God for the entreaty of his wife. What madness! But sin is always madness: rank madness. Sin is the wicked witch which overwhelms our sense. In the Greek tale the Odyssey, Circe the witch turns men into pigs. Sin is such a witch, it turns humans into pigs. We are stupid and stubborn and the wisdom of God might make some demand upon our time. I cannot obey. And so, we refuse. We will take up that wisdom which has been offered. But remember, that for Jesus to save us from hell, he must save us from sin.
G. Consider again, how is wisdom offered in this text:
1. From whom does it come?
2. If you do not trust the wisdom offered here in Proverbs what wisdom will you trust?
3. Look at your life, look at the problems you have suffered:
a. Have you suffered any ill-results because you trusted your own wisdom?
b. Have you suffered any ill-results because you trusted in worldly wisdom?
c. Have you ever suffered ill because you trusted in God=s wisdom?
H. Read this passage
Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NASB95)
1. What you told to trust?
2. What are you told not to trust?
I. Read Proverbs 12:1:
1. What does a lover of knowledge love?
2. What does Solomon call a person who cannot be correcte?
J. Read Proverbs 12:15
1. How is a fool described?
2. How is a wise man described?
3. In light of 12:1 & 12:15, how would describe yourself? As a fool or as a wise man?
III. The first commands: Receive and Treasure Wisdom:
A. Overview of verse one
if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
1. First, do you see that little word Aif@? It is creating a conditional proposition: There will be a Athen@ to match this Aif@ in verse five. Do not be frightened by the word Aconditional@, you use conditional statements all the time. For example, AIf you play with a lion, then you will get hurt.@ AIf you drive too fast on the freeway, then you will get a speeding ticket.@ AIf you are kind to your wife and listen to her attentively, then she will be happy.@
Here, Solomon tells you if you will do something with his words, then you will get some thing very valuable. In the next few verses we are going to look at a series of conditions which me must meet to get the prize which comes in verse 5.
2. What is the first thing we are told to do, what is the first action in verse one?
3. What is the first thing you must do if you are to ever grow in wisdom?
4. Would it be possible to gain any wisdom without Areceiving@ the words of wisdom?
5. What is the difference between listening or hearing words of wisdom and actually Areceiving@ words of wisdom?
6. Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13:
a. What action does Paul commend in the Thessalonian believers?
b. How did they receive Paul=s words?
c. What was the result/proof of their reception of Paul=s words? 1Thes. 2:14.
7. Look at the second half of verse 1:
a. What are we commanded to do here? What is the action?
b. What is it that we are told to treasure?
1. What do you think it means to Atreasure@ a command?
2. Read Colossians 3:16: who is treasuring described there?
3. What can you do if you have something treasured? Matt. 13:44
4. Read Psalm 119:11.
a. What has the Psalmist done?
b. Where is the treasure located?
c. What is the result?
1. What does it mean to call the words a Acommand@?
2. What is the value of a Acommand@ from God? Psalm 19:8
3. Can one love Jesus Christ and not keep his commands? John 15:11-17.
D. Treasuring commands:
1. What would it mean to treasure a command?
2. How often would the command be in your mind?
3. How difficult would it be find the command when you needed it?
E. Practical question:
1. Would it be possible to (a) receive the words of God=s wisdom and then (b) treasure commands in your B truly treasure B and then engage in a willful sin at the same moment?
2. Read James 1:14-15
a. Where does sin ultimately come from?
b. Does merely avoiding a behavior avoid the sin? See Matt. 5:21-30
3. Does sin go away because you do not perform an action on some particular occasion or because you treasure something else more?
F. God has said that his words are not merely suggestions, they are commands. And what does he say must happen with these commands: You must treasure these commands. I will not bore you with the grammar, but in this instance, to treasure means to Ahide or conceal for a definite purpose.@ Waltke, 220. Dr. Waltke goes on to explain this instruction as follows:
The metaphor [to treasure] signifies to memorize with religious affection Solomon=s >sound bites= [the various proverbs and instructions in the book] in order to have them ready when the occasion demands them. The rabbis said, >One who repeats his lessons a hundred times is not like one who repeats it a hundred and one times!@ With you means that the commands are to accompany the son wherever he goes (220).
G. If you find that you cannot gain any mastery over your sins, it is likely that you have not memorized what the Scripture has to say. If you have remember some words, it is likely that you have not treasured them. Think of the word: treasure. Treat the words of God like a treasure, and they will be life and health to your bones.
IV. Second: give attention to and incline to wisdom
A. Now, let us look to the second pair of instructions: attention and inclination:
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
1. List the commands
B. Here we find another pair of commands. Here is another reason why Christians hear the word of God and yet it does them so little profit: If you sit in church week after week and you do not make yourself attentive to wisdom, if you do not incline your heart to wisdom, then you will not gain wisdom.
This describes a great deal of your learning. You went to school. You heard your teacher tell you things. You memorized some list of facts. Then test day comes. You quickly pour out the memorized words and facts, names and place onto a sheet of paper. You knew the words when you needed the words, but the words make no difference in your life. They are memorized facts which never touch your heart.
Yet there are so many of you who have no excuse. I have seen so many who hear the word of God, who even knows a great deal of Scripture and yet do not submit to the will of God. To know the words of God and then to not to the words of God is a dangerous place to be.
1. Read the following passage from Matthew 7, at the end of Jesus Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 7:21 and follow with me:
Not everyone who says to Me, >Lord, Lord,= will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. AMany will say to Me on that day, >Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?= AAnd then I will declare to them, >I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.= Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fellCand great was its fall. (Matthew 7:21-27, NASB95)
2. If you want to know why you never find yourself progressing against sin it is because you do not incline your heart to the words of God. To know what is required and then to refuse to obey is rebellion. I am more understanding of my children=s faults when they act out of ignorance then when they act of out knowledge. If my daughter makes pancakes and wildly mistakes the recipe, it can be cute because she does not know better. But when I go to a restaurant and the cook who knows what to do fails to cook the food the right way, it is not pleasing.
3. When you know what God requires and yet you do not bend your will to his words, you acting with wild abandon. What a danger to you to know and not to do. What disaster will come when you ignore the truth of God!
4. Yet, do not despair. If you have failed before today B it is not too late. Do let your past keep you from hope. Come and submit now. Come and attend now. Come and incline your to wisdom now. It is not too late.
V. The third Command: cry for, lift up your voice for wisdom
A. Solomon here increases the intensity of the work with wisdom. Not only must we receive and treasure wisdom, not only must be attend to and incline our hearts to wisdom, but we must also desire wisdom. Please read verse 3 of Proverbs chapter 2:
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
B. If you truly see the importance of the wisdom of God, then you will receive and treasure the words, you will attend to and incline your heart to B and three, you will strongly desire the wisdom, you will not be satisfied with what you have but you will demand to get more.
1. You have seen babies, little babies. They can happily laze in their beds until they want something. Perhaps they are hungry or wet or just bored. When the least desire strikes their, that desire translates into a screaming and crying. The distressed baby does not care whether it is morning or evening, whether your sick or tired. The distressed baby will continue to demand until its desires are fulfilled.
2. There was a television show called Let=s Make a Deal. Monty Hall, the host, would come down to the audience to seek someone who wanted to play the game. The potential contestants would lift up their voice to get Monty Hall=s attention. They would dress in outlandish costumes and cry aloud because they wanted to play Monty Hall=s game. They would cry aloud just for the chance to win a car.
3. If a baby will cry to be held or an adult will cry aloud to get the chance to win a car, why don=t you cry aloud for discernment or lift your voice for understanding? Think about your life. Think about your foolishness. A marriage that has become a disaster, your refuge has become your fear. Drinking alcohol until you no longer have a job or a home or friends. Hastily blurting out some comment which strained your friendships needlessly. Perhaps there was a loan which you should never have taken. And what do you say to your children B did you, do you give them useful advice? Do you raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord? You have a sticky situation at work B what do you do?
C. Pretend for a moment you are on your death bed. I want you to consider your entire life from beginning to end.
1. What sort of things will you regret when you go to your death?
2. What sort of things will you be pleased with when you come to die?
3. What things which you presently consider to be of great importance will turn out to be valueless when you come to die.
D. A great means to put off a sin is to consider how it will appear when you come to judgment. Consider the following quotation from Thomas Brooks:
To look on sin with that eye with which within a short time, we shall see it. Ah, souls! when you shall lie upon a dying bed, and stand before a judgment‑seat, sin shall be unmasked, and its dress and robes shall then be taken off, and then it shall appear more vile, filthy, and terrible than hell itself; then, that which formerly appeared most sweet will appear most bitter, and that which appeared most beautiful will appear most ugly, and that which appeared most delightful will then appear most dreadful to the soul. Ah, the shame, the pain, the gall, the bitterness, the horror, the hell that the sight of sin, when its dress is taken off, will raise in poor souls! Sin will surely prove evil and bitter to the soul when its robes are taken off. A man may have the stone who feels no fit of it. Conscience will work at last, though for the present one may feel no fit of accusation. Laban showed himself at parting. Sin will be bitterness in the latter end, when it shall appear to the soul in its own filthy nature.
The devil deals with men as the panther does with beasts; he hides his deformed head until his sweet scent has drawn them into his danger. Until we have sinned, Satan is a parasite; when we have sinned, he is a tyrant. O souls! the day is at hand when the devil will pull off the paint and garnish that he has put upon sin, and present that monster, sin, in such a monstrous shape to your souls, that will cause your thoughts to be troubled, your countenance to be changed, the joints of your loins to be loosed, and your knees to be dashed one against another, and your hearts to be so terrified, that you will be ready, with Ahithophel and Judas, to strangle and hang your bodies on earth, and your souls in hell, if the Lord has not more mercy on you than he had on them. Oh! therefore, look upon sin now as you must look upon it to all eternity, and as God, conscience, and Satan will present it to you another day!
E. If you see the need for wisdom, you will demand wisdom from God. For example, if your house were on fire, you cry out for help. If you were in physical danger, you would cry out for help. We are in danger of sin B constantly. Thomas Wolfal, a 17th Century preacher in London made this observation: AIt is dangerous living among lions. Is it not dangerous living among lusts, every one of them seeking fiercely to war against the soul?@ If we truly saw your danger, you would be more demanding of wisdom from God. When you are stirred to fear sinfulness in your own heart, when are broken because of sin, do not try to push the thought from your heart and mind. Rather, cry up to God for help and deliverance and demand, with a holy violence, to be rescued.
1. Read Psalms 3-5
a. How does David address God?
b. What does David expect from God?
c. Is David willing to leave without an answer?
2. Using each of these Psalms as a basis for your personal prayer, pray these Psalms back to God. Your enemies are your sins.
F. This is essentially a command to pray for wisdom. Read James 1:2-8
1. For what does James tell us to pray?
2. What must our attitude/faith/sincerity be in making such a prayer?
3. How would a deep fear of sin and deep desire to please God assist one in praying with singleness of purpose (and not as a double-minded man)?
4. If you crying out to God has been a problem due to your double-mindedness, is it because you have an insufficient desire to be rescued from your sins?
VI. The fourth command: seek & search for wisdom
A. Please read 4 of Proverbs chapter 2:
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
B. Here is a final pair of commands. There are two things to notice about these commands: First the thing sought is of great value. Second, the seeking is very hard work.
C. The value of the thing sought:
1. Wisdom is more valuable than all other things. Without the wisdom of God we will never be saved. Without the wisdom of God we will never lead a life which is truly pleasing to God. Without the wisdom of God, our life will be a mess. Solomon tells us that we need to value wisdom as much as we would value silver and hidden treasure.
2. From time to time we hear stories of men and women who find some hidden treasure. We learn that there have been years and tremendous efforts made to secure the treasure. There have been studies and maps and money and ships and digging and danger and on and on. And why do these people go through such work: To get a treasure.
3. The story that some one finds a treasure or tries to get a treasure has been a very common element in tales throughout history. Why? Because the dream of getting a treasure is so appealing. Who would not want a treasure? Think of it: gold and silver, coins and jewels: sapphires and rubies, emeralds and diamonds, don=t you want such a thing. Then want wisdom more. Wisdom is greater than any gold or jewel. Discernment is better than cash. Yes it is desirable.
4. At this point, meditation seriously upon the value of wisdom. Think back over times where you were foolish. Think how wisdom could have rescued you from regret. Think forward of things which you will face. Consider how wisdom would protection in such a circumstance.
5. Having considered the value of wisdom, ask God to increase your desire for wisdom.
D. The Difficulty of the Work
1. But there is something more: seek for her as silver, search for her hidden treasure. Think of those words: Seek, search. This is hard work. Godliness is the result of work. You have trained your bodies to sin. God says train your soul for godliness. The prize is great, but the work will be great.
2. Read 1 Timothy 4:7
a. What does Paul tell Timothy to do?
b. Paul is using very direct language here: he is telling Timothy to make the same efforts to pursue godliness that an athlete makes to compete in the games.
3. Read 2 Timothy 2
a. What images does Paul use of the Christian life?
b. Why do you think that Paul uses these particular images?
4. Read Ephesians 6:10-20
a. How, generally, does Paul describe the Christian life?
b. If you were going to go war, would you want to be properly trained for the battle B even if the work of training would be extremely difficult?
5. Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8
a. What sort of images does Paul use in this passage to describe his own personal ministry?
b. What end does Paul describe for his service to God?
6. Read Luke 14:25-32
a. Summarize the directions given by Jesus in this passage.
b. What is necessary to undergo the rigors of the Christian life?
7. Is it possible to be a Christian who makes it to the end (preservers) without serious, sustained effort?
E. If you make no real effort to obtain godliness, you will make no real progress. You must want the end so badly that you will pursue with all your strength. Now there are many things which arise at just this point which I cannot cover: There is the relationship between God=s actions and my actions. There is the need for the entire body of Christ to help one-another in this work. Time will not permit us to follow those ideas.
F. But what you must know this morning is that godliness will not come without desire and effort. Jay Adams explains this passage as follows:
Unlike others, our faith is based solidly on data. It involves an acceptance of the truth. The basic data, you know, are those facts about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Who, in bearing the sins of His people, effected the atonement with God. Likewise, all progress in the Christian life is based on data. One may not acquiesce in a life of drifting about in some >spiritual dreamland= that consists of mouthing pious sounding platitudes and smiling a lot but that does not require one to do the hard work of coming to understand and learning apply the Scriptures. One wonders, from the way that many Christian counselee lead their lives in avoiding all serious study of God=s Word, how they expect to grow and to in the ways of righteousness. Presumably, because of how he speaks in this chapter, God thinks His Word is necessary. . . . The passage is >fragrant with hope= for all those who do not turn their nose up at the thought of Bible study.
And as you note the emphasis on searching for wisdom as one would search for treasures, you understand something of the urgency, dedication, time, energy, and through that God expects us to devote to the project. Treasure hunters are persistent! Counselees, who fail to exert much effort and who show little enthusiasm for the endeavor give evidence of what is behind the problems they bring to the counseling room. (18-19)
G. We, at this church, have many, many people who come for counseling. And that is good. We have many people from other churches who come here seeking counseling. And yet, when it comes to the Sunday evening class on how to study the Bible, it is not full to capacity. There are men=s groups and women=s groups which could care for more souls. You have opportunity upon opportunity to learn the Bible and drink the Scripture and bend your ear and heart to the words of God.
H. But how many of you cry out for it, cry aloud for it, seek and search for it as silver?
I. Engage diligently in the Christian disciplines. Pray, read, meditate, serve. Sing with all your heart. Give of your time, give of your money. Love, forgive. Train yourself to godliness. Be in fellowship B you cannot become a Christian in isolation. The body is given for your help. Turn off your television and teach others about Jesus. Burn your computer if you need to. End your magazine subscription, if you need to. Purge your DVD collection if need to. God will not be second to anyone or anything. If this is truly a treasure, then treat it like a treasure.
VII The Prize, v. 5
If you do not desire God=s wisdom in this way, then the prize offered for the work is not for you. Please read verse 5 of chapter 2:
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
This is a great prize, but it will not be had for free. It comes through great work, effort, striving, desire. You life does not show discernment, fear of the Lord, knowledge of God, because you do not want it. This is a prize beyond compare. Think of God speaks of those who fear him! To strive for wisdom, to gain such a prize: Here is how the prophet Malachi presents the prize:
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. AThey will be Mine,@ says the Lord of hosts, Aon the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.@ So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” (Malachi 3:16-18)
Will be God=s? Will be his possession? Will you be spared? Then seek him while you may.
PROVERBS 2:5-22: THE REWARD (Overview)
This section sets forth the reward to be obtained as a result of the work prescribed in verses 1-4. We can see this from the structure of the passage. If you look in verses 1-4, you will see a series of three Aif=s@ in verse 1, 3 & 4. There at the beginning of verse 5 you see the word Athen@. The passage says that if you do the things set forth in verses 1 -4, then you will receive the benefits which are set forth in the remainder of the chapter.
A. Read Proverbs 2:5-22
1. List all of the benefits/rewards which are set forth in this passage.
2. List the things which are will know/learn.
3. List the things which you will (be able to) do.
4. List the elements of protection promised in this passage.
5. What is the basis upon which you will be protected (what is the relationship between knowledge and protection)?
1. Do any of the things promised in verses 5-22 appeal to you?
2. Consider difficulties that you have faced in your life. Would any of the things promised in this passage have been of benefit in
a. Responding to the difficulty/ies?
b. Avoiding the difficulty/ies?
3. Do you see any evidence in your life of the practical effects of wisdom as promised in this section?
4. Do you see the absence of any of the things promised in this passage?
5. If you see an absence of the things promised, what are you doing to obtain the benefits promised?
THE FEAR OF GOD
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION TO THE FEAR OF GOD; THE FEAR OF GOD IN OLD TESTAMENT NARRATIVES
I. IN THE BEGINNING:
A. Read Genesis 1.28
1. What is the content of the first recorded conversation between God and Man?
2. How would you summarize the nature of this conversation?
3. Is there anything fearful in this exchange?
B. Read Genesis 3.8-19
1. What has occurred since God=s original command?
2. How did the relationship between God and man change as a result of sin? (3.8)
3. How would characterize the nature of this conversation?
4. Is there anything fearful/is there any fear in this passage?
C. Read Genesis 4.1-16
1. What takes place in this story?
2. Does Able show any fear?
3. Does Cain show any fear? Of what?
D. Read Genesis 6 & Hebrews 11.7
1. What takes place in the story?
2. Does Noah exhibit any fear?
3. What does the fear cause Noah to do?
4. Do the people of earth show any fear prior to the flood?
5. Should they have shown fear?
6. What was the result of the lack of fear?
7. What as the result of the exhibition of fear?
E. Read Genesis 9.1 & 11.1-9:
1. What command had God given to the people?
2. How did the people respond?
3. Did they exhibit any fear?
4. What should they have feared?
5. What was the effect of their actual fear?
6. If they had rightly feared, how would they have responded?
F. Summarize what you have observed concerning the matter of fear?
G. Extra credit: Read Genesis 9.2 and comment[i].
II. EXAMPLES OF THOSE WHO SHOWED THE FEAR OF GOD
A. Read Genesis 22.1-16
1. Summarize the story.
2. Did Abraham fear God?
3. How did Abraham exhibit his fear of God?
B. Read Genesis 39.1-23
1. Summarize the story.
2. Did Joseph fear God?
3. How did Joseph exhibit his fear of God?
C. Read Job 1.1-8
1. Summarize the story.
2. Did Job fear God?
3. What fact is cited to prove Job=s fear of God?
D. Read Nehemiah 5:14-15
1. Summarize the account.
2. Did Nehemiah fear God?
3. How did he show his fear of God?
E. Read 1 Kings 18.1-15
1. Summarize the story.
2. Did Obadiah fear God?
3. How did he show his fear of God?
F. Note that in each story, there was a temptation to fear something other than God: what was the temptation in each story?
A. Read Genesis 3.1-8:
1. What did Adam and Eve fear?
2. What should they have feared?
3. What encouragement did God give them to fear?
4. Were Adam and Eve afraid of God prior to the Fall?
B. We often here that the Afear of God@ means reference for God. Does the word Areverence@ seem to describe the Afear@ exhibited in the stories we read?
C. Sometimes the Afear of God@ is described as a Aholy reverence@.
1. Explain what is meant by the word Aholy@.
2. Read the following accounts of a human being coming to contact with something holy and answer the questions: (1) What is meant by Aholy@ in this account? (2) How does the human being respond when confronted with the Aholy@?
a. Genesis 3.8
b. Genesis 15
c. Exodus 3.1-6
d. Exodus 7-12 (How did Pharoah and Egypt respond?)
e. Exodus 19-21 (esp. 18-21) (compare Hebrews 12.18-29).
f. Numbers 11.1-3
g. Numbers 16
h. Leviticus 10.1-7
i. Judges 13.1-23
j. Isaiah 6.1-6
k. Isaiah 66.15-17.
l. Ezekiel 1 (esp. 28)
m. Malachi 4
n. Luke 5.1-11
o. Revelation 1.9-20
D. Rudolph Otto: AWhen Abraham ventures to plead with God for the men of Sodom he says, ABehold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes [compare Job 42.1-6].@ There you have a self-confessed feeling of dependence, which is yet at the same tiem far more than, and something other than, merely a feeling of dependence. Desiring to give it a name of its own, I purpose to call it >creature-conscienceness= or creature-feeling. It is the emotion of a creature, submerged and overwhelmed by its own nothingness in contrast to that which is supreme above all creatures.@ Idea of the Holy, pp. 9-10.
E. What does it mean to be Aholy@? What would it mean to speak of a Aholy fear@ or even a Aholy reverence@?
E. Consider the following hymn of Isaac Watts:
Eternal Power, whose high abode
Becomes the grandeur of a God,
Infinite lengths beyond the bounds
Where stars resolve their little rounds!
The lowest step around Thy seat,
Rises too high for Gabriel=s feet;
In vain the favored angel tries
To reach Thine height with wond=ring eyes.
There while the first archangel sings,
He hides his face behind his wings,
And ranks of shining thrones around
Fall worshiping, and spread the ground.
Lord, what shall earth and ashes do?
We would adore our Maker, too;
From sin and dust to Thee we cry,
The Great, the Holy, and the High.
Earth from afar has heard Thy fame,
And worms have learned to lisp Thy Name;
But, O! the glories of Thy mind
Leave all our soaring thoughts behind.
God is in Heaven, and men below;
Be short our tunes, our words be few;
A solemn reverence checks our songs,
And praise sits silent on our tongues.
A. Based upon these narratives, what does it mean to speak of the Afear of God@?
B. How is the fear of God the same as any Afear@?
C. How is the fear of God different than any other fear?
D. Do the sinful show any fear of God?
E. Do the faithful show any fear of God?
F. Consider the stories of demons who come into contact with Jesus or the statement in James 2.19, AEven demons believe B and shudder.@ Compare and contrast the shuddering of demons and the senselessness of Cain.
The trembling of wicked men and demons (Thomas Brooks, Introduction to Gospel Fear by Jeremiah Burroughs) as contrasted with a holy trembling at the Word of God:
1. Wicked men and devils may tremble at the judgment denounced in the Word, but they do not tremble at the offense committed against the Holy commands of God as sincere Christians do.
2. . . . the wicked tremble, but never mend their ways. . . .Felix trembles and never mends, and devils tremble and never mend. But Paul trembles and cries out, >Lord what wilt thou have me to to do?=
3. The trembling of the wicked drives them further and further away from God and away from duty. You see this in Saul who, under his tremblings, runs to a witch.
4. The godly tremble and mourn and tremble. Their trembling hearts are broken hearts, and their broken hearts are trembling hearts. They look upon sin and tremble, and they upon sin and mourn.
5. The hearts of wicked men and devils only tremble upon the account of some punishment and the judgment to come, as a malefactor trembles before the judge, and under the sense of doom. But a child of God trembles under the sense of God=s goodness and kindness to him.
So when a child of God fixes one eye upon the holiness and justice of God he trembles; and when at the same time he fixes his other eye upon the patience, the goodness, the graciousness and readiness of God to forgive as a Father, he loves and joys. But all the tremblings of the wicked are from apprehensions of wrath to come and from a token of hell in their consciences on this side of hell.
G. Look at your own life and consider:
1. Do I have any sense of the Holy, as described in Scripture?
2. Do I have any sense of a holy fear of God, as described in Scripture?
3. Do I even have the lesser fear of demons?
4. If a person has no fear of God B as described of the godly B then perhaps such a one knows nothing of God. If such a person has no fear of even judgment, then they are even less sensible than a demon. What should we conclude of such a person? Was the grace of God ever given to make us not fear God?
5. What about 2 Timothy 1.7: Is Paul teaching that we should not fear God? (Read Isaiah 2.22).
H. Based upon what you have read, how would you go about obtaining a greater fear of the LORD?
I. What have you done to increase in your fear of the LORD?
J. If you lack a fear of the LORD, what do you think is the cause of that lack?
K. What benefits would you see in your life if you were to fear the LORD more fully?
L. Keep a journal for one week in which you track your prayer, Bible study, mediation, service, other acts of spiritual discipline.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool=s voice with many words. When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, ESV)
PROVERBS 2:6-19: PROTECTION
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity,
every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,
who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil,
men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.
So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.
Proverbs 2:6‑19, ESV
Read Proverbs 2:1-4:
A. What is the relationship of Proverbs 2:1-4 to verse 5?
B. What is the benefit obtained in verse 5?
C. Is it possible to obtain any of the good in verses 6 on with the work in verses 1-4?
Read Proverbs 2:6-19
1. The benefits:
A. List the benefits set forth in this passage:
B. Could God have given us things without the promise that he would do so?
C. What is the purpose of telling us of benefits prior to giving us the benefits?
D. What sort of promises are given in the Bible?
E. What is the first promise in the Bible? Gen. 2:17
F. What promise is given in Gen. 3:15.
G. What is faith? Heb. 11:1
H. What is hope? Rom. 8:24
I. What then is the relationship between faith/hope/promises?
J. Read Hebrews 11:6
A. What is the importance of faith?
B. How are we supposed to relate to the promises given in Proverbs 2:6-19 so as to please God?
C. What then is the purposes of promises?
Faith takes possession, and gives a being to the things hoped for in the promises. There is not only the union of hope, but a clear right and title; God has passed over all those things to us in the covenant of grace. When we take hold of the promises, we take hold of the blessing promised by the root of it, until it flows up to full satisfaction. Hence those expressions, believers are said ‘to lay hold of eternal life,’ 1 Tim. vi. 12‑19, by which their right is secured to them; ‘And he that hears my words, and believes in me, has eternal life,’ John v. 24. Christ does not only say, he shall have eternal life, but, jus habet, he has a clear right and title to it, which is as sure as sense, though not as sweet. Faith gives us heaven, because in the promise it gives us a title to heaven; we are sure to have that to which we have a title; a right is enough, though there be not always an actual feeling; he has a grant, God’s word to assure him of it. . . . We take hold of the thing promised by the root of it and then we are sure of it; the promise is not a dry root, and the hand of faith is not a barren soil; but when once the hand of faith takes hold of the promise, your interest will grow up into stalk and bud, and flower, and bring forth the fruit of full contentment. Now this contents a believer for the present, because faith considers what the promises are, and whose they are.
B Thomas Manton
Sermons on Hebrews 11
And Thomas Watson, The Beatitudes (53):
It shows us that religion is no unreasonable thing. God does not cut us out work and give us no reward. Godliness enthrones us in a kingdom. When we hear of the doctrine of repentance, steeping our souls in brinish tears for sin; the doctrine of mortification, pulling out the right eye, beheading the king-sin; we are ready to think it is hard to take down this bitter pill, but here is that in the text may sweeten it. There is a kingdom behind, and that will amke amends for all. Thsi glorious recompense as far exceeds our thoughts as it surpasses our defects. No one can say wihtout wrong to God that he is a hard master. God gives double pay. He bestows a kingdom upon those that fear him. Satan may disparage the ways of God, like those spires that raised an ill report of the good land. But will Satan mend your wages if you serve him? He gives damnable pay; instead of a kings, >chains of darkness= (Judge 6).
2. Read Proverbs 2:1 and 2:6:
A. Where does wisdom come from?
B. Read Ephesians 4:1-16
i. What, generally, is the end to be sought by the Christian church? 4:1-2
ii. What should the church look like? 4:3-7
iii. Compare the benefits/promises of Proverbs 2 with the ends set forth in Ephesians 4:
Proverbs 2 Ephesians 4:1-7
iv. What is the ultimate source of our help? Eph. 4:7-10
v. What is the ultimate source of our wisdom? Prov. 2:6
vi. What means does Christ use to communicate information to the church? Eph. 4:11-12
vii. What means does God use in Proverbs? Prov. 2:1
viii. What is the purpose of providing this information? Eph. 4:13-14?
ix. What is the purpose of providing this information? Prov. 2:6-19
x. What is the similarity/difference between the protection offered in Proverbs and the protection offered in Ephesians?
xi. Pay close attention to Proverbs 2:12 & 2:16: What is the doctrine they teach?
xii. Is it possible to make any statement about what one should do or what one should be as a human being without making a statement which is ultimately about God? Think hard about this.
3. Read Proverbs 2:7-8
A. What things does God do?
B. What is the connection between knowledge and protection?
C. Explain this statement: God=s protection is not a reward extraneous to knowledge, but rather a consequence intrinsic to it.
D. What is that God will protect us from? Does this mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us?
E. Read 2 Corinthians 11:12-33
i. Was Paul protected from difficulties in this life?
ii. What does Paul boast about?
F. Was Jesus protected by God? 2 Cor. 13:4
G. How are we protected by God? 2 Cor. 13:4; Rom. 8:31-39
H. Is the promised protection in Proverbs 2, the same or different from the protection discussed by Paul in the New Testament?
I. Who are the ones being protected in Proverbs? (This is a bit tricky, make sure you consider not merely verse 8, but the entire chapter.)
J. Read Deuteronomy 8:6 and compare this to Proverbs 2:7:
i. What is the same in both verses?
ii. Add Proverbs 2:5 to analysis. How does Awalking@ relate to the question of the fear of the Lord?
iii. Now read Deut. 13:4; 28:58; 31:12-13;
4. Read Proverbs 2:9
A. To what does the Athen@ refer to in verse 9?
B. What is promised?
C. The word Away@ or Atrack@: ARefers to >cart tracks,= >wagon ruts.= While the earth is soft, wagon wheels press the trails that others are obliged to follow after it dries and hardens@ (Waltke, 227). What does this mean in this circumstance?
D. Why can=t one Aunderstand@ or Adiscern@ without the preparation which comes before the Athen@ in verse 9?
Read Proverbs 2:9-22
The Father continues his instruction with details of the protection which can be afforded by wisdom. The two big items of protection are identified in 2:12 & 2:16. What are they?
Now for the details:
A. Read 2:10:
1. What is the relationship of the word Afor@ at the beginning of verse 10?
2. What does it mean that wisdom will enter your heart?
3. How is that wisdom will get into my heart?
4. What is the second promise in this passage?
5. What would be the value of Awisdom@ being pleasant to my soul?
6. Consider the following quotation from Richard Sibbes (Bruised Reed):
And because knowledge and affection mutually help one another, it is good to keep up our affections of love and delight by all sweet inducements and divine encouragements; for what the heart likes best, the mind studies most. Those that can bring their hearts to delight in Christ know most of his ways. Wisdom loves him that loves her. Love is the best entertainer of truth; and when it is not entertained in the love of it (2 Thess. 2:10), lovely as it is, it leaves the heart, and will stay no longer. It has been a successful way of corrupting the judgment, to begin by withdrawing love, because, as we love, so we tend to judge. And therefore it is hard to be affectionate and wise in earthly things. But in heavenly things, where there has been a right informing of the judgment before, the more our affections grow, the better and clearer our judgments will be, because our affections, though strong, can never rise high enough to reach the excellency of the things. We see in the martyrs, when the sweet doctrine of Christ had once gained their hearts, it could not be removed again by all the torments the wit of cruelty could devise. If Christ has once possessed the affections, there is no dispossessing of him again. A fire in the heart overcomes all fires without (103).
7. You often know what God would have you do in a certain circumstance. Why is that you determine not to do that thing? What has this to do with the pleasantness of knowledge?
8. How does this relate to the previous images of the gracefulness of wisdom as jewelry?
9. Ask yourself: Have I actually treated Aknowledge@ as something pleasant to my soul?
10. Another Sibbes quotation:
The whole conduct of a Christian is nothing else but knowledge reduced to will, affection and practice (86).
Knowledge: Not merely formal propositional knowledge, but intimate affecting knowledge.
Will: The aspect of the soul which determines our thoughts and conduct.
Affection: That which feel, desire, hate.
Practice: Actual conduct.
11. Read Psalm 1:1-3: How does the passage in Proverbs relate to the passage in Psalms?
12. How does wisdom being in my heart and knowledge being pleasant to my soul cause my conduct?
13. Professor Waltke (227-228):
The prophets called this transformation of the heart=s religious affections Aa new heart@ that enabled them to keep the new covenant [citation]. Jesus used the metaphor of being born again (John 3:7). In the New Testament this transformation or regeneration issues into the image of Christ being formed in humanity (Rom. 5:5; 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:6, 16). To the regenerate, the word of God is sweeter than honey (Ps. 19:10). To them the Lords= commandments are not written on rock and beyond their understanding, but they are spiritually inscribed on the heart and so performed as a natural impulse and delighted in (Ps. 1:2; Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor. 3:3). Otherwise the commands become a sword that kills (Rom. 7:8-11). Sinners, in contrast to saints, delight in perversity . . . .
B. Read Proverbs 2:11
1. What are the two promises in this passage?
2. What does it mean to be Aprotected@ B protected from what?
3. How does wisdom being inside of me protect me from something outside?
4. Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 & Ephesians 6:10-10. What does this tell me about the nature and need of protection?
5. Read Psalm 119:9-16
a. What is the protection sought/obtained in this passage?
b. What is the means of protection/what is the instrument which is used to give protection?
c. Look at verses 13-16; what is the psalmists= attitude toward the Word of God?
C. Read Proverbs 2:12-15
1. From what am I delivered?
2. What words are used to describe this evil man?
a. What does it say about his speech?
b. What sort of speech may be called Aperverted@?
c. What does it mean that he has forsaken the paths of uprightness?
d. Consider 1 John 2:19. How then should we understand this man?
e. Does a person actually have to have been associated with the visible Church to be one who has forsaken the paths of uprightness?
3. What would this evil man look like in the real world?
4. Where would I encounter such men?
5. In what way would these evil men be able to cause injury to me? What are they doing that I need to be protected from?
6. How does wisdom being inside of me protect me from such men?
7. Read Colossians 2:1-15
a. What is the danger noted by Paul?
b. In verses 4 & 8, what is character of the seduction?
c. What does Paul do to protect the believers?
d. How does this relate to what we have encountered in Proverbs?
8. Read 1 Timothy 1:3-7
a. What is the danger noted by Paul?
b. What are the bad men trying to do?
c. What is the solution proposed by Paul?
9. Read Jeremiah 7:5-8
a. What are the sins listed in this passage?
b. What is reason that they engage in such sin (9)?
c. What does an unbeliever do with the words of God? Jer. 36.
10. When God dealt with the world, what did he do? Gen.1:3.
11. What God dealt with human beings, what did he do? Gen. 1:28; 2:16.
12. When Satan dealt with human beings, what did he do? Gen. 3:1.
13. What is the way into a man=s soul?
14. How does wisdom protection against such an assault?
a. When are you exposed to this evil man?
b. How is he seeking to influence you?
c. What does God say about his attempted influence?
d. What would be wisdom in dealing with this influence?
16. Here is a blogpost by Phil Johnson on dealing false teachers (do you agree or disagree):
Christian leaders in particular are charged with the task of defending the truth against those who would twist it (Acts 20:28‑31). As politically incorrect as this might sound to postmodern ears, there are abroad and within the church “many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers . . .. They must be silenced” (Titus 1:10‑11). Or, in the more picturesque imagery of King James parlance, “[Their] mouths must be stopped.”
How false teachers are to be silenced is one of those things in Scripture that is crystal‑clear. It is not by physical force or auto‑da‑fé. But they are to be refuted and rebuked by qualified elders in the church who are skilled in the Scriptures, “able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (v. 8). The duty assumes that vital truth is clear enough that we can know it with certainty. And in the battle against falsehood, Scripture prescribes a clear strategy involving exhortation, reproof, rebuke, and correction.
This is to be done patiently, not pugnaciously: “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:24‑26).
And yet even within those boundaries, the defense of the faith sometimes requires a kind of spiritual militancy (1 Timothy 1:18; Jude 3). The Christian lifeCespecially the duty of the leaderCis frequently pictured in Scripture as that of warfare (2 Corinthians 10:3‑6; Ephesians 6:10‑18; 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:3‑4).
[TeamPyro] So the defense of the faith is no easy task. But it is an indispensable duty for faithful Christians. Again, Scripture is not the least bit vague or equivocal about that.
Nevertheless, the defense of the faith is a duty the evangelical movement as a whole has mostly shirked for at least two decades. Since the formal dissolution of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy in September 1987, evangelicalism as a movement has never fully mobilized for the defense of any point of doctrineCeven in the wake of seismic challenges to the doctrine of God in the form of Open TheismCand despite recent assaults on the penal, propitiatory, and substitutionary aspects of Christ’s atoning work. It is no longer safe to assume that someone who calls himself “evangelical” would even affirm such historic evangelical nonnegotiables as the exclusivity of Christ or the necessity of conscious faith in Christ for salvation. Recently, it seems, the evangelical movement’s standard response to that kind of doctrinal slippage has looked like nothing more than cynical insouciance.
Such trends represent nothing less than the abandonment of true evangelical principles. Historic evangelicalism has always had the gospel at its center. The name itself reflects that, and it also denotes a particular stress on the doctrinal content of the gospel message. Yet the typical message proclaimed in many mainstream evangelical churchesCincluding some of the best‑known and most influential megachurchesCwas long ago reduced to a set of simplistic, solipsistic aphorisms (“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”; “accept Jesus as your personal savior.”) The message is sometimes overlaid with moralistic platitudes and a conservative, mostly‑secular political agenda. In fact, a lobbyist’s commitment to a handful of morally‑related political issues is about as close to anything serious as you will find in the average evangelical community. So the message communicated to the world at large sounds like a social and cultural commentary driven by Republican‑party politics. Gone are the clarion notes of personal guilt, the redemption of the soul, and the real meaning of the crossCwhich, after all, Scripture says is the one message worth proclaiming (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Why fight for a message that doesn’t even have Christ crucified at the center anyway? Contemporary evangelicals have utterly neglected and virtually forgotten almost everything truly distinctive about historic evangelicalism. They have broadened their boundaries to include beliefs they once viewed as beyond the pale. They have now forgotten what the boundaries were all about in the first place. Meanwhile, with the gospel no longer at evangelicalism’s heart and hub, the entire evangelical subculture has begun to seem like a kind of spiritual black hole, where bad ideas spawned at the fringes are sucked one after another into the void at the center.
17. This man appears repeated in (in various forms and in various types) Pilgrim=s Progress; often as a very well mannered, religious person. What would be the sort of thing which would give someone an equally important or safe standing in our time? Religious hypocrites certainly abound; but, what other sorts of men have high respect and seek to destroy our souls?
18. Perverse speech can conceivably include speech other than that which deliberately attacks the church. Read Ephesians 4:25-32
a. What sort of speech is supposed to come from our mouths?
b. What is the rightful purpose of speech?
c. What sort of speech is prohibited?
d. What, in the most immediate preceding context (v. 29) is said to grieve the Holy Spirit?
e. What sort of speech would I hear which would be prohibited?
f. How would wisdom Adeliver me@ from such speech?
D. Read Proverbs 2:16-19
1. What is the promise of protection here?
2. What is the character of this woman?
3. How does she seek to prevail over a man (16)?
4. What does wisdom tell me about her (18-19)?
a. Where I am influenced by sexual immorality?
b. What does the Bible (wisdom) say about such things?
c. Do I delight in, take pleasure in the counsel offered?
d. What is to be done?
E. Read Proverbs 2:20-22
1. What is the promise of this passage?
2. Note use of the words for way/path in 2:9-22. What do these uses of the picture of a way/path indicate for the living of a life?
3. What is the warning in this passage?
4. Summarize the wisdom of this particular passage?
PROVERBS 2:21-22: THE PROMISE OF LIFE
For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
(Proverbs 2:21‑22, ESV)
There is a promise of life to those who live with wisdom. There is a promise of death for those who foolishly rebel against God. This is a theme which runs throughout the Bible. These promises are given to us as a means of obtaining sanctification. You may find this odd, but a primary means by which believers become conformed to the image of Christ is by hoping for the good that will come to us.
A. Read 2 Corinthians 7:1
1. What does Paul command us to do?
2. On what basis are we told to achieve this end?
B. Read 1 Peter 1:13
1. What does Peter command us to do?
2. How does this relate to the commands given in verses 14-16.
C. Read Colossians 3:1-4
1. What are we commanded to do?
2. Read the command in verse 5.
3. What is the relationship between the hope in verses 1-4 and the sanctification in verse 5?
D. Read 1 Corinthians 15. Make a list of the promises.
E. Read Revelation 21 & 22. Make a list of the promises.
F. For the next week, read these passages over repeatedly (at least one time per day) and pray that God would increase your hope for such things. Review the list of promises at least one time per day at a time at least five hours after you read through the passages.
 Calvin, J. (1998). Calvin’s Commentaries: Galatians (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Calvin’s Commentaries (Ga 5:21). Albany, OR: Ages Software
Accessed May 4, 2009.