A little about the Chronological Bible Study

by Jim on 1 June 2010

Tonight we’re into the fourth week of our fifteen week Chronological Bible Study.  Our friend Allan will be leading tonight, and I’m sure he would appreciate your prayers.

I haven’t given you a lot of details about the study (which is in the neighbourhood of Jesús María), so let me tell you just a bit about it quickly.

I did give you a brief explanation of it’s purpose – see here.  As I mentioned before, the study is designed – or, I should say, is being designed, specifically for the urban Mexico context.  That’s part of the reason for it’s length (fairly short – only 15 weeks).  And yet, our hope is that it will give people a broad view of the Bible and its themes – most importantly it’s theme – the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a result, it’s not so much set up like a long line – one book after the other, one year of history after another.  It’s more like a pyramid – a strong foundation building up to the peak, which is the coming of the Lord Jesus and His work.

The Gospel story needs to be understood in the light of what has come before.

So we’re actually spending almost a full third of the study laying our foundations in Genesis.

We started with an overview of what the Bible is (focusing on 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5).  Then the Creation, the Fall, this week the Flood, and next week the Call of Abram.

As you might imagine, choosing the topics and the passages was perhaps the hardest part, involving many hours of work.

Each week we focus on a main passage, with a few supporting passages.  It’s not a verse or two – they’re longer passages.  That way people can see the context and dig for the meaning.

A series of questions starts the conversation.  This is designed to be less of a teaching situation and more of a conversation based study.  Why?  Because part of our purpose is to teach people to dig into the Bible themselves – find out what the passage says, and not just repeat what they’ve heard.

Noah's Sacrifice by Daniel Maclise

The questions and passages are also designed to help us think about things particularly relevant to our Mexican urban context, though I suspect they would work fine in most contexts.

Tonight we’re covering the whole story of the Flood.  Then we’ll be talking about things like:  What does the story of the Flood tell us about sin?  And What were God’s promises and commandments?  And, regarding Hebrews 11:7, what does it mean when it says that Noah "condemned the world"?

The story of the Flood is full of the themes of sin, grace, judgment, and faith.  Read it for yourself in Genesis 6:5-9:17.

Hopefully at the end, we will be able to better see the world in the light of the Scriptures (as our poster says).  But we also want to be better equipped to study the Bible in the future, seeing how it fits together and understanding how to read it in context.

I haven’t been counting, but we’ve had an excellent turnout each week, packing the little room where we meet (the same room we meet in on Sunday morning).

I hope that gives you a little more of a picture of what’s happening in this part of the ministry!

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