Genesis 6

  1. What do we learn here concerning:
    (a) the fallen condition of human nature,
    (b) God’s attitude to sin,
    (c) the provision of a way of salvation?
    Cf. Matt. 24:37-39; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5.
  2. ‘Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.’
    What were his characteristics?
    Cf. Heb. 11:7.

Notes

  1. In Gen. 6:3 the words ‘a hundred and twenty years’ probably refer not to the average length of human life, but to the respite for repentance that the race was to have from that time to the flood.
  2. The value of the New Testament references is specially great in this study.
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Genesis 1 & 2

  1. What truths stand out regarding:
    (a) the character of the whole creation,
    (b) the character of man and his relation to God?
  2. ‘And God said’ is found ten times.
    Cf. Ps. 33:6, 9; Heb. 11:3. What does this suggest concerning the mode of creation?
    What further light is provided by John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17?
  3. Why did God make men ‘male and female’?
    What pattern for marriage is divinely ordained here?
    Cf. Matt. 19:3-6.

Note. Interest should be concentrated on theological truth that cannot be leant from text books of natural science.

Matthew 28:1-20

  1. Note the foremost place taken by women disciple in the story of the resurrection appearances.
    Why should this be (cf. John 14:21)?
    Contrast the effect of the news of the resurrection on the disciples with the response of Christ’s enemies recorded in verses 11-15.
    How does this prove the truth of Luke 16:30, 31?
  2. Verses 18-20. Note the fourfold repetition of the word ‘all’ in Christ’s final commission.
    What is the threefold task given to the Christian church?
    Are we obeying, as we ought to do, in the light of:
    (a) Christ’s authority, and
    (b) the promise of his presence?

 

Matthew 27:51-66

  1. What is the significance of the torn curtain of the temple (verse 51)?
    Cf. Heb. 9:8; 10:19-23.
    How are the manifestations recorded in verses 52, 53 linked with these truths?
  2. What made Joseph of Arimathea (and Nicodemus, John 19:39) come out into the open at this late stage?
    Is it not at first sight strange that they should now publicly associate themselves with Christ?
    What, in the purposes of God, did such a burial demonstrate and make possible?

Note. Verse 62. ‘The next day, the one after Preparation Day’: it looks as if, in their concern to safeguard the tomb, the Jewish leaders even broke their own sacred Sabbath laws.

Matthew 27:32-50

  1. What were the real sufferings of Christ?
    In what way are physical, mental and spiritual sufferings indicated here?
  2. What, if any, truth is there in the taunt of verses 41-43?
    Why did God not intervene?
    What is the meaning behind Christ’s own sense of desertion in verse 46?
    Can you hold this truth with that contained in 2 Cor. 5:19, ‘God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ’? See also 2 Cor. 5:21.

Matthew 27:15-31

  1. In these verses the Jewish people made a fateful choice. Note especially verses 20 and 25.
    It was the choice of what kind of savior they wanted (see Note below).
    What was the result of this choice in the life of the nation?
  2. In how many ways did Pilate seek to avoid a decision about Christ?
    Cf. Luke 23:7. Read again the question in verses 22.
    Is this not a question which I, too, must ask and answer?

Note. Verses 16, 17. There is good textual evidence in favour of reading ‘Jesus Barabbas’. This makes the question of verse 17 even more telling. This was a choice between a false claimant and the true Saviour.

Matthew 27:1-14

  1. What lessons concerning the inevitable judgment upon sin are to be found in the account of the death of Judas?
    Can you see any sense in which we may be tempted to act like Judas in our situation, or is he unique?
  2. Consider the silence of Jesus in these last hours of his life.
    Cf. Luke 23:9. In the light of this, read 1 Pet. 2:21-23 and note the lessons for our own life and witness.