Survey of the Bible 25. The Church extends from Jerusalem 30-33 AD

Jeff Gilbert took this class.

This study covers most of Acts 1-12. The physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus: Luke 24:44-53 all evidence suggests that the disciples were not expecting Jesus to be alive on the third day Luke 24:11 you might expect them to at least have some lingering hope, some connections being made in their minds as events unfolded. Thomas really does refuse to make this connection with the testimony of Jesus before he died and that of the disciples after Jesus rose. Yet God will accomplish his purposes, in spite of our frailty and lack of faith and insight. We noted that the resurrection is a very prominent doctrine in Acts preaching (see also 1 Peter 1:3)

Power – effects felt by gentiles too. Power to bear witness.
Preaching – the ‘word of God increased’ meanings: rivers of living water as promised by the Lord, growth in influence and significance for those who were being saved, and in every way really.
Persecution – caused the spread of the church Acts 8:1
So little of this New Testament Christianity is seen in our day. The contrast is sadly very sharp.

Tozer quote: The difference between faith as it is found in the New Testament and faith as it is found now is that faith in the New Testament actually produced something – there was a confirmation of it. Faith now is a beginning and an end. We have faith in faith – but nothing happens. They had faith in a risen Christ and something did happen. That’s the difference. Life in the Spirit, p41


Survey of the Bible: Fall of Samaria and Jerusalem (722-586 BC)

We sang 291 ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds’
Revolutionary times and domination for Judah – hard to imagine and a cause for doubt. Assyrian exile – 3 deportations. 1&2 was the 10 tribes, 3rd included Judah. Babylonian exile – 4 deportations
Isaiah 39 Hezekiah, blessed and delivered but pride arose in his heart: ‘my house’, ‘my treasures’
2 Chron 32 ‘his heart was lifted up’ – severe punishment? Severe sin. We can become proud if blessed! Perverse! See Matthew Henry: blessed Paul needed a thorn in the flesh to help him cope with the revelations given him. How we need to watch over our spirits when others look upon our possessions, it must be in the region of grieving the Spirit. Irony in the punishment upon the sin.
Manasseh’s wicked reign coincided with the rise of Assyria’s Empire. But his repentance was as famous, even in his old age, the mirror image of his father.
We ought not to look to a man. Hezekiah, as a king, was a bad example of godliness. The aggravation of sin! How stupid sin is, pride here – where does that emerge from.
The Lord is a Jealous God, we can measure the seriousness of sin by God’s reaction to it: the fall, the flood, etc.
Calvary itself is the best ‘view’ to get a sense of the seriousness of sin and the holiness of God.
Manasseh repented but the consequences are still in place – sin casting a long shadow.
2 Chron 36:14-17 ’till there was no remedy’ – We face a similar circumstance – as the church and nation descends into ever deeper godlessness. The grace of God sent messengers – those prophets came in a marked concentration during this period. Looking forward – the gospel thread is apparent in the prophecies of course.
Helpful books: Gareth Crossley’s OT, and Alec Motyer’s. We should understand scripture in order to read it. Challenge to read background and context of a book.
Jeremiah’s theme is the certainty of judgement and yet the eternity of God’s love. Jer 7:32-34 vs Jer 29:10-14
‘The terror of law and of God, with me can have nothing to do; my Saviour’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view’.
In Jeremiah we also have the gospel foreshadowed in the way the law is written on the fleshy tables of the heart and it is here that we must guard grieving the Spirit with our pride and other such heart sins.
Looking for the Saviour in the Old Testament, we were reminded, that the Lord as well as Jeremiah wept over the temple’s destruction, both were also accused of treason.

Survey of the Bible: 2 The Flood to the call of Abraham

Jeff’s notes are downloadable as a PDF from this link and include a version of the Chronological Chart for the period we’re covering from the dawn of time to the Division of the Kingdom in 932 BC.

1. From the Dawn of History to the Flood. 

  • Genesis Chapter 1 to 5.
  • Genesis 1 and 2 – The Creation.
  • Genesis 3 – The Fall.
  • Genesis 4 – The death of Abel and the birth of Seth.
  • Genesis 5 – The generations of Adam up to Noah and his three sons.

The significance of Gen 1-3

  • The Genesis..  Beginning..  Origin of all things..
  • The origin of   Time and Space..
  • The origin of The universe and this world..
  • The origin of man.. the innate value of man.. even in the womb..
  • The origin of marriage.  For life.  Man and woman.  Family life.
  • The origin of the Sabbath..
  • The origin of sin and all its catastrophic consequences.
  • The origin of all things apart from the origin of God.
  • The significance of 3:15 and Gen 4:25?  
  • The origin of the gospel.   The promised seed

There is one, central theme which, like a golden thread, runs through all the stories of the Old Testament.  That theme is the Coming Christ.  As long as one does not see this, the Old Testament remains a closed book.  As soon as the idea is grasped, the Scriptures are opened. Hendricksen. 

Luke 24:27   Our Lord had risen from the grave had been speaking to the two disciples who were on their way to the village of Emmaus…   “And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He had interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
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Notes from the Doctrine Class of 9th December 2012, led by Jeff Gilbert. Reading: Romans 3:21-6
Personal aspect of wrath of God woven into the Old testament.
Expiation is there instead of propitiation in the new testament modern translations. This morning’s sermon was clear on this. How do we consider our own sin as angering God. We expect God to forgive without understanding that God is grieved. Sin is committed in the shadows and we cut off ourselves from God so it is no wonder if we are ignorant of God’s wrath. Consequences of sin seen in Revelation. We should fear offending him, yet if he is angry at our sin it must be serious. Serious enough to be called ‘trampling the blood under foot’.
Hell itself is the outworking of God’s wrath. Jesus teaches it explicitly.
Rom 3:21 unless hilasterion we are,
Heb 2:17 reconciliation is there but actually propitiation is closer. NIV has margin note admitting as much. Dogged unwillingness to look this word full on.
The propitiation 1Jn 2:1-2
1 Jn 4:10 so it is there.
These are fully personal words. We must remember that. Saved to sin no more.
God cannot be placated in the way of the pagans. God is not capricious. He never over-reacts, yet he is opposed to it, how can you ignore it?
The opposite of love is not wrath but hate. He is angry with anything that mars his relation to the perfection of his creation.  Why keep on doing that?! Wrath and love are closely related.
So this hostility has to be placated
Since we are in a theistic cosmos we cannot exclude him from this work.
We do not find ‘expiation’ in Christian literature until our own day.
Our generation does not like this wrath, sign of the times.
“‘The doctrine of the propitiation is precisely this that God loved the objects of His wrath so much that He gave His own Son to the end that He by His blood should make provision for the removal of this wrath… (John Murray, The Atonement, p.15)'”

Aspects of the Atonement: Reconciliation

Today’s doctrine class was led by Jeff Gilbert. Jeff’s notes are attached to this link: Leon Morris – Reconciliation

Aspects of the Atonement: Passover

Jeff Gilbert’s Doctrine Class Notes 18th March 2012 ‘The Passover’ are attached.


I’m not able to be at the Doctrine Class tomorrow so, Lord willing, Jeff Gilbert is leading the meeting on the subject of ‘Sacrifice’, as part of a series on ‘The Atonement’. His notes are downloadable from this link

The bookstall has one copy of the book by Leon Morris which Jeff has recommended. Have a look and snap it up – we can order more.

Just to mention  that the rota for the year is pretty much complete, with the exception of the meetings either side of the conference. More news on that anon.