The Story of the Bible (Galatians 3:6-18)

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We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of the Bible. And we receive the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments as our final authority for faith and practice. The whole Bible speaks about Christ and his amazing grace, and about substitution as the way of salvation. And as such, the whole Bible must be believed and embraced, and it is to be read through the story of Abraham.

These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.

1. What are some of your favorite passages in the Bible? Why?
2. How have you grown in your appreciation and understanding of the Bible over the years?
3. What are some books, other resources, or practices that have been helpful in your personal study of the Bible?
4. If someone were to ask you what the Bible is about, how would you answer that person?

1. Briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Briefly explain.

2. Read Luke 24:13-49

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

• What is the setting of this passage? (see vv. 1-12)
• Why were they going to Emmaus? (v. 13)
• In verse 16, we read that when Jesus walked up these two men, “they were kept from recognizing him.” How might this have happened? Why might this have happened? What are some things that might keep people from recognizing Jesus today?
• When Jesus asked them what they were talking about, what was their response? (vv. 17-24) What are some things that stand out to you about their description of what had just happened?
• How does Jesus explain to these men what had just happened? (vv. 25-27) How is Jesus’ explanation different from the two men’s explanation? Have you ever had an experience where your personal view about some issue was different from, or even opposed to, the teachings of the Bible? Briefly explain.
• We read in verse 31, that the eyes of these two men were “opened” and “they recognized him.” Where were they when this happened? What were they doing when this happened?
• We read in verse 32, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Have you ever had an encounter with the Bible like that? Briefly explain. (see also verse 45)
• Briefly explain the encounter with Jesus found in verses 36-43. What stands out to you about this encounter?
• Read verses 44-47. How does Jesus explain the events that have just transpired? What does he use as the foundation for his explanation?
• What are the promises and commands of Jesus found in verses 48-49?

3. In his sermon, Rich made the following statement:

“To be a serious follower of Jesus Christ means that you take the entire Bible seriously as your guide for life. And I mean all of Scripture – the parts you like and the parts you don’t like. The parts you agree with and the parts that you struggle with, or cause you tension. Christian spirituality is marked by believing and embracing and submitting to the whole Bible.”

• In light of this statement, would you consider yourself to be a “serious follower of Jesus Christ?”
• What are some of the parts of the Bible that you don’t like? Parts you struggle with? Parts that cause you tension? Why might this be?
• Consider setting aside time during small group to pray that God would open eyes and minds so that we would encounter Jesus in the Scriptures, and for grace to embrace and submit to the whole Bible.