current bible studies

Darkness Before Dawn (Exodus 1:7-22)

The book of Exodus is the book of redemption. It is God’s picture book to show how he is going to save the world. God has sent Joseph into Egypt through the evil of his brothers so that he would be in a position to rescue his family when the famine struck. Seventy people in all from the family of Jacob came to Egypt. But that generation has died (Exodus 1:6). God had made a promise about blessings and deliverance in Genesis. In Genesis 46:4 God promised Jacob, “I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” (Genesis 46:4 ESV) God said he will go with them to Egypt and bring them out of Egypt again.

Now listen to the words of Exodus 1:7, after recording the sons of Israel in Exodus 1:1-6 in the same order as Genesis 35:23-26. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them. (Exodus 1:7 ESV)

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Do Not Receive the Grace of God In Vain (2 Corinthians 5:21-6:2)

The apostle Paul has been writing to the Christians in Corinth about the reconciliation we have from God in Christ Jesus. We have ruptured the relationship with God because of our sins. We have made a separation but God is reconciling the world to himself, by not counting their sins against those who come to him in faith. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we are given an explanation of the work of Christ.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

Many Christians have read this verse. But how should we understand this verse? What seems to be a simple declaration is not very easy to understand when we try to break down what Paul is saying. What does it mean that God made Jesus to be sin? What does it mean that this was for our sake? What does in mean that in Christ we become the righteousness of God? When we slow down over these words we recognize that what Paul said is dense theology. In one sentence Paul said a lot. But what Paul said is very important because this is the message of reconciliation that Paul and the apostles are proclaiming.

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A New Moses (Exodus 1:1-7)

Redemption is a major thread that weaves its way through the scriptures. The picture of redemption culminates in the arrival of Jesus who will offer himself as a sacrifice to redeem us from our sins. In speaking of Christ, the apostle Paul says, “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins” (Colossians 1:14). But what does this exactly look like? Please consider that redemption is something that God had set forward as a hope for Israel and a hope to the world. In speaking about the prophetess Anna before the birth of Christ, listen to what the scripture says about her:

She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:37–38 ESV)

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Be Reconciled To God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

Reconciliation. Reconciliation means that there used to be a problem. Reconciliation means that there was a ruptured relationship. There was alienation and separation. Reconciliation is the establishment of harmony and peace between enemies. Reconciliation bridges the chasm that existed between two people. Reconciliation means that the hostility has ended and the two are no longer enemies. Listen to these three verses in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 and how frequently Paul says something about reconciliation.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18–20 ESV)

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