Know Your Bible

CORRESPONDENCE COURSE

LESSON I


UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE

Do you want to understand the Bible? You can! God gave us the Bible so that we can understand His will. Wherefore be ye not unwise but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17)

Since God tells us to understand His will, it must be possible. So those people who say we cannot understand what God wants us to do are wrong.

  1. 1) What verse tells us that we must understand the will of the Lord?
  2. 2) Can man understand the Bible?

This six-lesson Bible course will help you to understand your Bible. You will study important things about the will of God. You will learn things which will help you study the Bible for yourself.

The Bible will judge us in the last day. Jesus said, The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48) We must understand His word, for we must obey it or be lost in the Judgment Day.

  1. 3) The will judge us in the last day.

GETTING TO KNOW THE BIBLE

The Bible has two main parts. They are: 1) The Old Testament and 2) The New Testament. In Section II of this lesson we will notice the difference between them.

There are 66 books in the Bible. The Old Testament has 39, and the New Testament has 27.

  1. 4) Name the two main parts of the Bible. 1) 2)
  1. 5) How many books are in the Bible?
  2. 6) How many books are in the Old Testament?
  3. 7) How many books are in the New Testament?

The books of the Old Testament may be divided into four parts:

LAW

Genesis through Deuteronomy have God's law to Israel. (Genesis also tells us about the early beginnings of mankind.)

HISTORY

Joshua through Esther give the history of Israel (the Jewish nation.)

WISDOM LITERATURE

Job through Song of Solomon have God's instructions for man's daily problems.

PROPHETS

Isaiah through Malachi have prophecies of the future. The prophecies are for Israel, the Gentile nations, and tell about the coming Messiah (Jesus). These prophecies have been fulfilled and are a wonderful proof that God gave the Bible.

  1. 8) The first five books of the Old Testament are called books of .
  2. 9) The book of Genesis tells of the of mankind.
  3. 10) through are the 12 books of history in the Old Testament.
  4. 11) Job through Song of Solomon are called .
  5. 12) How many books of prophecy are in the Old Testament?
  6. 13) The are a wonderful proof that God gave the Bible.

The books of the New Testament may also be divided into four parts:

BIOGRAPHY

Matthew through John are the four GOSPELS which tell of Christ's life, His work and His suffering. These biographies tell us almost everything we know about Jesus.

HISTORY

The book of ACTS is the history of the early church. This book tells us how people became Christians and how the church of Christ began, was organized and spread. WE ADVISE THE BEGINNING BIBLE STUDENT TO STUDY THE BOOK OF ACTS FIRST. It is easy to understand and it teaches you how to become a Christian.

LETTERS

Romans through Jude are letters to Christians telling how we must live and serve God.

PROPHECY

Revelation tells of things which John said must shortly come to pass – (Revelation 1:1). In this book we see how God's people win over every evil, even over Satan himself!

  1. 14) The first four books of the New Testament teach us about the life of .
  2. 15) The history of the early church may be found in the book of
  3. 16) 21 letters were written to to teach us how to live.
  4. 17) The book of shows how God's people win over every evil.
II. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW TESTAMENTS
In that he saith a New Covenant, He hath made the first old. – Hebrews 8:13

Our Bible has an Old Testament and a New Testament. The Old Testament was given to the Jews, the New Testament commands were given to all nations.

Also, the New Testament has taken the place of the Old Testament. God's people today are not under the Old Testament. We are under the New.

  1. 18) To what people was the Old Testament law given?

God gave all the Bible. But He gave the first Covenant as a temporary law. It stopped being God's law when Jesus died on the cross.

GALATIANS 3:23-25

The reason that it is no longer God's law is that it finished its work. In the book of Galatians Paul, the apostle, tells us that we are justified (saved) by faith in Christ. Then he writes:

But before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. – Galatians 3:23

This means that the law (of Moses) was taking care of the Jews in the way a servant takes care of children. The law was keeping them until "the faith" was revealed – that is, until Jesus came and the whole plan of salvation by faith in Christ was given to men.

  1. 19) What were the Jews "kept under?"
  2. 20) What was going to be revealed afterwards?
Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. – Galatians 3:24.

Here Paul calls the law a "schoolmaster."

But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. – Galatians 3:25

If we are no longer under a schoolmaster, we are no longer under the law of Moses. That law did its work. It brought the Jews to Christ. Now its work is finished and we are not under it any more.

  1. 21) Galatians 3:24 calls the law "our ".
  2. 22) Because faith is come, we are no longer under a .
COLOSSIANS 2:13-17

In his letter to the church at Colossae, Paul tells the Gentiles (those who are not Jews) that they can now be saved.

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; – Colossians 2:13

This verse says that the Gentiles were separated from God by two things – 1) their sins and 2) the fact that they were not circumcised.

  1. 23) What two things separated the Gentiles from God? a) b)

Jesus came to correct both things. He came to forgive their trespasses (sins) and –

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; – Colossians 2:14

The word ordinances means laws. The thing which Jesus blotted out and took out of the way was made up of laws. It was the law of Moses which said that all male Jews had to be circumcised, etc. It was the law which kept Gentiles separate from the Jews.

  1. 24) What was the "handwriting of ordinances"?
  2. 25) When was it taken out of the way?

The reason it was taken away when Jesus died on the cross is simple. That was when Jesus fulfilled everything necessary to take it away and bring the New Testament.

"And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." – Colossians 2:15. Satan tried to stop Jesus by killing Him on the cross. But the cross was when sins were forgiven and when the Law of Moses was taken away. Satan and his powers were spoiled, that is, their power was taken away.
  1. 26) When were Satan and his powers "spoiled"?
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday. or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. –Colossians 2:16-17

The law which said that Jews must not eat pork, and which said they must keep the Passover and the sabbath, was nailed to the cross. We must not let any man judge us by that law any more. It is gone. We have come to Christ. His word is the real thing for which the Old Covenant was preparing the world.

  1. 27) Why must no man judge us in meat or the sabbath?
  2. 28) May a Christian eat pork? (Read also 1 Timothy 4:1-5)
  3. 29) May a Christian work on the Sabbath (Saturday)?
  4. 30) By what law is a Christian NOT judged?
THE NEW TESTAMENT – HEBREWS 9:15-17
And for this cause he is the mediator (giver) of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption (salvation) of the transgressions (sins) that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. – Hebrews 9:15

A testament is a will. Jesus died to bring His new testament, a will in which there is salvation from sins.

  1. 31) What is a testament?
For where a testament is. there must also of necessity be the death of the testator (the maker of the will) . For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. – Hebrews 9:16-17

While Jesus was living, His testament (will) was not yet the law for men. The law of Moses was still God's law. But when Jesus died, He took the law out of the way and brought His new testament into power. Until He died, His testament had no strength. But when He died, His will became the law for all mankind. Therefore we must keep the New Testament, not the Old.

  1. 32) What testament (law) was God's law for the Jews while Jesus was living?
  2. 33) When did Christ's testament (will) become the law for all mankind?
III. THE PURPOSE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Is there any reason to study the Old Testament? Yes! In Romans 15:4 Paul wrote: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, (warning) upon whom the ends of the world are come.

  1. 34) The things written aforetime were written for our .
  2. 35) What was for our admonition (warning)?

When we read of Noah, Abraham and David, we see how God rewarded them because of their faithful lives. When we read of Cain, Esau and Jezebel we see how God punished them because of their unfaithfulness. These things teach us about God. God's laws are different today, but God's attitude toward sin is the same.

  1. 36) Has God's attitude toward sin changed?
CONCLUSIONS FROM OUR FIRST LESSON

Christians live under the New Testament of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We must do only the things commanded in the New Testament, and the things which the early church did.

Many wrong teachings come because people do not know the difference between the Old Testament and the New. Denominations are doing things which Jesus does not tell us to do, things which are not in His New Testament. We must listen to Jesus, not to Moses.

  1. 37) Where do we find the commands for Christians?
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