Waiting on the Lord may tempt us to doubt His faithfulness. But if we dwell in God’s Word, we can rest certain in His promises.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SMALL GROUPS
- What was one thing you found challenging, insightful, helpful, or difficult to understand from this message?
- If someone asked you to define or explain the Abrahamic covenant, what would you say?
- Why is it significant that the Lord calls Himself “God Almighty” (Genesis 17:1):? Why was that name important to Abraham’s situation? How does it affect and transform your life?
- What does it mean that Abraham received “progressive revelation”? Do you receive such revelation yourself? How could you find it?
- Read and discuss Genesis 17:9-14 and Colossians 2:9-15. How did Christ fulfill the circumcision that God commanded Abraham and his descendants to receive? What does it mean that “in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands” (Colossians 2:11)?
- What is the significance of the statement that Abraham and his household were circumcised the “very day” that he heard from the Lord? What does that action model for us?
- Spend some time in prayer, thanking God for the glorious declarations in Colossians 2:13-14: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
Regarding the Term “Personal Revelation” by Pastor Mike
I wanted to briefly clarify some statements from this message in which I mention receiving “personal revelation,” a phrase which may cause confusion or even concern for some. I have elaborated on this phrase in past messages, which are linked below, but I hope the following comments are helpful in considering my use of this phrase.
The Bible is a book of revelation, containing the whole supernatural revelation of God to men. Scripture never changes nor is there any new revelation to be added to it (Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:18-19, Proverbs 30:5-6). When we read it for the first time, all of it is new revelation to us. But as we continue to read and re-read it, we also continue to learn things that we never knew before, so in that sense we gain “new” revelation every time we read it. A personal revelation in this sense is not “new” in that is adds something previously unknown to the closed canon of Scripture: it is “new” in that it is simply fresh to us in its realization or personal application.
This is a vital distinction. A closed canon doesn’t mean God has ceased to reveal Himself to people today, but that there will be no new, additional, previously unknown revelation of truth outside of what He has already revealed in the Bible. God has placed in the closed canon of Scripture everything we presently need to know about Himself, and about who we are, how we ought to live, and what will happen in the future. It is completely sufficient, and we must neither add anything to it nor remove anything from it.
Among many important implications, here are two to note as we consider the closed nature of the Word of God. 1.) This implies that other religious books that devotees purport to be inspired by God should be rejected as misleading or completely false. 2.) This also implies that there are no apostles or prophets today who are receiving new messages from God. Anyone who claims a new revelation from God, offering his or her message as divinely inspired and on par with Scripture, is leading people astray. To be very clear, this is not at all what I mean when using the phrase “personal revelation.”
In light of some historical and current misuse of the term “personal revelation,” I hope the links below and my comments here aid my context from this message.
- Read Your Bible
The Bible is a book of revelation, showing us what God wants us to know that we could otherwise not know. Read your Bible. Listen here.
- The Handiwork of God
General revelation prepares the heart for the specific revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Listen here.
- Getting to Know Scripture, Part 2
Meditating on Scriptures helps us move the precepts of the Bible from head to heart. Meditation is seeking the richness of God’s Word by being still as we reflect on the greater possibilities of meaning and application without violating the intended meaning of the text. Listen here.