Have you ever sat down with a particularly difficult text and wondered “How do I see the Gospel story here?”
Many of us have, and as group leaders, we are often faced with answering hard questions from our group members as we journey through scripture.
How can we train ourselves to notice God’s plan (from Genesis to Revelation) to rescue and redeem His creation through His Son, Jesus Christ?
Meet Gospel Foundations, a Bible study series designed to take you on a one-year journey through the storyline of scripture to see Jesus as Hero from beginning to end.
How does this study practically show you Christ and the Gospel? Through context, content, and visuals. See an excerpt below from Volume 4: The Coming Rescue (2 Kings – Malachi).
Setting the Context
The first order of business for the restoration of Jerusalem was the rebuilding of the temple. This was how it should have been, given the central place of worship in the lives of the people of God. Though there were delays, the new temple was completed in 515 BC. Sacrifices and festivals were resumed, and the people committed themselves to obeying the law. Things were going well. It seemed they had learned their lesson.
What difficulties are prone to arise when things are going well in one’s spiritual life? Why?
Sadly, within a few decades, the prophet Malachi had to deliver his message because the worship of the people had grown stale. He focused on the failure of the priests to fear God and to serve the people conscientiously during difficult times, but the priests mirrored the people—they all lacked the sincere worship God commanded. The Book of Malachi is the last prophetic message from God before the close of the Old Testament. Then came four hundred years of silence from God. Malachi, like many prophets before him, gave the people a severe warning, but he also spoke of the hope to come. As “Seeing Jesus in the Return from Exile” (p. 83) shows, the Messiah was coming, and He was coming to deal with the true problem of humanity—the sin in our hearts. But would the people be ready for Him?
Why is the gospel of Jesus the only solution for our true problem of the sin in our hearts?
After Malachi, the prophetic word of God went silent for four hundred years. But Malachi prophesied about a messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah to bring God’s kingdom. Centuries later, John the Baptist arrived as the messenger who prepared the way for Jesus. The last word of the Old Testament is “curse,” a reminder of the consequence of our sin. But in the New Testament, one of the first words we hear from Jesus is “blessing.” The One who bears our curse is the One who brings us blessing.
And this is just the beginning. To see a full preview of the Gospel Foundations products (including sermon outlines, sample content from volumes 1 and volumes 2, a preview guide, downloadable mobile wallpaper, and more), visit the Gospel Foundations site here.
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