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The Scriptorium


Life isn't always smooth sailing.

The Heart of God: Covenant Life (6)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on Romans 1.18-32, James 4, 1 Timothy 4, 2 Timothy 3, Titus 1, Jude, and 1 Peter 5.
The covenant community exists within a hostile environment, both spiritually and temporally. Spiritual forces of wickedness are arrayed against us, and the culture is dominated by people who reject the knowledge of God and prefer the Lie of personal autonomy and themselves as their own god. We need to be ever mindful of the threats to our wellbeing these forces represent.

For reflection
1.  Read these chapters in a single sitting. Why does Paul say that those who reject the knowledge of God have chosen the Lie instead? What is the result of this? What kind of conditions does this create in society and culture, and why is it important that churches understand this?

2.  What makes false doctrine false? How can we know when someone is teaching false doctrine? Why does this constitute a threat to the ongoing work of Christ? How should the shepherds of a local church work to prepare the Lord’s flocks for recognizing and resisting false doctrine?

3.  What role does the Word of God have in preparing us to recognize and resist the various threats that might come our way? Why is it important that every member of a local church be grounded and growing in the Word of God?

4.  Meditate on Romans 12.21. What does Paul mean by “overcome with evil”? How does that happen? What can believers do to help one another overcome evil with good?
5.  What is the role of pastors, elders, shepherds, and other church leaders in guarding local churches from these and other threats? Is there a role for church discipline in helping local churches overcome evil with good in their midst? Explain.

We do not pursue the ongoing work of Christ in a favorable or even a neutral environment. The world opposes the truth of God, and spiritual forces of wickedness seek our downfall. Weakness and decay enters a local church through a weak member or one who is not being vigilant toward such threats as we have seen in this lesson. What can you do to make sure you are not the cause of corruption or weakness entering your church?

Closing Prayer
Help us, O God of our salvation,
For the glory of Your name;
And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins,
For Your name's sake!
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let there be known among the nations in our sight
The avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.
Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You;
According to the greatness of Your power
Preserve those who are appointed to die;
And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom
Their reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.
So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture,
Will give You thanks forever;
We will show forth Your praise to all generations.

Psalm 79.9-13

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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