The Gospel in the Prophets

“At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it…” – Jeremiah 3:17

  1. Israel’s rebellion from God leads them to desire a king like the nations of the world. How did this go against God’s original plan for them?
    • 1 Samuel 8:6-9
  1. God promises to re-establish his Kingdom through the lineage of Israel’s second king, King David (2 Samuel 7:8-16). But their overall rejection of God continues. Despite their rebellion, God never gives up on them for his overall mission to the rest of the world (1 Kings 3:6,8:56).
    • How does the vivid example given in Hosea 3:1-5 reflect God’s position with Israel?
    • What is Israel doing or not doing that makes God so angry?
      • Hosea 6:1-6
      • Isaiah 1:11-16
      • Isaiah 10:1-4
      • Jeremiah 2:29-37
  1. Ultimately, Israel’s unfaithfulness gave God no choice but to follow his own covenant and send Israel into exile, but he did it in a way to restore them and not undo the promise to bring a king through David. (2 Kings 17, 25)
    • Jeremiah 3:6-18
    • Isaiah 55:1-5
    • Isaiah 56:1-8 
  1. Why did the exiled people need continuous reminders from the Prophets?
  1. What role did the promise of a Messiah play in sustaining the Israelite community during exile?
    • Genesis 3:15
    • 2 Samuel 7:10-13
    • Isaiah 9:6-7
  1. God didn’t only send the Prophets to the people of Israel, but he sent them to all the kingdoms of the world around Israel, including the nations that God would eventually use to punish Israel like Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. How does this present God’s vision for his Kingdom?
    • 1 Kings 10:1-9
    • Jonah 3:4-10
    • Daniel 4:28-37
    • Esther 10:1-3
  1. What was John the Baptist’s role as the last prophet of the old covenant (Luke 16:16)?
    • John 1:19-34
    • Matthew 3:1-17
    • Luke 7:28-30
  1. The kingdom of Israel pointed forward to the coming of God’s eternal kingdom. What the prophets foretold has come about: God’s Kingdom is here! That day has come! How is the good news even bigger than most Jews realized in Jesus’ day? Who ended up being the subject of the promises?
    • Ephesians 3:1-6
    • Galatians 3:13-14
    • Isaiah 60:1-3
  1. While God’s Kingdom has deep roots with the kingdom of Israel, the scope and blessing of God’s Kingdom was always meant to go beyond any national border (Isaiah 2:2, 49:6). The promise of the Kingdom inheritance is not restricted to a national border or an ethnicity (Galatians 3:28-29). There is good news for the poor, liberty to the captives, sight for the blind, freedom for the oppressed (Luke 4:18-19). That’s the gospel of God’s Kingdom! And that’s the gospel Jesus proclaimed (Luke 4:43).

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The Gospel at the End

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14

  1. What are the aspects of the Kingdom we’re still waiting for?
    • Return
      • Philippians 3:20-21 – Citizens of his Kingdom now but waiting for the return of the King.
      • James 5:7
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
      • Acts 1:9-11
    • Restoration
      • Acts 3:18-21
      • Romans 8:18-25
      • Deuteronomy 30:3
      • Isaiah 65:17-25
    • Re-inheriting of the nations
      • Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (see Gen 10:1-32, 11:9; Deut 4:19-20; Luke 10:1-20; Acts 2:1-13)
      • Psalm 82:8
      • Revelation 7:9-10; 22:1-5
      • Micah 4:1-7
      • Jeremiah 48:47 – Restoration is promised even for the Gentiles
    • Resurrection
      • 1 Corinthians 6:14
      • 1 Corinthians 15:12-23,47-58
      • Philippians 3:11-12,20-21
      • Acts 24:15
      • 1 Peter 1:3-5
      • Isaiah 26:19
    • Retribution
      • Genesis 3:15 – The end was proclaimed at the beginning!
      • Matthew 13:30,41-43,49-50
      • Psalm 82:1-8
      • 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
      • Daniel 12:2
  1. How does the Bible use creation language to point to the Kingdom coming in its fullness?
    • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 – Old creation has died; New creation has come.
    • Isaiah 43:18-19; 65:17
    • John 11:25-26
    • Ephesians 4:22-24
    • 2 Peter 3:13
    • Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5
  1. What does the Bible say about the Kingdom of God’s permanence and status over the kingdoms of the world?
    • Daniel 2:31-45; 7:14
    • Isaiah 9:6-7
    • 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
    • Revelation 11:15
  1. There are aspects of the Kingdom in its fullness we are eagerly waiting for, but we can still enjoy the blessings of the Kingdom now! Jesus’ Spirit lives within us (Romans 8:10-11). We spread God’s goodness through our community of believers to each other and those outside (Matthew 5:13-16, Galatians 6:10, 1 Peter 2:9-12). We have been raised with Christ and are seated with him in his Kingdom (Colossians 3:1-4, Ephesians 2:6, Philippians 3:20). We can rest in his eternal rule (Matthew 11:28).

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The Gospel in the Beginning

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion…’” – Genesis 1:26

  1. How does the Creation narrative in Genesis 1:1-2:3 frame the Kingdom of God?
    • Throughout the ancient world, the temple was a significant part of the cosmic landscape. It was considered to be at the center of the cosmos, the place from which the cosmos was controlled, and a small model of the cosmos—a microcosm” (Walton, J. H. (2011). Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology)
      • Could the creation narrative be a way of talking about God inaugurating the world as his temple?
        • Isaiah 66:1
        • Psalm 132:7-8
        • 1 Kings 8:62-9:3 (The inauguration of the Temple was a 7-day process, after it took Solomon seven years to build it (1 Kings 6:38))
      • What does “rest” mean in Genesis 2:2-3? What does a “god” typically do in a temple?
        • They reign and rule from their throne
        • This part of the narrative isn’t a footnote, it’s the climax! God has taken his place as an engaged ruler on his throne over his newly ordered system.
          • Who does he expect to be working with him to continue to maintain this order?
            • Genesis 1:26-31
            • 1 Corinthians 3:9
            • Jesus reflects on this in Matthew 11:28-30
  1. How does the Garden of Eden reflect God’s Kingdom?
    • A connection between the heavenly realm and the earthly realm (Genesis 3:8-9), which is also reflected in the Tabernacle and Temple.
    • The Tree of Life (Genesis 2:8-9)
      • God invited Adam and Eve to live by his life, but they chose to go their own way (Genesis 3:6-7). God then sends them out of the Garden and blocks them from access to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22-24).
      • When Jesus comes, he is the return of the Tree of Life. Following him means coming back into God’s Kingdom rule.
        • John 6:53-58,19:41,20:15
        • Revelation 2:7,22:2
  1. What was God’s purpose for Adam and Eve before they sinned?
    • What does “work and keep” mean in Genesis 2:15?
      • These two verbs ‘abad (עבד) and shamar (שמר) are used together as a phrase to refer to the priestly roles of the Levites who serve God in the temple and who guard the temple (Numbers 3:7-8; 8:25-26; 18:5-6; 1 Chronicles 23:32; Ezekiel 44:14).
    • As God’s priestly representatives, Adam and Eve were to be mediators between God and others—relating with God on behalf of other people and reflecting his character to others. Like all people, they were called to be his image-bearers, his representatives, and exercise rule over the creation (Genesis 1:26-28).
  1. God’s plan for his Kingdom has existed from the very beginning. Adam and Eve were created to keep and guard God’s dwelling place and represent his Kingdom to the world. When sin interrupted their mission, they were removed from this role. Salvation will be needed to deliver them back to his presence. In the same way for us, salvation is a deliverance back to living under God’s rule and reign so that we can represent him as his image, working and keeping his Garden, his Kingdom.
    • Romans 12:1-2 – We worship God by being who he made us to be—His Image! That’s how we keep from taking his name in vain (Exodus 20:7).

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Introduction: What is the Gospel?

(We’re starting a new study on the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Join us!)

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” – Isaiah 52:7

“The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.” – Psalm 103:19

  1. What has the term “gospel” meant to you?
  1. Word Study – The English terms “good news” or “gospel” come from these words in the original texts:
    • Hebrew Old Testament – bśr (verb), bĕśōrâ (noun) (Royal announcement)
      • 2 Samuel 18:19-31
      • 1 Kings 1:38-48 (especially vs. 42)
      • Isaiah 52:7
    • Greek New Testament – euangelizō (verb), euangelion (noun) (Good/eu – Announcement/angelion)
      • Luke 3:1-20 – What is the significance of vs 9 specifically? What is about to be cut down?
      • Matthew 4:23
      • Mark 1:14-15
    • What was the “good news” centered around in those Old Testament passages?
    • What was the “good news” centered around in those New Testament passages?
  1. The word “Kingdom” (in relation to the Kingdom of God) is mentioned in the New Testament 139 times! In contrast, “Resurrection” (which we know is a critical concept to the Christian faith!) is only mentioned 42 times.
    • Has this Kingdom already arrived? Are there aspects of the Kingdom that have not yet arrived?
      • Mark 1:14-15
      • Ephesians 2:6
      • Colossians 1:12-13
      • Matthew 25:31-34
      • 1 Corinthians 4:16-20
      • 1 Corinthians 15:24
      • Hebrews 2:8-9
      • Luke 4:17-21 – The Lord’s favor is “already,” his vengeance is “not yet.”
  1. How does the whole Bible story shape what that “good news” entails?
    • Genesis 1:31
    • Genesis 12:2-3
    • 2 Samuel 7:12-13
    • Daniel 2:44
    • Luke 4:18-21
    • Matthew 24:14
    • Romans 8:18-25
    • 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
    • Revelation 11:15
    • Revelation 19:16
    • Revelation 21:1-4
  1. What is the believer’s role in spreading this “good news” of God’s Kingdom?
    • Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15
    • Acts 1:8
    • 2 Corinthians 5:16-20
  1. The “Good News” has always centered around God’s desire to establish his Kingdom with his followers. He wanted to co-rule with Adam and Eve in the Garden. He wanted to display his Kingdom to the nations through Israel. Now he wants to display his Kingdom through the Church. The King has come, and he brought the new Kingdom with him. He didn’t come just to be a “personal savior.” He came to take his rightful place as King of kings and Lord of lords. Are we proclaiming that good news? Do we believe it? (Matthew 6:33)

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