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Four Questions and Two Challenges

After a brilliant series of Bible Studies looking at Matthew’s Gospel with William, Claire led the Bible Study this afternoon on Zoom. We had a great time. Several people made interesting and helpful points as we studied the first in a three week series on being confident … confident in the gospel.

Claire’s first question: What good news have you heard recently? We all had plenty of things to share.

Claire’s second question: What is the gospel? We had to choose from:

a person or people; a book or books; a fact or facts; a story or stories.

The answer is all of them! Jesus is the good news written about in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) who wrote historical facts often expressed as stories.

Claire explained that we can substituted the word “good news” when we hear the word “gospel”.

Gospel is from a Greek word, with two parts, meaning ‘good’ and ‘message’ hence ‘good news’.

We often remember facts better if they come to us in the form of a story.

Claire’s third question: What do stories have? Kimberley was quick to give the answer: a beginning, a middle and an end.

Claire selected seven Bible verses, not from the Gospels, that tell the good news. As we read, we were encouraged to pick out the beginning, middle and end of the passage.

Romans 6:23; Colossians 1:13-14; I Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2: 12-13, 19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Titus 3:3-7 and the bonus passage Luke 15:11-32.

A theme emerged:

Human beings are not perfect and do things wrong, they are in darkness;

God gave his son to be the way wrongdoing is forgiven;

People then can live in God’s light and receive eternal life, as a free gift from God.

Jesus is in the centre of the story. He has outstretched arms to bridge the gap between us and God.

The gospel is all about the ‘great swap’. Jesus had not sinned and yet he took on our sin, making us acceptable to God.

Claire’s final question: What’s the story for you? From the Bible passages read in this Bible Study, what one expresses your own personal story of faith the most?

Claire’s two challenges:

1 Think about our church community and what it’s like for someone coming into it for the first time, either on-line or in person. How do they get the sense that it’s about good news?

2 Pick one verse/passage out of those read during the study today and put it to memory. This is helpful because when you are sharing the good news with someone, you can start with a Bible text and then give your own experience of it – your own story.

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