At the end of each chapter, there are 10 reflection questions. You will be required to respond to 1 reflection question of your choice for each chapter. Post your answer in the comments section below the prompt in the Spaces App. Answers must be at least 2 paragraphs, grammatically correct, and spell-checked. Read the post of one class peer and comment one paragraph on what they said. Due each Friday. Class discussion may be based upon these reflections.
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How would you explain the destiny and calling of Israel?
A future salvation of Israel is promised by God. The day is coming when the eyes of the Jewish ✡️ people will be opened to see in a living color that Jesus of Nazareth is their only messiah and savior.
Isreal didn't go looking for God, but God went looking for Israel. In Isaiah 54 we see that because of unbelief Israel finds herself as a barren woman because of Her rejection of the Messiah. Jerusalem will have a central role to play in end time revival
4. Why would God choose a Jewish man to be the King of kings - and why did He have to become that Jewish man?
Why would God choose a Jewish man? It all goes back to His promises and covenant to Abraham, or Abram as he was called at the time. (Gen. 12:1-3) Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Jesus is the second Adam, who came to accomplish the tasks that were given for Israel.
He had to become that Jewish man in order for His blessings to be poured out onto all of mankind who are willing to accept it. Jesus needed to be fully man and fully God to complete the atonement sacrifice for all of our sins. Had Jesus not been fully God, then how could He have been a pure and spotless sacrifice? God did everything as it should have been. He chose Jesus to be a descendent of David, bringing His promises to life so that a Jewish man could be the King of kings.
#10 What is , "the kingdom of God" ? What does it mean for this kingdom to be, "already here, and not yet here"?
Here are three things the kingdom of God means:
1. The rule of Jesus Christ on earth and in heaven
2. The blessing and advantages that flow from living
under Christ's rule
3. The subjects of this kingdom, or the church
To know what the kingdom of God means is very important. The phrase is used over 70 times in the New Testament, with the Gospel of Matthew over 30 times.
Romans 14:17 says...For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
John the Baptist used this phrase often as he called for repent, for the kingdom of God is near. Matt 3:2
Jesus himself said, the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe. Matt 4:17 He also used it when teaching the disciples how to pray, Matt 6:10, in the Beatitudes Matt 5:3 and 10. In Mark 14:25, at the last supper, Jesus also said He wouldn't drink of the fruit of the fine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.
From the first page of Matthew to the last, the entire theme is of the coming of the kingdom of God with the King Himself in appearance, the Messiah of Isreal and the fullfillment of the kingdom given to Judah.
What is meant by the Kingdom is already here, and not here yet?
This means the ultimate goal of God's plan is to bring heaven and earth together in Jesus. In Matthew 17:11 Jesus spoke about this restoration of all things. Peter also spoke about it in Act 3:21 Man and God will be face to face again as they were in the garden long ago. Joining the realms of heaven - the supernatural spirit realm of divine power and presence, with earth- the natural physical realm of human expression will make it possible for God to live together with us, for eternity!
1 Corinthians 15:50 , Paul says our resurrected bodies will be given to us so we can inherit something incorruptible; the kingdom of God in fullness.
So for now we make good choices with the free will God gives us. We seek His will in our lives. We pray, repent and serve in his kingdom, and show love, joy and peace from the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. We await the 2nd coming of the Lord, and look forward to serving with Him in His holiness and power in Paradise.
2. How do you grapple with the mystery of the sovereignty of God and the free will of mankind? How did the relationship between the two look to you before you read this chapter? How has your perspective changed in light of this chapter?
I enjoy thinking about things that are beyond my capacity to understand. So I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about free will, God’s sovereignty, and what it means for God to be outside of time. I never came to a solid conclusion, that is to say I recognize the fact that some things are too complex for me to understand. I am willing to change my opinion based on new evidence, especially if this new perspective is from someone who can express themself well and shows that they are a reasonable person who thinks before coming to their conclusions about anything. I did come to various conclusions on my own, and the one I believe to be closest to the truth is very similar to the one given in the book. I believe that God, knowing what everyone will do beforehand, orchestrates things in such a way as to bring everything together in His plan, without ever infringing on anyone’s free will. It is also important to keep in mind that people who follow God and are willing to obey Him are acting of their free will and are also acting within God’s will so they get the opportunity to be instrumental in bringing about parts of His plan.
I like to think of it like this: God chose exactly when, where and to whom every single person was born, and after that every person makes choices in their lives, for better or worse. God knows exactly what would have happened if each person made choices other than the ones they did make, but this is beyond my comprehension. God knows everything that was ever done, is being done, and will be done. He does not agree with every choice people make, but He can use those choices in His plan. For example, the Antichrist will be a person with free will, every choice he makes will be his own, but God will use this person as part of His plan in the Second Coming. I don’t think my perspective on these things was drastically changed by this chapter. Instead, I have found a way to express my thoughts on this topic more clearly than I was able to before reading it.
#2 How do you grapple with the mystery of the sovereignty of God and the free will of mankind? How did the relationship between the two look to you before you read this chapter? How has your perspective changed in light of this chapter?
The author of the book gives a great explanation of the sovereignty of God and the free will of mankind. ￼￼
“God allows wicked sinners who hate him, and curse his name to choose their own way, and he enables tenderhearted lovers of him to grow in love. Both groups are allowed to make their choices freely and still God will have his way. Nothing surprises God. Every person’s choice for good or evil, contributes to the fulfillment of his plan. He will never violate our God-given freedom to make our own choices.”
“We must trust that God’s plan will unfold exactly according to his desires, and we must accept that God will be in total control of all the coming events. Nothing escapes, God’s eye, and he will never be thwarted by people’s best attempt to overthrow him and replace his leadership with their own.”￼
“Sinful and wicked people make their plans, but God in his mercy will invite them to reconsider. He will give them every opportunity to turn away
I thought this was a good explanation of how free will wor￼from their fruitless schemes, and embrace his plan. Ultimately, when some freely choose to refuse his invitation, even their refusal will be an essential part of God‘s plan”. ￼
God waits patiently as people chart their own courses. At crucial times, he intervenes with warnings or judgment, always out of love, and gently invites them to turn from the path of destruction and follow his lead. What we often perceive as harsh or severe actions on God’s part are in reality, the actions of a God who perfectly understands the hardness of people’s hearts. God acts only to the extent that is absolutely necessary to get the attention of men and women. God always warns and brings judgment out of kindness and love, not anger.”
The good news is that he has “chosen to give us a dynamic role in determining to some measure the quality of life we will experience in both the natural in the spiritual realms, now and in the age to come. Our choices indicate how responsive we are to God’s grace, and how intimately we are in relationship to him. The depth of our prayer life, and the level of our meekness influence our choices. God opens doors of blessing and closes doors of oppression in response to our prayers “.
I thought this chapter gave a good explanation and it helped me to understand man’s free will and God’s sovereignty more clearly. ￼ ￼I want to partner with him in prayer and relationship to make wise choices and receive blessings along the way.