Introduction: We start an new quarter of studies on
revelation and inspiration. So let's get started.
I. GOD AND MAN
A. For what reason do you think God created man?
B. Let's go back to very basic thinking. Put yourself
in the place of God at creation. You have just
created man. What is the first thing that you want
to do? (Communicate with man. Tell him who you
1. Why do you want to communicate with man? (If
you created man for a purpose, then you would
want to communicate that purpose to him.)
2. Would once be enough, or would you want to
keep communicating with each new generation of
II. GOD AND A RICH MAN
A. Turn with me to Mark 10:17-18. Read. Why did the
Rich Young Ruler ask this question of Jesus?
1. Did the ruler think Jesus was God?
a. When Jesus asked him, "Why do you call me
good ... no one is good except God
alone," what did He intend?
(1) Was Jesus objecting to being called
(2) Or, was He trying to make the ruler
decide whether or not he thought
Jesus was God? (I think that the
ruler thought that Jesus might very
well be the Messiah. It was for that
reason he called Jesus "good" and
asked this question. I think Jesus
wanted to force the issue in the
2. Would you like to be able to talk to Jesus
directly and find out what you need to do to
a. Would you like to know what Jesus would
suggest for your life? (That is precisely
what this young ruler was doing. I would
love to be able to do this. (I might not
like the answer, but I would love to be
able to ask.))
3. Our lesson this quarter is about revelation.
Is this -- man finding out what he should do
in relationship to God --- what revelation is
all about in your opinion?
4. Let's read on: Mark 10:19-21. What is the
first thing that Jesus does to direct this man
to know the will of God for his life? (He
directs him to the Scriptures! He points him
to the Ten Commandments.)
a. Was that good enough?
(1) Should it have been good enough?
(Their discussion seems to go beyond
the Ten Commandments.)
b. What about you? If you want to know God's
will for you, where should you first turn?
(1) Is that enough? Or do you, like the
young ruler need more?
5. Read on. Read Mark 10:22-23. Why did this
young ruler decide not to follow Jesus'
advice? (He trusted in his money more than he
was willing to trust in Jesus.)
a. Which is a greater problem for us: not
being sure of the application of God's
Word to our life; or not wanting to
understand the application of God's Word
to our life?
b. Can anyone tell me the story of the beggar
Lazarus, the rich man and Abraham? (It is
found in Luke 16:19 ff.)
(1) The "punch line" for this story is
found in Luke 16:27-31. Read it.
(a) Let's revisit my question: which
is a greater problem: not being
sure of the application of God's
Word to our life; or not wanting
to understand the application of
God's Word to our life?
B. If you said, "not wanting to understand" is the
problem, what is the solution to that problem?
1. Is sending a prophet the answer?
2. Is sending someone from the dead the answer?
3. Is having Jesus personally tell you the
problem in your life the answer?
III. GOD AND YOU
A. Let's explore this idea about "not wanting to
understand God's message a bit more." Let's list
all the ways that God could use to reveal Himself
to you. (Bible, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophet,
Dreams, Visions, Parents, Being a parent, Christian
leaders, fellow Christians, Nature, Life's
experiences. (Consider the list in Thursday's
1. Are all of these means of revelation perfect?
a. If you say "no," why would God use a
method of revelation that is less than
b. If you are dealing with a means of
revelation that is considerably less than
perfect, what should you do?
(1) For example, I find nature to be a
terribly flawed revelation of God. Is
the idea of the "survival of the
fittest" a revelation of God's
character? If not, how should you
decide what "revelation" from nature
is right and what is wrong? (The
standard is the Bible. These other
means of revelation are helpful, but,
they must all be measured against the
(2) What if God gave you had a dream, and
you got it wrong? What if God gave a
fellow church member a dream and the
member got it wrong? Would the fact
that the interpretation of the dream
was flawed cause you to reject the
(a) Read Acts 10:9-16. What was
Peter's immediate interpretation
of this vision?
i) Why did God show it to him
ii) Does this vision have
anything to do with eating
unclean meat? (No! If you
continue to read Acts 10:17
ff., you will see that the
vision was preparing Peter
to go to the home of
Cornelius, a gentile. The
Bible makes absolutely clear
the message in Acts 10:28.)
iii) What do you think about
Peter "getting it
wrong" the first time?
Should you reject this
2. As you consider our list of ways that God can
communicate with us, would any of these means
of revelation also help you to want to
understand God's will? (Perhaps we find that
the "less perfect" the means of revelation,
the more helpful it is in encouraging us to
"want to know" God's will in our lives.)
B. Let's read Deuteronomy 4:27-30. What relationship
do these verses suggest exists between hardships
and a desire to know God? (These verses suggest
that hardships cause us to turn to God.)
1. Are hardships a means by which God is revealed
2. Are hardships among our friends a vehicle by
which we can reveal God to them?
a. Should you consider problems in the lives
of your friends and co-workers an
opportunity to reveal God to them?
b. If you say "yes," how would you go about
C. A text that says volumes about how we can reveal
God to others in their time of need is 1
Corinthians 13. Let's read 1 Corinthians 13:2, 4-
1. Did you notice that these verses speak of
specific revelation from God? Do you see the
reference to "prophecy" and "prophecies?"
a. Which is better: love or specific
2. Notice verse 8. It refers to prophecies,
tongues and knowledge. What do these three
have in common in this context? (They are all
ways of knowing God.)
a. Are they imperfect ways of knowing God?
(Yes. Verse 9 says that we "know in part
and we prophesy in part.")
b. Does this mean that God uses imperfect,
partial prophecies to reveal His will?
(Verse 12 bolsters that idea.)
3. Verse 10 tells us that when "perfection comes,
the imperfect disappears." When does
"perfection come?" (Second Coming of Christ.)
a. Does that mean that until Jesus comes, all
means of revelation are imperfect?
4. We do not want to lose sight of the major
point of this text. Verse 8 tells us that
"love never fails." How is it that love does
a. Is love perfect or imperfect?
b. If you say that love is imperfect, and
revelation is also imperfect, why does the
Bible say that love is better? (I think
there is a critical message here. Paul
says that we are not going to perfectly
understand God. Our understanding of the
Bible will be flawed. Our understanding of
prophecy will be inadequate. It is only
in heaven that we will have a perfect
revelation of God. In the meantime,
however, the most important factor is a
right relationship with God and with those
around us. Matthew 22:37-40.)
c. Is showing love the best method of
revealing God to those around us suffering
D. Friend, God is good and we are not. We are flawed
in our living and in our methods of understanding
God. However great our imperfection, God desires to
have a relationship of love with us. A
relationship that we will share with those around
us. Will you choose today to enter into a
relationship with God? A relationship that will
cause us to grow until the day when we see God face
to face in His perfection!
IV. NEXT WEEK: "THAT WE MAY KNOW HIM."