Laboring For a God Who Fights For Us

2014 The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference

In this 59-minute session from the 2014 TGC Women’s Conference, Tim Keller explains how the events in Nehemiah 3 and 4 point to the priesthood of believers and power of the Holy Spirit. 

Tim is pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. He is co-founder and vice president of The Gospel Coalition and author of numerous books including The Reason for God and Center Church

Tim explained that studying a historical book like Nehemiah forces us to remember that though the Bible was written by human authors, it is one God-led story. He said, “Only when we put Nehemiah into that story…pointing along the narrative arch, do things begin to open up.” 

How does seeing the Old Testament as one story about Jesus bring clarity to the text? Have you ever studied the Bible this way, or have you always sought to uncover lessons? How will you incorporate this into future Bible study?
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Tim explained in detail how the events of Nehemiah 3 point toward the day when the people of God were all prophets, priests, and living temples. This means two things for believers today:

  1. Every Christian has a ministry. 
  2. We are one in Christ.  

What resources and spiritual gifts have you been given? How can you use them to build up the body of Christ?
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As a living temple, you have ministry capabilities that Moses, David, and John the Baptist did not. What does this mean for your life, ministry, relationships today?
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Describe a time when you labored for the Lord beside someone whom you had nothing in common with, but Christ. Did you feel a bond with that person? What did you learn about community?
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Nehemiah 4:9 (ESV)

9And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Tim explained that the guard in this passage shows a relationship between the sovereignty of God and human responsibility. In what ways have you struggled to understand this relationship? What does this look like in your life?
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Like the Israelites who faced persecution for rebuilding the temple, we know that persecution is part of our walk with Christ. How have you experienced attack and how did you respond? What encourages you to persevere in those moments?
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This was a jam-packed and theologically-rich teaching. What struck you most in this teaching and why?
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"We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwark. Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.” - Isaiah 26:1-2

Like Nehemiah, may we be faithful to build. Not walls, but people for citizenship in the strong city of God with walls of salvation!

To learn more about The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference and how you can attend the next event, click here.