4 - Understanding the Old Testament

Introduction


God wants disciples of Jesus to make other disciples of Jesus. Join Francis Chan, best-selling author and founding Pastor of Cornerstone Church, and David Platt, author and Pastor at The Church at Brook Hills, in this 5-Part Multiply course—a simple, practical, biblical, helpful, and personal resource to help you understand Scripture and give you the tools to disciple others. In Part 4, Francis and David help us understand the true story of the Old Testament and how it gives meaning to our existence, our daily lives, and to every other story on earth.

 

The Multiply video material was designed to work with a printed study guide, which is available as a free download (for the complete 336-page study guide, click here) or for purchase from David C. Cook (click here). In order for you to get the most out of this series, please download and work through the study guide before you watch the videos. Each study-guide session includes a number of questions that will challenge you to think about the material you have covered. 

Unlike some of the other training available to you on this site, this Multiply training is not designed to be finished quickly. Please note, Part 4 has nine lessons. Take some time with each lesson. Don't be in too much of a hurry to finish each part, but allow the truths in each lesson to penetrate your mind and heart. Do one lesson, then put it aside for a while and come back.

If you prefer to download one lesson at a time, the study guide for Part 4: Lesson 1 - Creation can be downloaded here.

Let's begin!


 
Creation


Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 1, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



We live in a time when the truth of creation is constantly attacked. But it's impossible to understate the importance of knowing that God created the world, and that God created humans "in His image" and gave us certain responsibilities. While godly, Bible believing people differ on some of the particulars of creation (old earth, young earth, etc.), the truth of Who created the world and why He created it remains. What does the person(s) you are leading believe about creation?
Log In to Continue

If they don't believe in the biblical account of creation, consider (as Francis suggests) taking them out into nature and walking through Romans 1:20. How has God's creation impacted your understanding of Him? What "fingerprints" has God left for us to see? What part of creation speaks loudest to you?
Log In to Continue

How does the reality that you are a created being—that you are the clay and God is the Potter— and that you belong to God impact your daily life? How should it? What areas of your life do you still need to surrender to God?
Log In to Continue

The creation account in Genesis 1–2 leads us to the truth that God loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. Considering who God is, how should this shape the way we come to Him?
Log In to Continue


Don't rush through this lesson. Take some time to saturate your mind and heart in the reality of our Creator, in His love for us, and in the responsibility we have to tend for His creation. Understanding the beginning of the story is crucial.

Up next, Part 4: Lesson 2 - The Fall. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


The Fall


In the last lesson, we looked at the creation account in Genesis 1–2. Now, everything is about to change. In Lesson 2 - The Fall, Francis and David discuss Adam and Eve's tragic failure—their fall into sin—and the devastating impact that has had on us and our world.

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 2 - The Fall can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 2, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



Francis mentioned that we often look at Adam and Eve's story of rebellion and try and separate ourselves from their sin. But we all are guilty of rebelling against God and choosing our own way instead of His. Francis wrote in the study guide, "every sin has involved men and women claiming the right to govern themselves." The reality is that there is no goodness apart from God. What lies of Satan have you believed in the past? What lies ensnare those you disciple? Take some time this week to discuss sin with those you lead. Be honest and transparent.
Log In to Continue

Francis also mentioned that the fall—and that we live in a broken world—helps us understand why terrible things happen. What are you, or those you lead, holding God accountable for that's actually the result of sin? How can you repent and ask God's forgiveness for that attitude?
Log In to Continue

Consider the story that unfolds between Genesis 3 and 5. Are you surprised at the rapid decline in humanity, to the point where God decided to destroy all his creation and start over with Noah and his family? Even though God has promised to never flood the earth again, what does that story teach us about God's view of sin and rebellion? How should that impact your life?
Log In to Continue


Francis and David ended the video challenging us to not just confess sin, but to also rejoice in our salvation and the knowledge that God has given us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, an escape from sin. The next time you are tempted to choose sin over God, remember that God has given you a way out and that your relationship with God is so much more valuable than whatever sin you are about to commit. 

Up next, Part 4: Lesson 3 - God's Covenant with Abraham. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


God's Covenant with Abraham


Before God created the world, He knew that man would rebel against Him.  In Lesson 3 - God's Covenant with Abraham, Francis and David share with us how God launched His plan of redemption through Abraham.

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 3 - God's Covenant with Abraham can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 3, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



Francis reminds us that most people learn more from our actions and our lives than through what we say (caught vs. taught). How are you modeling faith and obedience toward God for those you lead? How vulnerable and transparent are you? Is there anything that needs to change?
Log In to Continue

Take a moment to reflect on the past 12 lessons. Do you feel like those you are leading have a good grasp of the material? Is there something that seems unclear to them? Can you see evidence of this "knowledge" working its way into the fabric of their lives?
Log In to Continue

God made a promise to Abraham, that he would be faithful to him, and bless him, and end up blessing the whole world through him. Sometimes we are tempted to think of people like Abraham as "super saints," or people that have an advantage over us in the faith department. But as you read through Genesis 12–20, you see Abraham's faith falter, especially when it involves trusting God with his beautiful wife. How does Abraham's "humanity" encourage us? How does it display God's grace and mercy?
Log In to Continue

Francis ends this video with a fantastic story about belief and a BB gun (please don't try this at home!). Take some time to consider the "Christian" words that we are so accustom to using, like redemption, faith, belief, disciple, covenant, etc. How can you explain those terms in a simple way that those you teach can use to explain to others?
Log In to Continue

In the study guide, Francis talked about the purpose of God's blessings, that they should be shared, not hoarded. He asked this simple question, "Think about the ways that God has blessed you. How should these blessings be used to benefit the people around you?" If you haven't answered that questions, do so here. If you have, take a moment to write down how you can practice blessing others this coming week.
Log In to Continue


Up next, Part 4: Lesson 4 - Exodus and Redemption. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


Exodus and Redemption


In the last lesson we looked at God's covenantal promise to Abraham, and the implications that had for all humanity through Jesus Christ.  In Lesson 4 - Exodus and Redemption, Francis and David .

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 4 - Exodus and Redemption can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 4, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



The Exodus brings up so many compelling questions. First, as you reflect on what it must have been like for the children of Israel, what does their miraculous redemption teaches us about God? How should that impact your faith?
Log In to Continue

Francis and David spent most of the video looking at the Exodus from the point of view of the Egyptians. What lessons can we learn about God, His wrath, and His love from this story? How can you explain to those you lead the necessity of God's wrath?
Log In to Continue


David talked about Jesus on the cross being a fitting example of God's wrath and love working together. Take some time to consider the implications of the cross, and what it teaches us about God's love and wrath. Work through that with those you lead.


Francis warned us to not become arrogant; to not judge God. I love how he explains that God refers to Himself as, I am who I am, not I am who you want me to be. How can we maintain a humble attitude toward God, even during times of difficulty?
Log In to Continue


David ended the video encouraging us to share the gospel with others. Part of being a disciple that makes other disciples involves sharing the Good News with others. Make sure that you spend some time talking with those you lead about the importance of sharing what they are learning with others.  

Up next, Part 4: Lesson 5 - God's Covenant with Moses. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


Gods' Covenant with Moses


In lesson 4 we talked about the importance of praying to God before Bible study, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you its meaning and help you respond in obedience.  In Lesson 5 - God's Covenant with Moses, Francis and David offer some practical and general principles for interpreting Scripture.

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 5 - God's Covenant with Moses can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 5, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



It's easy, as we read through the account of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, to point our finger at the Israelites and criticize them for their grumbling and complaining, for their lack of faith. But, if we are honest, we act just like them. Take a moment to consider all that God's done in your life. How do you express thanks for His provision, for His faithfulness? How often do you complain? What needs to change?
Log In to Continue

Francis and David both talked about the importance of approaching a holy God with reverence and respect. How do you approach God? How do you instruct others to approach Him? What's the balance between "friend" and "the holy God of the universe"?
Log In to Continue

Francis makes an important point in the study guide, that the Law teaches us that God has every right to dictate to His created beings how they must act. What aspects of obedience do you struggle with? How can you encourage others to obey God's Word, especially when it's counter cultural?
Log In to Continue

David and Francis ended the video talking about each believer's responsibility to be a priest. We have access to God and also are to represent Him to the world around us. Take some time this week to discuss what it means to be a priest with those whom you lead. How does that change the way you care for and serve those in your family, church, and community?
Log In to Continue


Up next, Part 4: Lesson 6 - Sacrifice and Atonement. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


Sacrifice and Atonement


In the last lesson we talked about the importance of praying to God before Bible study, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you its meaning and help you respond in obedience.  In Lesson 6 - Sacrifice and Atonement, Francis and David offer some practical and general principles for interpreting Scripture.

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 6 - Sacrifice and Atonement can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 6, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



Francis reminds us that there's nothing else in the world like the forgiveness Jesus offers through the cross. David said, "God's pleasure for me is based on Jesus' performance." Take a moment to examine your own life. How are you still trying to "earn" favor with God? Are you focused on your own sin, or on Jesus' sacrifice? How can you talk about this with those you lead this week?
Log In to Continue

One thing Francis highlighted in the study guide was that it never was just about the sacrifice, but that God cared about the attitude in the heart of the one making the sacrifice. How's your heart as you come to worship?
Log In to Continue

The message of the gospel is so counter cultural. The world expects us to perform, to earn our way, to be better than the next person. But God says that we can't ever be good enough. We have to believe in the only perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ. How can you share that amazing truth with someone who doesn't know Jesus this week?
Log In to Continue


As we better understand the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, it should give us a greater appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid on our behalf. Francis wrote in the study guide that the only way that a holy God could have a relationship with sinful people was for sin to be covered by the shedding of blood. We also read through Hebrews 9:11–10:25 and saw the absolute necessity of Jesus' perfect sacrifice as atonement for the sins of humanity. 

Take some time to reflect on the gospel, on what Jesus has done for you. If you haven't already done so, take some time to walk through what atonement means with those you lead. Take some time together to discuss Jesus' sacrifice, and its significance.

Up next, Part 4: Lesson 7 - God's Presence on Earth. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


God's Presence on Earth


Does anything matter more than God's presence with us? The Bible is filled with stories that describe the blessings that come with God's presence and the horrors that accompany His rejection.  In Lesson 7 - God's Presence on Earth, Francis and David talk about a central theme of Scripture—God's presence with His people.

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 7 - God's Presence on Earth can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 7, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



In the study guide, Francis walks us through significant manifestations of the presence of God in the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve, the tabernacle, and the temple, and then to Jesus Christ. Consider the texts you read in Exodus 25 and 33 and Ezekiel 10–11. Take a moment to also read Exodus 40:34–38. How does the awesomeness of the glory of God filling the temple and tabernacle impact the way you feel about God now choosing to dwell in you and other believers? How does that reality, that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, change the way you live and act and relate to others?
Log In to Continue

David talked about how making disciples is linked to the presence of God. What does it mean to you that Jesus promises to go with you as you disciple others? How have you seen that in your own life? How would you counsel someone who doesn't feel the presence of God?
Log In to Continue

Take some time this week to talk with those you lead about God's presence and His blessing. How can you and your group make sure that you are seeking after God's presence and not just God's blessings? What does that look like?
Log In to Continue


Up next, Part 4: Lesson 8 - The Kingdom of God. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


The Kingdom of God


When was the last time you thought of yourself as a "subject" in the Kingdom of God, which is ruled over by King Jesus? In Lesson 8 - The Kingdom of God, Francis and David discuss the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament and how that relates to us today.

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 8 - The Kingdom of God can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 8, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



As believers, we are part of the Kingdom of God, and Jesus is our King. Take some time to think about what it really means that you are a "subject" to a divine King! How should that reality impact the way you live and the way you think about Jesus?
Log In to Continue

David encouraged us to consider if we are truly submitted to Jesus' rule. Are their areas in your life that you haven't surrendered to Jesus? What needs to change? Make sure you spend time talking through what it means to be submitted to King Jesus with those you lead.
Log In to Continue

How do others know that you belong to God's Kingdom? How are you living differently than the world? And how can you encourage those you lead to also stand out because of their allegiance to King Jesus?
Log In to Continue


Up next, Part 4: Lesson 9 - Exile and the Promise of Restoration. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


Exile and the Promise of Restoration


Our study of the Old Testament comes to an end as we look at Israel's exile and God's promise of restoration.  In Lesson 9 - Exile and the Promise of Restoration, Francis and David discuss God's fatefulness.

The study guide for Part 4: Lesson 9 - Exile and the Promise of Restoration can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 9, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



It's so easy to judge the children of Israel for their unfaithfulness, but we can't loose sight that it's our story too. Take some time this week to talk with those you lead about the disobedience in your lives. What does God eventually sending Israel into exile teach us about His view of sin? Why does God still continue to show us mercy, grace, and forgiveness?
Log In to Continue

David reminds us that our relationships can be messy and painful. Are there issues between you and those you lead that need to be cleared up? How can you lovingly address those this week?
Log In to Continue

How have you seen God's faithfulness in your own life? In the lives of those you lead?
Log In to Continue


This lesson highlights God's steadfast love for His children. God will never give up. Let that encourage you and your relationships as you seek to honor God and become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.