Covenant and Kingdom Study Guide

Covenant and Kingdom Study Guide

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The Bible is meant to be read and understood. But many people struggle to interpret Scripture. I believe that Covenant and Kingdom offers the simplest framework of interpretation as we read the Bible for ourselves.  These are the guiding coordinates, the latitude and longitude, that orient us as we read the Bible.

By understanding Covenant and Kingdom, we unlock the keys of interpretation that help us read the Bible for ourselves. While this approach cannot and should not replace in-depth Bible study, engaging the Bible through its largest themes remind us anew that the Bible is a book about God and us. This guide helps us begin to see and understand the double helix of Covenant and Kingdom that run throughout the Bible.

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The questions and reflections you’ll find in this guide are meant to evoke rather than inform. Let us explain. Too often, questions in guides like this end up being little more than thinly veiled attempts at content delivery. That isn’t all bad. Information does help learning. But while question writers mean for people to explore the depths to which God is calling them, what often happens is that they can’t resist “helping” a person come up with the “right” answer. And in doing so, these questions short-circuit people actually hearing the voice of God for themselves. While most people know this isn’t the most effective way to learn, this style of questions persists because—if we are honest—many of us have our doubts that the Holy Spirit can do the Holy Spirit’s job of leading each person into all truth. So we use leading questions in to fill the gap. It may be noble, but misguided.

This guide is trying to do something profoundly different. These questions are meant to evoke something. Jesus called that something the kairos (cf. Mark 1:15: “The kairos has come…”), that is, an opportunity to see God’s kingdom, to turn aside and enter it through the doorway of your own heart. These questions are meant to help you help you and/or your group do two very basic biblical things: Repent and Believe.  

First, these questions will give you a practical way to observe, reflect on, and discuss the things God is doing in your heart(s). In this process, thinking differently—repenting—becomes possible. Martin Luther said it this way: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

Second, this guide will seek to give you a practical way to plan, to act on what God has said, and to become accountable for following through. This process is about obeying Jesus’ command in the Sermon on the Mount about the importance of actually doing what he said. Through this process, acting differently—believing—becomes possible. 

Each section of this guide will go through these six steps:

  • Observe
  • Reflect
  • Discuss
  • Plan 
  • Account 
  • Act