THE RIGHTEOUS BRANCH Jeremiah 23:1-6
Sermon Study Guide for November 21, 2010 Never build your preaching of forgiveness on the fact that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. It is untrue to Jesus Christ's revelation of God; it makes the Cross unnecessary, and the Redemption "much ado about nothing." If God does forgive sin, it is because of the Death of Christ. God could forgive men in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted to be Saviour because of His death. "We see Jesus because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." The greatest note of triumph that ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ - "It is finished." That is the last word in the Redemption of man. Anything that belittles or obliterates the holiness of God by a false view of the love of God, is untrue to the revelation of God given by Jesus Christ... Our portion of realizing the terrific meaning of the curse is conviction of sin, the gift of shame and penitence is given us - this is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the wrong in man, and Calvary is the estimate of His hatred. Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest 11/21
Jeremiah was born about 100 years after Isaiah and was called into his prophetic ministry in 626 BC. Jeremiah’s message was simple and direct: the Lord has declared the covenant broken and an impending disaster was inevitable. He paid dearly for speaking the hard truth. He was attacked by his own brothers (12:6); beaten (20:1-4); imprisoned (37:18); threatened (38:4); and strongly opposed. Still, his message was true and the things he “saw” did come to pass, including the deportation of the People of God. 1. Read Jer. 23:1-6. What is the Lord’s main problem with the shepherds? Use your Bible to use cross references in the book and look up the verses where Jeremiah is a bit more caustic. 2. Who (by name) are the “shepherds” in your life--those whom God has used to guide and teach you? To whom have you been a shepherd? What special responsibilities do shepherds have? 3. Describe the kind of life that God wants for His people (vs. 3-4) Do you think this is ever achievable on earth? Why or why not? 4. Read Ezekiel 34:11-6 and John 10. Read Psalm 23. Why do you think the Bible uses the image of sheep and flocks to speak about the people of God? 5. Look up Isaiah 4:2 and 11:1. Contemplate the choice of the word “branch” for the coming Messiah. What does the Word tells us about this? 6. Describe the attributes of the “righteous Branch”. (vs. 5-6) Look up these corresponding verses: Is 32:1; Ez 37:24; Matt 2:2; Luke 1:32. How has this prophecy been fulfilled in the life of Jesus? 7. Do you find it amazing that Jeremiah was able to “see” these things 600 years before Christ? Read 1 Peter 1:10-12 and 2 Peter 1:19-20 to find out about this. 8. While the love of God is wonderful, it took the cross of Christ to achieve the forgiveness that we so greatly need. Read the passage from Oswald Chambers on the left. What are your thoughts about it? What response do you/have you made to this truth?