Search Results for: "christmas bible study"

How to Prepare a Christmas Bible Study on John 1

christmas sermon ideas

Today, I’d like to walk you through how you can use Logos to prepare a Christmas study, whether it be for your small group, or for the entire church. I’ll be studying my favorite account of Jesus’ advent: the Gospel of John.

But wait! The Christmas story is only found in Matthew and Luke’s gospel! I beg to differ. While those are indeed the two narrative treatments of the earthly events, John’s Gospel adequately recounts the spiritual and metaphysical side, as we’ll see today. Furthermore, John’s story takes us from Genesis through to Revelation.

[Read more…]

Who Are the Unnamed Prophets in Matthew?

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

As he details the birth of Jesus, Matthew references several prophets and prophecies without mentioning their names:

  • “Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘behold, the virgin shall be with child . . .’” (Matthew 1:22–23 NASB)
  • “for this is what has been written by the prophet: ‘and you, Bethlehem . . .’” (2:5–6)
  • “what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘out of Egypt I called my son.’” (2:15)

Who are these prophets?

If you’re using Logos 5, finding out is easy: just turn on the speaker labels filter . . .

. . . and see who’s speaking by hovering on the quotation!

And if I click the bullhorn, I can see the Bible Facts entry for that person. Using this tool, it takes seconds to discern the first three unnamed prophets in Matthew’s gospel: Isaiah, Micah, and Hosea, respectively.

But why is this important?

Like Corey said earlier, Matthew has already used God’s history with Israel—his story of redemption—to set the stage for the birth of Jesus. Now let’s see if these prophecies tie into that story.

  • Isaiah: Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14 (NASB), a message the prophet gave Ahaz, king of Judah. Ahaz was afraid that Jerusalem would fall to her enemies and another king would take the throne God promised to David’s family. Isaiah prophecies that Judah’s enemies will fail; then he speaks of Immanuel. God kept his promise: the enemy nations didn’t overthrow Jerusalem. Now, in Matthew, the promise of Immanuel is fulfilled through Jesus, and Ahaz is part of the story (Matthew 1:9 NASB).
  • Micah: Matthew quotes one of Isaiah’s contemporaries here. In Micah 5:2 (NASB), the prophet says the Lord will send a “ruler in Israel” from Bethlehem. This would be no ordinary ruler, though: Micah says “his goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity,” “he will be great,” and “this one will be our peace.” Again, this isn’t just a sign or prediction; this is God declaring his faithfulness to his people.
  • Hosea: the 11th chapter of Hosea gives us a glimpse of God’s indignation and compassion regarding Israel. God says that Israel will fall to the Assyrians (which it did), but promises to bring them back home, and that he “will not destroy [Israel] again.” This prophecy never explicitly mentions the Messiah, but it does promise redemption to Israel.

So, by looking at these prophecies, I learn a few things:

  1. Understanding Old Testament prophecy helps me understand the New Testament. Each of these snippets that Matthew quotes is a goldmine for understanding God’s relationship to his people.
  2. God’s relationship and promises to Israel are already important in Matthew. I should keep an eye out for these themes in the rest of the book.
  3. God keeps his promises. He is faithful and good and mighty and trustworthy. And using Logos 5, I can use each one of these prophecies as an avenue to knowing God better and knowing his word more thoroughly.

You’ll find all the tools we used today in Logos 5. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and join us as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

10 Christmas Sermons Just Waiting to Be Preached

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

Christmas is upon us, and it’s a vital time for good preaching. Students are coming home, families are gathering in their hometowns—and more people are pouring into your church. Maybe you’ve planned ahead for all the visitors. Maybe God has blessed your church with faster growth than you expected. Either way, Logos 8’s Sermon Starter Guide makes it easy to brainstorm Christmas sermon (or any sort of sermon) ideas in seconds.

In fact, we can come up with 10 exciting Christmas sermon concepts right now.

5 Passage-Based Christmas Sermon Ideas

Let’s say I want to preach about the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18–25. There’s a lot of content here, though—and lots of message ideas. The Sermon Starter helps me identify plenty of clear message ideas.

Clicking any one of these gives me more to go on, and even spawns new sermon ideas. For example, when I click “Angels as God’s messengers,” I see a scriptural overview of the messages angels relay. I can zero in on one of these passages and compare it to the message the angel gives Joseph in Matthew—yet another sermon idea!

And just like that, I have five Christmas sermon ideas to work with:

  1. Just how human was baby Jesus? (Jesus: Humanity theme)
  2. What makes this baby special? (Jesus: Divinity theme)
  3. Did Mary and Joseph see Christmas coming? (Prophecy: Jesus)
  4. God’s message from God’s messengers (Thematic outline on angels)
  5. The true story of Jesus’ birth (thematic outline on Jesus’ birth)

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5 Theme-Based Christmas Sermon Ideas

Now let’s say I want to find some Christmas sermon ideas, but I don’t have a particular starting verse in mind. The Sermon Starter works with themes as well as passages, so I just type in “Christmas.” It suggests the theme of “Jesus: Birth,” which I select.

Wow—plenty of sermon ideas here! The second set of ideas link to the Topic Guide, which is an awesome place to see relevant Scripture and background information. The first key passage points to Isaiah 9:6–7, where I could use the Bible Word Study to understand what “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” and “Prince of Peace” mean.

This gives me five more starting points for more Christmas sermons:

  1. What is the origin of Advent?
  2. Jesus: God in the flesh
  3. The original Nativity
  4. Star of wonder, Star of light
  5. Four more names for baby Jesus

The Sermon Starter Guide makes it far easier to come up with sermon ideas—and it brings to light some concepts I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. You’ll find all the tools we used today in Logos 8 Basic and higher. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 8.

Why Jesus’ Genealogy Matters

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

Biblical genealogies can be boring. So when I begin reading Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus in Chapter 1, it’s easy to skip right over the first 17 verses and miss their significance. But with Logos 5, every passage of Scripture—even genealogies—is an opportunity to explore connections between people, places, and events, and uncover the truths they contain.

Since I’m already in Matthew 1, I don’t even need to leave my Bible to start exploring. I simply right-click on the word “Jesus”, select Person, and choose the new Bible Facts tool which opens in a new panel.

Matthew’s long list of names is now a visual guide for exploring the rich story of Jesus’ heritage throughout the Old Testament. Just clicking on any name lets me learn about each person and their significance in biblical history—from Boaz’s redemption of Ruth (Ruth 4:1–12) to Hezekiah’s cleansing of the Temple (2 Ch. 28:3–19).

I can also get a quick visual overview of these significant people and events using the new Timeline view in Bible Facts. I just click on one of the primary events listed for any person—say, Abraham. Now I am presented with an interactive timeline of the events that led up to Jesus’ birth.

So in just a few minutes, I am able to reacquaint myself with the story of the Old Testament—a story that Matthew’s readers would’ve been very familiar with.

By using the Bible Facts tool, I quickly begin to see that this genealogy is not merely a list of names—it’s a reminder of the Old Testament story. By going all the way back to Abraham, Matthew is stringing together God’s great work of redemption as the context for Jesus’ birth. The arrival of the Messiah, the “son of David” and “son of Abraham,” is what all biblical history has been leading up to.

And this just scratches the surface of what I can learn about Matthew 1:1–17 with the Bible Facts tool alone. If I wanted to explore further, I could answer questions such as:

  • How do God’s covenants with Abraham and David relate to Jesus’ birth?
  • Why does Matthew begin his genealogy with Abraham, whereas Luke begins with Adam?

With the Bible Facts tool, biblical genealogies are more than just names—they’re stories.

You’ll find all the tools we used today in Logos 5 Starter and higher. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and join us as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

7 Biblical Facts about the Angel Gabriel

facts about the angel gabriel

The angel Gabriel is one of the prominent characters in the Nativity narrative. He’s remembered as the angel who told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God. But what else can we know about him from the Bible?

In this video, one of our Logos Pros reveals facts about the angel Gabriel discovered using Logos Bible Software. [Read more…]

2 Steps to Greek & Hebrew Bible Study

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

You probably remember the first time someone told you about doing Bible study by looking at Greek and Hebrew, the languages it was originally written in. When I first heard that, I wondered how much Greek or Hebrew I would need to get under my belt.

Well, there’s good news: Logos 5 makes it easy to start exploring Greek and Hebrew words, even if you don’t know these languages. Here’s a fine way to get started.

1. Turn on the Reverse Interlinear.
It sounds technical, but what it does is pretty straightforward: it reverses the English translation back to its original language. It also opens up a few new pathways for exploring the text, but we’ll get to those later. First, we need to turn it on.

Without the reverse interlinear, your Logos 5 Bible will look like this.

But when we hit the Reverse Interlinear button, we get simple word-by-word comparison of the passage.

We’ve just opened up a bunch of new study possibilities, but for now, we’ll focus on the Strong’s numbers in the bottom row.

2. Look up the Strong’s number.

Matthew kicks off his gospel with the genealogy of “Jesus the Messiah.” What is a Messiah? With the Reverse Interlinear, it’s easy to find out.

Just hover over the Strong’s number, and Logos looks up that word in your preferred Bible dictionary. I enjoy The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament because it explains Greek words in ways that a non-Greek scholar (like me) can understand. Whatever your preferred dictionary is, Logos pulls its definition for the word instantly—so long as you have that dictionary in your library.

 

I learn that both “the Messiah” and “the Christ” refer to “the Anointed One.” I also see that it’s used in conjunction with “King of Israel” and “Savior of the world.”

So, without leaving my Bible, I’ve already learned a few things:

  • The first time Matthew references Jesus, it’s as the Messiah, or Anointed One. That gives me an idea of how Jesus will be portrayed in the rest of the book.
  • It tells me why the following 17 verses of genealogy are important: it’s how the long-awaited Messiah came to us.

And I’m already hungry for more. Not only do I have a better understanding of what the Bible says, but I also have some more questions for further study:

  • Why is this word translated “Messiah” instead of “Christ” (which is far more common in the NT)?
  • What was Jesus anointed specifically for? Priesthood? Kingship? Both?

That’s one thing I love about studying Greek and Hebrew words—you learn what you need to know, and you know what else you need to learn. And it only takes a few seconds when you’re doing word studies with Logos 5.

Do you have any friends new to Bible study? Share this article with them!

You’ll find the full Reverse Interlinear in Logos 5. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and subscribe to the Logos blog as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

Bible Study on the Birth of Jesus Begins Today!

Christmas is coming, and we’re all excited to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ’s coming to dwell among us. But how many of our ideas about Christ’s birth come from the Bible, and how many from Christmas carols, TV specials, nativity scenes, and the like?

The biggest holiday on the Western calendar recognizes the birth of Jesus—let’s do a Bible study to see how it really happened.

Now through Christmas, we’ll  be posting new ideas for studying the birth of Christ. Some of the Logos bloggers and I will walk through the Gospel accounts of the Nativity using the powerful Bible-study tools in Logos 5.

Let’s get started!

So, if we’re doing a Bible study on the birth of Jesus, where do we start? The new Topic Guide is the easiest way to get started, even if you’ve never read the biblical account of the Nativity. Let’s open the Topic Guide and see what’s in store.

I start typing in “Christmas,” and the guide suggests both Christmas and the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. That’s helpful, because I’m really interested in the second option in this Bible study. I select it, and the Topic Guide brings me places to start my study! I get a definition of the topic and links to my Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. I also get a list of related verses and topics.

This gives me plenty of Scriptures to read and examine, and other topics to explore. So using the Topic Guide, I get:

  • A suggestion for the topic I really wanted (even though I typed something else)
  • The definition of the topic
  • A list of passages for future Bible study
  • Ideas for more topics to explore

It took me only nine seconds to get to all this information from the Home Page. It doesn’t matter if I’ve memorized the New Testament or if I’ve never opened the Bible before—either way, I’m ready to start learning more about the birth of my Savior. Logos 5 makes Bible study more approachable than ever, and I can’t wait to study the birth of Christ further.

You’ll find all the tools and books we used today in Logos 5. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and join us as we continue our Christmas Bible study.