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Today we started teaching the introduction to our next East Asian Bible Institute course—Exploring Proverbs. The longer I spend in this Book of Books, the bigger this truth dawns on my heart. Wisdom is not just a topic or subject in God’s Word—it is THE message of GOD in His Word. Wisdom is found with God and nowhere else. Wisdom is the dividing line. There are only two kinds of people on the planet, only two kinds of people in the world, according to Scripture. There are wise and there are foolish. Those are the only kinds of people that exist. The world is full of fools, and sprinkled among the fools are the wise. I am so excited to teach each of these next ten class hours not just to the 15 students from several East Asian countries, but also to the several hundred others who have registered just this week to join us. Please pray for many to begin their walk with the Lord or renew that walk through the next two weeks of classes we share.


John Barnett here. Welcome to this 52 greatest chapters of the Bible study that you’re coming in, some of you for the very first time, I’m sure. You’re joining a study that we’re going through and I’ll show you the list right here. This list is the 52 key chapters of the Bible. This is my fourth year doing this study. Four years ago, I decided to take a group of those that I was discipling in a local church on a survey of the Bible. I developed this list right here of 24 passages or chapters that are in the Old Testament and about 28 chapters that are in the New Testament. These became, as you can see on this chart here, what I call the key chapters. What I mean by that is if you wanted to understand the theology and overview of all the content of the scripture, as well as every key doctrine, you would find those right here in these 52 chapters.

What we do is we have a notebook and also we have a MacArthur Study Bible. Some of you can track with me on that because I was a faculty member at the Master’s Seminary in the early years when this book was being developed. This study Bible covers every Chapter of the Bible with a big introduction, as you can see here, an overview of the whole book, and then these are the keynotes. This is the Bible and these are the notes, so half of every page is covered with notes.

We’re in the middle of looking at Job 1 and 2. Let me quickly, in this short video, give you what I shared earlier, but I’m doing this for some of you on Facebook and YouTube who have asked, how can I join this study? Before you join, why don’t you look at what we do. First, we title the passage or chapter we’re looking at. Job, God, Satan, and suffering. That’s the overview, Job, God, Satan, and suffering, of Job 1 and 2. Then, from the text, we write down the lessons. I wrote down Job was God’s man, verse 1, Job was wealthy and powerful, that’s what verses 2 and 3 of chapter 1 say. Job was a spiritual father, it says in verse 4, “his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day and would send and invite” them. “So it was” verse 5, that “Job would send and sanctify them” in prayer. These are the lessons.

Specifically, what I want you to see that really blessed my heart is what it says right here in verse 7. It says “And the LORD said to Satan”, now pause. Job is one of the only books that shows the interplay between God the Father, sitting on the throne, and Satan, the chief enemy of God and the greatest created being God made. If you look down at this verse, it says, “the LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the LORD and said ‘From going to and fro on the Earth and from walking back and forth on it.'” Then, look at what God says in verse 8. “Then the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the Earth.” Think about that. This is God saying, let me give you a divine perspective on this human being, and in a moment I’m going to come back to that.

Look at this scripture and see what it says. And this is amazing. “‘Have you considered my servant? There’s none like him on the Earth.'” Here’s God’s description of Job. “‘A blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?'” Right here in my notes, I wrote, in verse 8, God’s testimony of Job’s life. Wow. That’s what it says in verse 8. How would you like God to say about you that you’re blameless, upright, and shun evil. That should be the greatest goal in any one of our lives today.

For me, I can say God looks at me as blameless. Why? Because I don’t sin? No, I do sin. I’m, in fact, the worst sinner that I know in the whole world. However, the Bible says that because of the work of Jesus Christ, we’re blameless. Because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, the justifying death of Jesus Christ opens for me the sanctifying life.

From this passage, if you were actually in the 52 chapter study with us and we’re right here tracking, you would learn how to write a prayer. I’ll read to you my prayer and exhort you perhaps do this study and pray the same thing. Lord, I want you to see me living out the sanctifying life of Christ, upright, fearing God, shunning evil. Help me not to fear a limited devil. That’s what this chapter talks about. In this account Satan is not in the present, he walks to and fro, he’s not omnipotent, he’s not omniscient. He’s very limited. So help me not to fear a limited devil, but be aware of his power. We see later on in the chapter he has power over weather, over people, and even over our health. I want to bow as Job does in worship, not despair or be angered when troubles come, so that from me you can see no charging you with wrong. Keep me from anger over my health so I can accept good and hard times as part of your plan for Christ’s sake. Amen.

That’s just a little taste of my devotions this morning. I’m sitting here, it’s July 6th and I’m sitting here having read and studied this portion of scripture early this morning. I wrote down some lessons I marked in my Bible. You can see each of these points that I first found in my Bible. I titled the chapter and wrote down all these lessons. I found 18 lessons, truths, principles, theological treasures that are in Job 1 and 2. Then when it was all done, I prayed this prayer that I wrote down. I would ask you, do you want God to see you as upright, shunning evil fearing, God? That’s the greatest way to live.

I hope some of you will join our 52 greatest chapters of the Bible study. There’s a whole channel on YouTube. I show how to use the MacArthur Study Bible. If you read the scriptures, the footnotes, and all this introductory material for every book of the Bible, as well as the tables and charts that are in the back, as well as the front explanation and charts of the Bible, it’s equivalent to going to Bible school for basically a two year Bible Institute education. Now, upright, fearing God, shunning evil. Does that describe you?

Let’s bow for a word of prayer. Father in Heaven, I thank you that right here, as Bonnie and I are teaching along the road, that some who are just joining us and even those this morning that were part of this study, that we would become a band of brothers and sisters. Young men, young women, older men, and women who fear You, who have chosen to be upright, and who want to shun evil, that you be glorified. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. God bless you.