Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bible Study on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair (BBC)



The Chronicles of Narnia:

The Silver Chair

           
(British Broadcasting Company Movie Edition)

Authorship The Chronicles of Narnia were written by C.S. Lewis, a Christian English professor at Oxford College in England.  The first volume was published in 1950, and was a story meant to remind us of the greatest story of all, the Bible.

Setting 1942, England, during World War Two: sixty years later in Narnia since the sailing of the Dawn Treader

Discussion Points

*(0:10:00)  Eustace and Jill entered Narnia after praying to Aslan.  But Aslan tells Jills, “You would not have called to me if I had not been calling to you.”  What does this mean? 

A lot of times, we have this idea that we are in control of our relationship with God.  If I pray to God, then God will answer me.  If I ask God to forgive my sins, then He will do so.  You see, we like to think that we are in control.  But God is not Somebody that we can control, is He?  Let’s see what Scripture says about who controls the relationship.

John 15:16 - 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

We think that we can choose to believe in God when we decide that we’re ready to do that.  But that isn’t what this verse is saying.  It says that we do not choose God, but that God chooses us.

Ephesians 1:4-6 - 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

We do not choose God.  God chose us before the creation of the world.

1 John 4:19 - 19We love because he first loved us.

The only way that we can love God or choose to follow God or pray to God is because He first loved and chose us.  Let’s look at again at what Jesus says in John 15:16.

John 15:16 - 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

What happens after God chooses us?  He appoints us to go and bear fruit.  What does that mean?  It means that God gives us a job to do.  He assigns us a task.  Just like when Aslan called Eustace and Jill to Narnia.  He didn’t call them just for the fun of it.  He called them to perform a task.  God gives each of us tasks.  The task that God gives us is different for everybody.  What are some of the tasks that God gives people to do?  To tell other people about Jesus, to be pastors, to be teachers, to be missionaries, to be really good parents, to serve the Church in various ways, to live the kind of life that pleases God.

*(0:34:00) The owls reveal who the enemy is in this situation.  We saw a flashback of a serpent or a snake, who killed the queen.  And then the snake turned into the Green Lady, a witch, and did something to Prince Rilian.  Does the idea of a snake being the enemy remind you of anything in the Bible?

Genesis 3:1-5 - 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

The snake tempts Eve to disobey God.  The snake is Adam and Eve’s enemy.  Who do you think that snake was?

Revelation 12:9 - 9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 

The devil, or Satan, is described as a serpent, or a snake.

John 8:44 - 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Jesus is talking to the Pharisees in this verse.  What does He say the devil is like? 

Murderer and liar.  We see that in the movie.  The serpent or the green lady kills the queen and lies to the prince.  We’ll see just how much she lies later in the movie.  The thing that we need understand is that the devil lies to us.  He does nothing but lie to us and the thing that he wants most is to kill us, not just physically, but spiritually as well.

And the devil is tricky.  Just like the serpent turned into the Green Lady, the devil will try to make himself look better to us than he is.

2 Corinthians 11:14 - 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

*(0:45:00)  How would you describe Puddleglum?  Puddleglum is a very negative person.  He never looks on the bright side.  He never has any hope.  Is this the way Christians are supposed to act?

Joshua 1:9 - 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Knowing that God is with us gives us hope.

1 Timothy 4:9-10 - 9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Romans 8:28 - 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Because we know that God will eventually bring everything around for our good, we can have hope.  Hope is simply the idea that we can look forward to something better happening in the future.  The Bible tells us what our ultimate future will be; Heaven.  Therefore, anyone who believes in God can have hope as they look forward to spending eternity with God and being happy forever in Heaven.

*(1:20:00) Jill was doing pretty good remembering what Aslan told her, but the group got distracted by how cold they were and how much they wanted to get to the city to have a nice bath and a nice bed and good food.  Because Jill forgot to recite Aslan’s words, they got themselves into a bad situation.  They were tricked.  I suspect that we’re like that a lot of times.  We let the devil trick us because we haven’t been spending enough time remembering what God has said to us.  If we don’t spend enough time reading and studying the Bible, it will be easy for the devil to distract us from God and what God wants us to do.

1 Peter 5:8 - Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Genesis 4:7 - If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

The devil is an enemy that will try to attack us whenever he has the opportunity.  We  have to be ready for his attacks.  When he attacks us, with temptation, or depression, or a bad attitude, we have to be able to defend ourselves.  The way that we do that is by knowing God’s word.

Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

What does a lamp or a light do?  It keeps us safe, so we can see where we’re going and so we don’t bang into things and hurt ourselves, so we don’t get lost.  That’s what the Bible does for us.  It helps us to see where we’re going and where we should be going.  It protects us by helping us to see all the dangerous things that the devil has put in our way.

Psalm 119:9-16 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart  that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

Let me pull out a couple of things from this passage.  “How can a young person keep their way pure?  By living according to God’s word.”  Hiding it in their heart.  What does that mean?  Memorizing it.  Reading and studying the Bible so that you know so it well, it is a part of you.  It is inside you.  Not neglecting God’s word.  Neglect means to not spend enough time with it.  I bet that most of us in this room neglect God’s word.  I bet that most of us in this room do not spend enough time with it as we should.

*(2:10:00) Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum knew what Aslan had told them to do.  They were supposed to obey whoever asked them to do something in Aslan’s name.  But when somebody did ask them to do something in Aslan’s name, they were unsure whether they should do it or not.  If they let the prince go, they would be taking a risk.  They had to decide whether they would trust what Aslan had said or not.  Either they would have faith or they wouldn’t.  We’re faced with the same situation.  Either we’re going to believe and act on what God has said or we’re not.  Either we’re going to have faith or we’re not.  And just like it was scary for Jill and Eustace and Puddleglum to have faith, sometimes it’s scary for us to have faith.  It’s a risk.  But here’s how we can trust God what God has told us.  How does God tell us things today?  Through the Bible and through the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Peter 1:20-21 - 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

We know that we can believe the Bible because it is from God.  And not only is the Bible from God, but it also has a purpose.  God doesn’t just say things for the fun of it.  He has a reason for everything that He has told us in the Bible.

Isaiah 55:10-11 – 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it        without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

God has a purpose for everything that He says.  And because God has promised that His word will accomplish His desires, we can trust what God has told us.  Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to us, just like it didn’t make it sense to Jill and Eustace and Puddleglum – sometimes it means taking a risk, but we have to trust God.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

If we trust in God and not in what we think about something, God will make everything turn out okay in the end.

2 Samuel 22:31-33 – 31 "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 32 For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God?  33 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.

God’s way is perfect and His word is flawless.  If we trust in God and what He has told us, He will give us the strength to do what we have to do.  Even though it’s taking a risk, God will give us the courage to do it.

We’ve been talking about trusting what God has told us in the Bible.  But there’s also another way that God speaks to us.  God speaks to each one of us through the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us.

John 14: 26 - 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

The Holy Spirit teaches us.  We have to learn to trust what God says to us through the Spirit.  We have to learn to listen for the Spirit.  He’s always talking, but we need to learn to listen so that we can hear Him.

John 13:17 - 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.


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