Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bible Study on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew



The Chronicles of Narnia:

The Magician’s Nephew


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 England, 1890.

Discussion Points

* The Magician’s Nephew, though the beginning of The Chronicles of Narnia, was not the first story that C.S. Lewis told us.  When we first began studying the Chronicles of Narnia, we did not know some things about the world.  We did not know how Narnia was created or how the White Witch got into Narnia or how people could go from our world into Narnia.  C.S. Lewis knew how all of that happened, but he hadn’t told us that.  That’s like us with God.  We don’t know everything yet, but God does.  God does not choose to tell us everything at once. 

Deuteronomy 29:29 - 29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

There are some things that God has revealed to us, some things that He was told us about.  But there are other things that are secret, things that God hasn’t told us about.

1 Peter 1:18-20 - 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

This verse tells us that Jesus was chosen to die for us before the creation of the world.  God knew what was going to happen, but He only revealed it to us in these last times.

Romans 16:25-26 - 25Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— 27to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Again, the coming of Jesus was a mystery, a secret that God had kept hidden for a long time until the time was right.  Just like C.S. Lewis, God is in control of when He tells us things.  God doesn’t tell us the whole story at once.  But we know that eventually God will tell us everything.

Luke 8:17 - 17For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

1 Corinthians 13:12 - 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

So don’t worry if there are some things about God or the future or even the past that you don’t about yet.  God has promised that eventually you will know fully.  For now, we just have to trust that God knows everything and that He is in control, just like C.S. Lewis knew everything about his stories and was in control of what happened in Narnia.

*Aslan made some of the animals different from the rest.  He gave some of the animals a gift that He did not give to the others.  Aslan made some of the animals intelligent and able to speak.  Then He told them, “But do not return to their ways or you will also cease to be talking animals.  For out of them you were taken and into them you can return.”  What was Aslan telling the talking animals?  He was saying that if the talking animals started acting like regular animals again, they would turn back into regular animals.  That’s like us humans.  God has made some of us different than others.  God has given some of us a gift that He has not given to others.  That gift, the way that some of us are different than other people is the fact that some of us in this world are Christians.  Just like Aslan chose some of the animals to be different than the rest, so God has chosen some of us to be Christians. 
1 Peter 2:9-11 - 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
These couple of verses tell us that once, we were the same as everyone else.  We were in darkness.  But now, God has shown each one of us mercy.  He has called out of the darkness into the light.  He has made us into His special people.  We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.  And do you know what Peter tells us to do about that?  He says, “Dear friend, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”  You see, if we are truly this special people of God, if we are truly Christians, then there is only one thing that we are required to do and that’s to stop sinning. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Because we are God’s people, because we are a new creation in Christ, we have to act differently.  We can’t keep sinning.  If we are Christians, we have to change.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 - Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
 17"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 18"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

These verses written by Paul tell us that righteousness and wickedness do not have anything in common.  Jesus and the demons are total opposites.  Christians are supposed to be totally different from non-Christians.  The point is that there should be a noticeable difference between you as a Christian and your non-Christian classmate.  If I get to know you, if I get to talking to you, and then I start to get to know your non-Christian classmate, I should be able to tell which one of you is a Christian.  Your behavior should be totally different.  The way you talk should be totally different.  Your attitude should be totally different.  Why?  Because you are a Christian and the other person is not. 

1 Peter 1:15-16 – But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy”.

*Uncle Andrew is confused about what’s going on in Narnia because he can’t hear the animals talking.  He just hears them making noise.  Digory asked Aslan to talk to Uncle Andrew to calm him down, but Aslan told Digory that Andrew has made it so that he cannot hear Aslan’s voice.  If Aslan tried to speak to him, he would only hear growls and roars.  Why do you think Andrew hear Aslan speaking?  The reason is that Andrew is sinful.  He does not believe in Aslan so he cannot hear Him speaking.  His unbelief has made it so that he does not want to listen to Aslan’s voice.  Many people in our world do not believe in God.  So they cannot hear God speaking to them.  God speaks to us in many different ways.  Some of those ways are through the Bible, prayer, your feelings, your conscience, conversations with other people, Christian music, sermons, etc.  Take the Bible for instance.  When you read something in the Bible and understand it and believe it, God is speaking to you through that.  People who read the Bible but don’t believe, won’t really understand it either.
John 10:1-5- 1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
Who are the sheep that Jesus is talking about?  The sheep are Christians.  Christians are those people who recognize and understand Jesus’ voice.  People who don’t understand Jesus’ voice or can’t hear Him because they don’t believe in Him, don’t follow Him.  You have to believe in Jesus to be able to hear Him.
John 12:28 – 28”Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
Here’s an example of people not being able to hear God’s voice.  They heard something, but their faith in God was not strong enough for them to really understand God’s voice.
Acts 22:6-9 - 6"About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?'  8" 'Who are you, Lord?' I asked. " 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. 9My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
Here’s another example of people not being able to hear God’s voice.  People who do believe in God, cannot hear God speaking to them.
1 Corinthians 2:10-14 - 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
These verses tell us why only Christians can understand it when God speaks to them.  It says that Christians have the Holy Spirit living in them.  Believing in God and having the Holy Spirit in you is the key to hearing God’s voice.  People who don’t believe in God, people who don’t have the Holy Spirit, won’t be able to hear God speaking to them. 
Here’s the point.  Are you able to hear God speaking to you?  Is your faith strong enough for you to be able to hear God and understand what He’s saying to you?  Are you listening for His voice?  Or are you focusing on something else?  Do you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you or do you think that maybe you don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside of you?  These are some things that you need to think about.  If you have any questions, I’d love to talk to you about that.

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