[From ws15/09 for Nov 9-15]
“Stand Firm in the faith,…grow mighty.” – 1Co 16:13
For a change of pace, I thought it might be fun and educational to treat this WT review like a Watchtower study.
Feel free to use the comment section to answer the questions. Additionally, unlike the standard Watchtower study, all are encouraged to add their own thoughts.
(We can be honest and truthful while still respecting the decorum of the site
and the sensibilities of new ones chancing upon this review.)
Par. 3 (excerpt): “Similarly, when we dedicated ourselves to Jehovah and got baptized, we did so because of our faith. Jesus called us to be his followers, to walk in his footsteps.”
Q. 3: Is there any scriptural basis for the premise that we have dedicated ourselves to Jehovah as part of the baptismal process?
Par. 4 (excerpt): “Once our faith moved us to dedicate ourselves to Jehovah, we became his friends, something we could never have done in our own power.”
Q. 4: What, if any, is the Scriptural basis for believing that faith moves us to dedicate ourselves to Jehovah with a view to becoming his friends?
Par. 5 (excerpt): “More than that, because of our faith, we will receive a gift no human could ever obtain by his own efforts—everlasting life.—John 3:16”
Q. 5: What type of everlasting life is John 3:16 referring to? Is there any scriptural basis for applying this to the type of everlasting life the article is referring to?
Par. 6 – “The wind and waves surrounding Peter as he walked on the water might be compared to the trials and temptations we face in our life of dedication to God.”
Q. 6: Since the Bible does not refer to “Christian dedication to God”, why do you think this phrase is used so often in the publications?
Par. 11 – “Do I chafe at Scriptural counsel? Instead of looking for a way to benefit from the counsel, we might be focusing on some defect in the counsel or in the counselor. (Prov. 19:20) We might thus miss an opportunity to bring our thinking into line with God’s.”
Q. 11: While the idea of humbly accepting Scriptural counsel is sound, what is really implied by this statement in your experience?
Par. 12 – “Likewise, if we constantly grumble about those whom God is using to lead his people, is this not an indication that our faith in God has weakened?”
Q. 12: As it applies to the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is there a flaw in this reasoning? What would be the Scriptural course of action when we feel that there is cause for complaint against those taking the lead in the Organization?
Par. 15 – ”Just as Peter refocused on Jesus, we too must “look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus.” (Read Hebrews 12:2, 3) Of course, we cannot literally see Jesus as Peter did. Instead, we “look intently” at Jesus by examining his teachings and actions and then following these closely. Consider some steps we can take based on the model Jesus set. If we put these into practice, we will receive the help we need to make our faith firm.”
Q. 15: Examining the context of this Scripture (Read Hebrews 12:1-8), who is the writer referring to? Could “Jehovah’s friends”—but not his sons—be included in its application? If we are to ‘follow closely’ the footsteps of Jesus who despised shame for the joy set before him, what joy does the Watchtower set before us to give us cause to endure our torture stake?
Par. 16 – “To illustrate, you might increase your conviction that the end of this system of things really is near by studying in detail the Scriptural proof that we live in the last days.”
Q. 16: What Scriptural proof is there that we live in the last days? Does this proof coincide with what the Organization is teaching about the last days?
Par. 19 – “So when choosing your friends, look for people who show their faith by their obedience to Jesus. And remember that one sign of a good friendship is open communication, even when this calls for giving or accepting counsel.”
Q. 19: Based on this counsel, are all Jehovah’s Witnesses showing their faith? On what basis can we find good friendship among Jehovah’s Witnesses and which ones should we be cautious with?