Understanding the Scriptures
|Contempt (v. 3)||Disrespect, ingratitude|
|Condescensions (v. 7)||Willingness to bless|
|Reconciled (v. 11)||Made agreeable or acceptable with God through the Atonement|
|Attain (v. 12)||Reach|
Jacob 4:11—“The First-Fruits of Christ”
Everyone who has ever lived on earth will be resurrected, but those who are “reconciled unto [God] through the atonement of Christ” are the “first-fruits of Christ.” They are those who come forth in the first resurrection and inherit the celestial kingdom (see Bible Dictionary, "resurrection," p. 761).
Jacob 4:14–17—Jesus Christ Is the “Only Sure Foundation”
“Looking beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14) means that the Jews were looking for something other than Jesus Christ to save them. Jacob prophesied that the Jews would reject the Messiah, the “stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation” (v. 15). He then referred to scriptures that say He would still become their “only sure foundation” (v. 16; see Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42). If we do not build on Jesus Christ, we will not receive the promised eternal joy with Him. Jacob 5–6 explains how the Jews, and all of the house of Israel, will yet be built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A or B as you study Jacob 4.
Formula for Unshakable Faith
Jacob described how he gained unshakable faith and the power to move mountains.
Review Jacob 4:6–7 and look for the words search, revelations, prophecy, witnesses, hope, and grace.
Using those words, describe how Jacob said we can have such powerful faith.
Why Listen to God?
Jacob wrote of God’s greatness and why we should listen to Him. Search Jacob 4:8–13 for answers to the following questions:
How can we learn about God?
By what power was the earth created?
Why should we listen to God’s counsel?
What blessing is given to those who are reconciled to God through the Atonement? (See also the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Jacob 4:11.)
What is truth? Who knows all truth?
Using what you learned from the previous questions, what would you say to someone who did not think learning about God would be helpful?