Personal Accountabilities

The Gavel and The Bible

The Gavel and The Bible

 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
Romans 14:12

Many of us go about our days with no concern for an accountability for what we do.  If we drive through a red traffic light then we are subject to being stopped by a law enforcement officer, given a ticket of some sort and told to pay a fine or appear before the judge and then pay a fine, which is usually even more than before unless you can prove that you did not do the crime.

What would your actions be like if you knew that everything you do is being recorded – I mean EVERYTHING – and then at the end of the day you would be forced to stand in front of a judge to review every action that you did that day?  If there were anything during that day that was considered wrong, by the judge’s standards, you would then be assessed a fine for the offences.

Most of us would look at much of what we do as a “non-offence”.  The problem is that we are not the judge.  We don’t make the rules.  We are subject to someone else’s rules.

Whether we want to be accountable or not, we will be.

Then, who makes the rules?  God does!

How do we know what the rules are?

There are three different types of rules – all of which we are and will be accountable for.

1.     Self imposed rules.  These are rules that we know down deep in our beings what they are.  Among those might be: lying, stealing, murder. . . I think you get the idea.  How do we know these things are wrong?  They are called “conscience”.

2.     Socially imposed rules.  Most people would call these “laws”.  These may include some or all of the self-imposed rules.  These are concepts that are usually you doing something wrong to another person.  It may be anything from an offensive “gesture” to  something that is actually physical against another person or government.  Examples of these are traffic laws, tax laws and instituted social laws.  These rules would normally be enforced by the local government/organization.

3.     Spiritually imposed rules.  These are rules that are imposed on us by God.  They may include some or all of the aforesaid rules.  God doesn’t really care much about traffic laws but the government that is “ruling” above us (regardless where we live) is instituted by God (John 19:11; Romans 13:1; Daniel 2:21) , as such we are required by God (unless the law is against laws instituted by God so that we would be sinning against God’s law) to abide by those laws (Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13, 14) .  These laws/rules would be found in the Bible or supported by statements or concepts introduced in the Bible.

So, now we are aware of our accountability for our actions (this even includes the thinking-about doing the actions – Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 5:8).

No, we aren’t going to be accountable to God – or most likely anyone else – at the end of the day, unless the end of the day signifies the end of your life.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27,  “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.

There is no conditional statement there.  All men are required to die.  As such, all men will be judged after his/her death.

You might say that, “I’ve been saved by Jesus Christ so I am not subject to any judgement.”  That could not be further from the truth (Hebrews 9:27)!  ALL men must be judged.

There will be two different judgments; one for the people who have rejected God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:11-15) and one for those who have received the gift of salvation – only through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10, ).

If you would say that you haven’t accepted Jesus’ free gift of Salvation then please read no further here but read this article, then come back to this point and continue reading.

I picture our judgment as this*:

We are sitting in this huge room — all of us; everyone who has ever been born — and we can’t see any one wall around us.

In front of us is God sitting on His throne and Jesus (the righteous Judge) seated on God’s right hand side (Ephesians 1:20; 1 Peter 3:22).

To the side of God is positioned a “jumbo-tron” type monitor, or a video screen that is bigger than any theater screen ever made.

On that screen, God is showing us the record that He has of everything that we have ever done in our lives, each, one at a time.  It is eternity and this may take a very long time to show all of us.

One by one, God calls us up to stand before Jesus to give account of the things that we have done with our life — good or bad (Revelation 22:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; John 14:12)!

Everyone will be able to see our thoughts; the things that we did, that we thought were not being seen by anybody and everything that we did actually do (Ecclesiastes 12:14) .

There will be no partiality.  Jesus, being the righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4:8; John 5:22), will judge us all by the same standard of laws.

For any one of us that has done anything wrong in our whole existence, we will be judged harshly, in fact, the penalty is going to be to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire where the Devil and his (fallen) angels will be also (Revelation 20:10-15Matthew 25:41Revelation 21:8).

In this Lake of Fire, there will be people crying from pain, such that no mortal man has ever felt, and gnashing of teeth in torment.  This won’t be for just a few years, it is for all of eternity (Luke 13:28; Matthew 13:42).

On the other hand, there is Heaven.

We have all heard of Heaven.  It is where God/Jesus lives.  Jesus, when He was still living on earth, told us that He was going to His Father’s house where there are many mansions and that He was going to go there to prepare a place for us — those of us who received Jesus’ gift of salvation (John 14:2).

The way I see it; when we are judged, the good things that we did for Jesus and in His name and for His glory will make our mansion bigger or give us more “bling”, the bad things that we did or the times that we passed up to do or say something about and/or for Jesus will take away things from our mansions (2 Corinthians 5:10).

I imagine that some will end up in shacks and some may end up with rental properties . . . Well, maybe not so much, but I think you get the idea.

The whole idea of accountability takes on a whole new meaning.  God doesn’t want us to serve Him because we feel we have to, He wants us to serve Him because we want to serve Him.  Not out of a sense of servitude but more out of a sense of gratitude.

Revelation 22:12; — “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

*Having been a Christian for most of my life, I imagine the judgement to be the Judgment Seat of Christ more so than the Great White Throne Judgment where the un-saved will be judged.  Some of my depiction includes things that will be in the Great White Throne Judgment.   Regardless, there will be a judgment for all and we will all be accountable for our actions – good or bad!

©2013 Mark Davis

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Accountability

Life After Death

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Lesson 12 – Knowing What We Believe – Lesson

Lesson 12

KJV Bible

KJV Bible (Photo credit: knowhimonline)

KNOWING WHAT WE BELIEVE

It is extremely important that we know what we believe and why.  In this lesson we will consider the vital doctrines of the Word of God.  Doctrine simply means teaching, and we are considering what the Word of God teaches about fundamental and basic truths.  To honor the Lord, we must have convictions about these truths.  Knowing these doctrines will help stabilize your Christian life.  I recommend that you acquaint yourself with these truths.

THE BIBLE

Words

Words (Photo credit: tempestuousseas)

We believe in the Bible as the verbally (every word) and plenary (completely) inspired Word of God.  By its being inspired, we mean that the Bible is literally breathed of God.  It is God’s Word.  All portions of Scripture are equally inspired and contain no contradiction.  They are totally without error as originally given by God.  Therefore, the Scriptures are our only infallible and authoritative rule for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Psalm 119:89).  The canon of Scripture, comprised of the sixty-six books of the Bible, is complete.  Nothing shall be added to it or taken from it (Revelation 22:18, 19).

GOD

We believe in the one Triune God.  He is personal, spirit, and sovereign. He is perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness, love, wisdom, and power.  The Godhead eternally exists in three Persons:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are one God, having the same homage, confidence, and obedience.  God is absolutely separate and above the world as its Creator; yet He is everywhere present, upholding all things (Genesis 1:1, 25; John 1:1; 14:16, 17, 26; Matthew 3:16, 17; 1 Timothy 3:16).

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1-4; John 10:30).  He became the God-man by virgin bir

THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, and therefore the third Person in the Trinity.  In Acts 5:3, 4 Peter told Ananias that he had lied to the Holy Ghost; and then he said, “Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto Godth (Isaiah 7:14).  He was begotten of the Holy Spirit, not having a human father, and is true God and true man.  He is man’s only hope of salvation, having shed His precious blood on the cross for our sins (1 Peter 1:18, 19; Hebrews 9:26-28).  He died, and buried and literally rose bodily again from the dead on the third day for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  He is at the right hand of God today as our Mediator, interceding for us (1 Timothy 2;5, 6).  He will return for us, His church, the body of Christ, and take us unto Himself into Heaven (! Thessalonians 4:13 – 18).  He will set up a millennial reign on earth (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Revelation 20:4-6)..”  In this we see that Peter stated clearly that the Holy Spirit is God.

The Holy Spirit is a Person.  In John 16:13, 14 and in other verses, a personal pronoun is used of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:27 states that the Holy Spirit has a mind.  First Corinthians 2:11 reveals that the Holy Spirit has Knowledge.  Romans 15:30 speaks of “the love of the Spirit.” Also, 1 Corinthians 12:11 states that the Holy Spirit gives gifts according to His will.

From these verses we see that the Holy Spirit has these attributes of Personality:

Intellect — mind and knowledge Emotion — love Will

You see, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is not just an influence.  He is a Person at work in the world today.

His ministry is many-fold.  I will mention some of the ministries He has had in the past and does have now.

1.     In the past.  He is the Author of the Word of God.

2 Peter 1:21 — “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

2.     In the past.  He took part in creation.

Genesis 1:2 — ” . . . And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

3.     Today the Holy Spirit indwells the body of the believer.

1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 — ” What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 — “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

4.     Today the Holy Spirit performs the following ministries:

a.     Conviction in the hearts of the unsaved to bring them to Christ (John 16:8-11 — The word reprove in John 16:8 means convict).

b.     Regeneration of the believer (John 3:5, 6; Titus 3:5).

c.     Baptism of the believer into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).

d.     Sealing of the believer — making each believer eternally secure (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).

e.     Teaching the believer the truths of the Word of God (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 John 2:27).

f.     Sanctifying by developing holy fruit in the life of the yielded believer (Galatians 5:22, 23).

g.     Empowering the believer for service (Acts 1:8).

h.     Filling the believer to live and serve the Lord with power and blessing (Ephesians 5:18).

To live to the glory of God, every believer should rely on  the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need to know the truth concerning Him and then rely on His power.

MAN

The Bible teaches that all men are sinners, that they are, by nature and by choice, sinful.  Man, who was created by a direct act of God, made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27), fell in sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).  Because Adam — the father of the human race — fell, all humanity has been born with a sinful nature.  The only One ever born of woman who held no sin is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Sin and death passed upon all men.

Romans 5:12 — “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

Therefore, mankind is universally sinful.

Romans 3:23 — “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Read also Romans 3:9-12, Isaiah 53:6, and Ecclesiastes 7:20.

Because of his sin, man is alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:18) and is outside the family of God (Ephesians 2:12).  Unsaved men abide under the wrath of God (John 3:36) and are unable to save themselves.

SALVATION

The Bible teaches that salvation is by God’s grace through the believer’s faith and is without works.

Ephesians 2:8, 9 — “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Titus 3:5 — “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Salvation is a free gift (Romans 6:23) and cannot be merited or secured by man in any way except by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:19-24).  Salvation was purchased by the blood of Christ.

I Peter 1:18, 19 — “For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Hebrews 9:22 — “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

In Christ, believers have eternal life as a present possession and are justified before God.  Believers are sons in the family of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1).  The saved are eternally secure in Christ (John 6:37; 10:27-30; 1 Peter 1:5).

When a person is saved, he is a new creation.  His salvation affects his whole life and personality (2 Corinthians 5:17).

SATAN

The Bible reveals Satan to be a person, actively at work in the world today.  He is the great adversary of God and His people.  Satan is the leader of all evil angels and spirits.  He is recognized in the Bible as:

a.     Satan — Revelation 12:9

b.     The Devil — Revelation 12:9

c.     The adversary of believers — 1 Peter 5:8

d.     The god of this world — 2 Corinthians 4:4

e.     The prince of the power of the air — Ephesians 2:2

f.     The prince of this world — John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11

As a believer, you will be wise to recognize the reality and power of Satan. Thank God, though he is powerful, he is not all powerful, Satan was defeated and judged at the cross; therefore, his eternal doom is certain and believers can have victory over him.  Satan can come either as a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) or as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).  The saved are able to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11), and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 John 4:4).

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

God’s people should live holy lives with good works, not to bring salvation, but because of salvation.  The good works of a Christian should be the normal fruit of a saved life (Ephesians 2:10).

HEAVEN AND HELL

The Bible teaches there is a place called Heaven for the saved and a placed called Hell for the lost.

Matthew 25:46 — “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

Luke 16:22, 23 — “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, . . . “

FUTURE EVENTS

The Bible teaches that at the close of the church age, the Lord Jesus will descend from Heaven to call out the believers.

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 — “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

This event is called the Rapture and could take place at any time.  At the rapture, Christ does not set His feet upon the earth, but comes in the clouds to call the Christians home with Him to Heaven.  Following the Rapture there will be the seven-year period of tribulation, the worst conditions ever to exist on earth.  After seven years the Lord Jesus will return with His saints to set up His millennial reign.  These two appearances of the Lord are delineated in Titus 2:13 —

“Looking for that blessed hope [the Rapture], and the glorious appearing [Christ’s coming with His saints] of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

The Lord Jesus will reign as King for 1000 years.

Revelation 20:6b — ” . . . but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

The Bible teaches there will be a resurrection of the saved and a resurrection of the unsaved.  The saved are raised to life and the unsaved to eternal doom (John 5:29; Daniel 12:2).

It is the responsibility of Christians to be watching for the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:13 — Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Mark 13:35 — Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning.”

Hebrews 9:28 — “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

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Lesson 12 – Knowing What We Believe – Asssignments

Lesson 12

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ASSIGNMENTS

1.     Memorize 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

2.     Read Romans 1 — 8

For lessons 12 and 13 our assignment will be to read through Romans. Someone has said that Romans is a little Bible presenting a complete message of salvation and the Christian life.     Under section 2 of “NOTES” on a separate sheet, please record truths you find concerning doctrines from your reading of Romans 1 — 8.

3.     Answer the following questions in your own words:

1.     How did God give His Word? (2 Peter 1:20, 21)

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

2.     Note the three persons in the Godhead from Matt. 3:16, 17.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

What do these verses indicate concerning the working together of each member of the Trinity?

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

3.     List at least four truths concerning Jesus Christ, the Word, from John 1:1-14.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

4.     What is the lost man’s condition according to Ephesians 2:1-3?

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

5.     Salvation comes by God’s _______________ and through man’s _______________________ (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

6.     What part do works have in our salvation? (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

7.     What two things are mutually exclusive? (Romans 11:6)

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

8.     Give the descriptive names of Satan as found in Revelation 12:7-12.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

e. _____________________________________________________________

9.     Give some truths about Hell found in Luke 16:19-31.

a. _____________________________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________________________

d. _____________________________________________________________

e. _____________________________________________________________

f.  _____________________________________________________________

10.     When does a believer go to Heaven? (2 Corinthians 5:8)

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

11.     What will happen at the Judgment Seat of Christ? (2 Corinthians 5:10)

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

12.     What should the truth of the second coming of Christ do for us as believers? (1 John 3:2, 3)

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

NOTES

1.     A blessing I received each day as I read in Romans 1 — 8:

Day 1 — Romans 1 __________________________________

Day 2 — Romans 2 __________________________________

Day 3 — Romans 3 __________________________________

Day 4 — Romans 4 __________________________________

Day 5 — Romans 5 — 6 _______________________________

Day 6 — Romans 7 __________________________________

Day 7 — Romans 8 __________________________________

2.     Notes on doctrines which we believe that I found as I read these eight chapters of Romans:

1.     The Bible ______________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

2.     God __________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

3.     The Lord Jesus Christ ______________________________

_____________________________________________________________

4.     The Holy Spirit __________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

5.     Man __________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

6.     Salvation _______________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

7.     Satan _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

8.     The Christian Life _________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

9.     Heaven and Hell __________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

10.    Future Events ___________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

©2012 Mark Davis

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Lesson 6 – Witnessing – Lesson

Lesson 6

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WITNESSING

WITNESSING – WHAT IS IT

What is a witness? A witness is one who is called to testify before others about what he has seen, heard, or known.Paul stated that when he accepted the Lord, Ananias said to him, “For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard” (Acts 22:15).

Acts 1:8, the last words which Jesus spoke before He ascended into Heaven, commanded His disciples to be witnesses – “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

The early church took this commandment literally. As a result thousands were saved, churches were planted, and Christianity grew rapidly.

The Bible teaches that we are saved to tell others. God has given His Son for each of us. Therefore, we should be anxious to tell others of this wonderful love.

TWO WAYS TO WITNESS

1.  Confess Christ to Others – Romans 10:9, 10.

Our salvation requires that we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. This confession is given when a believer tells others he has accepted the Lord. It is also given by stepping forward during the invitation in a Bible-preaching church and taking a public stand for Christ.

2.  Witness to others to win them to Christ.

In John 1:41, 42 we find an excellent scriptural example of leading a soul to Christ. Andrew had come to know the Lord.  The Scripture says, “He first findeth his own brother Simon… “ (v. 41).  That is, he went out deliberately to find his brother and witness to him about his coming to know the Lord Jesus. He did this by speaking to Simon, by witnessing to him – “…And saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.”

First – He found his brother.

Second – He spoke a witness to him.

Third“And he brought him to Jesus…” (v. 42).

This should be the result of our witnessing: That we bring others to know the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is what we call “soulwinning.” It means that we give ourselves to be used to witness so that someone else accepts the Lord Jesus Christ.

WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD WIN SOULS

1.  The Bible commands us to be witnesses.

I Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

2.  The Lord Jesus called His disciples to be  “fishers of men.”

Mark 1:17, 18 – “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straight-way they forsook their nets, and followed him.”

3.  The example of the early church was one that was on fire winning souls to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 5:42 – “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

4.  The Apostle Paul set us an example.

Acts 20:20, 21 – “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

5. The soulwinner is wise.

Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

a.  Wise because the soulwinner is laboring with the world’s most priceless possession, the soul of a man (Mark 8:36, 37).
b.  Wise because the only real peace in this world comes through Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28).
c.  Wise because the soulwinner gains eternal reward (John 4:36).

6.  The soulwinner glorifies God.

John 15:8 – “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit: so shall you be my disciples.”

7.  The soulwinner delivers souls from an eternal Hell.

Ezekiel 3:17, 18 – “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked. Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

8.  The soulwinner has confidence at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Ezekiel 33:8 – “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCCESS IN SOULWINNING

1.  Personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior (John 1:12)

2.  Assurance of salvation

I John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

3.  Purity of life

II Timothy 2:21 – “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

4.  Yieldedness of life

Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren  by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

5.  Burden for lost souls

Matthew 9:36 – “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”

6.  A prayer burden for the unsaved – Paul had such a prayer burden.

Romans 10:1 – “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”

7.  A practical knowledge of the Bible

As a person develops in soulwinning, he needs to learn more and more in the Word of God. But you do not need to have a great knowledge of the Bible to start out in soulwinning work.  In John 9 the blind man had just been healed when he was called upon to give his witness to the unsaved Jewish leaders.  His witness was simple, but it was a wonderful testimony.  He said, “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (v. 25).

He told them what he knew; he gave them a witness without knowledge of the Bible.  You can start winning souls if you will just use John 3:16 and tell others what Jesus Christ has done for you. Then to continue winning souls, you need to grow in the Lord and in a knowledge of His Word.

8.  Boldness without being ashamed

This man in John 9 was bold for the Lord and gave forth a clear-cut witness.

Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

HOW TO LEAD A SOUL TO CHRIST

1.  Show him or her the fact of sin.

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The first truth that one must see in order to be saved is that he is a sinner.  If a person does not see that he has sinned against God, he will not realize he needs a Saviour. Joe Henry Hankins said, “You must get a person lost before you can get him saved.”

2.  Show him or her the penalty for sin.

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The second truth the unsaved must see is that there is a penalty for his or her sin.  This penalty is death – not just physical death, but also spiritual death.

3.  Show him or her that Christ paid the penalty for his or her sin.

I Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also hat once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

4.  Show him or her that salvation comes by receiving Christ.

John 1:12 – “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  The word “power” in John 1:12 means “right” or “authority.”  Those who receive Christ have the right or authority to be called the sons of God. To receive Christ is to believe on Him.

HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS

1. Read good books on soulwinning.
2. Become active in your church visitation program.
3. Go soulwinning with someone who is experienced so that you can get some good training.
4. Watch for opportunities to witness.  You will be amazed at how many there are.
5. Take every opportunity God gives you to present a bold witness for Christ.

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Lesson 6 – Witnessing – Assignments

Lesson 6

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ASSIGNMENTS

1. Memorize Acts 1:8.  Also, we suggest you memorize Matthew 9:36.

2. Read John chapters 1 – 2, 12 – 13, and 17 – 19.  Note the truths you find on witnessing.  Note particularly at least four truths about witnessing in John 1:29 – 51.  Note also the instruction given about our work for the Lord in John 2:5.  Record this information under “NOTES” on a separate page.

3. Answer the following questions in your own words:

1. What example did Andrew set that we should follow? (John 1:40 -42)

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2. What is the command the Lord gives in Acts 1:8?

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3. Who must be central in all of our witnessing? (John 14:6)

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4. Who was central in the witnessing of Philip in Acts 8:35?

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5. The disciples in the Book of Acts had real power in their witnessing.  In Acts 4:29 and 31 we are told how they spoke the Word of God. What was it that characterized their witnessing?

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6. According to Psalm 126:6, three requirements for soulwinners are:

1.________________________________________________________________

2.________________________________________________________________

3.________________________________________________________________

7. If these three requirements are met, what one thing is absolutely sure, according to Psalm 126:6?

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8. What is the condition of those who have not accepted Christ? (John 3:18)

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9. What does Jesus promise that should encourage you in witnessing and soulwinning? (Matthew 28:20)

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10. Why is it important to keep your life clean? (Matthew 5:16)

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11. What are two results of failure to witness? (Ezekiel 3:17, 18)

a.________________________________________________________________

b.________________________________________________________________

NOTES:

1. A blessing I received each day as I read John 1 – 2, 12 – 13, and 17 – 19.

Day 1 – John 1 __________________________________

Day 2 – John 2 __________________________________

Day 3 – John 12 _________________________________

Day 4 – John 13 _________________________________

Day 5 – John 17 _________________________________

Day 6 – John 18 _________________________________

Day 7 – John 19 _________________________________

2. Truths I found about witnessing:

John 1:29 – 51 – Four truths

1. ________________________________________

2. ________________________________________

3. ________________________________________

4. ________________________________________

John 2 ________________________________________

John 12 _______________________________________

John 13 _______________________________________

John 17 _______________________________________

John 18 _______________________________________

John 19 _______________________________________

3. Instruction for our work for the Lord in John 2:5

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________________________________________________________________

4. List names of some friends or relatives who do not know Christ as Saviour so that you could start praying for them.

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5. Assignment: List these names below, be sure to write down the date you see these people saved as an answer to prayer.

Requesting and Rejoicing – A Daily Time of Prayer

Unsaved for Whom I Am Praying:

Name                                                                      Date Saved

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________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

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6. Other truths I have learned about witnessing and soulwinning (write these down now and as they come to you during your continued study of Growing in Grace.):

________________________________________________________________

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Lesson 5 – Prayer – Assignments

Prayer

Growing In Grace – Lesson 5 – Print out here

Lesson 5

Assignments

1. Memorize Proverbs 15:8.  Also, we suggest you memorize John 16:24.

2. Read John 8–11. Note the miracles you find in this section.  Also, read John 14, 15 and 16 and note the promises given that God answers prayer.  Record your answers under “NOTES” on your separate sheet.

3. If you have not already done so, begin having a daily “Quiet Time.” Also, begin using your personal daily prayer journal (suggest a notebook of your choosing that you can write in easily).

4. Answer the following questions in your own words:

1.  What privilege does the child of God have that an unbeliever does not? (John 16:24)

____________________________________________________________

2. In whose name should we pray? (John 14:13; 16:24)

____________________________________________________________

3. What is one important qualification for answered prayer? (Hebrews 11:6)

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4. What is one important thing we must remember so that we can pray with confidence? (I John 5:14, 15)

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5. How often should we pray? (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

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6. For how many things should we pray? (Philippians 4:6)

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7. What is one simple reason that many Christians do not get answers to prayer? (James 4:2)

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8. What should always accompany our prayers? (Psalm 100:4)

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9. When is a good time to pray? (Psalm 5:3; 55:17)

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10. What will hinder our prayers? (Psalm 66:18)

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11. If we sin, how do we get back on praying ground? (Psalm 32:5)

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12. Should there be times that we pray with others? Explain. (Matthew 18:19; Acts 1:13, 14)

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NOTES

1.  A blessing I received each day as I read John 8 – 11 and John 14 – 16.

Day 1 – John 8 ___________________________________________

Day 2 – John 9 ___________________________________________

Day 3 – John 10 __________________________________________

Day 4 – John 11 __________________________________________

Day 5 – John 12 __________________________________________

Day 6 – John 13 __________________________________________

Day 7 – John 14 __________________________________________

2. Miracles I found in John 8 – 11:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

3. Promises that God answers prayer in John 14 – 16:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

4. Please check:

[ ] I have begun a daily “Quiet Time”

[ ] I have begun to use a personal prayer journal

5. Answers to pray I have had in the last two weeks:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

6. Further thoughts I received on prayer from this lesson and during the rest of the time that I  study this book, Growing in Grace.

_____________________________________________________

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Lesson 5 – Prayer – Lesson

Prayer

Growing In Grace – Lesson 5 – Print out here

Lesson 5

PRAYER

Prayer is the Christians communication with God. Prayer is an absolute necessity Christian is to grow in grace. The believer’s praying expresses the fact that he is utterly dependent on God for his every need. The Christian who prays reveals his faith in God for his every need.  The Christian who prays reveals his faith in God to supply all his needs.

The disciples of our Lord were men who desired to follow the Lord and to walk in fellowship with him. They had an intimate relationship with the Lord, and so they realized that there were times when he drew aside from his ministry to the multitudes to be alone in fellowship with His Father.  At the disciples observed this action on the part of the Lord, they realized they lacked one same intimate fellowship. Therefore, in Luke 11:1 they voiced the cry of their hearts – “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

These men knew that to be true disciples of the Lord Jesus they needed to learn to pray. Anyone who desires to be a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ must exercise his responsibility of praying.

We read of those who were saved at Pentecost, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized… And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:41, 42).

Those who gladly received His Word were steadfast in their praying. Those who have accepted Christ and thereby love the Lord will be faithful to pray. Yes, Acts 2:42 says they will be steadfast in prayers. These believers not only prayed but also were steadfast, or persistent, in their praying. Anyone who grows in grace will persistently and consistently pray.

We often hear someone say, “Please say a prayer for me.” Prayer is much more than just “saying” something to God. When these disciples asked the Lord to teach them to pray, they were asking for more than just mechanical ability to “say some prayer.” Prayer must involve the realization that God is sovereign, and we need to be willing to obey him as the sovereign in our lives.  “And this is the confidence we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him” (1 John 5:14, 15). These verses teach us that we must pray according to the will of God. That means that one who prays scripturally is one whose heart is surrendered to God as a good servant surrenders to his master. Such a servant must never run ahead of his master but always be willing to wait for the master to direct and guide. Please note that the disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” That means they recognized him as their Master, and they desired to obey him as servants.

Prayer brings delight to the Father. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight” (Proverbs 15:8). Therefore, we need to pray with the disciples of the Lord, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

WHY PRAY?

  1. It delights the father, as given in the verse above (Proverbs 15:8).
  2. God commands Christians to pray.
    Luke 18:1“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that man ought always to pray, and not to faint.”
    1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”
  3. God invites Christians to pray.
    Hebrews 4:16“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
  4. Prayer is God’s way to supply our needs.
    Matthew 7:8, 9“For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?”
  5. Prayer is that which God uses to bring peace to the life of the believer.
    Philippians 4:6, 7“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  6. Prayerlessness is a sin.
    1 Samuel 12:23“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.”

GOD’S PROMISES TO ANSWER PRAYER

In some of the verses quoted above, you will find promises God has given that He will answer prayer. The believer prays effectively is one who claims Bible promises that God answers prayer. It is wise to memorize some prayer promises that God answers prayer. There are many more in the Bible, and it would be well for you to note them as you read and study God’s Word.

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. It ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14: 13, 14

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:21, 22

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:22-24

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3

“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

HINDRANCES TO ANSWERED PRAYER

  1. A love for sin in the life
    Psalm 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
  2. An unforgiving spirit
    Mark 11:25, 26“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
  3. An Improper home life
    1 Peter 3:27 – “ Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
  4. An indifference toward the Bible
    Proverbs 28:9“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”
  5. Selfish prayer, requesting things for our own desires
    James 4:3“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

TRUTHS TO KNOW IN ORDER TO HAVE OUR PRAYERS ANSWERED

  1. We must be saved.
    1 Peter 3:12“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.”
    Revelation 8:3“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”
  2. God’s Word must abide in us – John 15:7 (quoted previously).
  3. Sin must be confessed and forsaken – Psalm 66:18 (quoted previously).
  4. We must ask in the name of Jesus.
    John 14:14“If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
  5. We must ask in faith, believing.
    James 1:5, 6“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
    Mark 11:22-24 (quoted previously)
  6. We must pray according to God’s will – 1 John 5:14, 15.
  7. We must be living in obedience to God’s commandment.
    1 John 3:22“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

THE QUIET TIME

We recommend that every believer have a daily quiet time or devotional time.  During this time he should read the Word of God and then spend some time in prayer.  If you want real blessing and growth in your life, this quiet time must become a regular daily habit.  It is not enough for you just to attend church services on Sunday and hear the preaching of the Word of God.  You must have time alone with God yourself in Bible reading and prayer.

We suggest you do the following:
  1. Set a definite time every day for you to meet with God. Personally, I find the best time is at the beginning of the day.  I find, as many others have found, that it is good to start the day with God.
  2. Endeavor to keep the time as your appointment with God.
  3. Spend some time in reading and studying the Word and some time in prayer.

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Lesson 3 – The Church and Church Membership – Lesson

Lesson 3

My Church

Growing in Grace – Lesson 3 Print out here

THE CHURCH AND MEMBERSHIP

THE CHURCH

Our relation to the church is directly influenced by our understanding of the church.

Why go to church? Why do we have a church? What is its importance?

God makes much of the church in this age. It is God’s institution for worship, service, evangelism, missions, and for every other God-given spiritual ministry. Nothing can substitute for the local church. God has a goal, aim, purpose, and place for the church; we need to understand its ministry.

The meaning of the word Church

The word church comes from the Greek word ecclesia, which means to “call out.” The church is literally “called out ones,” or those who are saved and belong to the Lord. It means to “bring together’ and to “call out from among”.

Over one hundred times the usage of this word in Scripture had to do with the local church. This is where God puts the emphasis for this age.

The word does not mean (1) to be religious, (2) to distinguish denominations, (3) to refer to sects, or (4) to denote the building or meeting place.

It definitely is used to refer to saved people. Therefore, the people are the church. Thus in Scripture it is primarily dealing with a particular assembly of the saved (Acts 20:28; I Timothy 3:15, 16; Ephesians 2:19; I Corinthians 1:2; II Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:2).

The purpose of the church

1. To bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21; 1:6,12)

2. To develop its members spiritually (Acts 20:28-32; 11:23-26)

3. To be God’s pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)

4. To evangelize the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20)

The blessing of the church

1. It will deepen your fellowship (Acts 2:41, 42; 12:5; I John 1:3, 4)

2. It will guard against your backsliding (Hebrews 10:24, 25; Proverbs 14:14;  Jeremiah 2:19, 21)

3. It will enlarge your service (Acts 4:23-31; 6:1-8; 11:19-26; 13:1-4)

4. It will strengthen your testimony (Acts 15:41). Cf. John 20:24, 25 – the absence of Thomas in the upper room.

5. It will deepen your prayer life (Acts 1; 4:23-31; 12:5)

6. It is a place for souls to be saved.

The church, then, is a group of baptized believers in a community who are banded together for the purpose of preaching the Gospel, observing the ordinances (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and building up the members to bring glory to God.

The other references to the word church in the New Testament refer to the “body of Christ” or the “bride of Christ,” who will be gathered together unto Him when He comes again (Colossians 1:18, 24; Revelation 19:7-9; Ephesians 5:25, 26).

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

In examining the New Testament, we find that membership in a local church is taught and practiced because:

1. Our participation in Christ necessitates it.

a. Christ founded the church (Matthew 16:18). He founded it for our benefit and blessing and for His glory.

b. Christ is the Head of the church (Colossians 1:18). We are His body (Ephesians 5:30). As members of the body of which He is the Head, we must participate in the church.

c. Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).

2. The additions to the church require it.

Anyone who knows arithmetic knows that you cannot add a definite number to an indefinite number (Acts 2:41, 47).

3. The business of the church cannot operate without — Acts 6:1-5.

When a church is making a decision, who does the voting? Can you have an election without a definite list?

Even churches who boast in not having a membership still work up lists of elegible boters and must have a basis for doing so. This, them, is really their membership list.

4. The discipline of the church rests upon it.

Matthew 18:17 —

“And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

In this verse God refers to a definite group of people is a definite place. If the member neglects to hear the church – a definite body – something happens. It would be impossible to put someone out of an organization of which he was not a member.

I Corinthians 5:4 —

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, …”

In this verse Paul tells the church at Corinth how to deal with one of its own members.

5. The organism  of the church demands it.

In I Corinthians 12:12-17 Paul is speaking of the “one body.” He refers to various parts of the body. He was not speaking of something future, for it existed right then and there.

Of what was Paul speaking? Obviously he was referring to the local church.

a. This letter was written to a local church.

First Corinthians 1:2 states that the letter was addressed “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth.”

b. All the way through the letter, Paul has been dealing with specific problems. This letter had to be written to a local church with definite problems. Paul could not have written any part of this letter to the future church because these believers will neither necessarily work together nor against each other.

THEREFORE

When Paul described the church in I Corinthians 12, we realize he was writing to people who make up a local church. An individual is either a member or he is not a member. We are not all fingers, nor are we all ears. But we are either attached or unattached. Not to be a member of a local a Bible -preaching church is contrary to Christ’s plan for our lives. What are you doing in this regard?

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Lesson 3 – The Church and Church Membership – Assignments

My Church

Growing in Grace – Lesson 3 Print out here

Lesson 3

The Church and Church Membership

Assignments

1. Memorize Hebrews 10:25. Also, we suggest you memorize I Corinthians 15:58.

2. Read John, chapters 15-21. Note the number of times you find a form of the word believe. Record this information under “NOTES”.

3. Answer the following questions in your own words:

1. What must true believers not neglect? (Hebrews 10:25)

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2. What is the right attitude in worship services? (Psalm 122:1)

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3. List somethings the early believers did as they met together.

Matthew 18:19-20

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I Corinthians 16:1-2

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I Corinthians 11:23-25

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4. Why should we be concerned for one another? (Romans 12:5)

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5. What attitude should the Christian have toward his pastor and other spiritual leaders? (I Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7)

___________________________________________________________________

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6. In addition to the apostles and prophets, list those responsible to build up the church. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

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7. What two truths do we learn about the church in I Timothy 3:15?

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NOTES

1. Promises I have found in John 15-21 that were a real blessing to me (List at least three):

1. _________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

2. _________________________________________________________________

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3. _________________________________________________________________

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2. A truth I received from my daily reading of John 15-21 that I applied to my life that day:

Day 1 – John 15 _______________________________________________________

Day 2 – John 16 _______________________________________________________

Day 3 – John 17 _______________________________________________________

Day 4 – John 18 _______________________________________________________

Day 5 – John 19 _______________________________________________________

Day 6 – John 20 _______________________________________________________

Day 7 – John 21 _______________________________________________________

3. The verses in which I found a form of the word believe:

___________________________________________________________________

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___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

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___________________________________________________________________

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Lesson 2 – Baptism – Lesson

Lesson 2

BaptismSmall

Growing In Grace – Lesson 2 Print out here

Baptism

“Then they that gladly received His word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”  -Acts 2:41

This verse tells us that those who believed on the day of Pentecost were baptized following their salvation.  Every believer should be baptized following his salvation. We have several Biblical reasons that make baptism important.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BAPTISM

Christ is our example – Matthew 3:13-17.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself was baptized. He said to John the Baptist, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Baptism was important to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is to be our example so that we can follow in His steps (I Peter 2:21). Under The Meaning of Baptism we will consider the meaning of Christ’s baptism a little more in detail.

Christ commands us to be baptized.

In the Great Commission that Christ gave, we find that the Lord required the church to baptize those who believed. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). This commission to the church commands that Christians go to witness to the world. The church is to baptize the converts, and those converts are to win others and see them baptized.

The disciples of Jesus practiced baptism.

“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus made and baptized not, but his disciples)…” (John 4:1-2)

The early church practiced baptism.

1. The Jewish converts in Jerusalem – Acts 2:41

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.” Those who heard the Word and received Christ were baptized.

2. The converts in Samaria – Acts 2:12

“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”

3. The Ethiopian eunuch converted and baptized – Acts 8:38

“And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch/ and he baptized him.

4. Saul converted and baptized – Acts 9:18

“And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith and arose, and was baptized.

5. Cornelius and his house – Gentiles converted and baptized – Acts 10:48

“And he [Peter] commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”

6. Philippian jailer and his family saved and baptized – Acts 16:33

“And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes: and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”

7. Ephesian disciples saved and baptized – Acts 19:5

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

8. Corinthian believers baptized – Acts 18:8

“And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. In I Corinthians 1:14-15 Paul said that he baptized a few converts in Corinth. He revealed that the Corinthian church did baptize converts but that they did not need to be divided over the personality of the preacher who baptized them.

9. Roman believers baptized – Romans 6:4

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death.”

10. Colossian believers baptized – Colossians 2:12

“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him.”

 THE MEANING OF BAPTISM

Baptism is an identification with Christ.

As the believer is put under the water, he pictures the death and burial of Christ. As he comes up out of the water, he pictures the resurrection of Christ. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Baptism is a testimony to those witnessing by the baptizing that this believer is trusting Christ in His death on the cross for sin and in His resurrection from the tomb for a life of victory. Baptism pictures our identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Baptism is similar to a wedding ring.

A Wedding ring does not make us married. It is simply a symbol to the world that we are married. It is a symbol that the person married belongs to someone. Baptism is a symbol to the world that we are married. It is a symbol that the person married belongs to Someone – that we belong to the Lord.

Baptism is a step of obedience to God’s direct command. It is a public testimony of salvation in the blood of Christ as we trust in His death, burial, and resurrection (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

Then baptism is a public testimony that we want to live for Christ in the new life we have in Him (Romans 6:1-6). It is also a means of blessing, for it surely adds joy to our salvation decision.

Baptism does not save.

We are not saved by baptism. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you are on your way to Heaven whether you get baptized or not. Only the blood of Christ can redeem – not the water of baptism. Baptism is the outward symbol of the inner work which has already taken place in the one who has trusted Christ.

Christ was baptized.

Though He gave us an example through His baptism, Christ was baptized for an identification different from ours.  He went out to John and was baptized in the Jordan River. John was baptizing men who confessed they were sinners and who repented of their sins. When Jesus came to John, He identified Himself with sinners. It was a picture of what He would accomplish at Calvary when He was baptized with death for our sins. When Jesus told John, “Suffer it be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness,” He was announcing that the only way that there could be righteousness would be through His death, burial, and resurrection. He opened His earthly ministry with baptism, which pictured the fact that He would become identified with sinners, take their sins in His own body (I Peter 2:24), and pay the penalty of death for those sins on the cross. He closed His earthly ministry with His death on the cross. He came to die for us, and this is shown as He opened and as He closed His ministry.

THE MODE OF BAPTISM

The only scriptural baptism is that which uses immersion. The very Greek word for baptism, “baptizo,” means “to dip, to plunge under, or to submerge.” The scriptural expressions such as “much water” (John 3:23), “down…into the water” (Acts 8:38), and “coming up out of the water” (Mark 1:10) give proof that baptism is by immersion.

The only baptism that can picture death, burial, and resurrection is immersion. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

THE TIME OF BAPTISM

Baptism to be scriptural must follow salvation.

In Acts 8:36, 37 the Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip answered, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” The eunuch had to believe before he could be baptized. The one requirement for baptism is that a person be saved before he is baptized.

Therefore, baptism of infants who are not old enough to believe is totally unscriptural. Baptism is for believers only. Please note again the verse at the head of this chapter – “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).

Also, a person who was baptized before he was saved is not scripturally baptized. I was put under the water when I was twelve years old. Then I was saved when I was twenty-one years old. I realized that my being immersed before I was saved was not scriptural baptism, and I requested baptism after I was saved, you are not scripturally baptized, and you need to be identified with Christ in baptism followed salvation.

Baptism must precede church membership.

The three thousand saved and baptized on the day of Pentecost were added to the church. Baptism is the first test of obedience after salvation. A believer gives testimony by his baptism. If he refuses to testify for the Lord to baptism, does he deserve to be recognized as an obedient disciple? We dare not pick the ways we will testify but take the Scriptures as the rule for our testifying.

AFTER BAPTISM, WHAT THEN?

Romans 6:4 gives the answer: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Baptism should be followed with a new walk. We should have transformed lives so that the world can see the difference. This should involve our church fellowship, our stewardship, and our Christian growth.

I close this lesson with a quote by the late Dr. M. R. DeHaan in his booklet, Water Baptism:

“In the early days of the church… baptism was a declaration that the believer was definitely identifying himself with that group of people who were called Christians and were despised and hated. To be a Christian meant something. To identify yourself with those who were called Christians meant persecution, maybe death; it meant being ostracized from your family, shunned by friends. And the one act which was the final declaration of this identification was BAPTISM. As long as a man gathered with Christians, he was tolerated, but when once he submitted to baptism, he declared to all the world. I BELONG TO THIS DESPISED GROUP, and immediately he was persecuted, hated, and despised. In baptism, therefore, the believer entered into the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ. A person might be a believer and keep it strictly a secret and thus avoid unpleasantness and suffering, but once he submitted to public baptism he had burned his bridges behind him.”

Growing In Grace – Lesson 2 Print out here

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Continued Reading:

Gif Credit to Source: Jimmie Tullis at ebibleteacher.com

©2012  Mark Davis
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