Are You Ashamed?

Psalm 25:20-21; "O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee."

Psalm 25:20-21 — “O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.”

 

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made – I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ – I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. “My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure – I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.

“My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. “I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.” –Unknown Author

Oh, how I would love to be able to have said this.

As the Apostle Paul said in 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.”  This is how we are to live our lives from day to day.

Then Paul tops it off with this statement in 2 Timothy 1:12:  “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

This is one of my favorite passages in the Psalms:

A Psalm of David.
Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
“O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed,
let not mine enemies triumph over me.
“Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed:
let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.
“Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies
and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
“Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions:
according to thy mercy remember thou me
for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
“Good and upright is the LORD:
therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
“The meek will he guide in judgment:
and the meek will he teach his way.
“All the paths of the LORD art mercy and truth
unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
“For thy name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
“What man is he that feareth the LORD?
him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
“His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant.
“Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD;
for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
“Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;
for I am desolate and afflicted.
“The troubles of my heart are enlarged:
O bring thou me out of my distresses.
“Look upon mine affliction and my pain;
and forgive all my sins.
Ps 25:1-18

There is no longer any reason for any of us to be ashamed to stand up and let everyone know that we are Christians.  In fact, in Luke 12:8, Jesus said that if we confess, or declare, that we are one of His, then God the Father will declare to the angels that we are His.

Jesus is going to be coming back soon to claim us to Himself and take us to heaven to be with Him – What is it that He will catch you doing?

Are you going to be ashamed at His appearing (2 Timothy 4:1-8)?

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What Has Happened?

ChurchPeople
Written by: Robert L. Davis
December 19, 2013

“If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.”
— 2 Chronicles 7:14

This verse is clear and precise. It would be easy to think of how many people this passage of scripture would apply to… if they would only pay attention. In reality, this is exactly what is needed by everyone that names the name of Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

We can coast along in life thinking that all is well and what we have to do now is to go through some religious procedures and all will be wonderful. We might even try to deny that we have any responsibility to God or to the lost world around us.

One day (possibly very soon), the trumpet will sound, the voice of the archangel will echo throughout the world and the dead in Christ will be resurrected. Then, the living (in Christ) will be caught away to be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18). We can think of what it will be like then and rejoice, and rightfully so.

But, what about the opportunities that we have and do not use wisely for the glory of God?

What went wrong?

Why is there so much corruption and sin in the world and even in many churches?

Is this just a normal thing or can something be done about it? Oh yes, we can sit back and observe and even criticize what is going on nationally, politically, socially and religiously. But, what are we willing to do about it?

In the Word of God, we are told that there will be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earth quakes, and pestilence in the time before the Lord Jesus Christ returns for the “blood-bought”, redeemed ones. And yet, even though we do not like to hear of these things or experience them, they are happening, and with increasing frequency.

Are we going to stick our head in the sand and pretend that these things are only figurative or even a myth or a mirage?

I am sure we will not be able to cause a tsunami to be calm or a tornado to not tear its way through cities or the countryside. Just possibly these things are being used by God to try to get our attention so we will cling close to Him and serve Him in these last days. We can be used of God to reach souls with the gospel message before it is eternally too late.

Not too many years ago, you could go into most churches and hear a good Bible message delivered by a godly pastor who loved his people and was interested in seeing that they were fed from the Word of God. You could expect to see souls won to the Lord and new Christians baptized on a regular basis. There was an alter call and people responding by either getting saved or, possibly, there was some pressing spiritual need in their lives.

But, the picture has changed considerably. In many of the churches that were once enthusiastic for the Gospel and serving God there is now a coldness and complacency. The preacher seems to be more interested in his retirement, golf score or going to some ecumenical function which would demand compromise of the doctrines of the Word of God.

The gospel message has been so watered down in most churches that you cannot find anything that faintly resembles salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

You might listen, without success, to find these facts:

  1. Man is a sinner, totally depraved and on his way to a Christ-less eternity in the Lake of Fire;
  2. Jesus (the perfect, sinless, virgin-born Son of God) was the only one qualified to take on Himself the sins of all mankind;
  3. He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, then, after several days, ascended into heaven to be once again with the Father;
  4. We can have forgiveness of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross at Calvary;
  5. Being born-again, we can now live victorious lives by God’s power.

What has happened to cause such a massive devastation of the foundational truths of the Word of God?

It has been a sly, steady denial of the Word. In many areas, it started with a new beat of music (or rather noise). Some thought that they needed to compromise the music standards to, hopefully, attract people to attend their services. They brought in the music of the ungodly world and incorporated it into the services. They had their combos and many of the 7–11 type songs (that is 7 words sung over and over again for about 11 times). They called them “praise songs”. They even had their special praise teams.

Then, some of those cold, dormant churches even sent some of their promising young people off to Bible college or seminary. Some of those schools have long since departed from the teaching of the Word of God. Instead, they teach evolution, nice sounding theories, and other non-Biblical doctrines and subjects.

Then, there are the Bible colleges and universities that teach many right things… but, the vast majority are failing miserably to train their young, potential preachers how to preach the Word, and how to win souls to Christ. They are turning out future missionaries and pastors who are not in tune with what the gospel is. They might preach well on things pertaining to the Christian life and give encouragement, but they are not preaching the gospel!!!

Earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 3) is unheard of… I personally had the occasion where I asked 6 people who were seasoned church members: “What is the gospel”? One by one they gave their idea as to what they thought the gospel is. Some said it was the Bible, another said it was the teachings of Jesus… whatever that meant, I am not really sure. Others gave a philosophy or idea. I never heard from them what the gospel is, as explained so plainly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

I believe the leadership of our schools, Bible colleges and universities needs to train these students in what the gospel is and how to effectively present it in their teaching and preaching. Doesn’t the Bible proclaim that if the gospel is hid, it is hidden from the lost in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4?

Are there other things that have led us down the road of ineffectiveness? YES, there is more. We have only touched the “tip of the iceberg”.

Consider the vast confusion that has set into many churches about “which Bible should I use?” Some so-called scholars have thought it necessary to revise, re-translate, mutilate, and desecrate the Word of God. I believe Satan knows that his time is getting short and the catching away of the born-again ones is getting very close. He is bringing out his ”big guns”. He wants to create as much doubt and confusion as he can possibly muster up.

Do a search on the internet regarding how many English translations there are. I was amazed to learn that there are 250 (plus or minus a few). Some of these translations are done by people who have a certain pet “viewpoint”. Some translators are unbelievers and some dearly love the Lord and His Word. Some have an agenda they are trying to sell to the public.

Why can’t we stick with a good, standard translation that we can memorize, read, preach from, and win souls from??? I highly recommend the King James Version. It has what is needed today. It is very accurate and needs no apology.

There is also the ecumenical movement. This is an effort of some “religious” groups to bring all churches into line with a common goal, doctrine, and message. Their message is plainly a deviation from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. They have departed from the solid teachings of the Word of God.

They would rather give up the teachings of the scripture for the sake of “getting together”. This is compromise. Many of these people are blind leaders of the blind. They are teaching the Devil’s gospel. Sometimes this process starts small with a cooperation outreach of some kind, or ministerial alliance, or a council of churches. They all involve compromise and a forsaking of the teachings of the Word of God.

God has told us that He wants us to “Preach the Word”. Second Timothy 4:2 tells us: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” God doesn’t want His people to compromise the things of God with the tricks and devices of Satan. We must stay faithful to the Word.

Remember… The church is no stronger than its leaders. Weak leaders will result in weak undernourished people. God exhorts us in Ephesians 6:10“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

We need revival.

We need to get back to the “BOOK”.

We need to make sure our schools are strong and stay strong.

We need to encourage godly pastors and missionaries to stay true to the Word of God.

We need to do our part as individuals who have trusted Christ as our Saviour, in staying in the Word, witnessing and winning souls to the Lord Jesus.

May the Lord Jesus find us faithful to His great cause until we are caught up to be with the Lord, to be with Him forever.

R.L.D.

©2013 Mark Davis

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Have You Ever Considered?

Is there really a heaven or hell?  

If you died today and went into eternity, where would you go? Heaven, or Hell?  There is NO in between and if you cannot answer definitively that you would be going to heaven with conviction, you are going to hell!

When asking this question to random people on the street, most people would not be able to tell you one way or the other.  Some would say that they HOPE or THINK that they would go to heaven, but have no reason why or have no basis as to their thought process.

If you stood before the All Powerful, All Knowing, God and He asked you, “Why should I let you into MY heaven?”, what would you tell Him?  If you don’t have any definite reason WHY, you don’t get to go in!

Why would that matter?  Because if you don’t get to go into Heaven, you WILL go to HELL!

Yes. Hell is a very real place.  It is NOT a place where a person will get to party for the rest of eternity. Think about this…

Who is the one that presides over all of today’s parties that are filled with debauchery and drunkenness and sex and filth and drugs and … the list goes on…?  Who is the Father of all of that sinful behavior?  Why, it is none other than the “Father of Lies” himself, Satan – or as he is otherwise known, the Devil.

Why is that important at all?  Because, if Satan is going to be punished for the rest of eternity for revolting against God (along with a third of the angels) by being thrown into the “Lake of Fire” full of pain and sorrow and weeping and gnashing of teeth where a person will want to die but it will never happen, where there will be torment and torture for the rest of eternity (a very long time – NEVER ENDING!)  That is what is in store for Satan and his angels according to Revelations 21.

But, what does that have to do with you?  Well, as it says that Satan et al will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, it also says that death and the grave will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with him (them).

If you were not able to give God the right answer to the question above, then you will be included in the “death and the grave” part of that statement.

There is no purgatory, unlike some might think.  It is never mentioned in the Bible, but rather, it was made up by a pope many years ago as a ploy to get the catholic people to feel sorry for their dead loved ones and the pope allowed the living relatives to give gifts to the church in order to shorten the time that they will have to spend there before they are finally prayed/payed into their heavenly place.  Sorry, it isn’t going to happen that way.  I challenge you to find me one place in the Bible where it says that any of this purgatory stuff will actually happen – you can’t do it because it isn’t there.

Back to the important topic at hand… Where are you going to spend eternity?

Friend, if this were not important, do you really think that I would be wasting my valuable time talking to you about this?  In fact, in God’s eyes, this is the most important topic in the world!

You see, God desires more than anything in this world to have you spending eternity with Him in His heaven.  In fact, since heaven is a sinless place and we humans are very sinful beings, we are not going to be allowed in to God’s heaven the way we are.  In fact, you could be the absolute best role model on the face of the earth but you would still be far from the perfect being that would be required to enter God’s heaven.

See, God knew this ahead of time (He knows everything from eternity past to eternity future – even the stuff that hasn’t happened yet), that is why He devised a plan to provide a substitute sacrifice for your atonement of your sins.  What does that mean?  As we have determined in the last paragraph, we are not good enough to get into God’s heaven, so the alternative is only to go to Hellllllllll!

God’s substitute sacrifice happened to be God the Son – the Second Person of the Godhead out of the “Trinity” (that is discussed in another post),  You see, God the Father was going to send His Son down to live with man for an honest-to-goodness sinless lifetime.

He started with the immaculate conception when the Holy Spirit implanted the seed that was to be Jesus within Mary’s womb.  No, it’s not what you think – contrary to what some religions believe, there was no sexual intercourse that occurred between God and Mary or an angel and Mary.  Mary was a virgin before conception and continued to be a virgin until Jesus the Christ was finally born. After that Mary and Joseph produced a very healthy family in the conventional manner known to man and woman.

Jesus’ mission on earth was to be born as a man-child, to be raised in the normal Hebrew manner, being taught the scriptures that they had up to that time (Moses’ writings and the prophets).  He frequented the temples where he would debate the scriptures with the priests and pharisees, usually ending up with Him teaching them rather than them teaching Him.  He would literally sit with them for days (and we get upset when the pastor of our churches takes more than an hour for a sermon).

He would live out a normal life as a child developing into a man – the only difference is that He was tempted in every sense of the word, just as we are now, but rather than succumbing to the temptations in front of Him, He remained clean and perfect and without sin.  You see, only a sinless, perfect sacrifice could take our place in death.  The death that was the penalty for the one sin that we have committed – yeah, right; I know that you’ve sinned many more times than once.

As a slight side note:

I’m sure you are familiar with the 10 commandments that are referenced in Exodus 20.  Among those are: killing, adultery, idolatry, lust, envy, putting any god in front of the only One and True God, disobeying your parents. Did you also realize that the Bible also tells us that if you were to even think in your heart about any of these commandments to break them, you are guilty of breaking that commandment.  In fact, it goes further and says that if you are guilty of one, you are guilty of all of them.

According to that statement, where does that put you?  Did you know that you are surrounded by a group of mass murderers?  That might sound a bit comical, but in God’s eyes it is totally true!  And, as we established earlier, the penalty of any sin – regardless what sin it might be – is DEATH!  This doesn’t mean that you die and then that is it.  NO! That could not be further from the truth.  Rather, when we die physically, our bodies might be buried or cremated or whatever your preference might be, but someday there is going to be a resurrection.  In fact there is going to be two resurrections. One for the ones that are truly on their way to Heaven and the other will be for those who will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with Satan.

As I said, Satan is not the ultimate party DJ, although he might be the loudest of the screams of pain that will be emanating from the pit of hell.  This trip to hell is not going to be a vacation.  It will not be a party with 72 virgins (or however many they think they will get).  In fact, even though, as the name depicts, “Lake of Fire”, it isn’t going to be like it is here on earth where when something encounters fire of differing temperatures, it will be consumed and that is that – no more existence! In fact, the Bible says that it is a place of eternal torment, where the thirst is not quenched and the “worm dieth not” – you’ve just become a worm….

What is my point in telling you all of this morbid stuff?  You see, we only seem to think that it is morbid because it is depressing since all we want to do while we are on this earth is to make lots of money, have lots of fun, travel, even have as much sex as possible (I only say that because it is true).

The thought of interrupting our plans of doing all of this to just stop and turn around and start making dramatic changes in our lives and start actually following Jesus and doing the things that are commanded us to do in the Bible – I can’t list them all here.

The main thing is that we were not put on this earth, much less to become a Christian, but to serve ourselves and make our existence on this ball of dirt to please our own desires and pass into eternity to be punished in hell for not serving God.

Why do we need to serve God so badly?  Many years ago in the Garden of Eden, God created two beautiful humans that were sinless and faultless and naked without shame.  Why did He create them?  He wanted to have some intelligent companionship that WANTED to be with Him.  And He even gave them a choice of being with Him or death if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Satan tempted them, they gave in to his temptation and they eventually died.  The worst part of it all was that they didn’t only die physically but they also died spiritually – and that is why we are put on this earth.

I know that this world has a way of sugar-coating evil to make it look like it is fun – and it may be, but that fun wears off after a while and then there are penalties and consequences that must be paid. These payments may be in the form of a traffic ticket fine or you may do something that requires you to have a physical impairment for the rest of your life, or even worse yet, someone else might have that impairment or even lose their life.  Or, your penalty may only be the eternal penalty of death in hell.

Friend, if you couldn’t tell God why He should let you into His heaven, you need to get this taken care of between you and God.  Please, get on your knees before Him and beg for Him to forgive you and that you want to receive the gift that Jesus is willing to give you of eternal life in heaven with God and then give your life over to God to let Him use you to help show others about how God wants them to go to heaven too.

You know, you could walk away from reading this and go back to doing the same old sinful things, but God has a much bigger plan for you. And, trust me when I say to you, that being in God’s service and doing the things that God wants you to do, you could never get more joy and happiness from anything else that this world has to offer you.

In John 14, Jesus tells us:

John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

What many people don’t quite grasp about being a Christian is that even though Jesus is not walking this earth right now, He will be coming to get us soon so that we can spend eternity with Him.  He said that this is a word of encouragement that in His Father’s house (Heaven) are many mansions – these mansion (of whatever sort they might be) are made for us!  I don’t see these being apartment buildings or condos, but mansions!  He is going, at that time until He comes back, to be preparing these places for us.  We get our very own mansions.  These aren’t time shares either – we aren’t just buying a week or a year out of eternity to be there.  He continues and says that He is going to come back again and get us and take us to where He lives (Heaven) so that we can be with Him as He intended for mankind in the first place.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul is talking to the Thessalonian church.  They were concerned that they would never get to see their loved ones again that had passed into eternity before them.  He tells them this:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant (or unknowing) about those who have died already, that you don’t weep and feel like you will never see them again like those who are unsaved do (they have no hope of eternal life).  If you truly believe that Jesus died and rose again, then you will see them again if they were saved when God brings them with Him.  Paul speaks this by the authority of the Lord, that those of us who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will not keep this from happening to those who have already died.  Verse 16; For the Lord Himself (not angels or Michael the archangel) will come down from the heavens with a SHOUT, with the calling of the archangel and with the trumpet sound of God, Himself: and at that point, faster than we can even imagine, the dead that had been saved before they died, will rise to meet Him in the clouds: then the rest of us (who have been saved up to this point) will be caught up (modern term is “raptured”) into the clouds to meet them all even including the Lord – or Christ – and from that point on, we will always be with the Lord!  Because of this, brethren, comfort each other with these words.

How much more beautiful could you imagine it?  If you want a wonderful description of the “New Jerusalem”, you should check out Revelation Chapter 22. … No more sorrow, no more pain … I can’t wait!

My friends, the point in this article is not to, necessarily, get you saved, but to try to light a fire under you to sense the urgency of making sure that anyone and everyone that you come in contact with in the future, that you spend a few minutes and ask them what lies in store for them in eternity and give them the Gospel news that they could spend eternity in heaven with Jesus – and you and me.

Consider this …

… the cashier at the local grocery store is checking your groceries out and all you have to do is ask them that if they died today, would they go to heaven?

… the waitress at your favorite restaurant may have a car accident on the way home from work and end up in hell because you didn’t share Jesus with her.

… the friend you have had since childhood that has never accepted Christ as their personal Savior and you may be the last person that they get a chance to hear it from.

… maybe your parent(s) have never heard God’s plan of salvation and you are just the person that they need to hear it from so that they can make that final decision for Christ.

Remember that we, as Christians, are not out there to twist arms of everyone that we know and force them into a decision.  All we are required to do is tell them what God’s Word has to say about their eternal future.

Some sow the seeds; some water the seeds; but God makes them grow. Occasionally, we have the distinct pleasure of actually leading someone to Christ and verifying with them that they are on their way to heaven with you.  Even if you don’t get to do that, you – if you have done your duty – have done your duty.  Just present God’s Word to them.  If you need help knowing what to share with them or how to do it, there are quite a few different approaches listed in the “Salvation” section of my blog site here – or you can follow the links that I supply to you below.

Christian, I really hope that this has made you think about how you can spread the Gospel.  The time is getting near when the Lord is going to come back for us and we don’t want to have to stand before Him and try to give Him excuses about why we didn’t do our job and why, now, that person is in hell.

God bless you and your soul-winning efforts.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or you can go to my Contact page to contact me privately.

©2013 Mark Davis

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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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