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The Good Samaritan
Bible Doctrine: HUMANITY, Image of God Bible Study Method: Deductive study Christian Discipline: Showing respect for needy people Ministry Action: Providing help regardless of a person's situations UNIT LEARNING GOALS: The study of this unit on humanity should help you: • Understand the doctrine of man's creation in the image of God, e Understand how to use the deductive approach to Bible study, • Demonstrate respect for needy people. VERSES TO MEMORIZE "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers," Galatians 6:10, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me," Matthew 25:40,
DAY 1: HUMANITY
Learning Objective: You will practice a deductive method of study to identify what others have said about humanity created in the image of God.
Most writing, movies, television shows, and speeches deal with some aspect of humanity. Yet, we still do not understand man without God's revelation. This unit will help you look at humanity from the perspective of what God intends for each person to be. Later units will deal with the doctrine of sin and man's fall. This unit will introduce you to the deductive Bible study method as you study the doctrine of humanity. Deductive Bible Study Inductive study and deductive study are two methods of studying the Bible. The names come from the process of reasoning used in each approach. They are defined as:
a bringing forward of separate facts or instances, esp. so as to prove a general statement.' de-due-lion: the act or process of deducing; reasoning from a known principle to an unknown, from the general to the specific, or from a premise to a logical conclusion." Classify each description below as to whether it represents inductive or deductive Bible study by writing "I" or "D" in the blank. _~
1. In this method of Bible study you first study what general conclusions others have reached about a doctrine before studying the Scriptures for yourself. 2. In this method of Bible study you go first to Scriptures to discover all specific facts for yourself and come to your own general conclusions about a doctrine. 3. This method starts with specific facts and works toward general conclusions. 4. This method starts with a general conclusion and moves toward proving a specific point.
You should have identified the first and fourth description as deductive Bible study [D). The second and third are descriptions of inductive Bible study. Even if you use the inductive method, you will profit from reading what others who have spent years studying the Bible have said. • Read the following Bible study activities and identify them as inductive or deductive by writing "1" or UD" in the blank. _~ 1: Read the Summary of the Doctrine before studying the Scriptures. _~ 2. Read the Introduction to the Book before reading the Scriptures. _~ 3. Read the Scriptures relating to the doctrine and come to your own conclusions before reading anything else. _~ 4. Read the Scriptures and annotations before coming to your own conclusions on a doctrine.
5. Read the Scriptures and look up the meanings of words in a Bible dictionary
before reaching conclusions.
In the examples above 1, 2, and 4 are examples of deductive Bible study activities and 3 and 5 are inductive. Number 5 is a little tricky. The point is whether you come to your own conclusions or let others influence you with their conclusions. Number 5 is inductive although you use a dictionary. Even though you look up meanings of words, you still draw your own conclusions. Both methods are valuable approaches to Bible study. Your choice will depend on your available time, study tools you have available, and your skills in inductive Bible study. Usually. the better approach is to study what the Scriptures say before studying what someone thinks they say. The Holy Spirit can give you direct access to the truth He wants to reveal to you through the Word. Doing a purely inductive study of the whole Bible, however, would take a lifetime and more. Therefore, you will often benefit from the conclusions of those who have given their lives to Bible study. That does not mean that you will accept all their conclusions. You must evaluate them on the basis of your own study of the Scriptures. That is exactly what the Bereans did, "for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Ac 17:11). • Write in your own words a definition of deductive Bible study.
One value of deductive Bible study is that you can learn and apply truths to your own life more quickly. In deductive Bible study you study the Bible by using information and generalizations that others have discovered or formulated. REMEMBER: LifeGuide and aU the summaries, annotations, histories, and other helps in the Disciple's Study Bible are not infallible. Only the Bible is infallible. Not even your interpretations are infallible I
A look at the Doctrinal Reference Index on the Doctrine of Humanity will convince you that
you would have a difficult time looking up and interpreting all of the references in one week. You may want to study all the references after you finish the study of LifeGuide. Then you can spend hours, days, weeks, or months studying any theme or doctrine you choose. This is how a person comes to be known as a person of the Book. • Match the study method on the left with the advantage or advantages of that study method on the right. Draw lines connecting the methods with the appropriate advantages; Method
1. Inductive Bible study
Advantage a. Allows me to study and apply truths to my life without having to do extensive research on my own. b. Allows the Holy Spirit to give me direct access to truth without being influenced unduly by others. c. Allows me to benefit from the years of study and research done by Bible scholars. d. Allows me to make practical application of the truth to my life.
2. Deductive Bible study
One advantage of inductive study is that you can discover truth through the teaching of the Holy Spirit without being unduly influenced by the conclusions of others (b). Deductive study has the advantages described in "a" and "c." Both the methods allow you to make practical application of the truths to your Ufe (d). Overview the Doctrine of Humanity Outline of the Doctrine. In this lesson you will use the Disciple's Study Bible to get an overview of the doctrine of humanity. Look at the Outline of the Doctrine of Humanity (DSB p. xv], Below, I have given you the first main point in the outline. Fill in the other points. • List the other four. main points of the outline. I. God's Creation of Humanity
II. III. ~~ IV. ~_~ _
You should have written the four remaining Roman headings under Humanity. The editors of the Disciple's Study Bible have placed humanity under the major section head, "The World," along with the subjects of creation, miracle, evil and suffering, and sin. As you study the doctrine of humanity, you will want to keep in mind that it is closely related to these other doctrines. • Read the Summary of the Doctrine of Humanity (DSB p. 1672). Read one section at a time. As you read, complete the following activities for the selected sections of the article .. God's creation of humanity. List traits of God that are reflected in humanity. I have given you an example. Responsibility for the world and all that is in it.
Evidences of God's image in humanity include: the spiritual image that is seen in Jesus and the new creation of humanity in Him; human responsibility for the world; the marriage relationship that reflects God's nature; freedom of choice: the great potential of humans; and the value of human personality revealed in Christ's death. • Nature of God's human creation. In the space below write the four. parts of human nature. 1. 2. __ __
Unfortunately, some. philosophies and religions focus on one part of man's nature at the expense of the others. Communism says that humans are primarily physical (#1). "They are what they eat. When physical needs are met then humans will be happy." Others primarily emphasize the spiritual part (#2), For instance, Buddhists say, "Deny your human desires and physical needs to experience spiritual oneness with the universe or the all-soul." Others emphasize the intellectual part of human nature (#3: mind) as most important. "What man needs is knowledge, and with enough knowledge humans will be fulfilled." Still other philosophies seem to focus on the emotional part of human nature (#4: feelings and emotions) and seek that which pleases emotionally, "If they have their emotional needs met they will be satisfied." None of these deny the reality of the other parts, but they do overemphasize one part to the detriment of the whole. Humans are physical beings made from dust, and spiritual beings made by the breath of God. They do think with their minds. They are aware of self as no other creatures are aware. Their emotions influence their well being. The Christian view considers all four parts of human nature as important. • Termination of human life. Does the following express how Christians should view death? Christians should view death as a natural part of life. DYes DNa Death results from sin and Christians should accept it as a part of human experience. Christians should view death as a natural part of life. • Interactions of human life. Humans are dependant creatures. They need relationships. Write the baslc relationships in which humans are involved.
1. 2. 3. 4.
5. In addition to being dependant on the natural world for life, humans need personal relationships with God, families, friends, and community. History of the Doctrine of Humanity .• Read the History of the Doctrine of Humanity (DSB p, 1709) and complete the following activities:
1. List two strands or ways of looking at the doctrine of humanity that have been followed in history.
First: _~ Second:
Persons may study humanity in relationship to itself without reference to sin and the fall of man. The impact of sin upon fallen humanity must be considered in light of God's saving work in Jesus Christ. • 2. One of the basic problems the early church fathers faced regarding the nature of man was the relationship of the soul to the body. Another issue dealt with the meaning of "image of God" (imago del) in regard to humanity? Match the theologians on the left with their thoughts about what the "image of God" means. Write the letter in the blank beside the name. Theologian _~ _~ __ _~ __ 1. Augustine 2. Thomas Aquinas 3. Martin Luther 4. John Calvin 5. Karl Barth Belief About the Image of God in Humanity a. It is the original righteousness of Adam before the faU. b. It provides the point of contact for the Word of God. c. It does not provide a point of contact for the Word; only the gift of faith opens humanity to the Word d. The fall obliterates the image of God in a person. e. It is the personal traits that make a person able to relate to God in a personal way. f. It is the memory, understanding, and will and corresponds to the three persons in the Holy Trinity of God. g. It is the reasoning power of the immortal soul.
Identifying what "image of God" in humanity means will be important for your own study for Day 2 of this unit. These summary statements of the theologians are oversimplified answers. The theologians wrote books on the subject. These answers do, however, give you an idea of some of the beliefs people have held on the subject. Augustine said it meant memory, understanding, and wilL Aquinas said it meant the reasoning power of the immortal soul. Luther said it meant the original righteousness of Adam before the fall. Calvin said the fall obliterates the image of God in man. Brunner said that "image of God" provides a point of contact for the Word of God. Barth said only faith provides that point of contact, not the image of God. Your answers should be: 1-f; 2-g; 3-a; 4d; 5-c; 6-b. This study has provided you with an overview of the doctrine of humanity. The study has not included the doctrines of sin and salvation. Entire units on these doctrines appear later in LifeGuide. ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 2: GOD'S CREATION OF HUMANITY
Learning Objective: You will summarize what you think "image of God" in humans means.
Below are some of the references listed in the Doctrinal Reference Index under IIGOD'S CREATION OF HUMANITY" (DSB p. 1851). Read (in the DSB) as many of these Scriptures as possible and the related annotations for HUMANITY. Then answer the question that follows each set of references. A. The Image of God. (Ge 1:26-29j 33:1-10; Col 3:9-11) Since man was created in the image of God, in what ways are God and humans alike?
Humans are like God in many ways. Although the word image seems to imply a physical likeness, Scripture tells us that God is spirit not physical matter. We must look at spiritual dimensions of likeness. Jesus' incarnation demonstrated perfectly the presence of God's image in humans. Jesus was unmarred by sin. God gives humans the freedom of choice, a sense of right and wrong, and a challenge to obey Him and be like Him. In salvation God creates a new person. He expects the new person to be holy as He is holy. • B. For Responsibility. (Ge 9:1-6; Eze 33:1-20j Mt 25:14-(0) God created humans as responsible persons. For what are we responsible?
God made us responsible for exercising dominion over all living beings on the earth, for subduing the earth and mastering our environment, and for being fruitful and replenishing the earth. Humans are also responsible for the physical and spiritual welfare of others. • C. With Moral Consciousness. (Ge 2:16-17; Mk 6:26-28j Ro 2:12-16; Tit 1:15) God gave humans a moral consciousness. How would you describe a healthy moral consciousness?
God gives humans a conscience that indicates to them right and wrong. Sin can distort or make ineffective the conscience of man. Nevertheless, God expects humans to know right from wrong and to choose to obey His commands because of His revelation. • D. With Potentiality. (Ge 4:17-22j 11:1-9j 1 Co 1:26-30)
What are the limits of human potential?
Jesus Christ demonstrates the potential of humans" We will not reach the potential God reached because we are sinners. Persons often downgrade the possibilities for which God created them, God expects Christians to live like Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. God gave man an unlimited potential for spiritual growth, .. E. With Worth. (Lev 27:1-8; Ps 116:15;Lk 12:6-7) God created humans as persons of worth, How much are humans worth?
The worth of individuals depends on the value that God places on them. The value cannot be compared with the worth of any non-human thing. Christ's death for humanity shows the ultimate value of persons. Human potential and worth rests on God's original creation of humans and their new creation through Christ Jesus, Respect and esteem for the worth of self and others grows out of a person's relationship to God. .. Review your study for today. Then summarize what you think the image of God in humanity means.
Christ is saying to me today:
PART 2-· DISCIPLESHIP
DAY 3: RESPECT FOR OTHERS
Learning Objective: This study should help you demonstrate respect for the dignity and worth of persons regardless of their life situations by doing such things as: -taking time to talk to lonely persons. -expressing love to the unlovely by act and word. -voluntarily giving encouragement to a person who has lost a job. -seeking out those in your church who are less respected than you and paying attention to them. -engaging in conversation with a beggar on the street. -inviting a less fortunate person to your home. -engaging your own children in meaningful conversation. -others ...
Read the following situations. Write a "T" beside those responses that are Typical ways you might respond in the situation. Write an "S" beside the ways you think you Should respond in the situation. In some cases you may have a "T-S" if you typically respond the way you think you should. 1. When you see a handicapped person on the street corner begging, you ... __ Walk on past. __ Toss in some coins and walk on. __ Stop and talk and find out his or her needs. __ Take him/her home with you. __ Take him/her to a public shelter. __ __ __ __ __ __
2. When you go to church and a poor person sits beside you who has not bathed, you ...
Ignore the person and the smell. Move away. Engage the person in conversation. Talk to the person to discover tactfully what you can do to help. Inwardly wish the person would leave even though you treat the person courteously. Invite the person home with you or out to eat.
You see a family of a different ethnic background creeping along in an old car, slowing up rush-hour traffic. Your response is to ... __ Honk your horn. __ Calmly drive slowly behind them. __ Utter a prayer for them. __ Speed past and cut back in front of them. __ Smile and wave as you pass by. __ Criticize them for being on the road at rush hour. Showing respect for the dignity and worth of others is an honored Christian virtue. Yet, Christians often pay only lip service to the exercise of this virtue. Certainly the situations just mentioned could have many correct or incorrect ways of responding. You alone can know what you would do in these situations. Disciples should react as Christ would react.
Christians also are guilty of failing to show respect for the dignity of persons in their own families. They can demean their children by the things they say to them. Husbands can wound their wives by making degrading remarks. Persons can degrade others by ignoring them, by shouting at them, or even physically abusing them. 'When I.was a missionary in Indonesia people sometimes said, "You treat everyone the same. You pay as much attention to a poor neighbor as you do to the government officials and rich. I've never met anyone like you." People wem asking, "Why are you acting differently than most people in our society?" I never noticed that I was doing anything differently, but they were seeing that I had learned from Christ the value of every person. Fallen human nature tends to be prejudiced in its response to people judged to be of less worth. Only God can recreate in us the new nature that treats others with dignity and respect. • Study the list below. Check the reasons why a person should have respect for the dignity and worth of others. o 1. Because God made them in His image. o 2. Because God loves them. o 3. Because God respects their will, o 4, Because they will spend eternity in heaven or hell. o 5. Because they are worth more than the whole world. o 6. Because Jesus respected all persons. o 7. Because the Bible teaches it. o 8. Because Christ died for them. o 9. Because Jesus said when we serve them we serve Him. o 10. Because they are our brothers. o 11, Because God blesses those who care for the needy (Isa 58), o 12. Because of the Golden Rule. Of the twelve reasons listed which two do you consider the most important? _ Prepare to share your opinion at the group session, Circle the phrases below that you think have a similar meaning as "to respect." Mark through the phrases that have an opposite meaning, to show approval to degrade to love to disregard to esteem to neglect to disdain to scorn to abase to honor to favor to shun to hold in high regard to put down to reverence to give special consideration
The phrases you circled should have helped you identify the attitude you are trying to develop regarding other persons. You should have circled "to show approval," "to esteem," "to hold in high regard," "to honor," "to love," and "to reverence," Two others may be debatable. To favor .and to give special consideration may indicate a prejudice rather than a healthy respect. The difference is a matter of the heart.
Should Christians value and respect every human being? To respect people does not mean to approve of their actions. It means to accept their worth and value in the sight of God. In the following list underline the persons you regard as having value. pastor dictator a poor person policeman communist teacher murderer mother a rich man Russian doctor Moslem child abuser deformed child official South African professor terrorist
This is not an easy activity because of the prejudices you can pick up from society or develop. through experience. You should have underlined all of them-not because you approved of the actions or professions, but because they are God's creations. God loves every person without respect as to who they are or what they have done. This does not mean that He accepts or condones their sinful ways. It is His desire that all come to repentance. ,. In the following verses circle the phrase or sentence you feel summarizes Jesus' command. "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?" Matthew 5:44-46. ,. Read again "Learning Objective" at the beginning of today's lesson. Note the types of things you could do to demonstrate your respect for the dignity and value of persons in life situations that are different from yours. List other actions that would show you have this attitude toward others.
This week try to practice this attitude in your daily life. Choose one or more of the actions you have identified and do that action. Prepare to share with the group any action you take. I resolve to take the following actions to show respect for persons as created in the image of God: 1. 2. ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 4: BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE
Learning Objective: Demonstrate commitment to becoming all God wants you to become by doing such things as: -evaluating your own spiritual, physioal, and mental growth. -developing a plan for personal self-improvement. . -enrolling in courses which will help you develop your spiritual gifts, -reading biographies of committed Christians, -others. ,.
A study of the Bible's teaching on human nature (DSB p. 1851) shows that man's nature is limited and imperfect. When Christians seek to live up to their potential in Christ they must always be aware of their fallen human nature that .pulls them down. Always remember: Without Christ we can do nothing; with Christ all things are possible, In between what one is and what he or she can be lies the opportunity to improve. Although the various parts of human reality are treated separately in the Doctrinal Reference Index, persons are whole beings and each part affects the whole. It is hard to feel spiritual, be sociable, or think deeply when one is in physical pain. • For the sake of evaluating how the physical, spiritual, mental, and social aspects of life affect the whole, evaluate your own total self using the questions and the rating scale shown below.
o Not true of me
1 3 5
Sometimes true of me (about 50%) Usually but not always true of me (about 75%) Definitely true of me I read books and magazines to challenge me to think. I am near the ideal weight for my body frame. I have close friends with whom I can be myself. I undergo a complete physical examination as needed and follow my doctor's orders. 5. I feel close to God and know of nothing between us. 6. I eat a balanced diet. 7. I genuinely worship God with my fellow Christians. 8. I do not harbor ill feelings, anger, or bitterness toward anyone. I attempt to make peace and forgive persons who mistreat me. 9. I consider what God thinks about the things I choose to see (movies, books, magazines, entertainment). 10. I discuss ideas with others who do not necessarily agree with me. 1.1. People seem genuinely glad to see me. 12. I have a consistent, daily Quiet Time. 13. I question or test the rightness of ideas put forth by television, books, and cultural norms. 14. I am in good physical condition for my age. 15. I love people and work well with them. 16. I average exercising at least three times a week. 17. I am aware of my need for total dependency on God. 18. I have a desire to learn. 19. I make new acquaintances on a regular and intentional basis,
1. 2. 3. 4.
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
20. I keep my mind open to new ideas and creative thoughts.
This self-examination should help you evaluate to what extent you balance the four areas of life and the degree to which you try to reach your potential in each area, It is not a scientific evaluation, The self-examination gives you a reading on how you see yourself and your personal development. Friends and relatives may see you differently, Use the examination to enhance your own understanding of yourself and to challenge you to develop a wellbalanced life.
Complete your total score for each area. Write your rating number (0-1-3-5) for each numbered item that follows. Then add the totals. Spiritual
5 __ 7 __
1 __ 10 __ 13 __ 18 __ 20 __
2 __ 4 __
3 __ 8__ 11 __ 15 __ 19 __
12 __ 17 __
14 __ 16 __
TOTALS Look at the total score you gave yourself in each of the four areas of your life. Do your scores indicate a ballanced approach to each area? In which areas do you sense a need to improve? How can you improve?
When I was a teenager my father encouraged me to read the book, I Dare You. Although I put it off for a long time, I finally read it, It challenged me to be the best I could be physically, morally and spiritually, socially, and intellectually, I took the dare and it has left a lasting impression on me, Even though I don't do everything I should, I still try to be the best I can be.
I) Recall and write down some examples of challenges or encouragements you have had to
be and do your best that have affected your life?
As I was writing this section we had some famous visitors to spend the night in our home, Orville and Alma Reed. They served 39 years as missionaries to Mexico. He has given a strength exhibition followed by preaching to thousands and thousands of persons on five continents, I had heard and seen Orville when I was in college. During a chapel program he did several strongman feats that he often used to attract attention fOJ'the gospel on the mission field. He challenged two muscular students to bend his wrist, They couldn't, He challenged four men to bend his arm, They couldn't. He gave a twenty-pound sledge hammer to a student, laid down on-the plat/arm, placed a 75-pound rock on his abdomen, and told him to break the rock while he sang, ''How Long Shall They Wait." The rock broke, but Orville wasn't
phased. He had ten men try to choke him with a rope around his neck while he sang. He was still singing when they gave up. In his outside programs he said he allowed a van to drive over his abdomen. He did these feats all over the world even for a king. He used them to tell many thousands about Christ . . Now at almost 80 he was still doing them, He said, "I used to let a small van drive over me, but now I have cut back to a small Nova hatchback I have," I asked him what his conviction was on keeping fit. I also asked, "Where did you get this drive to be all that you could be?" • As you read his response, underline some of the things that inspired him to be the best he could be. I think commitment ought to be total to the Lord. If you give your little mind to the Lord, . , (a pause) I went to Hungry Mountain and Greasy Creek schools in Oklahoma (near Stillwell and Talequah). I never went to grade school with anyone who went to high school. I left school when I was thirteen. I started back to grade school when I was seventeen. We had such good athletic teams the high schools in the next towns tried to recruit us. I had to work my way through high school. They had never had a track team. I liked hurdles, so I bought some slats and made me three hurdles so I could practice. In the county track meet, I placed first in the mile, first in low hurdles, second in high hurdles, second in pole vault, and first in standing broad jump. My father was a sharecropper. I never had a suit or tie and didn't know how I could go to the state track meet. The chamber of commerce gave a twenty dollar gold piece to the person who had the highest grades in high school. I won it and bought a suit and tie, The chamber of commerce sent me to the meet. It was at a college. In high school I never knew anybody who ever went to college. But God opened the way for me to go to college. I don't know how because nobody I had ever known had gone on in school. When I gave my life to the Lord, I gave Him my mind, my body, and everything else. I think if there is any secret it is just turning it over to the Lord, Just let me be the instrument, and let Him do the work. Intellectually, when I was in the sixth grade the teacher asked us to write a poem on the flag. She sent mine to the county paper, You can imagine what that did to a little country boy when he saw his poem in the paper, Physically, in college I was inspired by Tommy Ryan, former world light heavyweight boxing champion, He was about my size. He came to our college when he was eighty years old and put on a strength exhibition. Those college boys couldn't do what he could do. I wanted to be like that. Another thing I think that inspired me was the saying, "No one knows what a man fully dedicated to God can do." I said, "Lord I don't have much, but whatever it is just take it." I didn't have much brains or much muscles either, but He uses what little I have. I just feel like if you just turn yourself over to the Lord, whether it is physically, intellectually, spiritually, or whatever it is, you can do things that just are unbelievable. The sky is the limit if you turn yourself over to the Lord. • Write some of the things that motivated Orville Reed to be all he could be.
Orville faced much adversity in life. His first wife died on the mission field. His fifteen-yearold daughter by his second wife died of a brain tumor. Later his married son by his first wife was drowned. He and his wife were often faced with persecution in Mexico during those years. After he retired he made a trip to Africa to give his program and preach. For several grueling weeks under all kinds of conditions he spoke to thousands (including a king) who came to see and hear him. When he. got back to Texas he gave the program in a round of cities in Texas. One night he had a stroke and was paralyzed on one side and lost his speech. He would have died had he not been in such good physical condition, the doctor said. Through some miraculous circumstances God provided just the doctors and care he needed. He didn't give up. He is a fighter. He was determined to recover. He took exercise with his walking cane. He had to learn to talk and walk again. He still walks with a limp, and he said that his voice is not as strong and clear as it was. Then he quoted a poem he had written. • As you read the poem, underline the statement which best summarizes Orville Reed's viewpoint toward life. A Man is Never Whipped til he is Whipped Inside No matter what hardships and dangers assail, Though health, wealth and everything fail, A man can brave storms and conquer the tide For one's never whipped til he is whipped inside. Though bruised and bleeding and cast to the ground He'll come up for more, you can't keep him down. Though weary and worn his time will he abide. A man is never whipped till he is whipped inside. The score is against him. The crowd is all jeers. He fights to the end and wins greater cheers. He knows in his heart though man's faith is tried, A man is never whipped until he is whipped inside. Tho enemies mock and friends may betray He lasts the long night and wins the new day. He holds to the truth all great men have tried, A man is never whipped until he is whipped inside. When Christ at the heart of a man does abide There is never any reason to be whipped inside. • Reflect on Orville Reed's story and poem. Then summarize the viewpoints which are worthy of your emulation.
Look back at the physical, spiritual, intellectual, and social parts of your own life. What more could or would you like to do to reach your God-given potential? Write goals you would like to achieve in each of the above areas. (For example; one person wrote; "I resolve to start reading two chapters in the Bible each day to help me grow spiritually.")
Choose one of your goals) and write a plan which details what you will do to achieve it. Be realistic. Do what you can do. If you need help) write what kind of help you think you will need.
Prepare to discuss your goals and your plan in the group session. ~LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 5: MINISTRY TO OTHER PERSONS
Learning Objective: You can demonstrate respect for the dignity and worth of persons by recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities to minister to persons regardless of their life situations by doing such things as: -taking an immobile person on a picnic. -inviting a culturally deprived person to your home. -accompanying a street beggar to a rescue mission. -witnessing to persons in jails. -witnessing to persons of "high estate." -working in a mission.Vacation Bible School. -conducting a private ministry need survey in a health care center. -enlisting and scheduling a team of ministering visitors. -others, ., This week you have studied God's view of humanity, You have considered your own worth and your potential. You have considered the worth of others. Today you have the opportunity to go one step further and put feet to your convictions. As you can see from today's objective, you decide personally how this truth will work in your own life, By deciding what you will do and by doing it out of your own motivation you will indicate that you respect the dignity and worth of persons, There are hundreds of possible indicators that you value others. Each indicates an unseen value or attitude, When you do enough of them, others see that this attitude is really yours, For this reason, this lesson presents suggestions of possible activities. You decide what you will do, regardless of whether or not the action appears in the list. You are on your ow_n. Some people have' a spiritual gift for providing special deeds of practical ministry and service to others. This gift is often referred to as helps or service. Though all Christians need to minister to needs of others some have a special gift at performing this kind of help. • Check the items in the list below which you think might indicate that a person has the spiritual gift of helps/service,
--_ __ -_ __ --_ --
Takes action to meet specific physical and practical needs rather than merely talking about helping. Is quick to sense and recognize valid needs. Is oriented more to practical needs than to emotional needs. Is willing to personally perform the helping task rather than get someone else to perform the service. Makes an effort to help without being asked. Has a continuing desire to help even when the one helped makes an ungrateful response. Has a greater concern for the comfort and well-being of others than for self. Is willing to do the less recognized service when the situation demands,"
All of the above could indicate a spiritual gift of helps. A person may have the spiritual gift of helps/service and not possess all the characteristics listed above. A person may, however, have some of these characteristics without having the gift. • Do you think you have the spiritual gift of helps/service? DYes 0 No 0 I don't know
As a Christian, even if you do not have the spiritual gift of service, you should express the role of a servant and serve others as if you are serving Christ. Christ and His love in persons gives them unlimited potential for love and service. • Read the article, "Guide to Service in Christ's Name" (DSB p, 1823) and list the main points. I have listed the first one for you.
1. Commit yourself to get involved.
4. 5. Choose one of the projects suggested in the article, or make up one of your own in which you can get involved in a ministry of service. Commit yourself to do one act of service before the next group session. What you will do?
The group session will provide an opportunity for you to share with others your selfimprovement goals and your helps/ service goals. Write down any questions you would like to ask group members or issues you would like to discuss. Ministry Check-up. Look on the back cover of LifeGuide at the column of ministry actions. Review the list of invitations to ministry for units 1-5. Continue to watch for opportunities to minister to others as you go about your day-to-day activities.
Christ is saying to me today:
David Mourning the Death of Absalom 2 Samuel 18:33
Bible Doctrine: SIN Bible Study Method: Word study using a concordance Christian Discipline: Confessing sin when convicted Ministry Action: Righting broken relationships UNIT LEARNING GOALS: The study of this unit on sin should help you: e Understand what sin, repentance, and forgiveness mean. e Understand how to use the word study approach to Bible study . .. Demonstrate your obedience in confessing and repenting of sin. e Demonstrate your willingness to work toward righting broken relationships. VERSES TO MEMORIZE "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy," Proverbs 28:13. "Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit," Psalms 32:1-2.
DAY 1: STUDYING BIBLE WORDS
Learning Objective: You will identify the steps to follow in studying a Bible word. You will define transgression in your own words.
Words and Meanings Have you ever been fascinated by hearing a teacher or preacher explain the meaning of a word, because that opened your understanding of the whole passage of Scripture? Words are to meaning, what boxcars are to trains. Words are the basic means of transporting ideas. If one boxcar of a train is unhitched, the rest of the train is lost. Just so with an unclear word. The wrong word can cause misunderstanding. One difficulty with understanding Bible words is that meanings of words sometimes change over time. Language is alive and keeps changing. In order to understand the Bible, you will need to discover what the words meant when they were spoken or written. Then you will need to discover what they mean today. Learning how to study the meanings of Bible words is an important Bible study skill. This unit will help you learn how to study the meaning of Bible words. You will learn this study method as you study the meaning of the words for sin.
How to Study a Bible Word To do a complete study of a Bible word, you can follow the instructions in the "Guide to Studying a Bible Word" (DSB p. 1776). , Read the article. Note the five steps as you read. I have given you the first step. List the other four below. Step 1: Ask the following questions. (The questions follow the step.] Step 2: StepS: Step 4: Step 5: ~ ~_ _
The depth of your study will depend on the number and quality of the resources available. Even when other resources are not available, you can do a basic word study using only this Bible. In order to keep the study fairly simple, we are going to study the meaning of words for sin in the prayers of David in Psalm 51. Using your Disciple's Study Bible and LifeGuide, work your way through the following study.
Words for Sin in Psalm 51 Psalm 51 has a historical background. • Read the notation above the Psalm and check below the occasion when it was written. o 1. It was written when David commited adultery with Bathsheba. o 2. It was written when Nathan confronted David with his sin of adultery.
You should have checked the second answer. David prayed this prayer after Nathan the prophet confronted him with his sin of adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sa 12:1~13). • Read Psalm 51. As you read watch for the different words David used for sin in verses 15. Write them below.
David called sin "transgression," "iniquity," "evil," and "sin," Do the words have different meanings? They surely do. What is the difference? Consider the words one at a time and see what you can discover about their meaning, Transgression A complete concordance is a valuable tool, but it is larger than the Biblel In Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (KJV) you would find the following references for "transgressions" in Psalm 51, Ps 51:1 thy tender mercies blot out my t. 3 For I acknowledge my t: and my
In these references, notice that "transgressions" is identified by the italic t. The number beside the word (6588) identifies the word used in the original language. It can be traced to the Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries at the back of the concordance. In the dictionary you will find the word in the original language and English synonyms. When you look up 6588, you find a reference to the root word 6586, Here is what you find in those two references: sin, transgression, trespass, 6586. pasha', paw-shah'; a prim, root [rather ident. with 6585 through the idea of expansion]; to break away (from just authority), i.e, trespass, apostatize, guarrel:-offend, rebel, revolt, transgress (-lon-or).
• 1. What is the original Hebrew word for "transgresslnn''
6588. pesha', peh'-shaw; from 6586; a revolt (national, moral or religious):-rebellion,
List some synonyms for "transgression":
You should have listed several synonyms. Any of the words in the definitions may be listed, The primary English meaning for transgression is "rebellion" and the Hebrew word is pesha.
Another way to get a better understanding of a word is to look up other Scriptures that use the same word, By using the exhaustive concordance, you can look for other passages that use the word pesha (6588).Here is a selection of what you would find under "transgression(s)." Ex 23:21 Ps 36: 1 Ps 107:17 Pr 28:24 • not; for he will not pardon your t. The t of the wicked saith within Fools because of their t, and his mother, and saith, It is no t;
6588 6588 6588 6588
Look up these Scriptures and write any insight you get into the meaning of Utra~sgression" (pesha). Exodus 23:21 Psalm 36:1-2 Psalm 107:17 Proverbs 28:24
Exodus 23:21 uses the same word for transgression to mean Israel's rebelling against God's directions. In Psalm 36 it means pride of self and flattering of self that causes one to transgress and have no fear. Psalm 107 calls transgressors fools who, because of their rebellious ways, suffered afflictions. Proverbs 28:24 compares trangression to a man who robs his father and mother and says it is not wrong. Are you beginning to get the picture of what sin as transgression means? You could get some other illustrations and insights if you looked up all the Scriptures under "transgression" (pesha), but you should have enough for now. You have just completed the first three steps to studying a Bible word. Step four is "Complete your definition of the word." Move to that step now. You can break the English word transgress down into 'trans' which means to cross over and 'gression' which comes from the same root as the word aggressive. You could say it is agressively crossing over the line or law. • Review your research on "transgression" and define it in your own words. Transgression means
As you conclude today's assignment, "Apply your study to life" (step 5), does your study lead you to a need for confession or renewal? Does it serve as a warning against future rebellion against God? Meditate on the ways your understanding of "transgression" can be applied to your life. ~LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 2: THE MEANING OF SIN
Learning Objective: You will define iniquity, sin, and eviliii your own words.
Yesterday you studied one of the words David used for sin-transgression. Today you will continue the study of the meaning of sin by studying and comparing other words. Iniquity The second word David used for sin is iniquity [Ps 51:2,5) or iniquities (Ps 51:9). Use these entries from a concordance and the Hebrew dictionary to answer the questions that follow. Concordance: iniquities iniquity Ps 51:9 Ps 51:2
my sins, and blot out all mine i, Wash me thoroughly from mine i, I was shapen in i; and in sin
5771 5771 5771
5771. lavon, aw-vone'; or 'avown (2 Kings 7:9; Psa. 51:5 [7J), aw-vone'; from 5758; perversity, 5758. 'ivya' [Chald.], iv-yaw'; from a root corresp. to 5753; perverseness:-iniquity. 5753. 'avah, aw-vaw'; a prim. root; to crook, lit. or fig. (as follows):-do amiss, bow down,
i.e. (moral) evil:-fault,
iniquity, mischief, punishment (of iniquity), sin.
make crooked, commit iniquity, pervert, (do) perverse (-Iy), trouble, turn, do wickedly, do wrong.
1. What is the Hebrew word translated "iniquity" (5771) in Psalm 51?
What are the two root words for iniquity?
3. Use the three definitions to find synonyms for iniquity. What are they?
Several Hebrew words are translated "iniquity." The one in Psalm 51 is avon or "perversity," The two root words are avah and ivya. Related words include evil, fault, mischief, and sin. It is sometimes described as "moral crookedness." Iniquity "has the root meaning of depravity or a state of crookedness. The more delicate strands of heart and character have been twisted until the heart is out of tune with and out of touch with God ... , The word avon is literally a misdeed or a distortion or a perversion, It is crookedness or a warped condition that has come about by yielding to the temptation to break God's laws."! • Read these two other Scriptures using avon and write how you would use them to illustrate "iniquity." Genesis 44:16
The crookedness of Joseph's brothers selling him as a slave in Genesis 44:16 is described as "iniquity." How twisted is a person who will sell his brother as a slave? Isaiah 1:4 describes perversity as characterizing "people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption I They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One." They turned their backs on God. • Write in your own words what iniquity means.
lance heard a preacher describe this kind of crooked people as "slabbed Christians." He said they were like crooked trees in a sawmill. Instead of being discarded, huge 'slabs' would be cut off them so they appeared straight. But the heart of the tree remained crooked. Later it would not be strong because of its twisted nature. He said that many church members still had crooked hearts, but on the outside they looked straight. These were "slabbed Christians." • Review the story of David's sin in 2 Samuel 11 and describe how David's sin illustrates iniquity.
Sin The third word David used for sin in Psalm 51 is sin. Use these entries from a concordance and a Hebrew dictionary to answer the questions that follow. Concordance: sin sins Ps 51:2 and cleanse me from my s. :3 and my s is ever before me. :5 in s did my mother conceive me. Ps 51:9 Hide thy face from my s, and blot
2403 2403 2399 2399
Hebrew Dictionary: chatta'ah, khat-taw-ow'; or chatta'th, khat-tawth'; from 2398; an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also [concr.) an offender:-punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin (-ner, offering). 2399. ohet', khate; from 2398: a crime or its penaJty:-fault, grievously, offence, [punishment of) sin. 2398. chata', khaw-taw; a prim. root; prop. to miss; hence (fig. and gen.) to sin; by infer. to forfeit, lack, expiate, repent, (causat.) lead astray, condemn;-bear the blame, cleanse, commit [sin], by fault, harm he hath done, loss, miss, (make) offend (-er), offer for sin, purge, purify (self), make reconciliation, (cause, make) sin [vful, -ness], trespass.
1. What are two Hebrew words translated "sin" in Psalm 51?
2. What is the root word for both of these?
3. List some synonyms for "sin":
Yates says the word means "the definite deviation from that which would please God. It is missing the mark or the aim, »a • Write how David sinned by missing the mark. _
Here is how one person described David's sin, "What a pity it is when a life has veered from the straight aim and has become a miserable missl . , . David understood, too, that God had had a marvelous purpose for him and had written out the set of specifications for his life and had prepared blueprints that could be fulfilled only by one whose aim was true, He realized, as he looked at his life, how hopelessly he had missed the aim and how hi~ life now was off the beam and off the line and that since he could never change the sight on the rifle, his whole life would end up in a wreck, unless he could be brought back by the creative touch of God and started on the right track again."! Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." What is the glory of God? Jesus is the glory of God [jn 1:14), If Jesus were standing before you, could you say that you are as good as He1 Of course not. All fall short of His glory. • Write a definition of "sin" in your own words,
Evil David also used the word evil to describe his sin. Use these entries from a concordance and the Hebrew dictionary to answer the questions that follow. Concordance: evil Ps 51:4 and done this e in thy sight: 7451 Hebrew Dictionary: 7451. raj, rah; from 7489; bad or (as noun)evil (nat. or mor.):-adversity, affliction, bad, .calamity, + displease (-ure), distress, evil ([-flavouredness], man, thing), + exceedingly, great, grief (-vous), harm, heavy, hurt (-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief [-voua], misery, naught (-ty), noisome, + not pleased, sad (-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (-ly, -ness, one), worse (-st), wretchedness, wrong. • 1. What is the Hebrew word translated "evil" in Psalm 51:4?
List some 'synonyms for "evil":
The Hebrew word la ra and the English means bad. Other synonyms given in a Hebrew lexicon include wicked, mischievous, malignant, noxious, hurtful, unpleasant, hideous, unhappy. As a noun i't means an evil wickedness, wrong, mischief, misfortune, or adversity. • In what way was David's sin evil.
Match the words with their English meaning by drawing a line between them. iniquity 3. sin 4. evil
a. b. c. d.
missing the mark wickedness rebellion moral crookedness
Describe how these four words combine to describe sin in David's experience.
For the matching you should have 1-c, 2-d, 3-a, and 4-b. Your description may have included these ideas: • David realized that he had broken away rebelliously from God and His clear commands. • He had taken things into his own hands and twisted them into the crookedness of his own heart. • He committed adultery and had the woman's husband killed. " • His wickedness reaped a tragic penalty that touched all associated with him, including the child he fathered and all his children. • He had betrayed the trust God put in him by making him king. He had missed the mark. He was a failure. Two other phrases of David give us "insight into the meaning of sin. In the first David said, "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight" (Ps 51:4). One might say that David sinned against his family, Bathsheba, Uriah, his army, and the nation. • Why do you think he said it was against God alone?
David recognized that sin is against God. The others suffered for his sin, but it was God's law and character that David sinned against. God's name would be blasphemed by His enemies (2 Sa 12:14). Sin is against God's nature. It violates the original nature God gave humans in creation. It violates the new relationship humans have who are forgiven by God. No wonder David felt as he did when he realized his sin. • Write how these meanings of sin describe your own experience. You may write it on separate paper so you can destroy it later this week after you study the remedy for sin. Please don't cheat yourself out of letting God speak to you as you write it down as David did. He wrote his story and we are instructed by it. Write yours.
INVITATION TO FURTHER STUDY. Study the Summary of the Doctrine of Sin (DSB p.1675). ~~IFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 3: FORGIVENESS OF SIN
Learning Objective: You will identify the meaning and relationship of repentance and [otgiveness.
The Basis of Forgiveness • Read Psalm 51:16-17. *********** David said what the basis of forgiveness is not. Why do you think this was a remarkable insight for a man of his time?
David lived in the day when the way of forgiveness was through the sacrificial system. He saw that ritual was not enough. He saw that God's central concern was for a broken heart over sin. David came to God with no excuses. • In Psalm 51:1 David revealed the real basis of forgiveness. Which of the following did David call upon as the basis for forgiveness? Check all that apply. o 5. God's great compassion o 1. God's wrath o 2. God's justice o 6. God's purposes o 7. God's anger o 3. God's mercy o 8. God's unfailing love o 4. God's holiness
He threw himself on God's mercy, His unfailing love, and His great compassion (numbers 3, 5, and 8). David realized he had no other alternative. • Read Psalm 51:1, 2,7, and 9 and write the words David used in confession to request forgiveness. "Blot out" is an example.
-"blot out" mscheh means to rub or wipe off. Synonyms are expunge, obliterate. Moses used "blot out" in Exodus 32:32 when he asked God book if He would not save the Israelites. Deuteronomy 25:19 uses it to out of the remembrance of Amalek. David asked God to obliterate his
cancel, eliminate, to blot him out of his indicate the blotting sin.
-"Wash" kabas has cleansing, scrubbing, bathing as synonyms. Exodus 19:10 uses the term to mean washing the clothes of the people before God came to meet them on Mt. Sinai.
Jeremiah 1:14 uses it to picture their washing their hearts from evil. -UCleanse" lahar means "to cleanse," "to declare clean." Leviticus 16:19 and 30 use it in relation to the atonement from sin by the sprinkling of blood. Second Chronicles 15, 16, 18 use it to mean "to purify the Temple." The phrase, "Cleanse me with hysop and I shall be clean," (Ps 51:7) refers to the ceremonial sprinking. -Uhide your face" sethsr means "to hide," "keep secret," "conceal." In Psalm 10:11 it is linked with God's forgetting. Psalm 13:10 uses it for God's hiding His face from the Psalmist as if it will be forever. • Stop a few moments to meditate on the meaning of each of the words in relation to a sin for which you have asked forgiveness.
Which of these words is most meaningful to you:and why?
Psalm 32 is the prayer David prayed after he was forgiven. Read it. As you read verses 1~ 2, look for the ways God answered David's requests for forgiveness. *********** Match the words for sin on the left with the way God answered David's requests on the right. Draw a line connecting the two. Sin Transgression Iniquity ('Isin" in v.2) forgiven, not counted against him covered
Iniquity is used in other translations of verse 2 but not in the New International Version. He rejoiced that God had forgiven his transgressions, covered his sins, and not counted his iniquity against him. Even as David used these three titles for his sin, we find him-using three words to describe God's forgiveness and to tell what God did with this sin he found in his heart. Forgiveness is called "a lifting up" or "a taking away." The figure has to do with being borne away by a vicarious sacrifice. The second title he uses is the word "covered." He declares that the Holy One who does not dare look upon sin and does not like to have it in his sight covers it so that it becomes invisible to holy eyes. . The third title is the word "canceled." The account book has recorded many transgressions, many sinful deeds, an attitude of mind and soul that hurts God's heart. After prayer and after repentance arid after confession David found that God was willing to wipe the slate clean and to erase even the record of the sins that he had committed so that they would not be imputed to him or recorded against him.s • Write in your own words what forgiveness means. _
God by His very nature is good. He is the standard. Anything that is not like His nature is
evil. Creation was created as good in line with God's nature. Humans were created good. They did not know evil. When Satan said that they would be like God and know good from evil he was only half right. When they went against God's good command they broke away from His nature and transgressed, aggresively crossed the line God had drawn. However, after they had experienced evil, they could no longer come back to God and bring Him this twisted, wicked, evil nature. They had to be changed back to His nature. They could not do it themselves. The forgiveness began with God's invitation and atonement for their sin. They began to respond by repenting and confessing their sin. Forgiveness comes only to those who repent. David showed his repentance for his sin. What does it mean to repent? "To repent" means to turn from a life of self and sin to a life of submission and obedience to God's will. Stop trying to be lord of your own life. It can mean to rethink or to think again. For us it means to let Jesus be Lord of our lives. Repentance involves three things:
1. Realizing that you are a sinner. 2. Being sorry for your sin.
Turning from sin to God.
When you became a Christian, you recognized that you were a sinner-a director of your own life. You felt sorrow for having sinned. The sorrow was so great that you turned away from self-direction and deliberately let Jesus become your Lord. Now, He directs your life. Now you decide between right and wrong in the light of what Jesus wants you to do. You have said, "Instead of trying to manage my own life, I will turn it over to Jesus and let him manage and direct it." • On the basis of what you have just read, circle the picture that best represents the idea of repentance,
The correct answer is the picture to the left. In it the figure walks toward sin, confident in his ability to manage and direct his own life. He turns away from sin and walks toward God. Now God directs his life. On the right, the person goes away from God and toward sin. He shows no evidence of turning. Isaiah 55:6-7 teaches the need for repentance-turning from sin and turning toward God. The following exercise divides the verse into four parts; Each has a number. • Write T in front of the parts that indicate a sinner must turn TO God, Write an F in front of the parts that indicate a sinner must turn FROM sin. _.~ 1. Seek the Lord while he may be found; __ 2. Call on him while he is near. __ 3. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. __ 4. Let him turn to the LORD. and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
You should have written T in front of numbers 1, 2, and 4. They indicate that a sinner must turn TO God. You should have written F in front of number 3. It tells the sinner to turn FROM sin. The verse includes both aspects of this crucial step in repentance. • Did David's repentance include both aspects? Two statements about repentance appear below. One expresses more completely than the other what repentance means. Check the better definition. o 1. To repent means to recognize that you have wanted to direct your own life without God's help, and to feel sorry for it. o 2. To repent means to recognize your sin, to feel sorry for having insisted on directing your own life, and to deliberately turn from sin and toward Jesus, allowing Him to " be Lord of your life. Number 1 omits an important part of repentance-the turning away from sin and toward Jesus. It includes part of repentance but not the important step of turning. Therefore, number 2 is the correct answer. ~LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 4: THE PRACTICE OF SPIRITUAL CLEANSING
Learning Objective: You will demonstrate your obedience to the Lord by doing such things as: -identifying areas of your own life in which you have sinned, -confessing your sins, -asking forgiveness for sins. -repenting of sin,
The great Welsh revival began in 1904. Revival historian, J. Edwin Orr reported: Seth Joshua, the Presbyterian evangelist, had come to the Newcastle Emlyn College where Evan Roberts was 'studying for the ministry. Evan Roberts, then 26, had been a coal miner, The students were so moved that they asked if they could attend his next campaign nearby, so they cancelled classes to go to Blaenanerch, where Seth Joshua prayed, "0 God, bend us." And Evan Roberts went forward where he prayed with great agony, "0 God, bend me." Upon his return, he could not concentrate on his studies. He went to the principal of his college, and explained, "I keep hearing a voice that tells me I must go home to speak to our young people in my home church. Principal Phillips, is that the voice of the devil or the voice of the Spirit?" Principal Phillips answered, very wisely, "The devil never gives orders like that. You can have a week off,"
So he went back home to Loughor and announced to the pastor, "I've come to preach." The pastor was not at all convinced, but asked: "How about speaking at the prayer meeting on Monday?" He did not even let him speak to the prayer meeting, but told the praying people, "Our young brother, Evan Roberts, feels he has a message for you, if you care to wait." • As you continue reading) look for and underline the four exhortations Evan Roberts gave to his listeners. Seventeen people waited behind, to be impressed with the directness of the young man's words. Evan Roberts told his fellow members: "I have a message for you from God. You must confess any known sin to God and put any wrong done to man right. Second, you must put away any doubtful habit. Third, you must obey the Spirit promptly. Finally, you must confess your faith in Christ publicly." And by ten o'clock, all seventeen had responded. The pastor was so pleased that he asked, "How about your speaking at the mission service tomorrow night? Midweek service Wednesday night?" He preached all week, and was asked to stay another week; and then "the break" came. • Write the four exhortations Evan Roberts gave to his listeners. First Second Third Fourth ~ ~ __
As you read the following newspaper account, underline evidences that true repentance (turning from sin) had taken place. Great Crowds of People Drawn to Loughor. For some days a young man named Evan Roberts was causing great surprise. The main road between Llanelly and Swansea on which the church was situated was packed, wall to wall, people trying to get into the church. Shopkeepers closed early to find a place in the big church. Now the news was out. A reporter was sent down and he described vividly what he saw, a strange meeting, which closed at 4:25 in the morning, and even then the people did not seem willing to go home. They were still standing in the street outside the church, talking about what had taken place ... .The movement went like a tidal wave over Wales, in five months there being a hundred thousand people converted throughout the country .. , , It was the social impact that was astounding. For example, judges were presented with white gloves, not a case to try: no robberies, no burglaries, no rapes, no murders, and no embezzlements, nothing, District councils held emergency meetings to discuss what to do with the police now that they were unemployed .... That revival swept Britain. It so moved all of Norway that the Norwegian Parliament passed special legislation to permit laymen to conduct Communion because the clergy could not keep up with the number of converts desiring to partake. It swept Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Canada from coast to coast, all of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, touching also Brazil, Mexico and Chile."
Would you like to be part of a spiritual awakening like that? That one started with one person who repented, confessed, and committed himself to God. Could you be that person for our day? . • Read the "Guide to Confession" (DSB p.1763) and follow instructions as you work through the following: 1. Read point 1, "Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin." Spend time before the Lord and in the Word. Allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin. Jot down a word or two to remind you of the sins you are convicted of.
Read point 2, "Agree with God about the seriousness of your sin." Like David, do not try to excuse your sin "Or blame it on anyone else. Agree with God.
3. Read point 3, "Acknowledge 'Chrlst as your only way to forgiveness and as your only advocate before God." As you read this point consider what the basis for your forgiveness is. *********** 4. Read point 4, "Confess your sins to God openly." Next slowly read Psalm 51·again. Apply the appropriate parts to your own sins.
5. Read point 5, "Walk in the light with other Christians." Do you feel the need to share your confession with anyone? Perhaps you would like to pray with a prayer partner. Maybe you have someone you feel needs to know you have confessed. One of the benefits of confession with Christian friends is the sense of release and relief. ***********
6. Read point 6, "Renounce your sin and make restitution." True repentance calls for restitution when possible. Zachaeus is a good example. Jim Voss worked as a wiretapper for mobster, Mickey Cohen. When Jim was converted, he personally began to repay those he had cheated or robbed. It took several years. He believed a Christian should respond this way. It was a significant witness for Christ. You must decide whether this is possible in your case or not. If restitution is not possible, God's forgiveness is sufficient.
7. Read point 7, HWalk in the light with Christ." Meditate on the comments on this point. If you have a recurring sin that you cannot get the victory over, follow the suggestions. God can give you the victory as you learn to walk in the light day by day.
Read Psalm 32 and rejoice in the blessedness of forgiveness. ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 5: RIGHTING BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS
Learning Objective: You will demonstrate your willingness to work toward righting . broken relationships by doing such things as: -counseling persons involved in broken relationships. -identifying and taking specific steps to right a broken relationship between yourself and another person. -speaking appropriately at a church business meeting to encourage reconciliation among opposite viewpoints.
Right relationships with God call for right relationships with others. God says you cannot be rightly related to Him if you are not rightly related to people (Mt 5:23-4; 6:14-15). In MasterLife Discipleship Workshops we usually have a time for reconciliation. The Spirit of God moves on people to go to others and ask forgiveness. Sometimes they go to fellow church staff members. Sometimes they confess to and ask the entire group to forgive them. In one workshop two persons left the room to call their wives and ask forgiveness. They returned to share their joy. Others have to wait until they return home to get their relationships right. Many have called back to testify that revival has broken out in their churches and community. This desire for reconciliation occurs after we have told about what has happened elsewhere. We explain how to use the "Guide to Seeking Reconciliation," and we ask them to spend some time working through the steps. Today, I want you to work through this guide and seek to right any broken relationships you are aware of. • Read the first paragraph of the "Guide to Seeking Reconciliation" (DSB p. 1782).
The greatest obstacle to spiritual awakening is resentment and unforgiveness of others by Christians. • Do you agree or disagree with this statement? and why? Why? 0 Agree 0 Disagree
The following sections of today's lesson follow the outline in the guide. Read each section of the guide and complete the related activities.
1. Acknowledge God's Intentions.
Check each of the following items that describe God's intentions for you?
o 1. God .intends o 2. God intends o 3. God intends
for for for 4. God intends for 5. God intends for
you to confess wrongs and find reconciliation with others. Christians to forgive others only when asked for forgiveness. Christians to hide all their sins from other disciples. you to fellowship with Him. Christians to be forgiving of others.
What do you think it means to walk in the light with Him? ~
Does the Holy Spirit bring persons to your mind with whom you have a broken relationship? If so, write their names or initials below.
God has forgiven you a debt that you could never repay (Mt 18:23-35). That should give you the resources to forgive anyone else because no one could ever do anything that would be worse than what you have done to God. God had to sacrifice His own Son so you could be forgiven for your sins. God has reconciled you to Himself. Now He intends for you to be reconciled to others He has created in His image. You should have checked items 1, 4, and 5 earlier. "To walk in the light" means that you are totally honest and above board with God. It means to confess, that is, to agree with God about what He calls sin in your life. You will not try to hide it, make excuses for it, or blame others for it. Like David in Psalm 51, you will make a full confession of your sin. (See 1 In 1:7, g.) To walk in the light with one another means that you are open and honest with one another, In a few moments we will talk about with whom you would or would not confess.
2. Understand the Disciple's Responsibility.
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." -Hebrews 12:14-15 • Read section 2, "Understanding the disciple's responsibility," and answer the following questions.
A. Am I making every effort to live in peace with everyone?
B. Am I making every effort to be holy since without holiness no one will see the Lord?
DYES 0 NO
C. Is there anyone with whom I have not done all I can to seek reconciliation, even if that person broke the relationship? Who?
D. Have I hindered' anyone from receiving God's grace in forgiveness, because I was too proud to seek reconciliation with him or her? If so, who?
E. Has a root of bitterness grown up in me or someone I offended? F. Do I realize that this will cause trouble and defile many if not dealt with?
DYES 0 NO
3. Seek Reconciliation.
Suppose you have been convicted of a broken relationship, and you feel the other person was at least ninety percent wrong. Your normal reaction might be to wait until the other person confesses and asks for forgiveness. If the Holy Spirit has convicted you, however, ·then you should confess your sln=-the ten percent. You should not accuse the other person. Trust the Holy Spirit to deal with him or her. You are only responsible for confessing your wrong. • Why do you think it is important for you to use the word forgive when you ask forgiveness from someone? Why should you insist on him saying, "I forgive you"?
If you do not insist on him using the word forgive, he may consider it as unimportant. He may try to make light of the matter, so he will not have to face his own responsibility.
4. If You Are Not Convicted of Sin ...
Read this section and answer the following questions. A. Does this mean that you confess if you don't know what is wrong? B. Does this mean that you must agree with what the other person accuses you of? DYES 0 NO C. If the other person will not admit there is a problem, what should you do?
Of course you should not confess to something you do not believe is the truth and that the Holy Spirit has not convicted you of. It may be that the Holy Spirit will use what the other person says to convict you. If, after proper consideration, He does not convict you, then ask forgiveness for having offended the person unknowingly. If the person falsely accuses you, then you must be honest and walk in the light. If he or she refuses to walk in the light with you, then you will have to leave it to the Holy Spirit to bring conviction. Pray and leave it to the Lord. 5. If Another Christian Has Sinned Against You ... • Read this section. Then examine the following guidelines.
Do you have to confront everyone who has wronged you? Not unless the Holy Spirit leads you to them. Love covers a multitude of sins (Pv 10:12). If they are not Christians you will not usually confront them with their sins unless it is as a prophet from God.
If Christians fail to respond, do you drop it or take it to the church? If it is a serious situation or if it will harm the name of Christ and the Church, then you should follow the biblical
procedure. Even though most people and Christians avoid these steps because of past experiences, judgment must first begin at the house of God. If we do not judge ourselves the world will judge us, and there will be no court of appeals with them. In all these actions, the
purpose is reconciliation not vindication, justification, or condemnation.
6. Through the Process of Reconciliation, Bathe Your Actions in Prayer.
Begin this process in prayer. Wait before the Lord. Even if what He leads you to do is difficult, follow His directions. Keep your eyes on the Lord. Allow Him to forgive you. Forgive others. Seek to develop a forgiving church. Remember Jesus' prayer in John 17:20-23: "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." • Have you done all you can to seek reconciliation with: 1. Anyone you have sinned against? 0 Yes 2. Anyone who has something against you? DYes 3. Anyone the Holy Spirit lays on your heart? DYes
If God has burdened or convicted you about the need for reconciliation with another person, group, or your church, be obedient in seeking reconciliation, Do not put off this important work any longer. Before the group meeting seek reconciliation with those to whom you need to be reconciled. If that is impossible, make plans to do so next week. uWalk in the light, as he is in the light" (1 In 1:7). Ministry Check-up. Look on the back cover of LifeGuide at the column of ministry actions. Review the list of invitations to ministry for units 1-6. Continue to watch for opportunities to minister to others as you go about your day-to-day activities. ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
The Crucifixion Luke 23:34
Bible Doctrine: SALVATION, Grace Bible Study Method: Inductive study of a Passage Christian Discipline: Sharing Christ with lost persons Ministry Action: Witnessing to a lost friend or relative UNIT LEARNING GOALS: The study of this unit on the doctrine of salvation should help you: e Understand what salvation, grace, and "salvation by grace" mean. e Understand how to use the inductive method of Bible study for a passage. e Understand how to use the witnessing approaches in the Disciple's Study Bible . • Demonstrate a sense of urgency in sharing the good news with a lost person. VERSES TO MEMORIZE "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit=fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name," John 15:16. "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him," Psalm 126:5-6.
DAYS 1-2: INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY OF SALVATION BY GRACE
Learning Objective: Using an inductive Bible study, you will be able to summarize and apply the teachings of Ephesians 2:1-10 regarding salvation by grace,
For weeks this study has been leading up to the theme of salvation, In this unit you will see the work of God to save sinful humanity by grace. You should get a new appreciation of what God has done for you as you study this week. In previous units you have learned the difference between inductive and deductive Bible study methods. If you need to review, see page 76. Inductive Bible study involves you in seeking to learn Bible truths before you read the interpretations of others, Thus, you need to complete your Bible study before reading the annotations and doctrine summaries others have written, This unit deals with the doctrine of salvation, and more especially salvation by grace, In order to limit your study, you will focus on a brief passage of Scripture, You will use the skills you have already learned in following the step-by-step guidelines in the Disciple's Study Bible, The Scripture you will study is one of the grandest expressions of salvation in the Bible, Ephesians 2:1-10. You have two days to work on this assignment Pace yourself. Complete as much as you can in your study time today. Mark your place and pick up there tomorrow. • Turn to the "Guide to Studying a Bible Passage" (DSB p. 1775). Place a marker here so you can turn to it frequently without delay. Circle the six main steps (printed in bold face) involved in studying a passage. You will work through this process item by item.
If you really want to dig in to this passage, you may want to use a separate notebook or paper so you will have more space to respond, If you do so, bring your work to the group session. • Read the introductory paragraph and step 1 in the "Guide to Studying a Bible Passage." When you have finished reading, begin your inductive study of Ephesians 2:1-10. 1. Identify the Context, What is the situation? Read the chapter before Ephesians 2:1-10 and Ephesians 2:11-22, Read "Theological Setting" in the Introduction to Ephesians and write your answers to the following questions: When was Ephesians written? (See the Biblical History Chart between DSB pp. 1186-1187.)
Why Was Ephesians written?
Where was the writer when he wrote? By whom was Ephesians written? To whom was Ephesians written? Summarize the situation in which the writer wrote:
Summarize the situation in which the recipients lived:
2. Identify Questions. Read step 2 in the guide (DSB p. 1775). List the words you do not understand. Write out the questions you have, or possible questions that others might have about Ephesians 2:110. For example, you might write IiWhat does 'dead in your transgressions and sins' (v. 1) mean?" or you might list mercy (v. 4) as a word you want to study more about, Write your questions:
3. Identify Related Bible References. Read step 3 in the guide (DSB p. 1775), "What Else Does the Bible Say?" Look up the center column references in the Disciple's Study Bible. For instance, to read more about "dead in your transgressions" you would look at verse 5 and Colossians 2:13. Jot down references that answer questions or that you find helpful. Then summarize the main idea in the reference. Focus especially on those listed below which deal with salvation by grace. Reference Main Idea
Romans 3:24 (grace) John 5:24 (saved) Acts 15:11 (saved) Romans 9:30 (faith) Deuteronomy 9:5 (works) Romans 4:2 (works) ~ 2 Timothy 1:9 (works)
Titus 3:5 (works) 4. Write t~e Passage in Your Own Words. Read step 4 in the guide. Ask yourself, How would I say it? On separate paper write a paraphrase or summary using the suggestions in the guide. Divide the paraphrase into three parts: verses 1-3; 4-7; and 8-10. 5. Determine Your Interpretation. Read step 5 in the guide. Summarize the meaning of the passage in two sentences.
6. Identify an Application of the Passage in Your Life. Read step 6 in the guide. Follow the suggestions in the guide for step 6 and answer the following questions. Seek God's perspective on the application to your life. What truth did God illumine and apply to me through this passage?
How does my life measure up to this truth?
What specific actions will I take to help me apply this truth in my life?
You have just completed an inductive Bible study on your own. You should feel a sense of accomplishment. Prepare to share at the group session your insights about the meaning of salvation by grace. You will get feedback on what you have done when the group shares their insights during the next session. ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 3: SALVATION BY GRACE
Learning Objective: You will be able to explain the meaning of "salvation by grace" using Ephesians 2:1-10 as the basis of your explanation. Many times in witnessing encounters, a person explains that he or she is a Christian. When
questioned, he reveals that he is trusting in church membership, good works, baptism, or some other human effort for his salvation. Today you will use Ephesians 2:1·3 to explain the condition of a person without Christ and how he must be saved by grace. This explanation will be helpful to you as you have opportunity to talk with others about their salvation. We will look at four ideas presented in this text.
Salvation by Grace in Ephesians 2:1-10 OUf need-The Lost Condition of Humanity (vv. 1-3) Our response-Conditions of Salvation by Grace (vv. 2:8·9) Gud's provision-God Extends His Grace Through Christ to Sinful Humanity (vv. 4-7) God's purpose-The Results of Salvation by Grace (v. 10)
OUR NEED-The •
Lost Condition of Humanity (2:1-3)
Suppose that a relative has come to you for counsel. You realize that he or she has not experienced salvation by grace. He or she trusts good works and does not have Christ as Savior. You want to use this one passage to explain the problem. Write what you would say to explain why his or her condition makes it impossible to be saved without grace. Use the following five reasons to outline your explanation. Try to explain each reason in your own words. If you need to study a word or look up a cross reference to gain additional information, feel free to do so. Sinful humanity ... ·1. Is dead in transgressions and sins (v. 1).
2. Follows the ways of the world (v. 2).
3. Lives under the power of Satan (v. 2). "You followed the ways ... of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient."
4. Follows the desires of the flesh [v, 3). "All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts."
5. Is an object of God's wrath (v. 3).
Since this has been an inductive study up to this point, your answers may vary from the ones that follow. You may have included thoughts like these: 1. We are dead in transgressions and sins. All of us are dead spiritually because of our sins. The word transgressions means rebellion against God with your will and refusal to do what He commands. You have taken charge of your own life. The word sins means that we miss the mark. We do not live up to all our own expectations, let alone God's expectations of us. We look at Jesus' life and know how far we fall short. Adam and Eve were the first ones to die spiritually, but they passed spiritual death on to all their descendants. By "dead," we mean that sin separates us from God. We cannot do anything on our own that will please Him, since we are dead spiritually. We follow the ways of the world. You could have written: Because we are cut off from the influence of God by our own choice to sin, we are prone to follow what society says instead of what God says. The world and the things of the world are in conflict with God and His ways (1 Jn 2:15). The majority of people are on the broad road to destruction (Mt 7:13). When we do what "everyone else does" we are going away from God on the crowded road to hell. Once we have sinned we have no way to get back to God on our own. We cannot be perfect, nor can we make up for past sins.
We live under the power of Satan. You may have written something like this: Once we succumb to Satan's temptation to sin, we are under his control, whether we want to be or not. We find that we cannot do all the good things we want to do. We continue to sin. We are helpless to rescue ourselves from such a strong spiritual power. Only if Jesus rescues us can we be saved.
3. 4. We follow the desires of the flesh. You could have written something like this: Everyone follows the desires of their sinful nature. We are dominated by selfish thoughts and desires. Try as we might we cannot ignore them on our own. AU the positive thinking we can muster will not overcome our sinful nature. That is why we have to have grace to free us because we are captives of our own desires and thoughts.
5. We are objects of God's wrath. You may have written that we cannot be saved without grace because God has identified us as objects of His wrath. We deserve punishment. Only God's grace can reverse this situation. No good works can change His mind. • These five reasons should have prepared the .person to hear what God in Christ did for our salvation. Close your eyes and see if you can name the five reasons. If not, review them and try again.
GOD'S PROVISION: God Extends His Grace Through Christ to Sinful Humanity (2:4-7) • Suppose you were to ask your relative if she wanted to know what God does when He extends His grace to us. She answered yes. Use the following points to explain what God does so we can be saved by grace. Write your own explanations. 1. Go~ makes us alive in Christ (vv. 4-5).
2. God raises us up with Christ (v. 6).
3. God seats us in heavenly realms (v. 6-7).
Again your explanation will vary some from the one below. Here are some ways you may have responded.
1. God makes us alive in Christ. Because of God's great love, He still cares for us although we are in such a pitiful condition. Because of His mercy, He looks past our failures and sins. Salvation is by grace, because only a gracious God would give His own life through Christ's death on the cross so that we could have life. 2. God raises us up with Christ. Only God has the power to raise anyone from the dead. This was proved in Christ's resurrection. Now He extends to us the same privilege by grace. We will be spiritually resurrected when we trust Him, and physically resurrected when He comes back to earth. Nothing any human can do will raise a dead person, but God does it by grace. This is what is called being "born again."
God seats us in heavenly realms. Did you say something like this? God gives us a new status when He saves us. He has given us new life and a new position beside Him. We have the privilege of living a heavenly life on earth. Then in the future He has planned to spend eternity demonstrating this grace to us. Obviously this is beyond anything we can earn or deserve. God would be offended for us to say that we are good enough to deserve this. It will take all of eternity to show us how incomparable God's grace is.
OUR RESPONSE: Conditions of Salvation by Grace (2:8-9) You have explained the impossibility of humanity's saving itself and God's incomparable acts of grace. If you were explaining salvation by grace to your relative, the next thing he or she would want to know is-How can I experience this salvation for myself? .. Suppose you are trying to explain how your relative can experience salvation by grace. Use the following outline to explain how. 1. Salvation is a gift received by faith (v. 8).
2. Salvation is not by works} so that no one can boast (v, 9).
Your response may include some of these ideas:
1. Salvation is a gift received by faith. You might use this illustration: Salvation is a gift. If I give you my pen, what do you have to do to make it yours? Only accept it. If you pay me anything for it, even the taxes, it is not a gift. You receive the free gift of salvation by faith in Christ. "By faith" means that you trust your sinful condition to Him. By faith you accept His acts of grace to give new life, a new experience, and a new position. You trust Him to give you the new life. You trust Him to move you from being an object of His wrath to being an object of His love. It means total dependence on Him, 2. Salvation is not by works, so that no one can boast (v. 9). You might have illustrated this point by the following: Suppose I was drowning in the ocean a thousand miles from shore. A ship comes by and throws me a life buoy. I refuse to take it and say I will swim to shore. Just suppose that I could (Of course, I couldn't.), then I could brag about what a good swimmer I was to swim a thousand miles. Am I going to do that? Of course not. I am going to grab the life buoy and get on the ship. When I get to the shore, am I going to brag about my swimming? No, I am going to say that if the ship and its captain had not saved me I would have drowned, When I get to heaven, I will not brag about any works that I have done to get there but only about the grace of God and the 'work of Christ that saved me, GOD'S PURPOSE: The Results of Salvation by Grace (2:10) • Now suppose the relative asks, "Does that mean that a person does not have to do good works?" Use verse 10 to explain the place of works in salvation by grace.
You might have said: It is not your works that save you. In fact, you are Christ's work. He calls you His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. The word workmanship· comes from the same word from which we get the English word poem. You are His poem, His masterpiece, His demonstration of grace. He planned in advance to save you so you would demonstrate His works. Salvation by grace does not do away with good works, it results in good works. Christ gives 1.].S the power to live holy and blameless lives (Eph 1:4) after we are saved, not in order to be saved, • Define salvation, grace, and "salvation by grace." Use any of the helps in the Disciple's Study Bible you need. Here are some suggested resources if you need them: Glossary of Theological Terms (DSB p. 1733) Summary of the Doctrine of Salvation (DSB p. 1683) Annotations Salvation: 1 Co 1:18,21; 3:15; Col 1:13-14 2 Th 2:10,13; 2 Ti 1:9-10; 2:1 Grace: Ac 15:11j Ro 3:24; 5:2,15,17,20,21; 6:14-18; 11:5·6; 2 Co 8:9; Gal 1:6-8 1 Ti 1:13~16 SALVATION~ __ ~~~ ~ ~ __ ~ ~
SALVATION BY GRACE
For your group session this week, prepare to compare your explanation and definition of "salvation by grace" with other group members. Be prepared to explain how to be saved using Ephesians 2:1-10. .. Read the testimonies below. place a check mark before each testimony that may represent an incorrect understanding of salvation by grace.
o 1. Bill testifies o o o
that he has been a church member since he was a child. He says he had a moving experience when he was baptized. He says he attends regularly, is a deacon, and is known as a good churchman. He loves the church. 2. Anita testifies that she tries her best to live by the golden rule, lives a good life, treats others kindly and justly. She says she is active in her church and that she loves God. 3. Maria testifies that she, too, loves God and people. She is active in her church. She says she is not worthy to be saved. She explains that she trusts in Christ, who has forgiven her sin. 4. Carlos testifies that he was an alcoholic. After he got into Alcoholics Anonymous and realized he had to have the help of God, he began to go to church. Ever since, he has been able to overcome the temptation of alcohol. He says now that he works hard in the church, tithes, and teaches a Sunday School class of boys.
Persons can say that they are trusting Christ for salvation plus baptism or good works and still not be a Christian. Salvation is the gift of God in Christ plus nothing. Good works may indicate that salvation has taken place, but good works may also indicate that a person is trusting in works for salvation. You should have checked 1, 2, and 4 as incorrect understandings of "salvation by grace." Good works are the result of salvation not the cause. ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 4: WITNESSING TO THE WORLD
Learning Objective: You will be able to use one or more witnessing approaches in the Disciple's Study Bible or an approach of your own in sharing the good news with a lost person.
Today, you will examine three different ways to share Christ with a lost person. They include: e Sharing your own personal testimony e Using a marked New Testament e Using a detailed gospel presentation or tract e Using Ephesians 2:1-10 to explain salvation by grace You will also be introduced to two resources in the Disciple's Study Bible that can help you prepare for a witnessing experience. They will help you learn how to:
o Lead to commitment to Christ o Locate and answer typical questions and objections lost people raise. The Holy Spirit convicts the lost of their need, He also convicts the disciple of the need to bear witness to the saving power of the gospel. • Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you meditate on God's description in Ephesians 2:1 10 of man's lost condition, God's grace, and the new creation in salvation. Pause now for a time of prayer and meditation.
*********** Think of one or more persons you know who are lost. Describe how you feel about these friends when you think of the condition of their soul.
Romans 10:14 says: "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" • Answer the following questions concerning your own salvation (by grace). 1. Where did you first hear? . 2. Who told you?
How do you feel about the help this person gave you?
4. How would you feel if people met you at the judgment and said they never heard or understood because you did not tell them?
5. How would you feel if persons met you in heaven saying of you, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!" (Ro 10:15) because you had helped lead them to Christ?
6, What is God saying to you through this verse (Ro 10:14)?
When a person has just received Christ, his most natural desire is to tell others, Usually this salvation experience gives one the boldness to share what has happened with his family, friends, and sometimes acquaintances, Two great problems to overcome in witnessing are: 1, knowing how to witness and 2. fear. • Which of these two problems have you experienced when thinking about witnessing
about Christ to another person? Circle the one(s) in the list above that you have experienced. When I was a teenager, my best friend did not know Christ. I prayed for Jack, and I even got him to come to church with me occasionally. Once, when I was spending the night at his house, I tried to talk to him about being a Christian. He seemed interested and asked me how one became a Christian. I stammered and haltingly began to tell him. My sharing was all disjointed, and I could not make it clear. He did not make a commitment. For many years, I carried the guilt of not having been abJe to witness to him. I knew that if he died his blood would be on my hands. I learned to witness, but by then I had moved away. On our firet missionary furlough, I discovered that he had become a Christian. What a great relief! Don'ttake the chance of missing an opportunity to tell someone about Christ because you don't know how. Three Possible Witnessing Approaches Three possible witnessing approaches are presented in the Disciple's Study Bible. Select either the personal testimony, the marked New Testament, or the detailed presentation or tract as an approach for which you would like to develop or improve your skills. You may choose anyone of them. You may do more than one if you so desire. Consider choosing one with which you are not already familiar. You will have an opportunity to practice it in a nonthreatening situation during the next session. Sharing a Personal Testimony. By having my testimony ready. I have been able to lead a number of taxi drivers, rental car operators. and others to Christ even though I had only five to ten minutes with them. God may have someone prepared for you who just needs to know how to be saved and to be invited to trust Christ. If you have already mastered the guidelines for giving a personal testimony, skip this section and choose another witnessing approach. ,. If you have not written your personal testimony in a MasterLife or Continuing Witness Training group, follow the instructions in "Guide to Giving Your Personal Testimony" (DSB p. 1786-8) to write a three-minute personal testimony (about one to one and a half pages). If you know persons who have completed MasterLife ask them to help evaluate it. Revise it until it clearly communicates your thoughts. You will not read the testimony to others except to practice. Writing it down will help you organize your thoughts. Then as you work with it you will be able to tell it spontaneously and in a clear, interesting way. Using a Marked New Testament. A second witnessing approach that has been used effectively by many is using a New Testament that has passages marked and referenced for sharing the gospel. • Read "Guide to Using a Marked New Testament" (DSB pp. 1786-90). Mark a New Testament so that you can use it in presenting the gospel message to a lost person. You may want to mark several inexpensive copies, so you can give one to a person after you have explained the way of salvation. Ask a Christian friend or family member to let you practice with him or her. Go through the presentation until you can give it in a natural way.
Using a Detailed Gospel Presentation or Tract. Some people gain assurance in their witnessing by 'having a detailed presentation to follow. In some cases the presentation is memorized throughly, so it can be presented clearly and naturally. Other persons prefer to use a tract which has a detailed presentation for them to follow. There are advantages to
both ways, • Read the detailed presentation Continuing Witness Training, Commitment Counseling you the gospel. If you choose this presentation to a Christian. in "How To Accept Christ" (DSB p, 1745). If you have had MaslerLife: Discipleship Training, or DecisionTime: already should have learned this presentation for sharing method practice reading (or sharing from memory) the
If you have never used this presentation you may either: • learn it so you can give it with just your Bible or • use this written presentation to explain salvation to a lost person.
This presentation is also available in a tract form entitled Eternal Life or as part of the pamphlet, Personal Commitment Guide. (Both of these resources are available from Orders Processing, Home Mission Board, 1350 Spring Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30367-5601,)
• 1. Which witnessing method(s) did you choose? Check one or more.
D Sharing my own personal 'testimony. D Using a marked New Testament. D Using a detailed gospel presentation or tract. 2, How have you prepared yourself to be able to use this method?
Two articles in the Disciple's Study Bible will help you complete your witness by leading the person to commitment. They will prepare you to help someone make a decision for Christ. Whichever approach you use, these articles will help you help someone who wants to make a decision but who has a problem or a question. Leading to Commitment and Dealing with Questions • Read the "Guide to Leading to Commitment" (DSB p. 1791). As you read look for four specific questions you can use to lead a person toward making a commitment. Write them below.
2, Is there any reason why you would not be willing to receive God's giftof eternal life? 3. Are you willing to turn from your sin and place your faith in Jesus right now? 4. Do you want to repent, place your faith in Jesus, and make Him Lord of your life?
1. Does what I have been saying (reading) make sense to you?
The key questions for you to learn are these:
UNIT 7 SALVATION
Memorize these questions so that you will not hesitate when you ask them. Note how to conclude the witness in a positive way even when the person does not accept Christ (DSB p. 1792).
If the person makes a negative response, then you or someone else may build on it later.
Sometimes you will be working with a person who has a sincere question or objection to be dealt with. Read "Guide To Dealing with Questions and Objections" (DSB p. 1792). As you read, underline the ten guidelines for handling questions and objections.
Do not feel you have to argue with people. If you do not know an answer, just tell them that you will find out. However, do not let them delay making a commitment just by asking a question. This is one of Satan's strategies to keep the person from making a commitment. Give your witness; answer questions and objections the best you can; and leave the results to God. You are responsible for witnessing. God is responsible for convicting and saving, ~LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
DAY 5: A PERSONAL WITNESSING STRATEGY
Learning Objective: You can demonstrate a sense of urgency in sharing the good news with a lost person by such things as: -planning and carrying out a personal witnessing strategy, -witnessing to another person using one of the witnessing approaches in the Dieciple's Study Bible. -others ...
Witnessing is not just a one time experience, You want to prepare yourself to be a life-style witness. "Life-style witnessing" means you witness through your day-to-day contacts with people. That will take time and growth and planning, Begin now to plan a strategy that will help you become a better, more faithful witness for Christ. • Get a separate sheet of paper. Read the "Guide to Relational Evangelism" (DSB pp. 17846). As you read, make a list of relatives, friends, and acquaintances that do not know Christ (as far as you know). Include persons in these groups: 1. Immediate family 2," Relatives 3. Close friends 4. Business associates 5. Neighbors 6, Casual acquaintances 7. Persons with whom you could initiate a relationship. Have you read the article and written your list? Take time to do it now.
Find the "Receptivity Scale" (DSB p, 1785). Rate each person on your list as to where you think he or she is in relationship to Christ. Using the receptivity scale write the letter or the stage beside each name on your list. As time goes on you will be able to record their moving up the scale of receptivity. Plan how to build relationships with one or more persons on your list. Resolve to use some of the ways listed in the article on relational evangelism. • In the space below write what you plan to do in regard to one person.
Plan how you can train to be a better witness. A long range plan may include: • a training process with an experienced witness • Continuing Witness Training • MasferLife: Discipleship Training • Lay Evangelism School • Training Sunday School Workers in Evangelism Equipping Center Module • or another approach to witness training. At this time. what kind of training do you think you need or would like to try?
Plan to share your witness with a lost person over the next several weeks. If you have a problem doing this yourself. ask your leader or another experienced witness to let you accompany him when he witnesses so you can watch. We will give more help as LifeGuide to Discipleship and Doctrine continues. Ministry Check-up, Look on the back cover of LifeGuide at the column of ministry actions. Review the list of invitations to ministry for units 1-7. Continue to watch for opportunities to minister to tithers as you go about your day-to-day activities. ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
Christians in Rome Romans 1:7
Bible Doctrine: CHURCH Bible Study Method: Using a commentary Christian Discipline: Advancing actively the cause of Christ Ministry Action: Providing tangible help to needy persons UNIT LEARNING GOALS: Study of this unit on the doctrine of the church will help you: .. Understand the teachings of Jesus about the foundation, power, authority, and responsibility of the church as found in Matthew 16:18-19, CII Understand ways to use a 'commentary to assist you in developing your own interpretation of a controversial passage . .. Understand the five stages of spiritual development and the relationship a discipler should have with persons at each stage of growth, .. Demonstrate a commitment to the church as God's instrument for meeting the growth needs of persons, VERSES TO MEMORIZE "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it," Matthew 16:18, "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy," Ephesians 5:25-27.
DAY 1: THE CHURCH'S FOUNDATION
Learning Objective: You will be able to write your view about the foundation of the church as described in Matthew 16:18-19,
.God is involved in only two worldwide construction projects, The first is called evangelism, where He stretches His big arms around the world to reach and to win the lost to Himself .... The second worldwide program God is involved in is the Church. T think of the Church as God's Body-building program, Do you know the materials He uses for building the Church? That's easy to figure out, isn't it? He uses those He recruits in evangelism .... they begin to be built up in Christ and become personally involved in God's world program.' -Charles R. Swindall Interpretations of Scripture Sometimes we get the idea that there is only one true interpretation of a Scripture, and that one is ours! Or we accept the one championed by our pastor or favorite teacher, We sometimes do not give another person room to share a different interpretation, Our study of humanity should have convinced us that no one person is infallible, ' How do you deal with interpretations that differ with yours? You need to consider what Goc may be saying to others. History proves that the church and the cause of Christ have been given fresh life because someone dared to challenge accepted interpretations. In other cases the faith of some has been weakened by new interpretations that were not sound in their doctrine. In a sense the annotations in the Disciple's Study Bible are interpretations of the Scripture, The Disciple'S Study Bible is not designed to produce robots who parrot one interpretation ( Scripture. Each Christian has the right and responsibility to make the best interpretation possible with the evidence available. One must, however, study God's Word under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, The Disciple's Study Bible and LifeGuide make some assumptions about interpreting Scripture. • Read the assumptions below and circle the numbers of those you agree with, Underline the three statements you believe are the most important.
1. All the Bible is the infallible Word of God,
2, The Bible means what it says including what it says about miracles, teachings, history, and theology,
3. The Bible's interpretation of itself takes precedence over any other interpretation. For instance, Jesus said that Jonah did spend three days and nights in the fish. 4. When the Bible does not speak clearly about a matter, the reader should use the best principles of interpretation and the most reliable tools available to interpret it,
5. When interpretations
differ, 011:e should weigh the arguments and evidences to arrive at a conclusion under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
6. In interpreting Scripture the Bible student should maintain a spirit of humility. He should give others the right to their own interpretations. But all should test their interpretation in the light of biblical truth.
7. No creeds, statements of church leaders, or historical records take precedence over the Bible.
We believe this 'is the honest and safe approach to interpretation of Holy Scripture. In this unit you will study an important, but controversial, passage on Christ's intention for the church. You will learn to use Bible commentaries to help you interpret the Scripture. Bible Commentaries Bible commentaries are books that do what their name says: they comment on the Scriptures. Sometimes they come in one volume. More often they come in multiple volumes, sometimes twenty or more. As mentioned earlier, the annotations in the Disciple's Study Bible could also be considered commentaries on Scripture. Commentaries are helpful because they are written by scholars who have studied the Scriptures in detail. Most have mastered Hebrew, and/or Greek (and sometimes Aramaic), the languages in which the Bible was written. As a Bible student, you can benefit from their vast knowledge and understanding. • What is a commentary?
In the following paragraph underline the cautions you should take in using commentaries. The writers' knowledge and training does not automatically mean, however, that their interpretations are correct. Sometimes controversy may exist over what the original language meant. Writers also bring biases to their study, just as you do. To be truly objective on every point, is almost impossible no matter how hard one tries. One is influenced by environment, parents, teachers, and denominations. Some commentaries are widely recognized as being better than others. If you study enough commentaries, you will find many interpretations of a Scripture. Many commentaries will present all the major interpretations for your consideration. That is the case with the annotation of the Disciple'S Study Bible you will be using this week. If you use commentaries it would help you to know the theological position or assumptions the author(s) hold. You may already own and use commentaries. If not, you may want to tryout one or more from your church media library. You may, however, rely primarily on the commentary (annotations) in the Disciple's Study Bible. During this study, feel free to use additional resources that you have available. When using a commentary. simply look up the Scripture reference and read the comments about that passage. Commentaries usually include very helpful background information about the Bible book and the biblical setting. Keep in mind that when you want to study a passage in detail. you would do well not to take just one commentary's interpretation. You would want to weigh the arguments commentators give for their beliefs as well as the arguments given by those who disagree with them. If you would like to purchase a one-volume commentary or even a set, ask your pastor, a trusted teacher, or leader which commentaries they use and why they like them. Look in your church media library for copies you can borrow to use and review. Try several
CHURCH commentaries before you buy one. Consider building a good Bible students' library.
In the following study you will examine several different interpretations of Matthew 16:18-19. Occasionally, you will be exposed to the ideas of other commentaries. Use LifeGuide and your Disciple's Study Bible to discover your own interpretation of the doctrine of the church. Matthew 16:18-19 • Turn to Matthew 16 and read verses 13-20, the context for this teaching. As you read, look for teachings about Christ's intentions for the church. Check each of the following teachings about the church that you see mentioned in verses
o 1. Authority of the church. o 2. Builder of the church. o 3. Foundation- of the church.
Functions of the church. 5. Mission of the church. 6. Organizational pattern for the church. 7. Power of the church.
In some respects all of these subjects may be implied in this passage. However, interpreters may stretch Jesus' comments to mean more than Jesus intended to say. We do see teachings about the builder, the foundation, the power, and the authority of the church. You should have checked 1, 2, 3, and 7. You will see that we can also make an inference about the mission (task) of the church (5) as well. As you study a controversial passage like this one, consider all the evidence available. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, decide what you believe. You may decide that you do not know enough to come to a conclusion yet. That is better than jumping to a conclusion that is not sound doctrine. With holy reverence and humility you will want to continue to study and look for God's leadership in understanding the passage or teaching. In the meantime, walk in confidence that God will reveal to you what you need to know. The Foundation of the Church-What • Is the "Rock"?
Read the annotation on Matthew 16:18-19, liTHE CHURCH, Intention of Christ" (DSB p. 119B). As you read, look for three general views held by Christians concerning Christ's intentions for the church. Write them below.
1. The authority of the church resides in Simon Peter and his successors. 2. 3.
Two Greek words in this passage mean "rock," Using the same annotation, match the following definitions by writing the letter of the correct definition beside the word.
1. Peter (petros)
a. pebble b. millstone c. foundation stone
The three general views are these: 1. The authority of the church resides in Simon Peter and his successors. 2. The church is built on people with like faith as Simon Peter. 3. The "foundation stone" is Jesus. Proponents of each interpretation make a case for their view. The definitions of petros as "pebble" (a) and petra as "foundation stone" (c) are important factors in the interpretation of this passage. Let's examine these three views.
1. The interpretation that the rock ·refers to Simon Peter and his successors. William Barclay
says about this interpretation:
This passage is the Roman Catholic foundation of the position of the Pope and of the Church. It is taken by the Roman Catholic Church to mean that to Peter were given the keys which admit or exclude a man from heaven, and that to Peter was given the power to absolve or not to absolve a man from his sins. It is further argued by the Roman Catholic Church that Peter, with these tremendous rights, became the bishop of Rome; and that this power descended to all the bishops of Rome; and exists today in the Pope, who is the head of the Church and the Bishop of Rome." • What is your response to this interpretation? (check one) o a. I agree with this view. o h. I disagree with this view. o c. I'm not sure. I need more information.
Space and time will not allow consideration of all the arguments commentators make for this interpretation. This view has several problems. A. There is no proof that Peter was the head of the church. No other Scripture substantiates this claim. The apostles were still arguing at the last supper about who would be the greatest (Lk 22:24). In Acts 15 Peter does not make the decision alone but with other equals. In Galatians 2 he is cited in an equal position and even reprimanded by Paul. Ephesians 2:20 states that the building was "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets." B. Historically, there is no proof that Peter was the first bishop of Rome. Iranaeus and Eusebius, early Christian historians say Linus was the first. C. There is no proof that such a power, if it existed, could be passed on to the next bishop of Rome. The Bible never says anything about this view. The Roman Catholic Church takes its traditions as being on a par with Scripture. Therefore, they do not feel the need for Scripture to say it. D, Even some of the Roman Fathers of the early centuries do not agree that Peter's being the rock is the correct interpretation. The interpretation that the church is built on people with like faith as Simon Peter. The church does conslst of people like Peter who confess Christ as Lord, This view, however, does not seem to carry the weight that Jesus seemed to give to petra, the foundation stone, This view does not follow the interpretation principle of taking the obvious meaning first. No matter how many little pebbles (petros) you put together, you do not have a foundation
stone. A foundation stone carries the idea of bedrock or a large slab of solid stone. Still this interpretation has much in its favor and many accept it. • What is your response to the interpretation that the church is built on people with faith like Peter's? (check one) o a. I agree with this view. o b. I disagree with this view. o c. I'm not sure. I need more information.
3. The interpretation that the foundation stone is Jesus. God Himself is called "the Rock" in many passages of the Bible (for example: Dt 32:4; 1 Sa 2:2; 2 Sa 22:2; Ps 18:2, 31; and others). If Jesus did indicate Himself as the Big Rock (petra) and Peter as a little rock (petl'Os), Peter would" have perceived it. Peter himself said, "As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him. , .. For in Scripture it says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame,' "(1 Pe 2:4, 6). • What is your response to the interpretation that the foundation stone is Jesus? (check one) o a. I agree with this view. o b. I disagree with this view. o c. I'm not sure. I need more information. Now that you have considered the three interpretations and reasons for each, write your own interpretation and tell why you hold to that view. If you have access to other commentaries, you may want to study other comments before writing your interpretation.
You will have an opportunity to compare interpretations ~ LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today;
in this week's group session.
DAY 2: THE CHURCH'S POWER AND AUTHORITY
Learning Objective: You will identify your interpretation of the church's power and authority according to Matthew 16:18-19.
This lesson considers these two questions about the church as dealt with in Matthew 16:1819:
1. What is the meaning of the phrase "the gates of Hades will not overcome it"? 2. What does "I will give you the keys of the kingdom" mean?
The Power of the Church-The •
Gates of Hades Will Not Overcome It
Read these two translations of Matthew 16:18b. Circle the major difference(s) you see in the New International Version when compared to the King James Version. King James Version: "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." New International Version: "the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Turn to DSB page 1735 and read the definitions of HeJJ and Hades. Then write each word before its appropriate definition.
1. Eternal dwelling place of God and the redeemed.
Eternal dwelling place of punishment for the lost.
3. Place of dwelling for all the dead.
You probably only circled "Hades" as the difference in the two translations. That may not seem like a major difference, but it is. Hades denotes the invisible world, the abode of the departed (Definition 3). It includes all the dead, not only the wicked who will be punished in hell. Hell in English originally meant the same as hades, but its meaning has changed over the years. Another Greek word distinctively means the place of torment, the meaning used today for the word hell (Definition 2). You probably recognized that the first definition describes "heaven." • Three views are held concerning the meaning of lithe gates of Hades shall not overcome it." After you read each view, see if you can write a one sentence summary of the view in your own words.
1. One interpretation pictures the church as a great fortress. The forces of hades will not break down its gates. The song, "Hold the fort" suggests this idea. Hades or death cannot swallow up the church. There will always be a church.
Your summary will certainly vary, but it should say something like this: The church is a mighty fortress, and those who stay inside her walls will not be overtaken by evil.
2. Another interpretation views the gates as symbolic of the government of hades. In Bible days the judges or rulers sat at the gates of a city. Thus, the rulers or government of hades would not overcome the church, This interpretation says that death would not defeat the church because Christ has "disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross," (Col 2:15). By His resurrection Christ will bring His followers back to life from the dead when He returns for the final victory.
Compare your summary to this one: The government or rulers of death will not win the final battle over believers, because Christ will raise them up to life everlasting.
3. Another viewpofnt pictures the gates as the defenses of hades. The gates cannot hold the people who are symbolically dead in trespasses and sins, When the church aggressively
takes them the gospel, the gates cannot prevent the success of God's people . • Summary:
This third view might be summarized like this: The gates of Hades cannot hold back the church as she aggressively carries the gospel into the fortified places of sin and evil. During a Mission Rally for nine North Central states I taught the Bible studies using the theme "Storming the Gates of HelI." The theme came from the keynote serm on preached by Dr. Perry Sandel's of Lafayette, Louisiana. He holds this third view. He said: I want to ask you a question, Are gates offensive or defensive instruments? Defensivel You don't fight with gates. Suppose a general is fighting a war. He doesn't say, "All right, boys, we've got a big battle coming up tomorrow. I want you to get every gate we've got on the place. We need everyone of them to win," That is ludicrous. You don't fight with gates. You use them to keep out the enemy. Jesus said, "This church which is built on me, can move against the gates of hell itself. and when you do, they will crumble before your attack." Can you see what that will do to the church? We aren't here behind our fortress maintaining the status quo. We are panzer troops out there on the advance, moving and surging out where sin is, out where hell is, out where ungodliness is, out where demonic power is. The church's business, besides caring for the Body, is to get out of the sanctuary and go where sin is, go where hell is, go where racism is, go where dope addiction is, go where sexism is, go where immorality is, go where paganism is, go where secularism is, go where humanism is and batter down the gates of hell for Jesus' sake. We are to be the aggressors! • Of these interpretations which would you choose and why? o 1. The church is a mighty fortress, and those who stay inside her walls will not be overtaken by evil. o 2. The government or rulers of death will not win the final battle over believers, because Christ will raise them up to life everlasting. o 3. The gates of Hades cannot hold back the church as she aggressively carries the gospel into the fortified places of sin and evil.
o 4. Other:
You may have already guessed my intrepretation as you read the above commentary. If you chose the third view, you and I agree. If not, be sure you know the reasons for your interpretation. Always keep in mind as you use commentaries of any kind, that you must check the viewpoint of the writer with the Scripture. Let the Word of God, interpreted to you by the Holy Spirit, be your source of authority for your beliefs. Now let's examine the final "controversial" part of our Scripture passage. The Authority of the Church-I Will Give You the Keys of the Kingdom
For this study we will return to the commentary in the annotation of Matthew 16:18-19 in the Disciple's Study Bible.
Read the second half of the annotation for Matthew 16:18-19. As you read, look for the two differing views concerning the authority given by Christ. Write summaries of the two . views,
The following two summaries present what various commentaries say about Matthew 16:19. As you read, select one sentence or phrase in each summary that seems to give special insight on the meaning.
1. Peter and his successors were given control over who gets into heaven. The keys to the Kingdom represent the power to unlock the entrance to the kingdom of heaven. Here Jesus does not specify the church as an organization, but He indicates the Kingdom, Christ's spiritual reign. Some commentators claim that this power was given to Simon Peter. This view is responsible for the idea that Saint Peter will stand at the pearly gates of heaven and determine who is permitted entrance and who is cast out.
Several non-catholic scholars, however, point out that the power to unlock was not Peter's right exclusively. Christ also gave that power to the church (Mt 18:18), the ten apostles Un 20:22), and in actual experience, to others (Ac 15:13-28). • Did you underline a sentence or phrase in the above summary? If not, go back now and underline a key statement that provides insight into this view. Then read the next viewpoint and underline a sentence or phrase that provides insight into that view.
2. Authority belongs to the church in general, and binding and loosing are tasks of the church. Binding and loosing, according to most commentators, mean "to forbid and to allow." To bind something means to declare it forbidden; to loose something means to declare it permissible. Jesus was saying that Peter would have to make some decisions that would determine whether people came into the Kingdom or not.
Peter did this when he opened the door to three thousand at Pentecost [Ac 2:41). He then opened the door to the first Gentile, Cornelius [Ac 10). He led the Jerusalem council to agree to let the Gentiles be acknowledged as Christians [Ac 15:6-11). Therefore. Peter was opening the door. Jesus was warning him that he would have to make such decisions. If he had not opened those doors through his preaching and his actions, the doors might have remained closed. People like those at Pentecost and Cornelius would not have gotten in because they would not have heard. Peter and the apostles and early Christians took seriously their responsibility as stewards of the gospel. • Which of the two interpretations do you agree with? Check one. o 1. Peter and his successors were given control over who gets into heaven. o 2. Authority belongs to the church in general, and binding and loosing are tasks of the church. o 3. Other: ~ ~~~~~ ~ __
Again. you may have noticed by my commentary that I would agree with the second interpretation. Since binding and loosing are tasks of the church, the church would do well to seriously consider what binding and loosing involve. Most commentators interpret "binding"
to mean to declare something forbidden. "Loosing" means to allow or to declare something permissable. • For each pair of the actions listed below write "BH beside the item you think is a "binding" action and IIV' beside the item you think is a loosing action. __ __
lA. Downtown Church has been declining because its community is changing racially. It decides to sell its property and move to the suburbs. lB. Downtown Church starts a new mission in the suburbs. It redirects its efforts downtown to reach the multiethnic population in the surrounding community. to help hurting divorcees discover the forgiveness of God in the community of faith. 2B. Southwest Church does not want to appear to condone divorce so it provides no special classes or ministries targeted to divorcees. Divorcees in the church prefer to hide that aspect of their past from other church members.
2A. Northeast Church offers a support group for formerly marrieds. The purpose is
3A. Eastside Church does not advertise. Their philosophy is "If people are interested in getting right with God, they will attend our services. Then we will help them!' 3B. Westside Church thinks that most unbelievers will never attend church on their own initiative. They sponsor Outreach Bible Studies in homes and apartment complex club houses. 4A. James Christian sits beside a stranger on a flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles. He reads a newspaper and a news magazine to pass the time. He never bothers to strike up a conversation with the passenger next to him. 4B. Danny Christian is riding on the same airplane. He talks with the man next to him about family, job, and leisure time activities. They began to discuss spiritual matters. Danny shared the gospel with the passenger and sought to lead him to Christ.
Binding (t A, 2B, 3A, and 4A) limits the extension of the Kingdom into the world for an individual or a particular group. In the loosing actions [lB, 2A, 3B, and 4B) efforts are being made to reach people and groups with the forgiving and redeeming grace of God. • Write your own summary of the "binding and loosing" tasks of the church in the light of Matthew 16:18-19.
What changes should you make in your life as a result of this study? Check all that apply. D 1. I need to discover and change actions I take that bind people by limiting their exposure to God's forgiveness. D 2. I need to take positive steps toward explaining and demonstrating God's forgiveness to individuals or groups of people. D 3. I need to study God's Word more carefully to understand when I should "bind" or
"loose." G 4. I need to listen to God's Spirit within me as He impresses me to perform a "loosing"
act for another person or group.
Christ is saying to me today:
DAYS 3~4:LOOSING OTHERS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Learning Objective: You will identify the relationships of a discipler with persons at each of five stages of spiritual development. You will describe ways you can be involved in ministry to persons at each of these stages.
Jesus gave the church this Great, Commission: "Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Mt 28:18·20). • Does this sound like a "binding" or a "loosing" action? o Binding 0 Loosing 0 Neither
Jesus' commission to the people of the church requires that they make disciples of all peoples. This requires leading them to accept Christ and teaching them to obey all His commands. When people become disciples and mature in their relationship to the Lord, they are loosed from their old nature and the death penalty of sin. That is certainly a loosing action for the church to perform. Part 2 of this unit will focus on what you can do to be a part of this Great Commission of Christ to His church. As a pastor I believed that the church was the proper environment for discipleship, . However, I could not find a discipleship program that built the local church enough That was when I began to develop MasterLife: Discipleship Training. Discipling belongs at the center of the life of the church. • In the space below write the names of three persons in the church who have blessed you and contributed to your spiritual life, Briefly explain what they did. Name 1. 2.
What the person did to help me
Stop for a moment and think of where you would be spiritually without the church and the ministry of the individuals you just listed. As a Christian, you are a part of God's plan to reach the world for His kingdom. Once people trust Christ as Savior, they must grow and mature in their faith. One reason many Christians do not grow is because they are left as baby Christians to feed arid train themselves without adequate help from mature Christians.
You have considered those who helped you grow in Christ. What commitment will you make to help others come to Christ and grow spiritually as disciples? Check your response. o 1. I don't think lowe anyone anything.
I will help others come to Christ, but the pastor should help them grow spiritually. 3. Once the pastor wins them to Christ, I will help them grow into mature disciples. 4. The Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20) is my commission. I will work to lead persons to Christ. Then I will help them grow spiritually. 5. If someone asks me for help, I will do what I can. Otherwise, I will let the other church members "make disciples of all peoples." 6. Other: I will
Turn to DSB page 1812. Read the introductory remarks (through the first full paragraph on p. 1813) for "Stages in Spiritual Growth." Look at the chart on DSB page 1814. Think of it as organizer for the process of growing and discipling in each stage. Refer back to it as needed. As you study each of these stages think about two concerns: 1. Where am I in my own spiritual development? 2. How can I help others grow spiritually at the various stages of development? 1. Unbeliever The Unbeliever (Eph 2:12) may be described as: .. Separated from Christ e Excluded from citizenship in Israel .. Foreigners to the covenants of promise .. Without hope .. Without God in the world • Read "a. The unbeliever ... " (DSB p, 1813) and answer the following: A. What is the disolpler's role with the unbeliever? Circle one. Witness Parent Servant Steward B. What is the dlsclpler's task? Circle the correct one. Evangelism Follow-up Training Equipping C. What is the discipler's commitment to the unbeliever? Circle one. Friendship Lordship Discipleship Leadership Encourager Supporting Partnership
D. What kind of actions can a discipler take to help an unbeliever cross over into the spiritual babe stage of spiritual development?
E. List at least one person you know who seems to be an unbeliever.
2. Spiritual Babe The Spiritual Babe (Eph 4:14; Heb 5:12; 1 Pe 1:9) may be described as: • Infants needing milk instead of meat • Unstable: tossed back and forth by the waves • Easily influenced: blown here and there by every wind of doctrine • Easily fooled by the cunning and craftiness of men in deceitful scheming • Slow to learn CIt Not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness • Limited knowledge of Christ CIt Nearsighted and blind toward Christian development • Forgotten that God has cleansed from sin [These are especially true of long-time spiritual babes.) • Read "b. The spiritual babe ... " (DSB p. 1813) and answer the following: A. What is the discipler's role in developing the spiritual babe? Circle one. Witness Parent Servant Steward Encourager B. What is the discipler's task? Circle the correct one. Evangelism Follow-up Training Equipping C, What is the commitment required of the spiritual babe? Circle one. Friendship Lordship Discipleship Leadership Supportlng Partnership
D, What kind of actions can a discipler take to help a spiritual babe cross over into the spiritual disciple stage of spiritual development?
E, List at least one person you know who seems to be a spiritual babe.
The Spiritual Disciple Un 15; 13:34~5;8:31~2;2 Ti 2:21) may be described as: • Abiding in Christ: Including a regular Quiet Time • Living in the Word: A self-feeder • Praying in Faith: Receives answers to prayer • Fellowshipping with Believers: Is right with other Christians or seeks reconciliation • Witnessing: Shares gospel on a regular basis • Ministering to others: Helps other people regularly • A good steward of possessions for Christ • Read "c. The spiritual disciple ... " (DSB p. 1815) and answer the following: A. What is the discipler's role in developing the spiritual disciple? Circle one. Witness Parent Servant Steward Encourager B, What is the discipler's task? Circle the correct one. Evangelism Follow-up Training Equipping Supporting
C. What is the commitment required of the spiritual disciple? Circle one. Friendship Lordship Discipleship Leadership Partnership
D. What kind of actions can a discipler take to help a spiritual disciple cross over into the multiplying leader stage of spiritual development?
E. List at least one person you know who seems to be a spiritual disciple.
This is probably a good stopping place in this two-day lesson. If you want to continue, you may. Otherwise, conclude today's work here and begin with "Multiplying Leader" tomorrow. ~LIFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
The Multiplying Leader may be described by the following traits. These traits are seen in the life of Jesus and the life of Paul. When added to the traits of a spiritual disciple, they describe a multiplying leader. • Has a personal ministry e Cares deeply about helping others grow • Has a vision for multiplying disciples/leaders • Trains disciples • Involves disciples in the vision • Delegates responsibilities to disciples .. Commissions disciples to minister to others • Read "c. The multiplying leader ..• " (DSB p. 1815) and answer the following: A. What is the disoipler's role in developing the multiplying leader? Circle one. Witness Parent Servant Steward Encourager B. What is the disoipler's task? Circle the correct one. Evangelism Follow-up Training Equipping Supporting
C. What is the commitment required of the multiplying leader? Circle one. Friendship Lordship Discipleship Leadership Partnership D. What kind of actions can a discipler take to help a multiplying leader cross over into the eolaborer stage of spiritual development?
E. List at least one person you know who seems to be a multiplying leader.
5. Colaborer In addition to including the traits of spiritual disciples, and multiplying leaders the colaborer may be described as one who: • Leads a ministry • Equips multiplying leaders
1& 1& 1&
CD CD 1&
Encourages fellow workers Supports fellow workers Is a good model of a disciple and leader Helps others become coleaders Is committed to prayer for coworkers Is devoted churchman or churchwoman Commissions persons to their ministries Read
A colaborer. , ." (DSB p. 1816) and answer the following: Parent Servant Steward Encourager Supporting Partnership
A. What is the dlsclpler's role in developing the colaborer? Circle one.
B. What is the discipler's task? Circle the correct one. Evangelism Follow-up Training Equipping C, What is the discipler's commitment to the colaborer? Circle one. Friendship Lordship Discipleship Leadership
D, What kind of actions can a discipler take to help a colaborer at this stage of spiritual development?
E, List at least one person you know who seems to be a colaborer.
F. Look back at the chart on page 1814 of the Disciple's Study Bible. Flip back through this lesson and read again the descriptions of the five stages of spiritual development as needed. As you read, try to identify the highest stage to which you have developed spiritually. Then write that stage on the line below.
Responsibilities of a Disciple/Discipler Now consider the role you have in helping other disciples grow in Christ. You should be able to help others develop in those stages through which you have already grown, For instance, if you are a spiritual babe you should be able to witness to an unbeliever. If you are in the spiritual disciple stage you should be able to help unbelievers come to Christ and help spiritual babes to grow and so forth. • Read the remainder of the article on "Stages in Spiritual Growth" (DSB pp. 1816-17; points 2, 3, and 4). Pay close attention to the guidelines described in point 3.
Here is a diagram that may help you visually organize the stages of spiritual growth you have just studied.
DISCIPLER'S ROLE S ...-_W_ltn_e_s_s_"Y. __
1 Cor. 1:18 1 Cor.2:1·5
S_e_rv_a .... n_t.....,.,......_s_t_ew_ar_d_..,.__
1 Cor. 3:5-6 I Cor.4:! I Cor. 3: 10·16
S P 0
B I l I T Y
3 4 6 7 8 9 10
i 5 VI z
t *~~ ~~ . ~m~ ~£ ej
~ til01111' Ie' <
.-m-' '--.-.-.' u
Work through only the sections below that relate to the stages of spiritual growth through which you have already come, For instance, if you see yourself as a spiritual disciple. you would work through sections 1, 2, and 3. Leave blank the stages that you have not reached.' Read the Scripture verses identified with each stage below. Then describe ways you can minister to persons in each stage. You may want to look back at the "D" activity for each of the five stages. In those activities you listed actions you could take to help a person at each stage.
1. Unbelievers. Read 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 23-25; 2:1-5, 14-16. Ways I can minister to unbelievers:
2. Spiritual Babes. Read 1 Corinthians 3:2; 4:15-17j 1 Thessalonians 2:11. Ways I can minister to spiritual babes:
3. Spiritual Disciples. Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-8j Matthew 28:18-20. Ways I can minister to
4. Multiplying Leaders. Read 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 3:10-16; 4:1-2. Ways I can minister to multiplying leaders:
5. Colaborers. Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-6; 4:6, 14-17. Ways I can minister to colaborers:
Christ is saying to me t~day:
DA Y 5: HELPING OTHERS GROW
Learning Objective: You can demonstrate your commitment to the church as God's instrument for meeting the growth needs of persons by practicing and engaging in a ministry action to lead a person to Christ or to help a Christian grow spiritually.
What stage of spiritual growth did you identify for yourself yesterday? Circle it. Unbeliever Spiritual Babe Spiritual Disciple Multiplying Leader Colaborer Now look back through the activities of days 3 and 4. List below the persons you identified (in activity E) who appear to be at the various stages of spiritual development. List only those in the stages up to and including the one you identified for yourself. You may list other persons in each stage that might be receptive to your helping them grow and develop to the next stage.
Spiritual Babe: __ ~_~ ~ ~ __ ~ ~~
3. Spiritual Disciple: ~~~~ 4. Multiplying Leader: 5. Colaborer:
For today's assignment you will select at least one ministry action you can perform that will help another person grow spiritually. The Life Helps section of the Disciple's Study Bible contains many guides for you to use in helping others grow spiritually. You have already experienced several of these in your study of Lifetluide to Discipleship and Doctrine. • Read through the following lists. As you do, look for a possible ministry action you can
perform for one of the persons you listed above. Underline those ideas that appeal to you. Write the name(s) of the guides you choose to use. You only need to read through the stages up to and including the stage at which you rated your own development. Open your Disciple' Study Bible to LIFE HELPS table of contents on pages 1742-43. Use it as an easy reference for the guides mentioned below. Examine the guides you want to consider using. 1. Unbelievers • Use "How to Accept Christ" (DSB p. 1745) to present the gospel. CD Use one of the guides listed under "Discipline of Witnessing" (DSB pp. 1786-93) to present the gospel. • Use one of the guides listed under the "Ministry of Evangelism and Missions" (DSB pp, 1831-7) to develop or participate in an evangelistic outreach effort. • What guide or guides do you want to consider using, if any?
2. Spiritual Babes • Use "Welcome to God's Family" (DSB p. 1747) to help a new Christian get off to a good start. ~ • Use "Life in Christ: The Disciple's Cross" (DSB p. 1748) to help a person learn ways to abide in Christ. o Use one of the guides listed under "Ministry of Nurture" (DSB pp. 1812-22) to provide spiritual counsel. .. Use any of the guides listed under "Disciplines of Discipleship" as needed. • What guide or guides do you want to consider using, if any?
• • • • • •
Spiritual Disciples Use "Personal Spiritual Inventory" (DSB p, 1751) to help a person evaluate his or her spiritual growth and to see where further growth is needed. Use any appropriate guide listed under "DISCIPLINES OF DISCIPLESHIP" (DSB pp. 175393) to help a person improve that specific discipline in his or her life. Use "Knowing and Experiencing the Will of God" (DSB p. 1794) to help a person develop an intimate relationship to God and become involved in His kingdom business. Use "Guide to Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts" to help a person discover his or her spiritual gifts. Use "Guide to Counseling for Laity" to provide a ministry of service to a person with an emotional need. What guide or guides do you want to consider using, if any?
4. Multiplying Leaders Use any of the guides in the Life Helps section to train leaders to minister to those with whom they work. You should have already identified ideas in "Stages in Spiritual Growth." • What guide or guides do you want to consider using, if any?
5. Colaborers: • Explore all the materials in the Disciple's Study Bible for resources for encouraging
colaborers. Usually there is not much direct teaching or discipUng between colaborers, but there is mutual sharing. Most of the time the help comes directly out of sharing your own experiences in disciplines and ministries, Scan the lists of ministry actions you made at the end of day 4 (p. 139). Draw a star beside any of those that appeal to you as possible ministry actions. *********** Now select one ministry action from all the ones you have identified. Write that ministry action below.
Read or scan the materials related to the ministry action you just identified. As you read, take notes on separate paper about how to minister to a person using the guide. *********** Prepare to practice this ministry action with a group member in the next group session. In groups of two you will practice using the materials to aid the spiritual growth of your partner. In this way you will be preparing to advance the cause of Christ and the church by applying the things you are learning to the needs of persons in particular stages, For instance, if you wanted to help nurture a new Christian, you could read to him Welcome to God's Family. If you want to help a person become a spiritual disciple you could choose a guide in any discipline the person needs. For example, you could choose "Meditating on the Word" (DSB p. 1755-6), Ministry Check-up, Look on the back cover of LifeGuide at the column of ministry actions, Review the list of invitations to ministry for units 1-8, Continue to watch for opportunities to minister to others as you go about your day-to-day activities. ~IFE GUIDE-What Christ is saying to me today:
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