Tag: Bible Study

Africa Study Bible

Africa Study Bible

 

It is my great honor to have a copy of the Africa Study Bible to review; I am even more grateful that Tyndale provided it free of charge in exchange for an honest review. To serve side by side with Tyndale and Oasis International is a gift I would never have imagined. To see what God is doing through the Africa Study Bible is mind boggling.

 

Bible Information:

Tyndale tells us: The Africa Study Bible brings together 350 contributors from over 50 countries, providing a unique African perspective. It’s an all-in-one course in biblical content, theology, history, and culture, with special attention to the African context. Each feature was planned by African leaders to help readers grow strong in Jesus Christ by providing understanding and instruction on how to live a good and righteous life:

  • Over 2400 notes explain the Bible, inspire readers to apply truth to everyday life, teach Christian values and doctrine, and more.
  • “Touchpoints” and “Proverbs and Stories” give African perspective on the Bible and also show parallels with African wisdom.
  • A narrative timeline highlights God’s work in Africa.

There are over 1.3 million African immigrants in the US and an additional half million African born people living in the UK.

Translation The Africa Study Bible is available in the New Living Translation (NLT) and I cannot imagine a wiser choice. NLT almost feels like it was designed for those who have English as a secondary language. The word choices are simple yet accurate. Some feel like the English you find in the NLT detracts from the reverence due the Bible. I could not disagree more. Time after time, I see people have an “I get it now” reaction when they hear the Bible read in the NLT and to its detractors I say, “How can you not be moved to worship when someone finally understands the Bible.”

There are approximately 2000 languages/dialects on the African Continent giving our brothers over there a very unique and full flavored faith experience. English, however, has the potential to be a uniting language for Africa as there are slightly more than 500,000,000 English Speakers making it the second most spoken language in the world. NLT, with English so simple that a small child can be conversant, is the natural choice for a Bible for all of Africa.

 

Why Africa is Important to Christianity: In a sense, Christian History is African History. Christianity stems from the portion of the world where Africa and Asia intersect. According to Church History, Mark the Evangelist (the same Mark who penned the Gospel According to Mark) became the leader of the Church in Alexandria in 43 A.D. Further, In the first few centuries of our faith, African Christian leaders such as Origen, Lactantius, Augustine, Tertullian, Marius Victorinus, Pachomius, Didymus the Blind, Ticonius, Cyprian, Athanasius and Cyril led the church with responses to Gnosticism, Arianism, Montanism, Marcionism, Pelagianism and Manichaeism, and the idea of the University. It is legitimate to say that without the African Fathers, there would not be Christianity. So it is fitting to honor the land that so vibrantly defined and defended our faith with a Bible that speaks to its unique culture and ministry needs.

 

Helps Some of the helps are fairly standard for a study Bible and some are fairly unique.

Center-column References Scripture interprets Scripture and in the Africa Study Bible you get around 40,000 references. This is, without doubt, the most important of the helps as it will be used by virtually every user of the Bible to help you follow the message of Redemptive History

Introductions The Introductions include two unique sections that I absolutely love, Overview and Story and What this Book Teaches Us. It is entirely possible that many users of the Africa Study Bible will be first time Bible users and these 2 sections within the introduction provide both a “big-picture” understanding of Scripture and the main lessons that one should be able to take away from study.

Application Notes As the name suggests, application notes are bite sized examples of how to apply the Scripture to life in general and African life in particular.

Proverbs and Stories Proverbs and stories share the wisdom of the Elders and the Ancients and illustrate how these pearls of wisdom are drawn on Scriptural Truth.

Articles and Learn Notes Here, we find the materials that help us go deeper into our doctrine and theology.

Africa Touch Points These are notes that highlight Scripture References with a special connection to Africa, especially the African Church Fathers

 

Overall Impression When I first began using the Africa Study Bible, I was overcome with emotion. I had no idea how much influence Africa has had over Christianity and I was amazed at the wisdom I had found inside. Many of the proverbs felt like sitting at the feet of the Church Fathers and learning directly from them.

Endorsement

I would encourage every pastor that I know to buy two of the Africa Study Bible, keep one for their use and give the other to a pastor in Africa. I endorse this Bible with a 9.9 rating (I wish it had wide margins.)

Special Note: A number of this site’s readers are who I refer to as “the Faithful Brethren in Africa,” men and women who have touched my heart in ways they will not know this side of Heaven. To be permitted to serve these men and women is one of the greatest treasures that God has permitted me to enjoy. Now to have a tool like this, so I may better understand our Faithful Brethren, I really have no words adequate to express my gratitude and joy. My hope, and my prayer, for the Africa Study Bible and her publishing partners is this: “May the glories of Christ spread across Africa as the sun parts the sky and above all, may Christ be glorified in the reading.”

Beatitudes: A Life Hidden in Christ

Beatitudes: A Life Hidden in Christ

Background and Introductory Remarks

The Sermon on the Mount is most likely a collection of Jesus’ sermons and not a single sermon. (Word Biblical Commentary). I want to say that I disagree with the commentator; I think the Sermon on the Mount is more of a Matthean example of the most common sermon/type of sermon that Jesus preached. 

The righteousness of the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) expounded in the sermon is presented as being in continuity with the righteousness of the ot law (5:17–19), yet also as surpassing it. In the Beatitudes, we see Jesus lead off with what a life that pleases God looks like; I call it a life hidden in Christ.

5:1–7:28 (NISB) These chapters comprise the Sermon on the Mount, the first of five collections (chaps. 10; 13; 18; 24–25) of Jesus’ teaching or revelation of God’s will. These thematic discourses instruct disciples, shaping their identity and lifestyle. The Sermon begins with blessings and sayings (5:3-16). Its middle section comprises six interpretations of scripture (5:17-48), instruction on three distinctive discipleship practices (6:1-18), and teaching on social and economic practices (6:19–7:12). The sermon closes with scenes of eschatological destiny (7:13-27). More than providing information about God’s will and motivating disciples to do it, the sermon offers visions of God’s empire. It sketches life in an alternative community marked by justice, transformed social relationships, practices of piety, and shared and accessible resources.

Main Sermon:

Word Wealth: makarios (Matt. 5:3; Luke 10:23; Acts 26:2; 1 Tim. 1:11) G3107. Strong tells us that it means to be blessed/happy/large/filled-up and/or content. Thayer points out that makarios is frequently paired with God’s name. Makarios, then, is most commonly used for blessedness or the enjoyment of favor from God.

I want you to understand that makarios can mean happy, and that is often the case, but it does not always guarantee your happiness. You may be in the midst of persecution but God is shepherding you through it, in which case, you are still blessed even if you are not, in the moment, happy.

Here, in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus both reinterprets the old law and offers a new law, recalling the revelation of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai (see Ex 19–24).

Since Matthew introduces the Sermon on the Mount by highlighting the connection between Jesus and Moses, the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12) should probably be read against the backdrop of Moses’ teachings. The only time the adjective “Blessed” was used by Moses was in his blessing on Israel (Deuteronomy 33:29): “How happy you are, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is the shield that protects you, the sword you boast in. Your enemies will cringe before you, and you will tread on their backs.” Israel’s blessing had both a historical and future focus. “Saved by the Lord” referred to Israel’s exodus from Egypt. The remainder of the blessing assured the Israelites of success in their conquest of the promised land. Against this backdrop, the blessings of the new Moses (Jesus, the one Moses prophesied as being greater than him {see Deuteronomy 18:15}) identify Jesus’ disciples as the new Israel who will enjoy a new exodus and conquest. The new Moses is a spiritual deliverer rather than a political one, and His promises must be understood in that light. In the Beatitudes, the new Moses pronounces spiritual salvation (exodus from slavery to sin) and promises spiritual victory (conquest and inheritance of a new promised land) to the new Israel. This background is confirmed by the allusion to Israel’s exodus and conquest in the promise that the meek will “inherit the earth” (5:5).

In the OT, the poor were those who cried out for God’s help, depended entirely on Him for their needs, had a humble and contrite spirit, experienced His deliverance, and enjoyed His undeserved favor (Psalm 86:1-5). In light of this background, Jesus was describing His disciples as unworthy sinners who depend on God’s grace for salvation. Although the promises in Matthew 5:4-9 are expressed in the future tense, the affirmation the kingdom of heaven is theirs is in the present tense (5:3,10). This suggests that the kingdom had already arrived through the coming of Jesus but that the fulfillment of many kingdom promises will occur only in the future. This future fulfillment awaits Christ’s second coming. The statement “the kingdom of heaven is theirs” appears at the beginning and end of the main body of the Beatitudes (5:3,10). This bracketing device suggests that the Beatitudes constitute promises only to those who belong to the kingdom. Isaiah 61:1 promised that Messiah would bring good news to the poor. This beatitude serves as a fulfillment of that prophecy (Luke 4:16-21).

In the case of the Beatitudes, blessed (Psalm 1:1) are…

  • poor in spirit
  • those who mourn
  • those who are humble (meek/gentle)
  • those who hunger and thirst for justice/righteousness
  • those who are merciful
  • those whose hearts are pure
  • those who work for peace
  • those who are persecuted
  • when people mock, persecute and lie about you because of Jesus

 

If you look, closely, you will see that they build upon one another. We will circle back in a minute to look at each one after we talk a little about their progression…The poor in spirit recognize their total dependence upon God for any hope of Heaven and because of that, they mourn over sin, not just their own but the fact that all sin separates from the goodness of God and richness of fellowship with him. They are not consumed with pride because they have recognized their dependence upon God. In longing for more fellowship with Him, they hunger and thirst (a picture of total desire) for God’s justice and righteousness to fill the earth. A life hidden in Christ leads to mercy, we do not give others what they deserve just as we are not given our just desserts. We become pure of heart in not having any guile but a sincere desire for more of God and in that desire we work toward peace with God. As a consequence, the unsaved world will persecute us; such persecution will result, among other things, in being mocked and lied about because of Christ.

So why bother? At the risk of sounding cliché, we bother because we will spend eternity in Heaven with the One in whom our souls delight. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Shall we circle back and look at those beatitudes?

poor in spirit This first beatitude recalls Isaiah 66:2, “For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word. (NKJV)”

The poor in spirit recognize that they have no spiritual “assets.” They know they are spiritually bankrupt. We might say that the ancient Greek had a word for the “working poor” and a word for the “truly poor.” Jesus used the word for the truly poor here. It indicates someone who must beg for whatever they have or get. (Guzik)

We learn from Calvin: “Many are pressed down by distresses, and yet continue to swell inwardly with pride and cruelty. But Christ pronounces those to be happy who, chastened and subdued by afflictions, submit themselves wholly to God, and, with inward humility, betake themselves to him for protection. Others explain the poor in spirit to be those who claim nothing for themselves, and are even so completely emptied of confidence in the flesh, that they acknowledge their poverty. But as the words of Luke and those of Matthew must have the same meaning, there can be no doubt that the appellation poor is here given to those who are pressed and afflicted by adversity. The only difference is, that Matthew, by adding an epithet, confines the happiness to those only who, under the discipline of the cross, have learned to be humble.”

We further learn, from Chuck Smith: “First of all, he’s not talking about physical poverty, poor in spirit. This is in opposition to being proud, and this is always the inevitable consequence of a man coming into a personal, real confrontation with God. If you have come into a true confirmation of God in your own life, the result immediately always is that of poverty of spirit. You see a person who is proud and haughty, he is a man who has not had a true encounter with God.

In Isaiah chapter six, upon the death of the popular king Uzziah, when the throne of Israel has been emptied of this great popular monarch, Isaiah writes, “And in the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on the throne, high and lifted up, and his train did fill the temple…Then said I, woe is me! For I am undone; and I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips:” (Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah 6:5). That’s always the result of a man seeing God in truth. “Woe is me! I am undone”.

Daniel, when he saw the Lord said, “My beauty was turned into corruption” (Daniel 10:8). When Peter had his confrontation he said, “Depart from me; for Lo, I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). The man who truly sees God sees himself in truth.”

Of all the traits a Christian should have, it is poverty of spirit that is the most difficult for us. Why? Because we wish to aggrandize self, to be more than what we are, and to think that we bring something to the table for our salvation. Friend, Jonathan Edwards said it best, you contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary. All the self esteem and self worth you could ever need is found at the cross where God, Himself, took away your filthiness and gave you Christ’s righteousness so you can have a relationship with Him

Exactly what is being poor in spirit? I heard an excellent sermon from John Piper on this concept and in my notes I have:

  • It is a sense of powerlessness in ourselves.
  • It is a sense of spiritual bankruptcy and helplessness before God.
  • It is a sense of moral uncleanness before God.
  • It is a sense of personal unworthiness before God.
  • It is a sense that if there is to be any life or joy or usefulness, it will have to be all of God and all of grace.

In short, poverty of spirit says, “God I know I do not deserve anything from your hand but I come to you ready to accept anything you choose to give and I come ready to do anything I can to please you.”

In the hymn Rock of Ages, we find the perfect embodiment of being poor in spirit. The hymn says, “In my hand no price I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” That, beloved, is what it means to be poor in spirit; it is not simply humility but it is the acknowledgement that everything we have, every single good thing that we possess, is a generous gift from the hand of God the Father, who delights in giving good gifts to His children.

those who mourn This is not a simple weeping or a general sadness.  “The Greek word for to mourn, used here, is the strongest word for mourning in the Greek language. It is the word which is used for mourning for the dead, for the passionate lament for one who was loved.” (Barclay). The connotation is a deep guttural wail. The poor in spirit have realized what sin does to our relationship with God and so there is weeping, not just over our own sin but a wailing over the fact that the wicked, who, will not turn, must in the end be consumed buy their wickedness and given over to judgment.

those who are humble (meek/gentle) Before we consider this trait we need to realize that blessed are the meek is the best translation. “Blessed are the meek: It is impossible to translate this ancient Greek word praus (meek) with just one English word. It has the idea of the proper balance between anger and indifference, of a powerful personality properly controlled, and of humility. In the vocabulary of the ancient Greek language, the meek person was not passive or easily pushed around. The main idea behind the word “meek” was strength under control, like a strong stallion that was trained to do the job instead of running wild.” (Guzik)

F.F Bruce points out that the meek are the men who suffer wrong without bitterness or desire for revenge. This is also a very hard personality trait to have since to be meek means to show willingness to submit and work under proper authority. Meekness means I give up my rights and privileges.

Let’s consider this thought from the great commentator, Adam Clarke “Our word meek comes from the old Anglo-Saxon meca, or meccea, a companion or equal, because he who is of a meek or gentle spirit, is ever ready to associate with the meanest of those who fear God, feeling himself superior to none; and well knowing that he has nothing of spiritual or temporal good but what he has received from the mere bounty of God, having never deserved any favour from his hand.”

those who hunger and thirst for justice/righteousness As we hide our lives in Christ, we become consumed by a hunger for His justice and righteousness to work through us. Do not kid yourself into thinking that this is a simple hungering. No this is a hunger that cannot be satisfied until Christ comes.

  • This passion isreal, just like hunger and thirst are real.
  • This passion isnatural, just like hunger and thirst are natural in a healthy person.
  • This passion isintense, just like hunger and thirst can be.
  • This passion can bepainful, just like real hunger and thirst can cause pain.
  • This passion is adriving force, just like hunger and thirst can drive a man.
  • This passion is asign of health, just like hunger and thirst show health.

How does this hunger and thirst for righteousness express itself?

  • A longing to have a righteous nature.
  • A craving to be sanctified, to be made more holy.
  • A fervent desire to continue in God’s righteousness.
  • An insatiable desire to see righteousness promoted in the world.

 

those who are merciful Here we are talking about someone who has already received mercy. The merciful one will show it to those who are weaker and poorer.

  • The merciful one will always look for those who weep and mourn.
  • The merciful one will be forgiving to others, and always looking to restore broken relationships.
  • The merciful one will be merciful to the character of other people, and choose to think the best of them whenever possible.
  • The merciful one will not expect too much from others.
  • The merciful one will be compassionate to those who are outwardly sinful.
  • The merciful one will have a care for the souls of all men.

 

Having been shown mercy, a heart filled with the Holy Spirit will desire to give mercy to others. This is the outworking of the Spirit in our lives both to will and to do (Philippians 2:13)

Next we have the final two characteristics of a life hidden in Christ and the world’s reception of us.

those whose hearts are pure Church Father Origen understood this to be a reference to having a pure mind, as this fits best with the Greek understanding of the intellect. (Origen, De Principiis, 1:1:9, in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, 4:245.)

This concept of a pure heart denotes one who loves God with all his heart (Deut. 6:5), with an undivided loyalty, and whose inward nature corresponds with his outward profession (cf. Isa. 29:13). ‘Such is the generation of those who seek him’ (Ps. 24:6), and they receive the promise that they shall see God. This can only fully be realized in heaven, when ‘we shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2); then ‘we shall be like him’, and the longings of v. 6 will be finally satisfied. But in a lesser sense the vision of God is already the experience of his true lovers on earth, who persevere in his service ‘as seeing him who is invisible’ (Heb. 11:27).
–Tyndale New Testament Commentaries – Matthew.

 

those who work for peace (blessed are the peacemakers) In his exquisite commentary on Matthew, David Guzik tells us “This does not describe those who live in peace, but those who actually bring about peace, overcoming evil with good. One way we accomplish this is through spreading the gospel, because God has entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). In evangelism we make peace between man and the God whom they have rejected and offended.”

Truly, then, a peacemaker is one who works toward making peace not just between two rivals but ultimately, the true peacemaker seeks to make peace between God and the sinner. This is accomplished through helping the sinner to understand his sin and to understand what an offense sin is when considered by the Holy God. From there we take the sinner, now aware of his wickedness and what is due him, to the cross; it is from the cross that the sinner approaches God’s Throne of Grace and receives reconciliation between himself and his God. Once reconciled and no longer God’s enemies, the repentant now is adopted as a son since he is no more an outsider.

Now, having laid out what life in the Kingdom of Heaven looks like, Jesus takes us to the reception that we can expect from the world and those who are outside the Kingdom…

 

Blessed are those who are persecuted when people mock, persecute and lie about you because of Jesus The world hates Christ and you can be sure that they will hate us too. If you watch any television, these days, you will see that we are portrayed as aberrant, sometimes as simple minded fools, sometimes outright lies are made up about us and our values.

 

Early Christians heard many enemies say all kinds of evil against them falsely for Jesus’ sake. The 1st generations of Christians were accused of:

  • Cannibalism, because of gross and deliberate misrepresentation of the practice of the Lord’s Supper.
  • Immorality, because of gross deliberate misrepresentation of weekly “Love Feast” and their private meetings.
  • Revolutionary fanaticism, because they believed that Jesus would return and bring an apocalyptic end to history.
  • Splitting families, because when one marriage partner or parent became a Christian there was often change and division in the family.
  • Treason, because they would not honor the Roman gods and participate in emperor worship.

Even today, there are those who believe they are doing a righteous work by killing Christians. For example, ISIS believed in beheading Christians, they were earning a place in Heaven and rewards from God. How many Christians have we seen dragged into court because they refused to engage in business practices that violated their conscience but the world demanded thes practices any way.

I could go on about persecution ad nauseum but I would leave you with this thought on the matter: John 16:33b, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So what do I do about this? Beloved, having now understood what life in the Kingdom of Heaven looks like, it should be our sincere desire to see the traits laid out in the beatitudes cultivated in our lives. These character traits are a gift from God and also an answer to prayer. As we earnestly desire to be more like Christ, we will see these traits manifest more and more in our lives.

Do not be discouraged when trials come. Instead, have the mindset that James, the Lord’s brother encouraged– Count it as a blessing when trials and persecutions come because it means that our faith is being perfected. We will not always get to know what God is doing but when we look back over the most challenging times in our lives, we can see that God is working everything together to conform us to the image of His Son. The ultimate result of such confirmation will be the day when we are resurrected and glorified with bodies suitable for Heaven and prepared to enjoy the majesty of our Savior into the ages of ages.

 

NLT Christian Basics Bible Review

NLT Christian Basics Bible Review

 

 

NLT Christian Basics Bible Review

As I am preparing to step into a Senior Pastor role, I find myself looking at resources for the disciples who come to church and today I would like to introduce you to one of the two Bibles newly saved disciples will be offered, the NLT Christian Basics Bible. (Disclaimer: unlike other review Bibles, this was not sent by Tyndale nor was a review solicited; this is completely on my own.)

First, some information from the publisher:

New to the Bible? The Christian Basics Bible is for you! It can be difficult for readers who are new to Scripture to explore the Bible’s teachings and to understand how Christian beliefs are established in its pages. The Christian Basics Bible is filled with features designed to help readers-especially those new to the Bible-connect biblical teachings to Christian beliefs and to see how those beliefs apply to their lives. By delivering the right amount of both information and application, the Christian Basics Bible can become the catalyst that helps you to live a vibrant Christian life guided by God’s Word.

Product Information

Format: Imitation Leather
Number of Pages: 1700
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 1496413571
ISBN-13: 9781496413574
References: Cross References

Initial Thoughts:

I was rather surprised with the Christian Basics Bible; my original expectation was something geared more toward teens or perhaps children and I was not expecting much theology. I half expected the Christian Basics Bible would just call out the major stories that most people would already be familiar with. Instead, you actually get Theology, and good Theology at that.

Translation Choice:

The editors chose the NLT and they could not have made a better choice. The NLT is translated using English at an early middle school level, approximately 6th-7th grades. The “Meaning Based” or “Thought-for-Thought” approach is what gives NLT its broad appeal; if you did not know it, outside the United States, NLT is in a statistical tie with the NIV for the dominant English Translation and I find that it is perfect for someone who has English as a second language.

Front Matter:

First up, we are given a Read This First Article. This article is a brief overview of the Christian Basics Bible and a guide to using it.

Becoming a Christian

This article provides a guide to how to become a Christian and begin a life of discipleship. The article discusses the need for a savior, the need to repent, and how to do so. There is a sample prayer provided to help the new disciple in confessing sin and yielding to the Lordship of Christ.

Now That You Are a Christian

Following on the Becoming a Christian article, this article guides new disciples through the beginning stages of the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus. The article references several topical articles located throughout the Bible that will provide guidance in starting that relationship.

What is the Bible

This is the longest of the three articles. It covers Bible history, the major sections of the Bible, and the languages of the Bible. The article also covers the overall message of the Bible as well as its priority in the life of a believer.

A Timeline of the Bible

This is an estimated chronology of when the events in the Bible happened. It is fairly self explanatory.

Main Study Helps

Book Introductions

Like any good study Bible, each book comes with its own introduction. Each introduction has a 1-paragraph summary of the book. The What’s It All About section provides an overview of the book and where it fits in the overarching story of redemption. The What Does It Mean for Us section gives us a glimpse of how the truths of each book applies to our lives today. Lastly, the Overview Section provides a brief outline of the book.

Topical Articles

Interspersed throughout the Bible are topical articles related to what it means to be a Christian. Each article concludes with a reference to another article that is related to the topic being studied. Topical exegesis isn’t my favorite way to study the Bible but when you are trying to learn theology for the first time it is a very helpful way to begin.

Back Matter:

Reading Plans

Plan 1 takes 28 days and gives an introduction to the Bible. Plan 2 will take approximately 180 days and provides a panoramic picture of the Bible. There is not a Plan 3 but that isn’t a drawback. By the time a new disciple completes plans 1&2, there should be enough familiarity with the truth of Scripture to be able to decide what is desired to be studied next and select an appropriate study plan.

Basic Truths of the Christian Faith

At first glance, you would think this is a concordance, but you would be mistaken. This is a topical guide to the major subjects a Christian would be expected to deal with in their life. There is an introduction to the topic followed by an expository outline to the reader through the topic.

Glossary

There is a brief glossary which helps readers to understand the terms that Christians commonly use.

Visual Overview of the Bible

Lastly, there is a visual overview of the Bible. These are 14 full color maps and charts to help you visualize what you are reading about and make the Bible come alive.

Final Thoughts

This is not what I had expected and I am delighted by that fact. I have spent almost a month on reviewing the materials offered and I am well pleased. The theology is basic enough that a reader would have a solid foundation after following the 200 days of readings recommended in the reading plans but it will also provide a jumping in point for deeper discussion of theology.

This is one of two Bibles that we will be providing at Abounding Grace Baptist Church for those who are new disciples, the other being the Swindoll Study Bible and we will choose which one to give based on how much, if any, the new disciple already knows about the Bible. I highly recommend the NLT Christian Basics Bible.

 

 

Guided Tour of the Bible

Guided Tour of the Bible

Also from our friends at Zondervan, we have, here, a guided tour of the Bible…

If you click on the link below you will find a downloadable PDF to help you follow along.

Zondervan_-_180_Day_Guided_Tour

(Adapted fromt the NIV Student Bible. c.2002, 2011 by Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

The plan offers a kind of bird’s-eye-view.
The daily readings consist of 180 selected passages, including at least one chapter from each of the Bible’s 66 books. You can read both the chap- ter and its accompanying note in 15 minutes per day.

This “Guided Tour” is exactly that, a guide-as- sisted tour of the Bible’s high points. Such a plan is no substitute for mastering the whole Bible, of course, but it may help lower barriers and point the way down a path for further study. Think of it as an introductory tour through a great art muse- um. You won’t get to see every painting in the mu- seum, but you will learn the basic layout, and may also acquire a taste for art that will entice you to return again and again.

With a few exceptions, the Biblical material appears in rough chronological order. You will read the psalms attributed to David as you read about David’s life. You will read the prophets along with their background history. Portions from the Gospels, too, are interspersed, giving a composite picture of Jesus’ life on earth; and Paul’s letters are scattered throughout the record of his life. This arrangement should help convey the Bible’s “plot.”

 

The Plot Unveiled
Day 1. Genesis 1: A Book of Beginnings Day 2. Genesis 2: One Shining Moment Day 3. Genesis 3: The Crash Day 4. Genesis 4: Crouching at the Door Day 5. Genesis 7: Under Water Day 6. Genesis 8: The Rainbow Day 7. Genesis 15: The Plan Day 8. Genesis 19: A Catastrophe Sent from God Day 9. Genesis 22: Final Exam Day 10. Genesis 27: Jacob Gets the Blessing Day 11. Genesis 28: Something Undeserved Day 12. Genesis 37: Family Battles Day 13. Genesis 41: Behind the Scenes Day 14. Genesis 45: A Long Forgiveness
Birthing a Nation
Day 15. Exodus 3: Time for Action Day 16. Exodus 10–11: The Ten Plagues Day 17. Exodus 14: Miracle at the Red Sea Day 18. Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments Day 19. Exodus 32: The Dream Dies Day 20. Leviticus 26: Legal Matters Day 21. Numbers 11: Trials in the Desert Day 22. Numbers 14: Open Mutiny Day 23. Deuteronomy 4: Never Forget Day 24. Deuteronomy 8: Dangers of Success Day 25. Deuteronomy 28: Loud and Clear Day 26. Joshua 2: New Spies, New Spirit Day 27. Joshua 6: Strange Tactics Day 28. Joshua 7: Slow Learners Day 29. Joshua 24: Home at Last Day 30. Judges 6: Unlikely Leader Day 31. Judges 7: Military Upset Day 32. Judges 16: Superman’s Flaws Day 33. Ruth 1: Tough Love
The Golden Age
Day 34. 1 Samuel 3: Transition Team Day 35. 1 Samuel 16: Tale of Two Kings Day 36. Psalm 23: A Shepherd’s Song Day 37. 1 Samuel 17: Giant-Killer Day 38. Psalm 19: Outdoor Lessons Day 39. 1 Samuel 20: Jonathan’s Loyalty Day 40. Psalm 27: Ups and Downs Day 41. 2 Samuel 6: King of Passion Day 42. 1 Chronicles 17: God’s House Day 43. Psalm 103: The Goodness of God Day 44. 2 Samuel 11: Adultery and Murder Day 45. 2 Samuel 12: Caught in the Act Day 46. Psalm 51: True Confession Day 47. Psalm 139: David’s Spiritual Secret Day 48. 1 Kings 3: Raw Talent Day 49. 1 Kings 8: High-water Mark Day 50. Psalm 84: Home Sweet Home Day 51. Proverbs 4: Life Advice Day 52. Proverbs 10: One-liners Day 53. Proverbs on Words: Verbal Dynamite Day 54. Song of Songs 2: Love Story Day 55. Ecclesiastes 3: A Time for Everything

The Northern Kingdom
Day 56. 1 Kings 17: The Prophets Day 57. 1 Kings 18: Mountaintop Showdown Day 58. 2 Kings 5: Double Portion Day 59. Joel 2: Word Power Day 60. Jonah 3–4: Beloved Enemies Day 61. Amos 4: Street-Corner Prophet Day 62. Hosea 1, 3: Parable of Love Day 63. Hosea 11: Wounded Lover Day 64. 2 Kings 17: Postmortem
The Southern Kingdom
Day 65. 2 Chronicles 20: Meanwhile in Jerusalem Day 66. Micah 6: Pollution Spreads Day 67. 2 Chronicles 30: Hezekiah’s Festival Day 68. Isaiah 6: Power behind the Throne Day 69. Isaiah 25: Eloquent Hope Day 70. 2 Chronicles 32: Battlefield Lessons Day 71. Nahum 1: Enemy Justice Day 72. Zephaniah 3: Rotten Ruling Class Day 73. 2 Kings 22: Boy Wonder Day 74. Jeremiah 2: National Adultery Day 75. Jeremiah 15: Balky Prophet Day 76. Jeremiah 31: Israel’s Future Day 77. Jeremiah 38: A Prophet’s Perils Day 78. Habakkuk 1: Debating God Day 79. Lamentations 3: Poet In Shock Day 80. Obadiah: No Room to Gloat
Starting Over
Day 81. Ezekiel 1: In Exile Day 82. Ezekiel 2–3: Toughening Up Day 83. Ezekiel 4: Write Large and Shout Day 84. Ezekiel 37: Resurrection Time Day 85. Daniel 1: Enemy Employers Day 86. Daniel 3: Ordeal by Fire Day 87. Daniel 5: Like Father, Like Son Day 88. Daniel 6: Daniel’s Longest Night Day 89. Ezra 3: Home at Last Day 90. Haggai 1: A Needed Boost Day 91. Zechariah 8: Raising Sights Day 92. Nehemiah 2: A Man for All Seasons Day 93. Nehemiah 8: Mourning into Joy Day 94. Esther 4: A Race’s Survival Day 95. Malachi 2: Low-grade Disappointment
Cries of Pain
Day 96. Job 1–2: Is God Unfair? Day 97. Job 38: God Speaks to Job Day 98. Job 42: Happy Ending Day 99. Isaiah 40: Who’s in Charge? Day 100. Isaiah 52: The Suffering Servant Day 101. Isaiah 53: Wounded Healer Day 102. Isaiah 55: The End of It All
A Surprising Messiah
Day 103. Luke 1: One Final Hope Day 104. Luke 2: No Fear Day 105. Mark 1: Immediate Impact Day 106. Mark 2: Signal Fires of Opposition Day 107. John 3: Late-Night Rendezvous Day 108. Mark 3: Miracles and Magic Day 109. Mark 4: Hard Soil Day 110. Mark 5: Jesus and Illness Day 111. Matthew 5: Inflammatory Word Day 112. Matthew 6: Sermon on the Mount Day 113. Matthew 13: Kingdom Tales Day 114. Mark 6: Contrast in Power Day 115. Luke 16: Of Two Worlds Day 116. Luke 12: Jesus on Money Day 117. Luke 18: Underdogs

Responses to Jesus
Day 118. Luke 15: Master Storyteller Day 119. John 6: Food that Endures Day 120. Mark 7: Poles Apart Day 121. Matthew 18: Out of Bondage Day 122. John 10: No Secrets Day 123. Mark 8: Turning Point Day 124. Mark 9: Slow Learners Day 125. Luke 10: Mission Improbable Day 126. Mark 10: Servant Leadership Day 127. Mark 11: Opposition Heats Up Day 128. Mark 12: Baiting Jesus Day 129. Mark 13: A Day to Dread Day 130. Mark 14: A Scent of Doom
Final Days
Day 131. John 14: One Final Meal Together Day 132. John 15: Vital Link Day 133. John 16: Grief into Joy Day 134. John 17: Commissioning Day 135. Matthew 26: Appointment with Destiny Day 136. Matthew 27: No Justice Day 137. Mark 15: Removing the Barrier Day 138. Matthew 28: A Rumor of Life Day 139. John 20: The Rumor Spreads Day 140. Luke 24: The Final Link
The Word Spreads
Day 141. Acts 1: Departure Day 142. Acts 2: Explosion Day 143. Acts 5: Shock Waves Day 144. Acts 9: About-face Day 145. Galatians 3: Legalism Day 146. Acts 16: Detour Day 147. Philippians 2: Downward Mobility Day 148. Acts 17: Mixed Results Day 149. 1 Thessalonians 3–4: Preparing for the End Day 150. 2 Thessalonians 2: Rumor Control Day 151. 1 Corinthians 13: The Love Chapter Day 152. 1 Corinthians 15: The Last Enemy Day 153. 2 Corinthians 4: Baked Dirt Day 154. 2 Corinthians 12: Boasting of Weakness
Paul’s Legacy
Day 155. Romans 3: Remedy Day 156. Romans 7: Limits of the Law Day 157. Romans 8: Spirit Life Day 158. Romans 12: When Christians Disagree Day 159. Acts 26: Unexpected Passage Day 160. Acts 27: Perfect Storm Day 161. Acts 28: Rome at Last Day 162. Ephesians 2: Prison Letter Day 163. Ephesians 3: Success Story Day 164. Colossians 1: Spanning the Gap Day 165. Philemon: A Personal Favor Day 166. Titus 2: Paul’s Troubleshooter Day 167. 1 Timothy 1: Growth Pains Day 168. 2 Timothy 2: Final Words
Vital Letters
Day 169. Hebrews 2: The Great Descent Day 170. Hebrews 11: What Is True Faith? Day 171. Hebrews 12: Marathon Race Day 172. James 1: Walk the Talk Day 173. 1 Peter 1: Converted Coward Day 174. 2 Peter 1: Hidden Dangers Day 175. Jude: Sounding the Alarm Day 176. 1 John 3: Merest Christianity Day 177. 2 and 3 John: Pesky Deceivers Day 178. Revelation 1: The Final Word Day 179. Revelation 12: Another Side of History Day 180. Revelation 21: An End and a Beginning

 

Master Outline Seven: Rewards

Master Outline Seven: Rewards

Outline Seven: Rewards

REWARDS

 

There is a vast difference in the doctrine of salvation for the lost, and the doctrine of rewards for the saved.  Salvation is “the gift of God, not of works” (Eph. 2:8, 9).  Salvation is received by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:36). Rewards are according to the works of the believer (Matt. 16:27).

 

A most revealing Scripture concerning rewards is found in 1 Cor. 3:8 -15.

First, every believer will be rewarded “according to his own labor” (verse 8).  We do not labor for salvation.

Second, “we are God’s fellow workers” (verse 9) – not for salvation, but for rewards.

Third, the believer is to build on the Lord Jesus Christ, “for no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (verse 11)

Fourth, the believer has a choice of two kinds of building materials: “gold, silver, precious stones” – this is building with eternal materials; or “wood, hay, straw” – this is building with temporal materials (verse 12) (2 Cor. 4:18 )

 

The believer who builds on Christ with eternal materials, “gold, silver, precious stones,” shall receive a reward.  Those who build on Christ with temporal materials, “wood, hay, straw,” will receive no reward.  The works of “wood, hay, straw” will be destroyed at the “judgment seat of Christ,” and he believer will suffer loss – not the loss of salvation, but the loss of rewards.

 

In the first year of my ministry, I set at the bedside of a dying friend.  As we talked of his home going, tears filled his eyes. Being young in the Lord, I thought he was afraid to die, and attempted to speak words of encouragement to him.  He said, “I am not afraid to die; I am ashamed to die.” He went on to say that Christ was his Savior, but he had lived for self, and now had to meet the Lord Jesus Christ empty handed. His life loomed up before him as “wood, hay, straw.”  He was “saved so as by fire.”

 

Rewards are called “crowns” in the New Testament.

 

1       The Crown of Life (James 1:12)

2       The Crown Imperishable (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

3       The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess. 2:19,20)

4       The Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:5-8 )

5       The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:2-4)

 

1.                The Crown of Life (James 1:12): 12) Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

 

Notes:  This reward could be called the lover’s crown.  Upon examination of the above verse, we discover that the believer finds strength to overcome temptation and endure trials, through the love of God.  Paul said, “We also glory in tribulations.”  The question is, do we today glory in tribulations?  We can, only if the “love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:2-5). Without the love of God in the heart of the believer, trials can cause him to become bitter and critical and lose the “crown of life.”

 

All believers have eternal life (John 3:15, 16), but not all believers will be rewarded with the “crown of life.”  This crown will be given to those who are “faithful until death” (Rev 2:10). To receive the “crown of life” the believer must love the Lord more than his own life.  “For whoever desires to save his life (live for self) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s (live for Christ at all cost) will save it” (Mark 8:35).  This reward will be given to those who live for Christ, and endure temptations, in the power of the love of God (1 Cor 10:13).

 

2.              The Crown Imperishable (1 Cor 9:24-27):  24) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  25) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  26) Therefore I run thus: not with ncertainty.  Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  27) But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 

Notes: Paul makes use of the Greek games to illustrate the spiritual race of the believer.  They ran to win a “perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”  No young man could contend in the games unless he was a Greek citizen, born of Greek parents. No unsaved person can participate in the services of the Lord for rewards; only the born of God are eligible (John 3:3)

 

Just as the athlete must deny himself many gratifications of he body, so the believer must say “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection” or he will become “disqualified.”  He will not loose his salvation, but he will lose the “imperishable crown.”

 

The Greek games had hard and fast rules for all participants.  The New Testament contains the rules for believers who would enter the spiritual race to win the “imperishable crown.”

 

(1).      The believer must deny self of anything that would weigh him down and hold him back (Heb. 12:1)

(2).      The believer must keep his eyes fixed on Christ, and not look to the right or the left (Heb. 12:2)

(3).      The believer must find strength in the Lord (Eph. 6:10-18 )

(4).      The believer must place his all upon the altar of the Lord (Rom. 12:1, 2)

(5).      The believer must, by faith, refuse anything that would impede spiritual progress (Heb. 11:24-29)

 

Do not be spiritual spectator.  Enter the race and run to win the “imperishable crown.”

 

3.                 The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess. 2:19,20):  19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?  Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

 

Notes:  The “crown of rejoicing” is the soul winner’s crown.  The greatest work you are privileged to do for the Lord is to bring others to knowledge of Christ as personal Savior.  The degree of you joy in heaven will determined by the souls you have had a part in bringing to Christ.  Paul tells the Thessalonian believers that they are his “hope, or joy or crown of rejoicing” now and when Jesus comes.

 

(1).            It is wise to win souls to Christ (Prov. 11:30 OT)

(2).            It is a work against sin to win souls to Christ (James 5:20)

(3).            It is a cause for joy in heaven to win souls to Christ (Luke 15:20)

(4).            Every soul winner will shine as the stars forever (Dan. 12:3 OT)

 

How can you win souls to Christ:

         Witness with your life; live that others may see Christ in you (2 Cor. 3:2 and Gal. 2:20)

         Witness with your mouth, trusting the Holy Spirit to give power to the spoken word (2 Cor. 9:6)

         Witness with tithes and offerings that others may preach Christ, and you will have “fruit (reward) that abounds to your account” (Phil. 4:15 and 2 Cor. 9:6)

God has promised that your labor will not be in vain in the Lord (1Cor. 15:58).  The soul winner will not rejoice alone – all of heaven will rejoice with him when he receives the “crown of rejoicing” (John 4:36)

 

4.            The Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:5-8):  5) But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  6) For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and my departure is at hand. 7) I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.  8 ) Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

 

Notes:  The “crown of righteousness” is a reward, and it is not to be confused with the “righteousness of God” which the believer receives when he becomes a Christian; for at that time, the believer is to “become the righteousness of God in Him” 2 Cor. 5:21).  This saving righteousness is a gift to be accepted by the lost.  The “crown of righteousness” is a reward to be earned by the saved.  If the believer looks for, and loves the doctrine of the second coming of Christ, it will affect his whole life.  Look at the dynamic impact this truth had on the life of the apostle Paul.  He could say:

 

(1)   “I have fought the good fight” (verse 7, also 1 Cor. 15:32).  He fought a spiritual battle throughout his Christian life, and won.  He never surrendered to the enemies of righteousness (Eph 6:12).

 

(2)   “I have finished the race.”  He had a race to run.  And he did not detour the hard places; neither did he look back (Luke 9:61, 62). He finished his race with his eyes fixed on Christ (Phil. 1:6)

 

(3)   “I have kept the faith.”  He preached the “whole counsel of God” – never betraying any of the great doctrines (Acts 20:24-31). The apostle looked ahead to the “judgment seat of Christ” where the “crown of righteousness” will be given to those “who have loved His appearing.” How important it is for the believer to look with a heart of love for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that he may receive the “crown righteousness” (verse 8).

 

5.                The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:2-4):  4) and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive crown of glory that does not fade away.

 

Notes:  The “crown of glory” is a special reward for the faithful, obedient, God-called pastor.  He will receive this reward when the “Chief Shepherd appears.”  It is eternal; it “does not fade away.” Every believer may share in the pastor’s “crown of glory.”  He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward” (Matt. 10:41).  Support your faithful, God-called pastor by praying for him and encouraging him in the work of the Lord.  Under gird his ministry with God’s tithes and your offerings (Mal. 3:10 OT) giving freely of your time to the service of the Lord.  And God will reward you for supporting His chosen servant by allowing you to share in your pastor’s reward.  The pastor will earn this “crown of glory by:

 

(1)   Feeding the church.  He is to proclaim the Word of God without fear or favor; and, when necessary, he will “convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” 2 Tim. 4:2-5).

 

(2)   Taking spiritual oversight of the church.  The pastor is responsible to God for the message preached to his people.  No pastor should preach to please the people; he is to please this Lord (Gal. 1:10)

 

(3)   Being an example to the church.  He is not to serve for the reward of money.  Yet, the church is responsible to care for his every material need (1 Tim. 5:18).  He is the spiritual leader, and not a dictator. He is to walk with God by faith.  “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

Master Outline Number 6: Judgment

Master Outline Number 6: Judgment

Outline Six: Judgements

 

In the Scriptures, we are instructed to “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). This is most essential when studying the judgments. Do not endeavor to make all the judgments conform to the theory of one “general judgment.” The “general judgment” theory is the invention of religion, and is not taught in the Word of God. There are five separate judgments revealed in the Bible, and they differ as to time, place, and purpose. Yet, they all have one thing in common: the Lord Jesus Christ is the judge. (John 5:22)

 

Everyone – from Adam to the last man to be born on this earth – will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to be judged.

 

1)     In the first judgment, the sins of the believers have already been judged in Christ on the cross.

2)     In the second judgment, the believer is to judge self, or be judged and disciplined by the Lord Jesus.

3)     In the Third judgment, all believers must appear at the “judgment seat of Christ” where their works are to be judged.

4)     In the forth judgment, all nations are to be judged at the Second Coming of Christ.

5)     In the fifth judgment, the wicked dead are to be judged at the great white throne.

 

1        Judgment of the Believers Sin (John 5:24):  24) “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

 

Notes:  In the above verse, our Lord tells us that the believer “shall not come into judgment.” (Matthew 10:15) Our sins were judged in Christ on Calvary and every believer “has passed out of death into life.”

1)     This is present salvation. Christ paid for our sins. He was judged in the believer’s stead. The believer will not come into judgment because:

2)     Jesus Christ paid the penalty, and on the grounds of His substitutional death, the believer is separated from his sins forever (Psalm 103:12)

3)     The sins of believer have been “blotted out” and God has promised that He “will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25)

4)     Our Lord suffered for our sins, “the just for the unjust” that we might be saved and never come into judgment as sinners (1 Peter 3:18 )

 

The believer will never be condemned with the world, because Christ was condemned in his place. “For He has made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ was made a curse for us on the cross and “has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:26). The believer will not come into judgment because his sins have been purged (Hebrews 1:3).

 

2        Judgment of the Believers Self (1 Corinthians 11:31-32): 31) For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32) But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

 

Notes:  The judgment of the believer’s self is more than judging things in the believer’s life. When the believer judges self, the good and the bad in his life come to light; and he will confess the bad (1 John 1:9) and forsake it (Isaiah 55:7) However, it is not enough just to judge sin in the believer; he must judge self.

1)     To judge self is to practice self-abnegation, for when the believer sees self as God sees him, he will renounce self. It is replacing the self life with the Christ life (Colossians 3:4). Christ is the believer’s life.

2)     To judge self is to deny self. This is more than self-denial. Self-denial is denying one’s self of the gratifications of the flesh. If we practice self-denial only, it is treating the symptom and not the cause. But when we deny self, we are attacking the cause, for in self (that is, in the flesh) “nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18 ). To deny self is to take up our cross and follow Christ (Mark 8:34-38 ).

3)     To judge self is to lose the self life and find the Christ life (Galatians 2:20)

4)     To judge self is to no longer be self-conscious, but become Christ-Conscious (Matthew 28:20)

5)     To judge self is to no longer be self-controlled, but to become Christ controlled (Acts 9:6)

6)     To judge self is to no longer practice self-esteem, but to esteem others better than self (Philippians 2:3). To judge self is to become selfless.

 

3        Judgment of the Believers Works (2 Corinthians 5:10):  10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

 

 

Notes: The believer’s works will be judged at the “judgment seat of Christ.” The term, “judgment seat of Christ” is found only twice in the Bible; but it is referred to many times. It is found in the above verse; also Romans 14:10. A careful reading of both verses with the context reveals that only believers will appear at the “judgment seat of Christ.” Their works will be judged, not their sins, for we have already seen that the sins of the believer were judged in Christ on Calvary, and “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)

 

This judgment will take place “in the air,” following the first resurrection. “The dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 ). There will be a thousand years between the resurrection of the saved and the unsaved(Revelation 20:4-5), and there will be a thousand years between the “judgment seat of Christ” where only saved will appear and the “great white throne judgment” where only the unsaved will appear.

 

At the judgment seat of Christ, the believer will give an account of himself to God. Therefore we should look to our own works, and not judge the works of others (Romans 14:10-13).

 

It is a most humbling thought to know that some day the believer will face all of his works – “good or bad.” Some will be ashamed (1 John 2:28 ) and “suffer loss” – not the loss of salvation, but the loss of rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). So whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. (Colossians 3:17)

 

4        Judgment of Nations (Matthew 25:31-46) 31) “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  32) “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep form the goats.33) “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  34) “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35) “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  36) ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37) “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you drink?  38) “When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39)‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  40) “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly , I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.’  41) Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:42) ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43) ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’  44) “Then they also will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  45) “Then He will answer them, saying ;Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did not do it to one of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46) “And these things will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

Notes:  This judgment is not the judgment of the great white throne (Revelation 20:11-15). A careful comparison of the two judgments will establish the following facts:

The judgment of the nations will take place “when the Son of Man comes in His glory.….Then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” The great white throne is never called “the throne of his glory” (Revelation 20:11-15)

1)     At this judgment, He will judge the living nations (Joel 3:11-16). At the white throne judgment, he will judge the wicked dead.

2)     At this judgment, there will be no resurrection of the dead. At the great white throne, the entire wicked are raised: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them……..” (Revelation 20:13)

3)     At this judgment, the judge is God “The King” judging the living nations in His earthly kingdom. At the great white throne, the judge is God, judging only the wicked dead.

4)     At this judgment, there are no books opened. At the great white throne, the “books were opened.”

5)     At this judgment, there are three classes judged: “sheep” – the saved (Revelation 7:9-17); “goats” – The unsaved (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10); “tribes” – the elect of Israel (Revelation 7:1-8, Romans 11:25-28 ). At the great white throne, there is only one class: “the dead.”

6)     At this judgment, the King gives the kingdom to those who have eternal life. At the great white throne, there are no saved and no kingdom; they are all “cast into the lake of fire.

 

5        Outline 6.5: Judgment of the Wicked (Revelation 20:11-15):  11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.  And there was found no place for them.  12) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  13) The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.  And they were judged, each one according to his works.  14) Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

Notes: The great white throne judgment will follow the thousand year reign of Christ. This is the final judgment, and only the wicked dead are to be judged. According to (Revelation 20:5), the believers were resurrected a thousand years before this judgment, and their works were judged at the “judgment seat of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

1)     At this judgment, the wicked dead will seek a hiding place from the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, the judge. But there is no hiding place.

2)     At this judgment, the “dead, great and small” will stand before God. But the greatness of the great will be of no value. “There is none who does good, no, not one”(Romans 3:12)

3)     At this judgment, the “book of life” will be opened. Why the “book of life” if there are no saved at this Judgment? The wicked will be shown that God in His mercy provided space for them in the “book of life,” so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

4)     At this judgment, the dead will be judged “according to their works.” God is a just God; and since there are degrees of punishment in hell, some will be punished more than others (Luke 12:42 , 48 )

5)     At this judgment, there will be no acquittal, no higher court to which the lost may appeal. It is lost, and lost forever; it is damned to all eternity, and that without hope. There is a Hades (Luke 16:19-31) and in Hades, there is no hope, no sympathy, no love; even the love of God does not extend beyond the portals of Hades.

Master Outline Number 5: Sin

Master Outline Number 5: Sin

Outline Five: Sin

In considering the question of sin, we are faced with two startling facts. The first fact is that man makes so little of sin. To some, it is an illusion-a religious mirage-the invention of some fanatic. It is denied, joked about, and laughed at by man. Many, who believe sin to be a fact, continue in it with little thought of its penalty.

 

The second fact is that God makes so much of sin. God said, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). All sins are an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:16-19), and He hates those who work iniquity (Psalm 5:5). Moses said, “…All who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 25:16). Sin is an evil force. Its presence cannot be escaped in this life, but it can be overcome by the power of God.

 

1        The Origin of Sin (Jude 1:6): 6) And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their one abode, He has reserve in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

 

Notes:  The origin of sin is one of the mysteries of the Bible. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Its origin is one of the “secret things” that will remain wrapped in obscurity.

 

Sin was first noted in the heart of Satan. He was created a perfect being, “…till iniquity was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:11-19). Satan fell from perfection when he exerted his will above the will of God. Five times he said, “I will” (Isaiah 14:12-17). It was his will over God’s will – this is sin. It is believed that Satan, when first created, was the ruler of this earth (Genesis 1:1). , and that he fell through self-will; and at his fall, the earth “was without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2).

 

Isaiah tells us that God created the earth “not in vain”(Isaiah 45:18). “He did not create it a chaos.” The earth was a perfect creation in Genesis 1:1. Something happened that caused a catastrophe and the earth became “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2), but it was not created thus.

 

It is believed that some of the angels, along with Satan, sinned by leaving their first estate. This does not prove that Satan was the originator of sin, but it does reveal sin in the heart of Satan before God created man.

 

2        What is Sin (I John 3:4): 4) Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

 

Notes:  It is impossible to deny the existence of sin, when the whole world is in conflict between good and evil. If sin were not a fact, there would be no crime; we would not need jails or prisons. We would need no locks on our doors, or vaults for our valuables. To some, sin is being indiscreet; or it is a weakness of the flesh. To others, it is the absence from good. To the so-called scholar, sin is ignorance; and to the evolutionist, it is the nature of the beast. The latest theory is that sin is a disease to be treated by science, because man is not a sinner-he is only sick. To others, sin is a form of selfishness, but God declares that;

 

1)     Sin is lawlessness (I John 3:4)

2)     Sin is falling short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

3)     Sin is rebellion against God (Isaiah 1:2).

4)     Sin is unbelief; it makes God a Liar ( 1 John 5:10)

5)     Sin is going your own way, planning your life according to your own will, without seeking the will of God ( Isaiah 53:6)

6)     All unrighteousness is sin ( 1 John 5:17)

 

Sin is a folly to deceive you, a force to destroy you, and a fact to condemn you. Sin is a volitional act of disobedience against the revealed will of God.

 

3        How Sin Entered into the World (Romans 5:12):  12)Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned –

 

Notes:  “…by one man sin entered into the world.” The fall of man is found in Genesis 3:1-24 When Adam sinned, his seed became corruptible ( 1 Peter 1:23) Therefore, we are sinners, because we are born in sin ( Psalm 51:5) You do not have to teach children to be bad, but you do have to teach them to be good. You do not have to teach them to lie, but you do have to teach them to tell the truth.”  Therefore as by one man’s offense judgment came to all men resulting in condemnation” (Romans 5:18 ) According to the Word of God, all men are judged sinners; all are condemned already (John 3:18). “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23) Sin entered the world through our first parents in the Garden of Eden, and “all have sinned” because all are sinners.

 

Man sins by choice, because he is a sinner by nature. Therefore, the dominion sin has over you is according to the delight you have in it

 

4        The Results of Sin (Ephesians 2:1):  1) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

 

Notes:  “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) As a result of man’s sin, there are three deaths. Keep in mind that death does not annihilate; it only separates. In the Garden of Eden, it separated man from God Spiritually; this is spiritual death. In natural death, it separates the spirit and the soul from the body; this is physical death. In final death, it separates man from the mercy of God forever; this is eternal death.

1)     The wages of sin is spiritual death. Just as sin separated man from God spiritually and drove him from the presence of God out of the Garden, so sin will separate you from God ( Isaiah 59:1-2) The only way back to God is to confess your sins to Him ( 1 John 1:9) and forsake your sins ( Isaiah 55:7) that you may be restored to fellowship with God.

2)

3)     The wages of sin is physical death. Physical death is a result of sin. Death had no claim on man until man sinned. Now all die, because all are in sin. Death is universal; and, since we have a universal effect, we must have a universal cause, and that cause is universal sin. All men die-the good and the bad-the young and the old – and man will continue to die until death is destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ ( 1 Corinthians 15:26) and is swallowed up in victory ( 1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

4)     The wages of sin is eternal death. “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). This is eternal separation from the love of God (Revelation 20:14). Once the soul passes beyond the portals of Hades, he is lost and lost forever. He will continue to exist, but without hope. He is damned and damned to all eternity. Eternal death is eternal separation from God ( Luke 16:19-31)

 

5        Gods Remedy for Sin (2 Corinthians 5:21):  21) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

Notes:  Man, not willing to accept God’s remedy for his ruin, strives to bring about his own salvation by human means.

1)     He strives for self-righteousness, when he needs too be made the righteousness of God (Vs 21) (Isaiah 64:6)

2)     He strives to reform when he needs to regenerated (Titus 3:5)

3)     He strives to turn over a new leaf, when he needs a new life (John 10:10)

4)     He strives to be justified by the Law, when he needs to be justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16)

5)     He strives to clean up the old man, when he needs to be made a new man in Christ (Ephesians 4:24)

6)     He strives to be saved by good works, when he needs salvation by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9)

 

The only remedy for the ruin of man is the Son of God being made sin for us on the cross. The only way to receive this remedy is by faith in Him as personal Savior. (John 20:30-31)

Master Outline Number 4: The Holy Spirit

Master Outline Number 4: The Holy Spirit

Outline Four: The Holy Spirit

THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

The Holy Spirit is God, and is equal to the Father and the Son. He is God the Holy Spirit, and is distinct from the Father and the Son. In the Genesis account of creation, He is seen actively engaged in the work of creation, along with the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, He empowered men for service; but, when they were disobedient, He departed from them.

 

When David sinned, he prayed, “and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me”(Psalm 51:11).
In the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer, never leaving, filling and empowering him. A scriptural understanding of God the Holy Spirit will make you a better Christian and servant of God.

 

1        The Deity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4):  3) But Peter said, “Ananias, why has the Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4) “While it remained was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

 

Notes: In dealing with Ananias, Peter revealed the Holy Spirit’s Deity (Acts 5:3a). In this Scripture it is very clear that the Holy Spirit is God, and He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with the Father and Son.

 

1)     His deity is also set forth in that He possesses divine attributes:

a)     He is everywhere present in the universe (Psalm 139:7-10)

b)     He has all power (Luke 1:35)

c)     He has all knowledge (I Corinthians 2:10-11)

d)     He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14)

2)     His deity is revealed, His name is coupled in equality with the name of the Father and the Son.

a)     In the baptism of the believer (Matthew 28:19)

b)     In the apostolic benediction (II Corinthians 13:14)

3)     His deity is seen in relation to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

a)     Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)

b)     He was anointed by the Holy Spirit for service – Acts 10:38.

c)     He was led by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1)

d)     He was crucified in the power of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14)

e)     He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11)

f)       Jesus gave commandments to the apostles and the church through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2)

 

If Jesus needed to depend solely upon the Holy Spirit here on the earth, can we afford to do less?

 

2        The Emblems of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16):  16) John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you wit water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

Notes: It is difficult to impart truth by words. Frequently they reveal only a half-truth. The Bible used certain emblems when telling of the Holy Spirit, because they show more about Him. They are:

 

1)     Fire as an emblem (Luke 3:16). Fire speaks of His consuming, purifying power (Acts 2:3, Isaiah 6:1-7)

2)     Wind as an emblem. (John 3:8). Wind speaks of His depth in His mighty regenerating power.

3)     Water as an emblem. (John 7:37-39).

4)     Seal as an emblem (Ephesians 1:13) Seal speaks of His ownership; it is a finished, eternal transaction.

5)     Oil as an emblem (Acts 10:38 Oil speaks of His power to anoint for service.

6)     Dove as an emblem (Mark 1:10). The dove speaks of His gentle, tender, peaceful nature. We may know “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) only when fully surrendered to God.

 

3        Sins against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32):  31) “therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.  “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

 

Notes: This is a solemn study, because the Holy Spirit is God and can be sinned against by both the believer and the unbeliever. May He help you search your heart as you consider:

 

1)     The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This sin is committed by unbelievers. It is often called the “unpardonable sin.” It has no forgiveness. It was committed by the enemies of Jesus when they accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24) when Jesus cast them out by the “Spirit of God” (Matthew 12:28

2)     The sin of resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). This sin is committed by the unbeliever when rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

3)     The sin of grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-32). This sin is committed by believers. He is grieved by us unless He controls our lives to the glory of Jesus Christ.

4)     The sin of quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) This sin is committed by Christians when known sin is allowed to go unconfessed (1 John 1:9; Isaiah 59:1-2)

5)     The sin of lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11). The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was deception. They tried to mock God (Galatians 6:7) The Holy Spirit can be sinned against, He is God.

 

4        The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-14):  7)“Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  8 ) “And when He has come, He will convict toe world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment; 9) “of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10) “of rightness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11) “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  12) “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  13) “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but what ever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  14) “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you….”

 

Notes:  In instructing His disciples, regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “. . . for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will . . .”

 

1)     Convict men of the sin of unbelief (John 16:9)

2)     Convict men that Jesus is the righteousness of God(John 16:10; Romans 10:3-4)

3)     Convict men that the power of Satan has been broken(John 16:11)

4)     Regenerate the believer (John 3:5; Titus 3:5)

5)     Indwell the believer  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

6)     Seal the believer (Ephesians 1:13-14)

7)     Baptize the believer (Acts 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13)

8 )     Infill the believer (Ephesians 5:18 )

9)     Empower the believer (Acts 1:8 )

10) Lead the believer (Galatians 5:16-18 )

11) Administer spiritual gifts to the believer (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, to remain with the church until it is complete and presented to the Lord Jesus at His coming. Just as Jesus Christ finished the work He came to do in the flesh, so the Holy Spirit will finish the work He came to do in the church.

 

5        The Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23):  22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 22) gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.

 

Notes: “The Fruit of the Spirit is love.” Only as we live in love can we fulfill the will of God in our lives. The believer must become love-inspired, love-mastered, and love-driven (2 Corinthians 5:14). Without the fruit of the Spirit (love), we are just a religious noise (1 Corinthians 13:1).
The Fruit of the Spirit is love,” and it is manifested in joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control:

 

1)     Joy is love’s strength.

2)     Peace is love’s security.

3)     Longsuffering is love’s patience.

4)     Kindness is love’s conduct.

5)     Goodness is love’s character.

6)     Faithfulness is love’s confidence.

7)     Gentleness is love’s humility.

8 )     Selfcontrol is love’s victory.

 

Against such there is no law.” A Holy Spirit-controlled man needs no law to cause him to live a righteous life. The secret of a Spirit-controlled live is found in dedication to God (Romans 12:1-2)
Put your all on the altar, and the Holy Spirit will fill your heart with the love of God (Romans 5:5)

 

c. Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved

Master Outline Number Three: the Lord Jesus Christ

Master Outline Number Three: the Lord Jesus Christ

Outline Three: Jesus Christ

Christianity is unlike any other religion, because it is more than a religion–it is the story of the life of the Son of God. Christ is Christianity is Christ. He is the main subject of each book of the New Testament, and fulfills all the promises of God in the Old Testament. From His incarnation to His Second Coming (Revelation 17:14), He is the God-man, Christ Jesus in glory, exalted above all creatures, having “all power in heaven and in earth”. Matthew 28:18

During His earthly ministry, He claimed to be God in human flesh. He is what He claimed, or He is not. (Revelation 1:8). Before His claim can be denied, there are some things that must be accounted for:

  • • His virgin birth
  • • His holy, sinless life
  • • His many miracles
  • • His vicarious death
  • • His bodily resurrection

1        The Deity of Jesus Christ (John 1:1) 1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Notes: The deity of Jesus Christ, or His God nature, is established in the New Testament. Some of the facts are:

1)     He is called God by the apostle John (John 1:1)

2)     He is called God by the apostle Thomas (John 20:28).

3)     He is called God by God the Father (Hebrews 1:8).

4)     He claimed to be God in that He was with the Father before creation (John 17:5)

5)     He claimed to be God in that He was before Abraham. Abraham rejoiced to see My day…” (John 8:51-59)

6)     He received worship, and only God is to be worshipped(Matthew 14:33). Angels refused worship (Revelations 22:8, 9).  Man refused worship (Acts 10:25,26)

7)     He forgives sin (Mark 2:5-11). Only God can forgive sin.

8).     He is creator and maker of all things (Colossians 1:16)

9)     He is Sustainer of all things (Hebrews 1:3). Only God can control the universe.

10) He claimed to have “all authority … in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18).

11) He walked upon the blue waters of Galilee, commanded the winds and the waves, healed the sick, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cast out demons, made the lame to walk, turned water into wine, and fed five thousand with the lunch of a lad

2        The Humanity of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:3)  3)“concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,”

Notes: The Humanity of Jesus Christ is seen in His human parentage (Matthew 2:11)

1)     He developed as a normal human being (Luke 2:52)

2)     He was subject to all the sinless infirmities of the human nature:

         He hungered (Matthew 4:2)

         He was thirsty (John 19:28).

         He was weary (John 4:6)

         He wept (John 11:35)

         He was tempted (Hebrews 4:15)

Jesus is man, and yet He is more than man. He is not God and man, but the God-man. He is God in human flesh. His two natures are put together in such a way that the two natures become united in one person, having a single consciousness and will.

3        The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ – (Luke 1:26-35) 26) Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  28) And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”  29) But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.  30) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  31) “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  32) “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  33) “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  34) “Then Mary said to the angel “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  35) “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Notes:  The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is without duplicate in history. It was by virgin birth that God became man, one person but two natures: God nature and the nature of man-man without sin (Hebrews 4:15). The union of the two natures became the God-man Christ Jesus.

1)     The first hint of the virgin birth is found in (Genesis 3:15). The One to defeat Satan was to be born of “the seed” of the woman. This is a biological miracle: there is no “seed” of the woman. From this, we are to understand that One was to be born of a woman without a human father (Luke 1:34,35)

2)     Isaiah prophesied of the coming Christ (Isaiah 7:14).

3)     Isaiah prophesied of Christ (Isaiah 9:6, 7). This means that God gave His only begotten Son who was with Him from eternity, and the Child Jesus was born of a virgin. God gave His Son “unto us.”

4)     According to prophecy, He was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)

 

4        The Death of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:8).   And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Notes: The death of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 120 times in the New Testament and is spoken of many times by the prophets in the Old Testament.

1)     The death of Jesus Christ was Vicarious (Matthew 20:28). He was God’s substitute for sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21). On the cross, Christ was made sin for the sinner, the sinner is made righteous.

2)     The death of Jesus Christ was natural (John 19:31-37). By a natural death, we mean that His spirit and soul were separated from His body.

3)     The death of Jesus Christ was unnatural (Romans 6:23). By an unnatural death, we mean that since He was sinless, in that He “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22)

a)     -“had no sin” (1 John 3:5)

b)     -“knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

c)     –before He could die, He had to be “made sin for us.” Therefore, His death was unnatural.

4)     The death of Jesus Christ was preternatural (Revelation 13:8). By this, we mean that the death of Jesus was not an afterthought with God; it was the forethought of God.

5)     The death of Jesus Christ was supernatural (John 10:17, 18). Jesus said, “No one takes life from me.” Then He said, “I lay it down of Myself”. “I have power to take it up again.” This He did on the cross, after three days and three nights, He took life up again when He arose from the dead.

Only God in the form of man could die a vicarious, natural, unnatural, preternatural, and supernatural death.

5        The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:1-20): 1)Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2) And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3) His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow. 4)  And the guards shook for fear of him, and became as dead men.  5)  But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  6) “He is not here; for He is raised, as He said. Come; see the place where the Lord lay.  7)  “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”  8).  So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9)  And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  10) Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid, Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”  11)  Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12)  When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers.  13)  saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’  14)  “And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”  15)  So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 16)  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.  17)  When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.  18).  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  19)  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,  20)  “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Amen.

Notes:  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”(John 11:25). The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the doctrine of the disciples, the faith of the true believer, the courage of the martyr, the theme of every sermon, and the power of every evangelist.

Luke tells us that we have “many infallible proofs” of His resurrection (Acts 1:3). Let us look at some of these “infallible proofs”.

1)     After His resurrection He appeared first to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18).

2)     He appeared to the women returning from the tomb(Matthew 28:5-10)

3)     Then He appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34)

4)     To the Emmaus disciples (Luke 24:13-31)

5)     To the apostles, Thomas not present (Luke 24:36-43)

6)     Again to the apostles, Thomas present (John 20:24-29)

7)     To the seven by the Sea of Tiberius (John 21:1-23)

8).     To over five hundred brethren (1 Corinthians 15:6)

9)     He was seen of James (1 Corinthians 15:7)

10) He was seen again by the eleven apostles (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:3-12)

11) He was seen of Stephen, the first martyr (Acts 7:55)

12) He was seen of Paul on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6; I Corinthians 15:8).

 

Many of these eye witnesses died martyr’s deaths because they preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were glad to die for a living Christ. They had the “infallible proofs.”

When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, all of His disciples “forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). From this time until after His resurrection, the disciples lived in fear. They did not believe that He would rise from the dead (John 20:9). Without the Resurrection, the cross would have been the end of Christianity. After the death of Jesus, we see His disciples dejected, discouraged, and defeated. The death of Jesus meant the end. How do we account for the great change that came into their lives three days and three nights later? The only logical explanation is that they had the “infallible proofs” that He had risen from the dead, and was alive forevermore. They saw Him, talked with Him touched Him, and ate with Him.

Now look at some “infallible proofs” according to circumstantial evidence:

1)     The change that came into the lives of the disciples after the Resurrection-from fear to unlimited courage. They rejoiced in persecution (Acts 5:40-42)

2)     The early church began to worship on the first day of the week, the day of the Resurrection. It was not a law-it was spontaneous (Acts 20:7). For almost two thousand years, the church has worshipped on the first day. For the Christian, every Sunday is Easter

3)     The early Christians went everywhere with the word of the Resurrection (Acts 8:1-4)

4)     The empty tomb – for if Jesus is not alive, what happened to His body? The Roman guards were paid to say, “His disciples came at night, and stole Him away while we slept” (Matthew 28:12-13).

First, the disciples were afraid. If they stole His body, then how do you account for the fact that they all suffered, and most of them died martyrs’ deaths? Would not one of them reveal the hiding place to save his own life?

Second, no one was ever arrested or tried for stealing the body of Jesus. It is evident that the governing officials did not believe the story of the guards.

Third, the guards could have been put to death for sleeping while on watch.

Fourth, if they were asleep, how could they known who “stole” the body?

Fifth, had the enemies of Jesus moved the body, they could have produced it and ended Christianity!!

The linen clothes found in the empty tomb are proof of the Resurrection (John 20:1-10). Had anyone stolen the body, they would not have removed the linen clothes from a three day old dead body. When John saw the linen clothes, he knew that a miracle had taken place. Jesus came out of the clothes, and they collapsed without disturbing the folds. They were left in the empty tomb; and when John saw and believed that Jesus had risen from the dead.

6        The Ascension and Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:9-11):  9) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of sight.  10) And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,11) who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go up into Heaven.”

Notes: After forty days of instructing His disciples, the risen Christ ascended up on high and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12). Two men brought the message of His second coming to the apostles (Acts 1:11). The message of the second coming of Jesus is so important, that it is mentioned over 300 times in the New Testament.

1)     He is coming to take His church to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; John 14:1-6)

2)     He is coming to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31-46)

3)     He is coming to save Israel (Romans 11:25,26)

4)     He is coming to sit upon the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33; Isaiah 9:6,7)

5)     He is coming to bring righteous government to this earth again, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20)

 

c. Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Master Outline Two: God

Master Outline Two: God

Outline Two: God

GOD

The Bible reveals God as the only infinite and Eternal Being, having no beginning and no ending. He is the Supreme Personal Intelligence, and Righteous Ruler of His universe. He is life, and therefore, the only source of life (John 5:26).

Man is natural and cannot know God by wisdom (Job 11:7). God is a person and can be known only by revelation. In the Old Testament He revealed Himself to and through His prophets? In the New Testament He reveals Himself through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3)

 

1        The existence of God (Hebrews 11:6): 6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

 

Notes: The Bible nowhere attempts to prove or argue the existence of God. “For he that comes to God must believe that he is.”

The existence of God as a fact taken for granted by the writers of both the Old and New Testaments. “In the beginning God” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible opens by announcing the sublime fact of God and His existence. There are arguments for the existence of God; they are not conclusive but are food for thought:

Universal belief in God comes from within man. It is innate in man, and comes from rational intuition.

1)     The argument from “cause and effect.” Everything that began owes its existence to a cause. We have a watch; we must have a watchmaker. We have a building; we must have a builder. We have creation; we must have a creator. This creation could not have come into existence without an intelligent, personal creator, any more than the alphabet could produce a book without an author.

2)     The argument from anthropology. Man’s moral and intellectual nature argues for a moral and intellectual creator.  The Bible and the Christ that it reveals; His virgin birth, His sinless life, His vicarious death and His bodily resurrection – all of this and much, much more – argue for the existence of God.

Notes: The Bible reveals God as personality.  He is called “the living and true God” – One possessing self-consciousness and self-determination.  His personality is shown in what He does, such as:

 

1)     God loves. “God so loved the world” (John 3:16)

2)     God hates.  “These six things the Lord hates” (Prov 6:16 OT)

3)     God cares.  “He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)

4)     God grieves. “He was grieved in His heart” (Gen. 6:6 OT)

Only a personality can love, hate, care and grieve; therefore God must be a living, eternal and personal being.

3        The Nature of God (I John 4:8): 8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Notes: God is described 4 ways in the Bible. Since God cannot be defined, they are incomplete. However, they do throw light upon the nature of God. They are:

1)     .“God is love” (I John 4:8). This is the nature of God in His divine compassion.

2)     .“God is light” (1 John 1:5). The nature of God’s divine character; there is no darkness in Him.

3)     .“God is consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). This is the nature of God in His divine holiness.

4)     .“God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). This is the nature of God in His divine essence.

The attributes of God reveal His nature. Do not think of His attributes as abstract, but as vital mediums through which His holy nature in unveiled – attributes ascribed to Him, such as:

1)     .Life is ascribed to God (John 5:26).

2)     .All knowledge is ascribed to God (Psalm 147:5).

3)     .All power is ascribed to God (Revelation 19:6).

4)     .Filling the universe with His presence is ascribed to God (Psalm 139:7-10).

God is everywhere but not in everything. If God were in everything, man could worship any object and he would be worshipping God. God is spirit. (John 4:24)

Notes: Grace is the love and mercy of God in action. Mercy is negative, and love is positive; both together mean grace. To show mercy in love is grace. God showed mercy in love when He sent His Son to bear our sins in His own body on the cross (John 3:16).

 

1)     The grace of God saves forever (Romans 8:38, 39).

2)     The grace of God is unconditional; that is, we are not saved if we “hold out unto the end”, or “fail not” or “do our best.” We are saved by the grace of God, apart from works.(Ephesians 2:8,9)

3)     The grace of God is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

4)     The grace of God makes no discrimination (Revelation 22:17).

5)     The grace of God justifies (Romans 3:23, 24).

6)     The grace of God makes every believer an heir (Titus 3:7).

7)     The grace of God teaches the believer how to live(Titus 2:11, 12).

 

The grace of God is nothing less than the unlimited love of God expressed in the gift of His Son, our Savior. It is the undeserved love of God toward sinners.

 

5        The Trinity of God (Matthew 3:16, 17): 16) “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  17) And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

Notes: By the Trinity of God we mean His tri-personal existence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons in one God.

 

1)     The Father is recognized as God (1 Peter 1:2) and is all the fullness of the Godhead (John 1:18).

2)     The Son is recognized as God (Hebrews 1:8 – and is all the fullness of the Godhead in the flesh (John 1:14).

3)     The Holy Spirit is recognized as God (Acts 5:3,4) and is all the fullness of the Godhead acting upon man, convicting him of sin (John 16:7-11) and guiding the believer into all truth (John 16:12-15).

4)     The doctrine of the Trinity is not explained in the Old Testament, but is rather implied, (Genesis 1:26).

5)     The doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in the New Testament. In verses 16 and 17, we have Christ being baptized in water, the Father speaking from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. We are to baptize in the “name (not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

 

Even creation implies the doctrine of the Trinity.

 

1)     In creation, we have space, matter, and time in one creation.

2)     In space, we have length, width, and height in one space.

3)     In matter, we have energy, motion, and phenomenon in one substance.

4)     In time, we have past, present, and future in one time.

5)     In man, we have body, soul, and spirit in one man (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

6)     In the Holy Trinity, we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one God.

 

c. Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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