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Tag: Christian Basics

Who is Jesus: 7 Essentials You Need to Know

Who is Jesus: 7 Essentials You Need to Know

Who is Jesus? It is the most important question you will ever face and so, we want to offer 7 Essentials about the person of Jesus, what they mean for us and the supporting Scriptures.

 

Jesus is… What this means Scripture
Truly human He was born as a human baby. He endured the trials and tribulations of life. He suffered a physical and humiliating death. Mark 1:12-13

Luke 2:1-21

Philippians 2:5-8

Sinless Jesus never sinned, even when tempted. Jesus did not deserve the punishment of the cross. Matthew 4:1-11

Hebrews 4:15

Truly God Jesus is the Son of God, 2nd Person of the Trinity. He is the Word incarnate, the God who came to Earth to redeem a people. John 1:1, 1:14, 20:31

Colossians 2:9

Messiah Jesus if the final King promised in the OT. His kingdom is the Kingdom of God which will last forever. Isaiah 53

Micah 5:2

Mark 14:61-62

 

Redeemer & Savior Through a sinless death, Jesus takes a people unto Himself. Rising from the dead, Jesus conquered sin, death, and hell. Jesus grants eternal life to all who will believe in Him. Luke 24:5-7

John 3:16, 3:36,5:24,11:26

Hebrews 9:14

The Last Adam Jesus provides forgiveness and new life. He eliminates the curse of sin brought on by the first Adam.

 

Genesis 3

Romans 5:12-21

1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 15:45-49

 

Our High Priest Jesus connects people to God. He was the perfect, sinless, final sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 3:1, 4:14-15. 7:24-27

 

New Disciples 29: Love for One Another

New Disciples 29: Love for One Another

1 John 3:11-24 (NLT)

Love One Another

11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters,[a] if the world hates you.

14 If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers,[b] it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister[c] is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[d] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence.22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:13 Greek brothers.
  2. 3:14 Greek the brothers; similarly in 3:16.
  3. 3:15 Greek hates his brother.
  4. 3:17 Greek sees his brother.
Knowing Jesus Day 25: Jesus Comforts the Disciples

Knowing Jesus Day 25: Jesus Comforts the Disciples

John 14-15  (NLT)

Jesus, the Way to the Father

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, obey[d] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[e] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.[f] 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”

23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. 25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.

30 “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, 31 but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.

Jesus, the True Vine

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.17 This is my command: Love each other.

The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures[g]: ‘They hated me without cause.’

26 “But I will send you the Advocate[h]—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:2a Or There are many rooms in my Father’s house.
  2. 14:2b Or If this were not so, I would have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you. Some manuscripts read If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.
  3. 14:7 Some manuscripts read If you have really known me, you will know who my Father is.
  4. 14:15 Other manuscripts read you will obey; still others read you should obey.
  5. 14:16 Or Comforter, or Encourager, or Counselor. Greek reads Paraclete; also in 14:26.
  6. 14:17 Some manuscripts read and is in you.
  7. 15:25 Greek in their law. Pss 35:19; 69:4.
  8. 15:26 Or Comforter, or Encourager, or Counselor. Greek reads Paraclete.
New Disciples Day 28: Living for God

New Disciples Day 28: Living for God

1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT)

Living for God

So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.[a] You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead[b]—so although they were destined to die like all people,[c] they now live forever with God in the Spirit.[d]

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1 Or For the one [or One] who has suffered physically has finished with sin.
  2. 4:6a Greek preached even to the dead.
  3. 4:6b Or so although people had judged them worthy of death.
  4. 4:6c Or in spirit.
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.

 

 

The Unfolding Revelation of Jesus

The Unfolding Revelation of Jesus

The whole of the Bible is the story of Jesus: Our Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, and soon coming King. The following is how each book presents Jesus and the verse associated with each presentation.

Genesis

  • Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15)
  • Shiloh (Genesis 49:10)

Exodus

  • Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:3)

Leviticus

  • Anointed High Priest (Leviticus 8:7-12)

Numbers

  • The lifted up healer {Bronze serpent} (Numbers 21:8-9; )
  • Star of Jacob (Numbers 24:17)
  • Scepter of Israel (Numbers 24:17)

Deuteronomy

  • Future Prophet Like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15)
  • The great Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4)

Joshua

  • Captain of the Lord’s army/Lord of the Hosts (Joshua 5:14)

Judges

  • Angel of the LORD (Judges 2:1)

Ruth

  • Kinsman redeemer

1 Samuel

  • The great judge (1 Samuel 2:10)

2 Samuel

  • Son of David (2 Samuel 7:12-13)

1 Kings

  • Lord God of Israel (1 Kings 8:15, 25)

2 Kings

  • Lord of the cherubim (2 Kings 19:15)

1 Chronicles

  • God of our salvation (1 Chronicles 16:35)

2 Chronicles

  • God of our ancestors (2 Chronicles 20:6)

Ezra

  • Lord of heaven and earth (Ezra 1:2)

Nehemiah

  • Covenant-keeping God (Nehemiah 1:5)

Esther

  • God of providence

Job

  • Risen and returning Redeemer (Job 19:25)

Psalms

  • Anointed Son (Psalm 2:2, 12)
  • Holy One (Psalm 16:10)
  • Good Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
  • King of glory (Psalm 24:7-10)

Proverbs

  • Wisdom of God/Embodiment of wisdom (Proverbs 8)
  • Architect at Creation (Proverbs 8:30)

Ecclesiastes

  • The one above the sun

Song of Songs

  • Fairest among 10,000 (Song 5:10)
  • Altogether lovely (Song 5:16)
  • Our Beloved (Song 6:3)
  • Him who our soul loves (Song 3:4)

Isaiah

  • Virgin-born Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)
  • Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Servant (Isaiah 52:13)
  • Man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)

Jeremiah

  • The Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 33:16)

Lamentations

  • Faithful and compassionate (Lamentations 3:22-23, 31-33)

Ezekiel

  • The tender shoot (Ezekiel 17:22)
  • The one who has the right to judge (Ezekiel 21:27)

Daniel

  • The rock (Daniel 2:34)
  • One like a divine being (or like “the Son of God”) (Daniel 3:25)
  • One like the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13)

Hosea

  • King of the resurrection (Hosea 13:10-14)

Joel

  • God of the battle (Joel 2:11; Joel 3:2, 9-17)
  • Giver of the Spirit (Joel 2:28-32)

Amos

  • Lord God Almighty (Amos 4:13)
  • Plumb line (Amos 7:7-9)

Obadiah

  • Destroyer of the proud (Obadiah 1:8, 15)

Jonah

  • Risen prophet (Jonah 2:10)
  • God of the second chance (Jonah 3:1-2)
  • Long-suffering one (Jonah 4:9-11)

Micah

  • God of Israel (Micah 4:1-5)
  • Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • God who pardons (Micah 7:18-20)

Nahum

  • Avenging God (Nahum 1:2)
  • Bringer of good tidings (Nahum 1:15)

Habakkuk

  • Eternal (Habakkuk 1:12)
  • Pure (Habakkuk 1:13)
  • Glorious (Habakkuk 2:14)

Zephaniah

  • King of Israel (Zephaniah 3:15)

Haggai

  • Desire of all nations (Haggai 2:7)

Zechariah

  • My Servant (Zechariah 3:8)
  • The Branch (Zechariah 3:8)
  • Builder of the Temple (Zechariah 6:12-13)
  • King of triumphal entry (Zechariah 9:9)
  • Pierced one (Zechariah 12:10)
  • King of the earth (Zechariah 14:9)

Malachi

  • Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)

New Testament

Matthew

  • King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2; Matthew 27:37)

Mark

  • Servant (Mark 9:35; Mark 10:43-44)

Luke

  • Perfect man, Son of Man (Luke 2:40, 52; Luke 9:22, 58; Luke 22:48)

John

  • Ever Living God (John 1:1-5; John 20:28, 31)

Acts

  • Ascended Lord (Acts 1:9)

Romans

  • The Lord, our righteousness (Romans 10:4)

1 Corinthians

  • Our resurrection (1 Cor. 15)

2 Corinthians

  • God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3)

Galatians

  • Redeemer of those under the law (Galatians 4:4-5)

Ephesians

  • Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 2:19-20)
  • Giver of gifts (Ephesians 4:7-16)

Philippians

  • Supplier of every need (Philippians 1:19; Philippians 4:19)
  • Obedient servant (Philippians 2:5-8)

Colossians

  • Fullness of the Godhead (Colossians 1:9; Colossians. 2:9-10)

1 Thessalonians

  • The coming Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11)

2 Thessalonians

  • The all-consuming Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

1 Timothy

  • Savior of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:16)

2 Timothy

  • Author of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Righteous and rewarding judge (2 Timothy 4:8)

Titus

  • Our great God and Savior (Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10, 13; Titus 3:4)

Philemon

  • Payer of our debt

Hebrews

  • Appointed heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2, 4)
  • Greater than prophets or angels (Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 3:3)

James

  • Ever-present God (James 4:8)
  • Coming One (James 5:7-8)
  • Great Physician (James 5:15)

1 Peter

  • Spotless Lamb (1 Peter 1:19)
  • Great example (1 Peter 2:21-24)
  • Lord of glory (1 Peter 3:22)
  • Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)

2 Peter

  • Beloved Son (2 Peter 1:17)

1 John

  • Word of life (1 John 1:1)
  • Advocate (1 John 2:1-2)
  • Sacrifice (1 John 4:10)
  • Son of God (1 John 3:8; 1 John 4:15; 1 John 5:5)

2 John

  • Son of the Father (2 John 1:3)

3 John

  • The truth (3 John 1:4, 8)

Jude

  • Preserver and only wise God (Jude 1:1, 25)

Revelation

  • Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8)
  • Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
  • Root of David (Rev. 5:5)
  • King of Kings (Rev. 19:16)
  • Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
Overview of Theology

Overview of Theology

WE have found that we are entirely in agreement with Grace to You on Theology and are sharing their Overview of Theology for your benefit

The Holy Scriptures

We teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1Co 2:7-14; 2Pe 1:20, 21).

We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1Co 2:13; 1Th 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2Ti 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture, which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Ge 1:31; Ex 31:17).

We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Mt 5:18; 24:35; Jn 10:35; 16:12, 13; 17:17; 1Co 2:13; 2Ti 3:15-17; Heb 4:12; 2Pe 1:20, 21).

We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2Pe 1:20, 21) without error in the whole or in the part (Mt 5:18; 2Ti 3:16).

We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:17; 16:12-15; 1Co 2:7-15; 1Jn 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.

God

We teach that there is but one living and true God (Dt 6:4; Isa 45:5-7; 1Co 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (Jn 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19; 2Co 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.

God the Father

We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Ps 145:8, 9; 1Co 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Ge 1:1-31; Eph 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps 103:19; Ro 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Eph 4:6), but He is Spiritual Father only to believers (Ro 8:14; 2Co 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Eph 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1Ch 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Hab 1:13), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1Pe 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Eph 1:4-6); He saves from sin all those who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (Jn 1:12; Ro 8:15; Gal 4:5; Heb 12:5-9).

God the Son

We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (Jn 10:30; 14:9).

We teach that God the Father created “the heavens and the earth and all that is in them” according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operations (Jn 1:3; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:2).

We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man (Php 2:5-8; Col 2:9).

We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Mic 5:2; Jn 5:23; 14:9, 10; Col 2:9).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23, 25; Lk 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (Jn 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Ps 2:7-9; Isa 9:6; Jn 1:29; Php 2:9-11; Heb 7:25, 26; 1Pe 1:18, 19).

We teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Php 2:5-8).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (Jn 10:15; Ro 3:24, 25; 5:8; 1Pe 2:24).

We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Ro 3:25; 5:8, 9; 2Co 5:14, 15; 1Pe 2:24; 3:18).

We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High-Priest (Mt 28:6; Lk 24:38, 39; Ac 2:30, 31; Ro 4:25; 8:34; Heb 7:25; 9:24; 1Jn 2:1).

We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (Jn 5:26-29; 14:19; Ro 4:25; 6:5-10; 1Co 15:20, 23).

We teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the Rapture and, returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Ac 1:9-11; 1Th 4:13-18; Rev 20).

We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (Jn 5:22, 23):

  1. Believers (1Co 3:10-15; 2Co 5:10);
  2. Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Mt 25:31-46); and
  3. Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11-15).

As the mediator between God and man (1Ti 2:5), the head of His body the church (Eph 1:22; 5:23; Col 1:18), and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Isa 9:6, 7; Eze 37:24-28; Lk 1:31-33), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Mt 25:14-46; Ac 17:30, 31).

God the Holy Spirit

We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1Co 2:10-13), emotions (Eph 4:30), will (1Co 12:11), eternality (Heb 9:14), omnipresence (Ps 139:7-10), omniscience (Isa 40:13, 14), omnipotence (Ro 15:13), and truthfulness (Jn 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Mt 28:19; Ac 5:3, 4; 28:25, 26; 1Co 12:4-6; 2Co 13:14; and Jer 31:31-34 with Heb 10:15-17).

We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in the creation (Ge 1:2), the incarnation (Mt 1:18), the written revelation (2Pe 1:20, 21), and the work of salvation (Jn 3:5-7).

We teach that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (Jn 14:16, 17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ. His activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (Jn 16:7-9; Ac 1:5; 2:4; Ro 8:29; 2Co 3:18; Eph 2:22).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1Co 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Ro 8:9-11; 2Co 3:6; Eph 1:13).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2Pe 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Ro 8:9-11; Eph 5:18; 1Jn 2:20, 27).

We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (Jn 16:13, 14; Ac 1:8; 1Co 12:4-11; 2Co 3:18).

We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers (1Co 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2Co 12:12; Eph 4:7-12; Heb 2:1-4).

Man

We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Ge 2:7, 15-25; Jas 3:9).

We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isa 43:7; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).

We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ge 2:16, 17; 3:1-19; Jn 3:36; Ro 3:23; 6:23; 1Co 2:14; Eph 2:1-3; 1Ti 2:13, 14; 1Jn 1:8).

We teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Ps 14:1-3; Jer 17:9; Ro 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).

Salvation

We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (Jn 1:12; Eph 1:4-7; 2:8-10; 1Pe 1:18, 19).

Election

We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Ro 8:28-30; Eph 1:4-11; 2Th 2:13; 2Ti 2:10; 1Pe 1:1, 2).

We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Eze 18:23, 32; 33:11; Jn 3:18, 19, 36; 5:40; 2Th 2:10-12; Rev 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (Jn 6:37-40, 44; Ac 13:48; Jas 4:8).

We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Eph 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1Pe 1:2).

We teach that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Ro 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 11:25-28; 2Ti 1:9).

Regeneration

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (Jn 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (Jn 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1Co 6:19, 20; Eph 5:17-21; Php 2:12b; Col 3:12-17; 2Pe 1:4-11). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Co 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Ro 8:16, 17; 2Pe 1:4; 1Jn 3:2, 3).

Justification

We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Ro 8:30, 33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Lk 13:3; Ac 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Ro 2:4; 2Co 7:10; Isa 55:6, 7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Ro 10:9, 10; 1Co 12:3; 2Co 4:5; Php 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Ro 3:20; 4:6) and involves the placing of our sins on Christ (Col 2:14; 1Pe 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1Co 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2Co 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Ro 3:26).

Sanctification

We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Ac 20:32; 1Co 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2Th 2:13; Heb 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1Pe 1:2).

We teach that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the likeness of Christ through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 17:17, 19; Ro 6:1-22; 2Co 3:18; 1Th 4:3, 4; 5:23).

In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal 5:16-25; Php 3:12; Col 3:9, 10; 1Pe 1:14-16; 1Jn 3:5-9).

Security

We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (Jn 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Ro 5:9, 10; 8:1, 31-39; 1Co 1:4-9; Eph 4:30; Heb 7:25; 13:5; 1Pe 1:4, 5; Jude 24).

We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an excuse for sinful living and carnality (Ro 6:15-22; 13:13, 14; Gal 5:13, 16, 17, 25, 26; Titus 2:11-14).

Separation

We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2Co 6:14-7:1; 2Ti 3:1-5).

We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Ro 12:1, 2; 1Co 5:9-13; 2Co 6:14-7:1; 1Jn 2:15-17; 2Jn 9-11).

We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 1:11, 12; Heb 12:1, 2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Mt 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Ro 12:1, 2; 2Co 7:1; Heb 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1Jn 3:1-10).

The Church

We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1Co 12:12, 13), the bride of Christ (2Co 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7, 8), of which Christ is the head (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18).

We teach that the formation of the church, the body of Christ, began on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the Rapture (1Co 15:51, 52; 1Th 4:13-18).

We teach that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Eph 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1Co 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Eph 3:1-6; 5:32).

We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Ac 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal 1:2; Php 1:1; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1Co 11:18-20; Heb 10:25).

We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (Eph 1:22; Col 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (males, who are also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers; Ac 20:28; Eph 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualification (1Ti 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1Pe 5:1-5).

We teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1Ti 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Heb 13:7, 17).

We teach the importance of discipleship (Mt 28:19, 20; 2Ti 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Mt 18:15-17), as well as the need for discipline for sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Mt 18:15-22; Ac 5:1-11; 1Co 5:1-13; 2Th 3:6-15; 1Ti 1:19, 20; Titus 1:10-16).

We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Local churches, however, through their pastors and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judges of the measure and method of their cooperation (Ac 15:19-31; 20:28; 1Co 5:4-7, 13; 1Pe 5:1-4).

We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Eph 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2Ti 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17), by fellowship (Ac 2:47; 1Jn 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Lk 22:19; Ac 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Mt 28:19; Ac 1:8).

We teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (1Co 15:58; Eph 4:12; Rev 22:12).

We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:7-12) and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Ro 12:5-8; 1Co 12:4-31; 1Pe 4:10, 11).

We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Heb 2:3, 4; 2Co 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1Co 13:8-12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (Mt 24:24). The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Ro 12:6-8).

We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Lk 18:1-8; Jn 5:7-9; 2Co 12:6-10; Jas 5:13-16; 1Jn 5:14, 15).

We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Ac 2:38-42). Christian baptism by immersion (Ac 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Ro 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ (Ac 2:41, 42).

We teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1Co 11:23-32). We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual Communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshiping with His people (1Co 10:16).

Angels

Holy Angels

We teach that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Lk 2:9-14; Heb 1:6, 7, 14; 2:6, 7; Rev 5:11-14).

Fallen Angels

We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isa 14:12-17; Eze 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Mt 25:41; Rev 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Ge 3:1-15).

We teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isa 14:13, 14; Mt 4:1-11; Rev 12:9, 10), the prince of this world who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ro 16:20) and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isa 14:12-17; Eze 28:11-19; Mt 25:41; Rev 20:10).

Last Things (Eschatology)

Death

We teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev 6:9-11), that there is a separation of soul and body (Jas 2:26), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Lk 23:43; 2Co 5:8; Php 1:23), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the Rapture (1Th 4:13-17) which initiates the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (1Co 15:35-44, 50-54; Php 3:21). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2Co 5:8).

We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (Jn 6:39; Ro 8:10, 11, 19-23; 2Co 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Da 12:2; Jn 5:29; Rev 20:13-15).

We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the final resurrection (Lk 16:19-26; Rev 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (Jn 5:28, 29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Rev 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Mt 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Da 12:2; Mt 25:41-46; 2Th 1:7-9).

The Rapture of the Church

We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1Th 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (Jn 14:1-3; 1Co 15:51-53; 1Th 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1Co 3:11-15; 2Co 5:10).

The Tribulation Period

We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (Jn 14:1-3; 1Th 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jer 30:7; Da 9:27; 12:1; 2Th 2:7-12; Rev 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Mt 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2Th 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Da 12:2, 3; Rev 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Da 9:24-27; Mt 24:15-31; 25:31-46).

The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign

We teach that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Mt 25:31; Lk 1:32, 33; Ac 1:10, 11; 2:29, 30) and establish His messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Rev 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Eze 37:21-28; Da 7:17-22; Rev 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Da 7:17-27; Rev 20:1-6).

We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Isa 65:17-25; Eze 37:21-28; Zec 8:1-17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Dt 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Mt 21:43; Ro 11:1-26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jer 31:31-34; Eze 36:22-32; Ro 11:25-29).

We teach that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isa 11; 65:17-25; Eze 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Rev 20:7).

The Judgment of the Lost

We teach that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign of Christ (Rev 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Rev 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men (Jn 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment.

We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (Jn 5:28, 29), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:11-15).

Eternity

We teach that after the closing of the Millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2Th 1:9; Rev 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2Pe 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Eph 5:5; Rev 20:15; 21, 22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Rev 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (Jn 17:3; Rev 21, 22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1Co 15:23-28) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1Co 15:28).
The MacArthur Study Bible.

Master Outline 15: Witnessing

Master Outline 15: Witnessing

Outline Fifteen: Witnessing

“How To Witness Effectively”

 

One day as Jesus walked by the sea of Galilee He saw two men, Simon, called Peter and Andrew, his brother. They were fisherman. “And He said to them, ‘Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men’” (Matt. 4:19).  Soul winners are made, not born. Therefore, to be an effective witness, you must be taught, trained, and motivated by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus took three years to teach and train His disciples in the art of soul winning. After His resurrection He instructed them to stay in Jerusalem and, “wait for what the Father had promised” (Acts 1:4-8). When the disciples asked Jesus if the time had come for Him to restore the kingdom of Israel, He answered, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses…”

 

On the day of Pentecost, the hundred and twenty received power to witness; and any believer who will acquire the know-how can be an effective soul winner.

 

He can know that he and the Holy Spirit are a witnessing team. Peter said, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32 32).  Therefore, when you witness remember that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you (1 Cor. 6:19).

 

When you witness, trust the Holy Spirit to do three things:

(1)   Illuminate the mind of the unbeliever. All lost souls are in spiritual darkness (2 Cor. 4:3, 4).

(2)   Stir the heart of the unbeliever. As Peter preached Christ the listeners, “were pierced to the heart” (Acts 2:37).

(3)   Move the will of the unbeliever.

 

The prodigal returned home when he came to his senses and said, “I will get up and go to my father” (Luke 15:18).

 

You may be up-to-date in all modern techniques and technologies of soul winning and able to quote the necessary Scriptures without a flaw; but if you do not evangelize in the power of the Holy Spirit, your soul winning efforts will be ineffective. Approach this last Master Outline Study with an open heart and receptive mind, willing to be made fishers of men.

 

1)              The Importance of Witnessing (Rom. 10:13-17).  13)For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”  14) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  15)  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”  16)  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”  17) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

Notes: … for “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). Do not lift this text out of context. There are three questions in verse 14 that must be considered along with verse 13, they are:

First question, “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed?” The answer is, the lost cannot call on the Lord to be saved until they believe:

 

(1)      “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

(2)      And that He was buried,

(3)     And that He was raised on the third day according to Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

 

Second question, “And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” The answer is, the lost cannot believe in Him until they hear the good news of salvation.

 

(1)      The eunuch had to hear to believe (Acts 8:26-39).

(2)      Paul had to hear to believe (Acts 9:1-18).

(3)      Cornelius had to hear to believe (Acts 10:1-48).

(4)      The Philippian jailer had to hear to believe (Acts 16:25-40).

 

Third question, “And how shall they hear without a preacher (witness)?” The answer is, they cannot hear the good news of salvation without a witness.

 

(1)      Three thousand were saved at Pentecost because the 120 witnessed.

(2)      The eunuch was saved because Philip witnessed.

(3)      Paul was saved because Stephen witnessed (Acts 7:54-60) and Jesus the God-man witnessed, and Ananias witnessed (Acts 9:1-18).

(4)      Cornelius and his household were saved because Peter witnessed.

(5)      The Philippian jailer and his household were saved because Paul and Silas witnessed.

(6)      You were saved because someone witnessed to you!

 

According to the word of God, the lost cannot be saved without a witness. They must have a witness to hear, they must hear to believe, they must believe to call, and they must call to be saved. But they cannot call until they believe and they cannot believe until they hear and they cannot hear without a witness.  “So faith (saving faith) comes from hearing” (Rom. 10:17).  We are not born with saving faith; it comes only when we hear the gospel. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that every born again child of God obey the great commission to evangelize, to go with the gospel.

 

2)              The Qualifications of a Witness (Col. 2:6, 7)  6) -As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7) rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

 

Notes: A qualified witness is one who is:

(1)      Established in the faith. To be established in the faith is to be rooted and grounded in God’s Word. Peter said, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15).    

 

The fifteen Master Outline studies in this Bible study were prepared to help establish you in the faith. Study them, carry your Bible with you and take advantage of every opportunity to ponder a portion of one of the great doctrines. They will give you a foundation on which to build a strong faith (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).    

(2)      Saved and knows it. I know that I am saved because God tells me so in His Word and God cannot lie.

 

We have the:

(a)  Witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16).

(b) The witness of the Word (1 John 5:13).

(c)  The witness of faith “The one whobelieves in the Son of God has the witness in himself” (1 John 5:9, 10).

 

(3)      Separated. Paul said that he was “set apart for the gospel of God” (Rom. 1:1-16).

(a)  A holy desire to share spiritual gifts (verse 11).

(b) A holy purpose to bear fruit (verse 13).

(c)  A holy obligation to pay a spiritual debt (verse 14).

(d) A holy eagerness to share the gospel (verse 15).

(e)  A holy boldness to exalt the cross (verse 16).

 

To be separated unto the gospel is to share the Good News with the lost (see Master Outline #11, Section #3).

 

(4)      Filled with the Holy Spirit. “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).  We are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Master Outline #11, Section #4). Evidence of the Spirit-filled life as seen in the early Christians:

(a)  They spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).

(b) They witnessed with great power (Acts 4:33).

(c)  They witnessed with great grace (Acts 4:33)

(d) They shared their wealth (Acts 4:34-37).

(e)  They worshiped in unity (Acts 2:42-47).

(f)   They suffered persecution (Acts 8:1-4).

(g) They glorified in tribulations (Rom. 5:3).

(h) They sang in prison (Acts 16:25).

(i)   They loved and prayed for their executioners (Acts 7:54-60).

(j)   They rejoiced to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41).

 

They were accused of:

 

(1)      Filling Jerusalem with the gospel (Acts 5:28).

(2)      Upsetting the world (Acts 17:6).

 

The 120 Spirit-filled Christians witnessed on the day of Pentecost and the people were:

 

(1)   Bewildered, that is, they were mentally arrested (Acts 2:6).

(2)   Amazed, that is, they were mentally frustrated (Acts 2:7).

(3)   Marveling, that is, they stood in mental awe (Acts 2:7).

(4)   Mocking, that is, some mentally reacted (Acts 2:13).

(5)   Inquiring, that is, some mentally acted (Acts 2:37).

 

The gospel proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit will motivate the hearer to act or react.

On the day to Pentecost three thousand acted as evidenced by repentance and baptism, while others reacted mocking. No one, but no one, ignored the witness of those Spirit-filled believers!

 

3)             The Approach (John 1:40-42).  40) One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41)  He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).42)  And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).

 

Notes: There are two ways to approach the prospect.

The first is:

 

(1)   The direct approach. This approach can be used when witnessing to:

(a)  A relative. Andrew used the direct approach to bring his brother Simon Peter to Christ (John 1:40-42).

(b) A friend. Phillip the apostle used the direct approach to bring Nathanael to Jesus (John 1:45, 46).

(c) The concerned. Jesus used the direct approach to win Nicodemus (John 3:1-21).

(d) The seeker. Paul and Silas used the direct approach to lead the Philippian jailer to Jesus (Acts 16:19-34).

 

The second is:

 

(2) The indirect approach. This can be used when witnessing to:

(a)  A stranger. Jesus used the indirect approach to witness to the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-26).

(b) The religious. Phillip the evangelist used the indirect approach to lead the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ (Acts 8:26-39).

 

The method in either case will vary according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Whether you use the direct or the indirect approach, be sure to follow through until you have presented God’s plan of salvation and invited them to accept Christ as their personal Savior.

 

4)              The Follow-Through (Matt. 13:3-8 and 18-23).  3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4) “And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5) “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.  6) “But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.  7)  “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.  8)  “But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  18)  “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19) “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.  20)  “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21) “yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.  22)  “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.  23)  “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

 

Notes: The parable of the sower illustrates the importance of the follow-through. Only one fourth of the soil was ready for the seed, so only one fourth of the seed brought forth fruit. Jesus explains the parable in (Matt. 13:18-23), and we learn that:

(1)   The sower is the witness.

(2)   The seed is the word of God.

(3)   The soil is the heart.

 

We also learn that there are four types of hearts. They are:

4)              The hard heart; this is the wayside soil, fertile but hard.

5)              The shallow heart; this is the stoney soil, fertile but depthless.

6)              The worldly heart; this is the thorny soil, fertile but possessed.

7)              The understanding heart: this is good soil, fertile and prepared.

 

The lesson here is a simple one if we expect the seed, the word of God, to bear fruit, the heart must be made ready. The hard heart must be broken; the shallow heart must be given depth; the worldly heart must be taught that the things of this world are temporal (Mark 8:36, 37).   This requires time, work, and patience.

 

5)              How to Share God’s Plan of Salvation (Acts 4:12).  12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Notes: There are seven simple steps to take in sharing God’s plan of salvation:

(1)   Share your personal experience of salvation. Don’t give your life story. It should not take more that a few minutes to tell how the Lord saved you. As you come to the close of your testimony, bring out your Bible and say, “May I share with you God’s plan of salvation that changed my life?”

(2)   Now share fact number one, “It is a fact that God loves you.” Read (John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.) and the study notes with them. When you come to the close of the study notes, say something like this: “Will you now admit that God loves you?” Lead them to admit it, if you can. This will get them involved in the plan of salvation.

(3)   Now share fact number two, “It is a fact that you are a sinner.” Read (Rom. 3:23   For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,) and the study notes with them. When you come to the close of the study notes, ask them to admit that they are a lost sinner. When they admit that they are a lost sinner, say something like this, “Isn’t it wonderful? God loves you even though you are a sinner!”

(4)   Now share fact number three, “It is a fact that you are now dead in sin.” Read (Rom. 7:23   But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.) and the study notes with them. When you come to the close of the study notes, ask them to admit that they are dead in sin. When they admit that they are dead in sin, say something like this, “Isn’t it great? Even though you are a lost sinner, dead in sin, God loves you!”

(5)   Now share fact number four, “It is a fact that Christ died for you.” Read (Rom. 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.) and the study notes with them. When you come to the close of the study notes, ask them to admit that Christ died on Calvary for them. When they admit that Christ died for them, say something like this, “Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it great that God loves you so much that He died on Calvary bearing your sins?”

(6)   Now share fact number five, “It is a fact that you can be saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Read (Acts 16:30, 31   And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”) and the study notes with them.

(7)   Now share fact number six. Lead them to call upon the name of the Lord in prayer: for “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved!” Read (Rom. 10:13  For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”).

 

When you come to the close of the study notes, be ready to ask them to accept, by faith, Christ as their personal Savior!

 

6)              How to Give the Invitation (Rev. 22:17) 17)  And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.

 

Notes: To give the invitation is to invite the person witnessed to, to, by faith, accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  After reading the above verse (Rev. 22:17) you can simply say something like this:

 

“Will you kneel with me in prayer as I ask the Lord to save you, right here and now?” (Don’t wait for them to get on their knees; you lead the way.  If they will not kneel with you, don’t force it.  Pray a short prayer that the Lord will convict them of sin and bring them to repentance. Get up and make an appointment to return for another witness session).

 

If they kneel with you, ask them to accept Him now, by faith, by praying with you (repeating after you) the following prayer:  “Lord Jesus, I know You love me, because You died on the cross bearing my sins. Thank You, Lord, for revealing to me my lost, sinful condition. I confess that I am a sinner, dead in sin, and cannot save myself. I do now, by faith, gladly accept You as my personal Savior, and thank You, Lord, for eternal salvation. Amen!”

When you have finished leading them in the prayer, stand up, shake their hand, or preferably give them a hug (Christians are big on hugging!) and say something like this, “Welcome aboard! Upon the authority of God’s Word you are now a child of God!”

 

7)              How to Follow Up (Read: Acts 2:41-47) 41) Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them42) ¶ And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43)  Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44) Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45) and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.  46)  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,47)  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

 

Notes: When you have led a soul to Christ your responsibility does not end. You have a spiritual baby, and that baby needs help if it is to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are some things that you can do to help the new Christian to grow spiritually.

(1)           If they don’t already have one, give them an “Open Bible” (we prefer the New American Standard “Open” Bible) which is simply a Bible that contains a good study guide (like the one that this entire study has come out of), a Biblical Cyclopedia, a Concordance and a lot of other very useful and fascinating study aids. Thomas Nelson also publishes “The Christian Life New Testament” which contains this bible study. This is a small new testament that you can carry in your pocket.

(2)           Lead them to a New Testament church. (Invite them to yours!)

a.     Take them to church and sit with them.

b.     When the invitation is given by your Pastor, ask them to go with you to make their public profession of faith in Christ (Matt. 10:32“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.).

c.     Arrange with your Pastor to get them baptized as soon as possible.

i.     Start them out right:

ii.     Point out that we have a “Now Salvation”.

iii.     Stress the fact that they need to obey the Lord in all things.

iv.     Teach them how to pray effectively on a daily basis.

v.     Teach them to read and study their Bible on a daily basis.

 

(3)           Explain the Master Outline system of study that we have been using.

a.     Show them how the Outlines work.

b.     Be sure to show them how to look up each Scripture reference when they are studying.

c.     Help them through the Master Study Outlines. By the time that they have reached Outline #15, they should be in a church, and have a solid doctrinal foundation on which to continue to grow spiritually.

 

(4)           Encourage them to evangelize and to witness. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Ps. 107:2 OT).

 

At this juncture, the new Christian should be fully prepared to “go with the gospel!”

You have accomplished a great thing! Now, don’t rest on your laurels, go find another lost soul!

Master Outline 14: Salvation

Master Outline 14: Salvation

Outline Fourteen: Salvation

GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION

 

There are seven facts revealed in God’s plan of salvation, and as you study them, keep in mind that this is God’s plan-not man’s-it is God’s. There is no other plan that can save your lost soul and make you a child of God (Acts 4:12).

 

All roads may lead to Rome, but all religions do not lead to God and salvation. There is only one way, and that is God’s way; and God’s way is a person, and that person is His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

 

God’s salvation is threefold: First, Christ appeared on this earth to save you from the penalty of sin, by putting away your sin by the sacrifice of Himself on the Cross (Heb. 9:26). Second, He appeared in heaven, in the presence of God, after His resurrection, to save you from the power of sin (Heb. 9:24 and 1 John 2:1, 2).  Third, He will appear again on this earth, the second time, as “Lord of lords and King of kings” to save you from the very presence of sin (Heb. 9:28).  Now come to the seven facts of salvation with an open mind and a receptive heart, that God may bring salvation to your soul!

 

1)              It is a fact that God loves you (John 3:16) 16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Notes: It is an eternal fact the God loves you with and everlasting love that cannot be fathomed; it is so boundless that it can only be known by faith.

The little word “so” in John 3:16 is most expressive. It gives you some concept of the magnitude of God’s love. God so loved you, that He gave His only begotten Son, to be made sin for you, that you might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Christ was made that which God hates: sin-that you might become that which God loves: righteousness. Because God so loves you, you can exchange your sins for His righteousness. Could you ask for greater evidence of love? Calvary is proof that God loves, and longs to save you.

Before going to the next fact, admit to yourself that: “God loves me!”

 

2)              It is a fact that you are a sinner (Rom. 3:23).  23) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

 

Notes: What is sin?

        Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).

        Sin is unbelief; it calls God a liar (1 John 5:10).

        Sin is active rebellion against God (1 Sam. 15:23 OT).

        Sin is passive rebellion against God (Is. 1:2 OT).

        All unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17).

 

God, who cannot lie, said: “All have sinned.” “All” includes you! You have sinned against God by thought, word, and deed. You have committed sins of commission and sins of omission. In the sight of God, you are a lost sinner.

 

Before going to the next fact, admit to yourself that: “I am a lost sinner, because I have sinned.”

 

3)              It is s fact that you are now dead in sin (Rom. 6:23) 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Notes: You have already confessed and admitted that you are a sinner. Now God would have you know that “… the wages of sin is death.” You are dead in sin until you accept Christ as personal Savior. The Apostle Paul said, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1).  To be saved is to be made spiritually alive in Christ.

What is death?

 

(1)   Death is spiritual separation. Your sins have separated you from God; you are dead in your sins.

(2)   Death is physical separation. It separated the spirit and soul from the body.

(3)   Death is eternal separation. If you remain lost in your sins, you will stand before God at the great white throne judgment. And there your sins will separate you from the mercy of God forever; this is Hades (Rev. 20:11-15).

 

You know that God loves you, and that you are a sinner-dead in sins. Before going to the next fact, admit to yourself: “I am dead in sins.”

 

4)              It is a fact that Christ died for you (Rom. 5:6-8 ) 6) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Notes: He died for those who are unlike God; this includes you! “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21)

Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like sliver or gold …but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18, 19).

 

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1 Cor. 15:3).

 

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3).

 

In light of these wonderful Scriptures, will you now thank God for His great love in sending His Son to bear your sins in His own body on the cross, and admit to yourself that: “Christ died on Calvary for me!”

 

5)              It is a fact that you can be saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30, 31) 30)  And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31) So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

 

Notes: The Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas: “Sirs, what must I do to be Saved?” The answer was quick in response, and positive in content: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” Paul and Silas preached the gospel to the jailer and those in his house; they believed and were saved.

 

What is this gospel that saves when believed?

 

First, it is: “that Christ died for your sins.”

Second, it is: “that He was buried.”

 

Third, it is: “that He was raised on the third day” (1 Cor. 15:3, 4).

 

Jesus Christ the God-man died for you, was buried for you, and rose form the dead for you; and is now at the right hand of the Father interceding for you (1 John 2:1).

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). The gospel is the power of God for salvation only when you believe. Your faith in Jesus Christ releases the power of God that saves your soul.

 

The man born blind received physical sight by a miracle; but, spiritual sight came when Jesus asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “Lord, I believe” (John 9:35-38).  Salvation came to Thomas when he believed and confessed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:24-29).

 

When you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom. 10:9, 10).

 

Accept Him now by faith, and pray this prayer: “Lord Jesus, I know You love me, because You died on the cross bearing my sins. Thank You, Lord, for revealing to me my lost, sinful condition. I confess that I am a sinner, dead in sin, and cannot save myself. I do now by faith, gladly accept You as my personal Savior, and thank You, Lord, for eternal salvation. Amen!”

 

6)             It is a fact that you can be saved and know it (1 John 5:10-13) 10) He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11) And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12) He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13) These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

Notes: “… that you may know that you have eternal life… “(1 John 5:13). Upon the authority of God’s Word, you can be saved and know it. Your faith in God’s infallible Word is your assurance of salvation. “He who believes in the Son has (present tense) eternal life” (John 3:36).

 

The Bible is a book of certainties. It strengthens convictions, and establishes beliefs. God would have you know:

 

(1)   That you are now a child of God (1 John 3:2).

(2)   That you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21 and Rom. 10:1-4).

(3)   That you are now a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

(4)   That you are now a son and heir of God (Gal. 4:7). Could you have greater assurance than is found in God’s infallible Word? “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).

 

7)              It is a fact that you are now a child of God and you are to obey Him (Acts 5:29) 29) But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

 

Notes: “We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). You now belong to Jesus Christ. He is your Lord and Master, and “no one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). Determine now to obey your Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, in all things:

 

(1) Unite with a New Testament church. “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

(2) Follow Him in the ordinance of baptism (Acts 2:41).

(3) Join a Sunday school class (Bible Study), and study the Word with God’s children (2 Tim. 2:25).

(4) Attend the worship services of your church (Heb. 10:25).  You need the preaching of God’s Word and Christian fellowship.

(5) Be a faithful steward (1 Cor. 4:2).  All that you are and have belong to God. “… you are not your own. For you are bought with a price …” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20).  As a faithful steward, you pay God His tithe (Mal. 3:10 OT). The tithe is one-tenth of your income, and it is the Lord’s (Lev. 27:30 OT).

(6) Make time in your daily life to pray and read God’s word, that you may grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Master Outline 13: The New Birth

Master Outline 13: The New Birth

Outline Thirteen: New Birth

THE NEW BIRTH

It is of the utmost importance that we have a clear understanding of what Jesus meant when, speaking with Nicodemus, He said, “You must be born again”. The new birth is a spiritual birth. It is as much a birth as the natural birth; it is not just a figure of speech. The first birth is of the seed of man. The second birth is of the seed of God (1 Pet. 1:23). Therefore, you cannot become a child of God by joining the church, any more than a monkey could become a man by joining the human race. He may act like a man, dress like a man, and try to live like a man… but he would still be a monkey. Now, if by some miracle, the monkey could be born again of the seed of man, then… and only then, could he become a man. The only way to become a child of God is to be “born again” (John 3:3); not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God”. What is the new birth?

  • • The new birth is a new creation (2 Cor, 5:17).

The new birth is a spiritual resurrection (Eph. 2:1-9).

  • • The new birth is regeneration (Titus 3:5).
  • • The new birth is partaking of the divine nature of God (2 Pet. 1:4).

The new birth is receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, by faith (John 1:12)

 

The new birth is being made the “righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

 

The new birth is compulsory if you are to become a child of God: “You must be born again”.

 

1)    Jesus and The Two Births (John 3:1-8 ) 1) There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  2) This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4) Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5) Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

 

Notes: In John 3:1-8, we see Jesus and Nicodemus face to face-Jesus the Son of God, and Nicodemus the son of natural man.  Nicodemus was a very religious man, but he was not a child of God. What a shock it must have been to learn that his religion was not enough! It never is.  He came to Jesus, addressing Him saying, “You have come from God as a teacher”. Jesus knew Nicodemus , as He knows all men (John 2:24, 25), and Jesus knew that he needed more than a teacher-he needed a Savior. He needed more than religion-he needed regeneration. He needed more than Law-he needed life. Jesus began by going right to the point when He said, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?” Then Jesus pointed out the dissimilarity in the two births: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (the flesh will never change); and “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (the Spirit will never change (John 3:6).

 

First, let us take a brief look at the flesh birth:

(1)   It produces an old sinful nature (Ps. 51:5 OT).

(2)   It produces a perishable nature (1 Pet. 1:23).

(3)   It produces an old nature under the sentence of death (Rom 6:23).

(4)   It produces an old nature that makes every unsaved person a child of the devil (1 John 3:10).

 

Second, let us say a word about the new birth:

(1)   It produces a sinless nature (1 John 3:9).

(2)   It produces a nature that can not sin (1 John 3:9).

(3)   It produces a righteous nature (2 Cor. 5:21).

(4)   It produces a divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

Every born again person has two natures: The old from the old birth, and the new from the new birth. By the old birth, we are children of the flesh; by the new the new birth, we are children of God. This is why, “You must be born again.”

 

2)    The New Birth Issues a New Sinless Nature (1 John 3:9) 9)Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

 

Notes: This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Do not try to understand it in the light of personal experience. Keep in mind that the above verse is speaking of the new nature-not the old nature-because the old nature is not born from God. The old nature is born of fallen man and is depraved. The new nature is born of God and is holy.

 

First, let us see what the verse says about the new nature:

(1)   The new nature does not commit sin, because it is the product of the seed (sperm) of God.

(2)   The new nature cannot sin, because it is the divine nature of God (2 Pet. 1:4) and since God cannot sin, the new nature that issues from His holy seed cannot sin.

 

Second, let us see what the Bible says about the old nature:

(1)   The old nature does sin any time you let it sin (Rom. 6:12). As a child of God, you will keep under the old nature (1 Cor. 9:27) by not yielding to the desire of the flesh; or the old nature will keep you under, and you will live a defeated Christian life (Rom 6:13).

(2)   There is nothing good in the old nature (Rom. 7:18).  The power to live a righteous life cannot be found in the old nature; it can be found only in the new (Gal. 2:20).

 

If you have been “born again”, you have two natures-the old and the new-and you are walking according to one of the two. Examine your Christian walk in the light of God’s Word (Rom. 8:5, 6).

 

3)    The New Birth is Imperishable (1 Pet. 1:23) 23) Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.

 

Notes: In the above verse (23) we have two seeds, two births, and two natures.

 

(1) The corruptible seed issues a corruptible nature (Rom. 1:23). The seed of man became depraved in the seed of Adam when he sinned in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:6-10 OT).  Corruptible man can produce only corruptible seed (Matt. 7:18).  “All have sinned…” (Rom 3:23) because all are born in sin (Ps. 51:5 OT).  You are not a sinner because you sin-you sin because you are a sinner.

(2) The incorruptible seed issues an incorruptible nature (2 Pet. 1:4).   You cannot corrupt that which is incorruptible; therefore, the incorruptible seed of God issues a new nature that cannot be corrupted at any time, or in any way. The new birth produces the life of Christ, and this life is made living in man by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:8-10).

 

The seed of man is corruptible; the birth of man is natural. Therefore, the nature of man is sinful. The seed of God is incorruptible; the new birth is spiritual. Therefore, the new nature is sinless.

 

4)    The New Birth-Its Means (Read: John 3:14-18 ) 18 ) And as “Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15) that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18) He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

Notes: “Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness” (Num. 21:5-9 OT).  He lifted up the serpent for a sinful, disobedient people. When anyone was bitten by a serpent, he had a choice: He could humble himself and by a simple act of faith look and live (Is. 45:22 OT); or he could refuse to look on the serpent of bronze and die.

 

“Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” Just as the serpent in the wilderness was the only means for the healing of Israel, so the death of Jesus Christ is the only means for the new birth. And the only way to appropriate the regenerating power of God is by faith in the vicarious death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

 

The sinner must come to Christ by faith, believing:

(1) That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (Is. 53:1-12 OT –

and Zech. 13:6 OT).

(2) And that He was buried. This is the proof of His death. He was in the grave three days and nights.

(3) And that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. This is the gospel that saves-but it is powerless to save until the sinner believes it (Rom. 1:16).

 

The means of the new birth is found in that:

(1) “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son”-to be the only means of the new birth (John 3:16).

(2) Jesus Christ gladly came into the world to become the only means of the new birth (John 12:27 – and John 17:1-5).

(3) The Holy Spirit came into the world on the day of Pentecost to convince men of their need of the new birth (John 16:7-11).  A personal faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only means of the new birth.

 

5)    The New Birth: Its Threefold Proof (1 John 5:1) 1) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

 

Notes: Every “born again” child of God has the threefold proof of the new birth-proof that he is a child of God. This threefold proof is: first, inward proof; second, outgoing proof; and third, outward proof.

(1)    “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1). Your faith in Christ-that He is God-is personal evidence that you are a child of God (1 John 5:10-13). This is inward proof of the new birth.

(2)   “Everyone who loves is born of God” (1 John 4:7-11).  We are to love our fellow man with the love of God. This we are not capable of doing in the flesh; we must let God love man through us (Rom. 5:5).  This is outgoing proof of the new birth.

(3)   “Everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 John 2:29).  If you are born of God, you will make a practice of doing right at all times and at all cost (2 Cor. 5:17).  This is outward proof of the new birth.

 

If you do not have the threefold proof of the new birth, now is the time to get on you knees and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior-by faith in His Vicarious death, burial, and resurrection!