1AdventuresINTOEternal LifeChanging LivesWith TheUnchanging Word© Copyright 1995, 2005International Bible SchoolCourse by Roger E. DicksonNew Testament quotations fromInternational King James VersionOld Testament quotations fromNew King James Version
Contents2CONTENTSSection ITHE PROBLEM WITH SINCreation and LawStudy 1 - Page 6Man Has a Right to ChooseStudy 2 - Page 7Sin and Separation from GodStudy 3 - Page 9The State of ManStudy 4 - Page 11The BibleStudy 5 - Page 12Finality of God’s WordStudy 6 - Page 13Binding Religious TraditionsStudy 7 - Page 14Our Dilemma with SinStudy 8 - Page 18Section IIGOD’S SOLUTION FOR SINBlessing of the SeedStudy 9 - Page 21Crushing of SatanStudy 10 - Page 23God’s Grace & Man’s TraditionsStudy 11 - Page 26Establishing a Relationship with GodStudy 12 - Page 29Section IIITAKING ADVANTAGE OF GOD’S GRACEGod’s Promises of a New Covenant & LawStudy 13 - Page 33Establishment of a New LawStudy 14 - Page 34Responding to GraceStudy 15 - Page 36
ContentsGrace Moves Faith into ActionStudy 16 - Page 38God’s Invitation to FreedomStudy 17 - Page 39Section IVOBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPELObey the GospelStudy 18 - Page 41What is the Gospel?Study 19 - Page 42Good News for Our ProblemsStudy 20 - Page 45Obedience to the GospelStudy 21 - Page 463Section VTHE COMMUNITY OF GOD’S PEOPLEThe Head of the ChurchStudy 22 - Page 51The Origin of the ChurchStudy 23 - Page 52The Relational Function of God’s PeopleStudy 24 - Page 56Finding God’s PeopleStudy 25 - Page 59Worship & Service of the ChurchStudy 26 - Page 60Searching for God’s PeopleStudy 27 - Page 66Section IVLIVING AS A DISCIPLE OF JESUSStarting a Church in Your HouseStudy 28 - Page 69Making an Eternal Commitment to GodStudy 29 - Page 77
Introduction To Great Discoveries4INTRODUCTION TO GREAT DISCOVERIESWelcome to a study of Great News! This course is designed to take youon an exciting journey through God’s historical plan to save those who will respondto His grace. The Bible was written to aid us in our personal discoveriesof what God has promised us. It was written to help us discover the greatestnews of all history, and thus receive the gift for which all of us seek, eternal life.The Bible is an exciting book to study. It is exciting because it is God’sword. And since it is God’s word for us today, it is exciting to learn the mind ofGod and who He is. Therefore, we ask you to join with us in studying thiswonderful book, the Bible. Your study of the Bible will change your life.HOW TO STUDY THIS COURSEYou will enjoy studying this course because it takes you on an adventurethrough the Bible. There are six basic actions of study in this course that areused in order to help you better understand and learn the great news that isrevealed in the Bible. These study actions are the following:STUDIESThe text of this book is divided into blocks of study material that are calledStudies. Each Study contains ideas that you must understand. Read throughthe Studies very carefully. They are building blocks that fit into a biblical themeconcerning God’s great news to save us for eternal dwelling. (If you are using thiscourse as a Bible study program for a Bible class, cover the thoughts of only one study for eachBible class. Use the added scriptures that are listed under Scripture Reading and ScriptureResearch for added references for your Bible class studies.)SELF TESTText questions are added at the end of each Study. Read and answer thesequestions. They will help you to review important points of each Study. Theanswers to the text questions are within the material of each Study that is reviewed.After you have completed the questions to a particular Study, you cancheck your answers with the correct answers in the back of the course on page78. Keep in mind that you are not graded over your completion of these questions.They are a programmed system of self-study that will help you bettercomprehend the material of the Studies. Therefore, answer the questions first,and then check your answers. (Do not return these questions or answers to your regionalrepresentative of the International Bible School. They are given only for your review of the materialof each study.)
The Problem With SinTHE PROBLEM WITH SINIt is very important in this course todeal with the problem that affects allpeople. This is the problem of sin. Allof us struggle in our relationships bothwith God and our fellow man. In ourstruggle to please God, we sin. Manydo not know what the will of God is,and thus, sin without knowing that theysin. However, there are those whoknow His will but still sin. They sin eitherwillingly, or ignorantly in theirstruggle to please God.We also have struggles in our liveswith other people. God has given directionsfor us to guide our behaviorwith others. However, we often ignorethese directions, and thus, cause harmto others and embarrassment to ourselves.We sin. Life, therefore, is astruggle. This is why God gave us theBible. He gave it to us to give hope tothose who are struggling in life and realizethat they need help.Section ICREATION AND LAWStudy 1THINGS TO LEARN1. There is a Supreme Being referred in the Bible as God. He has alwaysestablished laws for men to obey for He is the creator of all things.2. God's laws are always complete and authoritative. Authoritative meansthat they must be obeyed by man in order to please God.3. God does not allow man to add to or subtract from His laws.4. All people have sinned against God. It is our sin that separates us fromGod.5. We cannot save ourselves by trying to keep God’s law perfectly. No onecan keep law perfectly.6. We cannot receive forgiveness of our sins by doing good works.6Sin causes us to have a bad conscienceor a feeling of guilt. In order todeal with this guilt, many religiouspeople who do not know the Bible, havesimply developed their own solutionsto take care of their sin. As a result,there are many religions in the worldtoday that have been developed by religiouspeople in an effort to deal withthe problem of sin. Unfortunately, Goddoes not accept man's worship or religiousinventions that are created by theimaginations of those who know littleor nothing about the Bible.God is our creator. The fact thatHe is means that He is the one whomust tell us how to worship. We mustallow Him to tell us how to have a relationshipwith Him and one another. Thismeans that we must focus on God'slaw and our problem of sin against Hislaw. When we do this, great things willhappen in our lives.
The Problem With SinThe Bible does notseek to prove the existenceof God. His existenceis simply assumedand thus revealed in theBible. However, as theGODIS!revelation of God to man, the Bible wasgiven to us by God in order to answerthe most important questions we havein reference to our existence.From where did we come?What are we to do in referenceto God, our creator?What will happen when we dieand where will we go?Everyone has asked the abovequestions. In answer to the first question,the Bible simply states that the firsttwo people on earth were created in thespiritual image of God (Gn 1:26,27).We are thus the product of the God whocreated all things.Since we are God’s creation, weshould be concerned about what theduty of man is in reference to our Creator.The Bible says, “Fear God andkeep His commandments, for this isthe whole duty of man” (Ec 12:13). Thisstatement answers the second question.It is our duty as God’s createdbeings to obey our Creator. Those wholove God will obey Him.7The Bible also answers the thirdquestion. Concerning our death, theBible says, “And as it is appointed formen to die once, but after this the judgment”(Hb 9:27). For the Christianthere is hope of eternal life beyonddeath (Jn 3:16). But for those who havenot submitted to God, there is the destinyof eternal destruction (2 Th 1:7-9).The Bible thus answers the mostimportant questions that we can ask.We came from God. We must obeyHis laws. When we die, we will be heldaccountable in judgment for our obedienceor disobedience of His laws (2Co 5:10).SELF TEST1. ____ God created man after His ... (A) ...physical image, (B) ... spiritual image2. ____ It is the duty of man to keep God’s... (A) ... power, (B) ... commandments,(C) ... faith3. ____ What happens when we die? (A)Termination, (B) Unconsciousness, (C)Judgment4. ____ Christians have the hope of eternal... (A) ... judgment, (B) ... life, (C) ... anxietyYES - NO Since God created you, does thisgive Him the right to give you law and thendemand your obedience?SCRIPTURE READING: Gn 1,2; Ps 8; 19:1,2; Is 40; At17:24-28SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Obedience: 1 Sm 15:22; At5:29; Hb 11:8, Judgment: Mt 5:21; Jn 5:24-30; 12:31; Rm14:10; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Pt 4:17, Eternal life: Jn 5:21,26; 8:12;Mt 25:46; Ti 1:2, Eternal destruction: 2 Th 1:7-9; Rv20:11-15; 21:8MAN HAS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSEStudy 2God first created two people. Theywere Adam and Eve. He created Adamand Eve in His own image. All mensince Adam and Eve are also in the imageof God. Being in the image of Godat least means that man is a spiritual
The Problem With Sinbeing and has the right?to make choices. Weare beings that can makechoices concerning ourbehavior.Having the right tomake choices meansthat we must be held responsiblefor ourchoices. In other words, we will beheld accountable in final judgment forthe choices we make on this earth. TheBible says, “For we must all appearbefore the judgment seat of Christ, sothat every one may receive the thingsdone in the body, according to what hehas done, whether good or bad” (2 Co5:10).In order that Adam and Eve, as wellas we, could be in a situation or environmentthat would allow choices to bemade, God created this present environment.This is a world that allowschoices to be made. God also madenatural laws in order to sustain order inthis natural environment. This world,therefore, is the best of all possible environmentsfor the dwelling of individualswho have freedom to make choicesof either good or evil.God gave moral laws to us in orderto govern our activity or relationshipswith one another in an environ-CHOICE!KNOWLEDGEofGood and Evil8ment where choices must be made.One of these moral laws for Adam andEve was that they not eat of one specialtree in the Garden of Eden, the treeof the knowledge of good and evil(Gn 2:16,17). Contrary to God's laws,however, both Adam and Eve brokeGod's law and ate of the fruit of thistree (Gn 3:1-8). By eating of this treethey transgressed (sinned against) thelaw of God. As a result, sin enteredinto the world because they were thefirst people to sin. With their sin camealso their separation from God, andthus, spiritual death (Rm 5:12). Adampersonally suffered spiritual death becausehe personally sinned by eatingof the forbidden fruit.SELF TEST1. ____ What does man have a right to dosince he is created after the image ofGod? (A) Be as God, (B) Choose, (C)Do as he wishes2. ____ Since man was created with the abilityto make choices, what responsibilitymust he have in reference to his choices?(A) Be held responsible, (B) No responsibility,(C) Do what he pleases3. ____ What did God give man in order todirect his behavior? (A) Natural laws, (B)The Holy Spirit, (C) Moral laws4. ____ What entered into the world for thefirst time when Adam sinned? (A) Eternallife, (B) Spiritual death, (C) Ability tochooseYES - NO Since you are given the privilegeto make choices concerning God’s law, doesthis mean that you will be held accountablefor your choices?SCRIPTURE READING: Gn 2,3SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Choose: Dt 4:32; 30:19; Ja24:15; Pv 1:29; Is 45:12; 1 Tm 2:13,14; At 2:40; 3:19; Hb11:25; 2 Pt 3:9, Law: Ps 19:7-11; 119:77,97; 1 Tm 1:9; Js1:25; 2:8, Judgment: Mt 25; Jn 5:22; 12:48; At 17:30,31;Rm 2:8,16; Hb 9:27; 10:27; 2 Pt 3:7, Sin: Rm 14:23; Js4:17; 1 Jn 3:4
Sin And Separation From GodSIN AND SEPARATION FROM GODConcerning the event when Adamand Eve ate of the forbidden tree in theGarden of Eden, the Bible states,“Therefore, as through one man sin enteredthe world and death through sin,and so death passed to all men becauseall have sinned” (Rm 5:12).SPIRITUALDEATHWhen Adam and Eve ate of theforbidden fruit, their sin caused spiritualseparation between them andGod. They thus personally sufferedspiritual death, that is, they were spirituallydead because of their separationfrom God. All men since the days ofAdam and Eve also suffer spiritualdeath, “for all have sinned and fall shortof the glory of God” (Rm 3:23). Everyperson today is spiritually separatedfrom God because of his own personalsin, not because of Adam's sin. Adamwas personally responsible for the guiltof his own sin. We are also personallyresponsible for our own sin today.Isaiah 59:2 states, “But your iniq-Study 3PHYSICALDEATH9uities have separated you from yourGod; and your sins have hidden Hisface from you, so that He will not hear.”Not only did Adam spiritually diebefore God when he sinned, he wasalso driven from the Garden of Eden,“lest he put out his hand and take alsoof the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”(Gn 3:22). Consequently, physicaldeath entered into the world. TheBible says, “For since by man came[physical] death, by Man also came theresurrection of the dead. For as inAdam all die, even so in Christ all willbe made alive” (1 Co 15:21,22).When Adam was separated fromthe tree of life, all humanity was separatedwith him. Therefore, all men mustphysically die (Hb 9:27). We thus sufferthe consequences of Adam’s sinin reference to physical death becauseAdam caused all humanity to be separatedfrom the tree of life.Concerning our choices to sin, weare also like Adam. As Adam, all of ushave made choices to sin againstDEATHTREEofLIFE
The State Of ManYES - NO Since there are consequences toyour sin, can you be saved if you do not acceptGod’s solution for those consequences?11SCRIPTURE READING: Gn 3:22-24; Rm 5:12-21; 1 Co15:20-28SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Separation from God: Mt 7:21-23; Ep 2:1-3; 2 Th 1:7-9, Physical death: Ps 6:5; 13:3;23:4; Jn 4:24; 8:51; 1 Co 15:54-56; Hb 2:14; Rv 2:10, Spiritualdeath: Rm 6; Ep 2:1, Sin & separation: Is 59:1,2; Ez18:20; Mt 7:21-23Honest people will agree with whatthe Bible says in Romans 3:23. “Allhave sinned and fall short of the gloryof God.” The problem with sin is that itbrings spiritual death because sin separatesus from God. “For the wages ofsin is death, but the gift of God is eternallife through Jesus Christ our Lord”(Rm 6:23). But why and how do mensin?It is necessary that we have morallaws by which to live with one another.It is important to understand that wecould not be left alone in a world ofhuman relationships to develop ourown moral laws. Throughout historypeople have tried to establish morallaws by which to direct society. Butwhen we are left to ourselves to directour own ways, social decay is usuallythe result. The Bible is right when itsays, “It is not in man who walks todirect his own steps” (Jr 10:23).When we try to make our ownmoral laws, we always end up makinglaws that please our own worldly desires.We often make moral laws thatwill allow us to do as we please. Therefore,if we were allowed to make ourown moral laws, we would make lawsthat would eventually lead to social confusionand corruption. God knew thatwe would do this to ourselves. He thusTHE STATE OF MANStudy 4took the initiative to give us moral lawsthat would direct our paths.But the problem with law is that wecannot keep it perfectly. For this reason,each one of us has sinned. Evenif we try to do the best we can, we stillbreak God’s laws. And breaking God’slaws is sin. Sin thus brings spiritualdeath because sin separates us fromGod (Is 59:1,2). When one is in a stateof being separated from God becauseof sin against His laws, he cannot byany means or methods of himself bereconciled to God.MAN’S DILEMMA• Inability to keep law perfectly so as tosave oneself.• Inability of good works to atone for sin.Here is our dilemma. First, wecannot keep law perfectly so as tosave ourselves, for everyone of ushas sinned (Rm 3:23). Even if ourdesire is to obey God in every way possible,we still sin. Therefore, becauseno one can keep God’s law perfectly,the law condemns us to sin. We arethus driven to find something other thanlaw in order to be reconciled to God.Secondly, we cannot do goodworks so as to make atonement forthe sins we commit. We cannot besaved by good works, lest we boast
The Bibleone against another (Ep 2:9). Godsimply does not accept our good worksas a sacrifice for sin. He cannot becausethere is no amount of goodsworks that we can do to earn eternallife in heaven. Therefore, we are in acondemned state in sin. In this state,we are unable to redeem ourselvesfrom our sin against God. All of usstand condemned in the sight of Godbecause of our sins. What shall wedo?SELF TEST1. ____ The wages of sin is ... (A) ... life,(B) ... death, (C) ... hope2. ____ It is not in man to direct his own ...12(A) destiny, (B) faith, (C) steps3. ____ When men make their own lawsthey often make them according to desiresthat are ... (A) ... God directed, (B)... worldly, (C) ... of the Spirit4. ____ It is not possible for any man to keepthe law of God ... (A) ... perfectly, (B) ...in any way, (C) ... in hope of eternal life5. ____ We cannot atone for our sins by doinggood works, lest we ... (A) ... boastabout our good works, (B) ... convince ourselvesthat we are right with God, (C) ...believe that sin is rightYES - NO Is it reasonable to believe thatyou can do as you please in life and yet expectto go to heaven?SCRIPTURE READING: Ep 2:1-10; Rm 3SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: All sin: Gl 3:22; Rm 3:23; 11:32;1 Jn 1:6-9, Sin and death: Is 59:1-3; Ez 18:4; 1 Jn 3:6,Definition of sin: Rm 14:23; Js 4:17; 1 Jn 3:4In order to find a solution for sin,we must turn to the instructions of theOne against whom we sin. We thusturn to God who has revealed in theBible the solution for our sin. We muststrictly follow His instructions. We cannotinvent our own religious system forforgiveness of sins. We must go onlyto the Bible which is God’s direction tous on how to deal with our problem ofsin.God says of the Bible, “All Scriptureis given by inspiration of God, andis profitable for teaching, for reproof,for correction, for instruction in righteousness,so that the man of God maybe complete, thoroughly equipped forevery good work” (2 Tm 3:16,17).The word "inspiration" means"God-breathed." The Bible has thusbeen "breathed out" by God. It is theTHE BIBLEStudy 5revelationof God tous for ourdirectionin life. It isthe guidingmeasure byGOD’S WORDHOLYBIBLEwhich we must direct our lives in accordancewith the will of God. Therefore,we should consider the word ofGod as David did in his life when hewrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feetand a light to my path” (Ps 119:105).We should thus hunger and thirst afterGod’s word (Mt 5:6). We must yearnfor nourishment from the word of God(1 Pt 2:2).God’s word can change our livesbecause it is of God. “For the word ofGod is living and powerful, andsharper than any two-edged sword,
Finality Of God’s Wordpiercing even to the division of soul andspirit, and of joints and marrow, andable to judge the thoughts and intentsof the heart” (Hb 4:12).God expects us to obey His word.Obedience to God’s word in our liveswill result in great spiritual growth inour lives. The Bible says that we must“grow in grace and the knowledge ofour Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2Pt 3:18). Our only source for knowledgeof Jesus, is the Bible. Therefore,Paul stated, “I commend you to Godand to the word of His grace that is ableto build you up and give you an inheritanceamong all those who are sanctified"(At 20:32). When we grow inknowledge of the Bible, we grow toknow Jesus. This knowledge builds usup. This is what obedience to God’srevealed word will do in your life. It willbuild you up. Here is what the apostlePaul says of the word of God in relationto your well-being:For this reason we also thank Godwithout ceasing, because when youreceived the word of God which youheard from us, you welcomed it not asthe word of men, but as it is in truth,the word of God, which also effectivelyworks in you who believe (1 Th 2:13).13The solution for sin is discoveredin the Bible. The solution for a betterlife is discovered in the Bible. Yourknowledge of what the Bible says,therefore, is necessary in order that youhave life and that you have it moreabundantly (Jn 10:10). The more weunderstand the word of God, the betterour lives will be if we submit to whatGod has directed us to do. As a studentof the Bible, it should be your goalto better your life by what you learn inthe Bible.SELF TEST1. ____ What word means “God breathed”?(A) Faith, (B) Love, (C) Inspiration2. ____ What is the Bible unto our paths?(A) Torch, (B) Light, (C) Inspiration3. ____ What happens in our lives when wefeast on the word of God? (A) Spiritualgrowth, (B) Nothing, (C) Unbelief4. ____ The word of God is living and ... (A)... faithful, (B) ... powerful, (C) ... written5. ____ What does the word of God do inthose who study and believe it? (A)Works, (B) Nothing, (C) Produces rejectionYES - NO Since God exists, is it not reasonableto believe that He would reveal His willto us and that we should obey His will?SCRIPTURE READING: Ps 19:7-11; 119SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Revelation: Mt 11:25; 1 Co 2:6-13; Gl 1:11,12; Ep 3:3-5; 2 Tm 3:16,17; Hb 1:1,2; 2 Pt1:20,21, Work of God's word: Ps 19:8; 73:24;119:40,93,104,130; Jn 5:24; 8:51; 15:2; 17:17; 20:30,31;Rm 10:17; 15:4; 1 Co 10:11; 2 Tm 3:15; Js 1:21,25; 1 Pt1:22,23FINALITY OF GOD’S WORDWhen God gave the Old Testamentlaw to the Jews, He warned them aboutadding to His law. He warned, “Youshall not add to the word which I commandyou, nor take anything from it,Study 6that you may keep the commandmentsof the Lord your God which I commandyou” (Dt 4:2). This was a stern warningand one that still applies today.God’s final revelation to man was the
Binding Religious Traditionsbook of Revelation. With the lastverses of instruction to man in thisbook, God warned men not to add toHis word.REVELATION 22:18,19For I testify to everyone who hears thewords of the prophecy of this book, ifanyone adds to these things, God willadd to him the plagues that are writtenin this book. If anyone will take awayfrom the words of the book of this prophecy,God will take away his part out ofthe Book of Life, out of the holy cityand the things that are written in thisbook.God could not have made His pointmore clear. We must not add to Hisword religious laws that we inventfor ourselves. We must not add asrequirements for our salvation the religioustraditions of men. Adding toGod’s law is saying that His laws arenot sufficient. It is saying that Godneeds help to determine what is bestfor man. But God says that His law isthe "perfect law of liberty" (Js 1:25).14It is perfect in order “that the man ofGod may be complete, thoroughlyequipped for every good work” (2 Tm3:17). Since God’s law is perfect andcomplete, then who are we to say thatwe need to add to it?SELF TEST1. ____ If God says His word is complete,then what must we assume? (A) It is sufficient,(B) It is incomplete, (C) We mustadd our rules2. ____ What did God say He would add tothose who would add religious laws toGod’s word? (A) Faith, (B) Plagues, (C)Torture3. ____ In reference to the completeness ofthe law of liberty, what did God say Hislaw was? (A) Incomplete, (B) Perfect, (C)Final4. ____ In reference to our salvation andministry, what is the word of God? (A)Sufficient, (B) Incomplete, (C) Partially applicableYES - NO If you add religious laws to God’sword, does this say that you feel that His lawis not sufficient for your life?SCRIPTURE READING: Gl 1:6-10SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Do not add to the word: Pv30:6; 2 Jn 9-11, All-sufficient word: 2 Tm 3:15-17; 2 Pt1:3, Word causes growth: At 20:32; 1 Th 2:13; 1 Pt 2:1,2;2 Pt 3:18, Final revelation: Gl 1:6-9; 2 Tm 4:1-4; Jd 3BINDING RELIGIOUS TRADITIONSStudy 7In our effort to find a solution forour problem of spiritual and physicaldeath, many people have developedtheir own religious systems. But this iswhere many have deceived themselves.They think that because theyare performing religious activities intheir lives they are pleasing to God. Toooften, however, these religiously sincerepeople never stop to considerwhether the religious work of their livesis pleasing to God. They think that simplybecause their religious practicesbring them a good feeling and a clearconscience, such practices must be acceptableto God. But the fact is thatinstead of finding a solution for sin,they actually sin by following after
Binding Religious Traditionstheir own religious inventions thatare often contrary to the will of God.They often create a religion aftertheir own desires and not after theinstructions of God’s word. Theythus sin in rebellion against God’s wordby following after their own religious traditionsinstead of looking to the Biblefor direction from God.God is serious about us doing whatHe has instructed us to do in His word.The Jews of Jesus’ day did preciselywhat millions of people are doing today.They are behaving in their religionaccording to the religious traditionsof their fathers instead of the word ofGod. Here is what Jesus said of thispractice.MARK 7:6-8Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites,as it is written: 'This people honorsMe with their lips, but their heart isfar from Me. In vain they worship Me,teaching as doctrines the commandmentsof men.' For laying aside thecommandment of God, you hold thetradition of men ....Jesus called their religious behaviorafter their religious traditions an actof hypocrisy. It was hypocrisy becausethey were practicing their own religiousrules and rituals in order to make themselvesacceptable to God. But Jesuscalled such vain worship. It was use-15less in an effort to please God. It wasuseless religion because they wereteaching as doctrines the commandmentsof men.Some religious traditions are notwrong, as long as they are recognizedas tradition, and thus, not binding onthe consciences of men as necessaryfor salvation. However, when wemake traditions to be religious law, wedo as Jesus said of the Jews. Theywere "laying aside the commandmentof God in order to hold to their traditions"(Mk 7:8). This is the tragedy ofthe religious world today.It seems that religious peoplethroughout the world today are moreinterested in keeping their religious traditionsthan in keeping the word of God.Here is what Jesus continued to say tosuch people. “All too well you rejectthe commandment of God so thatyou may keep your tradition” (Mk 7:9).Is this your attitude toward the word ofGod? Are you willing to lay aside theword of God in order to keep your religioustraditions? Are you rejecting theword of God in order to keep your religioustraditions?Let’s be specific. This matter is soimportant that we must not miss thepoint of what Jesus is saying. Religioustraditions originate from our religioushistory. It is not wrong to do things in atraditional manner. However, when thetraditional manner of doing somethingbecomes the only way it can be done,BIBLE+BINDINGRELIGIOUSTRADITIONS=VAINWORSHIP
Binding Religious Traditionsthen it becomes religious tradition thatis bound on the consciences of men.If we cause division among believersbecause of our religious traditions, thensuch traditions have become bindinglaw in our minds. In other words, if wethink that the traditions should be keptin order to please God, then we areconsidering them to be law.At this point in our apostasy fromthe word of God, the traditions start takingthe place of the commandments ofGod. Jesus said in Mark 7 that we first16who did the same in His day. Theywere hypocrites in their religiousbehavior because they rejected thecommandment of God in order tokeep their traditions. Consider alsowhat Jesus said to some Jews who believedon Him, but their belief was soweak it would not move them to leavetheir traditions in order to follow Him.“Then Jesus said to those Jews whobelieved Him, ‘If you abide in Myword, you are My disciples indeed...”DIGRESSION SION INTO RELIGIOUS SINLaying AsideCommandmentsof Godto keep traditionsTeachingTraditionsof MenRejectingCommandmentsof Godto keep traditionsstart this process of apostasy from Godby "teaching as doctrines the commandmentsof men" (Mk 7:7). Wethen continue our apostasy from Godby "laying aside the commandmentof God" in order to practice our traditions(Mk 7:8). And finally, we "rejectthe commandment of God that wemight keep our traditions" (Mk 7:9).Has this happened to you? If it has,it is the purpose of this course to callyou to the word of God in order thatyou be able to divide between what istradition and what is the actual word ofGod. You must make this decision. Weplead with you to do this in your life forit is a serious thing to add to the willof God so as to seek God’s favor onyour own religious terms. The reasonthis is serious is that your religionmay be in vain. It may be useless. Addto this what Jesus said of those Jews(Jn 8:31). But they would not abide inHis word as many today will not abidein His word. Therefore, to the samegroup of Jews Jesus said, “You are ofyour father the devil, and the desiresof your father you want to do.” (Jn 8:44).In conjunction with religious traditions,some have been led astray bytheir own emotions and feelings. Theyhave subjected themselves to followingemotional experiences in religioninstead of the word of God. Some evenclaim that the Holy Spirit is leading andmoving them to do things the Holy Spiritnever said He would do in the firstplace.The only way we can know whatthe Holy Spirit will do in ourlives is to listen to what He saidHe would do in Bible which Heinspired to be written.
Binding Religious TraditionsReligions that focus on humanemotions and feelings, while ignoringthe Bible, are religions that lead oneinto self-deception. Remember,strong emotional conviction in religionis not a guarantee that one is of thetruth, and thus, saved. Having a zealfor God without knowledge of God is auseless religious exercise in referenceto our salvation (Rm 10:2; Gl 4:17,18).Cornelius was a devout man who didmany good works (At 10:1,2). However,he had to hear and obey the gospelbefore he could be saved (At 11:1-14). Simon was such a strong religiousleader in the city of Samaria that everyonein the city believed him (At 8:9-11). However, he also had to hear andobey the gospel in order to be saved(At 8:12,13). It is not good enough tobe religiously committed, devoted orzealous toward God in order to besaved. One must obey God’s word!The only way you can know for sureif you are doing what God would haveyou do is to search the Scriptures. Beas the Bereans. Luke wrote of them,“These were more noble-minded thanthose in Thessalonica, in that they receivedthe word with all readiness ofmind and searched the Scriptures dailyto see whether those things were so”(At 17:11).We challenge you therefore tosearch the Scriptures in order to determineif your religious practices arebased on the word of God or on thewill of man. We want to challenge youwith the following two questions. Youranswers to these questions will determinewhether or not you are willing tolisten to God concerning His solution17for your salvation and how you will seekto please Him in this life.YES NO If you discover in theBible that you have been servingGod according to human traditionsand not according to theword of God, are you willing tochange in order to do what theBible instructs you to do in orderto find a solution for sin?YES NO If you discover somethingin the Bible that contradictsyour present religious behavior,are you willing to correct such inorder to do what the Bible says?SELF TEST1. ____ When we worship God according toour own traditions and not by the directionof His word, our worship is ... (A) ...pleasing to God, (B) ... in vain, (C) ... inagreement with God’s word2. ____ In order to keep their own religioustraditions, what did the Jews do to theword of God? (A) Study, (B) Obey, (C)Reject3. ____ What were the Jews keeping as religiouspractice that led them to reject theword of God? (A) Civil laws, (B) Romanlaws, (C) Religious traditions4. ____ If one falls away from the word ofGod, what is his last stage of religiousbehavior? (A) Acceptance of God’s word,(B) Rejection of God’s word, (C) Study ofthe BibleYES - NO Since God has given His law toyou, does this mean that you still have theright to develop your own system of salvation?SCRIPTURE READING: Mt 15:1-9 (Is 29:13); Mk 7:1-9;Rm 1:21-32SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Traditions: Ep 5:6; Cl 2:8,20-23; 1 Tm 6:20, Deception of traditional religions: 2 Th2:10-12; 1 Tm 4:1-5; 2 Tm 4:3-5; 2 Jn 9,10, Seeking God:Mt 7:7,8; 11:28,29; Rv 3:20
Our Dilemma With SinHonest people know that they havea problem with sin. What many havedone, however, is to seek out their ownsolutions to remedy their sin problemin order to have a good conscience towardGod. In this effort to find solutionsfor sin and correct religious behavior,people have often forgotten twovery important points. We cannot buyGod’s salvation, and thus we standcondemned because we all sin.We Cannot BuyGod's SalvationWith Good Works.Suppose you owed someone somuch money that it would take you fivehundred years of working every day inorder to earn enough money to repayyour debt. Could you possibly repaythis debt? Certainly not! If you arephysically strong, you would possiblylive to be eighty or ninety years old. Atthe time of your death, however, youwould still be in debt. Thus there is nopossible way you could personally workthe five hundred years in order to repayyour debt.FREEGIFTOUR DILEMMA WITH SINGraceis given,not earned.Study 818Now suppose God would offer youa gift that was so great that there wouldbe no possible way for you to pay whatit cost. Upon accepting the gift accordingto God’s conditions of acceptance,you would say, “What I now owe isgreater than what I can repay.” You arecorrect. You could not repay God thecost of the gift.Remember the parable of the manwho owed ten thousand talents to aking (Mt 18:23-35). There was no possibleway he could repay his debt.When the man was brought to pay hisaccount, he responded to the king byfalling down on his knees. He beggedfor his deliverance. The king had mercyand subsequently forgave him his debt.This was grace given to one who couldnot repay.So it is with our relationship withGod. We cannot pay God for the forgivenessof our sins. What we owe ismore than what we can pay. We arethus doomed. So how can we receiveforgiveness? When we receive forgiveness,how can we repay God?Some religious people believe theycan pay God with their good works. Inother words, they believe they can putGod in debt to them by doing goodworks that will make God owe themtheir forgiveness. But the fact is, onecannot live long enough in order todo enough good works to demandsalvation from God. Neither can oneso work as to pay God back for thesalvation that He gives to those whowalk by obedient faith.
Our Dilemma With SinOne is deceiving himself if he orshe thinks one can buy salvation fromGod with good works. God says youcannot do enough good works to adequatelypay for the salvation that Hehas to offer. If you could live a thousandlifetimes, you still could not paythe price of your salvation. If you aredoing good works in order to buy yoursalvation, you have no chance of payingthe bill.The point is that we cannot put Godin debt to give us eternal salvation. Wecannot make God a debtor. Therefore,we will not be able to stand in finaljudgment and demand heaven fromGod because of our good works. Thegift is too great to be earned by the effortsof any person. So how can onereceive that for which he or she cannotdo enough good works to earn? Theanswer is God’s grace.One Cannot EarnGod’s FavorWith Perfect Living.The second principle that identifiessome who are religiously misguided isthe belief that one can so live accordingto God's law that he or she can demandsalvation onthe basis of obedienceto law. Somemay feel that they aregood because oftheir obedience tolaw. However, one sin makes a sinner.James says, “For whoever willkeep the whole law, and yet stumble inone point, he has become guilty of all”19(Js 2:10). If you think you are goodaccording to law, but break one law, thelaw condemns you as a sinner. Therefore,“man is not justified by the worksof law but by the faith of Jesus Christ... for by the works of law no fleshwill be justified” (Gl 2:16). The Biblealso says, “Therefore by the deeds oflaw no flesh will be justified in His sight...” (Rm 3:20).The reason why one is not pronouncedrighteous before God bytrying to keep law is the fact that allmen break God’s law (Rm 3:23).“There is none righteous, no, not one”(Rm 3:10). And the wages of sin isspiritual death (Rm 6:23). This is whyno one can be justified before God bykeeping His law perfectly.We cannot earn our salvation bydoing good works. We cannot keepGod's law perfectly so as to have nosin. We are thus condemned by thelaw of God to be eternally separatedfrom God because of our sin. We arecondemned unless there is a solutionfor our problem of sin that is providedby God and not man. In recognition ofour sinful state of condemnation, everyone of us should be driven to saywhat Paul proclaimed, “O wretchedman that I am! Who will deliver me fromthis body of death?”(Rm 7:24). The answerto this questionis not in inventing ourown religion or ourown methods to find forgiveness.When dealing with sin against Godthe only solution is God’s solution.The only source for discoveringGod’s solution is the Bible.
Our Dilemma With SinSELF TEST1. ____ One cannot buy God’s salvationwith ... (A) ... faith, (B) ... hope, (C) ...good works2. ____ If we seek to earn our salvation bygood works, what do we make God to be?(A) Our debtor, (B) Our Father, (C) OurSavior3. ____ One sin makes one a ... (A) ... believer,(B) ... sinner, (C) ... saint4. ____ By works of law one is not ... (A) ....obedient, (B) ... justified, (C) ... praised5. ____ The wages of sin is spiritual ... (A)... life, (B) ... death, (C) ... regenerationYES - NO Since you cannot keep God’s lawperfectly, nor do good works to atone for yoursins, is it necessary, therefore, that you turnto God and His word in order to discover whatyou must do to be saved?SCRIPTURE READING: Rm 3,4; Gl 2,3SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Sin and death: Is 59:1,2; Rm5:8-21; 6:23, Sin and law: Ez 18:20; Rm 14:23; Js 4:17; 1Jn 3:4, Good works: Rm 3:27,28; 4:1-5; 11:6; Ep 2:8-10REVIEWING SECTION IStudies 1-8You have so far studied that Godcreated man with the ability and freedomto make choices. Adam and Evewere placed in an environment that allowedchoices to be made. We are inthe same environment today. Adamand Eve were free-moral agents, thatis, they were created to be moral individualswith the freedom to choose concerningthe behavior of their lives. Soare we.With freedom comes responsibilitytoward God and one’s fellow man.And in order to control our behavior towardGod and our relationship with oneanother, God gave law. Law is necessaryfor men to live together. But lawrequires that we are responsible. It de-20mands that we will be held accountablefor breaking law.With law came sin, for no one cankeep law perfectly. When sin occurs,there is separation from God, and thus,spiritual death. If one continues in astate of spiritual death, he or she willbe eternally destroyed from the presenceof God.People throughout history have realizedthat they were sinners, and thus,have constructed various religiouspractices in order to try to make themselvesright in the sight of God. Thereare thus numerous religious peoplethroughout the world who seek toplease God after their own traditions.However, God does not accept our religiousinventions that have been createdafter our desires to construct ourown religions. Traditional religionsmean nothing to God. They are onlythe invention of those who seek to bereligious according to their own wishes.Men have tried to invent their ownreligious works in order to have a goodconscience toward God. But everyoneknows that we sin. Everyone knowsthat we cannot do enough good worksto gain assurance that we are saved.For this reason, honest and sincereworshipers of God seek after God.They seek God on His terms and accordingto His law. This is our challengeto you. We challenge you to continuein these studies until you discoverthe great grace of God that was revealedthrough Jesus Christ. It is thisgrace that will bring you peace of mindand joy in heart. We challenge you tocontinue in your studies in order to discoverhow God instructs us to worship
Blessing Of The SeedHim according to His will. The HolySpirit has revealed the will of God concerninghow God seeks to be wor-21shiped and served. Therefore, we muststudy the Spirit’s instructions as revealedin the Bible.Note: You must stop in your reading here and complete the final test questions overthis first section of your studies. After you complete the appropriate questions,please continue your reading and study of the following material:GOD’S ’S SOLUTION FOR SINWhen Adam sinned in the Gardenof Eden, he spiritually died, for his sinseparated him from God (Rm 5:12). Hewas also separated from the tree of life,and thus, took all humanity with himfrom the tree of life. Subsequently, allof us must now suffer the consequencesof his sin in that we all mustphysically die (1 Co 15:20-22). In themidst of this human tragedy, however,God made a promise that a solutionfor sin would come (Gn 3:15).God chose a man by the name ofAbraham through whose seed Hewould bring into the world the One whowould be the Savior of the world. Godpromised Abraham, “And in you allthe families of the earth will beblessed” (Gn 12:3). From the time thispromise was made around 2000 B.C.,God continually reminded His peopleSection IIBLESSING OF THE SEEDStudy 9Throughout the Old Testamentthere are hundreds of prophecies thatforetold of the coming Messiah whowould make atonement for the sins ofmen, and thus, give all of us an opportunityto return to a loving relationshipwith our Creator. All these prophecieswere of Jesus who would die on thecross in order to reconcile us to God.He also came to give us a way to conquerthat which all of us fear, physicaldeath (Hb 2:14).that there was a "blessing" coming whowould bear the iniquities of the people(Is 53). The promise was not only tothe descendants of Abraham, the Jews,but to all families of the earth. It wasGod’s promise to all mankind.So who was the blessing? Peterstated, ”You are sons of the prophets,and of the covenant that God made withTHE SEED
Blessing Of The Seedour fathers, saying to Abraham, 'Andin your seed will all the families ofthe earth be blessed.' For you first,God raised up His Servant Jesus andsent Him to bless you by turning everyone of you away from your iniquities”(At 3:25,26). The Seed ofAbraham that would bless all mankindwas JESUS! The blessing wasthat Jesus would turn us away from oursins. Paul wrote, “Now to Abraham and22his Seed were the promises made. Hedoes not say, 'And to seeds,' as tomany, but as of one, 'And to your Seed,'who is Christ” (Gl 3:16). So the Seedwas Jesus Christ. After Adam sinned,this was the Seed of woman that Godpromised would crush the head of Satan(Gn 3:15). He would crush Satanby offering Himself as an atoning sacrificefor our sins. This was the greatnews of the gospel.THE SEED THAT WOULD CRUSH AND BLESSSEEDwouldCRUSH(Gn 3:15)SEEDwouldBLESS(Gn 12:3)SEEDCrushed SatanBlessed Man(Gl 3:16)Now what was the blessing of Abraham that would come from the Seed?The Bible answers, “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justifythe Gentiles by faith, preached beforehand the gospel to Abraham, saying,‘In you will all the nations be blessed’” (Gl 3:8). The gospel in this promiserefers to good news! It was the good news of the Seed who would take careof our sin problem in our relationship with God. The Seed would bring us tojustification by faith (Rm 3:20; Gl 2:16). He would thus restore (reconcile)us to God by His blood (Rm 5:10,11). This is how God blesses all thosewho believe in Jesus and submit to obedience to the gospel. He is the Lambof God who takes away all the sins of the obedient (Jn 1:29).SELF TEST1. ____ Who was the Seed of woman anddescendant of Abraham who crushed Satan?(A) David, (B) John, (C) Jesus2. ____ God promised Abraham that in himall families of the earth would be ... (A) ...blessed, (B) ... saved, (C) ... born3. ____ What was preached to Abraham inthe sense that God announced to him thatOne of his seed would be a blessing toman? (A) Faith, (B) Love, (C) The gospel4. ____ By what would the Gentiles be justified?(A) Love, (B) Faith, (C) HopeYES - NO Since God promised that all wouldbe blessed through the promised Seed, is itnecessary for you to go to the Seed in orderto be blessed?SCRIPTURE READING: Gn 12:1-3; 21:12; 22:18; Is 53;Gl 3SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Prophecy of cross: Is 53; Ps22, Prophecy of Jesus: Ps 41:9; 22; Is 7:14; 9:6,7; 34:5,6;42:1-4 Jr 31:15; Mc 5:2; Hs 11:1; Zc 13:7, Reconciliation:Rm 5:10,11; 2 Co 5:19,20; Ep 2:16; Cl 1:20
The Crushing Of SatanTHE CRUSHING OF SATANStudy 1023Exactly how did Jesus crush thehead of Satan and at the same timebecome a spiritual blessing to all mankind?Answering this question explainsthe gospel. By answering this question,we will understand that we mustrespond to God’s gift of grace.THE BLESSING:God’s Solution To OurSpiritual Death Problem!Jesus came to take care of our sinproblem. The Bible says, “He whocommits sin is of the devil, for the devilhas sinned from the beginning. Forthis purpose the Son of God wasmanifested, so that He might destroythe works of the devil” (1 Jn3:8). Because we were spiritually deadin trespasses, Jesus came to die onthe cross in order to bring us back toGod (Cl 2:13-15). In doing this He destroyedthe works of the devil.THE BLESSING:God’s Solution To OurPhysical Death Problem!Not only did Jesus take care of ourspiritual death problem in reference tosin, He took care of our physical deathproblem. The Bible says, “Therefore,since the children are partakers of fleshand blood, He also Himself likewisepartook of the same, so that throughdeath He might destroy him who hadthe power of death, that is, the devil,and deliver those who through fearof death were all their lifetime subjectto bondage” (Hb 2:14,15).Jesus died on the cross in order totake care of our spiritual death problemthat results from our personal sinagainst God (Is 59:1,2). He died in orderthat people might be brought backto God. He was resurrected in orderto give us hope that we too can be resurrectedto life in the future. By Hisresurrection He took care of our physicaldeath problem (1 Co 15:20-22).A. Jesus came to earth from heaven.Jesus, as the Son of God, was firstin heaven, but He “came down out ofheaven” (Jn 6:51,62).He lived and wastempted as every man(Hb 4:15). He was theSon of God who“made Himself of noreputation, taking theFIRSTCOMINGform of a bondservant, and being madein the likeness of men ... humbled Himselfand became obedient unto death,even the death of the cross” (Ph 2:7,8).B. Jesus died for our sins.Jesus, the Son of God, was crucifiedon the cross of Calvary for the sinsof all people. He “bore our sins in Hisown body on the tree, so that we, havingdied to sins, might live to righteousness– by whose stripes you werehealed” (1 Pt 2:24). Jesus died for allof us! Through His sacrificial death,all men who are obedient to His will can
The Crushing Of Satanhave the forgiveness of their sins. Thisis great news!Jesus crushedthe power of Satanby dying on thecross so that peoplemight have an escapefrom sin and spiritualseparation from God.CRUCIFIXIONHowever, in making such a sacrifice Hebruised His heel (Gn 3:15) in the sensethat He had to physically die on thecross in order to make an escape fromsin possible for us.Jesus had to shed His blood thatwe might be redeemed. Redeemedmeans that He bought us andbrought us back from Satan whohad captivated us through our ownsin. There was remission of sins,therefore, only through the shedding ofHis blood. The Bible says that “withoutshedding of blood there is no remission”(Hb 9:22). Therefore, Peterreminds Christians “that you were notredeemed with corruptible things, assilver or gold from your vain behaviorreceived by tradition from your fathers,but with the precious blood of Christ...” (1 Pt 1:18,19). Jesus took care ofour spiritual death problem that wasbrought into our lives by our own sin(Rm 5:12).C. Jesus was buried to be raised.In order to overcome our problemof physical death, Jesus was buried ina tomb. However, on the third day afterHis burial He was raised on Sundaymorning from the dead and cameforth from the tomb (Mk 16:9). Jesushad the power and authority to lay down24His life. He had the power to raise Himselffrom the dead. He said, “No onetakes it [My life] from Me, but I lay itdown of Myself. I have power to lay itdown, and I have power to take it upagain. This commandment I have receivedfrom My Father” (Jn 10:18).If we believe that Jesus was raisedfrom the dead, then this belief becomesthe foundation upon which our faithstands that we will be raised in the end(1 Th 4:14). In fact,when Jesus comesagain, “all who are ingraves will hear Hisvoice and come forthRESURRECTION...” (Jn 5:28,29).However, only thosewho have believed on Jesus will be resurrectedto life, for only “in Christ” isthere hope of resurrection to an immortalstate of being (1 Co 15:22). Jesus’resurrection, therefore, is God’s answerto the physical death problemof man. This is good news!D. Jesus ascended to heaven.Jesus ascended to heaven afterHis resurrection. God manifested greatpower when He resurrected Jesus“from the dead and set Him at His righthand in the heavenly places, far aboveall principality and power and might anddominion and every name that isnamed, not only in this age, but also inthat which is to come .... He put allthings under His feet, and gave Himto be head over all things to thechurch” (Ep 1:20-22).Jesus is now in heaven at the righthand of the Father. He is functioningas our high priest. He is our high priest
The Crushing Of Satan“who is seated at theright hand of thethrone of the Majestyin the heavens” (Hb8:1). Because Jesusis in heaven, Christians“have a Counselor with the Father,Jesus Christ the righteous. AndHe Himself is the atoning sacrifice forour sins, and not for ours only, but alsofor the whole world” (1 Jn 2:1,2). Asour Counselor, Jesus is at the righthand of God making intercession forus (Rm 8:34; Hb 7:25). He is now Kingof kings and Lord of lords and has allauthority over all things for our benefit(Mt 28:18; 1 Tm 6:15; Hb 1:3).E. Jesus is coming again.Jesus is coming a second time (Hb9:28). He is coming to destroy the lastenemy which is physical death (1 Co15:26). He will destroy physical deathforever by our resurrection from thedead (Jn 5:28,29).Jesus is coming again to judge theworld. It is through Jesus that the Fatherwill judge all. “We must all appearbefore the judgment seat of Christ, sothat each one may receive the thingsdone in the body, according to what hehas done, whether good or bad” (2 Co5:10). The righteous will go into eternalheaven (Mt 25:46; Rv 21:4). Thewicked will be castinto destruction (2Th 1:7-9). The earthand the elements ofthe world as we nowCOMINGAGAINASCENSIONknow them will be destroyed(2 Pt 3:10,11).At that time there will25be the end of time. The Son will thensubmit all things to God. “And whenall things are subjected to Him [Christ],then will the Son Himself also be subjectto Him who put all things underHim, so that God may be all in all” (1Co 15:28).Jesus crushed Satan’s work in everyway. He came to earth to save sinnersand to teach us a better way oflife (Jn 1:29; 10:10). He died on thecross to deliver us from sin, thus savingus from spiritual death. He wasresurrected from the dead so that wemight have proof of being resurrectedfrom physical death at His final coming.In this way He crushed Satan’spower of physical death.Jesus is coming again to finalizeHis victory over death by the resurrectionof the righteous from the dead.This is great news for those who havegiven themselves to Jesus. It is badnews, however, for those who have notsubmitted themselves to Jesus. Thedisobedient will be raised for destructionwhen Jesus comes again. Are youlooking for the final coming of Jesus?Because of their faith, Christians are“looking for and hastening the comingof the day of God” (2 Pt 3:12). Are you?SELF TEST1. ____ Jesus came that He might destroywhat of the devil? (A) Life, (B) Works, (C)Destiny2. ____ From what did Jesus release us byHis resurrection from the dead? (A) Thenecessity of death, (B) The power ofdeath, (C) The reality of death3. ____ From where did Jesus come? (A)Paradise, (B) Heaven, (C) Hades4. ____ There could be no remission of sinsunless there was the shedding of what?
God’s Grace And Man’s Traditions(A) Blood, (B) Life, (C) Possessions5. ____ What did Jesus have in order to laydown of His life and take it up again? (A)Faith, (B) Hope, (C) Power6. ____ When Jesus comes again, who willbe resurrected? (A) Righteous, (B) Unrighteous,(C) All people7. ____ What did Jesus do in order to answerthe physical death problem of man?(A) Taught the people, (B) Was resurrected,(C) Preached to the people8. ____ The cross was God's answer to whatspiritual problem of man? (A) Spiritualdeath, (B) Physical death9. ____ What was put under Jesus' feetwhen He was seated at the right hand ofGod? (A) Satan, (B) The world, (C) Allthings10. ____ As what does Jesus function bypleading our case and making intercessionfor our sins? (A) Hope, (B) Counselor,(C) Lord11. ____ What will be the last enemy Jesuswill destroy? (A) Physical death, (B) Satan,(C) Demons2612. ____ After final judgment, the righteousshall go away into ... (A) ... hades, (B) ...paradise, (C) ... heaven13. ____ In the end, what will God do throughJesus in reference to the world? (A) Destroy,(B) Reconstruct, (C) Preserve14. ____ After Jesus has accomplished Hiswork, what will He do in reference to theFather? (A) Submit, (B) Remain head ofall, (C) Be exalted aboveYES - NO Since it was the work of Jesus tocrush Satan, must you be of Jesus in orderto have Satan crushed in your life?SCRIPTURE READING: Satan overcome: Cl 2:13-22,Resurrection: 1 Co 15; 2 Co 5:1-8; 1 Th 4:12-18SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Authority of Jesus: Mt 28:18;Jn 12:31; 13:3; 16:11; 17:2; Ep 1:20-22; 1 Pt 3:21,22, Firstcoming: Jn 1:1-14; 8:58; 14:5,24; 20:28; Rm 9:5; 2 Pt 1:16;1 Jn 5:20, Judgment: Jn 12:31; 2 Co 5:10; 2 Tm 4:1; Hb9:27; 1 Pt 4:17; Jd 6, Atonement on cross: Jn 1:29; 1 Co15:3; Gl 1:4; Hb 9:28, Resurrection: Jn 5:28,29; 11:24,25;1 Co 15; 1 Th 4:13-18, Exaltation of Jesus: At 2:29-36;Ph 2:5-11; Hb 1:1-3, Priesthood of Jesus: Zc 6:12,13;Hb 2:17; 4:14; 5:6; 7:11-28; 9:11, Kingship of Jesus: Dn2:44; 7:13,14; Zc 6:12,13; Rm 5:17; 1 Tm 1:17; 6:15; Rv19:16GOD’S GRACE & MAN’S TRADITIONSThe gospel event that was explainedin the previous study happenedalmost two thousand years ago. It wasan event that manifested the grace ofGod to man. Jesus said, “For God didnot send His Son into the world to condemnthe world, but that the worldthrough Him might be saved” (Jn 3:17).In this way, therefore, “the grace of Godthat brings salvation has appeared toall men” (Ti 2:11). Though mankindwas dead in sin, God’s grace waspoured out through Jesus (Rm 5:8).Jesus brought a solution for our problemof sin.God’s story of grace is briefly explainedin the Bible in Ephesians 2:1-Study 1110. Verses 4-9 specifically explain themarvelous grace of God.But God, who is rich in mercy, becauseof His great love with which He lovedus, even when we were dead in trespasses,made us alive together withChrist – by grace you have been saved.And He raised us up together and madeus sit together in the heavenly placesin Christ Jesus, so that in the ages tocome He might show the exceedingriches of His grace in His kindness towardus in Christ Jesus. For by graceyou are saved through faith, and thatnot of yourselves, it is the gift of God;not of works, lest anyone should boast.
God’s Grace And Man’s TraditionsThis is great news! God knew thatwe could not save ourselves. He knewthat we could not keep His law perfectlyso as to justify ourselves by law-keeping.In our frustration to keep His lawperfectly, He knew that we would inventfor ourselves religious ceremoniesof works in order to find forgiveness ofsins by our own religious performances.But God also knew that wecould never do enough good works toearn our salvation.God knew our inabilities, our unrighteousnessand our ungodliness.Nevertheless, because of His mercyHe sent Jesus into the world. Listen towhat the Bible says. “For when we werestill without strength, at the right timeChrist died for the ungodly. Forscarcely for a righteous man will onedie, yet perhaps for a good man someonewould even dare to die. But Godmanifests His own love toward us,in that while we were still sinners,Christ died for us” (Rm 5:6-8). That’sgrace! And that’s great news!God sent His Son to save us eventhough we did not deserve to be saved.God first extended His hand to take usout of our own religious confusion oftraditional religions. He sent Jesus tothe Jews who were lost in their religioustraditions. He sends Jesus today toeveryone who is lost in the confusionof traditional religions that are vain inthe sight of God (Mk 7:6-9).You may be "very religious" asthose in the city of Athens in Greece.However, to such religious people Paulstated, “And the times of this ignoranceGod has overlooked, but now commandsall men everywhere to repent27...” (At 17:22,30). If you are satisfied inman-made traditional religion, here iswhat the Bible says concerning such ifyou now believe in Jesus.Therefore, if you died with Christ fromthe elementary principles of the world,why, as if you were living in the world,do you submit yourselves to ordinances?“Do not touch, do not taste,do not handle.” All these concernthings that perish with the using, afterto the commandments and doctrines ofmen. These things have indeed a showof wisdom in self-made religion andself-abasement and neglect of the body,but not in any value in restraining theindulgence of the flesh (Cl 2:20-23).Now we challenge you. The Biblesays, “Examine yourselves as towhether you are in the faith” (2 Co13:5). You may think that you are livingan acceptable life that is pleasingto God. However, can you prove yourreligious behavior to be that which isacceptable to God? Can you proveyour beliefs by going to the Bible? Inother words, are you trusting in religioustraditions simply because they havealways been practiced by your forefathers?If you are, then you must reconsideryour religious traditions in relationto God’s word.Remember, the Jews to whomJesus first preached were religious.They believed in God. However, theyhad established their own religious traditions.The Bible says that Jesus“came to His own, and His own did notreceive Him” (Jn 1:11). The Jews didnot receive Him because they had al-
God’s Grace And Man’s Traditionsready rejected the will of God (Mk 7:9).Since they had already rejected theword of God, it was easy to rejectJesus.Will you be one of those religiouspeople today to whom Jesus comes,but because of your religious traditionsyou will reject Him? Keep in mind thatGod’s grace is not only offered to thosewho do not know Jesus. It is also offeredto those who have devised theirown religions in order to save themselves.It is offered to those who havebeen trapped in the world of man-madereligions. God calls us out of such vainreligions in order to enjoy the freedomof His grace. He calls, “‘Come outfrom among them and be separate,’says the Lord. ‘And do not touch whatis unclean, and I will receive you’” (2Co 6:17).Jesus calls us into freedom fromthe bondage of man-made religion (Gl5:1). In Him we can be free from humanorganizations, ceremonial religion,binding traditions of men, and authoritarianreligious institutions that seek toassume lordship over God’s people.Jesus calls us into the freedom ofGod’s grace in order that we becomethe bondservants of His will.Those who accept God’s grace onHis conditions can have hope. Here’sGod's promise. "But as many as receivedHim, to them He gave the rightto become children of God, even tothose who believe in His name" (Jn1:12). If you accept Jesus through theconditions God prescribes in His word,you have the right to become a child ofGod. You have a right to come into arelationship with the Father, Son and28Holy Spirit by obedience to the gospel.In this relationship you will be headedfor heaven and eternal glory in the presenceof God. This is the gift that Godwants all people in the world to have.You can have it through your obedienceto the gospel. This is great news!SELF TEST1. ____ Jesus did not come to condemn theworld, but that the world through Himmight be ... (A) ... judged, (B) ... saved,(C) ... rejected2. ____ In what was God rich that movedHim to save us by His grace? (A) Power,(B) Joy, (C) Mercy3. ____ In whom must we be in order to enjoyGod's grace? (A) Christ, (B) Theworld, (C) In heaven4. ____ What did God demonstrate towardus while we were still dead in sin? (A)Love, (B) Hope, (C) Faith5. ____ What does God say those who arecaught in traditional religion must do inorder to accept Jesus? (A) Maintain theirtraditions, (B) Combine traditions withGod's word, (C) Repent6. ____ One must examine himself accordingto God's word in order to determinewhether he is in what? (A) The faith, (B)His father's religion, (C) The commandmentsof men7. ____ What did many religious Jews ofJesus’ day not do in reference to Jesus?(A) Believe the Old Testament, (B) ObeyGod, (C) Receive Him8. ____ What do those who receive Jesushave a right to become? (A) Judged, (B)Persecuted, (C) Children of GodYES - NO If you understand how far Godhas to come in order to bring you home withHim, and yet refuse His invitation, do youthink you should be saved anyway?SCRIPTURE READING: Jn 1:1-51; 3:1-21; Rm 5SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Salvation in Christ: Lk 19:10;Jn 1:29; At 4:12; Rm 5:8,9; Hb 9:28; 1 Pt 2:24; God's love:Jn 3:16; Rm 5:8; 1 Jn 3:1; 4:9-11, Child of God: Rm 8:16;Gl 3:7; 4:5; Ph 2:15; Hb 2:10; 12:5; 1 Jn 3:2
Establishing A Relationship With GodESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP WITH GODIn order to be saved one must havea covenant relationship with Christ whosaves. In the New Testament, thephrase “in Christ” is used to explain thisrelationship. When one is “in Christ,”he or she has a spiritual covenantrelationship with God. This is thesame as being in the body, the church,for the church is the body of Christ (Cl1:18).Jesus is the head of the body (Ep5:23). The word “head” is used figurativelyto mean “control” and “center ofreference.” As our physical head controlsour entire body and is the centerof reference to our function as a body,so Jesus desires to control our livesand be the center of reference for allour behavior. In this way He will bringan abundant life to us because He willalways lead us in the right direction (Jn10:10). When one is in the body ofChrist, therefore, he has established asubmissive relationship with Jesus, thehead. When we submit to the head ofthe body, the head gives spiritual bless-Study 1229ings that bring salvation.When we are in an “in Christ” relationshipwith God, we have all spiritualblessings that come with a covenantwith God. The Bible says,“Blessed is the God and Father of ourLord Jesus Christ, who has blessed uswith every spiritual blessing in theheavenly places in Christ” (Ep 1:3). Inorder to have all these spiritual blessingswe must be in submission to Jesusas our head. We cannot be outsideChrist and expect to receive thoseblessings that are only in Christ. Illustratedin the chart below are thoseblessings that we have when we are inan “in Christ” relationship with Jesus.There are no spiritual blessingsoutside Christ. If one is to have redemptionand forgiveness of sins (Ep1:7), he or she must be in Christ. OutsideChrist there is no redemption orforgiveness of sins. If one is to be anew creature, he or she must be inChrist (2 Co 5:17). There are only oldcreatures outside Christ. If one desiresJESUS“In Christ”OUTSIDECHRIST!No SpiritualBlessingsRedemptionForgivenessNew CreatureEternal LifeNo CondemnationJustificationSanctificationSALVATIONOUTSIDECHRIST!No SpiritualBlessings
Establishing A Relationship With Godto live forever, he or she must be inChrist (1 Jn 5:11). There is only eternaldeath outside Christ. Outside Christall are under condemnation. However,if one comes into Christ, he or she isnot in a state of condemnation (Rm8:1). If one desires to be sanctified ofall sin, then he or she must come intoChrist (1 Co 1:2). All these spiritualblessings add up to salvation (2 Tm2:10). This salvation is only in Christ.Since all spiritual blessings are inChrist, there is only one question thatmust be asked and answered.HOW CAN ONE RECEIVEALL SPIRITUAL AL BLESSINGSTHAT T ARE ONLY Y IN CHRIST?You must answer this question.The answer is in the Bible. You mustalso make another decision. When theBible answers this question, will you bewilling to accept the answer and applysuch to your life? If you are convincedthat the Bible answer is clear and necessaryfor your salvation, will you obeythe instructions of the Bible? It doesno good for one’s salvation to knowwhat to do to be saved, and yet do nothing.Therefore, only a positive responseto what the Bible teaches willbenefit our eternal destiny. This is youropportunity to respond to God’s will.SELF TEST1. ____ What kind of relationship does onehave with God when he is "in Christ"? (A)Physical, (B) Unconditional, (C) Spiritual2. ____ In Christ are all spiritual ... (A) ...thoughts, (B) ... blessings, (C) ... encounters3. ____ If one is outside Christ, what spiri-30tual blessings does he have? (A) Forgivenessof sins, (B) Eternal llife, (C) None4. ____ All spiritual blessings result in our... (A) ... faith, (B) ... redemption, (C) ...salvationYES - NO Since all spiritual blessings in referenceto your salvation are in Christ, do youthink you should be saved if you fail to dowhat God says you must do in order to comeinto Christ?SCRIPTURE READING: Ep 1:3-14SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Redemption: Rm 3:24; 8:23;1 Co 1:30; Gl 3:13; 4:5; Ti 2:14; Hb 9:12; 1 Pt 1:18, Forgiveness:Mt 6:12-14; 18:21-35; At 13:38; 26:18; 1 Jn 1:9;2:12, Condemnation: Mt 23:14,33; Mk 3:29; Jn 3:19;5:29; Rm 3:8, Eternal life: Jn 5:24-26,39; 8:12; 10:28; 11:25;17:2,3; Rm 2:7; 1 Tm 6:12; Ti 1:2; 1 Jn 5:11-13, Sanctification:1 Co 1:30; 6:11; 7:14; 1 Th 4:3; 1 Tm 4:5; Hb 2:11;10:10; Jd 1, Salvation: At 4:12; Rm 1:16; 2 Co 6:2; Ph2:12,13; Ti 2:11; Hb 2:3; 1 Pt 1:10-12REVIEWING SECTION IIStudies 9-12When Adam sinned, God set inaction His plan to reconcile all men toHimself. Abraham was chosen as theone through whom God would build anation from which the promised Seedof salvation would be born. When thetime came for all prophecies to be fulfilledconcerning God’s plan of salvation,God sent forth Jesus into the world(Gl 4:4). As the Son of God, Jesuscame to be the sacrificial offering forour sins. After accomplishing His workon the cross, all people were and areinvited to come into a saving relationshipwith Him in His body, the church.His invitation still stands today.In order to come under the controllingdirection of Jesus who promisesus an abundant life in this time and eternallife to come, one must submit toJesus as his head. Submission meansthere are conditions for being in Christ.
Taking Advantage Of God’s GraceWe cannot choose our own conditionsby which to come into a covenantrelationship with God. Manmadeconditions and rules lead oneaway from God and accuse Jesus ofnot providing all that is necessary forour salvation. Neither can we dependon our own feelings and emotions. Hu-31man feelings and emotions lead oneaway from God by concentrating onone’s self (Jr 10:23). For this reason,all must submit to God’s directions asto how we must accept His grace. Wemust submit to His will in order to comeinto a saving relationship with Him inChrist.Note: You must stop in your reading here and complete the final test questions overthis second section of your studies. After you complete the appropriate questions,please continue your reading and studies. Remember to do this after each section ofstudies throughout the remainder of this course.TAKING ADVANTANTAGEAGEOF GOD’S ’S GRACESection IIIYou have learned that the gospelis the historical event of the death ofJesus on the cross for our sins. Youhave also learned that He was buriedin a tomb, but raised Sunday morningon the third day in order to give us hopethat all those who are in Christ will alsobe raised to eternal life when He comesagain. This is the good news eventthat manifested the grace of God (Ti2:11). In 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 theBibles teaches that when Jesus comesagain, those who have not obeyed thegospel “will be punished with everlastingdestruction away from the presenceof the Lord and away from the glory ofHis power.” It is for this reason thatevery person must discover the gospeland obey it in order to escape thecoming destruction. So one must ask,How does one obey the gospel of thedeath, burial and resurrection of Jesusin order to escape the coming destruction?In order to have all spiritual blessingsthat are necessary for salvationyou must be in a covenant relationshipwith Christ. The Bible promises that inChrist you are redeemed from sin byJesus’ blood. It is in Christ that thereis salvation (2 Tm 2:10). But how doesone come into Christ?In this section of your studies youwill learn how to obey the gospel in orderto come into Christ. You will learnhow to respond to the grace of God byobedience to the gospel.In order to understand what Godwants you to do to be saved, there areimportant points that you must understand.These points are often misunderstoodby religious people in theirefforts to do what they believe Godwants them do in order to please Him.
God’s Promises Of A New Covenant And Law32THINGS TO LEARN1. God has established a new covenant with His people, which covenant has anew law, the law of liberty.2. One cannot save himself from sin, and thus, we must depend on the grace ofGod by being obedient to God’s conditions for accepting His grace.3. Recognition of God’s grace must move us to respond to His conditions foraccepting His grace.4. God’s grace gives us freedom from the binding religious traditions that menforce on the consciences of sincere people.GOD’S PROMISESOF A NEW COVENANT AND LAWBefore God gave any written lawto man on earth, He spoke directly tothe fathers of tribal families. He gaveHis spoken laws to these fathers in orderthat His will be taught to the entireextended family (Hb 1:1). One of theseextended family fathers was Abraham.Of all the fathers of faith in the world atthe time, Abraham was God’s choicethrough whom He would bring into theworld the Seed, which promise was firstmade to Adam and Eve (Gn 3:15). Thefulfillment of this promise would resultin the spiritual blessing of all humanity.God chose Abraham in order toprepare the way for the Seed whowould come into the world through himand the nation of Israel. God promisedAbraham, “I will bless those whobless you, and I will curse him whocurses you; and in you all the familiesof the earth shall be blessed” (Gn12:3).God thus established a personalcovenant with Abraham concerning theStudy 13promise that He wouldABRAHAMfulfill in Abraham’s descendants.The fulfillmentof the promiseIsaacwould come almost Jacob2,000 years after thepromise was made.In order to preserve a ISRAELpart of humanitythrough whom the Seed of blessingwould come, God chose the descendantsof Abraham through Isaac andJacob to build a nation, the nation of Israel(Gn 12:1-3; 15:5).Many years after Abraham died,and after God brought the children ofIsrael out of Egyptian captivity, He establisheda covenant with Israel as anation. The law of this covenant wasgiven as a condition for keeping thecovenant. Therefore, the Old Testamentlaw was given specifically tothe nation of Israel to be their conditionfor keeping the covenant (Ex 24:1-4). Moses said to Israel, “The Lord
God’s Promises Of A New Covenant And Lawdid not make this covenant withyour fathers, but with us [Israel],those who are here today, all of uswho are alive” (Dt 5:3).Concerning the law of the covenant,God said to Israel, “Now, O Israel,listen to the statutes and the judgmentswhich I teach you to observe,that you may live, and go in and possessthe land which the Lord God ofYour fathers is giving you. You shallnot add to the word which I commandyou, nor take anything fromit, that you may keep the command-GOD GIVES LAW33ments of the Lord your God which Icommand you” (Dt 4:1,2).Until God gave a written law on Mt.Sinai to Israel through Moses, all menwere under the moral laws of God thatHe gave through the fathers of the tribalfamilies. After Mt. Sinai, the nation ofIsrael came under a different law, whichlaw was the condition for their keepingof God’s covenant that He establishedspecifically with them (Dt 5:1-5). TheGentiles, however, remained under thesystem of spoken law that had existedfrom creation (Rm 2:14,15).Old Testament LawGiven To JewsGod Spoke To Fathers Of All Men(Gentiles)LAW OF CHRISTFor All MenLOOKING FOR A NEW COVENANT AND LAWIn Jeremiah 31 God promised thata new covenant would come. “Behold,the days are coming, says the Lord,when I will make a new covenant withthe house of Israel and with the houseof Judah” (Jr 31:31). This promise of anew covenant that was made throughthe prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled centurieslater in Christ, through whom Godestablished a new covenant with allpeople who would submit to His will.Jeremiah 31 is quoted in the NewTestament in Hebrews 8. It is in thecontext of Hebrews 8 that the Hebrewwriter affirmed that Christians are nowunder a new covenant, for the old onewas taken away. The Bible says, “Butnow He [Jesus] has obtained a moreexcellent ministry, inasmuch as He isalso Mediator of a better covenant,which was established on better promises”(Hb 8:6).
Establishment Of A New LawThe first covenant and law was onlyfor Israel. However, Israelites could notkeep the conditions of this covenantperfectly because of man’s commonproblem. All men sin and fall shortof the glory of God (Rm 3:23). Therefore,the Bible says, “For if that first covenanthad been faultless, then no placewould have been sought for a second.Because finding fault with them, Hesays: 'Behold, the days are coming ...when I will make a new covenant”(Hb 8:7,8).We are now in the days of thenew covenant relationship with God.The old covenant and law that was exclusivelymade with and for Israel haspassed away (Hb 8:13). Under the newcovenant are new conditions. There isa new law. It is of this new law that theBible states, “But he who looks into theperfect law of liberty and continuesto abide in it, not being a forgetfulhearer, but a doer of the work, this manwill be blessed in his deed” (Js 1:25).34SELF TEST1. ____ To whom in the history of the worlddid God first give His laws? (A) Priests,(B) Fathers of families, (C) Servants2. ____ What would the families of all theworld receive as a result of the promisethat was made to Abraham? (A) Blessing,(B) Prosperity, (C) Faith3. ____ To whom was the Old Testament lawgiven? (A) All men, (B) The Gentiles, (C)Israel alone4. ____ With whom did God make a covenantin Deuteronomy 5? (A) Gentiles,(B) Abraham, (C) Israel5. ____ Why could Israel not keep the oldcovenant? (A) Because all men sin, (B)The covenant was imperfect, (C) The lawof the covenant was imperfect6. ____ Christians are now under the perfectlaw of ... (A) ... faith, (B) ... hope, (C)... libertyYES - NO In order for you to be saved, mustyou do those things God has commanded inorder to come into a covenant relationshipwith Christ?SCRIPTURE READING: Gn 12:1-3; 18:17-19; 22:15-18;Gl 3:15-18SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Covenant & law: WithAbraham - Gn 15:18, With Israel - Ex 19:4-6; 24:8; 31:16;Dt 4:13; 5:1-5; Ne 8:1; Ml 4:4; Rm 3:1,2, With all God'schildren - Jr 31:31-34; Hb 8:1-13;10:11-25; 12:24; 13:20,References to the law: Ne 8:1,18; 9:13,14; Lk 2:22-24; Jn1:17; 7:19; 10:34; 12:34; 15:25; Rm 3:9-19; 7:1-7ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW LAWWith the passing of the Old Testamentcovenant between God and Israelcame the passing of the Old Testamentlaw. The Old Testament lawand covenant passed away whenJesus died on the cross in order to bringinto force His new covenant and law(Hb 9:16,17).Jesus did not come to destroythe purpose for which the Old Testamentlaw was given. He said, “DoStudy 14not think that I came to destroy the Lawor the Prophets” (Mt 5:17). The purposeof the law was to bring the peopleof God to Christ (Gl 3:24,25). It was ashadow of good things to come (Hb10:1). What Jesus did do was fulfillthe law. He stated, “I did not come todestroy but to fulfill” (Mt 5:17). Thisis the key to understanding the purposeof the Old Testament law (Gl 4:4,5).Jesus was the fulfillment of the law
Establishment Of A New Lawin the sense that the law was given tobring Israel to Christ. When the lawfulfilled its purpose, therefore, whathappened to the law was what the Biblesays in Hebrews 10:9. “He [Jesus]said, 'Behold, I have come to do Yourwill, O God." He takes away the first[covenant and law] in order to establishthe second [covenant andlaw].” Christians today are not subjectto the Old Testament law. The Bibleplainly states the following:Therefore, my brethren, you alsohave become dead to the lawthrough the body of Christ, thatyou may be married to another, evento Him [Jesus] who was raised fromthe dead, that we should bear fruitto God (Rm 7:4).35If anyone would try to go back underthe Old Testament law or any religiouslaw in order to be justified beforeGod by the merit of law-keeping, theBible warns, “You have become estrangedfrom Christ, you who attemptto be justified by law; you have fallenfrom grace” (Gl 5:4). This is actuallygood news because when one is underlaw to save himself, and thus, withoutthe grace of God, there is no forgivenessof sins (Hb 10:1-4). But underChrist there is grace. The Biblesays that “the law was given throughMoses, but grace and truth camethrough Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17).“Therefore the law was our headmasterto bring us to Christ, that we mightbe justifed by faith. But after faith hascome, we are no longer under a tutor”(Gl 3:24,25). Christians today areunder the grace and truth of Christ.OLD TESTAMENTCOVENANT & LAWGiven To o IsraelNailed to CrossNEW TESTAMENTCOVENANT & LAWGiven To o All MenNow In ForcePURPOSE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT LAWWhy did God give the Old Testament law?1. The law was given as a headmaster (schoolmaster or tutor) in orderto bring God’s people to Christ (Gl 3:24,25).2. The law was given in order to morally and socially direct and perservethe nation of Israel until the Seed came (Ex 20:1-17).3. The law was given in order to manifest sin (Rm 3:20; 7:7).
Responding To Grace364. The law was given in order that Christians have an inspired sourceof learning and edification under the new law of Christ (Rm 15:4; 1Co 10:11).Jesus redeemed us from having tobe justified by law. Under the Old Testamentlaw it was impossible “that theblood of bulls and goats could takeaway sins” (Hb 10:4). But under theNew Testament law we are under acovenant relationship with God whosays, “Their sins and iniquities I will rememberno more” (Hb 10:17). Godsaid this because of the sacrificial bloodof Jesus for all men. The Bible saysthat “we have been sanctified throughthe offering of the body of Jesus Christonce for all” (Hb 10:10). This is greatnews! Christians, therefore, are sanctifiedby the sacrifice of Jesus. Theydo not have to seek justification by thekeeping of Old Testament laws as animalsacrifices.SELF TEST1. ____ In reference to the Old Testamentlaw, Jesus said that He did not come to destroybut to ... (A) ... fulfill, (B) ... terminate,(C) ... re-establish2. ____ Jesus said, “Do not think that I cameto destroy the law or the ... (A) ... Prophets,(B) ... Psalms, (C) ... covenants3. ____ By what are Christians made deadto the law? (A) Hope, (B) The body of Christ,(C) The works of law4. ____ From what is one fallen if he seeksto be justified by perfect law-keeping? (A)Faith, (B) Hope, (C) Grace5. ____ Now that Christ has come, what hashappened to the Old Testament law? (A) Itwas taken away, (B) It was added to law ofChrist, (C) It was re-established6. ____ What part did the Old Testament lawplay in bringing Israel to Christ? (A) Headmaster,(B) Brought salvation to Israel, (C)Proof of God's existence7. ____ What could the sacrifices of the OldTestament law not do? (A) Bring hope, (B)Take away sins, (C) Produce obedienceYES - NO If the Old Testament law was stillin force today, would you have to offer animalsacrifices according to God’s law?SCRIPTURE READING: Rm 7:1-6; Gl 4:21 - 5:2; Hb 10:1-18SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Abolishment of law: Gl 4:4,5;Ep 2:14-16; Cl 2:14; Hb 9:11-25; 10:9,10, Sacrifice: Hb10:4; 9:15, Better things: Hb 7:19,22; 8:6; 9:23; 10:34;11:35; 12:24RESPONDING TO GRACEStudy 15Of Jesus the Bible says, “For thelaw was given through Moses, butgrace and truth came through JesusChrist” (Jn 1:17). “For the grace ofGod that brings salvation has appearedto all men, teaching us that, denyingungodliness and worldly lusts, weshould live sensibly, righteously, andgodly in the present age” (Ti 2:11,12).These statements of the Bible talkabout grace, God’s loving initiative todeliver us from our predicament of sinand spiritual death.Grace is an action on the part of agiver who gives us something that wedo not deserve nor can we earn. Thisis what we call "unmerited favor." Unmeritedfavor means favor or accep-
Responding To Gracetance that is not earned. God’s gracetoward us means that He acted so asto give us something that we did notearn, nor did we deserve.Here’s the point. We were lost withouthope of living forever. When friendsphysically died, all of us stood aroundtheir graves, sadly feeling that this wasthe end of our loved ones. To many,life was terminated at a gravesite wherethere was no hope. But God did notcreate us for such a devastating end.In order that we have hope, God actedon our behalf. His actions have givenus the opportunity to have hope for eternaldwelling in a heavenly environment.In order for us to have such a hope,there had to be sacrifice; there had tobe an initiative on God’s part that wouldchange the graveyard scene. God’sactions that we have hope were actionsof grace.Keep in mind that God is the onewho had to take the first step. As men,we could do nothing to change our fateof termination at the time of death.Eternal dwelling is God’s realm of existence.And in order that we partakeof this existence, it was necessary thatGod reach down and take us into thisrealm of dwelling. How and what Goddid to accomplish this was an action ofgrace on His part, for we who are limitedto this physical world could do nothingto escape the confines of this world.Our limitation to the world confined usto live after our human inability to keeplaw perfectly, and thus, we lived in sin.God did not have to take the initiativeto bring us into His presence byoffering a sacrifice for the sin that separatesus from Him. God did not have37to take on the form of man in order todie and be raised again that we alsobe raised to eternal life in the end. Butthe fact is, He did. And this is grace.The Bible says, “But God manifestsHis own love toward us, in that whilewe were still sinners, Christ died forus” (Rm 5:8). What a beautiful thoughtand action on the part of God. Hisgrace toward us moved Him into actionto bring us into His realm of dwelling.In this sense, therefore, grace is afree gift. We did not deserve or earn it.The Bible says, “For by grace youhave been saved through faith, and thatnot of yourselves; it is the gift of God,not of works, lest anyone should boast”(Ep 2:8,9). If God had sent Jesus intothe world because we had worked soas to earn such a sacrifice, then thesacrifice of Jesus would not be a freegift of God. It would have been paymentto us for our goodness. But theBible says, "And if by grace, then it isno longer by works; otherwise grace isno more grace" (Rm 11:6). The fact isthat God gave the gift regardless of oursinfulness. He loved us before weloved Him (1 Jn 4:19). The Bible says,“In this is love, not that we loved God,but that He loved us and sent His Sonto be the atoning sacrifice for our sins”(1 Jn 4:10).Our recognitionof God’s action ofgrace should moveus to respond to Hisgrace. When ourfaith obediently respondsto God’sgrace, grace reigns“through righteous- GRACE!
Grace Moves Faith Into Actionness to eternal life through Jesus Christour Lord” (Rm 5:21). When we seethe grace of God on the cross whereJesus died for our sins, faith inGod's action should motivate us toobediently respond. When our faithresponds according to how God sayswe should respond, then we arebrought back into a relationship withGod that eventually ends in eternaldwelling with Him. This is the thoughtbehind what the Bible says in Romans5:1,2. “Therefore, having been justifiedby faith, we have peace with Godthrough our Lord Jesus Christ, throughwhom also we have access by faithinto this grace wherein we stand,and rejoice in hope of the glory ofGod.”God has extended through JesusChrist the opportunity for you to dwellin His presence in eternity. This wasan action on the part of God that youdid not deserve. You did not earn it. It38was thus an action of grace. How willyou respond to such an action of loveon the part of God?SELF TEST1. ____ The law came through Moses butgrace and truth came through ... (A) ...work, (B) ... Jesus, (C) ... the Holy Spirit2. ____ Grace means unmerited ... (A) ...faith, (B) ... hope, (C) ... favor3. ____ The grace of God came while wewere still ... (A) ... believers, (B) ... obedient,(C) ... sinners4. ____ Because grace was not earned bymen, what is it from God? (A) A payment,(B) A gift, (C) A reward5. ____ By what do we have access into thegrace of God? (A) By works, (B) By faith,(C) By the Holy SpiritYES - NO Since God lovingly extended graceto you in order that you be saved and liveforever, do you think you should be saved ifyou do not obediently respond to His grace?SCRIPTURE READING: Rm 3,4,5; Gl 3,4; Ep 2SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: God's love: Rm 5:8; 1 Jn4:10,19; Ti 2:11,14; Grace: 2 Co 8:9; 12:9; 13:14; Ep 1:7;2:9; 4:7; Js 4:6GRACE MOVES FAITH INTO ACTIONGod’s action of grace shouldmove our faith into action. Dead faithnever profits anything in reference toour salvation, for even the demonsbelieve and tremble (Js 2:19). Thoughtheir belief moved them to tremble, itwas still lacking, for it did not movethem to obedience. And remember,“faith by itself, if it does not haveworks, is dead” (Js 2:17). Therefore,when one recognizes the preciousgrace of God that was manifestedthrough the sacrifice of Jesus, sincerepeople respond by obedience.Study 16Our faith must respond in ourbelief that God gave Jesus to be ourSavior. Salvation by grace throughfaith means that God, because of Hislove for us, gave His Son Jesus to saveus (Jn 3:16). But we must accept thisfree gift through obedient faith. Godoffers the free gift, but we must acceptit by our obedience to His will. Our obedience,therefore, is a response to Hisgreat love for first giving the gift. Inother words, we love because He firstloved us (1 Jn 4:19). And because ofour love for Him, we want to thank Him
God’s Invitation To Freedomby being obedient to His will. Jesussaid, “If you love Me, keep My commandments”(Jn 14:15). We are thusthe friends of Jesus if we do what Hesays (Jn 15:14). This is exactly whatPaul meant when he stated the followingconcerning his obedient responseto God’s grace to save him:1 Corinthians 15:10But by the grace of God I am what Iam. And His grace toward me was notin vain, but I labored more abundantlythan they all, yet not I, but the grace ofGod that was with me.The point here is clear. One is notsaved by grace if he refuses to submitto the will of God. He is not saved if herefuses to respond to God’s love.There is a condition attached to oursalvation by grace. The condition is ourresponse to God’s love and grace.Jesus puts us to the test by saying, “Ifanyone loves Me, he will keep My word”(Jn 14:23). You must prove your loveof Jesus by keeping His word. Truelove of God and Jesus obeys. “This isthe love of God, that we keep Hiscommandments” (1 Jn 5:3). “This is39love, that we walk according to Hiscommandments" (2 Jn 6).What profits in our relationship withGod, therefore, is faith workingthrough love (Gl 5:6). We can thusknow those who are God’s people becauseof their loving response to Hisgrace. The Bible says, “But whoeverkeeps His word, in him the love of Godhas truly been perfected. By this weknow that we are in Him” (1 Jn 2:5).SELF TEST1. ____ If faith does not have works, it is ...(A) ... alive, (B) ... accepted by God, (C)... dead2. ____ Jesus said that if we love Him, wewill keep His ... (A) ... hope, (B) ... faith,(C) ... commandments3. ____ What profits in Christ is a faith thatworks through ... (A) ... hope, (B) ... endurance,(C) ... love4. ____ God’s grace toward Paul was not in... (A) ... hope, (B) ... vain, (C) ... expectationYES - NO If your faith does not move you toobey God, do you think that you should besaved anyway?SCRIPTURE READING: Jn 14; Rm 5:1-11; Js 2:14-26SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Obedient faith: Rm 1:5; 6:17;16:26; 1 Th 1:3; 2 Th 1:11, Love and commandments:Mt 22:37-40GOD’S INVITATION TO FREEDOMStudy 17Most religious people have burdenedthemselves with countless religioustraditions. They are as Jesussaid to the Jewish religious leaders,“For you load men with burdenshard to bear, and you yourselves donot touch the burdens with one of yourfingers” (Lk 11:46). The Jewish religiousleaders bound on the consciencesof men numerous religiouslaws and traditions that God had neverbound (Mk 7:1-9). The people couldnot bear the burden of these laws, forno one could keep all of them. Thepeople thus felt continually guilty becausethey could not practice all the re-
God’s Invitation To Freedomligious laws of the Jews. So it is today.The religious world binds on theconsciences of men hundreds of lawsand traditions that God never intendedto bind as law. When one comes toJesus, however, he is set free fromthe burden of religious tradition. Heis free in the sense that he knows thatreligious traditions will not be the standardby which he will be judged. Theonly standard by which one will bejudged is the word of Christ (Jn 12:48).Jesus, therefore, makes the followinginvitation to all who have been burdenedwith religious traditions:Come to Me all you who labor and areheavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn fromMe, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,and you will find rest for your souls. ForMy yoke is easy and My burden is light(Mt 11:28-30).As a Christian it feels great to befree from the burden of man-made religions.Paul wrote, “Stand fast thereforein the liberty by which Christhas made us free, and do not be entangledagain with a yoke of bondage”(Gl 5:1). Coming into Christ will giveyou freedom. You will be set free fromhaving to keep religious traditions inorder to feel pleasing to God. As freemen in Christ, we must not go back to40religion that is based on the traditionsof men and not the word of God. Theapostle Peter warned concerning somewho sought to return to such religioustraditions, “Now therefore, why do youtest God by putting a yoke on the neckof the disciples that neither our fathersnor we were able to bear?” (At 15:10).Once in Christ, no one can place a yokeof bondage on the neck of those whohave been set free from the burden ofhuman religious traditions. Therefore,“beware lest anyone take you captivethrough philosophy and vain deceit accordingto the tradition of men, accordingto the elementary principles of theworld, and not according to Christ” (Cl2:8).SELF TEST1. ____ Once free, Christians should not beentangled in a yoke of ... (A) ... freedom,(B) ... bondage, (C) ... obedience2. ____ The Jewish religious leadersladened the people with ... (A) ... wisdom,(B) ... righteousness, (C) ... religiousburdens hard to bear3. ____ Christians must beware lest they becheated by the ... (A) ... laziness of life,(B) ... zeal for work, (C) ... tradition of menYES - NO Are you willing to give up anyreligious tradition that would hinder you fromobeying the will of God?SCRIPTURE READING: Cl 2:11-23; Gl 4:21-31SCRIPUTRE RESEARCH: Freedom in Christ: 1 Co7:21,22; Rm 8:1,2; Gl 4:26,31; 1 Pt 2:16The greatest promise that Godmade to mankind that sparked hopesin the hearts of those who were sonsof Abraham by faith was the promiseREVIEWING PART IIIStudies 13-17that in Abraham He would bless everyfamily of the world. In order to preservea portion of humanity for the fulfillmentof this promise, God chose Abraham,
Obey The Gospelthrough whom the nation of Israel cameinto being. God subsequently establisheda covenant with Israel. He alsogave conditions, or laws, for keepingthis covenant.When the promise was fulfilled,Jesus established a new covenant. Heis now our High Priest, functioning asour counselor before the Father. Hiscoming was the fulfillment of God’spromise. He was the manifestation ofGod’s grace to all men. God workedthrough Jesus to reconcile all men toNote: Complete the final test questions over Section III.You have now come to the centralmessage of your study and the mostimportant thing that you must do inorder to take advantage of God’s grace.It is very important that you thoroughlyunderstand God’s conditions for your41Himself. By faith we must thereforerespond to the grace that was revealedon the cross. We must respond bylearning and obeying the conditions thatGod has established as to how we mustcome into a covenant relationship withHim today. When we respond to God’sgrace, we are set free in Christ. Weare free from the burdens of religioustraditions that bring our consciencesinto bondage. We are free to respondto God’s grace according to His will andnot the will of man.OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPELSection IVOBEY THE GOSPELStudy 18response to His grace. Yourunderstanding of His conditions willdetermine whether you will spendeternity with Him in heaven to come.Therefore, please prayerfully studythrough the material of this section.... rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with Hismighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not knowGod, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence ofthe Lord and from the glory of His power.The preceding statement of 2Thessalonians 1:7-9 is one of themost challenging passages in the NewTestament. It is a prophecy of thefuture and a statement of truth for thepresent.If you are a Bible believer, thisscripture teaches some encouragingthings. Jesus is coming again (Jn14:1-3)! He is coming with His angels.If you are not a Christian, then this Bibleteaching will be disturbing. It isdisturbing because Jesus is coming totake vengeance on those who have not
What Is The Gospel?“obeyed the gospel.”One thing is clear from the abovescripture. One must obey the gospelin order to escape the comingjudgment of Jesus. This biblicalteaching is declared in a similar mannerin 1 Peter 4:17. “For the time has comefor judgment to begin at the house ofGod. And if it first begins with us, whatwill be the end of those who do notobey the gospel of God?” Peter ishere asking us a very direct question.He expects us to give the correctanswer. And the correct answer is thatthose who do not obey the gospel haveno chance for eternal life because theyhave not responded to God’s grace thatis manifested through the gospel.This certainly brings us to achallenging quest. We must ask andanswer two questions that arise fromreading 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. Ouranswer to these questions will42determine our salvation. Here are thetwo questions:WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?HOW CAN ONEOBEY THE GOSPEL?SELF TEST:1. ____ With whom will Jesus come? (A)Demons, (B) Angels, (C) Unrighteous2. ____ What will Jesus do when Hecomes? (A) Take vengence, (B) Bring allto repentance, (C) Bless the world3. ____ What will happen to those who donot obey the gospel? (A) Will repent, (B)Will be restored, (C) Will sufferdestructionYES - NO If you do not obey the gospel, willyou suffer the destruction of hell?SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Pt 3; Jd 14-16SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Heaven: Rm 8:18,23; 1 Co15:50; 2 Co 4:17; 5:1-10; Hb 11:10,16; 13:14; Js 1:12; Rv14:13; 21:4; 22:5, Hell: Mt 7:13,14,21-23; 13:41,42; 18:8;23:33; 25:41-46; Hb 6:2; 10:29; Rv 19:20; 20:10,14,15; 21:8WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?Study 19Suppose we asked you thequestion, “What is the gospel?” Whatwould be your answer? The mostcommon answer is, “It is good news.”This is partially right but partially wrong.“Good news” is the meaning of the NewTestament Greek word that wetranslate with the English word“gospel.” The gospel is good news. Butit would be better to ask, “What is thegood news?” This question will oftenbring mixed responses.To the preceding question somereply, “The gospel is the teaching ofJesus.” But this is not the correctanswer. Some also respond by saying,“The Bible is the good news.” Again,this would not be a correct answer.Others might answer, “Jesus is thegospel.” This would be a correctanswer if we understand that Jesuswas more than a man, more than agood teacher. But how is Jesus goodnews in our relationship with God, withlife, and with the judgment to come?Knowing the answer to these thoughtswill bring the abundant life about whichJesus spoke in John 10:10, “I havecome that they may have life, and thatthey may have it more abundantly.”
What Is The Gospel?THE GOSPEL EVENTThe gospel is actually an event, anevent that happened in history. In anewspaper many events are reported.Each particular event occurred beforethe newspaper was written and printed.A reporter either personallyexperienced a particular event, orinterviewed witnesses who hadpersonally experienced the event.From the testimony of witnesses orpersonal experience, a reporter wrotea report about each event that isreported in the newspaper.HISTORICALEVENTREPORTThe report is not the event.When we read the newpaper, webelieve the reported events becausewe trust the reliability of the reporter.Remember, the event was somethingthat occurred in history, but the reportwas written after the event took place.The gospel is an event. The NewTestament is the inspired report of thisevent. Let’s see if this is true.GOSPELEVENTREPORT431 Corinthians 15:1-4 is one ofseveral passages that explains what weare saying. The Holy Spirit inspiredPaul to report in verse 1, “Moreover,brethren, I declare to you the gospelwhich I preached to you, which alsoyou received and in which youstand.” Now these words were writtenby the guidance of the Holy Spirit.However, they are not the gospel. Inother words, Paul is using inspiredwords to talk about the gospel. Hesays that the gospel can be declared,that is, one can stand up and declare itto all men. The gospel can bepreached. Words are used to preachand declare the gospel. The “words”are the medium through which thegospel is communicated. The wordsare not the gospel. The gospel can alsobe received, that is, it can be acceptedas true. Paul also states that we “standin” the gospel, that is, the Christian’sentire emotional and spiritual beingrests upon the foundation of its truth.In verse 2 Paul continues, “... bywhich also you are saved, if you holdfast that word which I preached toyou, unless you believed in vain.”Now herein is something veryinteresting. One is saved by the gospel.But notice here that the Holy Spiritplaces a subjunctive “if” in relation tosalvation by the gospel. The “if”emphasizes a condition. Thecondition is that one must continue tobelieve the word of communicationconcerning the gospel. TheCorinthians had not seen orexperienced the gospel event. Theyhad only heard of it from Paul.Therefore, they had to continue to
What Is The Gospel?believe what Paul had reported aboutit. Today, we must believe the reportof God’s word. It is the only sourcethrough which we can gain knowledgeof the gospel event that took placeabout two thousand years ago.In these first two verses of 1Corinthians 15, Paul did not explain thegospel. He only talked about thegospel. However, in verses 3 and 4 hereports the gospel event.For I delivered to you first of all thatwhich I also received: that Christ diedfor our sins according to theScriptures, and that He was buried,and that He rose again the third dayaccording to the Scriptures.This is the gospel event! Jesusactually died on a cross! He wasactually raised from the dead! This isthe good news!THE GOSPELThe good news (the gospel) isthe event of the death of Jesusfor our sins.The good news is Jesus’ burial.The good news is Jesus’resurrection to give us hopeof eternal life.1 Corinthians 15:20 explains theresurrection. “But now Christ has beenraised from the dead, and has becomethe firstfruits of those who areasleep.”Jesus was not the first one to be44raised from thedead. Jesuspreviously raisedLazarus. However,Jesus’ resurrectionwasdifferent fromLazarus’ resurrection in two ways.First, Lazarus had to die again.Secondly, he was raised with the samebody that had to experience again thesame sufferings of life and death. Hismoral body had not put on immortality;his perishable body had not yetbecome imperishable (1 Co 15:50-55).On the other hand, Jesus wasraised never to die again. Jesus wasraised with the same body. However,it was a changed body. The apostleJohn experienced Jesus’ resurrectedbody but did not fully understand it, forhe later wrote, “Beloved, now we arechildren of God, and it has not yet beenrevealed what we will be. But we knowthat when He [Jesus] appears, we willbe like Him, for we will see Him as Heis” (1 Jn 3:2).Jesus is the firstfruits of all thosewho die in Christ. His resurrection tonever physically die again is theguarantee to believers that they will alsoexperience such a resurrection if theyobey the gospel. The Christian willbe raised with a changed body asJesus. He will be raised never to dieagain. This is the glorious hope of theChristian. This is a glorious hope ofthose who seek eternal existence.This is good news! It is great newsabout conquering physical death inorder to live forever. This is the dreamof every person.
Good News For Our ProblemsSELF TEST1. ____ The Greek word that is translatedgospel means what? (A) Faith, (B) Goodnews, (C) Declare2. ____ Historically speaking, what is thegospel? (A) The Bible, (B) An event, (C)The teachings of Jesus3. ____ What is the good news in referenceto our sins? (A) Jesus died for our sins,(B) Jesus will judge us, (C) We are madeto sin no more4. ____ What is the good news in referenceto physical death? (A) We now have hopeof eternal life, (B) We have forgiveness,(C) There is no hell45YES - NO Since the gospel is the death,burial and resurrection of Jesus, must youobey this historical event in order to besaved?SCRIPTURE READING: Mt 27,28; Mk 15,16; Lk 23,24; Jn19,20SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: The gospel preached: At 2:29-38, Hear the gospel: Mk 1:14,15; 16:16; Mt 13:9-23; Jn3:16; 5:24,25; 6:45; 8:24; 20:30,31; At 10:43; 13:38,39; 15:7;Hb 11:6; Rv 3:20, Believe the gospel: Mt 7:21; Lk 6:46;Jn 6:29; 8:24; 12:42,43; 20:30,31; At 13:38,39; Rm 10:16,17;Hb 11:6,Respond to the gospel with repentence: Mk 1:14,15; 6:12;Lk 13:3; At 2:38,46,47; 3:19; 17:30; 26:20; 2 Pt 3:9,Respond to the gospel with confession: Mt 10:32,33;Lk 12:8; Jn 9:22; 12:42; At 19:17,18; Rm 10:9,10; 1 Tm6:12; 1 Jn 2:23; 4:2,3,15, Cases of response to thegospel: At 2:31-47; 8:5-13, 26-39; 9:10-19; 10:24-48;16:13-15, 25-34; 18:8; 19:1-5GOOD NEWS FOR OUR PROBLEMSRemember that the gospel is goodnews. It is God’s good news to allpeople concerning our basic problemswe have with God and eternity. But howis the death, burial and resurrection ofJesus good news for us today? Theanswer is simple. Remember, “... allhave sinned and fall short of theglory of God” (Rm 3:23). Alsoremember that the result of sin isseparation from God. The Bible says,“But your iniquities have separated youfrom your God” (Is 59:2). Therefore,when you think about sin, you mustthink about separation from God.And what must one think about whenhe is separated from God? The Biblesays, “For the wages of sin is death”(Rm 6:23). When we think aboutseparation from God we must thinkabout death and eternal destruction.When we think about death, wemust recognize our two greatestStudy 20problems. Both involve death. Thefollowing are two problems for whichevery man needs good news:SPIRITUAL DEATH is the resultof being separated from God becauseof our personal sins against God. Thisis what the Bible means in Romans5:12, “... death spread to all menbecause all sinned ....” God says thatevery man has sinned. Without thegospel one is “dead in trespasses andsins” (Ep 2:1). Remember that this isman’s first and greatest problem! Wemust be reconciled (brought back) toGod. The gospel event, therefore,answers this problem, for Jesus diedfor our sins on the cross (1 Co 15:3).He died in order to bring us back toGod. This is good news!PHYSICAL DEATH also resultedfrom sin, the sin of Adam. Remember
Obedience To The GospelDEATHTHE GOSPELBURIALRESURRECTIONthat we must suffer the consequencesof Adam’s sin. As a result of his sin, hewas separated from the tree of life(Gn 3:22-24). All humanity was thustaken from the tree of life. Therefore,it is appointed unto all of us that wemust physically die (Hb 9:27). TheBible says, “For as in Adam all die ...”(1 Co 15:22).But again, the gospel is good newsconcerning our second greatestproblem, the problem of physical death.The Bible says, “... even so in Christall will be made alive” (1 Co 15:22).Therefore, in Christ Christians will bemade alive. They will live forever. Thisis good news!Remember that our first greatproblem is our spiritual separationfrom God which has resulted from ourpersonal sins against God. Thegospel is good news because Jesuscame to die for our personal sinsagainst God (1 Co 15:3).46Our second greatest problem isthat each one of us will eventuallyphysically die. We thus need goodnews. Jesus was raised to never dieagain. He was raised with an eternal,imperishable body. Those who haveobeyed the gospel and are in Christwill also be raised when He comesagain. They will be raised to gohome with the Lord to an eternaldwelling (2 Co 5:1-8; 1 Th 4:13-18).This is good news!SELF TEST1. ____ What is the result of sin in referenceto one's relationship with God? (A)Reconciliation, (B) Separation, (C) Union2. ____ What is the result of separation fromGod? (A) Salvation, (B) Regeneration,(C) Spiritual death3. ____ What is the result of separation fromthe tree of life? (A) Spiritual death, (B)Physical death, (C) Eternal lifeYES - NO Is the good news, the gospel, thefact that Jesus died on the cross for yoursins, was buried, and rose from the dead inorder to give you hope of eternal life?SCRIPTURE READING: Ep 2:1-10; Cl 3:1-11RESEARCH SCRIPTURES: Gospel: Mk 1:14,15; 8:35;10:29; 16:15,16; At 15:7,16,19; 20:24; Rm 1:16; 10:15,16;1 Co 4:15; 9:12,19; Gl 1:6-9; 2 Th 2:14, Hope: Ps 78:7;119:42-81; At 26:6,7; Rm 8:22-25; Ti 1:2; Hb 6:18,19; 7:19OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPELStudy 21The gospel event (the death, burialand resurrection) is good news aboutour spiritual death problem. Jesus diedfor our sins. The gospel event is goodnews about our physical deathproblem. In Christ we will be raisedfrom the dead. But how does oneconnect with the gospel? How can oneconnect with the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus that occurredabout two thousand years ago? Howcan one obey an event in history?Keep in mind also that we mustcome into Christ where there are allspiritual blessings (See Study 12). Howthen must one come into Christ where
Obedience To The Gospelthere is continual cleansing of sins, andthus, eternal life (1 Jn 1:7; 5:11)? Inother words, how must one obey thegospel event of the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus in order tocome into Christ?The good news of Jesus was God’spart in our salvation to bring us into thegrace of God. What must every personnow do in response to God’s grace?Obviously, we must first believe thegospel. Jesus came preaching, “Thetime is fulfilled and the kingdom of Godis at hand. Repent and believe thegospel” (Mk 1:15). One must believethe gospel before he will respond to thegospel.We assume that you believe. Nowhow can you be reconciled to God bythe cross of Jesus? How can you andothers have hope of eternal life by theresurrection of Jesus? Romans 6:3-6is a clear and simple answer.ROMANS 6:3-6In the letter to the Romans, Paulwas writing to Christians in Rome, andthus, reviewed their past obedience tothe gospel. Verse 3 is a question, “Ordo you not know that as many of us asObedienceto theGOSPEL!47were immersed [baptized] intoChrist Jesus were immersed[baptized] into His death?” But Jesusdied in Jerusalem. He died almost twothousand years ago. Nevertheless,how can you today be “immersed intoHis death”? Again, the answer issimple and given in verse 4.Therefore, we were buried with Himthrough immersion into death, that justas Christ was raised up from the deadthrough the glory of the Father, evenso we also might walk in newness oflife.It would be hard to miss Paul’sexplanation of how to be baptized intothe death of Jesus in obedience to thegospel. Notice the preposition “with.”By immersion in water (baptism) onegoes to the grave with Jesus.Something great, something spiritualthus happens in baptism. Jesus wasburied. In obedience to the gospelevent, we are also buried with Him.In immersion we are coming into aspiritual union with Jesus. A covenantis being established. A personalrelationship with God is beginning.Because of the seriousness of thisteaching, Paul repeats the answer to thequestion of verse 3 again in verse 5.For if we have been united together inthe likeness of His death, we will alsobe in the likeness of His resurrection.By immersion into Jesus one isunited together in the likeness ofJesus’ death. As Jesus went to thetomb almost two thousand years ago,
Obedience To The Gospelso we can also go to a tomb of watertogether with Him today. Subsequently,we are raised with Him in order to walkin newness of life. This is great news!In immersion, therefore, you are buriedwith Jesus. You are also raised withJesus. In immersion one obeys thegospel, which is the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus. It’s that simple.However, before one goes to the gravewith Jesus, he or she must also go tothe cross with Jesus. Paul explains thisin verse 6.... knowing this, that our old man wascrucified with Him so that the body ofsin might be destroyed, that we shouldno longer be bondservants of sin.Here again is the preposition “with.”Jesus was crucified. You must also becrucified with Him. The old man of sinmust die. Your old man of greed,selfishness, drunkenness, cheating,lying, etc. must die on a cross of selfdenial with Jesus. Paul wroteconcerning his personal crucifixion, “Ihave been crucified with Christ. It is nolonger I who live, but Christ lives in me...” (Gl 2:20). You also must be crucifiedwith Jesus before you can be buriedwith Him in the waters of baptism. TheBible says, “Repent, and be immersedevery one of you in the name of JesusChrist for the remission of sins. Andyou will receive the gift of the HolySpirit” (At 2:38).How can one obey the gospel?Now we have answered the secondquestion that 2 Thessalonians 1:7-948raises. How can one obey the gospelin order to escape the comingdestruction? The answer is simple. Bycrucifying the old man and beingimmersed into the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus, one comesinto a saved relationship with Christ.The gospel “is the power of God tosalvation for every one who believes...” (Rm 1:16). Do you believe in Jesus?Do you believe the gospel event? Haveyou responded to the gospel byimmersion into Jesus’ death, burial andresurrection?Remember, Romans 6:3 statedthat we are “immersed into Christ.”In 1 Corinthians 15:22 Paul stated that“in Christ” all will be raised. Theconclusion is obvious. In order tohave the hope of being resurrectedto eternal life when Jesus comesagain, one must be in Christ. TheBible says, “And this is the testimony,that God has given to us eternal life andthis life is in His Son” (1 Jn 5:11).Have you obeyed the gospel byimmersion in water for forgiveness ofsins? Do you desire an “in Christ”relationship with the Son of God? Doyou want to live forever with Jesus? Ifso, then your response to the grace ofGod must begin by your obedience tothe gospel by immersion (baptism) intoChrist (Gl 3:26,27).Always remember that what Godwants us to believe and do in orderto be saved is the first thing Satanwill attack in order to keep us out ofheaven. Since we must believe thegospel and obey it in order to besaved, then we must assume that
The Community Of God’s PeopleSatan will lead people to deny thegospel event. He will lead people todeny the fact that one must obey thegospel through immersion forremission of sins. For this reason,don’t let anyone tell you that thegospel, and obedience to it, is notessential for establishing a covenantrelationship with God in Christ.SELF TEST1. T or F If one does not obey the gospel,he will suffer the vengeance of Jesuswhen He comes again.2. T or F If one must obey the gospel inorder to be saved from the comingjudgment of condemnation, then onemust know the gospel.3. T or F The central facts of the gospelevent are the death of Jesus for our sins,His burial, and resurrection to give ushope of eternal life.4. T or F Jesus was the first to be raisedfrom the dead never to die again in orderto give Christians hope that they will beraised to eternal life.5. T or F When one thinks about sin, heor she must also think about being49separated from God because of sin.6. T or F One must believe in the actualhappening of the gospel event before heor she can correctly respond to it.7. T or F One obeys the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus by immersion inwater for the remission of sins.8. T or F When one has been immersedand raised into a spiritual relationship withChrist, he or she walks in the newness ofthe abundant life.9. T or F Before one is immersed intoChrist, he or she must crucify the oldlifestyle of sinful living.10. T or F All those who are in Christ haveeternal life which will be fully possessedwhen Jesus comes again.YES - NO If you do not obey the gospel byimmersion into the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus, can you expect to besaved when Jesus comes from heaven withHis mighty angels?SCRIPTURE READING: Rm 6:1-7; 1 Co 15:1-4SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Baptism: Mt 28:19,20; Mk16:15,16; Jn 3:3-5; At 2:38; Gl 3:26,27; 1 Pt 3:21, Baptismin water: Mt 3:11; Jn 3:23; At 8:36; 10:47, Baptism is aburial in water: Rm 6:3,4; Cl 2:12 (The Greek word that istranslated baptize, is baptizo. The word means “to dip,plunge, or immerse.”)THE COMMUNITYOFGOD’S PEOPLESection VWhen you are immersed in waterin obedience to the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus, God adds youto the family of God, the church. Aboutthree thousand people were firstimmersed in Acts 2 in A.D. 30, thusestablishing the church for the first timein history (At 2:41). Every member ofthe church then was “praising God andhaving favor will all the people. Andthe Lord added to their number dailythose who were being saved” (At2:47).Wherever in the world one obeysthe gospel for the correct reasons, Godadds that person to the church. It isfor this reason that wherever thereis a baptized believer, the churchexists. When one does what God sayshe or she must do in order to be saved,
The Community Of God’s PeopleGod is the one who adds that personto the church. It is not our option tojoin a church of our choice. It is onlyour choice to obey what God has saidto do in order that He add us to Hispeople.The word “church” comes from theGreek word ekklesia. The word meansa “called out assembly.” The church(assembly) of God’s people has beencalled out of the world by our obedienceto the gospel through which God callspeople today out of sin. God “calls youinto His own kingdom and glory” (1 Th2:12). However, He calls through theappeal of the gospel “for the obtainingof the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”(2 Th 2:14).When we accept the call of Godthrough the gospel, we are added tothe family of God, the church. Asobedient believers we are God’s priests(2 Pt 2:5,9) and have thus given ourlives in total sacrifice to Jesus (Rm12:1,2). Therefore, when the word“church” is used in the New Testamentin reference to God’s work amongpeople, you must think about people.The church is not a building. It is thecommunity of God’s people.If you have obeyed the gospelaccording to the will of God as set forthin the preceding studies, then you needto seek out God’s people in yourcommunity. In this section of yourstudies there are some things for whichto look when searching for God’speople, the church of Christ. If youcannot find the church of Christ in yourarea which worships and serves Godaccording to simple New TestamentChristianity, then you need to begin50worshiping and serving God accordingto His directions in the New Testament.Because you obeyed the gospel, youare a part of the church. Therefore,start an assembly of Bible students withothers who have obeyed the gospel inyour house. This is important lest youcreate a religion after your own desiresor the misguided desires of others.Remember, God does not accept thevain worship of those who haveconstructed their own churches afterthe traditions of the fathers or theemotions of misguided people (Mk 7:1-9). He seeks for true worshipers.As an obedient believer who hasbeen baptized for remission of sins, youmust heed the Bible’s exhortation ofColossians 2:20-23 in reference toman-made churches. In this contextGod says to you, “Therefore, if you diedwith Christ from the elementaryprinciples of the world, why, as if youwere living in the world, do yousubject yourselves to ordinances.Do not touch, do not taste, do nothandle.” (Cl 2:20,21). Remember thatman-made religions “have indeed ashow of wisdom in self-made religion,false-abasement and neglect of thebody, but not of any value inrestraining the indulgence of theflesh” (Cl 2:23).Because of the vast number ofman-made religions in the world, thefollowing studies are set forth for youin order to help you to discover the truechurch of Christ. These are importantpoints that will help you either todiscover the church of Christ in yourcommunity or to start an assembly ofGod’s people in your own home.
The Head Of The Church51THINGS TO LEARN1. The head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ.2. The origin of the church was in the 1 st century in Jerusalem.3. The relational function of the church is centered around Jesus as head.4. References to the church emphasize the glory of Jesus Christ.5. The worship and service of the church focuses on God.6. We must come out of man-made religions in order to find Jesus Christ.THE HEAD OF THE CHURCHHead has reference to control andcenter of reference. As our physicalhead is the center of reference to ourbody from which all parts of our bodyare controlled, so Jesus wants tospiritually control our lives which wehave brought into sin either throughfollowing after the lust of the flesh, lustof the eyes, or the pride of life (1 Jn2:15,16). The Bible says that Christ “isthe head of the church. And He isthe Savior of the body” (Ep 5:23). “Heis the head of the body, the church ...”(Cl 1:18). As the only head of thechurch, Jesus demands absolutecontrol over those who submit to Hiswill. He can have no competition in thearea of headship. For this reason noother person should religiously controlyour life on earth other than Jesus.Jesus exercises His control of thechurch by our voluntary submission toHis word. We submit because we haveaccepted Him as the only way for oursalvation (Jn 14:6; At 4:12). Submittedbelievers realize that they must facefinal judgment (accountability) for theirbehavior on earth (Hb 9:27). Theyrealize that Jesus will be the judge (At17:30,31). And they realize that theword of Jesus, not the traditions of men,Study 22will be the rule by which they will bejudged (Jn 12:48). Therefore, one neednot be fearful of those who would seekto bind on us the religious traditions ofmen. Jesus’ control of our lives meansfreedom from the doctrines andcommandments of those who wouldintimidate or cause fear in our heartsthat we follow them. The Bible saysthe following to those who have beenbaptized.Stand fast therefore in the liberty bywhich Christ has made us free, and donot be entangled again with a yoke ofbondage (Gl 5:1).Since Jesus is the only head of thechurch, there can be no other head thatwould distractfrom His absoluteJesusleadership of thechurch. God,the Father, has“put all thingsunder His[Jesus’] feet, andgave Him to behead over allthings to thechurch” (EpBODY(church)
The Origin Of The Church1:22). Jesus has all authority and therecan be no other authority that wouldcompete with Him in our lives (Mt28:18). He is Lord of lords and King ofkings (1 Tm 6:15). His authorityextends even beyond that which is ofthis world. The Bible says, “For to thisend Christ died and lived again, so thatHe might be Lord both of the deadand of the living” (Rm 14:9). Jesus“has gone into heaven and is at the righthand of God, angels and authoritiesand powers having been madesubject to Him” (1 Pt 3:22).How much more authority andpower can one have than all authorityand power? Any church that wouldestablish another head of the churchother than Jesus is actually distractingfrom the headship of Jesus over allthings. It is important to believe,therefore, that when we come to Jesusin order that our lives be corrected, wemust submit to His control. He, not anyman, must have our total commitment.SELF TEST1. ____ When we obey the gospel, God52adds us to ... (A) ... a denomination, (B)... a sect, (C) ... the church2. ____ By what does God call people outof the world? (A) Faith, (B) The gospel,(C) The Holy Spirit3. ____ When the word “church” is used inthe Bible, we must think about ... (A) ...people, (B) ... heaven, (C) ... faith4. ____ In Colossians 2:20 the Bible exhortsChristians not to submit themselves towhat in reference to religion? (A) Manmadereligious regulations, (B) Belief inGod, (C) Bible study5. ____ When the word “head” is used inreference to Christ, about what must onethink? (A) Faith, (B) Love, (C) Control6. ____ In reference to the religioustraditions of men, what does submissionto Jesus’ headship mean? (A) Bondage,(B) Freedom, (C) Apostasy7. ____ Over what is Jesus now head? (A)Angels, (B) Kings, (C) All thingsYES - NO Since submission to Jesus asyour head means that you must not submitto the religious commandments of men, areyou willing to leave the traditional religionsof men in order to submit to Jesus?SCRIPTURE READING: Ep 1:20-23; Ph 2:5-11; Cl 1:9-18SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Jesus’ authority: Mt 7:29; Mk1:22-27; Lk 5:24; 20:2-8; Jn 5:22,27; 13:3; 17:2, Jesuswill judge: Mt 16:27; 25:32-46; Jn 5:22; At 10:42; 17:30,31,Jesus is King: Is 9:6,7; Jn 18:36,37; 1 Co 15:20-28; Rv3:21, Jesus is priest: Hb 4:14-16; 7:25,26; 8:1,6; 9:24THE ORIGIN OF THE CHURCHStudy 23The establishment, or origin of thechurch of God is based on the establishmentof the kingdom reign of Jesus.When people in the first century firstresponded to the kingdom reign ofJesus in heaven, the church was establishedon earth. Therefore, whenwe determine when the reign of Jesuswas established and officially announced,we will discover when thechurch was established, for it was establishedwhen people first respondedto the kingdom reign of Jesus.In this study are key Old Testamentprophecies that point to the establishmentof the kingdom of Jesus whichbegan over 1,900 years ago. Accordingto our calendar today, the announcementof this kingdom reign wasmade in the city of Jerusalem on the
The Origin Of The Churchday of Pentecost in A.D. 30. Thus, thechurch was established on this day inA.D. 30 when men and women first re-53sponded to the first official announcementof the kingdom reign of Jesus inheaven by obedience to the gospel.PROPHECIES OF DANIELDaniel 2 is a record of a vision ofKing Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon thathappened in the sixth century beforeChrist. In the vision, the king saw agreat image. The image was a portrayalof four world kingdoms (SeeDn 2:36-45). The image had a head ofgold. This head represented theBabylonian Kingdom. Its breast andarms were of silver which representedthe Medo-Persian Kingdom. It alsohad a belly of brass that representedthe Greek Kingdom. The last kingdomwas represented by feet and legsof part iron and clay. This was a representationof the Roman Kingdom. Inverse 44 Daniel interpreted, “And in thedays of these kings [the Roman kings]the God of heaven will set up a kingdomwhich shall never be destroyed;and the kingdom shall not be left toother people; it shall break in piecesand consume all these kingdoms, andit shall stand forever.” The kingdomreign about which Daniel prophesiedwould be established in the days of theRoman kings.Daniel 7 is a record of Daniel’s visionthat is a parallel vision toNebuchadnezzar’s vision of Daniel 2.The same four kingdoms are represented,but with different figures.Babylon was the lion; Medo-Persia wasthe bear; Greece was the leopard;Rome was the beast that was “dreadfuland terrible.” Daniel again prophesiedthat in the days of the RomanKingdom God would set up a kingdom.In the days of the fulfillment of this vision,Daniel spoke of the ascension ofthe “Son of Man” to the Ancient of Days(God). After this ascension, there wasgiven to the Son of Man “dominionand glory and a kingdom, that allpeoples, nations, and languagesshould serve Him” (Dn 7:13,14).Nebuchadnezzar’sVisionGoldDaniel’sVisionLionWorldKingdomsBABYLONIANSilverBearMEDO-PERSIANBrassIron & ClayLeopard“Dreadful&Terrible”GREEKROMAN
The Origin Of The ChurchProphecy of Isaiah 2:1-5:In this prophecy Isaiah spoke of thehouse of God being established. Hespoke of the word of God going fromJerusalem. He prophesied that all nationswould flow unto the house of God(See also Mc 4:1-3).Prophecy of Joel 2:28-32:Joel prophesied of the outpouringof the Holy Spirit in the last days. Godwould no longer pour out the Holy Spiriton the prophets alone. He would pourout His Spirit on “all flesh” (At 2:16-21).Prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34:God promised that He would establisha new covenant with the houseof Israel and Judah. This covenantwould bring all the obedient of all nationsinto a covenant relationship withGod (Hb 8:6-18; 10:15-18).These and many other propheciesconcerning Jesus have all been fulfilled.When John the Baptist came inthe first century, he preached, “Repent,for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”54(Mt 3:1,2). When Jesus came, He alsopreached, “The time is fulfilled, andthe kingdom of God is at hand. Repent,and believe in the gospel” (Mk1:14,15). “At hand” means near orsoon. In other words, the kingdomabout which both John and Jesusspoke was soon to be established inreference to their earthly ministries.Neither the kingdom reign of Jesusnor the church were established in thedays of John the Baptist or Jesus.During their ministries, both spoke ofthe church as something that wouldcome in the future. Concerning thekingdom, Jesus said, “Truly I say toyou, there are some of those who arestanding here who will not taste deathuntil they see the kingdom of Godcome with power” (Mk 9:1). Concerningthe church, He said, “And I alsosay to you that you are Peter, and uponthis rock I will build My church, andthe gates of Hades will not prevailagainst it” (Mt 16:18). Both the kingdomreign of Jesus and the church,therefore, were yet in the future in referenceto Jesus’ earthly ministry.FULFILLMENT OF KINGDOM & CHURCH PROPHECIESA.D. 30 – Day of Pentecost – JerusalemPROPHECYFULFILLMENTIsaiah 2:1-5Micah 4:1-3Daniel 2:44Daniel 7:13,14Joel 2:28-32Jeremiah 31:31-34In the Last DaysLord’s House EstablishedAll Nations AddedWord from JerusalemJudge NationsPeace on EarthDays of Roman KingsThe StoneComing in the Clouds“Afterward” - Last DaysSpirit Poured OutNew CovenantHebrews 1:1,21 Timothy 3:15Mark 16:15,16Luke 24:47John 12:482 Thessalonians 3:16Luke 3:1-4Romans 16:20Acts 1:9-11Acts 2:1-4Acts 2:16-24Hebrews 8:6-18
The Origin Of The ChurchThe words “kingdom” and “church”refer to two different things in referenceto God’s rule and people. “Kingdom”refers to God’s reign and rule fromheaven, whereas, “church” refers toour response to kingdom reign.KINGDOM REIGN(Rule from Heaven)CHURCH(People response from Earth)Jesus said, “The kingdom of Godis within you” (Lk 17:20,21). “My kingdomis not of this world” (Jn 18:36).Therefore, the kingdom of Jesus is notphysical as the Babylonian, Medo-Persian,Greek and Roman kingdoms. Itis spiritual. Here’s how. Jesus askedthe disciples to pray, “Your kingdomcome. Your will be done on earth as itis in heaven” (Mt 6:9,10). When thewill of the Father is done on earth inthe hearts of men as it is done inheaven, then kingdom reign comes.55The kingdom is within the one who submitsto the kingdom reign of Jesus fromheaven. It is as simple as that.Now when were the kingdomprophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled?The answer is simple. Theywere fulfilled when Jesus ascended tothe Father to receive glory, dominionand kingdom reign. This happened inthe first century and was recorded inActs 1. Jesus ascended to the righthand of God (At 2:29-35). A few dayslater on the Sunday morning of the JewishPentecost of A.D. 30, Peter proclaimedthe message of the gospel, thedeath of Jesus for our sins, His burial,and His resurrection for our hope (At2:29-33). Peter then proclaimed,“Therefore let all the house of Israelknow assuredly that God has made thissame Jesus whom you have crucified,both Lord and Christ” (At 2:36).When men and women heard ofthe kingdom reign of Jesus, they respondedwith submission. Listen towhat happen after Peter’s first historicalannouncement of the kingdom reignof Jesus. “Now when they heard this,KINGDOM REIGN IN HEAVENJESUS ASCENDSActs 1Acts 2CHURCH BEGINS ON EARTH
The Relational Function Of God’s Peoplethey were cut to the heart. And theysaid to Peter and the rest of theapostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shallwe do?’” (At 2:37). Herein were peoplewho responded to the kingdom reignof Jesus. In order to answer their response,Peter instructed them, “Repent,and be immersed every one ofyou in the name of Jesus Christ forthe remission of sins. And you willreceive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (At2:38).Now here is the point. Jesus ascendedto the right hand of the Fatherin order to reign as King (Ep 1:20-23).The first official announcement of thiskingdom reign took place on the day ofPentecost in Jerusalem. About 3,000people first responded to this officialannouncement by allowing the will ofGod to be done on earth in their heartsas it is done in heaven (At 2:41). Therefore,the church began in Acts 2 withthese first responses to the gospel.The church began when men andwomen first responded to the firstannouncement of the kingdom reignof Jesus. This happened on the dayof Pentecost in A.D. 30 in the city ofJerusalem.The Lord Jesus Christ is the universalhead of His body, the church (Cl1:18). He rules through the authorityof His written word (Jn 12:48). His controland direction for His body, therefore,is accomplished through thosewho have submitted to His kingshipover all things.The direction of the body of Christ,56SELF TEST1. ____ The image that Nebuchadnezzarsaw portrayed four world ... (A) ... wars,(B) ... kingdoms, (C) ... laws2. ____ Daniel 2:44 is a prophecy that Godwould establish what? (A) Earthly government,(B) Kingdom reign, (C) The nationof Israel3. ____ In the days of what kings did Godsay He would establish a kingdom? (A)Babylonian, (B) Greek, (C) Roman4. ____ Isaiah prophesied that the word ofGod would go from what city? (A) Rome,(B) Babylon, (C) Jerusalem5. ____ “At hand” means ... (A) ... distant,(B) ... soon, (C) ... already6. ____ Kingdom refers to God’s reign from... (A) ... earth, (B) ... the councils of men,(C) ... heaven7. ____ In A.D. 30 the church was establishedon what day? (A) Pentecost, (B)Saturday, (C) Monday8. ____ About how many people were baptizedto be saved, and thus, begin the existenceof the church in Acts 2? (A) 3,000,(B) 2,000, (C) 4,000YES - NO If your church was not establishedin Jerusalem in A.D. 30 on the day of Pentecost,would you be willing to become a memberof one that was?SCRIPTURE READING: Dn 2:14-45; 7:9-28; At 1,2SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Kingdom prophecies: 2 Sm7:12,13,16; Is 9:6; 22:20-25; Ps 45:6,7; 110:1; Zc 6:12,13;Jr 23:5,6THE RELATIONAL FUNCTION OF GOD’S PEOPLEStudy 24the church, is thus from heaven. Godnever intended to set up on earth a rulingpower that would either take theplace of or challenge the lordship ofJesus from heaven over all things. Anyreligious body that would set aside theauthority of Jesus by establishing theirown religious laws is acting in rebellionagainst the kingdom reign of Jesus.
The Relational Function Of God’s PeopleJesus warned, “He who rejects Me anddoes not receive My words, has onewho judges him. The word that I havespoken, the same will judge him inthe last day” (Jn 12:48).On earth God has set forth leadershipwork in the church to be accomplishedthrough the lives of designatedmen. These devoted workers in thechurch do not have the authority to establishlaws that would be bound on theconsciences of men. Their designationis for the purpose of nurturing by teaching,life examples, and ministering asservants to the needs of those who havevoluntarily submitted themselves to thedirection of Jesus (Hb 13:17).All leadership of the church must bebased on the leadership principles thatJesus set forth in His instructions to thedisciples. Jesus gave His fundamentalprinciple of leadership in Mark 10:42-45.You know that those who are recognizedas rulers over the Gentiles exercise lordshipover them. And their great onesexercise authority over them. But itwill not be so among you. But whoeverdesires to be great among you, willbe your servant. And whoever of youdesires to be first will be bondservantof all. For even the Son of Man did notcome to be served, but to serve, and togive His life a ransom for many.Whenever we discuss the subjectof leadership in the church, therefore,we are discussing those who havededicated themselves to bebondservants to the needs of thosewho have submitted to Jesus (See 1Co 16:15,16).57EVANGELISTSEvangelists, or preachers, functionin two special works. Their primaryfunction is to proclaim the good newsof Jesus’ death, burial and resurrectionto the lost. Secondly, they workto edify the church. The Bible exhortsevangelists, “Preach the word! Beready in season and out of season.Reprove, rebuke, exhort with alllongsuffering and teaching” (2 Tm 4:2).The Bible says to evangelists to “bewatchful in all things, endure afflictions,do the work of an evangelist, fulfillyour ministry” (2 Tm 4:5).It is not the work of the evangelistto rule over the church. Evangelistsare to serve the word of God to thechurch both in teaching and by the exampleof their lives. The apostle Paulwrote to the young evangelist Timothy,“Let no one despise your youth. Butyou be an example to the believers inword, in behavior, in love, in spirit, infaith, in purity. Till I come, give heed toreading, to exhortation, to teaching” (1Tm 4:12,13).SHEPHERDSJesus has given leadership workin the church to a designated group ofmen who are commonly referred to aselders or shepherds. Depending onyour translation of the Bible, throughoutthe New Testament these men arealso referred to as bishops, overseers,pastors or presbyters. Theseare all the same designated group ofleaders. Different words are used todescribe them simply to identify thenature of service they do for theflock of God.
The Relational Function Of God’s People58Shepherds doGod ...” (At 20:28). It is the work ofCHURCHnot have the authorityto make re-and caring for the church. They lookshepherds to function in counselingNEEDSligious laws for thechurch, for Godhas delivered tothe church all religiousinstructionthrough the revealedLEADERS’SERVICEout over the flock of God in order tomake sure that spiritual and physicalneeds are cared for among God’speople (Hb 13:17). It is their responsibilityto teach the flock.Christians in a particular regionword of God (2 Tm 3:16,17; 1Pt 1:3; Jd 3).When elders were designated inthe first century church, there was aplurality of elders designated for thechurch in any one area (At 14:23).There was never the situation whereone elder functioned with one church.Before shepherds were designated,they had to have certain physicalqualifications and spiritual qualities.These qualifications and qualities areset forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus1:7-9. These qualifications and qualitieswere set forth in order to guide thechurch in designating those men whowere spiritually qualified to function inthe work of a shepherd.Shepherds have the responsibilitymay not have a plurality of qualifiedmen to function as a designated groupto shepherd the flock of God. However,this does not mean that they arewithout the benefit of godly counselingand spiritual direction that is offeredthrough godly men. There are alwaysgodly members who can give spiritualcounseling and direction to the members.However, if such members donot have the physical qualifications aslisted by the New Testament, they cannotbe publicly designated as elders ofthe church. Nevertheless, they can fulfilltheir Christian responsibility of helpingothers through times of trial, as wellas, minister in the work of teaching theword of God to the church (1 Co16:15,16; Gl 6:1,2).of caring for the flock that can personallyknow them (1 Pt 5:2). They are toSPECIAL MENSERVANTSoffer their spiritual presence, teaching Special male servants, or deacons,and example to those with whom they are designated for the purpose of servingspecial needs of the people (Phnormally associate.The work of elders is shown in the 1:1). As the elders, they also are tofollowing New Testament instructions: fulfill specific physical qualifications and“Shepherd the flock of God that is spiritual qualities before they are designatedto special works. These quali-among you, serving as overseers ...being examples to the flock” (1 Pet fications and qualities are stated in 15:2,3). “Therefore, take heed to yourselvesand to all the flock, among which ministries, they function to mature andTimothy 3:8-12. Through their specialthe Holy Spirit has made you overseers,to shepherd the church ofedify the church in the area of specialneeds.
Finding God’s PeopleSELF TEST1. ____ Jesus rules and guides the bodythrough ... (A) ... the Holy Spirit, (B) ...His written word, (C) ... our feelings2. ____ Elders are also referred to as ... (A)... evangelists, (B) ... pastors, (C) ....prophets3. ____ How many elders are to be designedfor the church in any particular church?(A) Two, (B) One, (C) Plurality4. ____ In reference to their work with theflock of God, what are elders to do? (A)Shepherd, (B) Make religious laws, (C)Rule with their opinions5. ____ In reference to their spiritual directionof the church, what are elders to do?(A) Be examples, (B) Rule by their opinions,(C) Make religious laws6. ____ What is the purpose of the work ofspecial male servants? (A) Rule, (B)Serve special needs of the church, (C)Preach7. ____ What is the primary work of evangelists?(A) Preach to the lost, (B) Preach59for a church, (C) Serve special needs ofthe church8. ____ The Bible exhorts evangelists to dothe work of an ... (A) ... elder, (B) ... evangelist,(C) ... educator9. ____ In reference to the behavior of theirlives, what are evangelists to be to themembers of the church? (A) An example,(B) A shepherd, (C) A deaconYES - NO Those who are functioning asleaders in the church are to function as slavesto the needs of the members.SCRIPTURE READING: Servant leadership: Mk 10:35-45; Jn 13:1-17; 1 Co 16:15,16, Elders: At 20:28-32; 1 Tm3:1-7; Ti 1:7-9; 1 Pt 5:1-3, Evangelists: 1 & 2 Timothy;Titus (These three New Testament books were written specificallyto the evangelists Timothy and Titus.)SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Principle of servanthood: Mt20:20-28; Mk 9:33-37; 10:35-45; Lk 22:24-30; Jn 13:1-17,Work of servanthood leaders: 1 Co 16:15,16; Hb 13:17,Elders: At 15:4,5,23; 20:17,28; Ep 4:11; Ph 1:1; 1 Th5:12,13; 1 Tm 3:1-7; 5:1,17-19; Ti 1:7-9; Js 5:14,15,Evangelist’s life: At 20:22-24; 21:8; Rm 1:15; 1 Co 9:25-27; 2 Co 4:1,2; 10:12-16; 1 Th 3:2; 1 Pt 4:11 (See 1,2 Tm;Ti), Evangelist’s work: Rm 10:14,15 (See 1,2 Tm; Ti).The people of God (the church) inthe New Testament are referred to withwords and phrases that describe ownershipand character. These wordsand phrases either identify the ownerto whom members of the church havegiven allegiance or explain the natureof the body of Christ. Such words andphrases were never meant to be propernames for the church so as to dividemembers one from another. They wereused by the Holy Spirit to identify thepeople of God in their relationship toGod. The following phrases are commonlyused in the New Testament torefer to Christians as a group of thosewhom God has called out of the worldthrough their voluntary obedience.FINDING GOD’S PEOPLEStudy 25• The church of God (1 Co 1:2)• The body of Christ (Ep 1:22,23)• The church of Christ (Rm 16:16)• The house of God (1 Tm 3:15)• The flock of God (1 Pt 5:2,3)• The bride of Christ (Rm 7:4; Rv 21:9)• The church of the Lord (God) (At 20:28)• The household of God (Ep 2:19)• The temple of God (1 Co 3:16)As with phrases that define thenature of the global church, individualmembers are referred to in the NewTestament with terms that describe thenature or ownership of the saints. Thefollowing is a brief list of descriptiveterms that are used in the New Testamentto discribe members of the body.
Worship And Service Of The Church• Disciples (At 11:26)• Christians (At 11:26; 1 Pt 4:16)• Saints (Rm 1:7; Ep 1:1; Ph 1:1)• Children of God (Rm 8:16; Ep 5:8• Sons of God (Gl 3:26; 1 Jn 3:1,2)• Brethren (Ph 4:21; 1 Pt 2:17)• Servants (Rm 16:1,2)• Priests (1 Pt 2:5,9; Rv 1:6)It is always a good principle to useBible references to describe thoseteachings and actions that are describedin the Bible. Those names thatare used in the religious world that dividebrethren should be discarded.Those who seek to establish unityamong brethren will always give up traditionalnames in order to base unityamong Christians on the principles ofthe Bible.We must always keep in mind thatGod did not intend to give a specificname to the church. There is no uniquename used in the New Testament toeither identify the church or her mem-60bers. God knew that names woulddenominate believers from one another,and thus He sought to maintainthe unity of the body by using terms andphrases that refer only to the nature orwork of the church. For this reason itwould be wrong to use a particular referenceto the church in a manner thatwould denominate Christians from oneanother.SELF TEST1. ____ Words and phrases are used in theNew Testament to refer to what in referenceto God’s people? (A) Ownership, (B) Origin,(C) Establishment2. ____ The reference “church of Christ”means that the church belongs to whom?(A) The Holy Spirit, (B) Christ, (C) ChristiansYES - NO If the name of the church to whichyou belong is not found in the Bible, wouldyou be willing to give it up in order to haveunity with other believers?SCRIPTURE READING: Cl 1:9-18SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Ownership of the church: At20:28; 1 Co 6:20; Ti 2:14, Glorify God, not man: Jn 12:28;16:14; 17:5; Rm 1:21; Gl 6:13,14; Cl 3:17; 1 Pt 4:16; Rv4:11WORSHIP & SERVICE OF THE CHURCHJesus made a very important statementin John 4:23. “But the hour iscoming and now is, when the trueworshipers will worship the Fatherin spirit and truth, for the Fatherseeks such to worship Him.” It is veryimportant how we worship God. Godis our creator and it is He who givesdirections as to how He wants to beworshiped. Therefore, it is not ourchoice as to how God should be worshiped.The choice is His for He is ourcreator.Study 26Many religious people today areworshiping God according to their owninventions. But if we worship God afterthe doctrines and commandmentsof men, we worship God in vain. Jesussaid, “And in vain they worship Me,teaching as doctrines the commandmentsof men” (Mk 7:7). If we worshipGod in ignorance of Him and His will,we also worship Him in vain. Theapostle Paul addressed such worshipersin Acts 17. He said to them, “TheOne whom you worship without know-
Worship And Service Of The Churching, Him I declare to you” (At 17:23).In order that these to whom Paul wroteshould worship God in truth, hepreached to them the truth of God (At17:23-31).There are also those who worshipGod according to their own religiousceremonies and creeds. About suchthe Bible says, “These things have indeeda show of wisdom in self-madereligion and self-abasement and neglectof the body, but not in any valuein restraining the indulgence of theflesh” (Cl 2:23). Yes, it is important toworship God according to what He desires,not according to what we individuallydesire.Unfortunately, when it comes toworship and service of God, many areas those about whom Paul wrotewhose worship and service was rejectedby God. “For I testify of themthat they have a zeal for God, but notaccording to knowledge. For theybeing ignorant of God’s righteousnessand seeking to establish their ownrighteousness, have not submittedthemselves to the righteousness ofGod” (Rm 10:2,3). We must seek therighteousness of God according to aknowledge of His word. Those who areignorant of the Bible seek to worshipGod according to their own rules andregulations. They thus worship God invain.Worship should never be an effortto entertain ourselves. Worshipis the outpouring of a heart that recognizesthe awesome nature of God.How can we think about entertainingourselves when contemplating theawesome greatness of God?WORSHIPIN SPIRIT AND TRUTH61It is great news that Christians todaydo not have to worship God in ignoranceor after the ordinances of theOld Testament. Animal sacrifices areno longer necessary in worship to God.Christians today have been freed fromthe necessity of offering the blood ofbulls and goats that could not take awaysins (Hb 10:1-4). They have been freedfrom having to ignorantly worship Godaccording to their own desires and thetraditions of men. Christians todayhave the advantage of God’s directionin worship through His inspired word.The Christian’s worship and serviceto God today is on a daily basisand according to the directions of Hiswill, the Bible. Worshipof God is notconfined to buildingsor particular locations,for God “doesnot dwell in temples made with hands.Nor is He worshiped with men’s handsas though He needed anything ...” (At17:24,25).Worship and service of God is notconfined to a particular time or day. TheBible says, “I urge you therefore, brethren,by the mercies of God, that youpresent your bodies a living sacrifice,holy, acceptable to God, which isyour reasonable service” (Rm 12:1).The Christian has presented his entirelife as a “living sacrifice” to God. Paulwrote of himself, “I have been crucifiedwith Christ. It is no longer I wholive, but Christ lives in me. And the
Worship And Service Of The Churchlife that I now live in the flesh I live byfaith in the Son of God, who loved meand gave Himself for me” (Gl 2:20).The total life of the Christian is given inservice to God. Therefore, he worshipsGod daily. Wherever a Christian maybe at any time he has the privilege ofworshiping God.All Christians are priests of God.Christians “are being built up a spiritualhouse, a holy priesthood, to offerup spiritual sacrifices acceptable toGod through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 2:5).They are a “chosen generation, a royalpriesthood, a holy nation, a specialpeople” to God (1 Pt 2:9). As priests,Christians are on duty at all times. Theirwhole life is given in service to God.The following are some of the importantthings Christians do in their dailyworship and service of God.Christians Daily StudyAnd Proclaim God’s WordThe early Christians determined topreach God’s word on a daily basis.“And daily in the temple, and in everyhouse, they did not cease teachingand preaching Jesus as theChrist” (At 5:42). They “went everywherepreaching the word” (At 8:4).Because Christians have been savedby the grace of God, they have greatnews for all the world. It is their work,therefore, to preach the gospel to everyperson in the world (Mk 16:15).SELF TEST1. ____ Those who worship God accordingto their own doctrines actually worship62God in ... (A) ... truth, (B) ... vain, (C) ...peace2. ____ Those who do not know the word ofGod will worship God in ... (A) ... ignorance,(B) .... truth, (C) ... wisdom3. ____ What must Christians first presentas a living sacrifice to God? (A) Possessions,(B) Abilities, (C) Bodies4. ____ In reference to their holy service andworship, what are Christians? (A) Priests,(B) Preachers, (C) Prophets5. ____ When is the time of the Christian’sworship? (A) Saturday, (B) Sunday, (C)DailyYES - NO If you discovered in the Bible thatyou were worshiping God in error, would youchange your worship?SCRIPTURE READING: Mt 15:1-9; At 17:16-30; 2 Tm 4:1-3SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Worship: Gn 22:5; Ps 45:11;95:6; Mt 2:2; At 24:14; Rv 4:10; 14:7; 19:4; Hb 10:24,25,Preach: Mt 28:19,20; Mk 16:15,16; Rm 10:8-15; Ep 3:10,11;4:11,12; 1 Tm 4:13, 2 Tm 2:15Christians Daily Sing Praise ToGod And AdmonishOne AnotherAs the community of God, the Bibleexhorts Christians to be “speaking toone another in psalms and hymns andspiritual songs, singing and makingmelody in your heart to the Lord” (EpSERVICE THROUGH SONGGODPraisesSING!TeachingOneAnother
Worship And Service Of The Church5:19). “Let the Word of Christ dwell inyou richly in all wisdom, teaching andadmonishing one another in psalmsand hymns and spiritual songs,singing with grace in your hearts tothe Lord” (Cl 3:16). Christians shouldbe known for their daily teaching of oneanother with their voices in song. Theyshould use the medium of songs tovoice their praises to God.SELF TEST6. ____ Christians must sing with theirvoices while making melody in their ... (A)... minds, (B) ... thoughts, (C) ... hearts7. ____ In reference to one another, whatmust Christians do in their singing? (A)Teach, (B) Pray, (C) MeditateYES - NO Is it God’s desire to hear the musicof vocal singing that comes from themelody of one’s heart?SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: At 16:25; Rm 15:9; 1 Co 14:15;Hb 2:12; Js 5:13Christians Give ThemselvesTo Prayer And FastingThe Bible says to “pray withoutceasing” (1 Th 5:17). Christians shouldnot be “anxious for anything, but in everythingby prayer and supplication withthanksgiving” let their requests bemade known to God (Ph 4:6). Christiansdirect their prayers to the Father,for it is He who answers our prayers(Jn 14:13).During His earthly ministry, Jesussaid, “But the days will come when thebridegroom will be taken away fromthem, and then they will fast in thosedays” (Mk 2:20). Jesus was speakingof Himself going away to reign inheaven. He has since gone away, and63thus, His disciples now fast. The disciplesnow fast often during their intenseprayers to call on God to work intheir lives (At 13:1-3). They give themselvesto fasting (1 Co 7:5).SELF TEST8. ____ To whom should Christians maketheir request? (A) Jesus, (B) Holy Spirit,(C) The Father9. ____ In conjunction with their prayers,Christians give themselves to ... (A) ...the world, (B) ... one another, (C) ... fastingYES - NO Have you been offering prayersto God with fasting?SCRIPTURE READING: At 4:23-31; Mk 2:18-20SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Prayer: At 2:42; 12:5,12; 1 Co14:14-17; Cl 3:17; 4:12; 1 Tm 2:8, Fasting: Mt 17:21; Lk2:37; At 13:1-3; 14:23Christians Daily Give AndDo Good In Praise Of GodGIVINGIn worship and reverential submissionto God, the Christian is not hisown. He has been bought with a price.That price was the offering of the Sonof God on the cross for our sins. Therefore,the Bible says, “For you have beenbought with a price. Therefore, glorifyGod in your body” (1 Co 6:20).Since the Christian is nothis own person, he realizesthat what he has isfrom God. Therefore, theChristian uses his possessions(money or materialthings) in a sacrificialmanner to provide for himself andhis family, and to do the work of Godfor others. The Christian gives as anatural expression of loving God andone another. Christians should daily
Worship And Service Of The Churchgive in a sacrificial manner to any spontaneousneed that may arise. God isa giver, and those who would claimto be godly, must also be givers. TheBible says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity,let us do good to all men, especiallyto those who are of thehousehold of the faith” (Gl 6:10).SELF TEST10. ____ To whom does the body and spiritof the Christian belong? (A) Himself, (B)His brother, (C) God11. ____ To whom must Christians especiallydo good? (A) Unbelievers, (B) Christians,(C) Unfaithful ChristiansYES - NO If you become a Christian, areyou willing to care for the physical needs ofothers?SCRIPTURE READING: At 2:44,45; 4:34-37; Ph 4:10-20SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Giving: 1 Co 16:1-3; 2 Co 8:1-4; 9; Gl 2:10, Doing good: Lk 10:30-37; Js 1:27; 4:17; 1Jn 3:13-18Christians CommuneWith Jesus And One AnotherThough worship of God is individual,on the first day of the week, Sunday,Christians seek to bring their worshipfulspirits together in order to praiseGod with others. They come togetherto remember Jesus and the grace ofGod that was poured out for them whenJesus died on the cross (Ti 2:11). Animportant part of this Sunday assemblyis the communion of Christians withone another and Jesus around theLord’s Supper. The early Christianscame together on Sunday in order tocelebrate the death and resurrection ofJesus (At 20:7). Christians partake ofthe Lord’s Supper which was institutedby Jesus. Matthew 26:26-28 reveals64the following concerning what Jesuswants us to remember in the Lord’sSupper,And as they were eating, Jesus tookbread, blessed it and broke it, and gaveit to the disciples and said, “Take, eat;this is My body.” Then He took thecup, and gave thanks, and gave it tothem, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.For this is My blood of the new covenant,which is shed for many for theremission of sins.”Concerning the bread of the Supper,Jesus revealed that Christiansmust remember Him when they eat ofthe bread. “This is My body which isfor you. This do in remembrance ofMe” (1 Co 11:24). Concerning the fruitof the vine, Jesus said that it representedthe blood of the new covenantthat Christians have with Jesus. Hesaid, “This cup is the new covenant inMy blood. This do, as often as youdrink it, in remembrance of Me” (1Co 11:25).The bread of the Supper representsthe body of Jesus. The fruit ofthe vine represents the blood of thenew covenant which God has madewith Christians.The bread that Jesus used whenthe Supper was instituted was unleavened,thatis, withoutyeast. Itwas unleavenedbecauseJesus andHis dis-FRUITOF VINE(Blood)BREAD(The Body)
Worship And Service Of The Churchciples were at the time eating the unleavenedbread of the Passover Feastof the Jews (Ex 34:25; Lv 7:17). Thefruit of the vine was juice from grapevines (Mk 14:24,25). The New Testamentdoes not say that either the breador fruit of the vine turn into the literalbody and blood of Jesus. Neither doesit say that Jesus’ body and blood arepresent in the elements. The bread andfruit of the vine simply represent Jesus’body and blood.Jesus used these two physicalthings – bread and fruit of the vine – torepresent two spiritual truths of Christianity.These truths are that Hesacrifically gave His fleshly body andpoured out His blood for our salvation(Ep 1:7; 1 Pt 1:21-25). When we partakeof the Supper, therefore, we rememberJesus. We proclaim that Hedied for us. In doing such we examineourselves. The Bible says, “For as oftenas you eat this bread and drink thiscup, you proclaim the Lord’s deathuntil He comes” (1 Co 11:26). Christiansmust search their hearts at thetime they eat and drink of the Supper.“But let a man examine himself, andso let him eat of the bread and drink ofthe cup” (1 Co 11:28).UNITY OF THE CHURCHAnother important remembrance ofthe Supper is to consider the onenessof the body of Christ. The Bible says,“The cup of blessing that we bless, is itnot the fellowship of the blood of Christ?The bread that we break, is it not thefellowship of the body of Christ? Forthough we are many, we are one bread65and one body, for we are all partakersof that one bread” (1 Co 10:16,17).When we partake of the bread,therefore, we must remember the unityof the universal church. We are onechurch because we have obeyed theone gospel by immersion into the bodyof Christ. God has added us to the oneuniversal church (At 2:47). The Biblesays, “For as the body is one and hasmany members, and all the membersof that one body, though they are many,are one body, so also is Christ. For byone Spirit we were all immersed intoone body ...” (1 Co 12:12,13).DYNAMIC LIVINGChristians present their entire livesin reverential worship and service toGod (Rm 12:1,2). Their worshipful attitudesare expressed in daily proclamationof God’s word, the singing ofspiritual songs, praying, doing good toothers, and givingto others tothe glory of God.These living responsesto thegrace of Godmanifest our appreciationto God for saving us fromour sins (1 Co 15:10). The submissivenature of the Christian’s life is worshipto God. The Bible says, “Therefore,whether you eat or drink or whateveryou do, do all to the glory of God” (1Co 10:31). “And whatever you do inword or deed, do all in the name of theLord Jesus, giving thanks to God theFather through Him” (Cl 3:17). Therefore,when worshipful Christians
Searching For God’s Peopleassemble on Sunday to partake ofthe Lord’s Supper, a dynamic spiritualfellowship of praise to God happensthat is a great encouragementto all the those who participate in theassembly.SELF TEST12. ____ What does the bread represent?(A) The blood of Jesus, (B) The body ofJesus, (C) The covenant13. ____ What does the fruit of the vine represent?(A) The blood of Jesus, (B) Thebody of Jesus, (C) The church14. ____ In reference to their hearts, what66must one do when partaking of the Supper?(A) Pray, (B) Examine, (C) Repent15. ____ In reference to the Lord’s death,what do Christians do when partaking ofthe Supper? (A) Study, (B) Preach, (C)Proclaim16. ____ When Christians eat of the onebread, they must remember the one ...(A) ... body, (B) ... faith, (C) ... hopeYES - NO Have you been partaking of theLord’s Supper every first day of the week?SCRIPTURE READING: Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25; Lk22:14-20; 1 Co 11:23-29SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: At 2:42; 20:7, One body: 1Co 12:12-31; Ep 4:4-6; Cl 1:16-18SEARCHING FOR GOD’S PEOPLESo how can you find Christians inyour community? You can by simplyknowing the identifying characteristicsof God’s community that are recordedin the New Testament. Since thechurch exists wherever there is onewho has obeyed the gospel, then thechurch of believers is identified by thosewho have been obedient to the commonfaith that has been delivered tous by God (Jd 3).You must realize that a religiousgroup may partially teach and practicesome of the identifying characteristicsof the New Testament church. However,a church may not be the truechurch if people have either added tothe word of God or subtracted from itsteachings. Obeying only part of whatGod requires of us is not acceptable toGod. A New Testament church is thetrue church when the members believeand obey the will of God as revealed inthe New Testament.You must be careful, therefore, forStudy 27men have added false teachings totheir religious practices in order to worshipGod after human doctrines andreligious traditions. They have alsosubtracted from God’s plan. Falseteachings are being taught throughoutthe world. Therefore, one must bewareof false teachings. All teachings mustbe tested by the word of God (See 1Jn 4:1; Rv 2:2). The Bible says, “Examineyourselves as to whether youare in the faith. Test your ownselves. Do you not know yourselves,that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeedyou are disqualified?” (2 Co 13:5).Remember the following warnings of 1Timothy 4:1-4:Now the Spirit clearly says that in lattertimes some will depart from thefaith, giving heed to deceitful spirits anddoctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy,having their own conscienceseared with a hot iron.
Searching For God’s PeopleFor the time will come when they willnot endure sound teaching. But to suittheir itching ears, they will heap up forthemselves teachers in accordance totheir own desires. And they will turntheir ears from the truth and will beturned to fables.Be careful! Be not deceived!One would be foolish to believe that everychurch that claims Christ as the Sonof God or claims to be following theBible is actually practicing what theBible says one must do to be saved.Identify true believers in your community.Identify the true church by what itpractices and teaches. What is practicedand taught must be according tothe New Testament.It is important that we do not addto God’s word (2 Jn 9). It is importantthat we do not teach or believe a differentgospel (Gl 1:6-9). It is our plea to67you, therefore, that you search theScriptures in order to discover the truechurch of God in your community. Theonly way you can do this is throughprayer and consulting the word of God.SELF TEST1. ____ What must each believer do in referenceto his or her own beliefs? (A) Examine,(B) Be satisfied with, (C) Assumeto be correct2. ____ From what did the Spirit say somewould fall away in the latter times? (A)Religious behavior, (B) The faith, (C)Preaching3. ____ Some turn away from the truth andturn unto ... (A) ... politics, (B) ... HolySpirit, (C) ... fablesYES - NO If you cannot find a true church ofChrist in your community, would you be willingto start one in your home?SCRIPTURE READING: At 20:28-30; 2 Pt 2:20-22SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Apostasy: Gl 3:1-5; 1 Tm 4:1-3; 2 Tm 2:18; 4:4,10; Hb 6:4-6; 10:26-31; Rv 2:4, Deception:Ps 43:1; 55:23; Mt 24:11,24; 1 Co 3:18; 2 Co 4:2;11:13; Ep 4:14; 5:6; Cl 2:8; 2 Tm 3:13REMEMBER!There is one head of the universal church who is Jesus Christ.There is one universal church which is the body of Christ.There is one origin of the church which was in Jerusalem.There is a plurality of elders for believers in every city.Christians must daily worship God in spirit and truth.Christians must sing to God from their hearts.Christians must give out of the cheerfulness of their hearts.Christians must regularly partake of the Lord’s Supper.Christians must regularly allow God to speak to them through Bible study.Christians must regularly assemble together for mutual exhortation.Christians must regularly pray.The mission of Christians is to preach the gospel to the world.
Living As A Disciple Of JesusLIVING AS A DISCIPLE OF JESUSYou have now come to a very importantpart of your study of this course.You must now make some importantdecisions. You must first make a decisionto obey the gospel. You must thenmake a decision to share with otherswhat you have learned in this course.This is one of the most challengingparts of your life as a Christian. It ischallenging because every baptizeddisciple must begin sharing the gospelwith others, as well as seeking to assembleChristians together in order tostir up love and good works (Hb10:24,25). Doing this means that youmust take a stand for what the Bibleteaches concerning the gospel and thechurch of God’s people.In reference to Christians beingconnected with that which is false, theBible says such things as, “And whatunion has the temple of God with idols?Come out from among them and beseparate ...” (2 Co 6:16,17). “If anyonecomes to you and does not bringthis teaching, do not receive him intoyour house and do not give him greeting.For he who gives him greetingparticipates in his evil deeds” (2 Jn10,11). These are direct statementsfrom the Holy Spirit that emphasize theseriousness of what we must do asChristians in order to maintain purity ofbelief and behavior as sons of God.When one obeys the gospel and isadded to the church by God, he or sheis added to the church of God, not to adenominational religion that has beencreated after the traditions of men (AtSection VI682:47). God does not add us to falsereligious groups. He does not want youto continue to worship in error with afalse religious group. He does not addyou to something that is contrary to Hisrevealed word. Therefore, you are obligatedto worship and serve God accordingto what He teaches you throughHis word.You are also obligated to teach otherswhat you have learned in the Bible.In other words, you cannot obey God’splan of obedience to the gospel in orderto be saved and then continue toworship and serve God according tothe traditions of men (Mk 7:1-9). Youmust act now, both in your own responseto God’s word, and your teachingthe Bible to others.You must worship God with Hispeople in spirit and truth (Jn 4:24). Ifthere is a church of Christ in your community,then you must worship andserve God with this church of fellowChristians. You must come outfrom among false religions and beseparated from false teachings in orderto serve God in truth.If you are the only member of thechurch in your community, then it is timefor you to act. It is time to start ameeting ofBible studentsin your ownhouse. This iswhat God wouldexpect. This iswhat thousandsof New Testa-
Starting A Church In Your Housement Christians did in the first centuryand this is what thousands are doingtoday throughout the world in order torestore New Testament Christianity.HOME WORSHIP GROUPSIf there are no other Christians inyour immediate area, you must start aworship group in your house. Here aresome things to do in order to get stated.• Set aside a specific time during theweek for the meeting.• Invite your close friends to come toyour home. Tell them you havelearned some exciting things in theBible and that you would like toshare it with them.• Use the material of this course to69direct your studies with the groupthrough the Bible.• Focus on what the Bible says. Readkey Bible passages. The Bible is notdifficult to understand.• Conduct your Bible/worship groupfor an hour or two every week.• Encourage those who come to invitetheir friends.• Remember that God is with you.You will be surprised how manypeople want to study the Bible. Theyare usually waiting for someone toguide them. You can be that person.Your Bible study and worship group willbe the beginning of the church in yourcommunity. Therefore, begin as soonas possible.STARTING A CHURCH IN YOUR HOUSEFor assemblies, the early Christiansmet in their houses. In fact, theymet in their homes until the first part ofthe fourth century. The first churchbuildings were not constructed untilConstantine, Emperor of Rome, builtthe first building for a church in A.D.323. But in the first century, Christiansmet in homes when they went throughoutthe world. Listen to these historicalstatements of the New Testament:• And daily in the temple, and in everyhouse, they did not cease teachingand preaching Jesus as the Christ (At5:42).• I kept back nothing that was profit-Study 28able, and teaching you publicly andfrom house to house (At 20:20).• Greet the church that meets in their[Priscilla and Aquila’s] house (Rm16:5).• Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartilyin the Lord, with the church thatis in their house (1 Co 16:19).• Greet the brethren who are inLaodicea, and Nympha and thechurch that is in her house (Cl 4:15).• To our sister Apphia, Archippus ourfellowsoldier, and to the church inyour house (Pl 2).The church in the first centurymet in the houses of the members!
Starting A Church In Your HouseOne of the firstthings to learnabout the fellowshipof the churchis that it does notmake any differencewhere you assemblefor mutual edification. God isnot concerned about places of meeting.In fact, Jesus taught against establishingan “official” place of worshipwhen He made the following statementto a woman from Samaria who questionedHim about locations of worship:Woman, believe Me, the hour is comingwhen you will neither on thismountain nor in Jerusalem worshipthe Father.... But the hour is comingand now is, when the true worshiperswill worship the Father in spirit and intruth, for the Father seeks such to worshipHim (John 4:21-23).Christians do not have officialplaces of worship. Since worship isfocused on God by individuals, one canworship wherever he is. Since God iseverywhere, Christians can bring theirworshipful spirits together anywhere itis convenient.After your obedience to the gospelby immersion into the death, burial andresurrection of Jesus, you may be theonly New Testament Christian in yourcommunity. Therefore, you need totake a lead in beginning an assemblyto worship God in your home or otherappropriate meeting place. Remember,it is your responsibility to serve Godin truth. It may be that your house isthe best place to meet in your commu-70nity. Here are some suggestions tobegin an assembly of disciples in yourhouse.LEADERSHIP & DECISIONSWhen beginning an assembly ofdisciples in your area, decisions mustbe made. Many decisions will rest onyour shoulders as the one who is initiatingthe establishment of the churchin your community. However, as soonas possible bring all the Christians togetherin order to make decisions as agroup. It is unwise for churches to berun by the decisions of only one person.In the New Testament, the entirechurch was involved in making decisionsthat affected the entire church (At15:22).In the beginning of the church inyour community, you will have to takea lead. In 1 Corinthians 16:15,16,Stephanas and his household took thelead in establishing the church inCorinth. However, they took the leadby devoting themselves to serveother people. Leadership, therefore,is service to others, not simply the processof making decisions. People willfollow those who lovingly humble themselvesto serve the needs of others (Mk10:43,44). This is how a church is established.When faithful men andwomen set themselves to serve theneeds of the community, first bypreaching the gospel, and then by servicingthe physical needs of people,others will follow. Therefore, as aleader, “do good to all men, especiallyto those who are of the householdof the faith” (Gl 6:10).
Starting A Church In Your HouseSo get started! Take the lead todecide. Decide that you will lead in yourcommunity by making your house aplace of Bible study and worship for thecommunity.SELF TEST1. ____ The early Christians taught daily inevery ... (A) ... school, (B) ... library, (C) ...house.2. ____ Who met in the house of Apphia?(A) City council, (B) The church, (C) Soldiers3. ____ With his household, who devotedhimself to serve the church in Corinth? (A)Paul, (B) Timothy, (C) StephanasYES - NO Are you actively teaching othersthose things you have learned in the Bible?SCRIPTURE READING: Mt 20:20-28; Lk 22:24-30SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Leaders love the church: Mt20:28; Jn 10:11; 13:34,35; 15:13, Leaders give examples:1 Co 11:1; Ph 4:9; 1 Tm 4:12; 1Pt 5:2,3, Leaders giveservice: Mk 10:45; 1 Co 16:15,16; Gl 6:1,2; Hb 13:17,Leaders give vision: Mk 16:15; At 20:24; Ph 3:14; Jg 5:2MULTIPLE ASSEMBLIESThe New Testament does not teachthat a church is established becauseall the members in a particular locationare able to meet together at the sameplace on Sunday. The word “church”refers to people. The church is thecommunity of God’s people. Therefore,wherever God’s people are, thechurch exists, regardless of howpeople assemble. A church is not definedby the ability of all the membersto meet together at the same place.When you establish a meeting ofthe members in your house, the churchwill grow and become too large to meetin your house alone. When this happens,start meeting in two or morehouses of the members. In manyplaces there are no public buildings to71rent. Therefore,you will have tocontinue to dividethe assemblies ofthe church whenthe assemblies becometoo large foreach house. However,keep in mind that regardlessof how many assemblies you havebecause of space and distance fromone another, you are still onechurch. People are the church, notthe assembly of the people.The church of the New Testamentis always universal. In reference to citychurches, the church was referred toas the church in Corinth (1 Co 1:2), thechurch of Ephesus (Rv 2:1), or thechurch of Smyrna (Rv 2:8). Thoughthe church in cities met in many differenthouses throughout the city, God stillconsidered the church of a particularcity to be one church. Regardless ofhow many houses in which you mustmeet when you grow as a church, youare still part of the one universal church.There may be the opportunity tomeet in a public facility as a school orrented building. If this is the case, thenall the Christians can join together topay the rent for such a building. Somegroups have even built their own buildings.A very practical place of meetingis a government school building. Keepin mind that it is not important whereyou meet. What is important is assemblingthe members of the church togetherin small or large groups for mutualedification and encouragement.But keep in mind that all the membersin one area do not have to meet to-
Starting A Church In Your Housegether at the same place and time onSunday. This may not be practical becausethere is no building that willhouse all the members or it may be toofar to walk for some members to cometogether into one place. What is importantis that members meet with asmany members as possible for mutualedification.CONDUCTING ASSEMBLIESA primary purpose for the assemblyof Christians is explained in Hebrews10:24,25.And let us consider one another to stirup love and good works, not forsakingthe assembling of ourselves together, asis the habit of some, but exhorting oneanother ....The assembly of Christians mustbe an occasion when each membercan stir up love in the hearts of othermembers. In order to accomplish this,relationships must be built betweenmembers. Love grows when membersbegin to know one another in a personalmanner. Your assemblies, therefore,must be conducted in a mannerthat will allow everyone to get to knowone another.During your assembly, the membersmust be stirred up to do goodworks. In order to do this, works mustbe identified. Each member must claima work to be accomplished. And, eachmember must be accountable for accomplishingthat work.There will always be those who donot want to do any work (See Js 2:14-7226). These will forsake an assemblythat requires members to claim goodworks that must be done. Regardlessof how you conduct your assemblies,keep in mind that the directive of Hebrews10:24,25 must be accomplished.Love must be generated and worksmust be identified and accomplished.We worship God both in our heartsand in the behavior of our lives (Rm12:1). Since God is the one we worship,we must worship Him accordingto His directions. There are few instructionsin the New Testament concerninghow the actual assembly of thechurch should be conducted. A generalprinciple for conducting an assemblythat is directed specifically for theworship of all members is stated in 1Corinthians 14:40. “Let all things bedone decently and in order.” This certainlymeans that the members do notcome together for public entertainmentto please their own desires. Neitherdoes it allow members to emotionallylose control of themselves in the assembly.When Christians come together toworship, they do not come together toplease themselves or to carry on withtheir own inventions of worship. Wemust remember that worship is directedto God and it is He who instructs, “Thetrue worshipers will worship the Fatherin spirit and truth; for the Father isseeking such to worship Him” (Jn4:23). The religious world is filled withthose who seek to worship accordingto their own desires. However, the Fatheris seeking those who will worshipHim according to His instructions in Hisword.
Starting A Church In Your HouseKeep in mind that the Sunday assemblyis for Christians. It is a time ofcelebration, a time to remember theLord’s death for our sins and resurrectionfor our hope. It is thus a time totake the opportunity to partake of theLord’s Supper (At 20:7). It is an opportunityto speak to one another in songs(Ep 5:19; Cl 3:16). It is an opportunityfor discussing the word of God (At20:7). It is a time for contributions forspecial needs that the church has decidedto accomplish as a group (1 Co16:1,2). It is also a time when Christianscan join together in group prayer(At 4:23-31). The Sunday assembly,therefore, should be a time of great fellowshipand encouragement to all themembers.An important principle to rememberconcerning the assembly of Christiansto worship God is that the publicassembly is an opportunity to praiseGod as a group. One should not usethe occasion to show pride or call attentionto oneself. One should not usethe occasion to exalt himself or herselfbefore others. One should not worshipaccording to his own likes or dislikes.Worship must be according to the willof the One who is worshiped. Worshipof the church must be directed towardGod and according to His desires, notthe desires of any one member.There are no directions in theNew Testament concerning how anassembly of disciples is to be conducted.Since there are no specificdirections, God expects us to use ourimagination in order to determine whatto do. We are thus free to make decisionsconcerning what we want to do73when we assemble. The following aresome fundamental principles that willhelp you decide what to do in conductingan assembly of disciples:A. Beginning the assembly:One of the men of the group couldbegin the meeting with a series ofsongs. This will help the group to beginthinking about God and His love. Itwill also help focus the minds of allmembers on God and His work. Somechurches begin their assemblies witha song or reading from the Bible. Youcan decide what to do for the group inyour assembly. What is important is tocall people’s attention to praising Godand edifying one another.B. Continuing the assembly:During the assembly, sing severalsongs that are directed toward thepraise of God. Remember also thatwe are to speak to and teach one anotherin song (Ep 5:19; Cl 3:16). Singsongs that encourage one another towork for Jesus. If you do not have anywritten songs or songbooks, then writeyour own. You can use Bible scripturesand teachings to develop the lyrics foryour songs. The Psalms of the Old Testamentwere originally written as songsof worship. The important thing to rememberis that your songs must expressscriptural truths.C. Prayer in the assembly:Pray at different times throughoutthe assembly. Different brothers shouldbe allowed to pray. During prayer, theentire congregation can either sit, standor bow to their knees in silence as they
Starting A Church In Your Houseare led by one person who leads theprayer. There is no Bible direction concerningthe position we should maintainduring prayer. You are free to determinewhat you want to do.Prayer is directed to God, the Father.A good prayer would begin with apraise of God. Also, thank God inprayer for the things you have. Ask forthe forgiveness of sins. Pray for Hiscare and guidance of the church inevangelizing your community. Closethe prayer in the name of Jesus, for itis because of Jesus’ authority and workas our mediator that we have the privilegeof approaching the Father throughprayer (Jn 14:13; 1 Tm 2:5).D. The celebration feast and Lord’sSupper in the assembly:The early Christians had a celebrationmeal during many of their assemblies.This was commonly referred toas the “love feast” (2 Pt 2:13; Jd 12).As in the establishment of the Lord’sSupper by Jesus, during the feast theypartook of the Lord’s Supper (See 1 Co11:23-25). Feasting together promoteslove and fellowship among Christians.It is a good practice, therefore, to haveas many fellowship love feasts as possiblewith Christians. Sunday is onlyone occasion when such feasts canoccur.When serving the Lord’s Supper,serve to every Christian who is present.You can place the bread that you haveprepared in a tray or dish and havesomeone distribute it to each memberin order that he or she may take a smallportion for eating. After you have distributedand eaten the bread, you74should then distribute the fruit of thevine in a cup or cups in order that allmight drink a small portion.MAKING THE BREADOne can easily make the unleavenedbread for the Lord’s Supper. Simply usesome flour and mix with a little oil. Adda little water and mix together. Bake ina pan or oven for about fifteen minutes.Bake enough for a sizeable portion foreach member who partakes of thebread.PREPARING THE CUPGrape juice can be used for the fruit ofthe vine. Some churches boil raisins inorder to extract the juice. When wine isavailable, churches usually mix it withwater in order to be able to distribute itto serve more people. It is often mixedat a ratio of one cup of wine to four cupsof water.E. Teaching and reading in the assembly:When Christians have assembledtogether, it is an opportunity for lettingGod speak to them through His word.Therefore, it is good to read the Bibleto the assembly (1 Tm 4:13). The opportunityof the assembly is a time forteaching everyone who is present. Itis a time to focus on God by allowingHim to speak to us through the readingof His word.The order by which you conductyour assembly is not as important asyour attitude during the assembly, especiallyduring the time when you arepartaking of the Lord’s Supper. TheBible says, “Whoever eats this breador drinks this cup of the Lord in an un-
Starting A Church In Your Houseworthy manner, will be guilty of the bodyand blood of the Lord. But let eachman examine himself, and so let himeat of the bread and drink of the cup.For he who eats and drinks not discerningthe body, eats and drinksjudgment to himself” (1 Co 11:27-29).F. Identify and encourage goodworks.Hebrews 10:24,25 identifies twospecific things that we must do duringour assemblies with one another. Wemust encourage (1) love of one anotherand (2) we must encourage good worksto be done. Christians must not forsakeassemblying for this purpose.While you are together as the body,take time to talk with one another. Taketime to inform one another about whathas happened in the lives of eachmember. Identify needs that must befulfilled and make a plan to accomplishthose needs. Christianity is relationshipsand the assembly of Christianstogether builds those relationships.SELF TEST4. ____ When Christians meet together,what should be accomplished? (A) Edificationto love and do good, (B) Worship, (C)Both A & B5. ____ What is a general principle for theconduct of those who assemble? (A) Alldress the same, (B) The assembly be conductedin a decent and orderly manner, (C)Both A & B6. ____ What is the central purpose of theassembled church for worship? (A) PraiseGod, (B) Worship after our own desires, (C)Show ourselves before the church7. ____ How can Christians instruct one anotherin the assembly? (A) Through singing,(B) Through teaching, (C) Both A & B8. ____ What was the meeting of Christians75for a common meal? (A) Love feast, (B)Lord’s Supper, (C) Community breakfast9. ____ What is the central purpose of theSunday assembly? (A) To meet fellow Christians,(B) Teaching the word, (C) Partakingof the Lord’s Supper10. ____ Christians are to meet specificallyfor stirring up love and good ... (A) ...thoughts, (B) ... singing, (C) ... worksYES - NO If there is no church of Christ inyour area, are you willing to start a church inyour house?SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Prayer: Mt 6:5-15; Mk 11:24;Lk11:1-4; Jn 14:13; At 4:23-30; Ep 6:18; Ph 4:6; 1 Tm 2:8;Js 5:16, Assemble to encourage: At 11:22-24; 14:21,22;15:3,41; 18:23; Rm 14:19; 15:2; 1 Co 14:3-26; Hb 3:13;10:24,25SACRIFICIAL GIVINGContributing money or things tohelp others and to help evangelistspreach the gospel to the lost is a Christianprivilege. It is a way one can expresshis or her love of God and others.We must take every opportunityto do good (Gl 6:10). Therefore, as giverswe must be ready at all times togive when occasions arise for whichsacrificial giving must come from us.There are many examples of Christiansgiving to special needs in the New Testament.• 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 is an exampleof Christians giving money tofulfill a special need. The Corinthianswere helping poor Christianswho were suffering from famine inthe area of Judea.• 2 Corinthians 8:1-4 is an exampleof churches working together in fellowshipwith one another in order to
Starting A Church In Your Housegive to others.• Philippians 4:10-18 is an exampleof Christians giving for the purposeof evangelism.• Acts 4:32-37 is an example ofChristians giving to help those in thearea of the local region of members.• Acts 6:1-7 is an example of Christiansdistributing what was given tohelp the widows of the church.There are many things for whichChristians can join together in order toaccomplish. Christians can join togetherin order to support evangeliststo go to unevangelized areas. Theymust take care of orphans and widows(Js 1:27). Christians can also join togetheras members to buy Bibles, paythe rent for a meeting hall or make paymentsfor a church building. The importantthing to remember is that Christiansmust make sacrificial contributions,and they must make such contributionscheerfully (2 Co 9:6,7).From the very beginning of the churchthat meets in your house, therefore, begincontributions that can be used topreach the gospel to the lost.EVANGELISMAs a Christian you should desirethat others join you in your freedom inChrist. You should thus teach what youknow to others. However, when youteach and preach the word of God, Satanwill fight against you. There will alwaysbe those who will persecute you.They will persecute you in order thatyou be discouraged about preachingthe gospel to the lost. Regardless of76persecution, you must let others knowabout the great news that you have discovered.Matthew 5:10-12Blessed are those who are persecutedfor righteousness’ sake, fortheirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when people insultyou and persecute you and falselysay all kinds of evil against you forMy sake. Rejoice and be exceedinglyglad, for great is your rewardin heaven, for in the same mannerthey persecuted the prophets whowere before you.Regardless of persecution andmocking, you must evangelize yourcommunity. Jesus commanded thatwe preach the gospel to everyone (Mk16:15). He taught that we go to all nations(Mt 28:19,20). This is exactlywhat the early Christians did. “And dailyin the temple, and in every house, theydid not cease teaching and preachingJesus as the Christ” (At 5:42).This is exactly what you must do. Theearly Christians went everywherepreaching the word of God (At 8:4). Youmust do the same.An example of evangelistic outreachwas the work of both thePhilippian and Thessalonian churches.The Philippian church was only a fewweeks old when it started sending supportonce and again to evangelists whopreached in other areas (Ph 4:15-17).From the very beginning of their Christianlife, the Thessalonian church likewisesent forth the word of God, notonly in their region, but also in every
Making An Eternal Commitment To Godplace (1 Th 1:5-10). The only qualificationfor preaching the gospel is knowingthe gospel. Since you now know it,your knowledge makes you responsibleto preach it to others. For this reason,“Preach the word! Be ready in seasonand out of season. Reprove, rebuke,exhort with all longsuffering andteaching” (2 Tm 4:2).SELF TEST11. ____ 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 is an exampleof churches giving to ... (A) ... a special need,(B) ... rent payments, (C) ... evangelists12. ____ With what attitude must Christianscontribute? (A) Grudgingly, (B) With reser-The word “commitment” frightensmany people because they know thatGod expects of them more than theyare giving. But commitment to Godshould not frighten you. It will not if youlove God with all your heart, soul, mindand strength (Mk 12:30). If you do loveGod, you must be committed to moveinto action for Jesus. When you realizewhat God has done for us throughHis grace, we should do as Paul. “Hisgrace toward me was not in vain, butI labored more abundantly than theyall, yet not I, but the grace of Godthat was with me” (1 Co 15:10).Remember the words of Jesus.“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord,Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but he who does the will of My Fatherwho is in heaven” (Mt 7:21). Ifyou love Jesus you will take up yourcross and follow Him (Lk 9:23).God demands obedience. Jesus77vations, (C) Cheerfully13. ____ What must Christians do when theyare persecuted? (A) Complain, (B) Argue,(C) Rejoice14. ____ What church supported evangelistsfrom its very beginning? (A) Corinth,(B) Rome, (C) Philippi15. ____ What church is said to have evangelizedtheir own region? (A) Laodicea, (B)Perga, (C) ThessalonicaYES - NO Are you actively giving to othersin order to help?SCRIPTURE READING: Lk 10:25-37; At 4:32-37; 6:1-7;Ph 4:10-18; 1 Th 1:2-10; 1 Jn 3:16-23SCRIPTURE RESEARCH: Giving: Mt 19:21; At 20:32-35; Gl 2:10; 6:10; Ep 4:28; 2 Co 9MAKING AN ETERNAL COMMITMENT TO GODStudy 29became the author of eternal salvationonly for those who obey Him (Hb5:8,9). If we love Him, we will keepHis commandments (Jn 14:15; 1 Jn5:3). Heaven, therefore, is preparedfor those who love God so much thatthey are moved into action to keep thecommandments of Jesus.You must surrender your life toJesus. You must commit yourself to atotal trust in God. God loves you andis not willing that you should perish (2Pt 3:9). However, He is a just God. Inother words, He will not bless thosewho curse Him by rebellious living.Jesus said, “Whoever will confess Mebefore men, him I will also confess beforeMy Father who is in heaven. Butwhoever will deny Me before men,him I will also deny before My Fatherwho is in heaven” (Mt 10:32,33).Jesus is not the author of eternal salvationto those who deny Him by un-
Making An Eternal Commitment To Godgodly living. He will give eternal restonly to those who work for Him.If you have not obeyed the gospel,find someone immediately to immerseyou into Christ in order thatyou come into contact with theblood of Jesus. After this, go out andtell others what you have done. Speakto them of the grace of God that wasrevealed on the cross and has givenyou freedom in Christ (Gl 5:1; Ti 2:11).Tell them how you responded to thegrace of God by obedience to the gospelin baptism (1 Co 15:10). Encourageothers to join with you in this newfreedom in Christ. When you obey thegospel, you can tell others what Paultold us about his life. “I have been crucifiedwith Christ. It is no longer I whoTEXT QUESTION ANSWERSDIRECTIONS: After you complete a block of questions in the text, check the answers you gave with the correct answers below. After youcheck your answers to a block of questions, continue reading. Complete the answers to each block of questions before proceeding.78live, but Christ lives in me ...” (Gl 2:20).You must not allow opposition tostop you. Remember what Paul saidto Timothy, “Yes, and all who desireto live godly in Christ Jesus will sufferpersecution” (2 Tm 3:12). You willsuffer persecution. However, be as theapostles when they were persecuted.Rejoice that you are “counted worthyto suffer shame for His [Jesus’] name”(At 5:41). The Bible encourages, “Yetif anyone suffers as a Christian, let himnot be ashamed, but let him glorifyGod in this matter” (1 Pt 4:16). Fightthe good fight of the faith (1 Tm 6:12).You will be headed for eternal life inheaven. God is working for you in allthings in order to bring about that whichis good (Read Rm 8:31-39).GOD’S LAST CALLCome to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give yourest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle andlowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easyand My burden is light (Mt 11:28-30).Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice andopens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.(Rv 3:20).STUDY 1: 1. B, 2. B, 3. C, 4. BSTUDY 2: 1. B. 2. A. 3. C, 4.BSTUDY 3: 1. B, 2. B, 3. C, 4. A, 5. B, 6. BSTUDY 4: 1. B, 2. C, 3. B, 4. A, 5. ASTUDY 5: 1. C, 2. B, 3. A, 4. B, 5. ASTUDY 6: 1. A, 2. B, 3. B, 4. ASTUDY 7: 1. B, 2. C, 3. C, 4. BSTUDY 8: 1. C, 2. A, 3. B, 4. B, 5. BSTUDY 9: 1. C, 2. A, 3. C, 4. BSTUDY 10: 1. B, 2. B, 3. B, 4. A, 5. C, 6. C, 7. B, 8. A, 9. C,10. B, 11. A, 12. C, 13. A, 14. ASTUDY 11: 1. B, 2. C, 3. A, 4. A, 5. C, 6. A, 7. C, 8. CSTUDY 12: 1. C, 2. B, 3. C, 4. CSTUDY 13: 1. B, 2. A, 3. C, 4. C, 5. A, 6. CSTUDY 14: 1. A, 2. A, 3. B, 4. C, 5. A, 6. A, 7. BSTUDY 15: 1. B, 2. C, 3. C, 4. B, 5. BSTUDY 16: 1. C, 2. C, 3. C, 4. BSTUDY 17: 1. B, 2. C, 3. CSTUDY 18: 1. B, 2. A, 3. CSTUDY 19: 1. B, 2. B, 3. A, 4. ASTUDY 20: 1. B, 2. C, 3. BSTUDY 21: 1. T, 2. T, 3. T, 4. T, 5. T, 6. T, 7. T, 8. T, 9. T, 10. TSTUDY 22: 1. C, 2. B, 3. A, 4. A, 5. C, 6. B, 7. CSTUDY 23: 1. B, 2. B, 3. C, 4. C, 5. B, 6. C, 7. A, 8. ASTUDY 24: 1. B, 2. B, 3. C, 4. A, 5. A, 6. B, 7. A, 8. B, 9. ASTUDY 25: 1. A, 2. BSTUDY 26: 1. B, 2. A, 3. C, 4. A, 5. C, 6. C, 7. A, 8. C, 9. C,10. C, 11. B, 12. B, 13. A, 14. B, 15. C, 16. ASTUDY 27: 1. A, 2. B, 3. CSTUDY 28: 1. C, 2. B, 3. C, 4. C, 5. B, 6. A, 7. C, 8. A, 9. C,10. C, 11. A, 12. C, 13. C, 14. C, 15. C
A Message From The DirectorA Message From The International DirectorOf TheInternational Bible SchoolDear Fellow Student of the Bible,79You have completed an exciting study of the word of God. Inspeaking for all our teachers who are working with the worldwideoutreach of the International Bible School, I want topersonally thank you for your dedicated commitment to the studyof the Bible. It is my prayer that this course has aided you inyour quest to know the will of God. More importantly, I praythat this course has helped you to learn what is necessary inorder to have eternal life with God.We will probably never see one another in this life. However, ifthis course has made it possible for you to be with all of us inheaven, then all the efforts that the International Bible Schoolfamily of fellow workers have made to bring it to you will bewell worth their efforts. As you respond to what has beenrevealed in this course, please keep in mind that we seek to bewith you for eternity in the presence of God.Now that you have discovered the greatest news there is in thisworld, I want to encourage you to share it with others. If youjoin with us by being clothed with Jesus by immersion forremission of sins, you too will have a message of hope. Nowthat you have been found by Jesus, you have a mission. Thatmission is to find others for Jesus.Your fellow worker in Christ,Roger E. DicksonCape Town, South Africa
Abbreviations80SCRIPTURE ABBREVIATIONSOLD TESTAMENTNEW TESTAMENTGn - GenesisMt - MatthewEx - ExodusMk - MarkLv - LeviticusLk - LukeNm - NumbersJn - JohnDt - DeuteronomyAt - ActsJa - JoshuaRm - RomansJg - Judges1 Co - 1 CorinthiansRt - Ruth2 Co - 2 Corinthians1 Sm - 1 Samuel Gl - Galatians2 Sm - 2 Samuel Ep - Ephesians1 Kg - 1 Kings Ph - Philippians2 Kg - 2 Kings Cl - Colossians1 Ch - 1 Chronicles 1 Th - 1 Thessalonians2 Ch - 2 Chronicles 2 Th - 2 ThessaloniansEr - Ezra1 Tm - 1 TimothyNe - Nehemiah2 Tm - 2 TimothyEt - EstherTi - TitusJb - JobPl - PhilemonPs - PsalmsHb - HebrewsPv - ProverbsJs - JamesEc - Ecclesiastes1 Pt - 1 PeterSs - Song of Solomon2 Pt - 2 PeterIs - Isaiah1 Jn - 1 JohnJr - Jeremiah2 Jn - 2 JohnLm - Lamentations3 Jn - 3 JohnEz - EzekielJd - JudeDn - DanielRv - RevelationHs - HoseaJl - JoelAm - AmosOb - ObadiahJh - JonahMc - MicahNh - NahumHk - HabakkukZp - ZephaniahHg - HaggaiZc - ZechariahMl - Malachi