Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…
Bible Study

Review for December 19

Since this was our last time together in 2010 I decided to bring a Bible devotion. I titled it “The Christmas Story and The glory of God.” However as I said in class today it could have been as easily called “The Christmas story and The doctrines of God.” We read from Luke 2:1-20 and I made the following 5 observations regarding this particular text.

Observation #1 - Jesus comes at the right time
Observation #2 - Jesus comes at the right place
Observation #3 - The manner in which Jesus comes
Observation #4 - The reason Jesus comes
Observation #5 - The response to when Jesus comes

Jesus comes at the right time
At the end of Luke chapter 1 verse 80 the curtain falls on the life of John the Baptist. And we don't know anything more than he was circumcised on the 8th day till his public ministry in the wilderness of Judea. But we do know that God was preparing John the Baptist to be the forerunner to prepare the way for Jesus Christ.

The curtain now rises on the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is going to be a birth not like any other birth. It will divide history into BC which means before Christ and AD which means “year of our Lord.” And not only will HIs perfect time of arrival divide the way we mark time on our calendars but it will divide the following:
Truth/Error
Sheep/Goats
Wheat/Tares
Believer/non believer
God is the Father/the devil is the father
Light/Darkness
Life/Death
In Christ/in Adam
Read More...

Review for December 12

Yesterday we continued in our study of “the glory of God.” This is a critical doctrine to understand because the glory of God is the very theme of the entire Bible. I have said this before and will say it again. The goal of this class is NOT to go through the curriculum but instead have this curriculum go through us! Therefore next week we will continue to bath, immerse and saturate ourselves in the glory of God.

In any one week there are many things that take place in my life and in the life of those in our class. Pat and I try and summarize so of the key things that we want to make our community aware of during the year. In yesterday’s class I covered the following:

1. The CaringBridge site that has been recently formed for our brother John Pugh. If you want to go to this site then simply click on this LINK and follow the directions.

2. We begin a new Bible reading plan for 2011 on January 1. Therefore I am including a six article series on Bible reading as we start into the new year. In yesterday’s class read the first article that was posted last week. If you would like to read it then just click on this LINK.

3. I also gave a graphic preview of the next doctrine we are going to study which will be the doctrine of man. If you weren’t in class yesterday then as they say a picture is worth a thousand words so click on this LINK. Read More...

Homework and Class Update

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and yes there is homework in our Learning and Living the God-centered life community. For those of you that want to preview the notes you can do so by CLICKING ON THIS LINK. As you have heard me say from almost day one the theme of the Bible is the glory of God.
If we are going to live in that manner then we certainly need to study, understand and learn what it means - right? Well, during our time together Sunday my goal will be to cover as many of the glory of God texts as we can get through within our time constraints.

Listen!

Preparing the heart for the glory of God

This Sunday we continue in our study of the glory of God. May I encourage you to PREVIEW the notes by clicking on this LINK.

My plan is to start on page 14 as we look together at:

1. The PURPOSE of His glory
2. Our PROBLEM in relationship to His glory
3. His PROVISION for our glory
4. Our PRIORITY of His glory

The attribute of God's glory is critical for us to study and understand because this is the very THEME of the entire Bible. Doesn't it make sense that if the glory of God is the theme of the Bible, then this very thing should be the theme of our lives? As we study the doctrine of God's glory, my recommendation is that you underline and write the word GLORY in the margins of your Bible. Don't be passive in this study become proactive. READ the Scriptures that are referenced in the notes, THINK about how they speak of God's glory, PRAY that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes and LIVE in a way that demonstrates the greatness of the Lord Jesus.

Notice in the gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, the glory of God is mentioned twice in these verses regarding the birth of Jesus Christ.

Luke 2:6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:8 ¶ In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke 2:9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
Luke 2:11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, Read More...

Hosea 11:1-4 and the gospel of Matthew

The key to proper study of the Scriptures is to understand the overall plan of the Bible. Over the years I have observed and talked with many frustrated in their Bible study, reading and devotion because they simply don’t see the big picture. The illustration I like to use is getting a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and putting it out on the cardboard table. For many the Bible is just like those thousand pieces and how they go together is but a mystery. Therefore the strategy I think that is best to implore is two-fold. First get the border established which in this analogy will be the essential doctrines of the Bible.
1. Doctrine of the Word
2. Doctrine of God
3. Doctrine of man
4. Doctrine of Christ
5. Doctrine of the Spirit
6. Doctrine of salvation

Second, we need to have a plan which I call the box top of the jigsaw puzzle. The plan can be described in 4 words.
1. Creation
2. Fall
3. Redemption
4. Restoration

I like to say that the plan of the entire Bible is “the unfolding and progressive redemption of mankind by God.” Therefore once a person can understand the plan and have the border in place then they are best equipped to study the Bible.

In this post I am going to share with you what Kevin DeYoung writes concerning the connection between Hosea 11:1-4 and the Matthew’s gospel. The reason is because you need to see how the connection exists between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Remember what Jesus told the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

So my question in this article is how are we to see Jesus and make a proper interpretation of Matthew 2:15 that cross references Hosea 11:1-4?

Read More...

Preview for December 5

We are moving from the incommunicable attributes to the communicable attributes in our teaching regarding the doctrine of God. The first incommunicable attribute that we are covering is the glory of God, which happens to be the theme for the entire Bible. The way I teach doctrine and learn doctrine is to first of all get a definition, then an illustration where possible, and finally Scriptural support for the doctrine. Over the past two years I have touched on the glory of God from time to time. But now we are ready to go scuba diving in our study this doctrine. I am going to post all the study notes on the website so that you can review from yesterday and also preview what I will be teaching next week. In addition I would like to give you an assignment that goes along with your Bible reading. When we start the new Bible reading plan in January I want you to note each time the "glory of God" is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation. All you need to do is put glory in the margin of your Bible. I think you are going to be amazed how many times this is revealed throughout the Bible.

The study in the glory of God will never be something you move beyond, but further into as you continue growing in the Christian life. As I pointed out yesterday the focal point of God's glory can be seen at the cross. Look again with me at Romans 3:25-26:
Rom. 3:25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
Rom. 3:26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Read More...

Review for November 28

Nancy and I have been gone for two straight weeks so today was “Catch Up Sunday.” The catch up involved four specific areas:
1. Our trip to Los Angeles to visit Grace Community Church where Dr. John MacArthur is the pastor.
2. The Men’s Bible Study that meets on Tuesday night and the next three weeks, in which I cover “the sovereignty of God in our redemption.” We will be studying in Romans Chapter 9.
3. Retreat 2011 with Dr. Bruce Ware and why this is so important from Matthew 24. Also 5 essential doctrines in the American Evangelical Church and how they are getting twisted and distorted today This retreat could be a watershed weekend for many in our class. Therefore I am going to invest time encouraging those who attend our class to participate.
4. The transition from the incommunicable attributes to the communicable attributes. We started on the importance of the glory of God. And next week we are going to bring definition, Scriptural support and explanation to this important attribute.

SBS Class November 282010 Glory1

Video from Dr. John MacArthur’s Church we visited while in LA - click on this LINK

If you want to listen to the audio from today’s class - click on this LINK

Review for November 28

Nancy and I have been gone for two straight weeks so today was “Catch Up Sunday.” The catch up involved four specific areas:
1. Our trip to Los Angeles to visit Grace Community Church where Dr. John MacArthur is the pastor.
2. The Men’s Bible Study that meets on Tuesday night and the next three weeks, in which I cover “the sovereignty of God in our redemption.” We will be studying in Romans Chapter 9.
3. Retreat 2011 with Dr. Bruce Ware and why this is so important from Matthew 24. Also 5 essential doctrines in the American Evangelical Church and how they are getting twisted and distorted today This retreat could be a watershed weekend for many in our class. Therefore I am going to invest time encouraging those who attend our class to participate.
4. The transition from the incommunicable attributes to the communicable attributes. We started on the importance of the glory of God. And next week we are going to bring definition, Scriptural support and explanation to this important attribute.

SBS Class November 282010 Glory1

Video from Dr. John MacArthur’s Church we visited while in LA - click on this LINK

May I have your attention please

We start back tonight with a 5 week study series on the sovereignty of God in the redemption of mankind.  As many of you know we are taking a close look at the plan of the Bible.  It is a wonderful story about God's rescue of man through Christ Jesus.  People in the orthodox evangelical church affirm that God is sovereign.  But do we know what that means?  How does the sovereignty of God extend unto the salvation of man?  What does the Bible say about God's sovereignty as it relates to election, predestination and foreknowledge?  Can we know the answers to these kinds of questions that have been asked over 2000 years of church history?  Will the way I answer this question impact the way I relate to and know God?  Can you define sovereignty and then support your definition from Scripture?  Could you explain it to a 10 year old?   

Join us and during the next 5 weeks for some intense study on this topic.  This is really a study within a study.  As we study the plan of the Bible I think it is very important you understand how God's sovereignty works within His overall plan.  If you have been away traveling and have not attended during the fall so far then please consider joining us for the next 5 weeks.  

Review for November 7

This past Sunday we completed our study on the immutability of God. In the notes you will find further verse and study references than I was not able to cover yesterday. However I ask that you keep in mind we are only scratching the surface as it relates to these doctrines of God. For this reason I am recommending that you consider buying as a resource tool, the book “Bible Doctrine” that is by Wayne Grudem. A number of people in our class have this book and I think you would find it helpful as we continue to study the doctrines of God.

The last incommunicable attribute to cover is on the eternality of God. After that we will then move into the communicable attributes which are those attributes that God shares with us in finite measure. May I continue to encourage you to read and review these notes during the week as we move forward in our learning and living the God-centered life.

SBS Class Nov72010

Here is the full audio interview this week with Dr. Bruce Ware - Click on this LINK

No Men's Bible study tonight

Our men’s Bible study will return on November 16 - 7 PM at the Ballantyne Country Club

This will be a special 5 weeks series that looks specifically at the sovereignty of God in relation to our redemption. Remember the theme of our study this year is “The Plan of the Bible.” This can be stated as the unfolding and progressive redemption of mankind by God. In our time together last Tuesday night we talked a good bit about the sovereignty of God. Therefore starting on November 16 we will study sovereignty and how this relates to our salvation. If you have been unable to attend for whatever reason I hope you will put this on your calendar now.

Hope to see you on November 16

Review for October 31

SBS class_10312010

Sunday’s audio on Almost Christian click on this LINK

Review for October 31

SBS class_10312010

Today’s audio on Almost Christian click on this LINK

Review for October 24

This past Sunday we looked at Romans 3:21-26 which many theologians, scholars, pastors and teachers have concluded is the most important paragraph in the Bible. My goal on Sunday was to show how my devotion time in this section of Scripture relates to the doctrine of God and plan of the Bible. The doctrine of God we are going through on Sunday mornings and the plan of the Bible is the focus of our men’s Bible study. Romans 3:21-26 shows us clearly the plan of the Bible and also the doctrine of God’s self sufficiency. I find that it can be helpful from time to time to leave the curriculum in lieu of a practical application, like devotion time, as it relates to what we are learning in our study.

Hopefully you can see the connecting of dots as you read this paragraph in Romans to the plan of the Bible and the doctrine of God. As I have said many times before I share with you the study notes to encourage you to study these things for yourself. Therefore may I encourage you to find in your own devotion time these various doctrines and write them in the margin of your Bible. As you read and re-read the Scriptures they will become clearer and more precious to you over the years.

SBS Class Oct242010

Something to think about

Chris Rosebrough ask a great question in regard to the difference between a gift and a wage.
Do we as Christians understand and live out that difference?

Webster's dictionary defines a GIFT as:
noun: something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation


The same dictionary defines a WAGE as:
noun: a payment usually of money for labor or services usually according to contract and on an hourly, daily, or piecework basis —often used in plural

With these definitions in mind let me ask you a question. Before I ask the question let me set the context of the question for you.

Imagine you and I have a face to face friendship and that one day I told you that I had very special GIFT that I wanted to give you. That the GIFT I wanted to GIVE to you was very precious and would bless your socks off. I assured you that I was giving you the GIFT purely out of the kindness of my heart. BUT that there were some CONDITIONS to your receiving this GIFT. Here are the CONDITIONS.

1. YOU HAVE TO meet with me every day for 20 to 30 minutes.
2. YOU HAVE TO read, study and master the content of all my writings.
3. YOU HAVE TO give me 10% of your gross income for the rest of your life.
4. YOU HAVE TO encourage other people to read my writings.
5. YOU HAVE TO participate in a weekly small group that is dedicated to reading and discussing my writings.
---

So here is the question, is the GIFT that I am promising to GIVE you really a GIFT or is it a WAGE?

Review for October 10

If God doesn't need us then why are we here?

The importance of New Testament verbs

INDICATIVES and the IMPERATIVES - Pastor Ken Jones







The Self-Sufficiency of God

On Sunday we took an in depth look at the attribute of God’s self sufficiency. The definition of self sufficiency is as follows:
God possesses within himself, intrinsically and eternally, every quality in infinite measure. Or, to say it another way, God has no need for anything outside of who God is, in and of himself. God needs nothing apart from himself, for He possesses every quality within himself.

We need always remember that God is the Giver and we are the receiver. God is full and we are the ones who are empty. God is strong and we are weak. There is not one single thing, whether it be in Christian service, financial giving, missions, or in any other ministry capacity that I can do to help God out. In other words when you compare all the talents, abilities, power and influence in the entire world to our God it ranks on a scale as less than nothing. (Isaiah 40:12-17)

Therefore we have a position that we need constantly and consistently to keep before this self-sufficient God. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

What is the homework assignment?

Since we have new people coming in and out of our class I thought it might help to have a repost regarding our homework from week to week.

Do we have homework? The short answer to that question is yes. If you are new to the “Learning and Living” Community then here is what you need to know about the homework assignments. This class was started on the premise of getting people back to the word of God, until the word of God got back into them.

The three specific disciplines we have taught from day one involve
  • Bible reading
  • Bible devotion
  • Bible study

Assignment #1 - Read through the entire Bible.
We are presently on a 90 day Bible reading plan. So for the person that wants to know, what is the homework for the day, I first want to point them to Bible reading plan. Recent church statistics show that over 90% of those within the church have not read through the Bible at least one time. It is harder to teach when there is not an understanding of the Scriptures as a whole.

One of the key components the church is missing today in Bible study is being able to see the big picture connection from Genesis to Revelation. In the first month of our class we covered many different aspects of the Bible. One morning I asked the class, "who is the author of Genesis?" Someone spoke up and said "Moses" to which I replied "that is correct." Then I repeated the question a different way and asked "who is the real Author of Genesis?" At that point someone else spoke up and said "the Holy Spirit" to which I replied "that is correct." So even though the Bible is composed of 66 books with over 40 different authors, there is one mind and one Author that is connecting it all together. Read More...

Mark your Calendars!

Retreat 2011 with Dr. Bruce Ware




To see in more detail click on this LINK

Preview for October 3

On Sunday we took the entire class time to look more in depth at God’s attribute of self-sufficiency. As I said on Sunday if you have never studied this attribute then be prepared for a bit of a brain cramp. Unfortunately Americans are over saturated with self esteem, self actualization and the “if its to be its up to me” attitude. It is sad to say much of that thinking and behaving has entered the church. I think this study on self sufficiency might just be the most important one that we cover this winter. Therefore I have included in this blog article all the notes which include yesterday and our upcoming class next week.

We started yesterday with a basic definition for self sufficiency: God possesses within himself, intrinsically and eternally, every quality in infinite measure. My recommendation is that you read through these notes at least twice this week. Take some devotion time and go through the Scriptures listed and think deeply on these things. Do you understand that we can serve God in a way that is blasphemous?I It seems that many today in the church are more focused on the method of serving than the motive. I want to teach a Wednesday night elective sometime and this be the title of the class - DON’T SERVE GOD (from the mindset that He needs it). Again as I have done throughout our study on the doctrine of God, thanks to Dr. Bruce Ware for his teaching and notes on these critical doctrines.

Self Sufficiency of God (includes all notes)

Review for September 26

SBS Class September 252010

The Plan of the Bible



Tuesday, September 28 from 7:00-8:30 PM at Ballantyne Country Club in the Men’s Locker Room

Review for September 19

On Sunday we started with 10 challenging questions to get us thinking about living the God-centered life.
Then we covered God’s attribute of infinity.

Also you will notice that as part of the class resource tab you can sign up for class membership directory.
In order to do so you will need a user name and password that is to be issued by Stowe Spivey. If you would like to participate in our class directory Stowe’s address is spiveyspivey@yahoo.com.

SBS Class Revised)

Gentlemen may I have your attention



This Tuesday we have men’s Bible camp starting at 7 PM at Ballantyne Country Club in the men’s locker room. Yesterday in our “Learning and Living” class Diane Weatherbee encouraged all the women to send their men to Bible camp. So, with that in mind I want to invite all the men (all ages) in our class to come to Bible camp on Tuesday night. If you would like to review the notes for this week’s lesson then simply click on this LINK.

The importance of the Greek

Here is a blog article I just read from the Justification by Grace blog site. Folks the New Testament is written in koine Greek. Sometimes known as a street language Greek or Greek for the common man. This article will give you a sense for why it is important that we have teaching from the original languages.

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, in his expository sermons on Galatians, gives us some beautiful gospel insight into Galatians 3:10-13. He says:

“There is a beautiful story in three prepositions here, which many have commented upon. Gal 3:10 says, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” I am ‘under’ the curse. Then in the 13th verse we read, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” The word “for” is a Greek preposition which really has the idea of ‘over’. So here am I ‘under’ the curse, but Christ has been made a curse for us, ‘over us’, so that now he has intervened between the curse and myself, so that the curse, when it falls, falls upon him and it does not fall upon me. Further, he has just said, “Christ hath redeemed us ‘from’ the curse of the Law,” a preposition that means ‘out from.’ So that as a result of the curse falling upon him, I am out from under the curse. Beautiful theology in three prepositions, ‘under’, ‘over’, ‘out (from)’.

Only three Greek prepositions translated as, ‘Under’, ‘Over’ and ‘Out From’, yet what a wealth of good news. It has all been accomplished by one man, the God/Man who is our only refuge. Because of His doing and dying we are guaranteed of a warm and rich welcome at the throne of grace.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Review for September 12

Years ago I heard that Buck Hatch, former professor at Columbia Bible College used to ask the following question at bedtime. Did I please you today Lord?
I brought this up in light of the fact that we are studying the doctrine of God. Hopefully this kind of question from Buck Hatch will cross our minds during these coming weeks as we learn about the attributes of God from the Bible. I then went on to have us look at a number of verses that have to do with how we are to please God as the people of God. Even though this is not covered in the notes you can listen to the first part of the class audio if you would like to review.
Just click on this LINK.

During this past Sunday we covered the first two of the six incommunicable attributes of God. I was able to get through the attributes of self existence and self sufficiency. During this coming week we should be able to finish up on the attributes of infinity, omnipresence, eternity and immutability. After that in the coming weeks I will take self sufficiency and immutability and dive a bit deeper into both of these attributes. Read More...

Review for September 5

This week in our teaching I concentrated on the method of how we are to study the doctrine of God. Over the years theologians, scholars, pastors and teachers have referred to the transcendence of God and the immanence of God. And today we started out by reading Psalm 104 to saturate ourselves in the transcendence of God. Also I pointed out in verses of Scripture like Isaiah 57:15 and Isaiah 66:1-2 that we see first the majesty of God and then the mercy of God. The other set of categories that we will spend the most time with are the attributes of God that are both incommunicable and communicable. Next week I will cover the 6 incommunicable attributes of God. And then in the following weeks I will concentrate on the self sufficiency and immutability for our further study of these attributes.

May I encourage you to take time this week as your read through the Bible and have your private devotion time, to meditate on the God of the Bible that is both transcendent and immanent.

SBS Class September 52010

Audio sound bite played for class regarding the gospel. Click on this LINK.

Review for August 29

The Power Point notes for this morning’s class comprised 38 slides and we covered 28 of them. My recommendation is for each of you attending to read through these notes at least two times this week. Here is the main outline that I would like you go grasp from the teaching this morning.

1. The 3 key principles of learning how to learn doctrine.

2. We can’t fully understand God.

3. And yet the Bible says we can know God as He has chosen to reveal Himself to us.

4. It is very important to understand how the Bible teaches us to study the attributes of God

5. Finally we must have “Methodological Balance” when we come to the Doctrine of God

SBS Class August 292010

On your mark...get set...go!

blogEntryTopper
The first two years in our Bible doctrine class has been a bit like going to the mountains in the fall. You start driving up the Blue Ridge Parkway and then you stop for a while at the various overlook’s and take a glimpse at the mountains. It is somewhat slow paced but you keep moving and as you continue to have the overlook views you pull over and take in the scenery.

However this year we are going to pick up the pace and head straight toward four essential doctrines that also match the plan of redemption from Genesis to Revelation (God, man, Christ and salvation). This week begins our official start through all the Doctrine of God material. There is much to cover and we only have 19 weeks to get it all in. So, I am going to ask each of you to take the study notes and allow them to aid you in the learning of these important doctrines. Hopefully there will be enough definitions, illustrations and support verses to keep you participating in study for some time.

This week I would like you to pay close attention to the following items:
1. The 3 key principles of learning how to learn doctrine. This is not just a class where I am going to teach you doctrine. But also I am going to do my best to teach you how to learn basic Bible interpretation. So when you come to class please understand that I am teaching on a specific doctrine and also trying to help you learn how to teach yourself properly from Scripture.

2. We can’t full understand God. The Bible does not contain everything that is known about God but all that we need to know to have an intimate relationship with Him. Read More...

Start preparing for Sunday...

Last week was our introduction and launch into year three of our class. According to Nancy approximately 15% of those attending were visitors. My goal was to introduce myself to this community, give an overview and share banner verse for the year. So this brings me to the assignment which is to memorize 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. I also would ask you to do some extended devotion and meditation on this verse during this year. This week I put a short article on the website about the first verb in this sentence "Be diligent." And if you refer to the study notes I have broken down each of the key words and have left for you to study on your own "word of truth."

Doctrine of God - Sunday August 29, 2010

This coming week we launch full force into the "Doctrine of God" in particular to knowing God. Can we know God and how are we to know God? The Bible is not all that is known about God but rather all that God chose to reveal to us about Himself. So this coming Sunday I am planning to cover the following topics within this teaching on the doctrine of God.

We can never fully understand God

Since God is infinite and we are finite when reading the truths in the Bible it becomes like pouring a 10,000 gallon truth into a thimble. The Bible tells us that God is incomprehensible and we learn in Psalm 145 that His greatness is unsearchable.
Other Scriptures that we will refer to on Sunday will be: 1 Corinthians 2:10-12, Psalm 145 and 147, Psalm 139 and Romans 11:33.

And yet we can truly know God

Though we have finite minds and cannot know God exhaustively we can know true things about God as revealed to us through the Bible. The Scriptures tell us that God is righteous, God is love and that God is Spirit. This doesn't mean that we know everything about the righteousness or love of God or any of the other attributes that we will study.
Some Scriptures I will refer us to here will be: Jeremiah 9:23-24, John 17:3, Hebrews 8:11, 1 John 5:20, Galatians 4:9, Philippians 3:10, and 1 John 2:13. (The key word to notice in these verses is the word know.)
The opportunity that we have as Christians to have this personal and intimate relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is the greatest of all the blessings in our Christian life. Read More...

"Be diligent"

Yesterday in class I introduced our banner verse for the year which is 2 Timothy 2:15 - Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. Our growth in grace assignment for this week is to memorize this verse and one of our goals this year is to make this verse true in our lives.

Many of you know that we have discussed during the past two years what it means for a verb in the Greek to be in the imperative mood.

For example in our verse 2 Timothy 2:15 the word "Be diligent" is in the imperative mood which means mood of command. Here is what I want you to understand. God never demands from us (believers) that which He doesn't freely give to us. The command in the imperative actually becomes a promise because of the cross. So let's just briefly talk about the "Be diligent" in 2 Timothy 2:15. My concern is that when Christians hear a command without good categories they say "OK, I am going to be diligent." But the problem is if we are diligent in our flesh and we can be, then it is us that gets the glory! So the command "Be diligent" is best understood as something that only God can do through us in order to bring glory to His name. Therefore I need to pray for the diligence that He promises in order to secure this through the Spirit and not through my flesh.

A good example of this would be Abraham when he went into his handmaid Hagar. The child produced Ishmael was a child of the flesh. But when God comes and tells Abraham that he will have a child that God produces that child becomes Isaac and he is the child of promise. All that to say the command "Be diligent" can be produced as a child of the flesh which means we do it or a child of the promise which means God does it.

Review for August 22

This is our third launch into a new fall semester with our SS class at Carmel. As you know on this Sunday we normally have new people in the class so it becomes more of an introduction class than anything else. Nancy informed me that almost 15% of the people today were visitors. So thank you for bearing with some of the same things that you have heard over the years from me as in regard to my personal story. I am going to stress the notes this year so that I can keep moving in our learning the doctrine of God. Allow me to make an appeal to you to read through the notes one to two times during the week. I mentioned this morning that what I don’t cover in class I expect you to review on your own.

The banner verse for our class this year is 2 Timothy 2:15. I want to encourage you to memorize and study this verse for yourselves. Hopefully some of the notes that I have provided can be an aid in your study. Thanks to those who have been faithful to pray for our class and this upcoming year. I can’t tell you how excited I am about all that we are going to be covering as it relates to the doctrines of God, man, Christ and salvation. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to let me know.

SBS Class August 222010

Are you ready for some Bible?

Howard Hendricks, who is an excellent Bible teacher, says that the American Church is like a college football game. You have 50,000 people in the stands who are in desperate need of exercise watching 22 men on the field who are in desperate need of rest.

One of the goals of our SS community is to train and equip you in building the kingdom of God for the glory of God.
If you aren’t presently attending a SS class or if you are new to Carmel I would like to invite you to join us this Sunday-9:30 AM, at Carmel Baptist Church, in the Uptown Auditorium. During this fall semester we will be concentrating on the doctrine of God, as we look at the attributes that are specific only to God and those attributes which He graciously shares with us.

Since you are here at the website take a few minutes to look around. You will find notes from previous classes along with the audio of the teaching in July and August. Simply click on this LINK. Should you want to review the notes from class last week then click on this LINK.

Hope to see you this coming Sunday!

Discipleship and God's word

Getting ready to get ready

Last week Pat and I were able to discuss at length vision and plan for our class in the 2010-2011 year.
As part of our dialogue we hit on the word discipleship. Specifically we talked about how it is used in the Bible and what we can learn from this word moving forward as a community. I thought it might be helpful to post this as we get ready to kickoff our fall launch this coming Sunday in the uptown auditorium at Carmel. This is a brief discussion on the subject but I think it makes the point of why making disciples is critical and also what the Bible says about how we are to go about it.

Go and make disciples

The word disciple is the Greek word "mathetes"(noun) and basically it means to be a learner or a pupil. It appears in the New Testament 268 times.

When we arrive at Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." In this verse the word disciple now appears as a verb instead of a noun. Also as a point of interest, it is in the imperative mood which as you know by now is the mood of command. So according to this verse you and I are commanded to go out and make learners of Jesus. How are we doing as a class and as a church in relationship to this command?

The next logical question for us to ask is how are we to make disciples? Well to get that answer let's look at what Jesus said in the following verses:
John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

The word "continue" in John 8:31 is the Greek word meno and it means to remain in the same place over a period of time. And the Greek word for "word" is logos which means the entire word of God.
Now let's put all of this together in what the Puritans used to all Biblical logic. So if you are going to be a learner of Jesus (the great commission) then you are going to need to remain in His word consistently and diligently over a period of your lifetime. How are you ever going to be involved in making disciples if you are not a disciple?

Do you know the results that occur for those who make disciples? Just keep reading in John 8:32 - Jesus says they will know the truth. Now let me ask you a question "Who is the truth?" For that answer you need to check out John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. The answer to the question is Jesus is the truth! And how are we to know the truth? The key is for us as believers to abide in His word and as we do we become learners of Jesus. Think about it this way, how can you know and have a relationship with Jesus if you don’t know and have a relationship with His word? Read More...

Review for August 15

We are one week from our official fall 2010 launch. This was our pre-launch class regarding the “Doctrine of God.” Here are the three questions that we considered as part of this morning’s class.

  • What is at stake in pursuing a knowledge of God?
  • Does it matter if we know God rightly?
  • Does it matter if we grow in the knowledge of God?

I need to warn you, the curriculum for this year is going to be a bit like taking a sip from a fire hose. There are 19 teaching weeks starting next week through the end of the year. My goal is to complete our study in the doctrine of God within the 2010 year. Then as we turn the corner and head into 2011 we will study the doctrine of man until our retreat date at the end of February. At that time Dr. Bruce Ware will lead us into the doctrine of Christ and after that the doctrine of salvation that should take us into the summer.

Are you tired yet? If you are attending or a member of our class then may I encourage you to go through the notes on a weekly basis. There are going to be times when I will not be able to cover all the material in our time together on Sunday. Your responsibility especially when we come to the specific doctrines is to learn the definitions, illustrations that will help you to explain and also the Scriptural support. Read More...

Homework 2010-2011

Sometimes I am asked if there is homework for our class. The answer is yes and the assignments fall into three specific categories.

Homework Assignment #1 - Read through the entire Bible
We are presently reading through a 52 week Bible reading plan that gives a specific section of Bible reading on a daily basis.
So for the person that wants to know, what is the homework for the day, I first want to point them to Bible reading plan. Recent church statistics show that over 90% of those within the church have not read through the Bible at least one time. It is harder to teach when there is not an understanding of the Scriptures as a whole. One of the key components the church is missing today in Bible study is being able to see the big picture connection from Genesis to Revelation. In the first month of our class we covered many different aspects of the Bible. One morning I asked the class, "who is the author of Genesis?" Someone spoke up and said "Moses" to which I replied "that is correct."
Then I repeated the question a different way and asked "who is the real Author of Genesis?" At that point someone else spoke up and said "the Holy Spirit" to which I replied "that is correct." So even though the Bible is composed of 66 books with over 40 different authors, there is one mind and one Author that is connecting it all together.

Therefore we should ask questions and know things like; how is Genesis connected to Revelation, Job to Romans, 1 Samuel to Luke? Getting the overall big picture of the Bible is like putting together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. We have all learned that the best way to put together this kind of puzzle in to find all the border pieces first. But not only that, we need to have a picture of the box top. By reading the Bible over and over you are getting the picture of the box top and as you learn Bible doctrine that starts to set the border pieces in place. Over the years I have found many in the church don't understand the following two big picture items in regard to the Bible;

1. What is the overall theme of the entire Bible?
2. What is the overall organizing plan that God has set out from Genesis to Revelation?

Again as in the illustration of the jigsaw puzzle these two items above are like the box top. As you read and re-read the Bible you will start to develop a solid understanding as to the unity of the Scriptures. I am a proponent of exegetical Bible study in which you study individual books of the Bible. But I have found it most helpful instead of picking up a piece of the puzzle and observing it and studying each of the aspects of the puzzle piece, we need to have a good picture of the box top that we study first.
Read More...

Running the race

The race begins

Heb. 12:1 ¶ Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

The Christian life can be likened to that of a marathon and not a sprint. During the last two years in our class we have been warming up, doing the proper stretching and loading up on carbs the night before the race. In August we are going into full marathon mode. If you haven't yet received your runners number and entrance registration form then please apply today. During the race you can expect Bible reading that will take you through the Bible in one year, Bible devotions that hopefully you will be sharing with the family on a weekly basis and Bible doctrine that needs to be learned and lived. This is an appeal to all who are part of our SS community to get into the race! Don't be casual about your Christian life! Jesus says in Revelation 3:16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. A.W. Tozer writes that the thoughts you think about God are the more important thoughts you will ever have. If I could add anything to that statement I would say the most important thing are "correct" thoughts about God.

So why do we need a laser like focus on the Doctrine of God? Well, unfortunately in our culture many have created a god that is not the God of the Bible. The goal as we launch in August will be to provide a clear, concise and hermeneutically sound foundation as we study the God of the Bible. Read carefully what Jesus prays in John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. So it is very important that we know the God of the Bible by correctly knowing what the word of God reveals to us about Him.

Sunday's class

This past Sunday I gave an overall summary of the 66 books in the Bible. The conclusion of the class on Sunday was the theme for the entire Bible which I believe to be "The Glory of God." My recommendation is that you read through these notes during the week. If I were to give a test, the questions from this past Sunday’s notes would be as follows:

  • Give me the structure or an outline of the Old Testament and the New Testament
  • Define the glory of God, give Scripture to support it and provide for me an illustration

Review for July 25

This morning we continued in our summer teaching series called Reviewing the Basics. The goal this morning was to see the unity of Scripture. Unfortunately we ran out of time before I could cover the notes on the theme of the Bible which is the glory of God. Please take some time this week to read through the notes. The homework assignment is to:
  • Define the word glory
  • Give Scriptural support for the glory of God as the theme of the Bible
  • Illustrate the glory of God for a 10 year old to understand
  • Discuss the application for your life
Additional study notes are included that will help and encourage you in “how to” study the Bible.

SBS Class July 252010

Summer 2010

The fall launch for our class in on August 22. I want to warn you up front that we are going to be moving at a fast pace regarding the doctrine of God. Therefore I am taking the time this summer to review as best we can with some of the important basics for Bible study from the past two years.

I want to appeal to each of you as part of our class leadership to be in prayer for the coming year. In the 2010 and 2011 year, Lord willing, we are going to cover

Doctrine of God
Doctrine of man
Doctrine of Christ


And when we get into the Spring we again will take our 5 weeks and "march to the cross." As you know by now this will be an extensive look and study into the various doctrines of salvation. I am hoping again to cover justification, regeneration, sanctification, propitiation, redemption and resurrection. My goal is for you to know definitions, Scripture support and illustrations to the point that you could explain each of these to a 10 year old.

If you are interested in a more detailed format of the teaching for the 2010-2011 year then simply click on this LINK and scroll to pages 2-4.

Summer teaching series "The Basics of sound Bible study"

Introduction to the Basics

We cannot understate the importance of the basics in our overall life. This goes all the way back to our earliest learning in grade school when we had to learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Later on I would go into sports and I can remember all of the practice hours that I put in on the basketball and tennis court. The majority of that time was not in playing the game but in drilling the basics so that we could play and win the game. Then I got married got a job and quickly started to learn the basics of how to manage our finances as a couple. I remember one of the first lessons I received from Nancy's father who was a very successful entrepreneur, who said to me "learn to live at a lifestyle that is less than you earn and invest the difference." When I became a Christian the gentleman who discipled me the first 3 years taught me the basics of Bible study. We talked almost every single day except for Sunday's and it was constantly reinforced that I must learn the basics of sound Bible study.

And those basics were divided for me into 2 main areas.

  • The Heart
  • The Head

Even though I have spent time going into both of these in the past year I never want to wander far from these important principles of Bible study. So allow me in this newsletter to review with you and for you the importance of the heard and the head in Bible study. Read More...

Review for July 18

SBS Class July 182010

On Sunday I had planned to cover briefly the theme of the Bible and then start on the plan from Genesis to Revelation. However instead I went through some of the details in Scripture when studying a word. For example I went back to the verse in Ephesians 2:8 and looked at the verb saved. Again the point was the importance of verbs and how the tense, voice and mood are critical to the meaning. Then I mentioned the two key reasons that people don’t study the Bible which have to do with the heart and the head. I have also included these two things in the notes with Scripture illustrations.

By the way a quick outline for this system of Biblical Hermeneutics is as follows:
  • Author’s Background
  • Theme
  • Plan
  • Context
  • Words
  • Grammar

All of the above items fit within the umbrella called the unity of Scripture. As you can read in the study notes I compare the unity of Scripture with that of a jigsaw puzzle. There are two things that are needed in order to put the puzzle pieces together. First you need a border and I am calling that Bible Doctrine. And then you need a Box Top in order to see the whole puzzle as to what you are putting together. I am calling the Box Top the theme and plan of the Bible.

My plan this coming week is to look at the theme and plan of the entire Bible. Hope to see you on Sunday

Review for July 11

SBS Class July 112010

It is great to be back after time away this summer. First of all I would like to thank both Allen Cleveland and Wayne Atcheson for teaching our class while Nancy and I have been gone.

I think I can speak on behalf of the leadership team and say that our main goal is to get the people of God back into the word of God, so the word of God can get back into the people of God. And the ultimate reason for this goal is for Christ to be glorified through us as we become more and more satisfied in Him.
Read More...

The calendar offerings

On Monday our Bible reading was in Numbers 25-28. In Chapter 28 there is a list of the offerings given by the LORD to Moses. Here is a summary of the calendar offerings that are courtesy of the Bible Knowledge Commentary. In the chart below you have the occasion for the offering, the type of offering and amount, and the section of Scripture that refers to the particular offering.

(Click on photos to enlarge)






But now and But when

We talked about in class today the phrase “but now” which we came across in Romans 6:22. At that time I made the comment that a fun study would be to look up the number of times the apostle Paul has a “but now” in the epistles. Well I decided to give you the verses on the “but now” and the “but when.” If you are looking for a way to put some variety in your devotion time then spend some time on these two phrases and the verses. Remember to read these in context which means reading verses prior to and after.





To enlarge and view simply click on either of the photos above

Review for June 13

This morning we concluded our teaching on Romans Chapter 6. I am sad to be leaving Romans 6 but am thrilled that we have been able to dig in for the past 2 months. Wow, can you believe it? Time flies when you are studying the Bible. This teaching falls under the “doctrine of salvation.” And for the last 8 weeks we taken an in depth look from Romans as to what it means “to be the Christian you say you’ve become.”

SBS Class June 132010

8 steps for understanding Romans 6

Step #1 - Prepare the Heart

As someone once said "it doesn't do much good to tune the fiddle after the concert is over." There are many people who come to the Bible to get their hearts right but the key is to get your heart right before you come to the Bible.

This step is not negotiable but mandatory if there is going to be proper Bible study. The number one problem for why people don't read and study is due to sin that is tolerated or known in their life. Haven't you heard that sin keeps you from the Bible and the Bible keeps you from sin? Well that is very true.

In our first Q and A Session we dealt specifically with the problem of a heart that is hard toward the Lord. If you would like some further teaching on this subject then click on this LINK.

When I first was learning how to study the Bible the following verses were memorized to help me keep this in the forefront of my mind. These are verses that deal with affections of the heart toward God and His word.

Psalm 118:19 - Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

Jeremiah 33:3 - Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

2 Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him.


Step #2 - Read, Read, and Read Romans 6:1-23

We need to form better habits when it comes to reading large sections of Scripture. That is why since I have been so insistent about us as a class reading through the entire Bible each and every year. This forms a unity of Scripture in the mind that helps to connect all the dots. Because as we know there is one ultimate Author of each book and that is God Himself. Read More...

One more time

I was studying in Romans 6:15-23 this afternoon. In doing so I came across the following comment on Romans 6:17 which reads, But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.

The verb “delivered” is second person plural. The Greek text reads, “the form of doctrine into which you were delivered.” That is, in salvation, God constituted the believer according to this chapter (vv. 1–14) inwardly so that he would react to the doctrines of grace by nature (the divine nature) in such a way as to receive and obey them. We were delivered into the teaching (doctrine, didachē (διδαχη)) in that we were constituted in salvation so that we would obey it. Paul thanks God that whereas before salvation we were slaves of the evil nature, we were in salvation delivered (handed over paradidōmi (παραδιδωμι)) to the teachings of grace so that we become slaves of righteousness.
Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader (Ro 6:17). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

The point Wuest is making here is one we covered this past Sunday. The gospel is not delivered to you but in fact you are delivered to the gospel. And the only way that miraculous event can happen in your life is by God Himself.

God's responsibility vs. man's responsibility

Let's take a few minutes to dig a bit deeper into Romans 6:17-19. In the notes given (part 1 and part 2), plus the past two weeks of class you should have the flow of Paul's thought up to this point. So look with me at Romans 6:17:
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed

It's Greek to me

I want us to focus on the word "committed." This is a verb that is in the passive voice. Each Greek verb has the following 5 characteristics: (for more on this click on this LINK)

tense
voice
mood
person
number
This particular verb resides in the passive voice. It means that the action is happening to the subject. For example when I say "the ball hit Bert." In this sentence Bert is receiving the action of the verb. If I reverse the sentence "Bert hit the ball" this means that Bert is doing or providing the action of the verb.

God's responsibility

In Romans 6:17 I would argue that the form of teaching that Paul refers to here might be the doctrine of the gospel. And so here is how is what the sentence would mean considering the word "committed" is now in the passive voice. The believers in Rome did not have the gospel delivered to them but those in Rome were delivered over to the gospel. I know that may be an awkward way to talk but it is what the verse means. Read More...

Review for June 6

SBS Class June62010

Romans 6 "The Conclusion"



Baptized with One Spirit

This pertains to the doctrine of salvation.

Several weeks ago we looked at the word “baptism” and what the word means in the Greek. There has been much debate over the years in the church as to what it means to be baptized in the Spirit. As you will read in this short article by Warren Wiersbe he believes and so do I, that spiritual baptism happens at the time of our conversion. It is a one time event and therefore it is not necessary to for us as Christians to try and have some additional or subsequent work of the Spirit that we seek out later on in our Christian lives. Check out what Warren Wiersbe has to say about this subject.

The baptism of the Spirit occurs at conversion when the Spirit enters the believing sinner, gives him new life, and makes his body the temple of God. All believers have experienced this once-for-all baptism (1 Cor. 12:13). Nowhere does the Scripture command us to seek this baptism, because we have already experienced it and it need not be repeated.

The “filling of the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18ff) has to do with the Spiritʼs control of our lives. (In Scripture, to be filled by something means “to be controlled by.”) We are commanded to be filled, and we can be if we yield all to Christ and ask Him for the Spiritʼs filling. This is a repeated experience, for we constantly need to be filled with spiritual power if we are to glorify Christ. To be baptized by the Spirit means that we belong to Christʼs body. To be filled with the Spirit means that our bodies belong to Christ. The evidence of the Spiritʼs baptism at conversion is the witness of the Spirit within (Rom. 8:14–16). - Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (1 Co 12:1–14). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Review for May30

SBS Class May302010

If you would like to print out the notes from this morning class simply click on this LINK.

If you would like to listen to the audio “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE” simply click on this LINK.

How to understand what the Bible means

Last week was the conclusion of Romans 6:1-14. But it was not the conclusion of Romans 6. This week I am planning to continue the teaching in Romans 6:15-23 which is the "doctrine of salvation."

Hopefully by the time we have come through Romans 6 you will have picked up some of the key principles in Biblical Hermeneutics. As you have heard me say on more than one occasion hermeneutics is a system or a method of study to determine what the author meant by what he wrote. If you recall in coming to Romans 6, I mentioned both the theme of Romans "justification by faith" and the plan for Romans from Chapters 1-8. Listed below is a quick review of the plan:
Romans 1-3:18 All men are under sin
Romans 3:18-4 Justification by faith
Chapter 5:1-8 The certainty and the fullness of salvation in Christ Jesus

In addition to Bible theme and Bible plan we have looked at context, words, grammar as we have made our way through Romans 6.

For example the context of Romans 6 is recognizing what happened to us at the time of our regeneration and then Paul exhorting us to live consistent with that reality. In Bible study we call this immediate context because this is very specific to Romans 6. But there is also a "remote" context that must be considered. And that is the same kind of language that Paul uses to express this Biblical truth in other epistles such as Ephesians and Colossians. It becomes known as remote context because it is not found within the book of Romans but is remote to it in other places in the Bible. Read More...

Studying the "one anothers" in the New Testament

There are lots of one another’s in the Bible. I mentioned that this morning, as we discussed not letting sin reign in the life of the believer. How are we going to help and minister to others, if we aren’t able to know them to the point we can know where sin might reign in their lives. This is part of true discipleship when people are committed to the one another of Scripture. Therefore I thought you might want to see the list of one another’s listed in the 21 epistles which covers Romans-Jude.

Do you think the one another’s of the New Testament were important to the authors?



Read More...

Review for May 23



If you would like to hear the audio clip by Dr. John Piper - “Make war on sin” then click on this LINK.

If you would like to print out these notes then click on this LINK

Purpose of our class








This Sunday "the Conclusion"

This Sunday will mark the conclusion of this Bible doctrine series on “Practical Christian Living.” We have been digging into Romans 6 to understand how we as Christians are to live out the doctrines of justification, regeneration and resurrection. Hopefully this has been very encouraging to you in the learning and living of your God-centered life.



Gentle and Humble

There are two adjectives in the New Testament that Jesus used to describe Himself. We find this in Matt. 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

QUESTION FOR APPLICATION
If someone could describe you with only two adjectives which two would they use? Take a closer look at what the Bible has to say about humility and gentleness.






Review for May 16

Yesterday we started into the 4 imperatives in Romans 6:11-13. There is a lot here to cover and it looks as though we need to continue this discussion in next week’s class. If you would like to review and print out the notes from yesterday’s class then simply click on this LINK.

Should you want to hear the audio regarding indicatives and imperatives then click on this LINK.

Warning to all pastors and teachers

From day one in our class we have been talking about the importance of knowing God's word in order that we may know God.
In yesterday's Bible reading plan I was particularly drawn to Hosea Chapter 4. In verse 1 we can plainly see that the problem is the people have no knowledge of God and for this reason in verse 6 it says they are destroyed because of that fact. Here is the question for consideration "How are we going to know God if we don't know the very word of God?"

Hosea 4:1
Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.


Hosea 4:6
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.


Notice two important points from Hosea Chapter 4:
1. What happens to the people?
2. Who is God is holding responsible for the lack of knowledge?
Read More...

Coming this Sunday

This Sunday, Lord willing, the plan is to cover the 4 imperatives in Romans 6:11-13. Here is my overall summary of these verses that are so critical and practical for the Christian life.



In Romans 6:11 the apostle Paul is appealing to us through our logic and reason to realize who we are in Christ. And in Romans 6:12-13 he exhorts us to “BE WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST.” If you like movies then I have a clip from Robin Hood to be released on May 14. Watch and listen carefully to this video clip. Click on this LINK.





Review for May 9

I started our lesson today with an explanation of Biblical hermeneutics. We live at an interesting time in human history especially as it relates to the church in America. The question that our post modern generation ask when they come to the Bible is “what does the Bible mean to me?” However the orthodox question throughout the 2000 years of church history has been “what does the Bible mean based on what the author intended when he wrote it?” I hope you see the huge difference between these two questions. The first question is man-centered and the second question is God-centered.
Biblical hermeneutics is a system or a way to interpret Scripture in order to understand what the author meant by what he wrote. There are three principles that can summarize this approach.
1. A historical-grammatical approach to the Bible
2. Scripture interprets Scripture
3. The New Testament is the guiding hermeneutic for us to understand the Old Testament

Early on in my Bible training I learned that we have to stand in the language community we are studying. This is not an easy task but it becomes essential if we are going to be diligent and thorough in our study. We also need to be able to handle context, words, grammar and then make sure that our interpretation is consistent with the unity of Scripture.

We as a class have been learning what practical Christian living looks like from the apostle Paul in Romans 6. Years ago Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones taught through the book of Romans. Lloyd-Jones who retired from his ministry at Westminster Chapel in 1968, following a major operation. He spoke of a belief that God had stopped him from continuing to preach through the New Testament book of the Letter to the Romans in his Friday evening Bible study exposition because he did not personally know enough about "joy in the Holy Spirit" which was to be his next sermon (based on Romans 14:17).

From what I understand it took Dr. Jones fourteen years to cover fourteen chapters. Read More...

Coming this Sunday

The study of Bible Doctrine is both challenging and exciting. It is challenging because in teaching we strive to understand what the author meant when he wrote the particular text. It is exciting because once the Spirit clearly reveals to word of God to the heart it becomes transformational. There are many ways to approach Bible study. I learned in my early years that the first thing one needs is a system to study the Bible. The word for this kind of study is called “Hermeneutics.” When I was introduced to the word my question was “why use the word hermeneutics?” And my Bible teacher was quick to respond because it is in the Bible.

This class provides the opportunity to learn Biblical hermeneutics. The initial teaching that I have emphasized in the first 18 months of our class is the whole view of Scripture. This is best done by looking at Bible doctrine and Biblical theology. Bible doctrine is concerned with what the Bible has to say about a specific subject or topic. In our class we are studying what the Bible has to say about; the word of God, God Himself, Christ, the Holy Spirit, man and finally salvation. At the same time in other venues such as retreat formats and men’s Bible study we are looking at the unfolding and progressive redemption of mankind by God from Genesis to Revelation. These things are not learned overnight but take time for us to study and then digest. After we get past unity of Scripture the next objective will be to look at “how to study” individual books of the Bible. Again when I was in my beginning years of a study the system I learned the following:
1. Author Background
2. Theme of the book
3. Plan of the book
Read More...

The teaching plan for May

In March I started a Bible doctrine series which I titled “March to the Cross.” The goal was to take three specific doctrines to study as we looked forward to our Easter Sunday celebration. It was after that Easter Sunday that I decided through prayer and discussion with others to consider in a more thorough way the application for these doctrines in the life of a Christian. The new title under which we are now studying is called “Practical Christian Living.” And we are studying the first 14 verses of Romans Chapter 6 which is titled “A new person in Christ.” In the past 3 weeks my goal as been to establish a strong overview in Romans 6:1-14. Then to make us aware of some of the key words and phrases, and finally to understand what it means for us as Christian to be dead to sin. In the next 3 weeks I have 3 specific areas of study in these verses that I want to help us to get a handle on.
1. The four imperatives that show up in Romans 6:11-13
2. The category distinction between the old man that was crucified and the deeds of the body that have been rendered powerless
3. The word “baptism” as it was used by the early Greek writers and what it means as to our spiritual life.

The more I pray and think about it I will finish this coming Sunday with the four imperatives. For those of you who have been quietly chanting “give me application, give me application then this is your week. However just so you know a little secret there was application in weeks 1, 2 and 3. Therefore if you are following along with me via this blog site I want you to read Romans 6:11-13. Pick out the 4 imperative verbs, again the imperative mood is the mood of command. So go to BlueletterBible.org and pick out the imperative verbs. And then follow the logic flow of thought that Paul gives us in the first 10 verses in order to complete the loop, of how to be the Christian that you say you’ve become.

In the following two weeks I will go into some specific details of how to study words and grammar when you come to the Bible. Now that you have seen the big picture outline of Romans 6:1-14t, now you are ready to uncover the diamonds hidden within the sentences, phrases and words. Romans 6 is one of the most encouraging and practical books in all the Bible. It is amazing to watch how the apostle Paul moves from justification in Chapter 5 to an explanation of regeneration in Chapter 6. If you think about it Romans 6 is describing in detail what the life of a person who has been regenerated, by the Spirit looks like day to day. After we conclude this particular series in May then it will be back to the doctrine of God and I plan to pick up where we left off which was on the immutability of God.

Word Study for REPENT

Sometimes a devotion may consist in meditating on a single word for a particular period of time. This morning from our discussion last night about "hardening of the heart" I studied and devoted on the word repent. Can you remember the last time you repented over your sin? It seems in our Christian culture today words like "repent" have made their way to the back of the bus so to speak. It is no longer in vogue to discuss such things that might offend. Somebody today might ask you "repent from what?" As Alan Redpath once said the biggest problem in the American church is that it cannot agree on a definition for sin. Last night we talked about the problem with a heart that is hard before the Lord. It might surprise us to know how little "repenting" is done and yet how important this is for the Christian life. When the Lord Jesus uses the words "REPENT and BELIEVE" in Mark 1:15 they are verbs which are in the present tense and the imperative mood. This means an action that we must have as a continuous way of life, a daily habit and this is NOT what He is asking but rather commanding us to do!

We need to stick close to the language of the Bible especially when it comes to preaching and teaching the gospel. Please remember the gospel is something that we as believers need to be preaching to ourselves daily. As Paul teaches us "for in it (the gospel) is the power unto salvation (justification, sanctification and glorification) for all who believe (present tense which means as a daily habit or process). I think the most appropriate language that is consistent with Scripture and that provides the most clarity are the words "REPENT and BELIEVE."

In this note I have provided for you a definition of the word repent. The word repent when used in the New Testament is a verb and the word repentance is a noun. Notice how many times this type of language is used in both the Old and New Testament. I have included a brief outline of repentance and the verses associated with this outline from study notes from Day, C. A. (2009). Collins Thesaurus of the Bible. Again Bible doctrine is what does the Bible have to say about a particular subject or topic. This is not an exhaustive study but gives you some idea what the Bible has to say regarding the doctrine of repentance. It may be helpful for all of us to review these Scriptures on a more regular basis in order to keep the necessity for repenting at the forefront of our minds. Read More...

Review for May 2

Can you answer the following questions now about Romans 6:1-14 without your notes. This is the learning part of the first 10 verses that will lead to the living part which we will cover in two weeks.

1. Give the title for verses 1-14
2. What is the pattern of 5 statements that describe the outline?
3. Give a definition for “died to sin” and back up with Scripture.
4. What is the word picture that the apostle Paul for “died to sin?”
5. What is the difference between an indicative verb and an imperative verb?
6. How would you describe in brief the chapters leading up to Romans 6?
7. Why did Paul write Romans Chapter 6? (Hint: It comes from understanding Romans 5:21)
8. What is a key word or phrase in Romans 6?
9. Give two points that summarize verses 1-10?

I mentioned this morning that there were 40 slides to go over and I set a world’s record for me and made it through 29. I want to challenge those in our class to review these notes in detail. Next week I plan to cover the word “baptism” but the following week we are going to talk about “deeds of the body.” There is a critical distinction that we need to make between the old man that was crucified with Christ and the deeds of the body that I am going to refer to as the sinful nature. The old man has been crucified and never to live again but the sinful nature remains. OK, so we have the May 9 and May 16 classes that you can know what is going to be the primary goal. This means I will not be reviewing anymore in verses 1-10 in Romans 6. However I cannot stress too much that you understand the outline in Romans 6:1-14, and that you know what Paul means when he says a Christian has died to sin. These notes will contain not only all that we covered this morning but additional notes that will be covered during the May 16 class. Read More...

Preview for this Sunday

On Sunday, Lord willing, the plan is to continue into part 3 of "Practical Christian Living." This stems from our study in the doctrines of justification, regeneration and resurrection, with the goal being to marry the doctrinal with the applicational. Initially I was only going to stop after the doctrine of the resurrection but as I prayed and thought about it things changed. Therefore I have put our study regarding the doctrine of God on hold until we complete this very practical section of Christian living in Romans 6. Specifically the study in Romans 6 will reappear when we study the doctrine of salvation. But I think our going into Romans 6 at this time will provide some good doctrinal groundwork as we move forward. Keep in mind we are still in the study of doctrine which right now relates to our salvation that includes justification, regeneration, sanctification and glorification.

In week #1 of "Practical Christian Living" we looked at the context of Romans Chapters 1-5 that brought us into Chapter 6. Also I provided an outline for Romans 6 with a brief explanation of how we might study this chapter. In week #2, which was last week, I had us think about the phrase "died to sin." When Paul wrote Romans 6 we have a mention of died, death and die in each verse starting in Romans 6:2 and going through Romans 6:11. The challenge is to understand what does Paul mean when he says we have "died to sin" and yet as Christians we are still impacted, tempted and hassled by sin. As you have been hearing me say for the last 18 months we need to have proper categories doctrinally when we study the Bible. The category "died to sin" is critical as we move forward because it impacts so much of our being able to understand how Paul writes and what he is trying to teach us in Romans. Read More...

Do we have homework?

The short answer to that question is yes. If you are new to the “Learning and Living” Community then here is what you need to know about the homework assignments. This class was started on the premise of getting people back to the word of God, until the word of God got back into them. The three specific disciplines we have taught from day one involve Bible reading, Bible devotion and Bible study. Therefore each week I am prayerful and hopeful that these activities are becoming part of your Christian walk. So I am encouraging a trifold assignment each week and they are as follows:


Assignment #1 - Read through the entire Bible. We are presently reading through a 52 week Bible reading plan that gives a specific section of Bible reading on a daily basis.
So for the person that wants to know, what is the homework for the day, I first want to point them to Bible reading plan. Recent church statistics show that over 90% of those within the church have not read through the Bible at least one time. It is harder to teach when there is not an understanding of the Scriptures as a whole. One of the key components the church is missing today in Bible study is being able to see the big picture connection from Genesis to Revelation. In the first month of our class we covered many different aspects of the Bible. One morning I asked the class, "who is the author of Genesis?" Someone spoke up and said "Moses" to which I replied "that is correct."
Then I repeated the question a different way and asked "who is the real Author of Genesis?" At that point someone else spoke up and said "the Holy Spirit" to which I replied "that is correct." So even though the Bible is composed of 66 books with over 40 different authors, there is one mind and one Author that is connecting it all together.
Therefore we should ask questions and know things like; how is Genesis connected to Revelation, Job to Romans, 1 Samuel to Luke? Getting the overall big picture of the Bible is like putting together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. We have all learned that the best way to put together this kind of puzzle in to find all the border pieces first. But not only that, we need to have a picture of the box top. By reading the Bible over and over you are getting the picture of the box top and as you learn Bible doctrine that starts to set the border pieces in place. Over the years I have found many in the church don't understand the following two big picture items in regard to the Bible;
1. What is the overall theme of the entire Bible?
2. What is the overall organizing plan that God has set out from Genesis to Revelation?

Again as in the illustration of the jigsaw puzzle these two items above are like the box top. As you read and re-read the Bible you will start to develop a solid understanding as to the unity of the Scriptures. I am a proponent of exegetical Bible study in which you study individual books of the Bible. But I have found it most helpful instead of picking up a piece of the puzzle and observing it and studying each of the aspects of the puzzle piece, we need to have a good picture of the box top that we study first. Read More...

Review for April 25



If you would like to listen to the audio from today “What is the gospel?”









If you want to print out the notes from today’s class. Click on this LINK

King Manasseh is a "vassal" king

2 Kings 21:10-12, 16
10 And the Lord said by his servants the prophets, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, 12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.
16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another,
besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

If you came to the retreat in February we looked at the historical context in which the writing in the Old Testament occurred. We can learn much from the historical narratives by our understanding an ancient near eastern practice called "suzerain" treaties. I have included below the verses from today's reading that highlight when King Manasseh sinned he brought all Judah to sin. You could say it this way "so goes the king then so go the people." Also for those interested in a little more information about suzerain treaties I have included some of the retreat notes on this subject. A special thanks to Lee Irons whose teaching I have borrowed from in this area of study. Again these kings are pointers or foreshadows of the vassal king that would eventually come and who would be fully obedient in every way. That vassal king is Jesus and because of His obedience we who are under His rule and authority may enter into the kingdom.

Notes regarding the suzerain and vassal king
In context of the cultures of Mesopotamia, the Hittites and the fertile crescent
They all practiced the culture of ancient near east treaties

There is a treaty format between the suzerain and the vassal
Suzerain simply means the great king
Vassal means the subordinate who has to obey the great king
Read More...

Review for April 18

Practical Christian Living from the doctrines of justification, regeneration and resurrection will be the subject for the next several weeks. The living out of the Christina life begins with learning proper doctrine. This morning we looked at Romans 6:1-14. My goal was to give a proper background and outline as we come to this very important and exciting chapter that teaches both learning and living the Christian life.




Grace "to" you and Grace "with" you

Yesterday our reading was in 1 Thessalonians Chapters 1-3. Have you noticed how the apostle Paul begins each of his epistles in this manner "grace to you" and end all of his epistle this way "grace with you"?

If I were to ask you a reason for "WHY" he begins and ends the letters in this manner how would you answer that question? Is there a difference between the word "to" and the word "with"? Notice that on the front end the word "to" is always used and on the back end the word "with" is always used. Could you make a 21st century Bible study, Bible devotion and Bible reading application in regard to this observation?

Isn't it amazing that God uses very small words to bring to us very big revelations for our Christian lives!

GRACE TO YOU

Rom. 1:7 ¶ to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Cor. 1:3 ¶ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2Cor. 1:2 ¶ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gal. 1:3 ¶ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

Eph. 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Phil. 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Col. 1:2 ¶ To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

1Th. 1:1 ¶ Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

2Th. 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Tim. 1:2 ¶ To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

2Tim. 1:2 ¶ To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 1:4 ¶ To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Philemon 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Read More...

Hermeneutics, a system to study the Bible

Our SS class is on a relentless pursuit to understand what the Bible means. It is our belief that correct learning of God’s word leads to the correct living of God’s word in our daily walk with Christ. When you hear the expression what the Bible means let me clarify that a bit in this article. The goal of “Biblical hermeneutics” is to understand what the author meant by what he wrote. However today in many churches there is a new form of hermeneutics that has taken over. I want to say from the outset that this new type of hermeneutic is dangerous and can lead to heresy in both teaching and living. The fancy name is “neo-orthodox” which means I can interpret the Bible through the lens of what it means to me. This means that there is no right and wrong but only the perspective from which the reader wants to take the text and understand what it means to them. Have you ever been to a Bible study when the facilitator read a verse and then went around the room to get various interpretations. Dr John MacArthur calls that type of Bible study the pooling of ignorance.

Sound Biblical hermeneutics is a system that is based upon three key principles of study:
  • Grammatical-Historical
  • Scripture interprets Scripture
  • The New Testament is ruling hermeneutic for interpreting the Old Testament
Read More...

The name Christ or "Christos" in New Testament

Yesterday's reading was in Colossians 3-4. Notice the number of times the word "Christ" appears in Colossians 3:1-17. Therefore I thought it might be helpful to take a brief look at the name of Christ for study purposes.

CHRIST (Gk. Christos). “Christ” is the New Testament designation of Old Testament “Messiah” (Heb. māšîaḥ “anointed”). Frequently the RSV (like the NIV and JB; KJV less often) renders Gk. ho Christos of the Gospels as “the Christ,” meaning that Jesus is the only true Christ (e.g., John 20:31) or the anointed one specifically prophesied in the Old Testament (e.g., 1 Sam. 2:10; Ps. 2:2). At Acts 4:26, a quotation from Ps. 2:2, the RSV translates Gk. toú christoú autoú as “his Anointed,” but at Rev. 11:15; 12:10 the same Greek term is translated “his Christ.”

The two names of Jesus Christ are not really interchangeable. “Jesus” was the name given to the child at his circumcision (Luke 2:21); when the title, Christ, is used, that passage should be understood as a specific reference to the Savior’s office as Mediator, the agent of reconciliation between God and mankind. At times Paul inverts the usual order (“Christ Jesus,” e.g., Rom. 3:24; 8:2, 39).

The appellation “anointed one” derives from the ancient Near Eastern custom of consecrating with oil persons who undertake the responsibilities of a high office. Israel was familiar with this practice during Old Testament times, for prophets, priests, and kings were anointed (e.g., 1 Kgs. 19:16; Ps. 133:2) to confirm that they were officially installed in, and declared competent for, their respective offices. Because these Old Testament figures were anointed for only a short time and discharged their offices imperfectly, Israel anticipated the arrival of the Anointed One, who would not be anointed by men and with oil prepared by human hands, but by God, with the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16–17 par. Mark 1:10–11; Luke 3:21–22). For that reason Jesus could testify of himself: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me …” (Luke 4:18 quoting Isa. 61:1; cf. Acts 10:38). Thus, the name “Christ” connotes not only his sacred commission as Mediator and Redeemer of his people, but also the authority and power through which he was able to complete this mission.
Myers, A. C. (1987). The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (207). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

Review for April 4

This morning was week #5 in our “March to the Cross.” Our discussion of doctrine turned to the resurrection. The goal was to cover the following;
1. Definition of Resurrection
2. Biblical predictions by Jesus Himself
3. Biblical proof
4. Biblical implications - the implications have two sub themes
a. Doctrinal implications
b. Practical implications
5. Biblical results of the resurrection

We actually got through the first three and next week my plan is to finish number 4 and 5. But I am going to include the notes for the entire teaching session for your study. A special thanks to Dr. Wayne Grudem for his book on Systematic Theology. The notes from the Biblical implications have been taken from his section on the resurrection.



If you would like to listen to the audio from today “That is my King.” Click on this LINK

If you want to print out the notes from today’s class. Click on this LINK

Why is it called good Friday?

From the blog site of Erik Raymond

Good Friday is ‘good’ because…

…Jesus was my substitute there upon that blood-stained tree

…Jesus wore the crown of thorns that I might wear the crown of life

…Jesus was scourged that I might be healed

…Jesus was condemned that I might be pardoned

…Jesus was abandoned that I might be accepted

…Jesus was made to be sin that I might be declared righteous

…Jesus pleased the Father whom I had angered

…Jesus tasted death that I may never taste it

…Jesus drank wrath that I might drink the waters of life

…Jesus died that I may live

…Jesus was shamed for my shameful sin

.Jesus was showered with judgment he did not deserve that I might be showered with the grace that I do not deserve

…Jesus distinguished himself as the exclusive basis for divine forgiveness

…Jesus purchased eternal redemption through his eternal sacrifice to pay my eternal debt

…Jesus crushed the serpent’s head (he defeated the devil)

…Jesus pleased the Father

…Jesus vindicated the glory of God

…Jesus put the attributes of God on full display singing in beautiful harmony (justice, love, wrath, forgiveness, holiness, mercy…)

…Good Friday is good because I am so bad

….and Good Friday is only good because the Savior, our Lord Jesus is so good

Amazing Grace

How many times have we sung the beloved hymn by John Newton while in church? After four weeks of study in the doctrines of justification and regeneration I want you to look with me at some of these lyrics.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Look at the first two lines of the first stanza in lieu of the following verses in the Bible
Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

Gen. 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Eph. 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
Eph. 2:2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Eph. 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else, And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Rom. 3:10 as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
Rom. 3:11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
Rom. 3:12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”

John Newton wrote about what he knew to be the human condition of every person born of ordinary generation from Adam. And he knew this about himself, that he was a wretch, evil and rebellious toward God and what he deserved was judgment, condemnation and hell. Read More...

Review for March 28

This morning we concluded our study of the doctrine of regeneration. However when we come to the “doctrine of salvation” we will cover this in much more depth. There are two different formats I am going to provide you with in the study of regeneration. First, the regular notes that I provided last week but will repost for those for you in the regular slide share format. And for those of you who want to see the readers digest version can simply click on this LINK. It may help to listen to the audio as you go through the first couple of slide to understand my description regarding ROLE VS. IDENTITY.



Next week is Easter Sunday and we will cover the resurrection. Hopefully I can post some preview notes during the week for you to read as we prepare our hearts for a wonderful Sunday of celebration.

If you want to print out the notes from today’s class. Click on this LINK

Click here to take survey

Review for March 21

I started today’s teaching with “how” doctrine works in my life when affliction, suffering and hardship show up. My goal as we began was to show the precious truth of God’s sovereignty in the hard things that happen life. It happened to Job, it happened to Paul, it happened to Jesus and it will happen to you and me. One of the roles I have as your teacher is to be sure that you are properly instructed in Bible doctrine, so that when the calamity hits and the adversity comes you will bless God and NOT blame God.
Therefore we took a quick tour of Job 1, 2 and 42. And then we traveled to Habakkuk 3:16-19 and finally to Romans 8:28 and Romans 8:18. Here is the point to the first part of the teaching this morning; when you are weak and broken and you rely on Christ in the hardship this is the point where He becomes most glorified in you as you become most satisfied in Him.

From our start we launched into the review of our “March to the Cross.” Here we are looking at the essential doctrines of justification, regeneration and the resurrection as we head toward Easter Sunday on April 6. The notes contained within will be a review and a preview of the coming week. So as time allows I want to encourage you to read through the notes and think in terms of definitions, illustrations and Scriptural support for these doctrines we are going over.



If you want to hear the audio from class on J.I. Packer’s comments on the church. Click on this LINK

If you want to print out the notes from today’s class. Click on this LINK

Proverbs: A Mini-Guide to Life

This is from the Gospel Coalition Website and is an article from Pastor Tim Keller.

In my regular, daily Bible reading over the past year I read through Proverbs 3, a passage I’ve studied and preached through many times. But during this reading, I realized that in verses 3 through 12 we have all the themes of the rest of the book, and therefore a kind of mini-guide to faithful living. There are five things that comprise a wise, godly life. They function both as means to becoming wise and godly as well as signs that you are growing into such a life:

1. Put your heart’s deepest trust in God and his grace. Every day remind yourself of his unconditioned, covenantal love for you. Do not instead put your hopes in idols or in your own performance.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart (Prov 3:3-5a)

2. Submit your whole mind to the Scripture. Don’t think you know better than God’s word. Bring it to bear on every area of life. Become a person under authority.

Lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov 3:5b-6)

3. Be humble and teachable toward others. Be forgiving and understanding when you want to be critical of them; be ready to learn from others when they come to be critical of you.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Prov 3:7-8)
Read More...

Review for March 14

Today we continued in our “March to the Cross” as we again looked closely at the doctrine of justification. After last week a number of people in the class asked if I would continue teaching this particular doctrine. Therefore we are looking at the “doctrine of justification part 2 in our teaching this week. Please understand that in the notes I have included much more than we were able to cover in the class. I would highly recommend that you go through the power point presentation, grab your Bibles in order to mark Bible verses and make some study notes. Also you will find contained within this presentation 6 essential principles you need to learn regarding the doctrine of justification.



To see the entire Paul Washer video called “Jesus Died” just click on this LINK.

If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK

Why should Christians study the Bible?

1. There is no subject that is more worthy of our time.
By the way I meant to ask last night if you were asked to give the subject of the Bible in two words how would you respond?
My answer to that question would be Jesus Christ. Let me give you a quotation from one of the great Bible teachers who taught for many years at Columbia Bible College now known as Columbia International University. His name is Buck Hatch and he now resides with that great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12. Here is a quote directly from Buck Hatch - "What is more important to man than God? He is everything. To know God is the primary, pre‑eminent pursuit of any human. And how is he, man, to study, to know God? God has shut Himself up, as it were, or limited Himself in His revelation to mankind through the channel of the written Word of God ‑ The Bible.
This is the only authentic, true text to which we may turn. Anything God has of Himself or His blessings comes from Himself immediately, directly, and only to a human being through this book, God's Word. Consequently, to know God is to know the Bible; to know the Bible is to know God. If God is all important, then His Word is all important. In other words, The Word of God is as important as God Himself. As far as mankind is concerned, this is true. A hunger for God will mean, must mean, a hunger for the Word of God. Therefore, one must immediately realize if God's Word is as important as God Himself (for by it we can know and understand God), then how we interpret God's Word is just as important as God's Word. We must know exactly what it says so that we may know exactly what God says! This is where correct and accurate Bible study plays its important role."

2. It is a litmus test for us as to determine if we are true disciples of the Lord Jesus.
Check out John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine". Sometimes what I like to do is to contrast what I have just read in order that the truth even be brought into my mind and heart in a more significant way. Therefore based on the verse above would it be fair to say that those who don't continue in His word aren't true disciples! Whoa, now that should really get our attention! By the way the word "continue" in this verse is the Greek word "meno" and it means to reside or stay in. If you cross reference this word it also appears in John 15:4 - "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me". One of the keys for determining whether are true or just professing disciples of the Lord Jesus is do we abide in His word!
Read More...

The Big Picture


We meet at Pat’s house tomorrow night at 7 PM for our men’s Bible study. This is our continued teaching on “How To Study the Bible.” The first thing we must do is lay down a solid Bible grid from Genesis to Revelation. Often Bible study is about looking at one of the pieces of the puzzle. In doing so we get lost in the piece without being able to understand how the piece fits into the whole puzzle. This is week #5 of our winter session. After tomorrow’s Bible study we will take a two week break and then resume our study again.

Review for March 7

Today we looked closely at the doctrine of justification. Over the years I have been privileged to read and study on this subject from a number of different pastors, teachers and theologians. The subject of justification is an ongoing study for me that continues to expand. Through my studies I stumbled upon a book by Charles Leiter called Justification and Regeneration. I found it to be an excellent book that is written for primarily for lay people on these two doctrines. The layout of the 6 essentials of justification that I plan to cover come from Pastor Leiter’s book. I also had to occasion to talk to him on the phone and thank him for his clear writing in this critical area of Bible doctrine. His book is a great tool and would suggest that you add it to your list as a must read.



If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK


Kings of the Southern Kingdom




Click on the pictures to make them larger


As we continue to read through the Bible we are now in 1 Kings. In this book of the Bible we see
the results of the divided kingdom. Here are the kings of the
Southern Kingdom with dates
along with Scripture. This is courtesy of the ESV online study Bible and its maps and charts.


Kings of the Northern Kingdom




Click on the pictures to make them larger

As we continue to read through the Bible we are now in 1 Kings. In this book of the Bible we see
the results of the divided kingdom. Here are the kings of the
Northern Kingdom with dates
along with Scripture. This is courtesy of the ESV online study Bible and its maps and charts.

The God-centeredness of God

The Bible must be read from a God-centered perspective. Even though we can see a plan of the unfolding and progressive redemption of mankind, that redemption is for the glory of God. In this short video clip, Dr. James White provides some excellent insight on “how” we must come to Scripture if we want to understand it.

To watch simply click on this LINK.



Review for February 28



If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK

Review for February 28



If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK

Why the Old Testament

I read a great article today by Iain Campbell on Why the Old Testament? This will help reinforce much of what we talked about at our class retreat earlier this month.

B.B. Warfield famously described the Old Testament as a room “fully furnished but dimly lit.” By that he meant that all the fundamental elements of the gospel were revealed in the Old Testament but awaited the coming of Jesus Christ to bathe that revelation in glorious light. As Jesus walked alongside the Emmaus disciples after the resurrection, He began shining His light on the Scriptures. Who these two were, we do not know; but what they were is evident: “they stood still, looking sad” (Luke 24:17). His diagnosis of their condition was their misinterpretation of the Old Testament and its clear evidence that “the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (v. 26).

If you want to read the whole article simply click on this LINK.

The tabernacle in Exodus

During this past week our Bible reading has also taken us to Exodus 37-40. At the conclusion of Exodus 40 we read the following; 34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

It is helpful while you read through historical narrative to keep a Bible atlas handy for good maps and pictures of things like the Tabernacle.

Click on picture to see larger view

Review for February 21



If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK

If you want to listen to the audio that is part of page 4 (the glory of God) then click on this LINK

Coming this Sunday "The immutability of God"

This Sunday we move to our next subject in our study of the doctrine of God. When is the last time you had some Christian friends over to dinner and then took time to discuss the immutability of God? Well, if it has been awhile this could be just the refresher we need to look at this all important doctrine.

If you would like a PREVIEW for Sunday on the “Immutability of God” then simply click on this LINK.


IF YOU ARE NEW TO OUR COMMUNITY

Listed below are the weekly homework assignments. This is from a post earlier this year but is a good review to keep in mind as we continue in 2010.

Assignment #1 - Read through the entire Bible.
We are presently reading through a 52 week Bible reading plan that gives a specific section of Bible reading on a daily basis.
So for the person that wants to know, what is the homework for the day, I first want to point them to Bible reading plan. Recent church statistics show that over 90% of those within the church have not read through the Bible at least one time. It is harder to teach when there is not an understanding of the Scriptures as a whole. One of the key components the church is missing today in Bible study is being able to see the big picture connection from Genesis to Revelation. In the first month of our class we covered many different aspects of the Bible. One morning I asked the class, "who is the author of Genesis?" Someone spoke up and said "Moses" to which I replied "that is correct."
Then I repeated the question a different way and asked "who is the real Author of Genesis?" At that point someone else spoke up and said "the Holy Spirit" to which I replied "that is correct." So even though the Bible is composed of 66 books with over 40 different authors, there is one mind and one Author that is connecting it all together.
Therefore we should ask questions and know things like; how is Genesis connected to Revelation, Job to Romans, 1 Samuel to Luke? Getting the overall big picture of the Bible is like putting together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. We have all learned that the best way to put together this kind of puzzle in to find all the border pieces first. But not only that, we need to have a picture of the box top. By reading the Bible over and over you are getting the picture of the box top and as you learn Bible doctrine that starts to set the border pieces in place. Over the years I have found many in the church don't understand the following two big picture items in regard to the Bible;

1. What is the overall theme of the entire Bible?
2. What is the overall organizing plan that God has set out from Genesis to Revelation?

Again as in the illustration of the jigsaw puzzle these two items above are like the box top. As you read and re-read the Bible you will start to develop a solid understanding as to the unity of the Scriptures. I am a proponent of exegetical Bible study in which you study individual books of the Bible. But I have found it most helpful instead of picking up a piece of the puzzle and observing it and studying each of the aspects of the puzzle piece, we need to have a good picture of the box top that we study first. Read More...

Men's Bible Study

We meet tomorrow night at Pat's house, 7 PM which is session #2 for our men's Bible study. The goal this year is to study and understand the plot line of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It should become obvious in this study, that without a sound Biblical grid our interpretation will be incorrect. Again, the study of Scripture first begins with understanding how the parts all relate to the whole.

Last week you were given a grid that in the unfolding and progressive redemption of mankind by God. I suggest that you memorize this grid in order to understand how our study will progress. On Tuesday night I will do my best to summarize the entire grid and answer any questions. As we continue in 2010 one of the exciting benefits will be to connect the dots as you read through the Bible. As I said on Sunday there are two important basic foundations that each Christian needs in "how to study the Bible." One is the understanding of the 8 essential doctrines in the Bible, and the second is the progressive redemption of mankind, starting in Genesis and going through Revelation. As the weeks progress we will breakdown the different sections of Scripture, starting with Adam and Eve, then Abraham, followed by Moses, then King David, the prophets and finally Jesus Christ. If you have never totally seen how all this goes together or even better yet if you can't explain it, then come on Tuesday as we learn "how to study the Bible."

Hope to see you tomorrow night at Pat's house - blessings,

Review for February 14

Today we finished the self-sufficiency of God with a focus on application. I want to encourage you to study the notes regarding self-sufficiency of God. Don’t allow what has been planted to shrivel and go away. Be very conscious of this doctrine when you are reading through the Bible. Take the time to write this in the margin of your Bible when you come to verses that confirm it. We have simply scratched the surface in our look at Psalm 50, Isaiah 40:12-17, and Acts 17:24-25. Now that we have invested time learning the doctrine now let’s move to the living.

If you are a regular to this part of our website then be on the lookout for next week’s lesson. We are going to be talking about the immutability of God. Again this is a very critical doctrine to understand as we are knowing God by knowing His word.



If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK

Hard verses in the Bible

I have meant to write earlier in the week but am still decompressing from this weekend. Later on I am hoping to write an article called "reflections from Retreat 2010." This was one of the highlights of my last 12 years in full time ministry. Lots of reasons but that is enough for now.

In yesterday's reading of 2 Samuel 24:1 did you read carefully? I am going to list it for you in several translations below;

  • "Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah." (NIV)
  • "Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, "(Go, number Israel and Judah." (NASB)
  • "Once again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census. “Go and count the people of Israel and Judah,” the Lord told him. (NLT)

Later on in your Bible reading plan you are going to read about the same event in 1 Chronicles 21:1. Here is this verse in the same three versions as listed above.

  • "Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel." (NIV)
  • "Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel." (NASB)
  • "Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel."(NLT)

If I were to ask you who caused David to number Israel and Judah how would you answer?
In this example we see the exact same scenario that plays out in the book of Job Chapters 1 and 2.

Answer - Satan is the secondary agent, but God is always primary.

The actions that David took were under the sovereign control of God, don't argue with that just read 2 Samuel 24:1. But also there is human responsibility on the part of King David because we read in 2 Samuel 24:10 that his heart was troubled due to his sin. Every action is under the sovereign prescription of God but at no time does He ever violate the free will of man. Does that cause your head to hurt? Well it should because that is a mystery that we can see plainly taught in the Bible but our minds can not handle that infinite truth. Allow yourself to be amazed at our God in that we can't figure Him out. His ways are so much higher than our ways and His thoughts beyond our thoughts. Don't bring God down to your ability of understanding Him. Read More...

Ready...Set...Go!


Our men’s Bible study will officially kick off tomorrow February 9, 7 PM at the home of Pat Jones. The subject for this year is learning “how to study the Bible.” If you are in our SS Community may I encourage you to come so that we can learn, discuss and have some fellowship around Christ and His word. This will be a 5 week intensive and then a two week before starting back up again. Here are the dates so you can put them on your calendars.
  • February 9
  • February 16
  • February 23
  • March 2
  • March 9

Connecting the dots...

Did you connect Jeremiah 33 and Luke 1 in your Bible reading? Specifically in Jeremiah 33:14-18 who is this in reference to? Look in the margin of your study Bible and see what the cross reference is for Jeremiah 33:17. This is Jesus Christ, the righteous branch of David and the One who come through the line of David. And why is that important? Because Jesus Christ is the King, the chosen Seed from the promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15 and 17.

Now fast forward to Luke Chapter 1 and see the very fulfillment of this promise. Read again Luke 1:54-55 and you see the reference to the Abrahamic covenant. And then move to Chapter 1 verses 68-73 and you see the reference to the Dividic Covenant and the Abrahamic covenant. How do these two covenants that God initiated in the Old Testament relate to what He is doing in the New Testament? Should we understand how to connect these dots? Do we know how and can we explain what they mean in regard to God's redemption of mankind?

Hey folks, you will notice all through the Bible that God speaks and then God acts. I have heard it explained in these terms what God says He always does! Finally the King has arrived on planet earth and in His person and work will act on behalf of God to save His people from their sins.

Here is just one of many practical examples of see the unfolding plan of God to redeem mankind. Check out what God says in Romans 10:13 - for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." And so we see again that what God says He does!

Our message to the class, community and world is "CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD" for today is the day of salvation!

Review for January 24

This morning I began with an encouragement for those in our class going on the retreat and for others who need to take a retreat. Hopefully this verse will become a tradition for us to look at each year before our time away. We looked at Mark 6:31 And He *said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)

We then continued in our of the doctrine of self-sufficiency. By next week we should conclude with application from what has been learned via the definition, illustrations, and Scriptural support from Isaiah 40:12-17, Exodus 50:4-15 and Acts 17:24-25.


Audio for Slide #5 click on this LINK

Video for Slide #19 click on this LINK

If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK

Beware of "proof texting" the Bible

Over the past year a number of specifics have come up in regard to Bible study. There is a term called “proof texting” that we need to be aware of as we study. Instead of me going into a long explanation at this time, let me suggest you watch the short video posted below. In this video Dr. James White encourages Christians to beware when it comes to certain Bible teachers who "proof text." This can be a form of false teaching where a theological position is supported by using certain Bible passages ripped out of their proper context.

The important principle to grasp from this short video is learning to keep the flow of thought from the author in proper context. This is true of any specific book of the Bible but also true in the flow of thought from Genesis to Revelation. While in seminary a professor once remarked that an atheist said to him that there is no God and the Bible declares that to be true. The person went on to sight the following text from Psalm 14: “...There is no God...” However we need to read the whole verse to keep the entire statement in context and it reads as follows; Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Even though this is a very simple example it still shows how part of a verse can be ripped from context to support a certain point of view.

The dangers of proof texting the Bible; simply click on this LINK. (may take a minute or two to load)

Background for Psalm 51

We are guilty in the evangelical church of NOT reading in context. How many times have I warned in our class about just reading one verse? I continue to encourage you to read the paragraph before and after, but at least the paragraph of the verse itself. Also context can mean understanding the historical background of the passage in order to better understand what the author meant by what he wrote.

Yesterday our Bible reading was in Psalm 51-53. Psalm 51 is the response of king David to God for his sinful actions against Bathsheba and Uriah. Many scholars believe that king David was going to the temple and carrying on as normal for as long as a year. So what does God do? Who does God send? And what is the genre that God uses to get king David's full attention?
Well as you know God sends the prophet Nathan and when Nathan approaches king David he tells him a parable. You can read this in 2 Samuel 12:1-7. But at the conclusion of the parable David says "surely the man who has done this deserves to die." And Nathan turns to the king and says "you are the man." Imagine the facial expression at that moment of king David and what immediately went on in his heart and mind. (Side Note; if you are reading in a NASB study Bible you will notice that in the margin for Psalm 51:1 is a cross reference to 2 Samuel 12:1. Do you see how cross referencing is important to also understanding the overall context?)

Now you have the background for Psalm 51 as you read. But I want you to observe a critical point that the prophet Nathan makes to king David in the following verses;
2Sam. 12:9Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon.
2Sam. 12:10 ‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’

Notice the Hebrew parallelism of this verse and what it means. Nathan is laying out a Biblical principle here that moves far beyond king David and his sin before the LORD. In these two verses, through the inspired writer, here is what we learn; despising the word of God is equivalent to despising God Himself. Could we paraphrase this verse in the following way; ignoring the word of God is equivalent to ignoring God Himself, having no relationship with the word of God is equivalent to having no relationship with God Himself. Maybe in our culture the better way to bring clarity, so as not to get people defensive is to say; a love for God's word means a love for God Himself!


Review for January 17

We live in a culture of self-image, self-worth and self-esteem. I personally for 22 plus years was involved in the saturation of information that taught “anything the man of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve. But the Bible doesn’t talk about self-esteem and yet the pages are filled with God-esteem. Therefore as we come to our continued study in Bible doctrine we are now looking closely at the “self-sufficiency of God.” And specifically this morning we looked at Isaiah 40. Again as I have said in previous articles as you study see if you can define the doctrine, give an illustration and finally support it from the Bible. Next week the plan is to read and study from Psalm 50 and Acts 17. Please read the notes from the teaching session this morning. As we concluded I wasn’t able to develop the meaning of Isaiah 40:17. But in the notes included it should be very clear what the author meant when he wrote this verse. The self-sufficiency of God is critical for us to understand in getting a proper Biblical understanding regarding things like; prayer, evangelism, tithing, and serving. Hope to see you next week as we continue to learn and live the God-centered life.



If you want to print out the notes from a pdf file then simply click on this LINK

Class study curriculum for 2010

I know some of this has been explained before, but allow me to cover again as we fully launch into 2010. The first discipline that I am encouraging each person in our class to accomplish is reading through the entire Bible. Some people have come to me and indicated they need specific steps and homework assignments for our class. In this email I am going to list those for you as I am teaching through Bible doctrine.

Assignment #1 - Read through the entire Bible. We are presently reading through a 52 week Bible reading plan that gives a specific section of Bible reading on a daily basis.
So for the person that wants to know, what is the homework for the day, I first want to point them to Bible reading plan. Recent church statistics show that over 90% of those within the church have not read through the Bible at least one time. It is harder to teach when there is not an understanding of the Scriptures as a whole. One of the key components the church is missing today in Bible study is being able to see the big picture connection from Genesis to Revelation. In the first month of our class we covered many different aspects of the Bible. One morning I asked the class, "who is the author of Genesis?" Someone spoke up and said "Moses" to which I replied "that is correct."
Then I repeated the question a different way and asked "who is the real Author of Genesis?" At that point someone else spoke up and said "the Holy Spirit" to which I replied "that is correct." So even though the Bible is composed of 66 books with over 40 different authors, there is one mind and one Author that is connecting it all together.
Therefore we should ask questions and know things like; how is Genesis connected to Revelation, Job to Romans, 1 Samuel to Luke? Getting the overall big picture of the Bible is like putting together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. We have all learned that the best way to put together this kind of puzzle in to find all the border pieces first. But not only that, we need to have a picture of the box top. By reading the Bible over and over you are getting the picture of the box top and as you learn Bible doctrine that starts to set the border pieces in place. Over the years I have found many in the church don't understand the following two big picture items in regard to the Bible;
1. What is the overall theme of the entire Bible?
2. What is the overall organizing plan that God has set out from Genesis to Revelation?

Again as in the illustration of the jigsaw puzzle these two items above are like the box top. As you read and re-read the Bible you will start to develop a solid understanding as to the unity of the Scriptures. I am a proponent of exegetical Bible study in which you study individual books of the Bible. But I have found it most helpful instead of picking up a piece of the puzzle and observing it and studying each of the aspects of the puzzle piece, we need to have a good picture of the box top that we study first.
Read More...

Review for January 10

We are not trying just to get through the doctrine curriculum in this class but rather get the doctrine curriculum through us. One of my goals as we launch into 2010 is be sure that you know the tools available from our website. We only have 45-50 minutes on Sunday, so the design of the teaching is to provide resources that can help you learn during the week what was taught on Sunday. Unfortunately I have been negligent in teaching the “how to” when it comes to these tools. Therefore the first two weeks of January have been mostly dedicated to website management.
The three core disciplines that have been stressed from day one are:
  • Bible Reading
  • Bible Study
  • Bible Devotion
So the website is organized around those disciplines in a way that can help each person in our class do this during the week. And this leads right into our class mission statement which is;
“We exist as a community to spread a passion for Christ in such a way that His word becomes the food and daily nourishment for learning and living the God-centered life.
A life in which we are transformed by the power of the Spirit, by seeing the face of God in the Lord Jesus Christ!”

As the Bible is read with prepared hearts, the Spirit reveals, leads and guides us into all truth regarding Jesus Christ, which in turn transforms us so that we might manifest the glory of God in our thoughts, words and actions. Can you imagine a class of people, a church of people, a community of people that as Christ honoring, Spirit empowered and God honoring? You might read that and say impossible and to that I would reply, “for man it is impossible but through God all things are possible.”

I mentioned this morning that last week was encouraging because of several stories I heard about personal discipleship. And that is why I decided to do some study on the word “disciple” this week. Read More...

"Go and make disciples"

We in the orthodox church have come to know Matthew 28:19 as the “great commission.” Here is how it reads;
19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Did you know that there is only one verb in the sentence above and it is in the imperative mood, which means the mood of command. It is not the word “GO” that is a participle and it is not the word “BAPTIZING” that also is a participle. The word in the Greek, that is a verb written in the imperative mood is “MAKE DISCIPLES.” In my study I think a good layman’s definition for the word disciple is a learner of Jesus. You could translate the word as teach or instruct and therefore you could define as a teacher of Jesus or an instructor of Jesus. As a matter of fact the KJV uses the word “teach” in the place of “make disciples.” Here we have one of the last things Jesus gives to His disciples in the way of instruction before His ascension. And yet today I it seems to be NOT the great commission but instead the great omission.

Let’s do a little word study on the word “disciple” from the New Testament. Two primary Greek words for disciple in the New Testament are as follows;
  • matheteuo (Strong’s number 3100)
  • mathetes (Strong’s number 3101)

Take our your Strong’s Concordance or a Bible study software and count the number of occurrences of these words in the New Testament. According to my study it comes to 269 times.
Now let’s break it down to the number of times these words occur in the gospels as opposed to the epistles and Revelation.

Matthew-Acts - Number of times disciple occurs 269 times
Romans-Revelation - Number of times disciple occurs 0 times

There is another word for disciple in the New Testament and it is the Greek word “manthano” and it’s Strong’ number is 3129. Here is the breakdown for this word.

Matthew-Acts - Number of times disciple occurs 7 times
Romans-Revelation - Number of times disciple occurs 17 times

If we take all 3 uses of the word for disciple and total them here are the final results;
Matthew-Acts - number of times words for disciple occur - 276 times
Romans-Revelation - number of times words for disciple occur - 17 times

Total number of occurrences from Matthew-Revelation - 293 times Read More...