Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…

As you reflect back upon 2010

It seems that the week after Christmas and prior to the new year is a very good time for reflection. So allow me to ask the following questions:

What kind of year was it for you in terms of spiritual growth in Christ?

Do you know Christ better?

Can you say that you relied on Him more in 2010 than in previous years?

Are others around you noticing the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control to name a few?

Have you made it a practice to preach the gospel to yourself daily?

If one of the pastors did a spiritual CAT scan on your 2010 would it reveal a Martha or Mary type of ministry?

Did you find yourself repenting much or little in 2010?

What idol did you continue to kill in 2010 so that it does not kill you?

Was 2010 a year where you still were seeking the approval of others instead of understanding at the cross Christ approves of you 100%?

The Christmas story and the glory of God

Can you believe we are coming to the end of 2010? I posted on the website this week the first entry I made for 2010, click on this LINK. It starts with a prayerful challenge and ends with a hopeful summary of what the 2010 year might look like as we mature in Christ.
  • What kind of year has it been for you spiritually?
  • Are you engaged in a rich and deep worship of God not just on Sunday but during the week?
  • Do you know the Lord Jesus in such a way, that you are passionately pursuing Him through the word?
  • Is your life marked by the power of the Spirit in dealing with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and those in the church community?
  • In other words, when people leave your presence are they consistently seeing a demonstration of the greatness of the Lord Jesus?

We have been studying the "glory of God' through the Bible based on the following outline;
1. God purpose
2. Man's problem
3. God's provision
4. Man's priority

In the last couple of weeks I have emphasized the first two points in this outline but tomorrow I plan to focus on God's provision. What better way to do this than through the Christmas story given to us in Luke 2:1:20. Therefore, I want to encourage you to pray (preparation of the heart), read (renewing the mind), and devote on (set your minds on things above), these verses as they relate to the glory of God.

For you information this will be our last SS class until January 9, 2011.

Hope to see you all tomorrow, blessings in Christ and Merry Christmas,

Living on overload

As Christians in America we live in a world of meetings, text messages, constant activities, endless social opportunities and 24/7 cable news. It seems that we are distracting ourselves to death.

Have you considered a season of life where you practice Psalm 46:10 - Be still and know that I am God. I came to a blog site where a pastor posted the following questions for his church to consider. After reading these to Nancy this weekend, her suggestion is that we print these out and laminate to have as book marks for our “learning and living” community.

My point in this post is simply this, these are the kind of questions you need to be still before the Lord to consider properly.

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year? Read More...

Questions and Answers

This is from “The Expositor” blog site.

Here are two questions and answers from the Westminster Larger Catechism

Q. 159. How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?

A. They that are called to labour in the ministry of the Word, are to preach sound doctrine, diligently,in season and out of season; plainly, not in the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers; zealously, with fervent love to God and the souls of his people; sincerely, aiming at his glory, and their conversion, edification, and salvation.

Q. 160. What is required of those that hear the Word preached?

A. It is required of those that hear the Word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine what they hear by the Scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the Word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.

Orthodox vs. Liberalism

The following quiz and answers may give you a good idea as to whether you are an evangelical orthodox or liberal:

Is the focus of Christianity what happens inside of you or what happens outside of you in history?

Is Jesus in your heart more important than Jesus in the manger, on the cross and on His throne?

Is Easter primarily about Jesus in your heart or Jesus being raised bodily on the third day?

Do you think of faith more as an inner experience than God's gift that is delivered to you through an external gospel?

Can you say that your faith has some value even if the empty tomb is not a historical fact?

Do you believe what you feel over the gospel of what you hear?

Do you think that people are basically good and just need better advice for how to live?

Do you think the essence of Christianity are deeds and not creeds?

Thanks to Michael Horton from the WhiteHorse Inn for these questions

6 Questions for Bible Study

J.I. Packer gives us 6 questions we need to consider when we come to and study a section of Scripture.

(1) What do these words actually mean?

(2) What light do other scriptures throw on this text? Where and how does it fit in to the total biblical revelation?

(3) What truths does it teach about God, and about man in relation to God?

(4) How are these truths related to the saving work of Christ, and what light does the gospel of Christ throw upon them?

(5) What experiences do these truths delineate, or explain, or seek to create or cure? For what practical purpose do they stand in Scripture?

(6) How do I apply them to myself and others in our own actual situation? To what present human condition do they speak, and what are they telling us to believe and do?

J.I.Packer, Among God’s Giants: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, p138

10 Questions

Ryan Townsend contributes some excellent questions that require prayerful consideration.

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your Bible reading, study and devotion time this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

The Christian Life

If you are not only attending our community on Sunday but studying with us then here is where we are. In the last 4 weeks we have covered for the most part the flow of thought from the apostle Paul in Romans 6:1-10. Last week the goal was to take the word “baptism” and study it in order to better understand its meaning. Again we are trying to interpret the text based on what the author meant by what he wrote. Everyone has a different learning style but I know many that like to review by answering questions.

So my challenge for you is to answer the following questions from Romans 6:1-10.

Question #1 - How do we arrive at Romans 6? (give a brief review for Romans 1-5)

Question #2 - What observations can we make about “how” Paul writes Romans?

Question #3 - How should Romans 6 be titled and outlined?

Question #4 - Why is it necessary for Paul to write Romans 6?

Question #5 - What are the key phrases or words in Romans 6?

Question #6 - What does “died to sin” mean for the Christian?

Question #7 - What word picture does Paul use to illustrate “died to sin?”

Question #8 - How does Romans 6:10 summarize section one?

Question #9 - How would you explain the word baptize in Romans 6:3? Read More...

Basic Bible study

For the past couple of weeks we have been studying “Practical Christian Living” from Romans 6. As we study together I thought it might be helpful to list some questions to consider as you come to various sections of Scripture. Again the goal of Bible study is to understand what the author meant by what he wrote. In Bible hermeneutics the cardinal rule is as follows: there can be one and only one meaning for each Scripture but many applications of that Scripture. So with that in mind let’s look at some key questions to ask as one comes before the text.

1. Who wrote/spoke the passage and to whom was it addressed?

2. What does the passage say?

3. Are there any words or phrases in the passage that need to be examined?

4. What is the immediate context?

5. What is the broader context in the chapter and book?

6. What are the related verses to the passage’s subject and how do they affect the understanding of this passage?

7. What is the historical and cultural background?

8. What do I conclude about the passage?

9. Do my conclusions agree or disagree with related areas of Scripture and others who have studied the passage?

10. What have I learned and what must I apply to my life?