Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…
Bible Study

Review for June 5

This morning I finished teaching on the Doctrine of Salvation. In the last several weeks I have focused on faith but today was about GRACE. The grace we see in the gospel is counter-intuitive and as one writer says it is the kind of grace that messes up your hair. God's grace offends our deepest sensibilities. We are seasoned do it yourselfers. We are desperate to do something, as Americans we live by the phrase “if if’s to be then it is up to me.” Grace scares us to death because it absolutely has nothing to do with us and our efforts. We love self glory.

Grace wrestles control out of our hands. We love formula's and strategies because again they give us a sense of control. All one has to do is look at the best selling Christian books such as: The prayer of Jabez, The purpose driven life and Your Best Life Now, 7 Steps to fulfill your potential. These books talk about strategies of “HOW” we can do it. But grace talks about “HOW” God does it!

The culture we live in is very conditional. I do certain things for you and in return I expect certain things from you. We here about the unconditional grace of God but we live very conditionally in our personal lives. So if you succeed, accomplish, become involved to the point of achievement then you will be applauded and thought well of by those around you. But God’s grace is not based on any condition in us and therefore we refer to it as unconditional. Do you see why this doesn’t make sense to us? If I have been taught that who I am is based on what I do, then I will become very performance based in my living. And part of the problem we deal with in the church today is having people more focused on what they need to do rather than learning to rest in what has been done. Can you hear people in the church saying what are you talking about? If these people just rest in the finished work of Christ then they will become theological egg heads that just sit around and do nothing. It may help to remember one of the great quotes form Martin Luther who said that we are justified by faith alone but that faith is never alone. In other words when people understand, embrace and learn what has been done by Christ via His death and resurrection that becomes the foundation that motivates them to love and good deeds. As grace falls and joy rises the natural behavior for the Christian is to be active and involved in the body of Christ. Continue reading…

Review for May 29

In the last 3 years I have said “I am not as interested in us going through this teaching on doctrine as I am in this teaching of doctrine going through us. And that we the case today as I only covered a fraction of the material in these Power Points slides in regard to SANCTIFICATION.

Hopefully you can read through these notes prior to our class next week.

SBS Class May292011

If you would like to listen to the audio of today’s class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for May 22

Today we finished up on the “Doctrine of Faith” as it relates to the doctrine of salvation. For the past several weeks we have been considered the following questions in regard to this doctrine.

1. Why is it important to understand faith? (man’s perspective)
2. What is faith?
3. What does “saving”faith look like from the Bible?
4. How does this faith work?
5. Why is it important to understand faith (God’s perspective)

Our focus was on the phrase “FAITH CREDITED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS” in Romans 4. Here are notes that capture the review from the last few weeks plus the lesson covered this morning.
SBS Class May222011

If you would like to listen to the audio for Sunday’s class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for May 15

SBS Class May 15, 2011

Slide #3 is the audio on the survey taken “what does justification mean?” To listen CLICK ON THIS LINK.

If you would like to listen to the audio for Sunday’s class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Here are the study notes on FOREKNOWLEDGE simply CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for May 8

On Sunday we looked at John 6:37-40 and discussed the following things from this critical section of Scripture on how saving faith works.

Spiritual Truth #1
God gives those who are His own to Jesus

Scriptural proof
John 6:37
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me”

John 6:39
“…all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day”

Spiritual Truth #2
Because God gives them to Jesus they come (believe)

Scriptural proof
John 6:37 "all that the Father gives Me will come…"
Remember to keep the words come and believe as the same as used in this context.

Spiritual Truth #3
Those who are given to Jesus are those that come to Jesus and they are also eternally kept by Jesus.

Scriptural proof - John 6 verse 37 and 39 and 40
The giving and the coming is the work of God the Father and the keeping is the work of God the Son.Continue reading…

Review for April 17


If you would like to listen to the audio for this class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for April 10

SBS Class April 102011

If you would like to listen to the audio for this class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for April 3

SBS Class April 32011

If you would like to listen to today’s class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

If would like to listen to the audio played in class today featuring Dr. John MacArthur then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review of March 27

This morning was Part 1 on the Doctrine of Sin as it relates to our series on the gospel. Thanks again to Ann Tarwater for her excellent work in this area for the church.

Even though we didn’t make it through all the material, the goal was to answer the following five questions:
  • What is Sin? (Definition and Biblical Support)
  • What do we need to understand about Sin?
  • What is the Fall? (also called Original Sin)
  • What is the Scriptural support for consequences of Sin?
  • How does this apply to our lives?
The Doctrine of Sin

Review for March 13

SBS Class March 132011

If you would like to see the video shown at the end of class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

If you would like to listen to the audio for today’s class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for March 6

SBS Class March 62011

To hear the audio “What is the Gospel” then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

If you would like to listen to audio from today’s class then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for February 20

Isaiah Chapter 6

Review for February 13

This past Sunday we continued to study the holiness of God. We are learning that this communicable attribute gives us some keen insight into the transcendence of God. In a day and time when much preaching and teaching has an over emphasis as to the love of God, this study regarding holiness helps to give us a healthy theological balance.

These notes will serve to cover our discussion and teaching next week as we look more specifically at Isaiah Chapter 6.
I think this is an excellent transition to the gospel series that will be starting officially on March 6 and run through Easter Sunday on April 24.

If you want the notes from our study on the holiness of God then CLICK ON THIS LINK
If you would like to see the video clip that was featured on Sunday simply CLICK ON THIS LINK

If you would like to listen to the audio simply CLICK ON THIS LINK

Review for January 30

This morning we got back to the communicable attributes of God. And our focus was on the holiness of God. I really enjoy studying and teaching on this particular subject. In the 1700s the main emphasis of the preaching included the attributes of holiness and justice. Of course we need a healthy balance between the holiness of God and the love of God. But today we are in danger of having a God presented to congregations that is defanged and tame. I encourage you to read through these notes and study along with us as we take a close look at the holiness of God.
SBS Class January 30, 2011

If you would like to listen to the audio from Sunday’s class simply CLICK ON THIS LINK

Review for January 23

On January 9 we discussed three of our REFLECT and RENEW points:
  • Knowing Christ
  • Faith in Christ
  • Fruit from Christ
And as part of the teaching lesson for that week I wanted to show the importance of God's word as it relates to know, faith and fruit in our Christian lives.

January 16th we continued with two more REFLECT and RENEW points.
  • Preaching the gospel to yourself
  • A look at a Martha and Mary type ministry
I started the class with a devotion time in Genesis 17. The point was to show “how” to have a devotion and its importance for our everyday Christian living.

This past Sunday I decided to do something a little bit different based on a discussion with Pat mid week. As many of you know we have a men’s Bible study that meets on Tuesday nights. Presently we are learning “How to Study” a book in the Bible. In our first week we talked about the importance of the AUTHOR’S BACKGROUND as we study the book of Philemon. It hit me that the apostle Paul was willing to use any method necessary to bring about reconciliation between Onesimus (slave) and Philemon (slave owner). Therefore I presented what we went over Tuesday night at the men’s study, and then made a strong appeal for those in the class to join us for Retreat 2011.

I also gave some snippets in class about the importance of preaching the gospel.
  • The gospel is "Jesus has done", not "you must do."
  • The gospel frees you from your addiction to be liked.
  • The banner under which Christians live reads “It is finished.”"Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God." Martin Luther
  • If you spend your time and energy criticizing others, you will become a slave to always having to be right. Only the gospel can set you free
  • The way a non-Christian becomes a Christian and the way we grow as Christians are actually the same – believing the gospel more and more.
  • Because Jesus was strong for me, I’m free to be weak; because He won for me, I’m free to lose; because He succeeded for me, I'm free to fail
  • The gospel frees me from the bondage of spending time and energy trying to control what others think about me.
  • The gospel frees you from the pressure to pretend that you're better than you are!
  • The only way to teach people about the unconditional love of God is to love people unconditionally.
If you would like to review the notes from Sunday then simply CLICK ON THIS LINK.

If you would like to listen to the audio from Sunday then CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Review for January 16

On Sunday our class was divided into two main sections:
Part 1 - Devotion time in Genesis 17
Part 2 - Reflect and Renew Questions

My constant admonishment and appeal for this community has been “get back into God’s word so that God’s word can get back into you.” Therefore on Sunday I wanted to take some time to talk about “HOW” to have a devotion. As I have said in the past and I reemphasized again on Sunday, the key element in Bible devotion is the preparation of the heart. So instead of talking about heart preparation I led us in a prayer of preparation prior to the devotion time in Genesis. I also started the men’s Bible study on Tuesday night with the same encouragement and even posted this prayer online for your edification.

Then with hearts prepared I simply read Genesis 17 and made some comments of observation as we collectively had a time of Bible devotion. I have found over the years that my devotion time is also prayer time. As God speaks to me through His word, I in turn speak to God. But I constantly find myself asking for a measure of faith that I understand is given by grace, in order that through the Spirit I might be able to know Christ, be transformed into His likeness unto the glory of God. As I pointed out on Sunday Genesis 17 reminds me of my spiritual rebirth. There is no way that Sarah could produce a child in her barren womb, just like there was no way for me to get born again through my efforts. As a matter of fact God was very displeased with Abraham for producing a child of the flesh (Ishmael) instead of waiting on the child of promise (Isaac). My correlation is today in many churches there are attempts in the flesh to get people converted. The only person that can save you is Jesus Christ. And Genesis 17 points me to the fact that only God can bring life into existence where before there was nothing. Check out this statement from Romans 4:17 “... God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. “ And this is exactly how God worked in the life of each person who was once lost and now is saved. He brought life into existence through the Spirit who takes out the heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. We call this rebirth or what it means to be born again. And isn’t it wonderful that we can see the pointer to this Biblical truth in Genesis 17.

In the REFLECT and RENEW part of our class we looked more closely at the following questions:
  • Have you made it a practice to preach the gospel to yourself daily?
  • If one of the pastors or elders did a spiritual CAT scan on your 2010 would it reveal a Martha or Mary type of ministry?
Continue reading…


Do you remember the days of going on a car trip with no GPS device of any kind? There was a time you could actually head to somewhere like Hartford Connecticut and get lost along the way. Believe it or not Nancy and I honeymooned in Hartford, long story but I got lost along the way. What if I after getting turned around, I was headed straight to Florida and but thought all the time I was going to Hartford Connecticut? Yes, I knew exactly where I was going but now am driving at 70 mph in exactly the opposite direction. The problem isn't that I don't know where I am going, the problem is that I don't know where I am. This coming Sunday, Lord willing, we continue to reflect upon 18 questions in order to ask "WHERE AM I RIGHT NOW" in my Christian life. Again this is NOT for you to ask where you THINK you are but rather where you REALLY are.

Last Sunday I covered the first three "REFLECT AND RENEW" points;
1. Knowing Christ
2. Faith in Christ
3. Fruit from Christ

In each of these categories on Sunday I listed a number of Scriptures for you to study. One point that I wanted each of you to see was the importance of God's word as it relates to "WHERE YOU ARE" in your walk with Christ. I have been by God's grace married to Nancy for 34 years. This is a woman that I know better than any woman on planet earth. I don't just know about Nancy that she is a native of Charlotte, her mother is Dabney, and her father is Bill. But I know her favorite songs, restaurants. places to travel, friends and yes, even her love for shoes. I really know this woman and enjoy spending time with her. If we can understand this at the husband/wife level, then certainly it makes since in our relationship with Christ. The absolute best way for me to know Jesus Christ is to know His word. If I love Christ I will love to pursue Him as I read, devote and study the word of God because this is the revelation of Christ! Over the years in Bible teaching others have asked me in private conversations regarding the assurance of salvation. The conversation normally starts with I have a friend...and it concludes with what is the best way to know if they are a genuine believer. It seems that I always go back to two basics; what is the person's relationship to sin and what is the person's relationship with God's word. We learned on Sunday that eternal life in knowing Christ and no disciple can truly know Him without knowing His word. Continue reading…

Review for January 9

Launch 2011 - Reflect and Renew

If you want to listen to the audio from today’s class simply CLICK ON THIS LINK.