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Our Life in Christ

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Welcome to Pathways

Why is this calls called, ‘Pathways’?

Psa. 85:13 Righteousness will go before Him,

And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

Prov. 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life,

And in its pathway there is no death.

Jer. 18:15 “Because My people have forgotten Me,

They have burned incense to worthless idols.

And they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways,

From the ancient paths,

To walk in pathways and not on a highway,

Job 13:27 You put my feet in the stocks,

And watch closely all my paths.

You set a limit for the soles of my feet.

Job 33:11 He puts my feet in the stocks,

He watches all my paths.’

Psa. 16:11 You will show me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psa. 23:3 He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Psa. 25:4 Show me Your ways, O LORD;

Teach me Your paths.

Psa. 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth,

To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.

Psa. 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet

And a light to my path.

In reality, the gate to this path is narrow:

Matt. 7:13   “aEnter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

The world would have you believe the opposite. There is only one way to God and that is through Christ. Do you believe in the Christ of the bible? God’s word tells us that there are many false Christs.

Matt. 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

This class is designed to help you discern that which is true and that which is false.

1 Cor 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

Would you know how to defend that which you hold dear if you were called on it? Do you understand what you believe? Why you believe? What it actually means to believe? You are aware that the demons believe and yet, they are not going to Heaven. There is a great difference in types of belief. Only one saves; it is imperative that you have this information onboard as it is what supplants that which you confess. You might say, Scott, but ‘knowledge does not save!’ I would answer, yes and no. Later on in this class semester we will address things like this and why what you believe does in fact play a part. For instance, if you deny the Trinity, could it be said that you hold to the gospel? How about works? If you believe they attribute even one iota to the work of Christ, you may still be in your sin.

Having said that, this class will definitely try and challenge you to look deep into your belief system. We will attempt to cover all the aspects of biblical theology.

The Believers Life in Christ

God in His word manifests himself ready at all times to allow us this privilege. He sits on a throne of grace, and there is no veil to hide this throne and keep us from it. The veil is rent from the top to the bottom. The way is open at all times, and we may go to God as often as we please. Although God be infinitely above us, yet we may come with boldness. Heb. 4:14, 16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” How wonderful is it that such worms as we should be allowed to come boldly at all times to so great a God!

~Jonathan Edwards

Prayer for wisdom

Lets pray.

My God and King; Please lend your ear to our prayers; please be with us as we endeavor to know the lofty things of your word-assist us to know you better-assist us to see truth-give us eyes to see more of your glory even now. Fill us now with your Holy Spirit as we can do nothing apart from you, awaken us rightly as we know you are present and it is you who speak through your weakened vessel and servants. May this short study, surely bring many to a deeper understanding of your ways and grace. To your glory alone,
In Jesus name, Amen.

Introduction; There will be an abundant supply of scripture here in this class. There is a handout so that you may follow along.

Scripture, as we know is God speaking directly to us-we will appreciate it for such. We will meditate on it for the time we are here and of course you are encouraged to reread this material through out the week.

This class is an open forum of sorts; we are working through this material together. The Christian walk is a faithful process that brothers and sisters, while growing in grace, exhort one another and assist as the needs arise. One of those ways is chewing on the meat of the word together. Iron sharpening iron! If there are questions, please raise your hand and we will do the best to get an answer for you.

Having said that,

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

They overcame him, the evil one by the word of their testimony! I am a firm believer that the Presbyterian Church could benefit from a portion set aside, whether it be on the Lords day or possibly on our Wednesday evening meetings to hear testimonies unto the glory of God; I sat under John MacArthur for a season years ago when I was training to become Presbyterian. They had testimonies after baptisms-it was quite profitable to Gods people.

Short testimony: A little about myself. I was born in Hartford Conn. I am 54 yrs old.. I was born into a split religion family-my mother was Jewish, my Dad Roman Catholic. Neither of them attended church nor temple. Neither of them were educated beyond High School-they were tradesmen. They never stressed education, as it was not part of their upbringing. My family was very poor when I was young; in Gods providence, we had food and shelter. My parents had my brothers and me in a parochial setting and we attended the Immaculate Conception School. The nuns were tough and I took many a needed whack. On holidays, for those who are Jewish, we ate kugal and Turkey. In 1973 we moved due to my Dad being a painter-the weather in Connecticut did not allow for him to work during the winter, so we moved to Fl. He landed a job in the school board here in Broward. I attended Coconut Creek High. After high school I went into the US Army and then the US Air Force-it was there that I got my training in the medical field. I function daily as a nurse case manager for a large insurance firm here in Broward county. I enjoy my work.

I am a self taught laymen, although I have sat under some fine men of the faith. At 34 a friend of mine whom worked out at the same gym invited me to church. I rejected her request a number of times. I believe, on the third request, I accepted to meet her for a Wednesday evening meeting. It was then, as I look back now, the moment God regenerated me-but who is to really know about these things-they are highly deep-too deep for mere mortals-but that’s what I believe; much like the Apostle Paul, I was turned in my tracks and then followed Him who called. Upon meeting my friend on that great day, a miraculous thing occurred- I always knew the gospel message-even as a child. God used the information I had onboard to bring me to Himself. For His glory. At the time, I didn’t even own a book other than an illicit magazine or two-now I have a library of over 500 books.

In the past, my ministries have been focused on the down and out and substance abusers. It fits in well with my nursing. Additionally, I feel more at home with the less fortunate and can understand many of their issues based upon my past. The down and out have been stripped of expectations-I see this as vital soil for the gospel, though , I have seen very few come to faith under the blindness of substance abuse. Lots of seeds planted in the very least.

I am married to my dear best friend, Tina. We have a daughter Zoe. I have two daughters from a previous marriage-they are unsaved-please pray for them if the thought comes to mind. I work during the week for an insurance firm as a field nurse case manager. My hobbies include: Gods word, diet and nutrition, reading, dialoging, (I created a web dialoging group called PuritanBoard), I am fond of FB as a tool to witness, cooking. Working out when time allows. I am a Boston sports fan. I like comedy although my jokes are pretty bad. I laugh most heartily at myself. I am a bit obsessive/compulsive-you may see this as we work through some of the materials. Much like you, I am unfinished in Christ and have many shortcomings-please forgive me now as the day will come when I let you down in some fashion. Sadly to say, it is true.

Scripture proofs for studying

 

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

Heb 5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Acts 17:11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

Accountability;

1 Thes 5:13 “Test all things”. No one should take for granted that what they are told is etched in stone, from the pulpit or wherever. We should all test what we are told against the true plumb line-Gods word! Don’t misunderstand me, we have a blessed church, apt teachers, however, even they will tell you, encourage you to check them against the scriptures to see if they are true.

 

Isaiah 66:5  Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word….

1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever

2Pet. 1:19 So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

WCF ch 1 *Make mention of what a creed and a confession is. 

CHAP. I. – Of the Holy Scripture.1. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manner, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing: which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these,

OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Genesis Ecclesiastes
Exodus The Song of Songs
Leviticus Isaiah
Numbers Jeremiah
Deuteronomy Lamentations
Joshua Ezekiel
Judges Daniel
Ruth Hosea
1 Samuel Joel
2 Samuel Amos
1 Kings Obadiah
2 Kings Jonah
1 Chronicles Micah
2 Chronicles Nahum
Ezra Habbakkuk
Nehemiah Zephaniah
Esther Haggai
Job Zechariah
Psalms Malachi
Proverbs

OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

The Gospels according to: 1 Thessalonians
Matthew 2 Thessalonians
Mark 1 Timothy
Luke 2 Timothy
John Titus
The Acts of the Apostles Philemon
Paul’s Epistles to the Romans The Epistle to the Hebrews
1 Corinthians The Epistle of James
2 Corinthians I and II Epistles of Peter
Galatians I, II, and III Epistles of John
Ephesians The Epistle of Jude
Phillipians The Revelation of John
Colossians

All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.

3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.

*However, many secular writings of church history may be profitable for varied reasons, i.e. Josephus’ Works.

  1. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverend esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.

7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

The Westminster Larger Catechism states:

Question 3: What is the Word of God?

Answer: The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.

Question 4: How does it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?

Answer: The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of God.

Question 5: What do the Scriptures principally teach?

Answer: The Scriptures principally teach,: What man is to believe concerning God, and: What duty God requires of man.

 Life in Christ

Question 66 of the Westminster Larger Catechism reads:

What is that union which the elect have with Christ?

Answer: The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God’s grace, whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband; which is done in their effectual calling.

Calvin writes:

We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal (Rom. 14:8; cf. 1 Cor. 6:19)….

Let this therefore be the first step, that a man depart from himself in order that he may apply the whole force of his ability in the service of the Lord. I call ‘service’ not only what lies in obedience to God’s Word but what turns the mind of man, empty of its own carnal sense, wholly to the bidding of God’s Spirit.” 
Institutes (3.7.1)

What our life in Christ is not:
It is not like the religiosity that the Roman church is bound to; ours is one of grace. Ours is one of love and dependence-much like a child to it’s father. Is our life in Christ a bed of roses? No. Would it be odd if things get more difficult? Will my life be abundant? According to Gods will it will be abundant-possibly not according to a secular definition of abundance-most things that believers experience are spiritual; sure there are other things that are tangible in our lives that are a direct result of God decreeing a thing, but the mass effect is on the heavenly and spiritual realm. Can I expect all my prayers to be fulfilled and answered? No. Sometimes a no answer is an answer. God surely hears all your prayers. Will all my problems go away? I have an illness, will God take that away? Possibly-God is a God of miracles. What about faith healers-I was planning on going to a Benny Hinn revival! No!

Well, to answer simply-God is not a genie in a bottle that is in glory waiting on answering your prayer that the Dolphins get an interception. He is not really looking for your keys. His decrees are set-He is not double minded. Surely, the fragrances of Gods glory and His son Jesus’ victory are an aroma sweet to our senses-the promise of Heaven is exuberayting! We have been reconciled to Christ-it is a washing, it is freeing. The freedom that comes with the power of the Holy Spirit residing within you is enabling. Many Groups that call themselves Christian have polluted the doctrine and have led many astray in believing that if you don’t have a high priced car or the best clothes or a high dollar estate, you must be in sin-you must not be tithing enough-your lacking anything is from a deficiency in you, not God. The result of your faith is seen in what you have-if you haven’t been physically blessed, you must be cursed for some kind of sin you’re entertaining. While some of this idea could be true, as a whole, seen through the eyes of these aberrant groups, it is false. It is of course not biblical-it is unorthodox and a lie from the pit. We will have trials and tribulations. We may have little in some ways and more than many in others. Ours is not measured in human terms. In this, we are abundant. In this we are rich. In this we are royalty. My Father is a King and I will surely sit with Him at the largest royal banquet which no man has seen,; with music that no ear has heard; with food that is plentiful beyond compare.

In regards to the Christian life, Jesus Himself warned:

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

James 1:2-4
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Our life in Christ will make this fallen life tolerable-remember, this is not our home. It does not erase completely the stench that the fall has caused. There is resolve-not removal. For those that believe that there is complete resolve, please refer to the praying saint that has worn out the knees of his pants and toes of his shoes as he prays for glorification from a burning cancer not yet abated in this life. But soon, very soon, we will see the goal and victory; then can we say, look, it is He. The lofty one-He is high and lifted up- Look! His glory, his train, it fills the temple.!

The apostle Paul writes:

“Rom_12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

1 Corinthians 7:28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you. (1Co 7:28 NKJ)

2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2Co 1:4 NKJ)

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Co 4:17 NKJ)

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (Jam 1:27 NKJ)

The contrast to this suffering is:

 1 Pet 5:10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

John 1:16
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

How is this grace for grace measured practically?

Gal 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Rom 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

 What our life in Christ is:

We are called to a life of Holiness

What is Holiness?

Holiness means to be set apart; the separation from sin and consecration to God

Pastor Joel Beeke writes:

(*Pastor of Heritage Netherlands reformed Congregation)

Grand rapids Mi.

“The call to holiness is wholistic. That means, our whole life is involved—soul and body, for time and eternity. And that, in every sphere of life in which we are called to move: in privacy with God, in the confidentiality of our homes, in the com- petition of occupational work, in the pleasures of social friendship, as well as in Sunday worship. The call to holiness is a seven-day-per-week, 365-day-per-year call. It is radically comprehensive; as such, the call to holiness belongs to the core of religious faith and practice.”

1 Peter 1:16 Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Pet 1:15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.

Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

Heb 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Horatius Bonar writes:

“Holiness is likeness to God, to Him who is the Holy One of Israel, to Him whom they laud in heaven, as “Holy, holy, holy” (Rev 4:8). It is likeness to Christ, to “that Holy Thing” which was born of the virgin, to Him who was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb 7:26). It is not only disjunction from evil, and from an evil world; but it is separation unto God and Ills service. It is priestly separation, for priestly service. It is distinctiveness such as that which marked the tabernacle and all its vessels, separation from every common use: separation by blood, “the blood of the everlasting covenant,” this blood (or that which it signifies, namely, death) being interposed between us and all common things, so that we are dead to sin, but alive unto God, alive to righteousness, having died and risen in Him whose blood has made us what we are, saints, holy ones.”

How does the believer obtain Holiness practically? Prayer, studying the scriptures, meditating on that which you learn here, attending church, taking the sacraments, all of these things facilitate holiness.

We are new creations in Christ Jesus

New? What do you mean?

Defined: A change in status from standing guilty before God to standing righteous before him

Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

New creations? Yes, God is responsible for all of your salvation-He created you specifically for His glory. It is monegistic. It is heaven-downward, or as John 3:3 says ‘anothen’ from above. You are new, the old has passed and the new has arrived. You are no longer a slave to sin, but a slave to almighty God.
We are called to a life of obedience

 Luke 6:45: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

Psalm 37:31: “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”
Proverbs 2:10,11: “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.”

James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

You may be thinking, I try hard to be obedient! Quit trying so hard. Rest in Christ. Give Him your burdens as His burdens are lite. God will complete the work. He does not assign tasks so that they fail. Pray more. Fast.Memorize scripture.

1st Commandment: Thou shall have no other Gods before me

We are called to walk in newness of life. A tangible transformation should have occurred

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Rom 6:4 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Our previous life was not to God. One of the results of regeneration is that we have a change of heart-deep down in ourselves, a miracle has occurred. Our thinking, our actions are not the same as previously. We, like the deer, pant after God like water to our soul-and we must drink it in, all of it. If you are not walking in this newness of life, if you don’t believe a miracle has occurred, I would suggest seeking God prayerfully-seek after the field and find that pearl of great price so that you may have this newfound freedom-freedom that only comes through Christ and his regeneratory power!

We are called to live a life of faith

Heb 11: 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

The WCF ch 14

The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls,1 is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,2 and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word;3 by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein;1 and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands,2 trembling at the threatenings,3 and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come.4 But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong;1 may be often and many ways assailed and weakened, but gets the victory;2 growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ,3 who is both the author and finisher of our faith.4

We’re called to a life filled w/ the Holy Spirit

2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Gal 5:22-23 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Eph 5;18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

We should always start our days w/ requests unto the father to be filled w/ the HS.

Luke 11 says: 11“Which of you fathers, if your son asks fora fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

1 Thessalonians 1:5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power,with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be mywitnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the  

 

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so thatyou may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy SpiritPractically speaking, most people are more concerned with the way their hair looks than their

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.Spiritual battery. How can you do battle apart from Gods spirit? We must remain plugged into the source of this power.

Romans 12:1 So much can be said of worship. There is personal worship, family worship, formal worship in the corporate setting. One could speak for days on the Regulative principle of worship! Whatever the case, God commands and demands worship. It is always vertical. It is meant for God-not ourselves. I have heard it said before that ‘the worship is dead here’! It is a misconception of sorts that worship should be reciprocating or horizontal. Many times worship is seen as the types of music used during the corporate meeting and it’s ability to lull the listener into an emotional frenzy. What is one to say of a church in a place off the beaten path that has no musicians and sings acapella ? Is there worship any less sanctified or accepted than ours? Any less Worthy? God measures the worthiness-He measures the accuracy of our worship. Accuracy??? Yes, there is a prescription to worship that can be found in scripture. This will be discussed later on in the course.

Hebrews 10:25
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

*This passage is speaking in terms of our responsibility to attend formal worship in the local church, i.e. the visible/local expression of the church-not to be confused with the invisible/universal church across the globe and over time; this is an important distinction that needs to be emphasized-many people get this all on it’s ear and think that staying home is ok as they are ‘meeting with the universal church’. That’s not what this passage means. When the local church meets, we should meet. The new Testament church at times erred, much like many in this age; the writer of Hebrews spoke about it, rightly. More on the visible vs invisible distinction later in the course.

Ours should be a life of self denial-Carry your cross! Calvin writes:

“we are not to seek our own, but the Lord’s will, and act with a view to promote his glory”

2 Cor 5:14 New Living Translation: Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.

KJV: For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

Our lives should be filled with good works

John Battle writes:

1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy Word, and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.

It is possible to be mistaken about what God considers as good works (Matt 15:9; John 16:2; Rom 10:2). Even though someone might be sincere, he may still be sinning against God even while he thinks he is pleasing God, as King Saul did (1 Sam 15:21-23).

The best way to know we are doing good works is to follow the instructions in the Bible (Josh 1:7-8).

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Eph 1:3-4 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Ours should be a life of missions

Matthew 28:19–20 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Much can be said of missions and missionaries. We will go into more depth later on in this course in regards to who are missionaries, what the mission field is, how one is sent officially from an overseeing body, the differences between witnessing and the commission itself.

Life that never ends

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Matt 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Man was created to live forever. Men will live eternally in one of two places. All will live eternally-either w/ God in glory or in Hell apart form God. In holiness or in darkness. Basking in the glow of Gods glory or seeing it from afar and not being able to touch it ever!

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