Don’t Teach Feelings

April 18, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Last time, I discussed the problem of teaching Bible stories to children as though they are fables. Now we will see another concern that surfaces in many children’s Bible lessons: the emphasis on feelings.

Bible lessons are not therapy sessions. They are not really supposed to be opportunities for children to explore their emotions or feelings. Often, a children’s Bible lesson will have an “application” section so that the teacher can ask the child, “How do you think Jonah felt when was about to be thrown overboard? How do you think Jesus feels when you disobey?” And so forth.

Our feelings are not trustworthy, and it is better that our children understand, at a very early age, that the Bible is a book of absolute truth, not a sounding board for our opinions or feelings.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9

A child should not be encouraged to see himself as the hero in every Bible story. Quite the opposite: he should be encouraged to see himself as the SINNER in every Bible story. Our feelings (just like our wills and our intellects) are fallen. That are bent toward self-glorification, self-justification, and self-interpretation. The hard thing about teaching children is not building up their self-esteem. The hard thing is replacing it (not tearing it down) with esteem for God. Our job as parents, or as children’s Bible teachers, is to utterly convince them that He is absolutely supreme. This task will face its toughest obstacle not in convincing them that He is supreme over the weather, the government, their earthly heroes, us, or even death and the grave. It will be convincing them that He is absolutely supreme over THEM.

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Proverbs 28:26

“Just trust your heart,” says Walt Disney. “Follow your heart,” says Cinderella or the little mermaid. “Listen to your heart,” says OprahNO! Trusting and following your heart will make you a fool and may cut you off from God’s help. In grace, you will fail quickly, but in His judgment He may let you have your own way, and you do not want to have your own way over God’s way. Walk wisely and you will figure life out on your own? No. Walk wisely and you will learn from experience? No. Walk wisely and you will be what? DELIVERED, which means rescued by someone more loving, more powerful, more wise, more SUPREME than you.

Let’s teach children Bible truth, not feelings. Then their God-given feelings will focus on Him – where they belong.

Snakes on a Plain (Part 1)

October 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

Numbers 21:4

During the wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, there were times when God’s people encountered mountains and valleys, but many times they were on the “plain.” In our lives there are spiritual valleys and mountains. Sometimes life seems like a series of crises. You’re either in a valley, on a mountain, or heading up or down one or the other. But in reality, most of the time, we’re on the “plain.”

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

Ecclesiastes 1:5

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

The plain seems like a safe place, but it can be dangerous. “Plain” has two meanings. It can mean “level ground” or it can mean “vanilla or ordinary.” On a plain you can see in all directions, so you can see trouble coming. Coming, that is, from everywhere but within. Even on a plain, it can be difficult to see trouble coming from within your own group of friends or from within ourselves. That is one of the reasons that the Bible tells us to be:

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Hebrews 12:15

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

Numbers 21:4-5

God’s people were complaining about the manna He was sending them even though manna was just what they needed and just what God wanted them to have. You can hear the whining in the description, “light bread.”

And the LORD sent fiery serpents …

Numbers 21:6

Theses fiery serpents are the “Snakes on a Plain” in the title of this lesson, and the first point is:

Snakes on a Plain: Snakes Produce Paranoia

https://i1.wp.com/seedmagazine.com/images/uploads/snakebrain.jpg

If you were to list the most common “phobias,” three of the items on your list would probably be public speaking, going to the dentist, and snakes. “Paranoia” is the feeling that someone – or everyone – is out to get you, whether or not the feeling is justified. And the fact is, just because you are paranoid, it does not mean that someone is not out to get you. As Christians we have three main enemies: the devil, the world, and the flesh. These folks in Numbers chapter 21 were ungrateful, but, more than that, they were complainers. And even more than that, they lacked faith. Their reaction to these snakes on a plain was paranoia.

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

Numbers 21:7

Notice, they didn’t come to Moses and say, “Where are all these snakes coming from?” They said, “We have sinned…” I can’t say enough bad things about sin, but if the snakes of sin – the fiery serpents of sin – are loose in your life, one of the results is that you are going to be paranoid.

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Proverbs 28:1

The people who came to Moses in Numbers 21 didn’t say, “We’ve been bitten, ask God to heal us.” They said, “Ask God to take them away.” They weren’t exhibiting faith – they were exhibiting paranoia.

Next time we will see that snakes produce poison.

Regaining What Was Lost in Marriage

January 9, 2012 at 11:17 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage | 9 Comments
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Genesis Chapter 2 ends with a very strange cliffhanger:

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2:25

In our previous lesson on marriage we saw that there was no shame in Adam and Eve concerning their bodies because they had not yet sinned. This, though, is still begging the question in a sense. If there was no reason for them to be ashamed, why does the Bible make a point of saying that they were not ashamed? The answer is: Because, even if their bodies were “perfect,” being naked is still dangerous unless there is sinlessness. Adam and Eve had the ability to use words. They had the ability to exercise trust. They had desires. We can say these same things about ourselves, but the difference is, for Adam and Eve before the Fall, all of these were based on their relationship to God, and specifically their covenant with God.

The covenant was God saying that He would give them everything good and that He would be with them. They were to enjoy and tend everything that He gave them except for that one tree: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam’s and Eve’s part of the covenant was to leave that tree alone. We know that they did not do that.

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Genesis 3:5

This was Satan’s lie, but what made it an effective lie was that there was some partial truth in it. Adam and Eve really would “know” good and evil if they ate from the tree. What Satan intentionally left out was that Adam and Eve weren’t supposed to “know” good and evil. They were only supposed to know good. When they ate, they lost their innocence.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3:6

The fruit of the forbidden tree did not make them “wise.” It gave them “knowledge.” Knowledge without wisdom is dangerous. In addition to losing their innocence, they lost their protection from temptation.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Genesis 3:7

They also lost their lack of shame and their freedom.

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:8

They lost:

1. Their innocence
2. Their protection from temptation
3. Their lack of shame
4. Their freedom
5. Their minds! (Trying to hide from God?!)

In other words, they lost their covenant.

Nakedness refers to more than just the lack of material covering – the lack of clothes. It refers to the freedom to enjoy your spouse without the danger of what a sinful person can do to you when you trust. Eve now had the ability to use her words to demean. She had proven a desire to be independent from God. She had thought of herself first. When we break covenant with God, we are not trustworthy to be in a covenant with someone else. When we experience a broken covenant we no longer have the assurance that love will cover sin.

This is why “agape” love in a marriage is the only hope for recovering a semblance of the “naked and unashamed” condition which Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. That is very important because the “naked and unashamed” condition glorified God.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

I Peter 4:8 (emphasis added)

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 10:12 (emphasis added)

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

Proverbs 17:9 (emphasis added)

Love is the remedy for shame-producing sin. I will cover my spouse’s sin with my love if I truly love (“agape”) her. Additionally, though, I must remember that I myself am a fallen sinner.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

My response to my own sin must be to confess it, forsake it, and ask for mercy.

Strange Weapons Lesson 2: The Peg (illustrations)

April 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Strange Weapons | 6 Comments
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Strange Weapons: A Prod, a Peg, and a Pitcher

Lesson Two: The Peg (continued from previous post)

Here are three illustrations drawn from Jael’s “nail” (what we would call a “tent peg.”)

1. The peg was a hidden weapon.

The first thing Sisera would have done when he entered Jael’s tent would have been to look around for a sword or a dagger. Being a trained warrior and a man on the run, not sure who he could and could not trust, he would have immediately scanned the tent for possible threats or advantages. But he probably didn’t even notice a peg and a hammer. These items would have been common.

The weapons of our spiritual warfare are spiritual weapons – they don’t look like material weapons. Prayer, for example, doesn’t seem like a weapon, but, like a tent peg, it stabilizes. It also marks out the boundaries of the territory God has given you. Maybe God has given you a spouse or children. Maybe he has placed you in a Sunday School class or some organized group of fellow Christians. If so, those are some of your “territories,” your “tents.” The peg of prayer is very important. How would you like to come back to your tent and find that it has been blown away? Prayer is simply talking to God. It should be an everyday, ordinary thing. It’s always lying around the tent. You mostly use it in secret, but it is potent. When the enemy invades your tent, you can reach for it and defeat him.

2. The peg was a honed weapon.

“Honed” means “sharp.” Jael’s tent peg had to have a very sharp point in order for her to be able to pound it into the hard baked earth in that part of the world. When it comes to spiritual weapons, we have the sharpest weapon of all – the Bible.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

The Word of God pierces and cuts. It stings. It gets past the superficial into the heart of the matter. It breaks up hard ground. A Bible looks like a book – everyday leather and paper. Like a peg, it doesn’t look especially dangerous – until an expert pegswoman or pegsman wields it. The business end of the Word of God can go right into a man’s brain and it can make a serious difference.

3. The peg was a handy weapon.

Prayer and the Bible should always be handy if you are a Christian. However, there are times when your Bible might not be right there next to you. There may be times when you are willing to pray, but, in a crisis, you are not always afforded the time to gather your thoughts, have some peace and quiet, and pray effectively. One of the handiest weapons we have in spiritual warfare – the one that’s always right there – is love. Love is always right at hand. You don’t have to special-order it. If you’re truly a Christian, it is not even “second nature” to you – it’s first nature! Love is the key component of Christianity.

Prayer, your Bible, and love are three of the tent pegs of the Christian life. They are the hidden, honed, and handy weapons of our warfare. Jael’s tent peg slew Sisera; these weapons slay sin. Sin is kind of like Sisera if you think about it. Sin is an oppressor. It will control people. It will dominate their lives. It will steal their possessions, but, more importantly, it will steal their joy. It will put people at risk. It will create danger in lives. Sin is cruel to begin with, but when it starts to get routed – like when Barak routed Sisera – and when it gets “on the run” in our lives – look out! Sin will get desperate, and will be especially eager to come into your home.

And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

Judges 4:18-19, emphasis added

Sin wants to be hidden.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

Judges 4:19, emphasis added

Sin is thirsty. It will dry you up, and create a desire for more.

Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.

Judges 4:20, emphasis added

Sisera wanted Jael to lie. Sin breeds more sin – and different kinds of sins.

And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

Judges 4:19, emphasis added

Deborah was the one who encouraged Barak to fight against Sisera. Her name meant “bee.” Bees are associated with honey. Jael used milk to sedate Sisera. Therefore, Sisera had trouble in the “land of milk and honey.”

Now, here is something that many Christians don’t realize: Sin can be sedated. I Peter 2:2 calls the Bible the sincere “milk” of the Word. Sin can be sedated by Bible study, prayer, accountability, safeguards, even will power – to some extent. But those things can’t “kill” sin. It will inevitably (and sooner rather than later) wake up, escape, and wreak havoc. Sin can be sedated by the lesser “pegs” we have talked about, but it can only be killed by one truly great PEG.

And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.

Judges 4:22, emphasis added

Christ was held to the Cross by “pegs” (nails). He knew no sin, but was made sin for us. To claim the victory that Christ wants you to have in Him, you are going to have to come into the tent and see sin slain. Get a good look – see sin slain on the Cross of Christ – then look in the tomb and see the Slayer of sin has risen – victorious!

I find it significant that the Bible makes a point of saying that the peg went through Sisera’s “temple.” Your temple is the place between your eye and ear – the place where you “conTEMPLate.” It is also the word we use for the place where people worship. Have you made your mind a place of worship – a place where Christ is the center of all your thoughts?

So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.

Judges 4:23

That’s when God will subdue the “Jabin” that is invading your thoughts. Worship Him – the Lord God – as King of your “temple.”

Discipleship Lesson 7: Sin

March 11, 2011 at 10:11 am | Posted in Discipleship Lessons | 20 Comments
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If you are a Christian, when you were born again (regenerated by the Holy Spirit), you became a new “man,” (or new woman if you are female.) But the old man did not disappear. The old man – in the image of Adam – has a sinful nature. The new man – in Christ Jesus – has God’s nature. These two men are at war with each other. It is an intense struggle.

I. What is sin?

A. Sin is breaking God’s law.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

I John 3:4

B. Sin is any unrighteousness.

All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

I John 5:17

C. Sin is anything done apart from faith.

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Romans 14:23

II. What causes sin?

A. My inherited sinful nature causes me to sin.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:12

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

I Corinthians 15:45-49

B. My old nature draws me into sin.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 1:14-15

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:14-25

C. We are tempted in three major areas: we like to feel good; we like to look at that which is pleasing to the eyes; we like to feel important in the eyes of others.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

I John 2:16

III. How does God deal with sin in the life of a Christian?

A. God judged at our sin at Calvary.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

II Corinthians 5:21

B. God chastens His children when they continue in sin.

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:6

C. God allows us to reap what we have sown.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Galatians 6:7-8

IV. How can a Christian get the victory over sin?

A. By accepting responsibility for his own sin.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

B. By refusing to allow sinful thoughts to control his mind.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

II Corinthians 10:5

C. By not giving the flesh an opportunity to achieve its desires.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Romans 13:14

D. By remembering that he is dead to sin in Jesus Christ.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:11

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Colossians 3:1-10

D. By agreeing with God about his sin (judging it).

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

I Corinthians 11:31-32

E. By confessing his sins to God.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John 1:9

F. By recognizing that God has made a way to escape from every temptation.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I Corinthians 10:13

G. By remembering God’s Word.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119:11

H. By trusting God’s promises and praying.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:15-16

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

II Corinthians 7:1

I. By walking in the Holy Spirit.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

J. By being led by, and following after, the Holy Spirit.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:1

K. By submitting himself to regular examinations by the Holy Ghost.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

V. Memory Verses

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119:11

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:11

Discipleship Lesson 5: Prayer

January 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Discipleship Lessons | 45 Comments
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I. Why should we pray?

We should pray in order to be conformed to God’s will, more than to attempt to change God’s mind. Prayer is also good for our peace of mind and heart.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

God allows needs to come into our lives so that we will draw close to Him and learn to depend on Him.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Matthew 6:8

Pray without ceasing.

I Thessalonians 5:17

It is dangerous for us to believe that all our needs are met and that we are not dependent.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Revelation 3:16-17

We must give thanks for our needs and even for our times of difficulty.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:18

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:4

Prayer should be our first reaction in times of trouble.

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Psalm 50:15

II. How should we pray?

A. We should pray in the Holy Spirit.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:26-27

B. We should pray constantly.

Pray without ceasing.

I Thessalonians 5:17

C. Public prayer is good, but most of our prayer time should be in private.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Matthew 6:5-7

D. We should pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

I Timothy 2:5

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Ephesians 2:18

E. We should pray with our sins confessed.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Psalm 66:18

F. We should pray with a forgiving heart.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15

G. Husbands should pray without bitterness toward our wives.

Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

Colossians 3:19

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

I Peter 3:7

H. We should ask God to fulfill specific requests when we pray.

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

James 4:2-3

I. We should pray consistently with what is revealed in God’s Word.

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

Proverbs 28:9

III. What should we pray?

A. Be specific.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Philippians 4:6

B. Give thanks.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:18

C. Pray for others.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Ephesians 6:18

D. Praise and worship the Lord.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:4

E. Pray for the lost.

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9:38

F. Pray for God’s will to be done – pray the way Jesus told us to pray.

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Luke 11:2

IV. Questions

A. Should we pray to the saints in Heaven or to angels? (No.)

B. Does praying for the same thing over and over show a lack of faith? (No.)

C. Should certain prayers be memorized and repeated word for word without feeling or as a substitute for personalized prayer? (No.)

V. Memory verses

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

I Timothy 2:5

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Psalm 66:18

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:18

Discipleship Lesson 1: Salvation

October 15, 2010 at 10:38 am | Posted in Discipleship Lessons, Salvation | 27 Comments
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Discipleship Lesson 1 is on salvation.

SALVATION

I. The two spiritual families

A. The devil’s family

The way to get into the devil’s family is simply by being physically born. Every human being comes into the world as a member of the devil’s family, since we have been conceived in sin and born in corruption. Not everyone likes to use the terminology of being a “child of the devil.” I am not implying that the devil creates human beings. He is a created being himself and lacks the power to create a living soul. It is also correct to say that we are born into this world as sons of Adam, and to say that we are born as children of wrath and children of disobedience. But all unsaved people are slaves to sin, and therefore slaves to Satan.

In one sense, the “children of the devil” are those who believe they are religious, but base their attempts at righteousness on a lie.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

John 8:44

You enter the devil’s family by birth through your physical forefather, Adam.

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Genesis 5:3

Adam’s image and likeness after the commission of sin and the “fall” in the Garden of Eden, is that of a fallen sinner.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:12

We inherited our sin nature from our “father,” Adam. Therefore, we are sentenced to die. We have to be “born again” because, up until then, we’ve only been born once – physically. We are dead spiritually before salvation.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

I Corinthians 15:22

B. God’s family

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-13

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:3

As a result of your new birth, you have inherited eternal life.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

John 6:47

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 3:36

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

I John 5:12

II. There should be a “family resemblance.”

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

I Corinthians 6:19

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

II Corinthians 6:14-18

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

II Corinthians 5:17-18

III. There is a “Father – son” relationship.

A. Fathers discipline and forgive their children; children love their fathers and desire to be forgiven when they have offended them.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

I John 2:1

B. Fathers protect their children spiritually.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 6:18

C. Fathers provide for their children.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

D. Fathers protect their children physically.

[To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

E. Fathers teach their children.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 14:26

F. Fathers care about their children.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

I Peter 5:7

G. Fathers love to give gifts to their children.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 7:11

IV. A saved person will still sin.

A. God commands His children not to sin.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Colossians 3:5-10

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4:14-18

B. God has broken sin’s power over His children.

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:25

C. God chastens His children in love.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Hebrews 12:5-11

D. God forgives His children when they confess their sins to Him.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I John 1:6-10

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

V. Questions

A. How does someone enter God’s family?

By receiving Jesus as his Savior and being born again.

B. Find three verses that promise you eternal life.

John 6:47; John 3:36; I John 5:12

C. After salvation, God deals with you as:
a. a sinner
b. a son
c. a partner

Answer: a son

D. True or false?

1. Everyone must earn his or her way to Heaven. (F)
2. Sin must be confessed to a Christian leader in order to be forgiven. (F)
3. Each person can choose his or her own path to Heaven. (F)

VI. Memory verses

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:12

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:3

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John 1:9

Next time: Discipleship Lesson 2: Everlasting Security

The Big Cover-Up

January 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Genesis | 4 Comments
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Noah was a preacher of righteousness. In obedience to God, he built the ark that, upon the waters of the world-wide flood, saved the human race from extinction. Noah, however, was human, and, like everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth – except for the Lord Jesus Christ – Noah did commit sins. Genesis Chapter 9 records the shameful account of Noah’s post-flood vineyard, his drunkenness, and his exposed condition in his tent.

Noah’s son, Ham, found him in this condition, and, instead of discreetly covering his father, he went to tell his brothers.

And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

Genesis 9:22-23

Shem and Japheth did what Ham should have done. In love, they covered their father’s sin. The Bible teaches us that a sinner who covers his own sins shall not prosper (Proverbs 28:13). However, Christians, imitating the love of their Savior, should seek to cover the transgressions of their brothers and sisters, rather than seeking occasions to harvest grist for the rumor mill (Proverbs 17:9).


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