Monday, September 27, 2010

Called To Go

Matt. 28:16-20 - The Great Commission - traditionally applied to all Christians. All are to be about "going and making disciples".

Definition of "go make disciples":
A. leave home, travel forth - examples: the apostles, missionaries, etc.
B. stay home and make disciples as you go about your life and business
Mark 5:18-20
Rom. 16:3-16

"Make disciples" means an attempt to win (convert), develop, and send forth others. 2 Tim. 2:1-2
This is not simply evangelism.

Why go?? Why "make disciples"?
(obviously) because it's commanded by Christ.

BUT, the purpose is more that to promote our brand of religion, more than to promote a brand of religion or the best brand.

Point is... go and make disciples to:
1. Spread truth - because truth matters and truth has immediate and long term consequences.
2. Save souls - John 14:6 - if this is true, it is very important to spread
3. Affect eternity
4. transform lives - through knowing and accepting truth
which leads to:
5. transform society(s), culture(s) - this is best done through the transformation of lives.
6. form future generations
7. build the Kingdom - on earth as it is in heaven. Matt. 6:9-10

On one hand, we can't do it apart from God, but He has chosen to accomplish this through us!!

Additional scripture:
Matt. 5:13-16
Matt. 9:35-38
John 4:35-38
Acts 1:8
2 Cor. 5:17-20
1 Pet. 2:9

#1. this is part of God's will for you if you are saved, born again, etc.
You are:
A. saved to go - Eph. 2:10
B. summoned to go (doesn't require personal call. Scriptural call is sufficient)
C. equipped to go (gifted to fulfill your purpose)

#2. if God's people go.... it'll make a difference in the world

There are no guarantees of success as we measure it.
But, we have this assurance - Isa. 55:10-11

#3. If you go, it will make a difference in you! Whether or not you feel it, sense it, see it. God will:
A. work through you (to make a difference in others)
B. work in you (to transform your heart and mind)

So.... are we obligated to go?? Answer: yes and no

No, we're not obligated because you received salvation by grace (alone)
But, yes... you are obligated ... because you received your salvation by grace (alone)!
Rom. 1:14-15 "debt" owed to Christ; payable to mankind.

Close: Rom. 1:16

1. Come to Christ
2. Go and make disciples for Christ.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Opening Scripture: Heb. 12:1

Perseverance - (one of the great needs of the day)

Definition: Persevere (verb) means to persist, continue in a state or undertaking IN SPITE OF counter influences, opposition, discouragement.

Synonym: to continue, keep on, keep at, keep after, to endure, be steadfast, stand firm, stand fast, to be persistent, resolute, constant, tenacious, to be firm, stalwart, determined, etc., etc.

Other Bible phrases include: Continue in prayer, the Word, teaching, the faith
hold to truth.... stay upon, wait upon the Lord
to be patient (as in) - "patient in suffering". It's close kin to long suffering (to bear with, put up with, etc.)

Perseverance is a definite necessary component of Faithfulness!!

Jesus commended: Rev. 2:2, 3, 19 Rev. 1:9 - note also the author - the only one left living of the original apostles.

Paul to Timothy: 2 Tim. 2:3, 4:2-5, 3:2-14 (a)

Words of Christ .... concerning discipleship: John 8:31-32, 15:4
" " " persecution: Matt. 10:22
" " " end times: Matt. 24:9-13

A Promise: Rev. 2:24-26 - hold on
A Summary: James 5:11 (a)

Persevere doesn't mean never fall down, sit down, look back, slide back, drift away
Persevere does mean always get up, come back, repent, return.......
Examples of those who slipped, yet came back, etc: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, David, Solomon, Elijah, Jeremiah, Peter, etc.

Sometimes we deliberately and intentionally fall away, slide back, etc., and sometimes we just slip, but perseverance sees the error and returns.


I. Necessary for salvation??? Answer is Yes and No.
There are 2 views of this: 1. if you persevere then you will become a saint (saved). (works oriented)
2. if you are a saint (saved) you will persevere.
On one hand, these are vastly different views, However, both recognize if there is NO perseverance, probably is NO salvation.
Heb. 3:14 2 John 1:9 1 John 2:19

So, I recommend.... 2 Cor. 13:5 (a) - examine self

II. Other benefits?
Perseverance affects....
#1. growth - James 1:2-4 - cannot binge feed on spiritual truths and then nothing, and expect to grow and mature
#2. life consequences - Gal. 6:7-9
#3. Future rewards - (BEMA - judgment seat of Christ) Heb. 10:36 James 1:12
#4. Personal Testimony - consistency is so important in order for personal testimony to bear any weight.
#5. Your portrayal of Christ (Christianity) - we are Ambassadors, Representatives - the church is represented by us - good or bad.

III. How to acquire or develop perseverance?

#1. It's partly a gift from God. 1 Cor. 1:8 2 Cor. 1:21 "grace sufficient for the situation"
#2. It's partly a result of determination, self-discipline and self-effort - 2 Pet. 1:5-8 1 Cor.15:58
#3. It's partly a result of time, experience, and Christian growth. Rom. 5:3-4 (good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from poor judgment)
In time we should learn that sometimes life hurts - deal with it!
#4. Combination of all three!!
1 Pet. 5:8-10 - you do your part.... He'll do His!!!

Perseverance means to persist in the hard times.
BUT, often... the best of times are the hardest time!! 3 John 4 -- Persevere for all times!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Christian Work Ethic

Labor Day was established in 1894 by Grover Cleveland,
therefore, look at scripture and 'work'.

The title "Christian Work Ethic" is, by definition, more than a belief or philosophy of work.
It is: #1. a moral view of work
#2. based on Scripture
#3. applicable to Christian life. - lived out, practical. Christians should have a moral view of work.

Scripture reveals to us:
#1. God is a working God.
Gen. 2:2-3 Ps. 19:1 "work" is woven into the fabric of the universe. Col. 1:16-17
It was necessary for creation and is necessary to maintain.

#2. Man is created in His (working) image.
Before the fall - Gen. 2:15
After the fall - Gen. 3:17-19 (a)
NOTE: work is not and never was a curse. Gen. 5:28-29

#3. These truths are reflected in Hebrew theology.
The Law: Ex. 20:9-10 (a) - (focus vs. 9) - "how" in many specific laws
Wisdom Literature: Prov. 12:11, 14 Prov. 14:23 Prov. 18:9 Prov. 21:25 Prov. 31:13, 17
The Talmud: "he who does not teach his son a craft is, as it were, bringing him up to robbery"
Eccles. 2:10, 2:24, 5:19

#4. God revealed Himself through a working Son.
Pre-ministry: Mark 6:3 (a) - "isn't this the carpenter?"
Ministry: John 5:17 John 5:36 John 17:4 John 19:30

So naturally,
#5. These truths were embraced by the New Testament and Christian Community.
Acts 20:34-35 Eph. 4:28 1 Thess. 4:1-12 2 Thess. 3:6-12

So... upon these (and other) texts, truths, we build a "Christian Work Ethic."

Additional observations and applications.

#1. Work is more than manual labor. (teaching, computers, etc.)

#2. Work is more than a paid job (career)
Christian vocation: Work is whatever tasks, duties, obligations, responsibilities are rightfully yours. Christian Calling:
So, if married, parent, neighbor, student? Your work is whatever tasks, duties, obligations, responsibilities are rightfully yours in that particular area.

#3. Work doesn't end with retirement.

$4. You are not asked to excel at your calling ... you are asked to work at your calling.
When you work at your calling, God works in/on/through you!!! Col. 1:29

Therefore, you can say:
#5. Your efforts will be (blessed and) beneficial.
Qualifying statements: A. Not all hard work will be blessed, or beneficial. Example: the porn business.
B. No guarantee you will see the benefits and results - in this life.

However, can also say:
#6. The knowledge of and practice of these truths will not remove the labor from your work.
This is a fallen world!! Work will continue to be.... difficult, frustrating, wearing, etc.
BUT: it's easier if you know A. What's right
B. it will Make a Difference

Diligent effort (work) is our calling and is God's will.
Therefore it is pleasing to Him.
#7. You are not commended to God by your hard work.
Rom. 3:23-24 Eph. 2:8-9

Remember: 1 Cor. 15:58 Col. 3:23-24

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Running the Race (Staying the Course)

Heb. 12:1-12 The imagery is a "distance race" - your faith is like that.
The point being: RUN - get in, get serious, run, keep running, finish well.
Compare with 2 Tim. 4:6-7 and then 2 Tim. 4:5

So...... RUN .... How????
#1. Stripped down. (the Romans actually competed naked)
The point is: "throw off':
A. Everything that hinders - extra weight, legal weight - things that are not necessarily bad but are just a hindrance.
B. sin that entangles.
This means a deliberate, intentional discard. Col.3:8 James 1:21 1 Pet. 2:1
You must do it. You have to decide to do it.

#2. With perseverance. "patience" - resolve, determination, decisiveness with stubbornness, tenacity...
Heb. 3:6 Heb. 3:14
This is a huge issue in Christian life - Rev. 13:5-10 - this is speaking of end times but the battle is perpetual.
It has nothing to do with never stumbling or stopping, etc. But, pick back up and keep going.

#3. The race marked out - it doesn't mean run any race where ever you want.
It means:
THE Christian race (generally) as determined by God and spelled out in Scripture
B. Your particular Christian race. - God has a purpose for you!
Illustration: John 21:18-22 - on one hand, it's the same race for Peter and John, but... they were decidedly different from one another.

#4. With your eyes on Jesus - it's easier to run the race if you are looking in the right place.
A. our earthly example (and inspiration) - Heb. 12:3
B. our heavenly source - of strength, encouragement, direction, correction...
Isa. 26:3

#5. A realistic view of the course.
On one hand, the Christian life is difficult. However, Heb. 12:4 - your course, for the most part, is not that difficult. Especially when compared to the Christian life fellow believers in persecuted countries face.

#6. Remembering God's Word and God's purpose. Heb. 12:5-6
Discipline can be: A. punishment
B. correction
C. training (Heb. 12:10-11)
2 Cor. 4:16-18 Gen. 50:20

#7. Enduring hardship Heb. 12:7 (a)
Jer. 12:5 - expect it, endure it, grow from it....

#8. Run with good form Heb. 12:12
The point being: perking up! lift up your head, pick up your feet!
We're not talking about: fake fresh - but, show dignity, nobility, respectability...
The main point is: we're running for Christ, wearing His shirt, sponsorship as ambassadors

#9. Run with confidence - called faith.
It is not explicit in the text. However, it is the text - all over the text.
Because we believe Jesus is the Son of God and what He said is properly recorded.
Isa. 40:27-31