Monday, September 23, 2013

Four Areas of Christian Expertise (Patrick Brown, Youth Pastor)

Four areas in which Christians should be experts or at least in training to BE experts.
#1.  God and His Kingdom
#2.  How to enter the Kingdom
#3.  How to Live in the Kingdom
#4.  Things that set themselves up against the knowledge of God (things that keep people out or cause them to leave)

A.  Problems with Christianity in general:
     #1.  True Christianity may not be growing
     #2.  The nation we claim is Christian doesn't seem so Christian.
     #3.  Many people are choosing other religions or no religion at all.
     #4.  The people professing Christianity often can only be identified by the words "I'm a Christian" -
not by their understanding of REAL TRUTH, or TRUE TRUTH, or due to their intentional efforts to advance the KINGDOM of GOD.
Therefore, many who profess to be Christian probably are NOT in the Kingdom at all.

B.  Christians in general lack training.
     #1.  Christians should be highly trained, but we probably are not. 
            Examples:  a.)  Nurses' training - 1 hour of lecture requires 6 hours of study. 
                  b)  Jesus was highly trained - waited until 30ish to start His ministry
                  c)  the disciples were highly trained - Jesus taught them for 3 years

C.  Hopefully all will agree with the 4 LISTED things, although certainly could be more, you could add others, the ones listed are fairly general. 
Some require much study, training and practice.
ALL require discipline and hard work.
3 of the 4 are derived almost exclusively from Scripture (the last requires expertise on the Bible AND information found outside the Bible)
Therefore, must be experts concerning the Scriptures and other things.

Assess yourself:  Are you an expert in these areas?  Are you training to be an expert in the areas you are lacking?

A Brief Look at each of the four:

II.  The Four areas of expertise (they are all interconnected)  
       A.  God and His Kingdom:  what it is and why it's important
             1.  Primary message of Scripture - Gen. 1:1 and it was message of Jesus:
                  a.  Mark 1:14-14 - proclaims Kingdom is near
                  b.  Matt. 4:23 - proclaims the good news of the Kingdom (and heals the sick)
                  c.  Luke 4:42-43 - this is why I came
            2.  There is a God
            3.  What He is like and what He expects of His creation
            4.  He is the Creator and rightful ruler of His creation
            5.  He does have a Kingdom and wants all humanity in that Kingdom - (that the Kingdom has come IS the Gospel)

      B.  How to Enter the Kingdom
            1.  Communicating the Gospel of Christ, ie.  the truth that Jesus IS the Christ - the KING of
                 GOD'S  KINGDOM
                a.  Only one way to ENTER into the Kingdom
                b.  It is a kingdom:  there is a King and 'dom' or domain
                c.  You enter by recognizing the King as King and doing what is required by the King to be                         a member of  His domain or dominion
          2.  Knowledge is key: 
               a.  Knowledge = justified, true, belief
               b.  to be justified in knowing something, certain criteria must be met.
         3.  Communicating that Jesus is the Christ in an objective SENSE vs. a SUBJECTIVE sense: 
Two types of truth claims:
              a.  Subjective truth:  I think Chocolate almond is the best ice cream
                   i.  what is this claim about?  ME, the subject
                   ii.  This truth finds its justification in "me" or in a person
                   iii.  This type of truth is not dependent on evidence out there in the external world.
                  iv.  "Matter of Taste"
             b.  Objective truth:  "Insulin can lower blood sugar", "Jesus is the true King of the world"
                  i.  True, irregardless of how we feel about it
                  ii.  This truth claim finds its justification in the external
                 iii.  This type of truth depends on the FACTS of the real world
                 iv.  This is a "Matter of Truth" , not taste
            c.  How Jesus and the disciples communicated the Gospel:
                 i.  Luke 7:22 - Jesus points to His miracles
                 ii.  Acts 2:2-24 - Peter
                iii.  1 Cor. 15:3-6 - Paul
                iv.  Acts 17 and 18 - Paul and Apollos
           d.  This = major area of concern for Christianity today:  have reduced the Gospel to a subjective truth claim - or at best an objective claim with only subjective proof!
 This primarily subjective gospel may be a false gospel??????
           e.  How to fix this?
                - provide objective proof for an objective claim - just like apostles did!

  C.  How to live in the Kingdom
      1.  Jesus had specific teachings and He taught the people who wrote the New Testament
      2.  We should live a life based upon the teachings of The Christ and His apostles
      3.  Being disciples and ambassadors -
                 Knowing Christ's teachings and communicating those teachings to the world
      4.  Major focus of the New Testament Epistles is how to live in the Kingdom
      5.  Need to be expert int eh Bible - ie:  we need to have a good understanding of the Bible, which requires a proper interpretation - to do and teach this.

D.  Things that set themselves against the knowledge of God:  ie.  things that are against the building of the Kingdom, Philosophies, ideas and that cause people to not enter the Kingdom or that cause someone to leave the Kingdom.  This should also include misconceptions Christians have concerning the faith.
       1.  2 Cor. 10:3-5
       2.  Spiritual warfare
       3.  False gospels/religions
       4.  Religious pluralism
       5.  Moral relativism

III.  Closing
      A.  are you intentional about being excellent at your faith?
      B.  Are you already an expert?
     C.  Are you training to be an expert?
     D.  It takes much effort to learn to do something well - Jesus said "count the cost"
     E.  The world desperately needs people who are trained and ready to communicate the Truth of Christ



No comments: