Monday, 30 September 2013
The Signficance of Physical Healings
clear

What purposes did the physical healing serve in Acts 3?  (See Acts 3:8-13, 4:4-14.)

Acts 3:8-13, 16

He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.  11 While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go……16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

Acts 4:4-14

4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. 5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. ' 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

People watched and began to pay attention.  Through the physical healings, God glorified His servant Jesus the Messiah.  It gave further credibility to trusting in the name of Jesus and the claim that Salvation would be found in no other but Jesus.  He was the one.  It also gives an indication that there were several dimensions of "Salvation."

clear
Posted on 09/30/2013 8:04 PM by Larry G
clear
Monday, 30 September 2013
The Effects of Participating in Sinful Deeds
clear

Question:  What words of warning does Paul give (vv. 5-7)?  Why should we not participate in sinful deeds?

Ephesians 5:5-7

5For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.7Therefore do not be partakers with them.

Doing these things actually takes you out of the kingdom of God.  Once you are outside of the kingdom, you will experience none the goodness of God.  In order to experience the blessing or goodness of God you need to be living or operating within His will. That’s how life operates; that’s how He designed it.

 

clear
Posted on 09/30/2013 7:14 PM by Larry G
clear
Sunday, 29 September 2013
God's Reveals Himself
clear

What does the story of the Flood and the remnants deliverance tell you about God (His personality, nature, values, etc)?  See especially Genesis 6:5-8, 11-13, 18-21; Genesis 7:1; Genesis 8:1, 15-22.

Genesis 6:5-8, 11-13, 18-21

5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD….. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah,"I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth…. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them." 

God has emotions; He has a will.  He is determinative.  He pays attention to His creation and He expresses compassion and empathy.

Genesis 7:1

Then the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.

God knows about His creation; specifically, He is aware of what each and every individual is doing, thinking, etc.

Genesis 8:1, 15-22

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided…. 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 "Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh--birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth--that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth."18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.  20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease."

God created everything with a purpose in mind.  He wants His creation to succeed to be fruitful, healthy and prosperous.  He is also committed to His creation and its success and welfare, including redemption from its current state.

clear
Posted on 09/29/2013 10:11 AM by Larry G
clear
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Mankind's Basic Problem
clear

The beggar asked for money (3:3), but Peter and John met quite a different need.

What was the relationship between physical healing and spiritual salvation in Jesus’ work and teaching?  (See Luke 4:18-19, 5:17-26, 7:20-23, 9:1-2)

Luke 4:18-19

18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Luke 5:17-26

17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."

Luke 7:20-23

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?' " 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 23 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

Luke 9:1-2

1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

They don’t give him money.  Money wasn’t going to do anything for him.  Trusting in God was everything.  The man’s problem and our problem is a spiritual problem.  But a lot of our problems are actually tied into this.  Until we turn to God, until we trust Him, we are not healed.  Our attitudes and anything else that helps us cope with life will not improve or allow us to be healed.  God is the source of our lives to begin with and when that thing within our inner-most being, our sin nature drives us away from Him, we start to die.  Until we accept what Jesus did for us on the cross and allow Him to cleanse us from that which leads us to our deaths, we cannot begin to be healed of anything.  Jesus’ ability to heal also validated His claim to be able to forgive sins.  They are tied together.  

clear
Posted on 09/28/2013 10:27 AM by Larry G
clear
Saturday, 28 September 2013
The Ultimate Solution to Mankind's Problem
clear

The rest of Genesis and the Old Testament points toward God’s ultimate solution to the problem.  What is the ultimate solution (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 53:4-6, Romans 5:17-19)?

Genesis 3:15

 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." 

The perpetrator, the Old Serpent, Satan, the Devil—is going to be destroyed.

Isaiah 53:4-6

4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

We have all become corrupted and this corruption is the reason for all of the world’s problems.  This corruption is causing us to move toward our inevitable destruction or judgment.  But God is sending someone who is going to literally take all of the destruction that we deserve, that we have set in motion—on HIMSELF.

Romans 5:17-19

17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 

The One who came, who was foretold to come, Jesus Christ, THE MESSIAH died for us; and His death has made it possible for a course correction that will avert the destruction we all deserve.  Not only this but it will clean us up so that we will be able to think and act “righteously”.  Jesus the Messiah’s death has made the reestablishment of fellowship between us and God possible and given us back Life.

The bottom line is that the ultimate solution to mankind’s problems, to the problems of the world—lies with GOD.  Everything that man does apart from God ends in destruction.  As we are told in Proverbs – There is a way that seems right to man, but it ends in destruction.  God is in charge.  The first three commandments sum it all up: He is God and THERE IS NO OTHER.  Everything else that we think we can get meaning or support for our existence is simply a dead and unfruitful idol, an image that has no substance, that isn’t real.  Finally, we must take God seriously.  He is God—FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER.

clear
Posted on 09/28/2013 9:58 AM by Larry G
clear
Saturday, 28 September 2013
The Christian Walk of Love
clear

Question:  Paul spells out ways in which the Christian’s walk of love contrasts with the counterfeit ideas of love found in the world.  What are some of these contrasting actions or schemes? (Verses to consider: 1 John 3:18; 4:7-19)

1 John 3:18

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth

1 John 4:7-19

7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.9In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.13By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.16And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.19We love Him because He first loved us. 

  • Christian love is sacrificial
  • Christian love is pure and clean and does not involve immorality
  • Christian love is not driven or connected to idolatry, or covetousness
  • Christian love is also about being truthful
  • Worldly love resulting in fornication, uncleanness, covetousness and idolatry is driven by love of self; it is “me-centered”
  • Christian love is driven by what is good, what is righteous and what is true (?) It is “other” centered
  • Christians who love Jesus acknowledge that He is the Son of God
clear
Posted on 09/28/2013 4:10 PM by Larry G
clear
Friday, 27 September 2013
Summing Up Acts Chapter 3
clear

FOR FURTHER STUDY:  Briefly summarize what happens in Acts 3:1-10 and 3:11-26.

3:1-10 – Peter and John are going to the temple around the hour of prayer.  At the temple gate they meet a crippled beggar, who cannot walk.  He has been crippled from birth.  He asks them for money.  But instead Peter tells him that he doesn’t have money to give him but what he does have he will freely give, which is Jesus.  He then calls on the name of Jesus and heals the man who begins to walk, run and jump and to praise God.  The beggar goes into the temple and everyone inside who knows this man is amazed at what has happened.

3:11-26 – The beggar is hanging on Peter and John and everyone in the temple is coming to see what happened.  Peter asks what they’re surprised about.  He then tells them that it wasn’t their power or godliness that caused this.  He tells them that it was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who glorified Jesus by causing the healing.  He then reminds them that it was they who caused Jesus to be crucified, even though He was innocent.  He tells them that Jesus was the author of life but they would rather have a murderer.  But then Peter tells them that they acted in ignorance and what they did actually fulfilled what the scriptures had foretold about the Messiah.  He then tells them to repent so their sins can be forgiven and that the Christ/Messiah can come to them.  He tells them that Jesus the Messiah is now in heaven but He is going to return after God has restored all things.  He tells them that Jesus was the prophet that Moses spoke about, the one whom Moses said they should listen to.  He then tells them that Jesus was the one all of the prophets had talked about.  He tells them that all of the earth will be blessed because of Jesus.  The then tells them that God sent His servant, Jesus the Messiah, to bless them by turning them from their wicked ways.

clear
Posted on 09/27/2013 10:24 AM by Larry G
clear
Friday, 27 September 2013
A Merciful Decision and Unfinished Business
clear

Question: In Genesis 8:21-22 and 9:14-16, God promises never again to destroy all the earth’s creatures.  What problem does this merciful decision leave unsolved (Genesis 3:6-7 and 8:21)?

Genesis 8:21-22

 21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease."

Genesis 9:14-16

14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."

Genesis 3:6-7

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Genesis 8:21

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

Man’s heart, his inner-most being still remains basically evil, depraved, corrupted.  But God will not destroy his creation because of man’s evil; He has willingly committed to a course of action to redeem or correct the situation with mankind and creation.

clear
Posted on 09/27/2013 9:53 AM by Larry G
clear
Friday, 27 September 2013
Imitating God
clear

Question:  What does it mean to be an imitator of God?  (Underline each reference to Godly living.)

Ephesians 5:1-14

1Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.2And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.3But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.5For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.7Therefore do not be partakers with them.8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light  9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),10finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.12For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.13But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.14Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." 

Act the same way as God acts; mimic His characteristics; do as He does.  God is love and He is always manifesting that love to us and we as imitators of Him should always walk in love for Him and others.  God is pure and clean and we also should be holy, pure and clean.  God is never coarse, or foolish, or covetous and we need to imitate or follow His example.  Expose how unfruitful sin is by setting an alternate example and being light as God is light.

clear
Posted on 09/27/2013 4:04 PM by Larry G
clear
Thursday, 26 September 2013
Validating Jesus' Promises
clear

 Question:  How does Acts 3:1-10 reflect Jesus’ words in John 14:12-14?

John 14:12-14 

12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The miracles that the Apostles performed confirmed to them what Jesus had promised his disciples in John 14.  They asked in Jesus’ name to heal this man and He did.  Afterwards the people were amazed at what had happened and the man who was healed praised God.

clear
Posted on 09/26/2013 10:19 AM by Larry G
clear
Thursday, 26 September 2013
Understanding the Flood
clear

Question:  How is Genesis 6:1-9:17 related to the events of 1:1-5:32?

Chapter 1      In the beginning GOD brings all things into existence

Chapter 2      God creates mankind( Adam and Eve) and fellowships with them

Chapter 3      Mankind rebels and fellowship with the Creator God is broken

Chapter 4      The account of Cain and Abel shows the effects of broken fellowship

                        Mankind’s spiritual free-fall

Chapter 5      Summary of mankind’s plight and a revelation of God’s plan of

                        Redemption

Chapters 6-9            The earth and all flesh has become increasingly corrupt resulting in wide-spread violence.  God decides to bring on a catastrophic flood to wipe out existing flesh, including man to  slow the corruption that is overtaking creation.  However, He has not abandoned mankind but chooses one man Noah and his family to restart things.  His original purpose is reiterated to Noah and He reaffirms His commitment to the restoration of His creation. 

clear
Posted on 09/26/2013 9:36 AM by Larry G
clear
Thursday, 26 September 2013
WALKING IN LOVE AND LIGHT -- Ephesians 5:1-14
clear

DRAWING NEAR

Imagine a man in your church who claims to be a Christian.  His testimony sounds legitimate and he has a long history of church involvement.  It is common knowledge, however, that this man’s life is permeated by a number of glaring, long-term sins.  A friend of yours insists that if this man were truly a follower of Christ, he would turn away from his sins. Another friend says that we all struggle with various sins and that this man’s failings just happen to be among the list of highly visible sins that are frowned upon in Christian circles.

Do you think a person can be a Christian--walk in the light--and continue sinning in grievous ways--walking in darkness?  Why?

THE CONTEXT

After describing God’s amazing salvation and the incomparable riches that all believers in Christ possess (chs. 1-3), Paul turns his attention to the practical ramifications  of the gospel.  The old ways are gone; we are “new people”.  God has gifted us and called us to live together in a supernatural entity called the church.  In unity and love, we are to live to the glory of God.  While serving Him on earth, we are to become like Him.

In the passage that follows, Paul describes how conformity to Christ contrasts with conformity to the world.  The Ephesian believers lived in a pagan city of spiritual darkness, surrounded by immorality, ungodliness, and decadence.  Almost all of them had been saved out of such a background, and they needed to be reminded of what it meant to live in the light.

KEYS TO THE TEXT

Darkness and Light: “Darkness is the absence of light, and describes the character of the life of the unconverted as void of truth and virtue in intellectual and moral matters.  The realm of darkness is presided over by the “power of darkness” (Luke 22:53), who rules those headed for “eternal darkness” (Matthew 8:12).  Tragically, sinners love the darkness (3:19-21).  It is that very darkness from which salvation in Christ delivers sinners.  The pure and illuminating light of God’s Word exposes all the secrets of sin.  God has called his children “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Imitating God: To “imitate” means to “mimic,” or to copy specific characteristics of another person.  The example of the heavenly Father and the example shown by Jesus on earth are one and the same, since Jesus came to reveal the Father.  Jesus’ life was the practical demonstration of His ethical teaching.  To His disciples He declared, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).  This theme of the imitation of Christ pervades the New Testament Letters, especially the writings of Paul, who instructed his converts to follow “the meekness and gentleness of Christ” ((2 Cor 10:1).  Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is presented as the One who left us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).

UNLEASHING THE TEXT

Read Ephesians 5:1-14, noting the key words and definitions next to the passage.

1Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.2And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.3But fornication(ANY KIND OF SEXUAL SIN OR IMMORALITY) and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking (A UNIQUE WORD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT MADE UP OF TWO GREEK WORD: MOROS, FROM WHICH COMES MORON = DULL OR STUPID AND LEGOS = TO SPEAK; INTENDED TO DESCRIBE THE CONVERSATION OF INTELLECTUALLY DEFICIENT.) , nor coarse jesting (SINS OF THE TONGUE THAT INCLUDE ANY SPEECH THAT IS OBSCENE, DEGRADING, SUGGESTIVE, OR IMMORAL), which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.5For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance (THOSE WITH LIFE PATTERNS OF HABITUAL IMMORALITY, IMPURITY, OR GREED CANNOT INHERIT GOD’S HOLY KINGDOM.) in the kingdom of Christ and God.6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.7Therefore do not be partakers with them.8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, 9( and the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),10finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.11And have no fellowship (LITERALLY “DO NOT BECOME A PARTAKER TOGETHER WITH OTHERS”) with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose (THE BELIEVER’S ACT OF CONFRONTING AND CORRECTING EVIL IN HIS OWN LIFE AND WITHIN THE CHURCH) them.12For it is shameful even to speak of those things (SOME SINS ARE SO SORDID THAT EVEN DESCRIBING THEM IS MORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY DANGEROUS) which are done by them in secret.13But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.14Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." 

clear
Posted on 09/26/2013 3:54 PM by Larry G
clear
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
A Life that Reflects Salvation
clear

Question:  It has been said that the only reliable evidence of a person’s being saved is not a past experience of receiving Christ but a present life that reflects Christ.  How well does your life reflect the holiness and goodness of God?

Matthew 5:13-16

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.16 IN THE SAME WAY, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE MEN, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD DEEDS and praise your Father in heaven. 

John 13:34-35

34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35 BY THIS ALL MEN WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER." 

Matthew 7:1-5

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  5 You hypocrite, FIRST TAKE THE PLANK OUT OF YOUR OWN EYE, AND THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. 

 

clear
Posted on 09/25/2013 3:42 PM by Larry G
clear
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Eating Blood
clear

Question:  What is wrong with eating blood to acquire its life-force for oneself?  How does this offend God?

Lifeblood (9:4)  In ancient times, blood was a potent symbol and embodiment of life, and God affirmed that “the life of every creature is in its blood” (Leviticus 17:14).  Pagans drank blood to acquire its life-force and used blood in magical rites to sustain life and fertility.

God gives the breath of life to all creatures and He has specifically created or designed each creature, including man to manifest that life in a particular way.  Since God is the giver of the breath of life, He is also the one who can take it away.  We cannot get our existence or life by trying to appropriate it from another nor can we try to make ourselves or other creatures into something other than what God intended.  It won’t work!  History shows us that becoming involved with eating blood, blood sacrifices, etc, have always resulted in atrocities, murder and destruction.   

Question:  Why did God command the death penalty for murder (9:6)?

"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

clear
Posted on 09/24/2013 4:26 PM by Larry G
clear
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
The Believer's New Nature
clear

Biblical terminology does not say that a Christian has two different natures.  He has but one nature, the new nature of Christ.  The old self dies and the new self lives; they do not coexist.  It is not a remaining old nature but the remaining garment of sinful flesh that causes Christians to sin.  The Christian is a single new person, a totally new creation, not a spiritual schizophrenic.  It is the filthy coat of remaining humanness in which the new creation dwells that continues to hinder and contaminate his living.  The believer as a total person is transformed but not yet wholly perfect.  He has residing sin but no longer reigning sin (Romans 6:14).  

He is longer the old man corrupted but is now the new man created in righteousness and holiness, awaiting full salvation (Romans 13:11)

Romans 6:14

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace 

Romans 13:11

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 

clear
Posted on 09/24/2013 3:34 PM by Larry G
clear
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar
clear

As Jesus promised (John 14:26, Acts 1:8), the Father sent the Holy Spirit to empower the apostles to witness.  As you read 3:1-26, consider what aspects of the story are unique to that time, and what aspects are relevant to our lives today.

John 14:26

But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative -- and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit -- he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you.

ACTS 3:1-26

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers

11 While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. 17 "Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.' 24 "Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."

clear
Posted on 09/24/2013 12:50 PM by Larry G
clear
Monday, 23 September 2013
The Noahic Covenant
clear

Question: With whom did God covenant after the Flood (Genesis 9:9-10)?

Genesis 9:9-10

9 "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 

God covenants with Noah and his future descendants and every living creature on earth.

Name the stipulations of this covenant

God’s side (Genesis 9:11)

I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."

Man’s side (Genesis 9:1-6)

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. 

What is the sign that guaranteed the covenant?

Genesis 9:12-13

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

The sign of the covenant is the Rainbow.

clear
Posted on 09/23/2013 4:19 PM by Larry G
clear
Monday, 23 September 2013
Personal Transformation
clear

Question:  What part does knowing God’s Word play in transforming us (Col. 3:16)?

Colossians 3:16 -- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

You have to know what He says and in trusting Him and doing what He says, you come to know its reality, its truthfulness and the more you know that, the more you grow in trusting Him and becoming more and more like Him.

 

clear
Posted on 09/23/2013 3:31 PM by Larry G
clear
Monday, 23 September 2013
Pentecost and the Overall Message of Acts
clear

What does 2:1-41 contribute to the overall message of Acts?  (See 1:8 and your answer to question 7 on page 14.)

This passage shows how God began to fulfill the promises made to the apostles in 1:8.  It shows how it began in Jerusalem.  How the conditions were established for people to hear the message and spread out to everywhere specified in 1:8.  It also shows how the Gospel message and the scriptures and events were all tied together.

Using the topical outline below, jot down what Acts 2:1-41 reveals about the Church’s mission and message, the role of the Holy Spirit, etc.

WHAT IS THE CHURCH’S MISSION?

--To be Jesus’/God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth (1:8)

--To be Jesus’/God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth (2:32)

WHAT IS THE CHURCH’S MESSAGE?

--That Jesus had risen and that He would one day return (1:3, 11)

--All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (2:21, 39)

--Repent and be baptized into the name of Christ Jesus (2:38)

WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE IN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD?

--He is the one who enables believers (1:8)

--He will come to all who call on the name of the Lord, repent and are baptized in Jesus’ name (2:17, 38)

HOW DO BELIEVERS RESPOND TO OPPOSITION AND PERSECUTION IN ACTS?

--Persecution is not mentioned in Chapter 1, but I think fellowshipping and praying together are paramount.

--Persecution is not mentioned in Chapter 2

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND JUDAISM IN ACTS?

--The first Christians were Jews, Orthodox Jews, (1:6, 8, 11, 12, 15, and 16).

--The first people to hear the message and start to take it to other parts of the world were Jews (2:5-12, 41)

WHAT DOES ACTS SHOW ABOUT FELLOWSHIP (PARTNERSHIP, PARTICIPATION, SHARING, COMMUNION)?

--Believers are suppose to get together, we are not suppose to operate in isolation (1:14).

--Our fellowship includes people from everywhere (2:5-11, 17, 31, and 39).

clear
Posted on 09/23/2013 12:30 PM by Larry G
clear
Sunday, 22 September 2013
The Covenant after the Flood
clear

Genesis 9:1-17

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. 7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, teem on the earth and multiply in it." 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." 12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." 17 God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth."

clear
Posted on 09/22/2013 4:16 PM by Larry G
clear
clear
Showing 1-21 of 66 [Next 20]