Episode 48

Disciple Up # 49
The Cruel Curse of Christian Cliches
By Louie Marsh, 3-21-2018

What’s coming up –

THIS EPISODE -The Cruel Curse of Christian Clichés

49 – 3-28- Tales From the Scrypt – The Easter Story

55 – 5-9- 1st Anniversary!

Don’t know what I’ll do – if you want to say anything about the impact of this podcast on your life in it’s first year e-mail, put it on FaceBook, etc.

NEW SEGMENT – WOULDA-COULDA-SHOULDA

 Thoughts on last week’s topic that I missed including.

I probably didn’t stress enough that being transparent with others starts with being transparent with yourself! This is why it’s such a boost to our spiritual and emotional growth and our overall growth as a person.

The Disciple Up Low Down On Why Clichés Matter.

THE CLICHES:

“God needed another angel.”

God doesn’t NEED anything – because He’s God! See my sermon from 2-25-2018

“When God closes a door, He opens a window.”

But if God closes a door in your life, there’s no guarantee He’ll open a window. He may not open anything. He may want you to realize you have the wrong address.

6  And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7  And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8  So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10  And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:6-10 (ESV)

“The greatest distance in the universe is the eighteen inches between your head and your heart.”

This isn’t Biblical and displays the anti-intellectual strain in large parts of fundamentalism. It’s bad – God designed your heart and mind to work together!

“You’re never more safe than when you’re in God’s will.”

Jesus seems to disagree:

 16  You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17  You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18  But not a hair of your head will perish. Luke 21:16-18 (ESV)

Look at all the Christian martyrs including all the Apostles except John!

Justin Martyr (AD 100–165) was almost certainly reflecting on this passage when he said, “They can kill us but they cannot harm us.”

“God will not give you more than you can handle.”

The problem, though, is that God will give you more than you can handle. He’ll do it to make you lean on Him. He’ll do it because He loves you.

8  For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (ESV)

John Newton (1725–1807), the former slave trader who penned “Amazing Grace.” Wrote this in a letter:

“Though our frames and perceptions may vary, the report of faith concerning [the time of death] is the same. The Lord usually reserves dying strength for a dying hour … When the time shall arrive which he has appointed for your dismissal, I make no doubt but that he will overpower all your fears, silence all your enemies, and give you a comfortable, triumphant entrance into his kingdom. You have nothing to fear from death; for Jesus, by dying, has disarmed it of its sting, has perfumed the grave, and opened the gates of glory for his believing people.”

“God helps those who help themselves.”

Ever hear of the Gospel? Salvation by Grace?  This isn’t all false but reflects a mind set upon earning God’s approval by works.

“Let go and let God.”

As J. I. Packer once put it, “The Christian’s motto should not be ‘Let go and let God’ but ‘Trust God and get going.'”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

Yes, that scientifically true but that doesn’t mean it’s a good reason or a healthy one or that God intended it to happen.

“God said it. I believe it. That settles it”

True BUT – that shouldn’t discount struggles

“Sowing a seed” when you mean give money

 That’s “My Truth”

The Christian Side Hug

Really? We can’t just hug people naturally?

Christian Cliché video

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Episode 47

Disciple Up # 47
Transparent Discipleship
By Louie Marsh, 3-14-2018

What’s coming up –

48 – 3-21-The Cruel Curse of Christian Clichés

49 – 3-28- Tales From the Scrypt – The Easter Story

55 – 5-9- 1st Anniversary!

Don’t know what I’ll do – if you want to say anything about the impact of this podcast on your life in it’s first year e-mail, put it on FaceBook, etc.

My book Getting Real is all about this – from the Psalms which is if not the most then one of the most real books in the Bible.

The Disciple Up Low Down on the Importance of Transparency

Biblical Basis for Transparency

Throughout the Bible, the heroes of faith are presented as men subject to like passions as we are (Jas. 5:17) with strengths and weaknesses. For example, it not only portrays Abraham as a friend of God but also as a liar who jeopardized his wife’s virtue.

  1. The Lord Jesus

2) The Psalms – as real as you can get!

Hindrances to Transparency

There is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) transparency about the characters in the Bible. But many of us go around wearing a mask. Why are we afraid to let others know who we really are?

We are afraid to be transparent because we fear others may not like what they see and reject us. Worse, your words or actions may be misinterpreted and gossip, like wild fire, may spread to many others. Another hindrance to transparency is the “living by faith” extreme of denying our feeling.

Therefore, we put up this “I-Must-Always-Be-Strong” facade such that nothing can go out and nothing can come in. It becomes impossible to “connect” (build close relationships) with others.

Quotes:

Jennie Allen

“We are all hiding from each other with big fig leaves, but God says, “You could stop because I am a way better covering. I have an actual payment for all the sin you are hiding. But it will take coming out from behind your leaves. It will take humility to see that you need me”

Joni Eareckson Tada

Gut-wrenching questions honor God. Despair directed at God is a way of encountering him, opening ourselves up to the One and only Someone who can actually do something about our plight.

Madeleine L’Engle

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.

Henri J.M. Nouwen

I always try to turn my personal struggles into something helpful for others.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Maybe we wonder if God can take all that goes on in our mind and heart. Maybe we simply want to hold on to our own pleasurable imaginings, afraid that in showing them to our Lord, we may have to give them up. Thus, we are constantly tempted to fall back…out of fear or out of greed, and to keep from our God what often is the most in need of His healing touch.

Juliana of Norwich

It is very great pleasure to [Christ] when a simple soul comes to him nakedly, plainly and unpretentiously.

How To Build A Foundation For Transparency

  1. We cannot hide anything from God  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Psa 139:3
  2. We can tell God anything and everything.

1  How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2  How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3  Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, Psalm 13:1-3 (ESV)

Paul was not afraid to allow others to see him as he was.  15  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17  To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:15-17 (ESV)

Benefits of Transparency

  1. People will see you as a real human being.
  2. Your transparency lets people into you life and creates a real healthy relationship.
  3. Transparency creates transparency. It will draw your disciples out to reveal their hearts to you. This in turn will enable you to know where the applications of God’s word are to be made in their lives.
  4. Your transparency gives others the freedom to hurt, permission to fail, and the confidence to  trust in the Grace of God

 Potential Problems with Transparency

  1. To be transparent isn’t telling everyone everything about everything.
    29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

6  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 (ESV)

    1. Don’t harm people by sharing things they can’t handle and will hurt them.
    2. Always make sure whatever you say that you point people to Christ.

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Episode 46

Disciple Up Show Notes # 46
Dealing with Failure
By Louie Marsh, 3-7-2017

Intro.

Support the Disciple Empowering podcast!!!

What we’re going to do on the show today.

Examples of Failures in the Bible:

The prophet Elijah’s breakdown

 Intro to the Disciple Up SmackDown – history of Disciple Up Low Down and how this developed. Decided today to do this off an outline not a script like the Low Down so they’ll have very different styles and identities.

The Disciple Up SmackDown on Admitting I Failed

When discussing failure with most modern Americans and sadly that includes Christians you’ll almost always get the lecture if you dare to say anything like, “I failed.”

There’s a huge difference between admitting something you’ve done has failed and saying you are a failure.

What is this so called “positivity?” It’s a determined and deliberate denial of reality. I believe Disciples of Jesus believe, speak and live the truth. So when you’ve sinned you admit it, and when you’ve failed you admit it.

Quotes:

“Failure means I dared try.”

– Jack Hyles

“It is better to make a thousand failures than to be too cowardly to ever undertake anything.”

– Clovis G. Chappell

“And seldom if ever do I leave the pulpit without a sense of partial failure, a mood of penitence, a cry to God for forgiveness, and a resolve to look to Him for grace to do better in the future.”

– John Stott

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

C.S. Lewis

“Sum up the life of Jesus by any other standard than God’s, and it is an anticlimax of failure.”

– Oswald Chambers

“What is God’s remedy for dejection at apparent failure in our labors? This – the assurance that God’s purpose cannot fail, that God’s plans cannot miscarry, that God’s will must be done. Our labors are not intended to bring about that which God has not decreed.”

– A. W. Pink

“To dwell on the past simply causes failure in the present. While you are sitting down and bemoaning the past and regretting all the things you have not done, you are crippling yourself and preventing yourself from working in the present. Is that Christianity? Of course it is not.”

– Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“One who faces his own failures is steadily advancing on the pilgrim’s way.”

– William Temple

John Mark’s desertion

Peter’s denial of Christ

 Failures who didn’t recover:

Saul

 Judas

 Samson (sort of)

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Episode 45

Disciple Up #45
In Remembrance: Billy Graham
By Louie Marsh, 2-28-2018

Great source of information on Billy’s life and ministry: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/billy-graham/

Looking for a Biblical position on God and suffering?  Check out Episode 16 – God and suffering.

Four Lessons We Should Learn From Billy Today:

  • Integrity:
  • Focus:
  • Action Not Protest:
  •  Transparency:

Books by Billy Graham

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Episode 44

Disciple Up #44
The Disciple & Free Speech
By Louie Marsh, 2-21-2018

General Commands on Speech:

29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

6  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 (ESV)

15  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, Ephesians 4:15 (ESV)

Practical Power of Speech:

1  A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Proverbs 15:1-2 (ESV)

28  Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28 (ESV)

19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19 (ESV)

Quotes:

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/freedom_of_speech

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. Soren Kierkegaard

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them. Mark Twain

I believe that freedom of speech and freedom of religion go hand-in-hand in America. Kirk Cameron

I live in America. I have the right to write whatever I want. And it’s equaled by another right just as powerful: the right not to read it. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people. Brad Thor

Freedom of speech means freedom for those who you despise, and freedom to express the most despicable views. It also means that the government cannot pick and choose which expressions to authorize and which to prevent. Alan Dershowitz

What Speech Shows Me About Myself

8  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:8-12 (ESV)

11  it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:11 (ESV)

34  You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34 (ESV)

God & Speech:

3  Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3 (ESV)

2   Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. 3  For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words. Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 (ESV)

11  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 (ESV)

36  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37 (ESV)

The Disciple Up Low Down On the Disciple & Censorship

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Episode 43

43 Disciple Up Show Notes
Why Did God Let This Happen To Me? Pt. 2
Louie Marsh, 2-14-2018

Why God Allowed My Pain

 3) To Teach Me To trust God more.

 We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  2 Cor. 1:8-9

 4) To Give Me a ministry to others.

 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good  Genesis 50:20

 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  2 Cor. 1:4

Story of Joseph.  He was so mistreated by his brothers, and others in Egypt. He was a good guy who had a ton of bad things happen to him! His 11 brothers sold him into slavery and then told their Dad he’d been eaten by a lion!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

 Sources of Strength:

1) The plan of God.

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

2) The promises of God.

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Did you know that there are over 7000 promises from God in the Bible? Learn which ones apply to you and hang on to them!

3) The people of God.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

4) The presence of Christ.

 Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (Message)

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Episode 42

42 Disciple Up Show Notes
Why Did God Let This Happen To Me?
Louie Marsh, 2-7-2018

I dealt with this from a more philosophical perspective in episode 16 – God and Suffering

Suffering Is…

1) A part of following Jesus.

 But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  1 Pet.2:20-21

 2) It can be good for my faith!

 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Pet. 1:6-7

Suffering Isn’t….

1) God punishing you for your sins.

     Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no!… Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13:1-5

1  As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2  And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3  Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3 (ESV)

 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”   Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. John 9:1-3 (Message)

20  The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:20 (ESV)

The Four Sources of Suffering

1) The world.

 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you… If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.   John 15:18-20

 2) The devil.

 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

3) The flesh/old nature.

 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.  Romans 7:5

4) God.

 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:  “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,  and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”  Endure hardship as discipline;  Hebrews 12:5-7

  • Only As A last resort.

 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.  Do not be like the horse or the mule,  which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle  or they will not come to you.  Psalm 32:8-9

Why God Allowed My Pain

          1) He’s Given Me A choice.

 …then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.  Joshua 24:15

          2) To Get My attention.

 Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.  Proverbs 20:30

 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance  2 Cor. 7:9

 

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Episode 41

41 Disciple Up Show Notes
Great Commission Month – Commissioned Times Five!
By Louie Marsh, 1-30-2018

The Five Great Commissions:

 18  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

 15  And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18  they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18 (ESV)

 45  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46  and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48  You are witnesses of these things. 49  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49 (ESV)

21  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” John 20:21-23 (ESV)

8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (ESV)

What About the Timing & Differences?

 John’s “great commission” is said during Jesus’ resurrections appearances, so it’s actually not what we think of as THE great commission. It’s Jesus being the Master Teacher and repeating what he’s saying so we’ll get it.

Luke’s Great Commission seems to be at a different time also. Luke merges his resurrection appearances together perhaps to save space and move the narrative forward. The opening of the minds and the being witnesses could be referring to John’s commission? Either way it’s clear from Acts that Luke is very focused on them being empowered by the Spirit for this calling.

Mark and the textual difficulties. Go here to read some excellent summaries of different points of view: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/3973/is-the-ending-of-the-gospel-of-mark-169-20-original

Great Commission Quotes:

 “Rather than give me one thousand who have gained a vision for the world, give me one who will keep that vision.” Ralph Winter

 “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”      William Carey in his so-called Deathless Sermon, Isaiah 54:2-3

 Shout the victory of Jesus Christ!”  John Hyde “Praying Hyde” – Missionary to India – while he lay dying.

No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.   William Borden

 Highlights of Each Commission:

In Matthew the disciples were charged and commissioned to…

  1. Go out and share the Gospel.
  2. Disciple of all nations (all ethic groups).
  3. Baptize all new followers of Jesus,
  4. Teach them to obey the things that Jesus taught.
  5. Jesus would be with them always as they carried out this command.

 In Mark the disciples were…

  1. to proclaim good news to all creation.
  2. to baptize all new believers.
  3. Were told supernatural signs would accompany and protect them.

 In Luke the disciples were called to…

  1. proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins to all nations.
  2. To wait for the Holy Spirit to empower them and then do these things in His Power.

 In John the disciples…

  1. Like Jesus, they were being sent to speak for God.
  2. The Holy Spirit would empower them to fulfill this command.
  3. They were to proclaim forgiveness of sin and release people from it’s power.

 Finally, in Acts the disciples were commanded by Jesus to…

  1. They were to receive the Spirit’s power.
  2. To be His witnesses everywhere.

Summary of all five:

 1) Preach the Gospel Everywhere

2) Baptize new disciples.

3) Teach them to obey

4) Do it all in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Disciple Up Low Down On Being Commissioned

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Episode 40

Disciple Up #40
Great Commission Month Pt. 3 – The Four Faces of Teaching
By Louie Marsh, 1-24-2018

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

TEACHING IS MANY THINGS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

PROCLAIM – PREACH

22  So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23  For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. Acts 17:22-23 (ESV)

18  Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18 (ESV)

Babbler – “seed picker”   preacher – proclaimer

TEACHING

42  And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42 (ESV)

25  And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26  Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. 27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28  saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Acts 5:25-28 (ESV)

35  But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. Acts 15:35 (ESV)

REASONED

1  Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2  And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, Acts 17:1-2 (ESV)

4  And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. Acts 18:4 (ESV)

24  After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25  And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” Acts 24:24-25 (ESV)

Reasoned – dia legomai – to dispute, discuss, idea of going back and forth on things to understand them properly.

ARGUED

8  Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” Acts 25:8 (ESV)

Argue – compound means to give an account of, to answer or defend.

QUOTES:

Preaching 

If I ever wrote a book on preaching, it would contain three words: Preach the Word. Get rid of all the other stuff that gets you sidetracked; preach the Word. Charles R. Swindoll

Preaching on Sunday mornings is such a simple thing, and by complicating it, I think we all do ourselves and the audience a disservice. It is very simple. Here is the model: Make people feel like they need an answer to a question. Andy Stanley

Teaching –

The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching. Aristotle
I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. John Steinbeck

Reasoning – 

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes. William Tecumseh Sherman What convinces is conviction. Believe in the argument you’re advancing. If you don’t you’re as good as dead. The other person will sense that something isn’t there, and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you. Lyndon B. Johnson

Arguing – 

Arguing, in the sense of attempting to convince others, has gone out of fashion with conservatives. P. J. O’Rourke
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. Abraham Lincoln

Disciple Up Low Down

 This is the Disciple Up Low Down on the Great Commission and Loose-Tight Properties.

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Episode 39

Disciple Up #39
The Great Commission Pt 3 Baptism – More Than Just A Dunk
By Louie Marsh, 1-17-2018

Welcome back – third week on the Great Commission verbs – today we look at baptizing. Why did Jesus put this in the Great Commission? It’s left out by many Evangelicals today, yet it was important enough to Jesus that he commanded us to do it.

So let’s look at what it is, what it’s important and why this symbol is critical to our discipleship and our following of Jesus.

The starting point for any discussion of baptism ought to be what the word is and means. Right here we discover the first reason people are confused about it – it’s a Greek word!  That’s right, baptism isn’t English at all! It’s a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo.

Baptism is the normal Greek word for immerse, dip or plunge. They had other words for sprinkle or pour, just as we do in English. It was used of ships sinking, of dipping a cloth into dye to change the color, etc.

All the great church leaders of the past clearly stated this was so – even when their own church traditions and practices didn’t conform to the Biblical command!

Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran Church and the one who began the whole Protestant Reformation) said, “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”

John Calvin (a younger contemporary of Luther, the Presbyterian and other churches look to him as a founder) said, “The word “baptize” signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”

John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Church) said, “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”

So while the meaning of the word is clear, is there any support for this in Scripture? The answer is yes, there are several passages that make it clear that baptism is immersion.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. Romans 6:1-5 (NIV)

In the book of Acts there’s a great story of Phillip being sent by the Lord to share the Good News with the Ethiopian eunuch. After he presents the Gospel from an Old Testament passage, look what happens.

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:36-39 (NIV)

If baptism can be done by pouring or sprinkling why did they have to wait till they found a body of water and then go down into it? Why not use stop and use some water from a water bag they surely had on hand?

The evidence is clear and overwhelming, baptism is to be done by immersion!

Who Should Be Baptized?

Jesus made this about as clear as it’s possible to make anything at the end of His Ministry in the Gospel of Matthew.

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

This is called the Great Commission and is repeated in various forms in Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21 and Acts 1:8.

Jesus expected all those who put their faith in Him as their Leader and Forgiver (Lord and Savior) to be baptized as part of becoming His disciple. This is clear as crystal from this command. Remember this is a command, not a suggestion! Baptism isn’t optional because it’s part of Christ’s very commands to His Apostles before they launched out on their mission to bring salvation to the ends of the earth!

If that’s true, you would expect to see the early church in the book of Acts follow this pattern. And that’s exactly what they did. When you study the Bible you find that the normal patter for people coming to Christ involved hearing the Gospel, believing it, turning away from their sin (repenting) confessing their faith in Christ to others, being baptized into Christ. Often they are then called saved.

Look at the chart below to see how often these important factors are mentioned in the book of Acts as Luke, guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, recorded the major or historically noteworthy conversions in the early history of the church.

Conversion Chart From the Book of Acts

Heard Believed Repented Confessed Baptized Saved
Pentecost – 2:22-41 Vs. 37 Vs. 38   Vs. 38.41 Vs. 41
Samaria – 8:4-15 Vs. 12     Vs. 12-13  
Eunuch – 8:26-39 Vs. 36     Vs. 38 Vs. 39
Saul – 9:1-9 22:10     Vs. 18 22:16
Cornelius – 10:1-48 Vs. 43 11:18   Vs. 48 11:1
Lydia – 16:13-15 Vs. 14-15     Vs. 15  
The Jailer – 16:25-34 Vs. 31,34 Vs. 30 Vs. 30 Vs. 33 Vs. 34

Interesting isn’t it? The only things that are mentioned in every conversion occurrence is  belief and baptism! That’s probably the exact opposite of what most of us would expect, yet that’s precisely what we find in God’s Word.

Baptism Quotes:

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/baptism

 Baptism is not only a sacrament of our union with Christ; it is also a sacrament of our communion as the body of Christ. – Michael Horton
In baptism, new Christians become part of a body of fellow believers who are called to spiritually encourage one another and hold one another responsible for consistent Christian living. – Tony Campolo

All of us who desire the kingdom of God are, by the Lord’s decree, under an equal and rigorous necessity of seeking after the grace of Baptism. – Saint Basil

Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism. Whether it is or is not more efficacious I do not know. – Samuel Butler

Religion needs a baptism of horse sense. – Billy Sunday

When Paul was exhorted to be baptized and to wash away his sins, there was an evident allusion to the use of water in the ordinance of baptism, and had there been no application of water on which to ground such an allusion, we may be certain that we should never have heard of washing away sins in baptism. – Adoniram Judson

The Sign of the Covenant:

 The important place that baptism holds in the life of the Christian is not only hinted at by how often it’s mentioned in the book of Acts, it’s spelled out by the Apostle Paul for us in a way that is often over looked because it’s tied into the Jewish heritage our Christian faith rests on.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:8-12 (NIV)

Notice here again Paul uses the imagery of burial in connection with baptism. He also ties baptism into the ancient Jewish rite of circumcision, thus confusing a lot of Christians who don’t really understand what circumcision was in the Old Testament.

God established circumcision as the sign of His covenant with Israel before the Law of Moses. He gave it Abraham as a sign and as something that absolutely must be done if a man wanted to be part of God’s Community.

You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner–those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:11-14 (NIV)

Baptism is different from circumcision in a crucial way, a difference that illustrates and celebrates what a wonderful covenant that all people have with Christ. Baptism is for everyone – both men and women!

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29 (NIV)

Salvation in Christ is offered to all, whether you are Jew, Gentile, woman, or man. It makes no difference because the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all! In Christ men and women have equal status before God as His redeemed children, with full access to his throne!

Baptism as Metaphor

1  For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2  and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 (ESV)

5  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:5 (NIV)

I like to think of Baptism in a metaphorical sense and a symbol for real and total commitment as well as being tightly focused on God. You can think of it as being immersed in the things of the Lord.

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