Episode 4

 

Thinking Biblically

God calls disciples to think Biblically not culturally and not to simply follow my feelings or to go by my instincts. No, God calls all disciples to think clearly, critically (I mean analytically not to be critical of others).

18  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)

We need to think like God thinks, to see the world as he does and then follow that truth.

People sometimes say, “The god I believe in …”  Perhaps the god you believe in isn’t the real, true and living God. And the only way to know for sure what he thinks is to consult, understand and depend upon the Bible.

C.S.Lewis: “If you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones!”

To really think Biblically I must to this:  21  but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)

Test everything – especially things that make me feel good while sending me off in a slightly different direction in life. This kind of testing, comparing everything to Scripture – needs to become a deeply ingrained habit that the disciple does automatically!

1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (ESV)

Your Mind Matters by John Stott

An Example of Thinking Biblically

 34  But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38  This is the great and first commandment. 39  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40 (ESV)

1st Question: Who is my neighbor?

29  But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37 (ESV)

2nd Question:  What is the command here?

A: To love my neighbor. This isn’t two commands – it’s ONE. The command is to love my neighbor.

The second part of this is an explanation of HOW we are to love our neighbor. People have always known there are different kind of love. Love my dog, spouse, baseball, various unhealthy sweets etc.

“As yourself” explains that this command is for us to love our neighbor the way we normally LOVE OURSELVES. This selflove is assumed – NOT commanded. This type of self-love, or self-preservation as we’d probably call it, is noted throughout Scripture.

28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, Ephesians 5: 28-29 (ESV)

Conclusion: This command is NOT a command to have high self-esteem. To make it say that is to twist the plain meaning of the text to fit into our modern therapeutic, psychologized world view. A view which did not exist prior to the last century and NEVER existed or was taught in the Bible.

Closing

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Episode 3



Levels of accountability 

To God
To ourselves
To an intimate few Eccl. 4:9-12
To the community of faith

Accountable to govt.

1  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God…6  For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7  Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:1,6-7 (ESV)

God holds us accountable, this is Personal accountability. 

10  Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11  for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12  So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:10-12 (ESV)

Christians are also accountable to one another.

1  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)

24  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 (ESV)

Cool Quotes – Chuck Smith

Look, don’t judge Christianity by the imperfect examples that we have seen in history. Judge it by Jesus Christ.

God will allow us to follow self-help, self-improvement programs until we have tried them all, until we finally come to the honest confession, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t be righteous in my own strength!’ It is then, when we admit our utter powerlessness, that we find hope. For it is then when the Lord intervenes to do a work that we could not do for ourselves.

Though prayer doesn’t change God’s mind or God’s purposes, prayer does change something- It changes us.

Prayer does not change the purpose of God. But prayer does change the action of God.

Our heart is like a reservoir from which our lives flow.

For more go to AZquotes.com and search for Chuck Smith.

More on Accountability

To establish Christian accountability, there needs to be trust. Developing trust is a slow process and it takes time to develop and grow. As people meet together to share, they begin to establish a rapport with one another. How is this accomplished? Let’s see what the Bible says.

  • Active listening is essential to developing trust. James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
  • A non-judgmental attitude is another essential element. Remember, we can be accepting of an individual while being discerning of the situation. Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
  • Caring for each other is also essential. 1 John 4:21 says, “And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

Accountability involves a willingness to open yourself up and share sensitive or personal information. This is why trust is so imperative. If you sense trust, you are more open to share your innermost thoughts without concern of betrayal.

Closing Remarks

Email – louie@discipleup.org

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Episode 2

The Disciple of Jesus VS Selfism

Being a disciple of Jesus is a radical departure from our culture of selfism. Selfism = believe in yourself, etc.

Will power becomes won’t power very quickly. Will power makes me self-absorbed.

 23  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (ESV)

How does this square with Phil. 2:5-7:   “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,”

But at the same time we’re told that “Where ever you go there you are,” and “You are your biggest problem.” So which is it? According to the greatest leader, thinker and teacher of all time – you need to become selfless!

Jesus says to listen to your doubts when you think I can’t do it, I’m not able. Because they are telling you the truth! You cannot save yourself and you cannot become like Christ by yourself. The main problem all of us face is more than psychological it is spiritual. Problems go beyond what any of us can deal with except God alone.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Luke 9:24

AA 1st Step: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable. Christianity isn’t self-help – it is self-surrender, self-denial, dying to self and living to God.

Read more

Episode 1

Main Discussion, Pt. 1:

DISCIPLE

The word is found in the Bible only in the Gospels and Acts.

In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct.

Incredible Quotes

G.K. Chesterton

“Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.” – Autobiography, 1937

“There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.”

“Moderns have not the moral courage, as a rule, to avow the sincere spiritual bias behind their fads; they become insincere even about their sincerity. Most modern liberality consists of finding irreligious excuses for religious bigotry. The earlier type of bigot pretended to be more religious than he really was. The later type pretends to be less religious than he really is. He does not wear a mask of piety, but rather a mask of impiety – or, at any rate, of indifference.”

Source of Quotes

His books on Amazon 

About me – background – education, ministry.

I've been blessed to do a lot of overseas work, particularly in Myanmar but also Thailand, Malawi, Cambodia, and many other places.

My Father was a Marine Raider in World War Two and I have been active in the Association for many years. I'm currently on the board, the Chaplain etc. Here's his webpage.

I am the Senior Pastor of Christ's Church on the River in Parker Arizona & an blessed to work in this community, with a fantastic Associate Pastor, and enjoy the place God has called me to live.

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Guilty By Association (Meltdown, 1984)

So you need a new car?
Let your fingers take a walk
Through the business guide
For the "born again" flock

You'll be keeping all your money
In the kingdom now
And you'll only drink milk
From a Christian cow

Don't you go casting your bread
To keep the heathen well-fed
Line Christian pockets instead
Avoid temptation

Guilty by association

Closing

Disciple Up will God willing, publish an episode every week covering different areas of concern to Disciples of Jesus. If that’s important to you then please subscribe on iTunes, Google or another of the many other podcast aggregators available to you.

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