Episode 12

Disciple Up #12
Real Truth Not “My Truth”
By Louie Marsh, 7-5-2017

Segment 1 – WHY do the cults deny these truths?

3  But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (ESV)

12  And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 (ESV)

6  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7  not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9  As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10  For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV)

Segment 2 – Truth Quotes:

“The greatest friend of truth is time; her greatest enemy is prejudice, and her constant companion humility.” – Chuck Colson

“If I speak what is false, I must answer for it; if truth, it will answer for me.” – Thomas Fuller

“Jesus Christ Himself is the final exegesis of all truth. He is all that we need to know about God, and He is all that we need to know about man.” – Major Ian Thomas

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” – C.S. Lewis

“One never errs more safely than when one errs by too much loving the truth.” – Augustine

Source for the Above Quotes

The Absolute Value of Truth

31  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33  They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” John 8:31-33 (ESV)

 6  Surely you desire integrity in the inner self, and you teach me wisdom deep within. Psalm 51:6 (CSBBible)

18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18 (NIV)

 23 Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. Proverbs 23:23 (ESV)

14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV) 17  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 (ESV)

22  You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:22-24 (ESV)

6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)

13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13 (ESV)

17  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19  And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. John 17:17-19 (ESV)

38  Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. John 18:38 (ESV)

The Disciple Up Low Down on “My” Truth

My Truth Urban Dictionary Quote

Closing

 Next week – I might talk about love.

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Episode 11

Disciple Up #11
Why Doctrine Is Vital
By Louie Marsh, 6-27-2017

Segment 1: Why Doctrine is important.

What is doctrine anyway? The word just meaning teaching. The way we use doctrine is to describe what the Bible teaches and what Christians believe.

My history with doctrine. As a teenager and a new Christian I thought you didn’t need it. But as I matured I discovered how wrong I was. Today lots of people will say we don’t need it – because that’s a perfect fit with the Spirit of the Age we live in.

No doctrine, no Christian faith. If we don’t have a clear grasp of basic Bible doctrines then we have no real Christian faith. It’s everyone for themselves or as the Bible says 25  In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25 (ESV). Judges 17:6

17  I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. Romans 16:17 (ESV)

11  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)

In the New Testament there was a clearly understood body of teaching (doctrine) that Paul often appeals too.

Note these carefully:

3  As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:3 (ESV)

10  the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:10 (ESV)

Segment 2:

Common doctrines denied by almost all cults:

  • The Trinity

There is only one God:

10  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. Isaiah 43:10 (ESV)

8  Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8 (ESV)

3  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3 (ESV)

Father, Son & Holy Spirit All Called God:

Father – 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11 (NIV)

Son 1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NIV)

30  I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 (ESV)

Holy Spirit – 3  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?4  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” Acts 5:3-4 (ESV)

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…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 16:6-7, 10 (ESV)

Then – the 3 persons are the one true God.

  • Identity of Jesus (God in human flesh)

14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)

  • Salvation by Grace

12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)

5  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:5-10 (ESV)

20  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (ESV)

  • Inerrancy of the Bible (extra-Biblical authority)

35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35 (ESV)

14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)

The Disciple Up Low Down on the Danger of Doctrine

Closing

 Next week we’ll look at why the cults attack these doctrines and focus on Discipleship & the truth.

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Episode 10

Two Sides to Spiritual Growth

 My side – spiritual disciplines

  • God’s side – the work of the Holy Spirit

Where people tend to disagree is who does what and how much and how often.

The Two Extremes:

  • Those who teach it’s pretty much all up to me
  • Those who say just “relax and go with the flow” of the Spirit since it’s all a work of God in me.

Both Extremes are Wrong:

  • There’s plenty of evidence in the NT that God expects us to practice spiritual disciplines
  • There’s also plenty of evidence that it’s God who transforms us not ourselves (fruit of the Spirit)

The Real Answer is Both and Neither

12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13  For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12 -13(CSBBible)

  • The transformation of the disciple into the image of Jesus is something that both God and the disciple does – together.
  • We are partners!

9  For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9 (CSBBible)

One Last Fatal Flaw

  • Both sides in this act as though you can actually know who’s doing what when we spiritually grow. Really? I don’t think so.

28  We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me. Colossians 1:28-29 (CSBBible)

Segment 2 – Quotes:

 Sources: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/discipleship

 “The “show business,” which is so incorporated into our view of Christian work today, has caused us to drift far from Our Lord’s conception of discipleship. It is instilled in us to think that we have to do exceptional things for God; we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in five minutes.”
― Oswald Chambers  (24 July 1874 – 15 November 1917

“Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon,

“One of the consequences of sin is that it makes the sinner pity himself instead of causing him to turn to God. One of the first signs of new life is that the individual takes sides with God against himself.”
― Donald Grey Barnhouse   March 28, 1895 -November 5, 1960

“We advise disciples not to follow anyone. Let them follow themselves. Each one should follow his resplendent and luminous inner Being.”
― Samael Aun Weor,  March 6th, 1917 – December 24th, 1977, The Major Mysteries: The Gnostic Jesus and the Path of Initiation 

Segment 3:

“No one accidentally grows in Christ.”

Really? Maybe but…. My story of transformation on my first trip to Myanmar

The Disciple Up Low Down Multifaceted Discipleship

Closing

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Episode 9

 Disciple Up #9
Tube Float Discipleship & No Safe Spaces
By Louie Marsh

Some Rambling thoughts on community involvement to open up the show.

 Quotes:

“I would like to encourage you to stop thinking of what you’re doing as ministry. Start realizing that your ministry is how much of a tip you leave when you eat in a restaurant; when you leave a hotel room whether you leave it all messed up or not; whether you flush your own toilet or not. Your ministry is the way that you love people. And you love people when you write something that is encouraging to them, something challenging. You love people when you call your wife and say, ‘I’m going to be late for dinner,’ instead of letting her burn the meal. You love people when maybe you cook a meal for your wife sometime, because you know she’s really tired. Loving people – being respectful toward them – is much more important than writing or doing music.” 
― Rich Mullins

“Luther says that vocations are a “mask from God. That is, God hides Himself in the workplace, the family, the Church, and the seemingly secular society” 
― Gene Edward Veith Jr.God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life

“A few nights after his conversion he asked how long this Gospel had been known in England. He was told that we had known it for some hundreds of years.
“What!” said he, amazed; “is it possible that for hundreds of years you have had the knowledge of those glad tidings in your possession, and yet have only now come to preach it to us? My father sought after the Truth for more than twenty years, and died without finding it. Oh, why did you not come sooner?” 
― Hudson TaylorA Retrospect

“Often our influence in our communities extends to church programs, musicals, or weekly services. While those things can help present the Gospel, God desires for us to personally be influences on the world around us. Spreading the Gospel isn’t solely the church’s job; it’s the job of every Christian.”

– Paul Chappell

https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-witnessing/#ixzz4jetoYpiY

Jesus & Community Involvement:

There’s basically 5 times when Jesus is shown interacting with the community of “sinners” in the Gospels. Here they are:

  1. Matthew 9: 9-13, Mark 2:13-17 & Luke 5:27-32
  2. Matthew 11: 16-19; Luke 7:31-35
  3. Luke 7:36-50
  4. Luke 15:1-2
  5. Luke 19:1-10

The Disciple Up Low Down On Tube Float Discipleship & No Safe Spaces

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Episode 8

 

Karma’s Not A *itch Because Karma Doesn’t Exist

From all sides you hear about Karma today – why I’m doing this episode – Christians say it too!

What is Karma?

  1. (Hinduism) HinduismBuddhism the principle of retributive justice determining a person’s state of life and the state ofhis or her reincarnations as the effect of past deeds
  2. (Theology) theosophythe doctrine of inevitable consequence
  3. destiny or fate

(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

Source of above: http://tinyurl.com/y7258mjx

 Popular understanding:

There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone. Sylvester Stallone

I’m a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good. Sandra Bullock

I believe in karma, and I believe if you put out positive vibes to everybody, that’s all you’re going to get back. Kesha

What it really is:

Problems or successes, they all are the results of our own actions. Karma. The philosophy of action is that no one else is the giver of peace or happiness. One’s own karma, one’s own actions are responsible to come to bring either happiness or success or whatever. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Every single unfortunate thing that happens, including, for instance, the murder of my parents, I am responsible for. I am responsible for being the son of two people who got murdered. I didn’t cause their murder. But if I’m suffering because of it, it’s my karma that I have manifested in this lifetime in this particular set of circumstances. Patrick Duffy (Buddhist)

Karma is only in space time and causality. Your real self resides non-locally. Deepak Chopra

Karma brings us ever back to rebirth, binds us to the wheel of births and deaths. Good Karma drags us back as relentlessly as bad, and the chain which is wrought out of our virtues holds as firmly and as closely as that forged from our vices. Annie Besant

Attachment and aversion are the root cause of karma, and karma originates from infatuation. Karma is the root cause of birth and death, and these are said to be the source of misery. None can escape the effect of their own past karma. Mahavira

Karma is inseparably linked to reincarnation – that’s who you “get what’s coming.” Your return isn’t for this life – it’s in the next. YET – you don’t know how you lived so how can you learn from the experience?

There is no grace in Karma, only the wheel of death and rebirth that crushes you and grinds you into nothing eventually (the end goal of Hinduism is to realize individuals don’t exist, we are all part of the divine, like a drop of water realizing it’s just part of the ocean.). 
Source of these quotes: Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/karma.html

 Dr. Walter R. Martin Quotes waltermartin.org

The moment you enlist in the army of God, you personally become a target. You need to remember that if you’re living for and walking with Jesus Christ, the powers of darkness are aligned against you.

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/walter_martin.html

Controversy for the sake of controversy is sin. Controversy for the sake of truth is a divine command.

When people say, ‘I believe in Jesus’, look them straight in the eye and ask, ‘Which one?’

Truth by definition is exclusive. If truth were all-inclusive, nothing would be false.

It should be carefully noted that Jesus did not say, “I am one of the equally good ways” or “I am a better way than the others, I am an aspect of truth; I am a fragment of the life.” Instead, His claim was absolute, and allegiance to Him as the Savior of the world, was to take precedence over all the claims of men and religions.

Text without context is pretext.

http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1335719

Is karma Christian? No.

 7  Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:7-10 (ESV)

Note the differences –

  • A personal God is in control of this and can shorten or extend the time of reaping if he chooses
  • There is forgiveness which can (but doesn’t always) cancel the debt and you don’t reap what you’ve sown.
  • There is grace, forgiveness and love in sowing and reaping, There is only an impersonal  wheel that crushes you in karma.

Reincarnation Is Not True:

 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. 4  We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5 (ESV)

 27  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28  so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28 (ESV)

What should disciples do?

21  but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)

In the book, Bono: iIn Conversation with Mishka Assayas, Bono commented, “I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge… I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross…”

Source of Bono quote: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-s-the-difference-between-grace-and-karma.html

Episode 7


Disciple Up #7

How To Respond to the Gospel

By Louie Marsh

How To Establish A Spiritual B.A.S.I.S. for Living

 B = Believe Jesus died on the Cross for me and showed He was God by coming back to life again.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  (1 Cor. 15:2-4)

A = Accept Christ as Lord of My life and His free forgiveness of my sins.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–  (John 1:12)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  (Eph. 1:7)

Billy Graham Quotes:

  • “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”
  • “God proved his love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
  • “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
  • “Sin is the second most powerful force in the universe, for it sent Jesus to the cross. Only one force is greater—the love of God.”
  • “Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”
  • “When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”
  • “The message I preach hasn’t changed. Circumstances have changed. Problems have changed, but deep inside man has not changed, and the gospel hasn’t changed.”

Quotes Source

How To Respond to the Gospel, Pt. 2

S = Switch to God’s Plan for my life.

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”  (Mark 1:15)

 I = Inform others of your decision.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  (Romans 10:9)

 S = Submerge yourself in Christ.

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.  (Galatians 3:26-27)

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

Disciple Up Low Down On Effective Communication of the Gospel

Wrap Up:

 Please let me know what you think of the show, comment on our FaceBook page. Also what kind of issues would you like to see me address in the future? Bible questions? Cultural questions?  Just make sure it’s not dealing with politics or prophecy because those are two things Disciple Up isn’t really about (but I will be dealing with them a bit further down the road. So stay tuned for that!)

 

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Episode 6

Disciple Up #6
What is the Gospel?
Two schools of thought about how to explain the Gospel. (Actually there’s more than just two of course, but what follows is a fairly accurate summation of how people and churches are approaching the Gospel.
The First one we’ll discuss is one that tends to be used by more mainline churches:
• Creation
• Fall
• Redemption
• Consummation
Once we’ve gotten through that we’ll tackle this next one in the second part of the show:
• God
• Man
• Christ
• Response
Together they more fully explain the Biblical Gospel:
Creation – God creates
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 (ESV)
Fall – mankind falls into sin – Messiah promised
11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 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.” Genesis 3:11-15 (ESV)

Redemption – God invades history to save us, Abraham, Moses, Prophets, Jesus…
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. Genesis 6:18 (ESV)
1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1 (ESV)
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:23-24 (ESV)

Consummation – 2nd coming, new heavens, new earth
20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Acts 3:20-21 (ESV)
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4 (ESV)
Moralistic, therapeutic, deism – much of modern Christianity
http://www.christianpost.com/news/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-the-new-american-religion-6266/
Timothy Keller Quotes:
Gospel Quote: “Jesus Christ, God’s promised rescuer and ruler lived our life, died our death and rose again in triumphant vindication as the first-fruits of the new creation to bring forgiven sinners together by the Holy Spirit to live under his gracious reign as His Kingdom people.”
The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself or less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.

The Gods of moralistic religions favor the successful and the overachievers. They are the ones who climb the moral ladder up to heaven. But the God of the Bible is the one who comes down into this world to accomplish a salvation and give us a grace we could never attain ourselves

Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming

We believe the world was made by a God who is a community of persons who have loved each other for all eternity. You were made for mutually self-giving, other directed love. Self-centeredness destroys the fabric of what God has made.

God’s grace and forgiveness, while free to the recipient, are always costly for the giver. From the earliest parts of the Bible, it was understood that God could not forgive without sacrifice. No one who is seriously wronged can ‘just forgive’ the perpetrator. But when you forgive, that means you absorb the loss and the debt. You bear it yourself. All forgiveness, then, is costly.

If we say, ‘I believe in Jesus,’ but it doesn’t affect the way we live, the answer is not that now we need to add hard work to our faith so much as that we haven’t truly understood or believed in Jesus at all.

God – God so loved the world
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-33 (ESV)

Man – man rejected God loving the darkness
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. John 1:9-11 (ESV)
Jesus – became man died for our sins, lives again, offering salvation
28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 (ESV)
18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” Matthew 20:18-19 (ESV)
Response – Accept or Reject?
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:17-21 (ESV)
Gospel is not you do but Jesus did
Di

Episode 5

Let’s look at what the New Testament says about God’s will from the perspective of a disciple of Jesus.

Knowing Jesus:

 35  For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35 (ESV)

16  So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17  If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. John 7:16-17 (ESV)

Circumstances:

21  But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. Acts 18:21 (ESV)

10  always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. Romans 1:10 (ESV)

32  so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. Romans 15:32 (ESV)

5  and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 2 Corinthians 8:5 (ESV)

Holy Spirit’s Ministry:

 27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27 (ESV)

Cool Quotes:

Martin Luther

http://www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/martin-luther.html

 This IS God’s Will For Me:

2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)

3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (ESV)

18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

15  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 1 Peter 2:15 (ESV)

19  Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:19 (ESV)

17  For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:17 (ESV)

Wrap up

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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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