SERMONS AND LESSON OUTLINES
Finding your Vocation
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
- Wreaked Havoc upon the early believers
- Held the clothes of those who stoned Stephen.
- Shaper of the early church:
- “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” 2 Tim 4:7
Emphasize the Middle (Message Bible Version reads)
The Apostle’s Goal:
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back (Philippians 3:12-14).
To Philippian Church INSPIRE when your down and out.
Beginnings: Reluctant to hear Paul
Additional Scripture: Acts 9:21
Saul spent a few days getting acquainted with the Damascus disciples, but then went right to work, wasting no time, preaching in the meeting places that this Jesus was the Son of God. They were caught off guard by this and, not at all sure they could trust him, they kept saying, “Isn’t this the man who wreaked havoc in Jerusalem among the believers? And didn’t he come here to do the same thing—arrest us and drag us off to jail in Jerusalem for sentencing by the high priests?” 22 But their suspicions didn’t slow Saul down for even a minute. His momentum was up now and he plowed straight into the opposition, disarming the Damascus Jews and trying to show them that this Jesus was the Messiah.
II. Word: Intercessor
We were all called to be intercessors
Scripture: The Apostle begins his ministry
Barnabus brought him under His wing (intercede) (Acts 9 26-7 Message Bible) “Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t trust him one bit. Then Barnabas took him under his wing.”
- Not of Pedigree
He empathized the importance of grace/spiritual edification (building) and placed no confidence in the flesh. (Not of works that any may boast.)
2. Not because of pedigree: (confidence in the flesh). This confidence may include Pedigree may include family background (4th generation COGIC)
………………………. Come from wealth
………………………. Occupation (zealous as Paul persecuting the church)
Able to speak several languages have a certain discernable gift or anything that may cause you to drift away from God as a source placing confidence in the flesh.
a. Circumcised the eighth day,
b. of the stock of Israel,
c. of the tribe of Benjamin,
d. an Hebrew of the Hebrews;
e. as touching the law, a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5).
f. Gifted several languages and also a Roman citizen.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
- High Calling (spiritual endeavor)
- Low Calling (natural endeavor)
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. I Timothy 4:8
When high calling and low calling merge this is full time ministry or it could be doing what you love getting up for work with joy being a witness for the Lord.
• Make the Main Thing the Main Thing
• Don’t Major in the Minors
• Tripping over dollars chasing pennies
• Vocation = Ministry (purpose)
an emphasis is placed on the calling:
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” Ephesians 4: 1
• Ministry requires Sympathy/ Compassion
1. feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
2. understanding between people; common feeling.
For an effective ministry you must sync with God.
Aligning yourself with the wisdom of God
• Gives you a momentum that allows you access to excellence and supernatural happenstances.
• Many times, we want God to conform to us and our desire instead of having sympathy with his desires (the things which are Jesus Christ’s.)
Scripture II: Philippians 3:8
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
Revelation I The Personhood of Christ is Excellency
Leadership in Ministry
• Leadership is an action not a position
• True Leadership must be for the benefit of the followers not to enrich the leader.
• Leadership comes and is developed through diligence and a strong work ethic.
Revelation: Leadership is a result of aligning with God as a result excellency is produced.
• You become example/leader by living your life in the will of God. And you teach others by your actions
• Leadership idiom often said in churches made popular by preachers that a man a man who thinks he is a leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk.
Charles Mason in Mason sought a name that would be ‘set apart’ from others. In 1897, while in Little Rock, AR, Mason believed that God had given him the name the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Mason believed it was divinely revealed and biblically inspired taken from I Thessalonians 2:14, He believed God promised him, “If you take the name that I give you, they would never build a building that would hold all those who would come.”
Word: Vocation/Your calling
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, Ephesians 4: 1
Defined: the special function of an individual or group
Change one letter and vocation can be confused with vacation. not functioning in your divine vocation FRUIT.
Competition breeds haters: when you operate in your divine vocation there is no competition but yourself.
Cain kills Abel “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh”. Hebrews 11:4
Out of the will of God doing it your way not God’s way
Two of the oldest vocations know are that of a farmer and of a shepherd Abel brought of the flock and Cain brought of the fruit of the ground
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen(Genesis 4-6)?
God gave the key to us in Genesis in order to align with Him. When he told Cain.
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Gen 4:7
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Rom 11:29
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Eph. 4:11-12
6. word of wisdom
7. word of knowledge
11. gifts of healing
12. working of miracles
13. discerning of spirits
14. divers kinds of tongues
15. interpretation of tongues
17. then gifts of healings
1. “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” I Cor 14:1
2. “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” I Cor. 14:12
3. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
“Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching.” Rom 12:6-7
4. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues” I Cor 12:8-10
5. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” I Cor 12:28
6. “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” I Cor 14:1
7. “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” I Cor. 14:12
Your life is what God gave you to glorify his kingdom upon the earth.
Word: The Press to succeed.
Diligence in your Higher Calling:
Be led by the Holy Spirit then lead others.
Don’t drive others lead them from your higher call.
Press and receive from God a greater grace towards your vocation.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Rom 8:35 def of hell
I press for the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus.
Scripture: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I press now to be accepted by God and obtain the goodness of God while in the land of the living.
And yet while here I will seek to merge with my vocation and serve my gift to the world to effect change.
The Law of Reciprocity: you reap what you sow
Receiving what you Give out into the universe teaches you in life to respect boundaries you grow in grace and in humility. Wanting to have knowledge is an admiral thing but there are some things that come with age. As you live and grow in grace picking yourself up and dusting yourself off you learn many things about God and about human nature.
Forgetting those things in the past:
God and he is the only one that you need to please (proof)!
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Prov 16:7
Forgetting those things in the past I press for the high calling in Jesus.
Good definition and explanation of a Brasen Wall.
“For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.”~ Jeremiah 1:18-19
The first chapter of Jeremiah closes with God announcing that He had (while speaking) made Jeremiah into three things:
God used these symbols to send a message through Jeremiah to the people of Judah, and He is still using them to speak to believers today.
Part 3: BRASEN WALLS
Except in Jeremiah 15:20, which is a reiteration of Jeremiah 1:18 (above), there are no other references to a brasen wall (a wall made…
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Joseph remained solid at his core.
Genesis 39: 5, 7, 8a, 11-12
And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
6 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
11 And it came to pass about this time that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
Old Title: Joseph Flees to Destiny
- Old Title: Joseph Flees to Destiny
- New Title: God’s Got You Covered
- Sub Theme: Living with the Blessing upon your core (spirit)
Sub Theme: Living with the Blessing upon your Core (your core refers to your spirit or essence). It is the part that resembles the most holy place (where righteousness dwells and where the blood of Christ is applied) / we are a spirit that possesses a soul (realm of thought and emotions) that lives in a body (outer court, where entropy happens). Theme:
- Character: (as Water)
- Process: (as Fire)
- Duplication: (as through out the Earth)
OT Setting/Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 17:6, 28:4 35:11)
– Abraham: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” Genesis 17:6-7
– Isaac to Jacob: “And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.” Genesis 28:4
– Jacob changed to Israel: “fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” Genesis 35:11-12
Covering coat of many colors
- Joseph (covering coat of many colors, (Reuben disqualified laid with Bildah, Simeon and Levi killed the men of Shechem when they were recovering from circumcision)
- His ten brothers hated him through a series of events as a result of their hatred and envy
- They conspired against him to slay him.
- Joseph ends up a slave in Egypt
God was with Joseph “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him” (Acts 7:9)
- Joseph’s character was one that pleased God.
- We move closer to God when we remain true to our core, to what pleases God.
- Question: Are you pleasing God? (Heb 11:6, 1)
- Character sketch e.g. When you see two people in a conversation across the room Two people that you know you can almost guess what they are talking about.
13th Century Church Doctor: Thomas Aquinas said “The things that we love tell us what we are.” Or the common saying “Birds of a feather flock together”
14th Century Church Doctor: Thomas `A Kempis said “Thou wilt never be spiritual minded and godly unless thou art silent concerning other men’s matters and take full heed to thyself.”
Spiritually is akin to the ability keep a secret in the private affairs of others secrets this speaks to one’s character.
- Question: Am I pleasing to God?
- Character allows you to remain on track during the process:
Numbers are Character:
- Letters are Characters: You never see a 3 trying to be a 6 or a P trying to be a W.
- Characters just are!
- And as appied to individuals characters distinguish us from each other and separate us in our devotion to God.
Character Building is as WATER:
A contraction in a substance being weak yet strong
- While water in weakness when flowing downward takes the path of least resistance (going with the flow creates a vortex i.e. the War in Heaven)
- While water in strength a continual drip can bore through rock over time (consistency i.e. God as a Waymaker).
Joseph manifested an instilled core belief by refusing the advancements /fleeing from Potiphar’s wife
Joseph had the blessing upon his life aligned himself with God
- throughout the bitterness inflicted upon him by his brothers
- and his transfer to Egypt
- and being assigned tasks in Potiphar’s house.
Joseph remained solid at his core.
- Because Joseph remained focused.
- Joseph remained blessed so when his integrity was challenged by the wife of his boss
- he remained solid a man of Character.
Christ Example: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23).
Life is a Process.
- Life is a Spiritual Engineering Project.
- Character Building is important to Spiritual Engineering:
- What is spoken over your life is important to Character Building.
- Gravitate to that which speaks to your core
There are limitations in ministry there is a lane.
- Israel speaks the blessing over Joseph: Genesis 49: 22-26
Cause and effect or …
Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.
“ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”
” … not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39)
“And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).
The trials and tribulations of process is as Fire
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” Psalms 12:6.
How to solve your personal Maze (spiritual fingerprint)?
How to solve your Maze? With faith that your victory is won through Christ Jesus.
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” Eph 1:4
Work it out!
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Phillippians 2:12
Character is molded through-out the process
- The most important thing for a leader is his team. To choose people of character is to choose people who are tracible and trackable
- Once you are of a solid character continue to stay prayerful
- and duplicate your character in the Earth.
- Once Joseph was in power and was in a position to get revenge on his brothers he chose to exemplify the character at his core that he nourished and to show mercy.
OBEDIENT people of character are reliable as the sunrise
Proverbs 25:19 “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.”
Matthew 28:18-20 “ And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
2 Tim 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Forbearing the Process cause dissention amongst believer
Acts 15: 38 “But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.”
Paul choose Silas over John Mark to accompany him to Derbe and Lystra because John Mark was departed (skipped the process) from the work in Pamphylia.
Paul and Barnabus split
This choice split Paul and Barnabus who wanted John Mark to accompany them Barnabus took John Mark and is seldom written about further in scripture.
People of character understand the big picture and choose to serve God rather than appease man
- Solution oriented from your Core is being effective and of use in the Kingdom:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
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An act of obedience whereby the believer publicly identifies through immersions with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
Matthew 28:18-20 King James Version (KJV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Baptism is a popular topic that has entered secular vocabulary. It is viewed diversely in society based on culture, heritage and religion. Such as the ceremonial christening of infants that is not baptism by the Biblical definition but more for the adults present in the life of a youth to rear them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Baptize translates from the Greek baptizo; meaning to immerse, submerge for a religious purpose, to soak or wash with water in token of purification of sin and from spiritual pollution. Or according to Dr. Stanley, to dunk dip plunge submerge or immerse.”
Compare def. Fast (to cover one’s mouth)
Naturally to take a dry place and submerge it in water was to be applied spiritually. The disciples were to immerse diverse people and far-reaching cultures with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, it became known that the power of God rested on these truths and made breakthroughs possible. The Great Commission (Matt. 28:19) remains a current mandate for all followers of Christ but having this mandate as a priority (ALL ABOUT SOULS). Dr. Stanley exhibits the importance of Baptism by placing this topic first in our textbook.
Compare and Contrast Spiritual and Natural Baptism?
What is an early form of Baptism in the Old Testament?
Genesis 6:14-17 King James Version (KJV)
“So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. (15) This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. (16) Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. (17) I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish”
Breakthrough by Baptism
The Hand of God sealed the door of the Ark, and the windows of heaven remained open as the deluge destroyed life upon the earth. Mr. & Mrs. Noah, their three sons, and their wives were safe, and some animals lived, but many species became extinct; those that are now gigantic bone specimens exhibited in museums today. When the rain ceased, a rainbow appeared to the eight who were left alive for re-populating the earth. This rainbow came to represent a promise from God that the earth’s inhabitants would never be destroyed by water again.
AFTER BELIEVING IN CHRIST, another development took place that would be essential to spreading the Gospel. This emergence would be the baptism of the Holy Ghost. This spiritual breakthrough is needed to build a life acceptable, holy and righteous, amidst corruption, confusion, noise, back-biting, etc. People cannot construct a life pleasing to God apart from Him, and this certification is necessary to go unimpeded throughout the nations and the highways; making disciples of men, women, boys and girls everywhere. God sealed the door of Noah’s Ark; likewise, the Holy Spirit seals us for our work at hand.
Building Dreams Through Change.
1. John got his name because of what he was doing (Page 5).
2. John’s message was repentance.
3. People who identified with John’s message were baptized.
The Greek word metanoia transliterates into English as repentance, and it means CHANGE. Repentance is necessary for any progress to God is made From our choices, we need to impact the world as Christians and offer solutions to others Taking Noah’s example, we are to seek God’s direction in perilous times. As he built his Ark, we are to construct our salvation in an evil world: preparing our spirit-man, making it a vessel suitable for space travel.
A baptism is an act of obedience
1. Baptism represents the idea of identification and allegiance. Page 5
2. Baptism was a public observance whereby a person was immersed for the sake
of a religious decision. Page 5
3. Baptism is a picture that carries the weight of cleansing resurrection and
allegiance Page 6
- Cleansing from sin of the old life.
- Dying to the old life and being born to the new life
- Demonstrating commitment or allegiance to a new Master or way of life
CONSISTENCY sets the stage for spiritual breakthroughs to occur. By investing Himself in the lives of others Christ modeled how to make breakthroughs occur. Christ taught, admonished, and warned His Disciples for approximately thirty-six months. His doxology climaxed with his instruction: “Go you, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19).
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“…The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy…” (Revelation 19:10).
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To soothe in distress
The Service and Outreach unit pages 459- 494
Comfort is on page 459 in our textbook.
Scripture: Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God … of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulation, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
God gives permanent consolation
“I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Jesus
Even in the midst of excruciating pain
Others may offer temporary comfort
God’s comfort is eternal
Is Experience the best teacher?
No! You don’t have to experience lost (e.g. Hell) to learn that losing is the best teacher especially through poor decision making of your own.
You can learn that losing is bad by observing losers. However the best gauge is God’s word. If you found yourself in a losing situation before and by the grace of God you’ve learned to do better it is of great BENEFIT that you instruct others. (2 Tim. 2:2)
“Paul makes it clear that the comfort from God is not for our benefit only but also for sharing with other hurting people” (Page 459).
As the wilted flower needs water to stand,
in times of adversity we also need comfort from God to stand.
NO PAIN NO GAIN: God loves those He corrects and sometimes we must bear affliction like a soldier or an athlete seeking to be crowned. Hold out and stand firm with fortitude because joy cometh in the morning (morning is a motif of deliverance as seen in the scriptures).
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
“Feeling comfortable and being comfortable are two different things” (Page 460).
OT: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13).
NT: The Lord Jesus Christ Himself prayed for the cup to be removed . He was so physically and emotionally weary, an angel was sent to strengthen Him (Luke 22:23)
You cannot change the past but you can work in cooperation with God towards a brighter future.
Exhortation a facet of Parakaleo
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). Is the marquee scripture that supports fellowship within the church? The latter part of the scripture highlights the proper interaction of church-goers in relationship with our brothers and sisters. The scripture states that we are to exhort one another. This word exhort is also translated from the Greek word “parakaleo (3870)1 to call near, i.e. entreat, invite, invoke, beseech, call for, comfort, desire (give) exhort (-ation), pray for and encourage.” Exhort and entreat are interchangeable words that both translate from the verb Parakaleo. This is also mentioned by Paul when he was instructing Timothy how to receive an elder. “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father” (I Timothy 5:1).
The term Parakaleo as aforementioned is the act of comforting is a verb (3875) but John used it as a noun and termed the Holy Spirit as Parakletos (from parakaleo). “The Parakletos is defined as he who has been or may be called to help, a helper, used in the Greek as writers of a legal advisement, pleader, proxy, or advocate, one who comes forward in behalf of and as a representative of another. Christ designates the Holy Spirit as the paraclete (John 14:16) and he calls him allos (243) another, which means another of equal quality and not heteros (2087), another of a different quality. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is designated by Jesus Christ as equal with Himself.” (The Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible KJV page 1718)*
“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.”
FRUIT THAT REMAINS Handling the Death of Family Members
Even when people aren’t present their words can act as a guide and comfort in any storm. I can empathize with those who have loss parents that they were close to; having to experience the pain and grief may be unbearable. However, that person will never leave you as long as you have the faculty to remember. This explains the belief that a woman who keeps her family together achieves immortality, because of the godly spirit that was transferred from an earlier generation, which transcends flesh and bone anchored in the fruit of God but manifested in your life. Thus, Immortality can be achieved on many levels by an individual as within the church and within a family that is blessed through its generations by a loved one who has passed on.
Jesus said to His disciples “I am with you always even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). Christ was exhorting his followers preceding His physical departure assuring them that he’ll be with them in spirit. His physical return would be at the end of the (church) age when He receives His church in the air. Paul concludes in the rapture text in verse eighteen, “Wherefore comfort (parakaleo) one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 5:15-17).
“…The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy…”
Trust in Him!
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Scripture: 1 John 5:13
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
John wrote the gospel of John, John I, II, III and the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is this same John who was at the foot of the cross at Jesus during his crucifixion and it was John whose care Mary was left in (John 19:26) and who laid his head upon the breast of Jesus. John truly understood the revelation of the love God towards man (John 3:16). History holds that he was not martyred as the other disciples (see Fox Book of Martyrs). John’s legend includes being placed in boiling oil and exiled to Patmos abandoned upon a barren island he penned the Book of Revelation.
FAITH THEME: John wrote this Book approximately 90 A.D. to strengthen the faith of new believers in Asia Minor who encountered heresies and false belief that infiltrated the early church. This makes I John an ultimate guide in spiritual warfare (sub-curriculum fruit).
The seed of righteous that abides in you has 12 manifestations or fruit that are observed by others. The proof that you are indeed a Son of God is that you love one another and keep the Commandments of God.
Galatians 5: 22 KJV (King James Version)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I John 3:9 KJV (King James Version)
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
John 13:34 (King James Version)
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Revelation 12:17 KJV (King James Version)
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Faith is needed to mature WITHOUT THE SEED OF bitterness
(Also see Hebrews 12:14-15).
How does one develop assurance of how they fit in? Many times one may fill like a round peg trying to fit in a square hole. How do we find our place in our families, jobs, churches or society? When we focus upon God, we begin to find the right way. Bringing a more perfect understanding of who God is in relationship with whom I am and why am I here. As we conform to the mind of Christ we become more confident which brings assuredness.
John 10:28-29 (King James Version)
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand
Your actions account for your soul’s standings’. Character is what you do when no one’s looking and how you treat those who can do nothing for you.
BASIC REASONS PEOPLE TEND TO DOUBT THEIR SALVATION:
- Sin in their Lives: Sin brings about an estrangement from God, a feeling of isolation Remedy: I John 3:9.
- False Teaching: Selecting what to believe out of God’s Word. Remedy: 2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” People disqualify themselves from spiritual progress by not studying the Word of God.
- Overemphasis on Emotions: Feel good euphoric religion, church attractions and programs that base people’s entire Christian life on emotions instead of Doctrine. When life happens these seemingly spiritual crutches cannot sustain you. Remedy: “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Tim. 2:5). “We cannot live on feelings” Charles Stanley.
- Failure to take God at His Word: Remedy “Have faith in God” Mark 11:22
- Satanic Attack: Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Remedy: We need the Word of God to answer him. “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Matthew 4:7
How to counter the enemies of assurance
God’s will for our salvation: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:3). “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9.
The Provisions God has made for our Salvation: John 3:16 & “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24
In Chastening “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
The unit on Doctrine is on pages 145 – 250.
Assurance is on page 150 in our textbook.