Isn't modern technology wonderful? I spent close to an hour working on this blog entry. The internet didn't seem to be working right so I restarted the computer (it has seemed to do the trick before). Before I restarted the computer, I clicked Save Draft and assumed it was all saved. When I got back to it after lunch, the internet was working great, but my draft entry was no where to be seen. So, I get to do this all over again.
It's been a while since I actually taught this class but I wanted to make sure I recorded it here so if I (or anyone else) needed the information at a later time, it would be here. We ended our last ladies' class on marking our Bibles using the red pen for the topic: Salvation. We had marked passages that dealt with obedience, unity and faith. We will start here with repentance. If you haven't already done so, turn to James 2:14-24 and mark the next passage Luke 13:3-5 in the margin. Put repentance in parenthesis so you'll be reminded that we're changing topics here.
Repentance: Before we get started studying about repentance, it is a good idea to come to an agreement on what the word means. Sometimes, when talking to others about the Bible, we forget that what we think a word means is different than what they think a word means. Repentance means to turn away. In this case repentance refers to turning away from evil or sin.
Luke 13:3-5: Although we've already talked about authority and how anything written in the Bible is profitable for us to learn from, someone you are studying with might still want to put more emphasis on Jesus' words than the rest of the Bible. This passage starts off with the words of Jesus: I tell you... Jesus is telling the people that if they don't repent (turn away from their sins) they will perish. Outline the passage and underline the word I tell you. Write Acts 17:30 in the margin
Acts 17:30: This is the end of Paul's sermon about the Unknown God. He had just finished telling Athenians about the God that they worshiped without knowing. He tells them that God overlooked their ignorance but things were different now. He now commands all men everywhere to repent. Outline and write Acts 2:38 in the margin.
Acts 2:38: We've already looked at the 1st two chapters of Acts when we were studying unity. Now we're going to focus in on verse 38. Review what the 2 chapters are about before beginning. In verse 36, Peter accused the Jews of killing the One they had been waiting for all these years. They had killed the one that David and Joel had talked about. The Jews that were listening to this were very saddened when they realized what they had done. Verse 37 says that they were pricked (or cut) to the heart. They asked Peter what the should to rectify this matter. He very simply said that they should repent and be baptized. Since we've already outlined the passage, underline verse 38. Write Acts 3:19 in the margin.
Acts 3:19: After the beginning of the church in chapter 2, Peter and John go to the temple to pray. They heal the lame man in front of the gate. When the people in the temple realize what has happened they all gather around Peter and John. Peter takes this opportunity to teach them about Jesus. He again tells them that they killed the "Prince of life". He tells them in verse 19 to "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Outline the verse and underline repent and sins may be blotted out. Write Romans 2:4 in the margin.
Romans 2:4: What will lead to repentance? This passage tells us that the goodness of God does. When we don't repent, we are despising God's riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering. Outline and write 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 in the margin.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10: What else will lead to repentance? This passage says that godly sorrow will. Paul was glad that the Corinthians had sorrow. He wasn't glad they were hurting but that their sorrow would produce repentance. Godly sorrow produces repentance which leads to salvation. Worldly sorrow produces death. Outline and write Luke 15:7 in the margin.
Luke 15:7: What an uplifting verse to the sinner who repents. When someone repents, there is rejoicing in heaven. Sometimes we tend to detach ourselves from what is going on in heaven. This passage teaches us that what we do on earth is known in heaven. What a comfort to those who are trying to do what's right. Outline and write Acts 26:20 in the margin.
Acts 26:20: Here, Paul is telling King Agrippa about his conversion. He tells the king that he did what Jesus told him to on the road to Damascus. He taught Jesus in Damascus, Jerusalem and throughout Judea. Then he taught Jesus to the Gentiles. He taught the same message -- that they should repent. In case the definition of repentance is still a little fuzzy, here, Paul gives a definition for us -- turn to God. He also taught that they should do works befitting repentance. Outline the verse and write Matthew 10:32-33 in the margin. Write Confession in parenthesis so you'll know we're starting a new topic.
Confession: Again we need to come to an understanding of the words we're talking about. Confession can either be an admitting guilt of sins or a declaration of our faith. These passages will talk about both of these kinds of confessions.
Matthew 10:32-33: Here again, Jesus is doing the talking. He says if you confess Him before men, He'll confess you to His Father. At the same time if you don't confess Him before men, he will not confess you before His Father. That is a very humbling thought. We are to have the courage to stand up to friends and foes alike and confess Jesus. Outline the verses and write Matthew 16:16 in the margin.
Matthew 16:16: We've already outlined this passage when we were talking unity. We will come back to it again later as well. We want to concentrate on verse 16. Jesus just asked Peter who He (Jesus) is. Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." This is an example of a confession that states faith in Jesus. Since we've outlined this verse already, underline verse 16. Write Romans 10:9-10 in the margin. Also write confession nearby so you will know to follow this verse when talking about confession.
Romans 10:9-10: Here is an example of a confession a non-Christian would make. The YOU in this verse refers to someone who has not obeyed the gospel yet. Paul says that to be saved, you must confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and that you must believe with all your heart that God has raised hIm from the dead. Belief comes from within, confession communicates our belief to others. Outline and write Acts 8:37 in the margin.
Acts 8:37: We will be looking at this entire passage when we talk about conversions. Right now, we'll concentrating on verse 37. The eunuch has just asked Philip why he couldn't be baptized. Philip tells him that if he believes with all his heart he may. The eunuch said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." This is an example of a confession made by a sinner just before baptism. Since we're going to come back and outine the entire passage, underline verse 37. Write 1 Timothy 6:12-13 in the margin. Write confession next to it so you'll know to follow this verse when you come back to it later.
1Timothy 6:12-13: Paul gives Timothy advice for living the Christian life. Paul tells him to fight the good fight of faith. He tells Timothy that this is the faith he confessed (the good confession) to many witnesses. Timothy, a Christian, continually confessed the good confession as he went about teaching others about Christ. Outline verse 12-13 and write 1 John 1:9 in the margin.
1 John 1:9: Here, John is talking to Christians. He tells them that if we confess our sins, He (Jesus) will forgive us our sins. Christians are to confess their sins or admit to their sins. Outline and write James 5:16 in the margins.
James 5:16: Again, the Christian is told to confess his sins (trespasses). This time it says to confess the sins to one another. Then the Christians are commanded to pray for one another. What a comforting thought that we as Christians can tell each other our sins and we will pray for each other. Outline and write Acts 19:18 in the margin.
Acts 19:18: When Paul was in Ephesus, many were converted and turned from their evil ways. In this verse it says that who had believed confessed and told about their deeds. The very next verse shows that they went on to destroy the evil influences among themselves by burning their magic books. Outline and write John 3:1-5 in the margin. Write Baptism in parenthesis so you'll know we are changing topics.
Baptism: This is controversial subject among religious people. It really doesn't need to be if you go back and understand what the word means. The greek word means to immerse. That simple fact can eliminate quite a bit of the controversy. If you'd like more information on the subject of baptism, check out this article by Danny Dow: Understanding Baptism.
John 3:3-5: This first passage about baptism lets us know how important Jesus thinks baptism is. He says that unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. In some versions it says the you "must" be born again. Jesus is not leaving any doubt that He thinks baptism (being born again) is important. Outline and write Mark 16:16 int he margin.
Mark 16:16: We have already outlined this passage when we talked about belief (faith). This time we want to concentrate on baptism. This verse makes it very clear that we cannot be saved if we don't believe. In fact if we don't believe, we'll be condemned. Linked next to belief in the verse is baptism. It too, is required for salvation. Underline baptized and write Matthew 28:19 in the margin. Write baptism nearby so you'll know to follow this scripture reference in the future.
Matthew 28:19: Underline this verse because we've already outlined verses 18-20 in green. Jesus commands the apostles to go and make disciples of all the nations. How? Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Outline and write 1 Peter 3:20-21 in the margin.
1 Peter 3:20-21: Peter compares the salvation of Noah from the flood with baptism. Noah was saved through water. We are saved through baptism (or immersion) in water. This baptism is not a washing of the dirt from our skin. Outline and write Titus 3:3-5 in the margin.
Titus 3:3-5: We are foolish. We are disobedient. We are deceived. We are hateful and full envy. We can not be saved by our righteousness. We are saved by the washing of regeneration (baptism) according to His mercy. There is nothing we could do. It was all because Christ died for our sins that we are able to be saved when we are baptized. Outline and write Acts 22:16 in the margin. Underline THROUGH THE WASHING OF REGENERATION.
Acts 22:16: We will come back to the full context of this verse when we look at the conversions. For now, underline verse 16. Ananias tells Paul to "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Paul was instructed to be baptized. Why would he need to that? To wash away his sins. Underline verse and write Gal 3:26, 27 in the margin.
Galatians 3:26, 27: The previous verses 22-25 have been outlined in green. It would be a good idea to review these verses to get the context. In verse 27 we are told that "as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ". What happens when we are baptized into Christ? we put on Christ. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 12:13 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST and PUT ON CHRIST.
1 Corinthians 12:13: We looked at verse 12 when we studied unity. Then, we emphasized "one body". When we keep reading into verse 13 we see that we are baptized into one body. All of us. Jews, Greeks, slaves, free. We are all baptized into one body. Baptism is for everyone, thus salvation is for everyone. Outline and write Ephesians 4:5 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY.
Ephesians 4:5: Just like 1 Corinthians 12:12, we looked at Ephesians 4:4 when studying unity -- emphasizing "one body". Keep reading andwe see that there is more to be unified in: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. For our purposes here, concentrate on baptism. If there is just one baptism, where do all these others come from? The Bible tells us what that one baptism is. It is immersion in water for the remission of our sins. If the person you are studying with has been baptized for any other reason or through any other means, they haven't been baptized according the scriptures. Outline and write Colossians 2:11-14 in the margin. Underline ONE BODY.
Colossians 2:11-14: What exactly is baptism? Verse 12 says that we are buried with Him (Christ) in baptism and raised with Him through faith. Baptism is a burial. We are then raised like Christ was. Verse 13 says that before we were dead in our sins. Now He has made us alive, forgiving our sins. So we are buried to sin and raise again with our sins forgiven. Outline and write Romans 6:3-6 in the margin. Underline BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM and RAISED WITH HIM THROUGH FAITH. Also underline HE HAS MADE ALIVE.
Romans 6:3-6: This passage is similar to the one above. We are baptized into His (Christ's) death. Like Christ was raised form the dead, we walk in newness of life. We die to sin that we no longer are slaves to sin. Outline and write John 3:23 in the margin. Underline BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH AND WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE and WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE SLAVES OF SIN.
John 3:23: What's required for baptism? We are told in John 3 that much water is required. This should be obvious. If baptism means immersion, then there needs to be a lot of water to immerse someone. Outline and write Acts 2:41 in the margin. Underline MUCH WATER.
Acts 2:41: What happened the day the church began? We've visited this chapter a couple of times now and will come back again later. In verse 41 we are told that anyone that received the word gladly were baptized. Then what happened? Those that were baptized were added to them. They were added to the church. We see it again in verse 47 (don't underline it yet, we'll be back). It says the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Underline verse 41 and write Acts 2:1-47 in the margin. Write conversions in parenthesis in the margin nearby so you'll know we're changing topics.
Conversions: We've discussed what the Bible teaches someone needs to do to be saved. From what we've seen so far, we know that one must have faith that Jesus is the son of God and was raised from dead. We know that one must be sorry for their sins and change their ways through repentance. We know that someone must tell others about Christ, confessing Him with the mouth. We know that someone must be buried with Christ through baptism. This washes away the sins and God adds the person to the church. In this last part of salvation, we'll look at the examples given to us of people being converted to Christ. All of these examples are in the book of Acts. It is helpful to draw a chart to fill in as you study these conversions. I hope to have one available to share with you later. On most of these conversions, there is definite moment of belief and a definite moment of salvation. If there is room in your Bible, write belief next to the point of belief and salvation next to the point of salvation.
Acts 2:1-47: The Jews at Pentecost. Here we are again at Acts 2. By now, the person you're studying with should be somewhat familiar with this chapter. Don't assume too much though. Take some time to review what has happened. Go over the sermon that Peter preached. Point out the prophecies that peter describes as foretelling the events that just happened. Remind them of the Jews reaction and what Peter's response to them was. The Jews on this day were told to repent and be baptized. Those that were baptized were added to the church (vs 47). Verse 37 is the point of belief with the Jews (they were cut to the heart and asked "What shall we do?). Verse 41 (and 47) is the point of salvation. Three thousand souls were added to them. Since it is all outlined and the major points are pretty much underlined, just write the next passage in the margins (Acts 8:4-13). Also write Conversion -- Jews so you'll be reminded who was actually converted in this passage.
Acts 8:4-13: The Samaritans (and Simon). After the death of Stephen, the Christians scattered into the surrounding regions. This allowed the gospel to be spread by many people to many people. Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached Christ. The scriptures tells us that the multitudes heeded the things spoken by Philip. Philip healed many people and there was great joy in that city. Read this conversion story aloud. Verse 12 is the point of belief and salvation for the Samaritans. It says that "they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ." It goes on to say "both men and women were baptized." Write belief by the word believed and salvation by the word baptized. Verse 13 gives us information about Simon specifically. Earlier (vs 9-11) we were told about Simon. Here in vs 13 we are told he believed and was baptized. Write belief next to believed and salvation next to baptism. Outline the passage and write Acts 8:26-39 in the margin. Also write conversion -- Samaritans/Simon. Underline BELIEVED and BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WERE BAPTIZED in verse 12. Also underline SIMON HIMSELF ALSO BELIEVED and HE WAS BAPTIZED in verse 13.
Acts 8:26-39: This is the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. Read the conversion story aloud. Philip was miraculously guided by an angel to go see the Ethiopian. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The eunuch indicated that he would need a teacher to help him. Philip began teaching him from the scripture he was at and preached Jesus to him. Enough must have been said to indicate that the eunuch would need to be baptized. He asked Philip "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Philip said "If you believe with all your heart, you may." The eunuch then said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This verse (37) is where the eunuch's belief is evident. Write belief in the margin. The eunuch commanded the chariot to stand still. Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he (Philip) baptized him (eunuch). This is the point of salvation. Write Salvation in the margin. Outline the passage and write Acts 9:1-9 in the margin. Also write Conversion -- Eunuch.
Acts 9:1-9: Saul. The conversion of Saul is mentioned 3 times in the book of Acts. We will use this one and the one in chapter 22 for our study here. Just so you'll know, there is another time Paul/ Saul talks about his conversion in chapter 26. Read this conversion aloud. The point of belief for Saul is in verse 6 when he asks, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" the point of salvation isn't until verse 18 when it says that "he arose and was baptized." Outline and write Acts 22:6-16 in the margin. You might want to also note Acts 26:12-18 in case you want to see the third conversion story of Saul. Write Conversion -- Saul in the margin. Underline LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO? and HE AROSE AND WAS BAPTIZED. Write belief next to verse 6 and salvation next to verse 18.
Acts 22:6-16: Saul. We're going to jump ahead to the other version of Saul's conversion since we're talking about him now. In this passage Paul is telling his story to the Jews. In this passage Verse 10 is the point of belief and verse 16 is the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 10:1-48 in the margin. Write Conversion -- Saul. Also write belief next to verse 10 and salvation next to verse 16.
Acts 10:1-48: Cornelius. This conversion has great significance because it is the first time a gentile was saved. Until now all the conversions have been Jewish. Here, God is telling Peter, all the apostles and us that Gentiles are to be saved just like the Jews. This is pretty lengthy reading but due to its importance, take the time to read it aloud, pausing as you go along to make comments if necessary. We are told in verse 2 that Cornelius was a devout man that feared God. Here would be our point of belief. Of course, he hasn't believed in Christ yet, but his subsequent actions make it quite evident that he did. Cornelius' point of salvation is in verse 48 where it says, "and he commanded them to be baptized." Peter goes on to tell the Jewish Christians in chapter 11 about Cornelius' conversion. He said in verse 17 that since God gave the Gentiles the same gift as He gave us , who was I that I could with stand God. Those that heard him said, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." Outline and write Acts 16:13-15 in the margin. Write Conversion -- Cornelius. Also write belief next to verse 2 and salvation next to verse 48. Underline A DEVOUT MAN AND ONE WHO FEARED GOD in verse 2 and underline AND HE COMMANDED THME TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD in verse 48.
Acts 16:13-15: Lydia. Read this passage aloud. There is not a specific point of belief for Lydia. Verse 14 says that "Lydia heard us". Then in verse 15 it says that "she and her household were baptized indicating her salvation. Outline and write Acts 16:27-34 in the margin. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 15. Write conversion -- Lydia in the margin.
Acts 16:27-34: Philippian Jailer. Read this passage aloud. Again we are not given a specific point of belief. His actions demonstrate his belief, but actions are a little hard to underline. Verse 33 states that he and all his family were baptized. That would be the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 18:8 in the margin. Write conversion -- Philippian jailer. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 33.
Acts 18:8: Corinthians. The last conversion to look at is that Corinthians. It is just one verse long but it says so much. "Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Outline and underline CRISPUS and CORINTHIANS.
This is the conclusion of the salvation portion of marking your Bibles. It's important to note that not all the things mentioned above were in every single conversion in Acts. It is assumed that since the Corinthians/Crispus hear, believed and were baptized that they also repented and confessed Jesus. The same goes with the others. The fact that a specific step to salvation was not mentioned does not mean those people or that person did not have to do that step. It is assumed that they did. Otherwise, they would not be found acceptable to God for all the reasons mentioned in the earlier portion of this study.
Our next Marking Your Bibles topic will be The Church. We will use orange ink to mark this section.