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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Marking Your Bibles -- Salvation -- Part 1

Monday night was our ladies' Bible class. We continued marking our Bibles. This time we used a red pen and marked a series of passages that would help us teach someone about salvation. We got half way through the passages and will finish them next time.

In the section on salvation, there are 7 specific topics to be discussed:

Obedience
Unity
Faith
Repentance
Confession
Baptism
Conversions

The last passage of our series on Authority was Romans 15:4. To maintain a continuous flow for your study, go to Romans 15:4 and mark (with your red pen) Matthew 7:21-27. So I would know which topic I'm about to switch to, I put Obedience in parenthesis. This will allow you to be aware that you're through with authority and are getting ready to talk about obedience.

This study may be a continuation of the original study (on the same day) or you may have taken a break from studying and are now meeting at a different time. If that is the case, you need to do a quick review. You need to remind the person you're studying with that since God made everything, He alone has authority to do whatever He wants. He chose to give all authority to Christ who then sent the Holy Spirit to tell the apostles what we needed to know who then wrote it down. So, whatever is written down in the New Testament is our final authority.

One more thing before we get started here. There are a few very long passages in this study. It may be tempting to just summarize these passages and go on. It's important to remember that this is a Bible study. It would be very appropriate to read large portions of it. Of course, you'll have to make a decision on just how much the person your studying with will tolerate, but don't underestimate their desire to hear the Bible being read. That's why they are there. If they didn't want to know what it said, they would be somewhere else. In other words, read the long passages with feeling, stopping only occasionally to make a point here or there. Let God's word speak for itself.

Obedience

Matthew 7:21-27: Obedience is very important. There are many people today that do not obey Christ. They do what they want and say they are doing it in His name. Jesus is telling us in the Sermon on the Mount that those who are doing things in His name are not going to go to heaven unless they are actually doing His will (obeying Him). This is the passage of the wise/foolish man. Many people will be familiar with this because of the children's song that has been sung for years. It will probably be a breath of fresh air to someone to hear something they are so familiar with. I may also be a shock to realize the harsh words Jesus used just before it. Outline and write John 3:36 in the margin.

John 3:36: This is a clear statement of what will happen you believe in the Son and what will happen if you don't. Believe -- everlasting life...does not believe -- not see life. Outline and write Luke 6:46-49 in the margin.

Luke 6:46-49: This is a parallel passage with Matthew 7 above. Jesus asks the question: Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? That's a very legitimate question and one that we all need to ask ourselves. He then goes into the wise/foolish man again. Outline and write John 8:31 in the margin.

John 8:31: Here Jesus is talking to the believing Jews. He simply said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." To abide is to do, live by, obey. If we obey Him, we are his disciples (students, followers). Outline and write Acts 5:29 in the margin.


Acts 5:29: Here Peter after being given strict instructions not to teach about Jesus anymore is found teaching about Jesus. When asked by the high priest why they disobeyed, Peter said, "We ought to obey God rather than man." We need to be convicted enough to obey God even when it goes against the norm, goes against the civil authorities or goes against our peers. We must obey God. Outline and write Roman 2:8 in the margin.

Romans 2:8: Here, Paul tells the Romans what will hapen to those that seek their own will, and do not obey the truth: indignation, wrath, tribulation, anguish. He goes on to say that those who obey will receive: glory, honor, peace. Outline and write 2 Thess 1:7-9 in the margin.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9: What will happen to those who do not obey the gospel? Jesus, with his mighty angels in flaming fire will take vengeance. They (disobedient ones) will be punished with everlasting destruction. Outline and write Matt 10:37-38 in the margin.

Matthew 10:37-38: In this passage, Jesus is requiring His followers to make a choice -- who will they love more -- father/mother? son/daughter? He's not asking us to hate our family, He's asking us to make a choice. Love Him more than these. That's hard for most people. It's hard to say I love something or someone more than my family. If we don't though, Jesus say we are not worthy of Him. Outline write Galatians 1:6-9

Galatians 1:6-9: Here is a warning against turning away from Christ, against turning to a different gospel. It's important to realize that there are people who will teach a "different gospel". We need to be so familiar with God's word that we know when someone is teaching something different. Paul plainly says, "If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." Accursed -- that's pretty harsh. We are to turn away from people that teach things contrary to God's will. Outline and write Joshua 24:15 in the margin.

Joshua 24:15: Here is Joshua's famous speech about serving God. We all need to be as convicted as Joshua was. We need to make a decision about who we are going to follow and stand firm. If we go through life just sort of being convicted, we will not stand firm when the going gets tough. We need to decide, right now, that we will only serve God. It doesn't matter what the neighbors (Amorites) are doing or what our family (gods which your fathers served) is doing, we must serve God. Outline and write 1 Kings 18:21 in the margin.

1 Kings 18:21: Here is another great man we should try to copy. Elijah stood by his conviction in the hardest of times. Here on Mount Carmel, he is talking to Ahab and his people. They have continually served baal and Asherah. Elijah asks them, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." Stop and ask yourself (and the person your studying with) who are you going to follow? After all the studying that we've done, you should be able to confidently say, "I will follow God." Outline and write John 17:20-23 in the margin. Write Unity in parenthesis.

Unity

John 17:20-23: Here, Jesus is praying to His Father. After praying for His apostles, He then goes on to pray for the rest of us -- those who believe in Him through their (apostles) word. He prays that we all may be one. He goes on to compare our being one to the Father and the Son being one. We are to have that same unity. Outline and write 1 Cor 1:10-13 in the margin.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13: Paul pleads with the Corinthians here to be unified. He tells them to "speak the same thing". He wants them to have "no divisions among" them. He wants them to "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Paul warns against them being followers of mere men. Outline and write Eph 4:3-4 in the margin.

Ephesians 4:3-4: This passage again stresses unity. Paul tells the Ephesians that there is one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. Notice the unity word -- one. Outline and write 1 Cor 12:12 in the margin.

1 Corinthians 12:12: Again, one is emphasized here. We are all many people (members) that make up one body. For more clarification on this passage, read the entire chapter 12. It goes on to say that we all can't be the same (hand, foot, eye). We all are part of the body and are all important to the body. Outline and write Matt 16:16-18.

Matthew 16:16-18: Jesus has just asked His disciples who they think He is. Peter correctly said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus says yes, and then goes on to say that upon this confession (rock) I will build My church. Note that He said, "My church." Not my churches. Jesus built one church and those who obey Him are part of His church. Outline and write Acts 1:6-2:47 in the margin.

Acts 1:6-2:47: This is the first of the really long readings. It talks about Christ's ascension into Heaven, the choosing of Matthias and the beginning of the church. Use your discretion on how much to read, but if at all possible, read it all. After reading the previous passage (Matt 16:16-18) where Jesus said He will build His church, this is the next logically place to go -- the beginning of His church. Notice that the question asked of Peter in 2:37 (Men and brethren, what shall we do?) was answered very simply, without any theological discussion, or clarification of beliefs, or alternatives to the original teaching. Peter simply said, "Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." He then goes on to say that those who were saved were added to the church. Note: He said, they were added to the church. He didn't say, now go join the church of your choice. Outline and write Romans 10:17 in the margin. Write Faith in parenthesis.

Faith

Romans 10:17: This is our first passage on faith. This passage teaches us that we get faith by hear the word of God. So, doing what you're doing, reading your Bible, studying what He wants you to do is going to give you faith. Outline and write John 20:30-32 in the margin.

John 20:30-32: Here at the end of John, John states why he wrote the book. All of the things written in this book were written "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." Do you want to believe? Read the book of John. Outline and write John 3:16 in the margin.

John 3:16: Here's another very familiar passage to most people -- For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. What will happen if we believe in the Son of God? We will have everlasting life. Outline and write John 8:24 in the margin.

John 8:24: What will happen if you do not believe in that Jesus is the son of God? Jesus says that you will die in your sins. Outline and write Eph 2:8-10 in the margin.

Ephesians 2:8-10: Paul tells the Ephesians that they were saved by grace through faith -- not works. They were not saved because they were so smart or skilled that they figured out how to be saved. They were saved because they believed in Christ which lead them to obey His good works. Outline and write Mark 16:16 in the margin.

Mark 16:16: A very simple statement by Jesus Himself: He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Is belief important? Outline and write Heb 11 in the margin.

Hebrews 11: Here is another long passage. This is a wonderful passage that reminds the Jews and us about all the wonderful men of faith in their history. These men believed in God and were praised for it. Their belief was shown by the deeds they did. The reading is long, but if you can at all get by with it, read it aloud. The person you're studying with, if he's still with you, will probably enjoy it and definitely benefit from it. The 1st verse gives a definition of faith. Faith is what we hope for and what we cannot see. If we can't really hope for it, it's not of faith. If we can see it, it's not of faith. Underline verse 6. What if we don't have faith? "It is impossible to please Him..." Outline and write Gal 5:6 in the margin.

Galatians 5:6: This passage takes us back to our discussion on the importance of the old law versus the new law. Now, in Christ, circumcision doesn't matter. Neither does the lack of circumcision matter. What does matter is faith working through love. Outline and write James 2:14-24 in the margin.

James 2:14-24: Can we just have faith? James asks what faith profits without works? Can faith save? In verse 20 he says that faith without works is dead? He then goes on to remind us about Abraham and Rahab. Their faith resulted in their works. Faith works together with works making faith perfect (complete). We need to remember that when we talk about works, we're talking about the works of God, not man. We must believe in God and obey his commands, then we are complete. Outlien and write Luke 13:3-5 in the margin. Write Repentance in parenthesis.

This is as far as we got in our class Monday night. We'll pick up from here next time.