SESSION ONE: The Plan of REDEMPTION and CHRIST in the SCRIPTURES
SEPARATION Between Sinful Man and The Holy GOD:Our problem as human beings is that we are born spiritually dead; we have physical and mental life, but no spiritual life. Without life in our spirits, we can have no fellowship with God or even know God for who He is.
A) SPIRITUAL DEATHIt is sin that brings death
And you hath he made alive spiritually (quickened), who were dead in trespasses and sins;
23 For the wages of sin is death . . .
A trespass is when you fall into sin. It’s like when you are walking and then you trip and fall. To sin, in this verse is “to miss the mark” – like when you are shooting at a target and you not only miss the bulls eye, you miss the entire target!
Or like if you were to go to a carnival and see that game where you use a hammer to strike a lever, sending a steel ball up to ring the bell at the top in order to win a prize. You try, but the ball doesn’t go high enough to ring the bell; you fall short of striking the bell.
That is what it means to sin.
If anyone were to live perfectly righteous before God, and obey the Law of God – like the Ten Commandments without fail in action or thought, they would not miss the mark, but hit it.
The only Person to ever hit the mark (a bulls eye in fact!) and live perfectly holy and sinless is Who? Jesus Christ our LORD! See JOHN 8:46; 14:30; 1 PETER 1:19.
In EPH 2:3 it says that we were “children of wrath” before we were saved; and “children of disobedience” in vs. 5.
When did spiritual death begin? At the beginning, in the Garden of Eden:GENESIS 2:15-17
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die".
God told Adam that the DAY that he eats of the forbidden fruit, he would surely die. But did he? After he and Eve his wife ate of the fruit, they were still alive, they had children and they lived for hundreds of years afterwards (people in those days lived much longer lives than we do today, it was natural for them to).
17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one [Adam], much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
So what happened? They died spiritually – their spiritual hearts were dead because when they sinned, they were separated from the ONLY True Source of Life, that is, the LORD God of all creation. Our spirits were living at the time when God created us, but when Adam sinned, he, Eve and all of us his children were separated from His Spirit (1 COR 15:22). Just like if you were to uproot a flower from the soil, or take a fish out of water, or remove an astronaut from his space ship – in each case, you remove the living creature – the flower, the fish, the astronaut from the place they need to be in order to live.
Our minds are still alive, as are our bodies, but that is all. Eventually our bodies grow sick, old and die.
The world is full of pain and struggle and hardships – all kinds of suffering and that is because of the curse of sin; these are the consequences of being separated from God!
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
ROMANS 3:19-20, 23
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no one will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
When you get your pay check, does your boss gift wrap it for you? No, of course not – because you earned that money by working for it. It’s very different when you receive a gift because you don’t pay anything for it. It’s free and given to you by someone else who paid for it, and wants you to have it because they love you. Look at this verse:
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have all sinned and as a result of that, we have earned death – we pay for the sin ourselves with our own death. BUT the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our LORD!! Jesus offers us spiritual life, represented by what He called “living waters” in these verses:
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
“. . . out of his heart . . .” it says. For simplicity’s sake we can say that heart and spirit mean the same thing. Refer to the diagram above and understand that it’s from the heart that we receive Jesus Christ (EPH 3:17), that we invite His Spirit in and bring spiritual life through salvation, and that these “living waters” flow from there!
Remember, the true source of life – all life, is God our Creator. To know God personally as our Father, to have His Spirit indwelling us, is to have eternal life:
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
B) SINFUL MAN IS UNABLE TO SAVE HIMSELFWe are not saved by any ‘good’ works of our own:
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
By His mercy He saved us, bringing to us new spiritual life (“regeneration”) and new spiritual relationship with God as our Father (“renewing”). How awesome is that?!
It can’t be by any works of our own, because we are sinners, and all sinners can produce are sinful works – that are unacceptable to God. What we think of as our best and highest righteousness, to God, are “filthy rags” – Look at this verse:
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
It is the blood of JESUS that saves us from trying to work for our salvation by our own “dead works”
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
We are not saved by any religion either:
The Pharisees and Sadducees were VERY religious in the Hebrew religion, but look at what Jesus had to say to them:
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
If you were to dress a pig up to look like a dog, complete with long, droopy ears and a doggy collar, and teach it to chase cats, to bury bones, and to bark – or give that dog a teeny, curly tail and cloven feet, squeal and roll around in the mud, would that pig suddenly become a dog or that dog suddenly become a pig?
No of course not – all you did is change the outside of the pig or dog, but inside it still has a pig’s or a dog's nature. That’s the way religion is! All it can do is change the outside of a sinner, so that they look good outwardly, but they still have a sinner’s nature within!
Jesus told the Pharisees that they are so busy cleaning the “outside of the cup” but the inside is still dirty! Have you ever wanted to drink out of a dirty cup? Me neither! The same idea Jesus expressed to these religious leaders about sepulchers – they were often painted with gleaming white paint, with pretty sculpture on them, but they were tombs! They contained dead, decaying, rotten, stinky bodies! That's what our lives are like without Jesus - spiritually decayed, stinking, rotten, dead!
Here is something else that Jesus said to these religious leaders:
7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
John the Baptist had similar things to say to these religious leaders:
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
I think it’s safe to say, that religion just can’t do anything to bring salvation to us, amen? And here is a video to aptly demonstrate this for us:
What about living a 'good', moral life?
Well, we still have the same problem, don’t we?
ROMANS 3:10-12, 23
10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
How many sins does it take to reveal whether or not we are a sinner? Just one! That’s why James here says that even if we were to keep the WHOLE Law – but fail on just one point, THAT would be enough to condemn us! So it doesn’t matter how moral a person is, none of us are perfect, except for JESUS! And THAT is why we must seek salvation from HIM and no one else!
We may actually do a lot of good things; donate our time and money to charity causes; help the needy, provide for the unfortunate, and be a help to our communities. Yet we still have a sin nature to deal with, and sins that we commit, which in reality can be seen as high treason against the Holy Throne of God! In ancient and medieval days, treason against a king was usually punishable by death!
How much more guilty are we before the KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords, the Holy One!
No one would ever think of going before a judge and say, "Sure, I murdered that person, but hey, I've done a lot of good for the community too!" Be that as it may, he still committed murder and by the law he must be punished for it!
True belief in Christ
C) JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO SALVATION
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
JOHN 3:16-18, 36
16 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
The BIBLE talks about “belief” and “faith” but in a very special way. It’s not just believing certain things to be true, it’s to rely upon them, and trust them with your very life – that is the sort of faith that changes things! That is the sort of belief God is looking for people to have in JESUS!
There was an acrobat who strung a high wire across the Niagara Falls and with his balancing stick, he began to walk across that high wire and soon he drew a crowd of people that cheered him on. He made it all the way to the other side and then returned to hear all the people applaud him.
He then took a wheel barrel and walked it across and back again, and the crowd went wild! He asked them, “How many of you believe I could put a person in this wheel barrel and push them across this wire?”
The crowd applauded and shouted encouragement to the acrobat. He then pointed to one person and said, “You! Young man, do you think I can do this?”
The young man nodded, and said, “Yes, I believe you can!”
“Alright son, hop in, let’s go across!”
But the young man just turned pale and kept still. He looked at those falls and they looked so dangerous! Even though he believed with his mind, he wasn’t willing to rely on the acrobat, entrust his life to him, to get him safely across and back again.
When we express true belief in Jesus, we are entrusting to Him our very lives, and are counting on Him – ONLY Him to get us safely all the way to heaven! THAT is true, saving faith!
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Trust in, rely on, commit your life to . . . the LORD Jesus Christ and He will save you, and change your life from a sinful one, to a holy life – day by day, bit by bit, gradually over your life time.
When we are truly saved, God is not just our Creator, but also our Father – our Abba (“Daddy”) Who loves us so dearly, that when we approach His throne of grace in time of prayer, He opens His arms wide and calls us to come sit on His lap and fellowship with Him!
12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
Access: think about that word - You and I don't have access to see the Queen of England, or the President of the United States - or any other Head of State of all the nations; HOWEVER, as Christians we have ACCESS to the LORD God of all creation, access to His very throne by means of prayer! AWESOME! We can do so confidently only because we approach Him with the righteousness of Christ placed upon us and are therefore completely presentable to His Holy Eyes!
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
And finally – let’s consider one single word in the following passage about Abraham’s faith and what the result of his faith was:
20 He [Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He [GOD] had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
To “impute” is something that bankers and accountants do a lot. What this word means is that something that belongs to someone is credited to another. Let’s say I’m a millionaire and I loaned you $10,000 and today is the day you need to repay me. Do you have my money? No?
You are in some serious debt, but no worries!
I’m going to have you sign over your debt to me – I will pay it for you! Now you no longer have the debt. But that’s not all! I am also going to provide for you access to all of my bank accounts, so that all my money is your resource!
That is exactly what the LORD did for Abraham, and for all of us that have faith in God’s promise, and believe that He is able to do for us: by sending Jesus to die for our sins, we are forgiven of our debt, because HE PAID IT FOR US!
And – He also gave to us the riches, and the glory and the purity and holiness of His own righteousness for our VERY OWN!
See EPH 2:7; 3:8; COL 1:27; 2:2.
Now when the LORD GOD sees us, we who have received Jesus as our LORD and Savior, He sees no debt of sin upon us, but instead, sees the righteousness of Christ upon us!
ROM 3:22; 5:17; 10:4-6; 1 COR 1:30; PHIL 1:11; 3:9.
PRAISE the LORD saints! This is the GOSPEL! This is good news!!
Here is a homework assignment that will be very good to remind you of all the things we have talked about in class.
This week, please read through ROMANS Chapters 6, 7 and 8.
I look forward to seeing you all again next time when we will talk about the FUNDAMENTALS of the FAITH! Doctrines, or Biblical truth that talks about the Trinity, the Bible being the true Word of God, and much more!
Until then, the LORD bless and keep you all in JESUS NAME!
In ending SESSION ONE, let's watch Ray Comfort explain the Gospel and how we cannot possibly save ourselves, but must repent by turning to Christ for salvation:
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SESSION TWO: The ESSENTIALS of the FAITH – What We Believe
These are doctrines* that are non-negotiable – in other words, without faith and understanding of these central doctrines as found in the Bible, one cannot have a proper understanding of God, His purposes and cannot have salvation or spiritual life as a Christian.
The essential tenets of the Christian faith are (NOTE: This list below is hyperlinked to various articles that you can read later for more information about these essential doctrines):
*D-eity of Christ
S-alvation by Grace alone, by Faith alone in Christ
** For more on eschatology see the following articles on TTUF:
The RAPTURE of the CHURCH
The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH
TWENTY FOUR SIGNS of The LORD’s RETURN - A ‘Snap Shot’ of The Last Days
1) SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE – undeserved favor by God – through faith alone in Christ Alone.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Justice is getting exactly what you deserve to get and is completely fair that shows favor to the innocent and condemns the guilty.
Mercy is NOT getting what you deserve and shows favor towards the one who is guilty, but justice is not carried out upon them.
Grace is getting something that you don’t deserve and shows favor towards the one on whom mercy is shown.
Sinners who remain in a rebellious state against God, and reject the Gospel, deserve justice and so they are condemned to hell.
Sinners who seek for God’s mercy are granted mercy based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ Who died for our sins, and they are spared from going to hell. Christ took God's judgment for our sin upon Himself so that we would not suffer judgment ourselves.
Sinners upon whom God shows mercy are further granted His grace based upon Jesus Christ Who not only died for our sins, but rose from the dead and imparts eternal life to all who receive Him as LORD and Savior. These will know an eternity in the glories of heaven, forever in fellowship with God our Father, the LORD Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, along with all the saints and angels!
True faith will lead to true action (remember the acrobat over Niagara Falls): which is true repentance and true dedication to Jesus Christ Who then becomes one’s own LORD and Savior.
ROMANS 3:10-12, 23, 28; 1 CORINTHIANS 1:26; EPHESIANS 1:7; TITUS 2:11-15; JAMES 4:6
2) The HOLY TRINITY – One God revealed in three distinct Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
1 JOHN 5:7
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word*, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
* “The Word” is Jesus Christ: See REV. 19:11-16.
At the Crucifixion, when Jesus bore all of our sin, there had to be another Who is perfectly holy and just to carry out judgment upon the Sin-bearer (1 PETER 2:23-25), the Lamb of God (JOHN 1:29, 36) Jesus Christ, our LORD.
If God was only ‘one’ and not ‘three in one’, then there would be no one else to judge Jesus Christ as our sin bearer.
Yet as Jesus bore our sins, the Father Who was untouched by our sin as Jesus was, could rightly judge Him as He took our place and received God’s wrath and punishment for us.
If God was only ‘one’ and not ‘three in one’ then Jesus would have no one to send to us and grant us power to live a life of godly conduct.
Yet the Holy Spirit was sent to all repentant sinners who receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior and can enable us to live as Jesus did, because He is God and Holy and able to work in us the character of godliness and Christ-likeness.
God is a Trinity or a ‘tri-unity’ – not a single Person, but Three Persons perfectly united and so identical in power, attributes, character, and ability that they cannot be told apart. They are different only in the roles that they play: the Father is over all, while the Son is submitted to the Father, and the Holy Spirit leads people to Jesus, never Himself.
The word for “God” in many verses is “Eloheim” where in other places it’s “El”. In the Hebrew language, by adding the suffix of “im” you turn a singular noun into a plural noun.
For example, the word for a single super-angel, is ‘cherub’; to talk about two or more cherub you would use the word “cherubim”. So “El” in Hebrew is a word meaning “God”, and by adding the “im” El becomes Eloheim, meaning “Gods” – a Trinity.
Another point regarding the Trinity of God: everywhere throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, where ever God is mentioned as being "one" (such as in DEUT 6:4), the Hebrew word used for "one" is echad - which means a "unified one" - or you could say a team. In any football game, there are a number of players on the field, but all these members represent just two teams. God is a singular 'Team of Three': the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Hebrew word for a numerical "one" is yachid and this always means one, that is 'one less than two' and never used to express the truth that God is (a numerical) one.
For more about this, see the following article.
GENESIS 1:1,26; 3:22; 11:7; ISAIAH 6:8; 48:16; JOHN 14:9-11
3) The PERSON of JESUS – Fully God and Fully Man.
JOHN 1:1-3, 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
There is a fancy theological term called ‘the hypostatic union’ and it simply means that Jesus is fully God, 100% and fully man, 100%. He isn’t 50% God and 50% man, but completely both.
Why is this important?
Because sin is against the Eternal God and against the Eternal Law of God, and so punishment must also be eternal punishment, and no one but an Eternal and Holy Being could take that kind of punishment from God: so Jesus must be 100% God.
In order to stand in our place and take our sin, Jesus must also be a Human being just like us – but one without sin of His own.
Jesus must be the perfect representative of God for us and thus He is the PROPHET of all prophets (who speaks for and represents God (the Father) to the people; see JOHN 6:14; DEUT 18:15; ACTS 3:22), and also the perfect representative of mankind for God and thus He is the HIGH PRIEST of a New Priesthood which is the church, (who speaks for and represents the people to God; see HEB 3:1; 4:14; 6:20) which He is!
Jesus is the Holy and Almighty Bridge that brings the Holy LORD God and repentant sinners together for the salvation of their souls, the satisfaction of God, and fellowship among them all!
ISAIAH 9:6; MATTHEW 1:23; JOHN 20:12; PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11; COLOSSIANS 2:8-10; REVELATION 22:13
4) The INSPIRATION and AUTHORITY Of SCRIPTURE – We Believe the Bible is GOD’S WORD.
2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Doctrine is that which is right; reproof is for that which is not right; correction is how to get it right and instruction in righteousness is how to stay right.
When someone dies, we sometimes say that they ‘expired’, that is, they breathed their last breath. To inspire means to breathe life into – and in regards to the saints that wrote the Scriptures, God inspired His Word by His Spirit, into them. He imparted His truth, using the many saints like Moses and David, Peter and Paul to write His words.
I often hear people say that “the Bible was just written by men.” And I tell them, “You’re half right!”
When they ask what I mean by that, I get out a piece of paper and a pen, and I ask them to write their name on the paper. Once they do, I ask them, how did your name get written on that paper? They tell me that they wrote it.
“Are you sure?” I ask. And they reply, “Yes.”
“Did you really write your name on that paper, or did the pen do it?”
“Well” they say, “I wrote my name, using the pen as an instrument.”
That’s how the Bible was written! God wrote His Word, using men as His Holy Pens to write the words, guided by His Spirit, just as we guide a pen to write as we intend.
2 PETER 1:20-21
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
There are all kinds of evidence to prove that the Bible is really the Word of God – this is known as the study of apologetics, and many good books are available that can help us:
EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT: VOL 1 & 2
The BIG BOOK Of CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS
IN DEFENSE OF THE FAITH
CARM - CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS RESEARCH MINISTRY is an excellent example of a website dedicated to apologetics.
Here is a link that has a list of many other apologetic sites!
And a couple of articles that help us understand the evidence that the Bible is indeed the Word of God:
How Do We Know that the Bible Is True?
Evidence of biblical inspiration
MATTHEW 4:4; 24:35; 1 THESSALONIANS 2:13; HEBREWS 4:12; REVELATION 22:19.
5) ORIGINAL SIN – Our Fall At The First.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
We inherit all kinds of things from our parents: for some of us, we inherit their looks, others inherit their intellect, still others inherit their talents. We possess these things because they are our parents and we are their children – these things are passed on to us from them.
Our First Parents were Adam and Eve, and from them we all received the same nature that they acquired after they rebelled against God and fell: the sinful nature.
We are all rebels against God. We have a nature in us that desires things that God has forbidden us, but it all started back then, in the Garden of Eden.
When you hear it said, “people are basically good” that is basically a lie!
The Scripture states that there is NONE good (ROMANS 3:12) and so there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Anything we might try to do in order to prove our own virtue and goodness will be stained with our own sinful Human nature.
GENESIS 3; ROMANS 5:12-15, 19.
6) ONE WAY TO HEAVEN – No Detours Allowed!
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed earnestly to the Father; now because the LORD always prayed according to the Father’s will, He always received His requests – except for one.
He prayed that if there is ANY OTHER WAY, that He might avoid the road ahead to Calvary (MATTHEW 26:39) but He never received a ‘Plan B’ from the Father – He had to go to the cross, because there was (and IS) no other way for us to be saved!
There is no other who lived a sinless life that could be a sacrifice lamb for us, one who is unspotted by the sin nature (1 PETER 1:18-20)! ONLY Jesus is the 'propitiation' (the only acceptable sacrifice that satisfies the Father) for our sins! The price of our redemption was the shed blood of JESUS!
Propaganda- G.O.S.P.E.L.[Official Video]
MATTHEW 5:17; ROMANS 10:9-10, 13; HEBREWS 2:14-15; 4:15;
7) A LITERAL HEAVEN And HELL – Eternal Destinations: Where will you go?
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
We can take it on the word of Jesus Christ that heaven is real, because that’s where He came from, and that is where He returned. Since He has proven to be true in everything else that He ever told us, we can believe Him about what He says about heaven. We can also believe what He said about hell – and He said a lot about both!
Here is an awesome video with pastor David Hocking- The Reality of Heaven and Hell
MATTHEW 7:13; 10:12; JOHN 3:13; REVELATION 7:13-17; 20:10,15
8) GOD is SOVEREIGN – The One Who is on the steering wheel of the universe!
3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';
We as Christians should never be afraid of the future or of imminent danger (even though we are because we aren’t perfect, and we are prone to weakness) because whatever may happen in our lives, God is in control – for His own reasons and purposes He allows even bad things to happen in our lives, but to serve a greater purpose that will ultimately be good for us as well as glorifying to Him!
Even Satan is allowed to do his evil work under the sovereignty of God (read JOB Chapters One and Two to demonstrate this)! God has a design in the devil’s own determination to rebel against Him and will use this for His greater glory! If you think that this is hard to understand, I agree!
It is also difficult to understand how God can be wholly sovereign, and yet we as people have free will; how can both be true? We know that both are true because the Bible teaches both - God is indeed LORD and Sovereign over all His creation (ROMANS 9) and we have a God-given free will so that whosoever will, let him come to salvation (ROMANS 10).
The following charts and diagrams lays out these two doctrines:
God's sovereignty and man's free will and responsibility
GENESIS 50:20; PROVERBS 16:9; DANIEL 4:35; MATTHEW 19:26; ROMANS 8:28.
9) GOD is CREATOR – The Maker of All Things.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being, declares the LORD. But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.
The LORD God Who has revealed Himself through the Holy Bible and to His prophets and apostles is known to us as Creator*. He is the only Creator, Who can make things out of nothing. We don’t really have the power to create, not the way that God can. We take what already exists, and mold and shape and condition them to build whatever we intend.
We take iron ore, melt it down, refine it, mold it and create scalpels or cars or anything else.
As Creator, He is the Owner of all things, and so He has the right of rule, as King.
* The FOUR PRIMARY OFFICES of GOD as portrayed in SCRIPTURE are: CREATOR, LORD, JUDGE and SAVIOR. All of God's other roles and offices derive from these four primary ones.
The CREATOR CLEARLY SEEN from ANSWERS in GENESIS.
PSALM 104:2-4; 121:2-8; ISAIAH 44:24; ROMANS 1:20; HEBREWS 11:3.
10) GOD IS HOLY – PURE and SINLESS
1 PETER 1:15-16
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We have never lived in a world that is holy; the only way we can even experience a measure of holiness is by God’s power, and even then, though we are growing in holiness, we will never know complete and total holiness until we are with the LORD in heaven. Holiness is absolute purity (being completely absent of sin), goodness, righteousness, truth, justice, and so much more!
If you look at Jesus, you see what holiness is about. When we grow in Christ-likeness by His Spirit, we are growing in holiness. It is because God is so completely holy that even the smallest sin is horribly offensive to Him, and something that He cannot tolerate.
Since we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us as born again believers in Christ, God expects us to grow in holiness:
1 PETER 1:15-17
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
LEVITICUS 11:44; NUMBERS 23:19; PSALM 46:4-5; ISAIAH 6:3; EPHESIANS 4:24.
11) The SINLESS CHRIST – The Spotless Lamb of God
2 CORINTHIANS 5:21
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Though He is God, He lived His life of purity and power (JOHN 8:46; 14:30) by the Holy Spirit, not His own power, because He needs to be a proper example for us to follow.
We can’t live our lives for God by our own power – Jesus could! – but we can’t! So by living His life by the power of the Spirit, He provides us an example to follow, because we are born again, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we also can live our lives by the power of the Spirit.
1 COR 6:19
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
While on Earth, we will not ever reach a point of sinlessness like Jesus, but we can live an overcoming life over sin (2 PET 3:18; ROM 6:13-14).
It is because Jesus is sinless, that He is a proper and acceptable Judge over all the world, because while all the world is guilty before Him, He is totally innocent (JOHN 5:22; 2 TIM 4:1).
If the LORD was ever guilty of just one sin, that would have disqualified Him as a proper sacrifice; but as the sinless, pure, perfect and holy Lamb - He is the sufficient and glorious sacrifice well able to take away the sin of the world!
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
HEBREWS 4:15; 1 PETER 1:19; 2:22; 1 JOHN 3:5.
12) The SECOND COMING of JESUS CHRIST – The REAL Return of the King!
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
The Second Coming of Christ is called in Scripture, “the blessed hope” (TITUS 2:13) and it’s the very focus of the church, because we know that once Christ returns, it will mean the end of Satan’s rule, the beginning of our eternal experience in the glories of His presence, and a conclusion to all the ages of suffering, injustice, sin, sickness and misery!
Sadly, the Second Coming of Christ is something that church goers, generally speaking, is no longer interested in – they are so busy with church activities and their ordinary lives, that they not only don’t give it much thought. Many don’t believe in it anymore because they have believe doctrines that teach that Christ already came (back in 70 AD) and that prophecy is all fulfilled already - that there will be no tribulation period or a millennium (These are the false doctrines of preterism and amillennialism)!
Yet the Second Coming of Christ* is something that keeps us expectant, and is a purifying influence in our lives (1 JOHN 3:3)! We know that once Christ returns, He will establish His kingdom over all the world, with His realm of Israel, where He shall sit upon the throne of His father, David during the Millennium!
* For an examination of the prophetic signs we see today which indicate the LORD's return, have a look at this article: The LAST DAYS of LAWLESSNESS – TIME of the SIGNS
For a video documentary of THE RAPTURE of the CHURCH which happens before the Great Tribulation period, watch this program.
MATTHEW 16:27; 25:31-46; 1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-56; 1 THESSALONIANS 4:16-17; HEBREWS 9:28.
13) FALLEN ANGELS – Satan, the Real Enemy
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Is there life elsewhere in the universe? Yes, but they don’t fly UFO spaceships! There are two intelligent species in God’s creation: Human beings and angels. Where Human beings have bodies, souls and spirits, angels are purely spirits – they can appear visibly and even take on physical form, but they are never to be worshiped or be the focus for us Christians.
They are holy servants of God as well as the church – and Israel, doing the LORD’s bidding, protecting His saints, and on occasion, delivering messages.
There are some angels (about a third of the entire race: REV 12:4, 9) that followed Lucifer in the rebellion, and these are the great enemies of the Human race and of the church specifically. They are powerful, lying, deceiving and extremely intelligent beings that we cannot battle, apart from the Spirit of the LORD through Whom we have already been granted the victory. It is they that we do spiritual warfare against (See EPHESIANS 6:10-19).
For an excellent resource on spiritual warfare, I recommend Greg Reid's book WAR of the AGES (Look for a TTUF Book Report on this soon!). Watch this video:
GENESIS 6:1-2; 2 CORINTHIANS 11:14-15; EPHESIANS 6:10-18; 1 PETER 5:8.
14) The CHURCH – The Body and Bride of Christ
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The church of Jesus Christ is not an organization, or social club, or a religious entity. It is the body of Christ; and just as a body has many parts, is alive and performs certain functions, so too do we together as His own people.
We are united together as one in Spirit, just as our LORD prayed for us (JOHN 17:22) and we are only to keep – not create – this unity by the same Spirit that has given us eternal life (EPHESIANS 4:3).
As members of the church we are called to serve the LORD, and also one another.
In our own physical bodies, it’s the same – each part serves to help the rest of the body. The only time a part of our body serves itself, even taking away from all the other parts of our bodies is when we are sick with what is known as cancer.
Selfishness, jealousy, bitterness and all other sins are, in a sense, 'spiritual cancer' in the body of Christ, from which we must repent and seek healing.
For a four-part study on ACTS 2:42 called The FOUR FACETS In The FUNCTION Of The CHURCH: PART One, Two, Three and Four, for your blessing and study!
MATTHEW 16:18; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-14; EPHESIANS 2:19-22; 5:25-27; COLOSSIANS 1:17-20; 1 TIMOTHY 3:15; 1 PETER 2:9-10.
BE BLESSED CHURCH, SAINTS OF THE LIVING GOD, IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! The second half of DISCIPLESHIP 101 will contain SESSIONS 3 and 4. May the LORD bless and keep you as you continue in your study of God's Holy Word!