Posts Tagged ‘ Death ’

VerseD: 2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17, ESV

Through the Holy Spirit and by the power of the Son’s sacrifice and resurrection, the Father frees us from the chains of sin and death that bind our minds, hearts, and souls, and eventually even our bodies.

Nothing New: An Introductory Foundation

I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

Here is the first lesson notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 1: Some Foundational Thoughts

This class starts on what would have been my mom’s 58th birthday. The day after her 53rd birthday she went home to be with the Lord.

Why is this relevant?

My parents did not instill Christian beliefs in us growing up. When I became a Christian, they complained some. My mom in particular challenged me with hard questions. Thankfully, it is what helped lead her to Christ, and it gave me the start toward ministry and apologetics.

What else helped was overcoming my perspective on Church that came from an evolutionary mindset I was not aware I had.

Thus, here is the list of scriptural (and anecdotal) foundations for my life, ministry, and this class:

  1. 1 Samuel 16:7 – My parents raised me to not judge people based on appearances. However, I also fell into that evolutionary view that we learn more and understand better than our predecessors. (If you actually read the Bible and study history, that should change your mind.) Likewise, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1, God used the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. It does not make sense for God to die on a cross, but He did. Then He used backwater fishermen, farmers, and tax collectors to change the world. We need to remember not to make assumptions about people based on appearances or perceptions.
  2. James 4:7-8 – We must realize that to overcome our biases and sin we must submit ourselves to God and draw near. Only He can make us clean and change our thinking.
  3. John 3:16-17 – We must realize that God first drew near to us, through Jesus. If we do not believe in the atoning work of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we stand condemned in our sins, but we escape condemnation through faith in Him.
  4. Hebrews (11:1-)12:1 – We must realize that the previous witnesses, those who came before us and revealed Christ to the world, know more about God (collectively) than we. These witnesses were the biblical writers, the prophets and apostles, and those who gave their lives for the truth. We know what we know because God acted in history to reveal Himself and preserve His truth in this world. We do not know better than the Early Church, and certainly not more than the Author and Perfecter of our faith (12:2) and Founder of the Church.
  5. 1 Peter 3:15 – We must make Christ foremost in our hearts and minds. We must be ready to give an answer – apologia = reasoned defense, hence “apologetics” – for our faith, why we believe, and remember to do it with gentleness and respect to reach our fallen, backwards world. It means we call out sin, but love people as we do it, with patience and understanding. We are no better than anyone else. And we know this from Scripture.
  6. Ephesians 2:20 – We run all of Church history and all of our understanding through the lens of Scripture. Our faith is built on the foundation of the prophets (Old Testament/Hebrew scriptures) and Apostles (New Testament) with Christ anchoring everything. This is where we find all truth and our authority to speak to this world.
  7. Matthew 28:18-20 – Jesus has all authority, and He gave that authority to us to tell the world God has come to us, to teach them His commands, and to baptize them into the Trinitarian name of God. Without the risen, living Lord, we have no authority.

Church history reveals to us we still make mistakes and sin against our Lord, but He has used this history and guided His Church to better understand His Word and equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

It is fitting this new class starts on my mom’s birthday, because she helped me hone my understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian life. I am sure she would be honored with such a gift as her son sharing God’s redemptive work throughout history since the time of Christ her Lord and Savior. (And this is first shared online on the 5th Anniversary of her going to Him!)

Next time:

Christ our Foundation: The roots of the Church

VerseD: Exodus 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Exodus 14:14, ESV

We can learn from Israel escaping Egypt that God will defeat our enemies, and in fact He has. Primarily, He has defeated Satan and death, who will be destroyed after Christ’s return.

VerseD: 2 Corinthians 4:16

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV

Living for God can be hard, especially with our fallen, sinful world full of death and our own desires.

But the Holy Spirit sustains us and encourages us every day. Lean in and trust God.

VerseD: Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23, ESV

We all have sinned and deserve God’s wrath and separation from Him.

Thanks to Jesus, we are shown grace and forgiveness to eternal life.

VerseD: Hebrews 12:2

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2, ESV

What is faith? Jesus is the source. Without the cross and resurrection, we have no basis for faith.

Christ’s faithfulness gives us faith.

VerseD: John 19:30

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30, ESV

Jesus died for our sinful rebellion, and the work of forgiveness was completed at the cross. Nothing more is needed.

Believe this. Trust Him. Turn to and be washed by His grace. Let the Holy Spirit change you.