July 27-Aug 2 Boxcar Christianity

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Our little Church is using a Chronological Bible Reading Schedule by Skip Andrews. It can be found here: http://www.churchofchristduluthga.org/
Each Sunday a lesson is given from some of that week's reading. This lesson covers July 27-Aug 2.

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July 27-Aug 2 Boxcar Christianity

  1. 1. The Word of Life Study Bible TM <ul><li>When preparing for this week’s lesson I ran across a good article in The Word of Life Study Bible. TM The article was taken from the message in Isaiah 52:7. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Isaiah 52:7 NET How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains the feet of a messenger who announces peace, a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance, who says to Zion, &quot;Your God reigns!&quot; </li></ul>
  3. 3. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>The good news of peace and salvation prophesied by Isaiah was effectively delivered by Jesus. Later, Jesus' followers spread this good news throughout the Roman world, and from there it passed down through the centuries to us who live today. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>The gospel is very good news for sinners who stand under the judgment of God. Through Christ, we can have forgiveness of sins and peace with God. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Acts 13:38 NET Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, </li></ul>
  6. 6. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Romans 5:1 NET Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, </li></ul>
  7. 7. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Romans 6:23 NET For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. </li></ul><ul><li>And this salvation is a free gift of God's grace, even though by nature we were &quot;children of wrath&quot; </li></ul>
  8. 8. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Ephesians 2:3 NET among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest… </li></ul>
  9. 9. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you are saved! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Thus we begin our life in Christ &quot;by grace . . . through faith.&quot; But how do we then continue our life with Jesus? How do we grow into spiritual maturity as believers, which is what God wants us to do? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Ephesians 1:1 NET From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus], the faithful in Christ Jesus. 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. 4 For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>Notice the truth Paul just stated. “ he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world” Can we wrap our minds around this? Before creation Jesus knew He would come to earth to die & provide salvation. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>5 He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will — 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>9 He did this when he revealed to us the secret of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 toward the administration of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ — the things in heaven and the things on earth. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>11 In Christ we too have been claimed as God's own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>13 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) — when you believed in Christ — you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of his glory. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Messenger Announces Deliverance <ul><li>15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers. </li></ul>
  22. 22. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>For many Christians, the journey of faith might be called &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; which works like this: When we place our faith in Christ, Jesus becomes the new Engineer of the train we call our life. </li></ul>
  23. 23. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Up until then, we had tried to run the train on our own, according to our own wits and by our own power. But we failed. As sinful people, we simply couldn't make the train run, certainly not the way it was intended. </li></ul>
  24. 24. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>But now that we have placed Jesus at the controls of our life, we hope for better things. We expect the train to start moving, and eventually, to arrive at its final destination. </li></ul>
  25. 25. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Obviously any illustration will be inadequate to express the wonder of salvation in Christ. But what happens in &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; is an appropriate illustration of what many people actually do today as they try to follow Jesus. </li></ul>
  26. 26. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>They start hooking on &quot;boxcars&quot; that they have reason to believe should be a part of their Christian, experience, </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul>
  27. 27. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>We need to spend focused time with Jesus each day, because we need to get to know our Lord. Therefore, we need to pray every day, and we need to read the Bible. </li></ul>
  28. 28. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Then we need to find a good church to join. We need to be with God's people. And once we are in a church, we should not only participate in the worship service, but join a Sunday school class for instruction, if the church has any. </li></ul>
  29. 29. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>If there is an evening service, we should attend that too. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, if we really want to grow, we should join a mid-week group such as a prayer meeting. </li></ul>
  30. 30. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>And if the church has a gathering for fellowship, we should consider being a part of that. We'll make new friends, we'll have a sense of community and we'll also have fun. </li></ul>
  31. 31. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>To understand our new faith, we need to begin reading some good Christian literature. A growing Christian is a reading Christian, so we might start borrowing books from the church's library, or frequenting a Christian bookstore. </li></ul>
  32. 32. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Meanwhile, as we mature in Christ, it's important to start using our gifts. If we have musical ability, we might join the choir or church ensemble </li></ul>
  33. 33. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>We might become a leader in the youth group. We might teach a Sunday school class or serve as an usher. There is always something we can do, and our service will be appreciated. </li></ul>
  34. 34. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>In the summers there are summer programs, such as Vacation Bible School. That's only a week or two long. Why not volunteer some time for the spiritual nurture of children? </li></ul>
  35. 35. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>During the week, there may be a Bible study in our community. Joining it will allow us to spend time with people around God's Word, focusing on the things of the Lord. </li></ul>
  36. 36. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>And somewhere in town is probably a group meeting for coffee and prayer before the workday begins. Attending that might be of great help to our spiritual progress. </li></ul>
  37. 37. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Then from time to time a spiritual retreat will be offered, perhaps for a weekend. If we go, we'll have a great opportunity to be renewed in our faith, to build some closer friendships, and to draw closer to the Lord. </li></ul>
  38. 38. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Back home, there are always committees, councils, and boards that need capable people to serve. Why not serve the body of Christ in this way? </li></ul>
  39. 39. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>We might also consider becoming part of the church's visitation team, welcoming new people to the congregation. In fact, that would be great preparation for joining an evangelism or outreach team, which will help us actively share our faith with unbelievers. </li></ul>
  40. 40. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Not that ministry stops with evangelism. Many churches sponsor homeless shelters, meals-on-wheels, and other resources for people's basic needs. Here is a place where the Lord could use us to &quot;give a cup of cold water in His name.&quot; </li></ul>
  41. 41. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>All the while, it's important to support the church and other ministry organizations financially. We should be mindful of what our church's missionaries are doing, and pray for them regularly. </li></ul>
  42. 42. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>We might even consider participating in a short-term mission project. We should also be actively involved as citizens, influencing the political system through our faith and values. </li></ul>
  43. 43. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>We should be concerned about racial reconciliation and other social justice issues. If we have children, we need to be involved in their schools, whether public or private. </li></ul>
  44. 44. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>We should be active in ... We should do ... We should become . . . We should . . . We should . . . We should . . . What Happened? </li></ul>
  45. 45. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Obviously this list is a bit exaggerated, maybe not by much! &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; has a way of adding load upon load of expectation to what started out as a pure and simple faith—faith so simple that even a child can demonstrate it. </li></ul>
  46. 46. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>What happens? How does the gospel become so complicated and so freighted with demands? How is it that so many believers start out with Jesus pulling the train, only to wind up completely exhausted as they strain to pull the whole train, which grows ever longer with heavy boxcars? </li></ul>
  47. 47. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>All of the boxcars are full of valuable opportunities and experiences. Any of these can be enormously beneficial to our spiritual growth. </li></ul>
  48. 48. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>But the most important thing on the train is not in any of the boxcars, it's in the engine. That's because nothing is more important than our relationship with Jesus. Everything else on the train is merely a means of drawing us closer to Him. </li></ul>
  49. 49. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>This Is Eternal Life </li></ul><ul><li>If we miss Jesus in our lives, then we miss the One who gives life to us. Jesus challenges &quot;Boxcar Christians &quot; as He did His disciple Philip, who had known Him for about three and a half years: </li></ul>
  50. 50. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>John 14:9 NET Jesus replied, &quot;Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? </li></ul>
  51. 51. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Shortly thereafter, Jesus prayed to His Father, &quot;And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.&quot; John 17:3 The gospel is all about knowing God. </li></ul>
  52. 52. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>&quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; can lead to failure, frustration, and wretchedness. The situation is not unlike that described by Paul in Romans 7 </li></ul>
  53. 53. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>Romans 7:7 NET What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, &quot; Do not covet .&quot; </li></ul>
  54. 54. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. </li></ul>
  55. 55. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>9 And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive 10 and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! </li></ul>
  56. 56. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. </li></ul>
  57. 57. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. </li></ul>
  58. 58. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>14 For we know that the law is spiritual — but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. 15 For I don't understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want — instead, I do what I hate. </li></ul>
  59. 59. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>16 But if I do what I don't want, I agree that the law is good . 17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. </li></ul>
  60. 60. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want ! 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me. </li></ul>
  61. 61. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. </li></ul>
  62. 62. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. </li></ul>
  63. 63. &quot;Boxcar Christianity&quot; <ul><li>24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. </li></ul>
  64. 64. Well Versed in God’s Word <ul><li>We cannot do it alone! Jesus must be at the controls. I believe my main job standing in front of you speaking is to encourage you to be well versed in God’s Word. </li></ul>
  65. 65. Well Versed in God’s Word <ul><li>That is why the past three years I’ve done my best to get you reading the Bible. We read the NIV Chronological Bible, then The Message New Testament, and this year a daily reading schedule using your favorite Bible. </li></ul>
  66. 66. Well Versed in God’s Word <ul><li>If we want to know God, grow in maturity as Christ’s followers, there is no other way besides knowing what God reveals about Himself in His Word. </li></ul>
  67. 67. Well Versed in God’s Word <ul><li>Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice so we could be forgiven of our sins. Several times He tells us if we love Him we will obey His commandments. How can we know what He commands if we don’t open His book to see? </li></ul>

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