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17 the nt model for church - jan 2014

God - The new testament church

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17 the nt model for church - jan 2014

  1. 1. The New Testament model for Church The way The Apostles thought us from Acts to Jude JanEgil Gulbrandsen 2014 Updated March 2015
  2. 2. The church is a fellowship of believers - the body of Christ - made up of “people” - leaders and lay-people, where all relate to each other as brothers and sisters. We love the Lord - and each other. Together we reach out to the world with the good news of Jesus.
  3. 3. The church is not a building, not an institution, an organisation or a denomination. The church is always people – people that believe in Jesus Christ and are born again. This is the universal church.
  4. 4. We are a part of the body of Christ on earth. Each one of us have a function that no other body part has. Every believer need to be connected with other believers for mutual growth and support. This happens in the local church fellowship.
  5. 5. There are different ways to organise the local church. Some might be more biblical than others. But the most important thing is “the people” – and that Christ lives and operates in each one of us.
  6. 6. Many churches around the world are organised as large corporation with one “CEO” pastor on the top. Others are a democracy where every member has an equal vote and elect elders and deacons. (or a pastor and deacons) Others again meet in smaller fellowships with a little less structure but with a stronger focus on individual spiritual expression. t
  7. 7. In this study we are going to try to find “the objective truth” what the Bible says about: What happens at church? How can we best organise church? How shall we now live this Christian life?
  8. 8. In other words: What does The New Testament and specially the Apostle Paul ( God’s special ambassador to us gentiles) teach about how to do church?
  9. 9. In the gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we learn about the life of Jesus – how he died and rose again and in so doing gave us the great exchange: Our sins for his righteousness – for us who believe. Our focus in this study will be on the post cross writings – the writings that covers the early church period. We find it in the books from Acts to Jude.
  10. 10. We must assume that Paul’s model for church activity, leadership and Christian life was intended to be a guideline for all generations to follow. At the same time it is quite clear that some of the things Paul wrote about was “specific for the moment” and “culturally conditioned”.
  11. 11. In the bible books mentioned I have chosen 175 scriptures that covers these topics. In your own studies you might find a few more or a few less. But these chosen scriptures should be more than sufficient to “get the picture” of what church and the Christian life should look like.
  12. 12. “This is the Apostolic model for doing church.” Any pastor or leader that want to see their church fellowship grow strong and healthy, can learn from these scriptures. In the same way; any believer that want to learn the basics for living the Christian life, can benefit from this.
  13. 13. This upper part of the page will be used for Bible scriptures. The text might be direct quotes, paraphrased or summarised. This bottom part of the page will be used for my comments. I pray that The Holy Spirit has helped me to say and write something “inspired” to explain and clarify the scriptures even more in a simple language and to connect it to our time.
  14. 14. 1) Acts 1:16 “Brothers and sisters…” Paul – and the other writers from Acts to Jude, addresses the church a total of 121 times with these words: “Brothers and sisters”. This is not coincidental. This wording indicates equality before the Lord, between men and between the genders. It also indicates there is no hierarchy between high- ranking church leaders and lay-people. The modern church has something to learn from this. The elevated Doctor or Reverend titles that are so popular in our time, are never mentioned. The days of spiritual middlemen between God and man are over.
  15. 15. 2) Acts 1:22-26 “and they put forward two men. Lord show which one of these to men you have chosen. And they cast lots.” Wow. What a way to start off. Not by appointment. Not by election. But “trusting God” by casting lots… This is as far from a business model or an majority election you can come…
  16. 16. 3) Acts 2:14 “But Peter – standing with the eleven – lifted up his voice…” So what does this have to do with anything? Nothing but the fact that “the men stood together”. Unity gives power. A single voice is nothing but a single voice… But Christian brothers standing shoulder to shoulder is powerful.
  17. 17. 4) Acts 2:42 “and they (the believers in the church) devoted themselves to the apostles teaching (the Gospel), to fellowship and prayer” The church need to focus on what is important: The Gospel of Jesus – and to fellowship and to prayer.
  18. 18. 5) Acts 2:45 “and they were selling their possessions – distributing proceeds to all” Radical! If you live by the Spirit and the voice inside tells you to “sell” – do it! But it is also possible that God has another plan for your equity. But to share with the needy is a “must”. This is practical love!
  19. 19. 6) Acts 2:46 “they were breaking bread in their homes” Breaking bread or communion was practised in the homes. And you thought “the elements” had to be distributed by an ordained minister in a church building… The Catholics also believe that…
  20. 20. 7) Acts 4:32 “Those who believed were of one heart and one soul” Unity of heart – unity of soul! This is only possible when “The Spirit” gets hold of us and “mans will” is set aside.
  21. 21. 8) Acts 4:34 “There was not a needy person among them” It is quit clear there was a transfer of money and goods from rich to poor. Some call this socialism. Not all are convinced Jesus was a republican.
  22. 22. 9) Acts 5:42 “Every day the apostles were teaching “Jesus” in the temple and from house to house”. The message to the world is: Christ the savior has come. This is the “good news” our cities need. Teach it where you can – any day you can - where the people are – and in the homes.
  23. 23. 10) Acts 6:2 “It is not right that the apostles have to give up teaching to serve at the tables” There are different gifts. It is important that each one serve in the capacity he is called.
  24. 24. 11) Acts 6:3 “Therefor brothers: Pick out from among you seven men of a) good reputation, b) full of the Spirit, and of c) wisdom, whom we (Paul and his team) will appoint to this duty.” This is an interesting selection process: You pick out from among yourself, and we will appoint (approve) the men you have selected.
  25. 25. 12) Acts 11:25 “The disciples were called Christians” At least we got than one right!
  26. 26. 13) Acts 12:5 “Peter was kept in prison, but the church was eagerly praying to God for him” Eagerly prayer! Sounds like more then liturgical reading. A prayer right into the situation - not 300 year old written manuscripts.
  27. 27. 14) Acts 13:1 “In the church there were prophets and teachers” Prophets and teachers are mentioned separately. Obviously they have different functions or ministries. Notices they are mentioned in plural. Meaning: There were several persons with a prophetic gift and several teachers. They were all allowed to speak. They had no senior pastor (singular) that was the only person allowed to say something from the pulpit…
  28. 28. 15) Acts 13:15 “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it” Paul visiting the synagogue. He was encouraged by the leaders to share in the meeting. How often do we see visitors being allowed to share in our churches?
  29. 29. 16) Acts 14:23 “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and with prayer and fasting committed them to the Lord” Elders were appointed from “the top” – choosing elders (plural) was not done by a majority elections.
  30. 30. 17) Acts 15:23 “The brothers – both apostles and elders” In a letter sent to Antioch, both apostles and elders are described as brothers. The term “brothers,” indicate there is no spiritual higharky in the church. We are all equal like brothers. We might have different functions (gifting's) but we are still to relate to each other as brothers (and sisters).
  31. 31. 18) Acts 15:35 “Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord; with many others also” The lesson here is: Teaching and preaching is shared by many in the church… (church is not a one man show – the anointed one) (singular) That’s why it is not appropriate for a pastor to talk about “my church” and “my pulpit”…
  32. 32. 19) Acts 20:17+28 To the elders of the church: Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all of the flock the Holy Spirit has made you overseers – to care for the church of God” Notice one important detail: Elders – pastors – overseers are always in plural. Leadership is never a one person job.
  33. 33. 20) Acts 20: 33-35 “ I coveted no ones silver of gold” “My own hands have supplied my own needs” Paul makes a strong point that he chose “to work” for a living in addition to being a church planting Apostle. Many a pastor have not considered this option. A few have in fact used their communication skills to become very rich “in silver and gold” by selling “health and wealth” as Gods blessing if you only give enough in the offering.
  34. 34. 21) Acts 21:9 “Philip the evangelist had four unmarried daughters who prophesied” Four unmarried woman – possibly in their teens – prophesied. I guess the lesson here is that you don’t have to be an old man to be recognised with a gift of prophesy.
  35. 35. 22) Rom. 1:12 “…that we may be mutually encouraged by each others faith…” “I encourage you – you encourage me.” Christian life is a two way street – a two way dialog - by equal partners in the kingdom.
  36. 36. 23) Rom. 12:3 “do not thing of yourself more highly then you ought” This ties in with our previous scriptures. Don’t think you are “superior” or “special” above your brothers and sisters. Humility by all is the way to go.
  37. 37. 24) Rom. 12:4-5 “the members of the body (of Christ) have different functions. We are one body and individually member one of another” Different function. Different gifting. But one. We are important to one another.
  38. 38. 25) Rom. 12:6 “Having gifts that differ: Prophecy, serving, teaching, to encourage, giving, to lead, to show mercy”. Through prayer and fasting every Christian should find out his gift (or gifts) – so it can be used actively. It’s also helpful to know what’s not your gift… and leave that to others.
  39. 39. 26) Rom. 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” We are to “like” each other. Like “like” on facebook… Plus a little honor and respect.
  40. 40. 27) Rom. 12:13A “share with the Lord’s people that are in need” The world is full of needs. We see it every day on TV. And there are hundreds of good causes to support. But first look after the Lord’s people – your own brothers and sisters.
  41. 41. 28) Rom. 12:13B “Practise hospitality” Invite people over for a meal. …or for a cup of coffee. Have a good conversation. And give them a bed for the night if they need one. This is almost a lost art in our modern society. Including the church…
  42. 42. 29) Rom. 12:16 “Do not be proud. Associate with people of lower position (social status)” Don’t only hang out with the “cool”, trendy and successful. But also make friends among the “poor and weak” that might need your support.
  43. 43. 30) Rom. 12:17 “Do not repay evil for evil” Commentary should be unnecessary. This is our opportunity to practise agape-love. (I love you “in spite of” what you did to me.) Pre-emptive bomb attacks find no support in this bible verse…
  44. 44. 31) Rom. 12:19 “Do not take revenge” Again: Practise agape-love.
  45. 45. 32) Rom. 13:1 “Subject to the governing authorities” But what if they implement ungodly laws??? Even then!
  46. 46. 33) Rom. 13:6 “Pay your taxes” …but the taxes are too high. I believe they should be lower. Well, if you cheat – you brake this regulation.
  47. 47. 34) Rom. 13:19 “Love your neighbor as (or in the same way as) yourself” Love yourself – because of Christ you are worthy. Love all the people around you – because they are also worthy – for the same reason.
  48. 48. 35) Rom. 14:1 “Accept the one whose faith (understanding) is weak” Don’t only hang out with people that think like you - that is strong like you. Be a mentor to the unlearned…
  49. 49. 36) Rom. 14:10 Don’t judge your brother or sister” Leave the judgment to the Lord… May be you don’t even have all the facts… In stead: Pray for him – support him – guide him – encourage him. And show him God’s way in love. But don’t judge.
  50. 50. 37) Rom. 14:22 “…so whatever you believe about food and drink – keep it between yourself and God” Different people (Christians) believe different things regarding what to eat and what to drink. What’s wrong for one is ok for another. You do what you do – but don’t offend the other and tell him what to do…
  51. 51. 38) Rom. 15:7 “accept one another as Christ has accepted you” I’m starting to get it now. I’m to sweep before my own door only. And let Christ himself change my brother – by his Holy Spirit. From the inside out. In his own timing.
  52. 52. 39) Rom. 16:1 “… a greeting to a sister (in the Lord) – a deaconess” If you ever were in doubt: a woman can be a deacon. (or a deaconess) “Help her when she comes to visit you in Rome.”
  53. 53. 40) Rom. 16:5 “Greet also the church that meet in their home” Home churches in our generation are by some portrayed as cultish and viard. But the fact is: They made up the majority of Christian assemblies in the early years. This was – and is – totally normal! And not only in addition to the “big church gathering” – but instead of…
  54. 54. 41) Rom. 16:16 “Great one another with a holy kiss” When did you great someone - male and female - with a holy kiss at church? Not! Because it is not a part of our culture. So inspite of the fact that Paul instructs the church he writes to to do so four times in his writings, we don’t do it - because of culture! Many of Paul’s instructions are culturally conditioned – like what he says about woman – and slaves – and kissing! We have to recognise the fact that the Bible gives “commands” that are not applicable in our time and culture.
  55. 55. 42) Rom. 16:17 “keep away from those who cause division and teach contrary to the teaching you have learned (from me)” Paul thought the pure gospel of grace… This is the good news of the gospel. Any other teaching that requires mans performance for salvation is “mixture” and heresy.
  56. 56. 43) Rom. 16:18 “for such people (the ones that teach contrary to me) are not serving our Lord – they deceive the minds of naïve people” Paul shows absolutely no tolerance for a Gospel of “mixture” – like in “one portion Christianity and one portion Judaism.” Unfortunately many churches have ministers practising this theology - very often because they don’t know any better.
  57. 57. 44) 1 Cor. 1:2 “To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his Holy People” Gentiles in Corinth – called to be his holy people! Saints! Always Saints! Not Saints one day and sinners the next. Not Saints and sinners. Only Saints. Holy people!
  58. 58. 45) 1 Cor. 1:10 “agree with one another – no divisions among you – but be of the same mind” Really what Paul is saying here is: Believe like I do! I have set the standard! And adjust your mind to mine. There is really no room for any theology except what I have thought you!
  59. 59. 46) 1 Cor. 2:1 “I did not come to you with eloquence or human wisdom” Again, what Paul is saying is: What I have been teaching you is not my wisdom – But Gods! That’s why you really need to pay attention to what I’m telling you! This is Gods wisdom!
  60. 60. 47) 1 Cor. 2:4 “My message were not with wise word – but a demonstration of the Spirits Power” Do the test: Is the speaker speaking from his “brain” or from a heart fueled by the passion of The Holy Spirit that lives within him?
  61. 61. 48) 1 Cor. 3:18 “Don’t think you are wise…” But does not our universities and bible schools have as a goal to make their students wise? Aren't the fancy titles the human proof that we have earned our degree in wisdom and deserves a little respect over and above everybody else? It looks like Paul was more concerned about one thing: Has the Holy Spirit got hold of you?
  62. 62. 49) 1 Cor. 3:21 “Don’t boast in men. That being Paul, Apollos or Cephas.” So our boasting is not in the man of flesh and blood. But praise God for The Holy Spirit that have got hold of him.
  63. 63. 50) 1 Cor. 4:1 “How to regard church leaders: As servants of Christ and stewards of the mystery of God” The Gospel is a mystery. (it is hard to understand how simple it is…) Our teachers are the once that by the Spirit can explain this mystery for the people to understand. But God also speaks directly to you when you take time to read the word and to pray.
  64. 64. 51) 1 Cor. 4:18-19 “Some of you are arrogant talkers without power” Paul was a no non-sense guy. He was not afraid to confront “the talkers”. If they did not operate in the power of the Spirit, he would confront them. Not many in our time has the guts to confront religious non-sense in fear of being accused of attacking “the man of God”. So we let them go on unopposed…
  65. 65. 52) 1 Cor. 5:1 “there is sexual immorality among you. Put the man out of your fellowship” A man has his fathers wife. Disgusting. From the text it sounds like this was an ongoing thing that nobody bothered to deal with. This was not a “one time falling in sin” with regret and restoration. Action was required. ( the man was later invited back into the fellowship. 2 Cor. 2:5-8) He must have ended his sinful relationship.
  66. 66. 53) 1 Cor. 5:10 “association with sinning people of the world (unbelievers) is a part of life – otherwise you would have to be taken out of the world” This text is really self-explanatory. Jesus associated a lot with sinners. In fact to the point he called them “friends”. (PS. He was majorly criticised for it…) But his association always had a motive: To lead them to salvation.
  67. 67. 54) 1 Cor. 5:11 “…but don’t associate with “a brother” that live sexually immoral, uses to much alcohol or is a swindler” It sounds like this verse contradicts Rom 14:10 – Don't judge your brother. But this scripture is talking about association – not judging. According to Paul judging and not associating is not the same thing. What is Paul really saying here: By associating with this so-called “brother in Christ” you approve of his lifestyle. Question 1: Should homosexuals be ordained as ministers? The answer should be obvious. Question 2: Should we associate with homosexuals in the world (unbelievers) in an attempt to lead them “to the light” (Jesus)? The answer is YES.
  68. 68. 55) 1 Cor. 5:12 “It is not our business to judge those outside the church (the world)” To many Christians have got this one totally wrong. They “love” to judge their neighbor, their local politicians and national leaders. Yes, we can work in our communities to improve them. But we are not to judge them. Like Jesus says in John 3:17 – “God did not send his Son to the world to judge it…” So if Jesus did not come to judge, we should not either…
  69. 69. 56) 1 Cor. 7:7 “But each (and every one) of you has his own gift from God” God has gifted each of us to ministry. You gift is usually connected to your interests and passions - what you are good at - what you feel deep in your heart to do for the Lord: Do it!
  70. 70. 57) 1 Cor. 9:4-6 “the apostles have the right to refrain from “working for a living” Working for a living in this context is talking about work outside of the ministry. So if you are an apostle: This can apply to you. But Paul and Barnabas did not make use of this right. They worked as tentmakers on the side.
  71. 71. 58) 1 Cor. 9:14 “The Lord has commanded that those who “preach the gospel” should get their living by the gospel” So preachers (pastors) are allowed to collect their pay cheque at the church. But “preachers of the gospel” - like evangelists that go out to the world, often have a harder time making a living at it… One of the reasons is that many pastors don’t like to share “their” pulpit…
  72. 72. 59) 1 Cor. 12:8-10 Gifts given to us by the Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophesy, distinguishing between spirits, various kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. Here Paul is mentioning 9 gift – there might be more… Regarding distinguishing between spirits: Is it God speaking (to my)? Or is it the enemy? Let me give you an example: The Holy Spirit does not point out all the sins in a believer life – that’s what the accuser (Satan) does… The Holy Spirit came to convict us of our righteousness!!! (John 16:10) (The Holy Spirit does this to offset the enemies accusations that we are “no good” and even “out of fellowship” with the Father)
  73. 73. 60) 1 Cor. 12:21 “The eye can’t say to the hand: I don’t need you” Different people (and denomination) focus on different gifts. But no matter “your favorites”: You can not say I don’t need this brother or sister….
  74. 74. 61) 1 Cor. 12:25 “There should be no division in the body. All parts have equal importance” The church is the family of God. His own personal family. Every family member has it’s place and is loved by the father. No sibling can belittle or cast out his brother or sister.
  75. 75. 62) 1 Cor. 12:27 “God has placed in the church: Apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, helping, guidance, tongues. Paul mentions here 8 functions or positions in the church. The church leadership should be aver of all these and try to identify the people that have these “gifts”, so the congregation can be complete and grow to it’s spiritual and numerical potential.
  76. 76. 63) 1 Cor. 14:26 “This is what you should do when you come together: each has a song (hymn), a word of instruction (lesson), a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All with one goal: to build up the church” Here we read about 5 “activities” that should take place when the church get together. When did you last experience this? Notice it says “each one”. That means “all of us”. We all take part. My experience is that the paid worship leader picks the songs and the same paid teacher – usually the senior pastor – teaches EVERY week. …Who far we have come away from the early church.
  77. 77. 64) 1 Cor. 14:34 “The woman should……” Here Paul gives an instruction to the woman that I choose to call a cultural instruction for it’s time. Since Paul at other times is totally clear that there no longer are “male of female, slave or free” before the Lord, it should be safe to bypass this recommendations regarding woman (and slaves – and about kissing) and still be in tune with Gods will.
  78. 78. 65) 1 Cor. 13:39 “Be eager to prophecy – and do not forbid speaking in tongues” The prophetic gift has been stifled in many churches and denominations. Even back then some tried to stop people from speaking in tongues – therefore this instruction from Paul. May be we should take this serious.
  79. 79. 66) 1 Cor. 16:1-2 “Now concerning the collection (of money) for the Lord’s people (meaning: The Saints and leaders in Jerusalem): On the first day of every week set SOME MONEY aside (according to your income and ability), so there will be no collection when I come.” The Christians did give money to finance the church. It does not specify how much. Since the Spirit lives within us, ask him how much to give. A life full of love for God and man, will naturally trigger big giving.
  80. 80. 67) 1 Cor. 16:2 “Give – as you may prosper…” It looks like there is a connection between giving – how much or little you give – and prospering in your own life. But we don’t give to get. And we can not buy God’s blessing. But a person giving nothing, can not expect to prosper himself.
  81. 81. 68) 1 Cor. 16:19 “…Aquila and Prisca sends you greetings – and the church in their house (home)...” Still a little uncertain about house churches? Well, her is another example. After reading 1 Corinthians and all the activities a church meeting should include, a smaller house church seems more and more ideal…
  82. 82. 69) 2 Cor. 1:24 “We (Paul and his team)don’t Lord over your faith, but we work with you for your joy…” Paul as the leading apostle at the time, did not dictate “his” followers. He knew the Spirit was in each of them and spoke to men directly. But he worked “along side” men to teach, inspire and guide them.
  83. 83. 70) 2 Cor. 2:6-7 “…reaffirm your love for him.” Remember that man in 1 Cor.5:1 that slept with his father wife and was thrown out of the church? Here he is taken back and the love for him is reaffirmed. This was approx. 1 ½ years later. Obviously the man had put en end to his sinful relationship.
  84. 84. 71) 2 Cor. 2:17 “unlike so many we do not peddle the word of God for money or profit” Even back then “many” was in the ministry for the money’s sake. Be aver. Thank God that most leaders have pure motives for their service for the kingdom.
  85. 85. 72) 2 Cor. 3:6 “God has made us ministers of a new covenant” In other words: Not ministers of the old covenant. But only the new! Many pastors / ministers have not understood that the new covenant replaces the old. They believe “since the whole Bible is inspired by God” they are to teach “a mixture” of the old and the new covenant. This is a dangerous poison that leads people into spiritual confusion. If your “leader” teaches this – challenge him on it…
  86. 86. 73) 2 Cor. 5:16 “from now on we regard no one according to the flesh” We can chose to look at our brothers and sisters according to their “fleshly” behavior or according to the Spirit – who they really are in Christ! Paul is clear what he thinks about it.
  87. 87. 74) 2 Cor. 8: 8-15 I say this not as a command, but a way for you to show that your love is genuine: “ Your abundance at this time should supply their needs… that there may be fairness” WOW! The rich giving to the poor to create fairness… Paul’s recommendation sure sounds like socialism. Like it or not! Transfer of wealth is happening…
  88. 88. 75) 2 Cor. 9:6 “Sow (give) sparingly = reap sparingly. Sow (give) generously = reap generously.” Yes, God loves everybody the same. And he is good and blesses everybody. But your giving determents “how blessed” you will be…
  89. 89. 76) Gal. 1:6 “Don’t turn to a different gospel” So what is this “different Gospel” Paul is warning against? It is a gospel that includes the work of Christ + your own work. Salvation becomes a joint venture. This is “no gospel at all” Paul says.
  90. 90. 77) Gal. 1:7 “…there are some who trouble you and want to distort the Gospel of Christ” Who are these people that want to change “the pure Gospel” ? Are they among us today? Any “mixer” is a distorter…
  91. 91. 78) Gal. 2:10 “…The Apostles in Jerusalem ask Paul to “remember the poor” So it looks like all the Apostles are in unity regarding remembering the poor… “Giving” was alive and well in the early church.
  92. 92. 79) Gal. 2:16 “A person is justified by faith in Jesus – not by the works of the law (trying to fulfill the law)” This is what distorting the gospel means. Justification is not a work in progress but a gift from God when you have faith in Jesus.
  93. 93. 80) Gal. 2:21 “for if righteousness could be obtained by the law ( fully or partly), Christ died for nothing” People. “Mixture” is serious business. It is like if Christ died in vain. We can not take this lightly.
  94. 94. 81) Gal. 3:10 “all who rely on the work of the law, are under a curse” Did you get that: Believing that salvation partly by works, put you under a curse… I can not stress enough the seriousness of trusting this “faulty gospel.” It makes you cursed by God himself.
  95. 95. 82) Gal. 3:11 “no one who rely on the law (fulfilling the law - fully or partly) is justified before God.” You are not even saved (justified) if you believe upholding the law is the way to go… This could be a timely warning to some of us: Wake up from your ignorance…
  96. 96. 83) Gal. 3: 24-25 “now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the law” Free from the law! But what does it mean? It means that upholding the law can not save you. So are we now free to brake the law like we please? Absolutely not. The Holy Spirit that now lives within us will teach us right from wrong and how to live. But our salvation is secure in believing in Christ’s complete work. His righteousness for our sin. What an exchange!
  97. 97. 84) Gal. 3:26-28 “In Jesus we are all children of God through faith – there is no longer Jew or gentile – slave or free – male or female – for you are all one (equal) in Christ” What happened to the Jews “special place” before God? We are now – all of us – included in Abraham's promise.
  98. 98. 85) Gal. 4:4 “God sent his Son to redeem those under the law (the Jews) so that we (all mankind) could receive (by faith in Jesus) adoption as sons” If you are God’s adopted son, you can not get un-adopted! You are “in” to stay…
  99. 99. 86) Gal. 4:6 “ the Spirit of his Son is in us, crying: ABBA Father” There are many names for God in the Bible. But now with Christ in us we can address him as “DADDY”. He is or loving father! That implies closeness and mutual love and friendship. There is no distance anymore.
  100. 100. 87) Gal.4:21 “Tell me – you who desire to be under the law – do you not listen to the law? Paul gives the Gentiles a lesson on “Abrahams household” verses 21 - 31. Cast out the slave woman (representing the law). In other words: Law and grace can not co- exist. The law has to go as way to salvation.
  101. 101. 88) Gal. 5:1 “Christ has set us free. Do not again submit yourself to a yoke of slavery (the law).” I think we should be starting to get this now…
  102. 102. 89) Gal. 5:17 “For the descries of the flesh is against the Spirit. They are apposed to each other.” Paul lists 15 things that the flesh does. This is what unbelievers under the control of the flesh practises. They will not inherit the kingdom of God. By we – the believers - are lead by the Spirit. v/18.
  103. 103. 90) Gal. 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is…” Paul lists 9 wonderful character trades that should describe a believer. These are not our “works” but the Spirit that lives in us.
  104. 104. 91) Gal. 6:1 “Brothers – anyone caught in sin – restore him in gentleness” Yes – believers can trip and fall in sin. Restore them. Get them up on their feet ASAP. Move forward. The reward is still ahead…
  105. 105. 92) Gal. 6:2 “Carry each others burdens…” Help your brother that fell in sin… Carry his burden if you can… As a member of his “pit crew”, get him back in the race… Next time it is him helping you. That’s why it says: Each others… It’s a two way street.
  106. 106. 93) Gal. 6:7 “A man reaps what he sows. A life lived in the flesh leads to destruction. A life lived by the Spirit leads to eternal life” So lead people to Christ. See them go from death to life. Be filled by the Spirit. And live by it…
  107. 107. 94) Gal. 6:10 “Do good to everyone. Especially to the families of believers…” Interesting. It’s almost like the emergency procedure on a plane: “Put on your own mask first – and then help the one next to you…”
  108. 108. 95) Eph. 1:4 “God chose us (us that believe) in Jesus Christ to be Holy and blameless in his sight” There are only two groups of people in the world: unholy or Holy unbelievers or believers sinners or Saints When you have gone over from death to life, you don’t go back…
  109. 109. 96) Eph. 1:7 “In Him – Jesus – we have forgiveness of sins” We have forgiveness. We don’t have to go to Jesus and receive new forgiveness if we sin. The new Testament does not have one example of believers confessing their sins. Not one. (We’ll explain 1 John 1:9 when we get there) When we sin we can go to him and say: Thank you Jesus that the sin I just committed is included in the perfect sacrifice you brought for all the sins of the world when you died on the cross.
  110. 110. 97) Eph. 2:10 “We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works – which God prepared in advance for us to do…” Yes, we do good works! But not to contribute to our salvation, but because God prepared it for us. How wonderful! We just go out and do what he has prepared… Fantastic!
  111. 111. 98) Eph. 4:11 “Christ gave apostles, prophets, evangelists – then pastors and teachers to equip the Saints for ministry” Notice all the gifting's are in plural. Equipping the Saint is never a one man job. Never! Many churches have never understood this. They have only one teacher – the senior pastor – as “the teacher” 52 weeks a year.
  112. 112. 99) Eph. 5:21 “submit one to another…” We are all equal before the Lord. And we all submit to one another. Church is made up of equal partners. At the same time we are to submit to our leaders. And they are as servants of the Lord submitting to every member. Hard to do and understand, you say. Yes, but it works.
  113. 113. 100) Phil. 1:1 “To all the Saints in Christ - including the overseers (pastors in plural) and deacons (helpers in the church) Paul addresses the letter to “the people” – but he is kind enough to include all the pastors and the deacons in the greeting.
  114. 114. 101) Col. 1:18 “He – Jesus – is the head of the church – the body of Christ.” The head gives direction directly to each body part. The elders and teachers come alongside to help each body part function as instructed and planned.
  115. 115. 102) Col. 2:16 “Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat and drink…” You are free to eat and drink anything you want in moderation. But don’t do it to provoke the “weak”.
  116. 116. 103) Col. 2: 20-22 “Don’t submit to the rules (traditions) of the world. Do this. Don’t do this. They are based on human commands and teachings” Be independent. Follow your heart. Not the fashions. Not their idols. Not their meaningless religious rituals. To some rituals feels spiritual. This is often rooted in lack of a real and personal relationship with Him.
  117. 117. 104) Col. 3:12 “live in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” In plain English: Always be nice!
  118. 118. 105) Col. 3:16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom true psalms, hymns, songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearth” These are some of the church activities Paul recommends. It is probably most useful in a home group setting… Not all people a crazy about admonishing. (firm warnings or a reprimand)
  119. 119. 106) Col. 4:2 “devote yourself to prayer. Be thankful. “ There it is again. Devotion to prayer. But it is possible to talk to God all day without closed eyes and bended knees. After all – Christ lives within us and God is our daddy. How hard is it to talk to daddy?
  120. 120. 107) Col. 4:6 “let your conversation be full of grace” Be gentle. You don’t have to raise your voice. Listen with both ears. Speak in love. So when you talk to each other: Be nice!
  121. 121. 108) Col. 4:15 “Give my greetings to Nympha and the church in her house” This woman had a church in her house. It was probably led by a man. And she was in charge of the coffee. (just kidding) Woman are generally better then us men when it comes to prayer, listening and “one on one” conversation. I think God made us that way.
  122. 122. 109) 1 Thess. 4:3-6 Paul writing to the Christians in Thessalonica: “The Lord will punish all who commit sexual immorality” …Not that he will take away your salvation and send you to hell… Punishment or discipline – it will not be comfortable. But it will hopefully straiten you out…
  123. 123. 110) 1 Thess. 4:11-12 “work with your hands as we instructed you that your daily life might win the respect of outsiders so you will not be dependant on anyone” These are instructions to the church members. We have learned earlier that teachers (pastors) can make a living from their teaching. At the same time, Paul never used this “right” but chose to support himself as a tentmaker. “Good for him.”
  124. 124. 111) 1 Tess. 5:12 “live in peace with each other” Church members! Brothers and sisters! Make a strong effort to live in peace, love and friendship with each other.
  125. 125. 112) 1 Thess. 5:16 “rejoice always” Always means “always”. Not only when things go well – but when life is hard, challenging, difficult, unfear and depressing. The rejoicing will in fact help you out of your difficulty.
  126. 126. 113) 1 Thess. 5:17 “pray continually” We have read it before. But it is worth repeating. We are not talking prayer on your knees with eyes closed and hands folded. Then we would not get anything done any day. We’re talking: Have a conversation with Jesus (He lives within you) when you are alone – out walking or driving…
  127. 127. 114) 1 Thess. 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstance” This is a hard one. But it is possible. When you know that Christ is in you – that you never get out of his will – that you are yoked together with him – you can trust him and give thanks in all situations.
  128. 128. 115) 1 Thess. 5:19 “do not quench the Spirit” Don’t hold back or quench the Spirit that lives within you and wants to grow in you and “take over” your life. Remember: when you came to Christ you willingly accepted to lay down your own life (control of your life) and let Him be the Lord of your life.
  129. 129. 116) 1 Thess. 5:20 “Do not threat prophets with contempt” Let me speak straight: Prophets (or a person with a prophetic gifting) do not have a lot of acceptance or recognition in our “modern” churches. The senior pastor is often controlling the gatherings and is afraid of the prophetic. This “contempt” must come to an end. At the same time must the prophet learn to prophecy within the framework of the scripture. Not hell and fire – but guide and lift up the people.
  130. 130. 117) 1 Thess. 5:21 “Test the prophets – hold on to what is good” The prophet is not a “one man show”. We are to test – with our spirit – if what he or she is bringing is “sound” according to the scripture. In other words: From the Lord. If not: Spit it out! (and if necessary: Ask him or her to leave)
  131. 131. 118) 2 Thess. 3:6 “keep away from every believer who do not live according to the teaching you received from us (me: Paul)” A strong warning and command from Paul. Paul hated wrong teaching. He hated a diluted gospel full of “mixture”. He warned strongly against sinful living. This is not addressed to the every day Christian that might have a “fall”, but to hardened advocates of “wrong doing.”
  132. 132. 119) 2 Thess. 3:10 “The one who is unwilling to work, let him not eat” The key word here is unwilling. A person sick and unable is not effected by this. But unwillingness demonstrates a attitude problem and laziness. Paul that worked “two jobs” hated laziness. Therefore: Let them not eat! (and they will eventually come to their senses)
  133. 133. 120) 1 Tim. 2:8 “I want the men everywhere, to pray and lift up holy hands – without anger and dispute” Many men say: Nobody is going to tell me when, how or if to lift my hands in prayer and worship in church. Well – you are not the Lord of your life. When Paul says to do this, let go your ego and lift your hands is praise to the Lord. (don’t be such a stubborn ass)
  134. 134. 121) 1 Tim. 2:9 “I want the woman to dress modestly” Christian woman can be beautiful inside and outside. But they are not to dress according to the world – sexy in public. May be it is ok at a small party with their husbands – but not on the platform of the church. Why not? Men can not help to get turned on and undress them with their eyes. Please help us!
  135. 135. 122) 1 Tim. 2:12 “a woman should not assume authority over a man” This is a very misunderstood and misused scripture. A woman president, governor, chief of police or judge assume authority over men and everybody else. Get used to it. But what about in the church? Woman missionaries – Sunday school teachers – evangelists, pastors and teachers?? No problem. None of these functions give any authority over a man. They can not say: You have to do this or do that… They simple serve as teachers of the word. Only Christ is the head and authority over the church. So woman – take your rightful place and use the gifting God have given you!
  136. 136. 123) 1 Tim. 3:2-7 Qualifications for an overseer (bishop, elder or pastor): “Faithful to his wife, tempered, show self-control, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, mange his own family well, not a resent convert and well thought of by outsiders” Paul lists 13 “recommended” qualifications for a pastor. I say recommended because in a smaller fellowship it might be difficult to find this “perfect” man. What is equally import is the qualifications Paul does not list: He does not need to be educated, hold a doctorate, being a reverend or have gone to bible school. In this particular listing Paul does not mention any “spiritual gifting” except “able to teach”.
  137. 137. 124) 1 Tim. 3:12-13 Qualifications for a deacon: very much the same as for a pastor – but they do not need to be able to teach. In many churches deacons are tradespeople that take care of the practical jobs in the church. Good for them. But who is there to give the pastor spiritual advise? What happened to the spiritual support team called elders – elders in plural?
  138. 138. Where the church is lacking according to Paul’s leadership model, is on the overseer level. Many churches has chosen a leadership model with one person on the top. With al due respect: This is not a biblical model. Elders (pastors or overseers) are always mention in plural. They work as a spiritual leadership team. Listening to each other and leaning on each other. And then they try to come to an united decision. If thy can’t they pray and meditate on the “word” for another week until the Spirit has united them.
  139. 139. One more thing: The church should not be lead by “the pastor’s vision”. The vision of the church comes from Jesus and the scriptures. Not from one man. And in the case they are planning anything for the future it should be the vision and decision of the leadership in plural. It’s not about having the right man at the helm - it’s about having the right men. (and woman)
  140. 140. 125) 1 Tim. 5:17 “Elders (or pastors) should be worthy of double honor (respect)” Absolutely. Double honor and respect. But don’t confuse this with double pay like some like to believe…
  141. 141. 126) 1 Tim. 6:10 “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” A prudent warning! Money it self is not a problem – if you can control it. But if to much money leads to a sinful lifestyle – to arrogance and selfishness, then it can destroy your life.
  142. 142. 127) 2 Tim. 2:19 “Everyone confessing the name of the Lord, must turn away from wickedness.” This is a command – you must! If you say that you are a believer, you must turn away from wickedness. It’s kind of like “one or the other”…
  143. 143. 128) 2 Tim. 2:22 “Don’t be quarrelling but kind to everyone” Many of us love quarrelling. We fight to win a discussion. It’s like a sport. But it is not nice. This scripture tells us to be kind to one another. Remember that next time your sinful lust of quarrelling raises up in you…
  144. 144. 129) 2 Tim. 2:25 “bible teachers must correct their opponents with gentle instruction” It can be helpful (and fun) sometimes to discuss theology. But if you have to correct your brother, do it in a gentle way. Don’t be arrogant or supperior…
  145. 145. 130) 2 Tim. 3:5 “in the last days people will have a form of godliness – but denying it’s power. Have nothing to do with such people” Look around you! People are religious. They call them self spiritual. They even believe that Jesus was a good man and an example to us. But they deny that he was God in flesh. They deny the resurrection power. These people are not our Christian brothers and sister. Paul says: Have nothing to do with them.
  146. 146. 131) Titus 1:5-9 “Titus appoints elders in every town…” Again: Notice there were no democratic elections for leadership – as in “one member one vote”. The leadership was chosen by the leadership. One reason can be that the leadership had better insight in to what it takes to lead – practically and spiritually. Secondly: It does not make sense that the vote of a new believer that got saved and came in to the church “yesterday, “ should count as much as the vote of the elders that have been doing this for 20 years…
  147. 147. 132) Titus 1:10-14 “There are many rebellious people in the church (like the “re-introduce circumcism” group). They must be silenced. They pay attention to Jewish myths and human commands of unbelievers. They disturb whole households (house churches)”
  148. 148. It is not only Paul that take action against false teaching in the church. So does Titus. Obviously this must be of some importance. There has always been attempts to hijack the church and lead it away from sound doctrine and the pure gospel. Even in our time the local church leadership have to watch out for this type of infiltration.
  149. 149. 133) Titus 2:3 “Teach the older woman to be reverend in the way they live – not to be slanders and addicted to much wine” It’s not only the woman this apply to. Be careful with the wine drinking. Like the old saying goes: When the wine goes in, the mind goes out.” Remember: Not to much alcohol…
  150. 150. 134) Titus 2:9 “ teach slaves…” Since slavery now is abolished, we can safely conclude that this recommendation from Titus fall in to the category: “Culturally conditioned writings in the Bible” that does not apply to Christians or anyone else… They can be ignored.
  151. 151. 135) Philemon 1:8 Paul is writing to Philemon: “In Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, but I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love” Ordering people around in the church is not always a good strategy. An appeal rooted in love will most likely work much better…
  152. 152. 137) Hebrews 2:11 “Jesus and the holy ones are the same family” “Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters” Well, If it is good enough for Jesus it should be good enough for Reverend so and so… or doctor so and so.
  153. 153. 138) Hebrews 5:11 “you no longer try to understand” Here we are talking about “falling asleep” in our old ways and beliefs… It’s like the old expression: It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. It also say’s something about a bad attitude towards learning new thing! We are to grow constantly in understanding… Until the Lord takes us home!
  154. 154. 139) Hebrews 5:12 “In fact, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths all over again…” Can you imagine: Old believers forgetting the important things… …which is Jesus and his salvation and grace given freely to all mankind! And we got caught up in some religious nonsense…
  155. 155. 140) Hebrews 12:7 “…endure hardship as discipline” Many believers experience hardship in life. And very often Satan our enemy is blamed for it… While in fact it is God disciplining us for our own good…. …so he can get us where he wants us. Gods discipline is good for us!
  156. 156. 141) Hebrews 12:14 “make every effort to live in peace with each other” Peace takes effort. But sometime peace becomes impossible. Then you might end in war… …that be on a national level or a personal level.
  157. 157. 142) Hebrews 13:3 “remember those in prison” What the writer here is referring to is: Remember all the Christians that are suffering for the Gospel’s sake – in prison or other types of persecution. Yes – it still happens in our time…
  158. 158. 143) Hebrews 13:4 “keep the marriage bed pure” Sleeping around is sin. Sin has consequences. The consequences could make you very unhappy. Unhappiness makes life painful… To much pain can kill you.
  159. 159. 144) Hebrews 13:5a “keep your lives free from love of money” Notice it says: love of money. Money is convenient to pay bills with. But if you crave more money so you can have more ad more “stuff”, it can become a killer like to much alcohol or to much drugs…
  160. 160. 145) Hebrews 13:5b “be content with what you have” Don’t strive and stress to have more “stuff”. Be content! God in his love will provide your needs. And sometimes he will give you more then you need… …so you can share with the once that don’t have. Our north American Christian culture has a long way to go on this one…
  161. 161. 146) Hebrews 13:7 “submit to the authorities” I don’t like to submit. I like to be the boss. But the scriptures says the authorities are put there by God. But I don’t like what they do and believe. Again, trust them to the Lord.
  162. 162. 147) Hebrews 13:17 “Have confidence in your leaders” It is hard to trust someone else. Because “I” know so much better… But trust them to the Lord. It is amazing what God can get done without my help. I’ll choose to trust Him.
  163. 163. 148) Hebrews 13:17b “the leaders keep watch over you” The local elders in the church are Jesus’ under- shepherds.. They are there to help you if (when) you get lost… You might not like to be “watched”. But this is a good thing. Everybody need to answer to someone…
  164. 164. 149) James 1:19 “Be quick to listen – slow to speak – and slow to become angry” This is godly wisdom that applies to most relationships we deal with – at home – at work – among friends. It is good to be reminded of this.
  165. 165. 150) James 2:1-4 “Show no favoritism toward rich or poor. The persons attending your “meetings” deserves the same treatment” Unfortunately the social ladder is well developed in many churches. And if you are lucky you might get invited in to the VIP room at church after the service to shake hands with the “pulpit people”…
  166. 166. 151) James 4:6 “God opposes the proud – but shows favour to the humble” Don’t think to highly of yourself just because God allowed you to have some success.
  167. 167. 152) James 4:13-15 “Don’t say: Tomorrow we will do this or that. But say: If it is the Lord will, tomorrow we will do this” Yes – I’m all for planning and budgeting. But remember: Our plans are only possible to implement when the Lord is in it… “He plans our tomorrow – He ordains our steps.” That is a better way to live…
  168. 168. 153) James 5:1-4 You rich people: “The wages you failed to pay your workers cry out against you. Weep and wail for the misery that is coming against you! Don’t underpay your people just because you can get away with it. Give a man (or a woman) “fair pay” so they can make a living and don’t have to live in poverty. If not, God will allow misery to come your way. I did not say it – James did. Consider yourself warned.
  169. 169. 154) James 5:13 “Are you in trouble? Pray. Are you happy? Sing songs of praise. Are you sick? Call on the elders to pray and to be anointed with oil in the name of the Lord” Good practical advise. Anointing with oil and prayer in the name of Jesus – by the elders (pastors), just might be the way to go if you are sick.
  170. 170. 155) James 5:16 “confess your sins to each other – and pray for each other – so that you may be healed” First: In this verse there is no mention of confession of sins to the Lord. The reason is that he has already forgiven us when he took all the sins of the world on himself. So His forgiveness is a “done del”. But we are to confess to each other!!! If I have sinned against my brother – and he against me, we need to “clear the air - forgive each other – cry together – pray for each other”. …so that you can be healed. Emotionally healed. Unsolved issues between brothers can “eat you up”. Clear the air – and be healed!
  171. 171. 156) 1 Peter 1:1-2 “To Gods elect – grace and peace be yours in abundance” Question 1: If God himself elected you – can you be un-elected? Question 2: If you have Grace abundance – which means “more the you need” – is it then possible that if you should “fall in sin” you can be separated from your fellowship with God? I don’t think so!
  172. 172. 157) 1 Peter 2:5 “You – like living stones – are built into a spiritual house – to be a holy priesthood – God’s special possession – the people of God” We are a holy priesthood! We are all priests. Not only the pastor and the deacons. It sounds like we are all important stones in Gods spiritual house. Lift your head. You are important . You are a priest in His kingdom.
  173. 173. 158) 1 Peter 2:13 “submit yourself to every human authority – honor the emperor (president)” Many Christians don’t like these words from cretezy and “put down” the highest elected leaders of the land if he comes from the wrong political party. Not so.
  174. 174. 159) 1 Peter 3:8 “be likeminded – be sympathetic – love one another – compassionate and humble” Are you getting it? Christians are suppose to be kind, helpful and loving. If that is not you, you need to smarten up!
  175. 175. 160) 1 Peter 5:1-3 To the elders (pastors) among you: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care. Watching over them. Not pursuing dishonest gain. Not Lording over them.” What does it mean to Shepard? To look after – to protect – to care for – to help out of trouble – to bring back – to put on a bandage. What does it mean to Lord over people? You tell people: do this – and do that… They are like your personal servants. Like slaves… Pastors should not hold slaves!
  176. 176. 161) 1 Peter 5:5 “you who are younger – submit yourselves to your elders (pastors)” Many “younger” don’t like to do this. They feel they are the once that should be the leaders – since they often have more education, are more relevant and can work harder. This is much the same mindset as in the corporate world. People over 40-50 are not relevant and “over the hill...” The word of God does not teach this. Elders have more life experience. They have walked longer with the Lord… May be it’s time for the “adults” to take back the church leadership…
  177. 177. 162) 2 Peter 2:2+21 “There will be false teachers among you – introducing false and destructive heresies – even denying the savarin Lord (or: denying the Master who bought them). They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness” Listen to this statement of Peter: Not to have known Christ is better than to have known him and later deny him. Un-saved people are better of than these people? Talk about serious consequences. At the same time we also know that Peter himself denied Jesus – but this was more of a “one time - falling in sin” that there is forgiveness for.
  178. 178. 163) 2 Peter 3:14 Peter conclusion: “Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him (Jesus)” It does take effort to be found blameless. The effort is that “your mindset” and heart must be to say no to sin. But as believers we do have a spokesman (Jesus), that covers us and picks us up, if we should fall…
  179. 179. 164) 1 John 1:5-7 “God is light. If we walk in him, the blood of Jesus purifies us (constantly) from all sin” Jesus carried (past tense) our sins on the cross almost 2000 years ago. At the same time: His blood purifies us (present tense) constantly from all sin. “It’s like always being in the shower”. This purification is not triggered by our constant or regular confession of sin. If you are “saved” this cleansing is automatic. So in stead of listing and confessing sins, you can now praise him for his constant cleansing. Hallelujah!
  180. 180. 165) 1 John 1:8 “ if we (you) claim to be without sin or never have sinned, we (you) deceive your self and “the truth” (Jesus) is not in us (you)” First: Here Paul uses the term “we” to be including and in an attempt to see these people “change their mind”. But he is really addressing them only and could have been more precise and used the term “you”. If you say you have never sinned (are sin-free), Jesus Christ is not in you. Then you are not saved. So here John is speaking to unbelievers. This is very important to understand before we move on to the next verse.
  181. 181. 166) 1 John 1:9 “if we (you) confess your sin (or more precisely: “acknowledge that you have sin” (or have sinned), or “agree with God what He says” (that you have sinned); then he is faithful and just and will forgive us (you)and purify us(you) from all righteousness” When an unbeliever acknowledge he has sinned and believe and receive Jesus as his savior from all sin, he is born again and becomes a Christian. This verse is only referring to becoming a Christian for the first time. This verse is not an instruction for daily or weekly confession.
  182. 182. 167) 1 John 1:10 “If we (you) claim that you have not sinned, His word (Jesus) is not in you” This verse is almost like verse 8. Who is “the word” ? Jesus! People that claim that they have not sinned, do not have Jesus in them. This is another “proof” that these scriptures are talking about unbelievers only.
  183. 183. To understand 1. John 1 is of outmost importance. Many churches and ministries are “founded” on misinterpreting these scriptures. You might be in “shock” right now. This is not what you have been “told” to believe. These scriptures have for centuries been used as instruction for Christians to confess their sin and receive forgiveness for their weekly (or daily) sins. This is what has brought people back to church week after week. It has kept the “church machine” going. Confession – forgiveness – tiding – new confession – new forgiveness – more tiding. Over and over and over again.
  184. 184. In the old days when people could not read or write, they had no way of understanding these scriptures. They were told by the church priest what they meant. And they were mislead. Today we can read for ourselves. No one needs to be mislead anymore. The institutional church with its religious rituals can now be examined. You can choose to continue with these practises. Or you can study the scriptures for yourself and be exposed to the truth. But I can tell you from my own experience: “When the truth sets you free, you are free indeed!”
  185. 185. 168) 1 John 2:1 “I wrote this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin we have and advocate (Jesus) – he is the atoning sacrifice for our sin” “Will not” is talking about our will or choice… We have a choice not to sin. But if anyone in spite of his will – attitude – commitment to not sin, should sin anyway; don’t worry – you are still covered by our advocate Jesus. He is our security net.
  186. 186. 169) 1 John 2:2 “…and not only for our sins, but for the sins of all the world.” It sounds like if we read verse 1 and 2 together: The “security net” that Jesus has for us (verse1) also is extended to include not only our sin but also the sin of the whole world. In other words: Every person in the world have their sin “taken care of” (forgiven). There is no sin that separates us (or anyone) from God anymore. But it is still required for every person to “access“ this forgiveness: What did you do with Jesus? Do you choose to receive him as your savior?
  187. 187. 170) 1 John 2:3 “if we keep his commandments, we know we have come to know him” So how can we determine if a person “know him” ( has received him and is saved)? If they keep his commandments! Both of them. Not the commandments of the law, but the commandments of Jesus. And these commandments are – you find them in chapter 3 verse 23: Believe in Jesus and love one another!
  188. 188. 171) 1 John 2:9 “anyone that claims to be in the light (in Christ) but hates his brother, is still in darkness” Just like in verse 3, here is a measuring stick if you really are “saved”: If you say you are a believer (saved) but hate your brother ( brother refers to your fellow brother in the church), you are still in darkness (unsaved) and the light of the Lord has not reached you. (yet)
  189. 189. 172) 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in it” Loving the world does not mean caring for the world – loving birds, trees, whales, mountains and the tropical rain forest. Loving the world is explained in verse 16 and is : the lust of the flesh, lust of eyes and pride of life. You say: “I want all this and I’m proud of it”
  190. 190. 173) 1 John 3:6 “no one who lives in him keeps on sinning” “Christ in you - you in him – one with Christ”. John say’s when this is the case, you don’t keep on sinning (like you used to do). A life in sin as a lifestyle is over. But can you trip and fall? If so, get up and move on with Him.
  191. 191. 174) 1 John 5:13 “This is his commandments: Believe in Jesus and love one another” Believe in Jesus – love God – love one another (in the church) – love you neighbor. That’s it.
  192. 192. 175) Jude 1:2 “Keep yourself in the love of God” This is it! This is the conclusion of all we have read. We can sum it up in one sentence: “Keep yourself in the love of God”
  193. 193. Closing comments: This presentation and comments are written by JanEgil Gulbrandsen, Victoria BC, Canada co-director of Grace Camp Ministries. Send any comments to: gulbrandsen@islandnet.com I has been married to Beverly Joy, my Canadian wife for 37 years. She certainly is “my Joy.” We have 5 adult children and several grand children. I grew up in Norway and am a co-founder and CEO (ret.) of a major Norwegian retail chain that now counts over 210 stores, have hundreds of employees and over a billion dollars in yearly sales. I have education from Norwegian School of Management. (B.I. - Oslo) I work now as an international investor – primarily with real estate projects in Canada, Norway and Brazil. After 40 years as member of an institutional church and a life of theological “mixture”, I am now on a “pure Grace journey” – inspired by teachers like Joseph Prince, Bob George, Andrew Farley, Andrew Wommack, Frank Viola and Age Aleskjaer. “Thanks be to God that it is newer to late to get out of confusion and into understanding and freedom.”

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  • RickRucker1

    Apr. 14, 2016

God - The new testament church

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