Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bible Study #733

The goal of Bible Study is not just learning, but living If you are saved, you will have a desire to be holy, a hunger for the Word, the inner witness of the Spirit, and a desire to share Jesus. These are the birthmarks of the believer. #733 23 June 15 Jesus answered him [Nicodemus] "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3 Grateful for . . . . THE WORD OF GOD ! (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) Greetings! All men are sinners by birth and by choice (Rom 3:23; Jn 8:44). Being "born from above" is a supernatural act involving the impartation of divine life. The basis of the new birth is the sacrificial death of Christ (1 Pet 1:17-23; 1 Cor 15:2, 3; Tit 3:5). The indispensable condition of the new birth is personal faith in Jesus Christ (1:12, 13). Regeneration itself occurs when the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, convicts, converts, and regenerates the sinner. It is called the washing of regeneration in Titus 3:5 (see also Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23; Eph 5:26). At least four benefits accrue to the believer from regeneration: 1. he becomes a child of God Jn 1:12; Gal 3:26; Rom 8:16, 17 2. he becomes a new creation 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15 Eph 2:10 3. he partakes of the divine nature 2 Pet 1:4 4. in his own experience he shares in Christ's victory over sin and the world according to the measure of his faith 1 Jn 3:9; 5:4, 18 May God bless you this week! ♥ Memory verse for this week: Prov. 16:32 A note from Max Lucado: Are you close to quitting? Please don't do it. Are you discouraged as a parent? Hang in there. Are you weary with doing good? Do just a little more. Are you pessimistic about your job? Roll up your sleeves and go at it again. No communication in your marriage? Give it one more shot. Can't resist temptation? Accept God's forgiveness and go one more round. Is your day framed with sorrow and disappointment? Are your tomorrows turning into nevers? Is hope a forgotten word? Remember, a finisher is not one with no wounds or weariness. Quite to the contrary, he, like the boxer, is scarred and bloody. The Land of Promise, says Jesus, awaits those who endure. It is not just for those who make the victory laps or drink champagne. No sir. The Land of Promise is for those who simply remain to the end. Read Matt. 10:22 This week's Trivia's: [answer's below . . ] 1. What two books of the Bible record a vision of a rider upon a red horse? 2. What two helpers did Paul take with him on his second visit to Jerusalem, 17 years after his sudden conversion? * * * * * * * * * God does not discipline His sons to harm them, but to bless them * * * * * * * * * BIBLE MEDITATION: “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: In June we take time to focus on fathers, and I’ve discovered in talking with teenagers that many of them harbor bitterness and resentment. Much of that resentment is directed toward their fathers over the serious matter of broken promises. If you’re a dad who wants to restore your relationship with your teenager, one of the best things you can do is to remember those broken promises. Then go to them with a remorseful spirit and say, “I’ve asked God to forgive me, and I want you to forgive me.” Ask this question, “Have I ever made a promise to you that I’ve failed to keep? If so, I want you to tell me because I want to repent. I want you to believe that your dad is a faithful man.” ACTION POINT: Are you a man of your word? If not, start fresh today and make a commitment that you will stand behind your word. from the Ministries of Love Worth Finding . . . by Adrian Rogers * * * * * * * * * The Word of God is like a seed. Plant it in your heart * * * * * * * * * We have begun another journey and will learn from the book "Hard To Believe" written by John MacArthur. In his book John helps us to understand the high cost and infinite value of following Jesus. GBY . . . . . . . . . . HARD TO BELIEVE . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 10 . . TRAITORS TO THE FAITH . . THE CLEAR TRUTH OF CREATIONISM . . Romans 1:18-23 gives us a clear lesson in biblical anthropology: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like the corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. The Bible says here that there is evidence about God (v. 19). What is known about God is evident through reason. Reason looks at creation (v. 20) and says, “There must be a Creator.” Reason looks at the diversity and says, “He must have an immense mind.” It looks at the design and says, “He’s a God of order.” It looks at the beauty and says, “He’s a God of beauty and harmony.” It looks at vast variety and says, “He’s a God of incredible power and complexity.” Yes, that’s all true. So true, in fact, that God’s eternal power and divine nature are visible through reason looking at creation. You simply can’t look at the results of creation and doubt there’s a Creator. You’d have to commit intellectual suicide to deny there is a cause for the effect of the universe, that there is a supreme Maker. The end of verse 20—“His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”—makes this so clear that people have absolutely no excuse for being evolutionists. None. It is absolute idiocy. Paul used moria, the Greek term for “moron,” translated “fool” or “foolish.” Any rational, thinking person, who sees anything that exists, assumes somebody made it. And the universe certainly demands a Creator. Paul said God has given man reason, and reason looks at creation and concludes certain things about the power and nature of the Creator. And he’s without excuse. The problem is, that doesn’t lead him to God because, as verse 18 warned, men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Man is so wicked, vile, and ungodly that his depravity negates the possibility of his coming all the way to God on his own natural powers. Instead, he suppresses the truth. He dishonors the Creator even though the knowledge of God as Creator is obvious around Him. Verse 21 says the people would not glorify or honor God. Man turns away from God, suppressing the truth and replacing it with empty speculation. That’s how supposedly smart people come up with stupid lies like evolution. They invent human ideas that are not reality, and their foolish hearts go dark. They end up with nothing but garbled understanding in their egotism, as Romans 1:22 states, which is a major part of depravity. They profess to be wise, give themselves Ph.D.s, put on royal and religious robes and cone hats, and march around as if they’re some great religious wise men. They are fools. They are morons. Verse 23: They have “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man”—animals and birds and bugs. They make gods out of other things. Natural man worships creatures. His reason says there must be a God, but because of his wicked love of sin, he suppresses that truth. He can’t help but do so, because he doesn’t have any path to God. These people are dead in trespasses and sins. In that deadness, truth and righteousness are repressed, and in their place comes the fabrication of false religious systems and silly philosophies. According to verse 18, the end of all human philosophy and religion is “the wrath of God.” That’s the whole point. These verses drive home the truth that natural man, with his natural theology, unaided by special revelation, winds up inexcusably under divine judgment. He can expect the wrath of God, not the grace of God. You can’t visit some tribe that’s worshipping an alligator and say, “Oh, I’m on holy ground. God was here before I arrived!” god was not there. God is not there. That is not truth. That is a refusal to honor the true and living God, and an attempt to put something else in His place—some hollow philosophy, foolish, religion, or lifeless idol. And the end result is judgment and hell. A man who attains the highest level of religious pride, the one who chooses his own god, is a moron and a fool. First Corinthians 1:18 gives us a reinforcing image of that thought: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Fools think the biblical truth is foolish; those who are saved recognize its power. In verse 19 Paul quotes another judgment from Isaiah 29:14 (NAS): “For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the worse and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’” Both “destroy” and “set aside” speak of a sort of final judgment, as execution. God says, “Go ahead: line up the wisest of the wise, the cleverest of the clever, and I’ll cut them down.” It’s comforting and encouraging to know we have a powerful protector against all comers. The idea reminds me of my school friend Roger. The rough crowd—the guys who shaved and drove cars to school even though they were still in the eighth grade—teased Roger and me a lot. They came up behind us and punched all the books out from under our arms, or smashed our heads against the lockers. One day, after they’d pounded us for something, Roger said, “I’ve had it. I’m going to tell my brother.” His brother was a middle linebacker for the Long Beach State and a weight lifter. He had once driven a bread truck into a stone wall and walked away. The next morning, Roger and I went to the area outside the gym, where these tough guys hung out before school. Roger said something to them, and when they started laughing, his brother came around the corner and asked, “Which one of these guys is bugging you the most?” Roger pointed to a boy and said, “That one!” The guy stopped laughing and froze in his tracks. Roger’s brother calmly picked him up by the throat and threw him over a hedge, then said, “I don’t want anybody ever to touch Roger again.” And they didn’t. Roger ruled the school from then on. That display of indomitable power changed everything. And for me, ever since, it’s been an unforgettable illustration of the sure and absolute protection the Lord provides for His own against the enemy, however he comes, whatever form he assumes. I’m not more powerful than the enemy of my soul, but I have a spiritual elder Brother, and the enemy trembles at His power. Take the wisest of the wise, take the wisdom of the world, take the elite religious leaders, the people at the top echelons of their religion—from the pope or the leader of Hinduism or the Muslim world to the apostles in the Mormon church, all who have reached the epitome of man’s devised schemes of religion—the wise, the great writers and theologians, the people who can argue their points on talk radio and win the day: God is going to unmask all those people as fools when it comes to spiritual truth. He’s going to cut them all down. The reason is in 1 Corinthians 1:21: the world, through its wisdom, did not come to know God. You can’t get there from here. The world at its best, at its highest point of religious and intellectual achievement, cannot come to know God. That’s not my opinion. That’s what the Bible says. The end of verse 21 reads, “It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” It points back to the “message of the cross” in verse 18. The only way you’re going to get saved is by believing the message of the cross. It was God’s plan that the world, through its wisdom, could never come to know Him. But God was pleased, through the foolishness of the cross, to save those who believe. You can’t believe in anything you want to; you have to believe in that. And the gospel of the cross is not a product of human reason; it’s the revelation in Scripture. Satan loves to come into the garden today, pull people over, and say, “You don’t really think you should believe what special revelation from God says! Trust your own reason!” that’s what these wider mercy theologians are doing. They’re just following Satan. Only the message of the cross can save. Anything else is in sufficient folly. If you reject Jesus Christ, you can’t get to God. And you’re never going to get to Him until you obediently hear and believe the message. That’s why, for two thousand years, people have been going to the ends of the earth with the gospel of Christ: this is what we know the Bible teaches. Natural man, left to himself, ends up under the wrath of God. Be faithful to share the gospel with everybody who comes across your path, sure in the knowledge that there is no other way to heaven except through the message of Jesus Christ and His cross. next week: . . BUT SOME WILL BELIEVE . . and . . SPIRIT BENEATH THE SURFACE . . * * * * * * * * * The Christian who has Faith will lay aside every sinful encumbrance and run toward Christ * * * * * * * * * A TRANSACTION MAKES THE KINGDOM PERSONAL * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * And from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field Matt. 13:44b SOME BELIEVERS FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE about the parables we have been considering, thinking they teach salvation can be bought. But Scripture always teaches that salvation is completely free. Salvation is “bought” only in the sense that one trusts Jesus as Lord and Savior and surrenders all to Him. The treasure and the pearl illustrate the spiritual transaction of surrender. In salvation, we exchange the old for the new. Isaiah 55:1 describes salvation as God’s gift, yet refers to buying: “Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” As in the two parables, the sinner gives up all the worthless things he or she has while receiving all the invaluable kingdom wealth. Therefore this does not depict a buying of salvation, because with God that is totally unacceptable (cf. Isa 64:6). Without surrendering everything, people’s professions of faith are meaningless (cf. Matt. 19:16-22). Jesus declared, “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). Our Lord also said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). When confronted with the true gospel, most people don’t inventory all their possessions to see if Jesus is worth following (cf. Lk 14:28-33). When they see the infinite value of His kingdom riches, they simply yield to Him, surrender all, and faithfully follow. ASK YOURSELF Are you holding anything back from God in your service to Him, hoping He won’t ask to touch or remove it? If the Spirit has made you aware of a habit, activity, or possession that restricts the free flow of your worship, seek your security blanket to Him alone. He will be more than enough—a blessed replacement. * * * * * * * * * Because of His blood atonement, the old sacrifices are no longer necessary. He offered the perfect sacrifice that perfected believers * * * * * * * * * 4 Simple Rules for Witnessing at Work . . . by Adrian Rogers In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury*. [*extreme poverty or want] Prov. 14:23 I’ve heard people say, I sure would like to be in a Christian company and be surrounded by Christians. The only time I hear God’s name mentioned where I work now is when people are cursing. And you just cannot believe the obscene jokes, gossip, greed, back-stabbing, throat-cutting, and all of the materialism! Oh if God would only get me out of this place so I could serve Him! Do you know how I would respond? I would tell them, God put you in that place so you could serve Him. We are to let our light shine in every place where God has placed us! Matthew 5:14-16 says: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Your job is the lampstand that God has ordained where you let your light shine! You have been saved out of the world and then sent back into the world to witness to the world, and that’s the only business in the world you have in the world, till you’re taken out of the world! Now, let me give you four rules for witnessing to those with whom you work. DON’T BRAG: The Bible says let your light shine. It doesn’t say make it shine. Your light is to glow, not glare. Also, people are to see the light, not the source of the light. If you go to work with an air of self-righteousness, you’re going to make your coworkers sick and not want to even be around you. 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 says: “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” DON’T NAG: If you’re always thumping a Bible or nagging somebody when he gambles, smokes, or curses, you’re not going to win that person to Christ. You may think that you’re doing a good job, but that person is not going to take a step closer to Jesus Christ through that kind of witness. You see, his behavior is not his problem. You would be just like that person if you didn’t know the Lord Jesus Christ. He needs Jesus Christ. So let’s see how we are to respond from Col. 4:5-6: “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” DON'T LAG: If you’re a lazy Christian—not getting to work on time, doing personal stuff on company time, procrastinating on work that you ought to do, then you’re a disgrace to grace. It is a sin for a Christian to do less than his best. Let’s revisit Colossians 3:23-24: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Don’t see if the boss is looking before you work hard. I don’t care how dull or boring, it may seem. It’s not that way…if you’re working to the glory of God. Do your job to the best of your ability. DON'T SAG: I want to tell you something about those people with whom you work. Most of them are not all that interested in going to heaven or hell. They just want to know how to hack it on Monday. And when they see you come in the office without a hangover and with the joy of the Lord Jesus on your face, they’re going to ask you, “What makes you so happy?” And at that moment, you’re going to be able to share the Lord Jesus with him because you will have sanctified the Lord God in your heart. 1 Peter 3:15 says: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” * * * * * * * * * Without faith, no-one can please God * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I love the LORD, because He listens to my prayers for help. He paid attention to me, so I will call to Him for help as long as I live Ps. 116:2-1 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Answers to this week's Trivia's: 1. What two books of the Bible record a vision of a rider upon a red horse? A. Zechariah (1:8 and 6:2) Revelation (6:4) 2. What two helpers did Paul take with him on his second visit to Jerusalem, 17 years after his sudden conversion? A. Titus and Barnabas Gal. 2:1 * * * * * * * * * Answers to Questions about Heaven . . . David Jeremiah Q. Will there be work to do in heaven? Or will we sit idly? Be assured that we are not going to sit idly in heaven. What is God going to say to us when we get to heaven? I don’t’ think He will say, “well done, good and faithful servant; you can have the rest of eternity off.” He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matt. 25:21). Now, that doesn’t sound like we’re going to be sitting around forever and ever—it sounds like there will be “many things” to do! For one, we know that we’ll be ruling and reigning with Christ over this renovated earth. And Revelation says, “His servants shall serve Him” (22:3). God has a great plan for each one of us to be wonderfully, happily, excitedly employed—serving the Lord in Paradise. And we will be serving in the fullest expression of the capacity God has given us and using the giftedness He has placed within us. What we won’t experience are the difficulties, pressures, stresses, and heartaches that accompany work down here. We cannot possibly comprehend all of the glorious work with which we’ll be occupied throughout eternity; but we know that our service will result in deep joy and fulfillment. What will it be like [in heaven] to perform a task, to build and create, knowing that what we’re doing will last forever and ever? What will it be like to always be gaining skills so that our best work will always be ahead of us? Because our minds and bodies will never fade and because we will never lack resources and opportunity, our work won’t degenerate. Buildings won’t last for only fifty years, and books won’t be in print for only twenty years. They’ll last forever. ~Randy Alcorn * * * * * * * * * Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God. Until next time remember, "Keep looking up!" God loves you and yours, He really does! Nancy <\\\>< Remember: A man may go to heaven….. Without health, without wealth; Without fame, without a great name; Without learning, without earnings; Without culture, without beauty; Without friends and without ten thousand other things---- But he can NEVER go to Heaven without Christ. ~ This is a FREE e-mailing ~ This Bible Study is sent to subscribers only according to our strict NO SP*M policy. If you appreciate the information contained in this letter, please forward it to your friends. If you have acquired this letter from a friend and want to subscribe: Send an e-mail with Subscribe on the subject line to: If you do not want to receive these Bible Studies, please send an email with 'unsubscribe' on the subject line to No hard feelings This week's Quiz: Angels . . . “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Heb. 13:2 NKJV). Angels appeared to various people in the Bible. Sometimes the people knew they were angels, sometimes not. Are you aware of the following angels? 1. What man’s donkey saw an angel and spoke? Num. 22:22-23 a. Barak c. Balaam b. Balak d. Belshazzar 2. Which of the following did not see a host of angels? Gen. 28:10-12; Lk 2:8-14; Rev 7:11 a. Jacob c. Shepherds at Bethlehem b. Peter d. John 3. What famous judge’s parents saw an angel ascend to heaven in a flame? Judges 13:20, 24 a. Gideon c. Samson b. Deborah d. Samuel 4. The cherubim sent to keep people out of the Garden of Eden were placed on which side of the garden? Gen. 3:24 a. north c. east b. south d. west 5. To which of the following people did the angel Gabriel not appear? Lk 1:26-27; Dan. 8:15-16; Lk 1:18-19 a. Mary c. Zacharias b. Daniel d. Paul 6. In Revelation 10:6 an angel declared that: a. the kingdom had come c. there should be time no longer b. Jesus is King of Kings d. all of the above 7. When Isaiah saw the seraphim, each one had how many wings? Isa. 6:2 a. 2 c. 6 b. 4 d. 8 8. The angels carved on the top of the ark of the covenant were: Exo. 37:1, 7 a. cherubim c. both cherubim and seraphim b. seraphim d. neither cherubim nor seraphim 9. How many angels went to save Lot from the destruction of his city? Gen. 19:1 a. 2 c. 8 b. 4 d. 10 10. Hebrews 2:7 says that God made man: a. rulers over angels c. lower than the angels b. higher than the angels d. equal with the angels

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