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Adopted from the ESV Study Bible

A troubled jailer in the first century once asked two Christian leaders, “what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). This in fact is the most important question that anyone can ask. We are troubled not only by the evils of our world but also by our own faults. We often feel guilty for those words and deeds that our own consciences tell us are wrong. We probably sense that we deserve God’s judgment, not his favor. What can be done—or what has been done—to rescue us from our helpless situation? We begin our answer by offering an overview of God’s plan and his work to bring salvation, followed by a more detailed unpacking of these truths.

An Overview:

Creation:

God made this world and all that is in it: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. . . . God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:1, 27). He created human beings to be like him and to have unhindered fellowship with him, and when his work of creation was finished he saw that it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Rebellion:

Although the first people God created, Adam and Eve, had complete freedom to live in friendship and trust with him, they chose to rebel (Genesis 3:1–7). Because God designed that Adam would represent the entire human race, his sin was catastrophic not only for him but for us: “one trespass led to condemnation for all men” (Rom. 5:18). Our fellowship with God was broken. Instead of enjoying his holy pleasure, we instead face his righteous wrath. Through this sin, we all died spiritually (see Romans 3:1–20; Ephesians 2:1–10) and the entire world was affected. God also cursed the world over which humanity had been set to reign as his lieutenants (see Genesis 3:17–19). “The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it” (Romans 8:20). And we all individually sin against God in our own lives: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Redemption:

God would have been perfectly just to leave matters there, with all human beings under his holy judgment, but he didn’t. God instead set in m

otion his plan to save his people from sin and judgment and set free the entire creation from its subjugation to sin and the curse. How? By sending his Son as a true man who would bear the penalty for our sin and die in our place: “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). The best-known verse in the Bible summarizes the required response to this good news: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). To “believe in” Jesus includes both a wholehearted trust in him for forgiveness of sins and a decision to forsake one’s sin or to “repent”: All who truly “repent [or turn from their sins] and believe [in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins]” will be redeemed (Mark 1:15) and restored to a right relationship with God. To “believe in” Jesus also requires relating to, and putting trust in, Jesus as he truly is—not just a man in ancient history but also a living Savior today who knows our hearts and hears our prayers.

Consummation:

God not only rescues lost sinners but he restores all of creation. We read in Romans 8:21: “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to co

rruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” The heavens and the earth will “pass away” and be radically transformed (2 Peter 3:7–13; Revelation 21:1). We read of the glorious culmination of this in the book of Revelation, where God’s people, the redeemed, are brought into the presence of God to live forever (Revelation 21:1–22:6). This is life as it should be, literally as it was meant to be. Filling in the Details Let’s now stop and review this more carefully and specifically, addressing the questions of God, man, Christ, the response, and the result.

God:

The God of the Bible is the one and only true God. He is the greatest of all beings. He depends on no other being for his existence. He exists eternally as one God in three persons— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a mystery beyond our understanding, but not a contradiction. He plans and acts according to his own go

od pleasure. He “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11). God created the world and acts in it today in

accordance with his own perfect, holy, good, and loving plan. In the same way that this perfectly good God created everything according to his own purposes, so he has acted to save people who have rebelled against him. This action, too, is not because of anything external compelling him, but it is “according to his great mercy” that “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

Man:

People are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27–28). What does that mean? In part it means that we are privileged to act as God’s representatives, as sub-rulers over God’s creation, subduing the creatures of the earth, reflecting God’s good rule over us. Our authority is derived from God’s (Ephesians 3:14–15) and is meant to reflect his own. But beyond function, being in God’s image also means that we are like God in many ways. Like God, we are spiritual and rational beings. Like God, we communicate and establish relationships. Like God, our souls endure eternally.

God’s Plan of Salvation

However, the Bible also teaches that there has been an enduring effect of the sin of Adam and Eve recorded in Genesis 3. Because of that sin, we are born morally fallen.  We are naturally turned away from God and toward sin in every area of life. We are not as bad as we possibly could be, but we are at no point as good as we ought to be. We are now all sinners, and we sin in all areas of life (Romans 3:23). We are corrupted and make the wrong choices. We are not holy, and are in fact inclined to evil; we do not love God, and therefore we are under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse. We are guilty of sinning against God, fallen from his favor, and under the curse of Genesis 3, and the promise of his right and just judgment of us in the future and forever is guaranteed to us (“the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23). This is the state from which we need to be saved.

Jesus Christ:

It was, then, when all human beings were desperate and helpless, that God “loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Fully God. The Son of God, who has eternally existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and who has eternally possessed all the attributes of God, became a man. He was born as Jesus, son of the virgin Mary. The Son entered this world with a purpose: he came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45), which means he came to redeem us from sin and guilt. He was not an unwitting or unwilling sacrifice. He, following his Father, chose to love the world in this way. Though now fully human, he was also fully God throughout the time of his life on earth (and remains fully God to this day). Jesus himself clearly taught his deity in the way he fulfilled prophecy, which was associated with the coming of God himself (Mark 14:61–62). Jesus forgave sins (Mark 2:5), he accepted worship (John 20:28; Revelation 5), and he taught, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

Fully man. Jesus Christ was also fully man. He was not a deity pretending to be human when he was not. Jesus was fully human (and remains fully human to this day). He was born and lived in submission to his earthly parents. He had a fully human body. He “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40). He learned the carpentry trade (Mark 6:3). He experienced hunger, felt thirst and tiredness, faced temptation, and eventually suffered even death itself. Jesus Christ was, and is, fully God and fully man. The eternal Son of God became a man in order to save sinners.

Perfect life. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. Indeed, all his actions were as they should be. His words were perfect. He said only what the Father commanded. “What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me” (John 12:50). He did only what the Father willed (John 5:19; e.g., Luke 22:42). So, the writer to the Hebrews concludes, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus lived the life of consistent, wholehearted love to the Father that Adam and Eve and Israel—and all of us—should have lived. He deserved no punishment from God because he was never disobedient.

Teaching. Jesus came to teach God’s truth, especially about himself (Mark 1:38; 10:45; Luke 20:42; 24:44). He taught the truth about God, about his relationship with God the Father (John 14), about our sin, about what he had come to do, and about what we must do in response. He explained that the Scriptures of the OT were about him (Luke 24:44).

Crucifixion. But God sent his Son especially to die for us (Mark 10:45; John 3:16–18). This is how God has shown his love for us (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9–10). Christ gave his life as a ransom for us (Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). By his death he paid the penalty for our sin. Jesus Christ’s crucifixion was a horrible act of violence by the people who rejected, sentenced, mocked, tortured, and crucified him. And yet it was also a display of the self-giving love of God, as the Son of God bore the penalty of God’s wrath against us for our sin (Deuteronomy 21:23; Isaiah 53:5; Romans 3:25–26; 4:25; 5:19; 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 9:28).

Resurrection, ascension, return. On the third day after his crucifixion, Jesus was raised from the dead by God. This demonstrated an acceptance of Christ’s service in his ministry and specifically showed God’s acceptance of his sacrifice for all those who would repent and believe (Romans 1:4; 4:25). He ascended to heaven and “will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Christ’s return will bring God’s plan of salvation to completion.

Response:

So if God has done this in Christ, what are we to do to be saved? We must turn to God in Christ, which entails turning back from sin. If we repent of (decide to forsake and turn from) our sin (as best we understand it) and trust in Christ as a living person, we will be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins. This response of repentance and faith (or trust) can be explained in more detail as follows:

Turn to God. In the OT, God commands people to turn or return to him, and so be saved (e.g., Isaiah 6:10; Jeremiah 18:8). In the NT, Christ preached that people should turn to God, and Paul summarized his account of his preaching with that phrase: “that they [everyone] should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:20; cf. Acts 26:18). Thus, as Paul said earlier, he preached “testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). To repent means to turn. And the turning that we are called to do in order to be saved is fundamentally a turning to God. James could refer to the Gentiles who “turn to God” (Acts 15:19). To “turn to,” in this sense in the Bible, is to orient your life toward someone. As God’s people—those who are being saved—we are to play the part of the Prodigal Son who, though conscious of sin, guilt, and folly, flees to the Father (Luke 15:20). Paul at Lystra calls the people to turn to the living God (Acts 14:15). Paul refers to the Galatian Christians as those who had come to “know God” (Gal. 4:9); this is what we do in repentance: we repent to, we turn to God, and henceforth know him as the God who forgives our sins and accepts us for Christ’s sake.

Turn away from sin. Turning to God necessarily implies our turning away from sin. The whole Bible—OT and NT—clearly teaches that to repent is to “acknowledge [God’s] name and turn from [our] sins” (1 Kings 8:35; cf. 2 Chronicals 7:14; Jeremiah 36:3; Ezekeil 14:6; 18:30; Acts 3:19; 8:22; 26:18; Revelation 2:21–22; 9:20–21; 16:11). We cannot start to pursue God and sin at the same time. First John makes Gods Plan of Salvation it clear that our basic way of life will either be oriented toward God and his light, or toward the darkness of sin. Christians in this life still sin, but against our deepest desires and better judgment; our lives are not guided and directed by sin as before. We are no longer enslaved to sin. Though we still struggle with it (Galatians 5:17), God has given us the gift of repentance (Acts 11:18), and we have been freed from sin’s dominating power.

Believe and trust. Put another way, our response is to believe and trust God’s promises in Christ, and to commit ourselves to Christ, the living Lord, as his disciples. Among Jesus’ first words in Mark’s Gospel are “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The obedience that typifies God’s people, beginning with repentance, is to result from the faith and trust we have in him and his word (e.g., Joshua 22:16; Acts 27:25). Thus sins are sometimes called “breaking faith with God” (e.g., Ezra 10:2, 10). Having faith in Christ, which seals our union with him through the Holy Spirit, is the means by which God accounts Christ’s righteousness as our own (Romans 3:21–26; 5:17–21; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8–9; Philippians 3:9). Paul could refer to “salvation through faith in Christ” (2 Timothy 3:15). Frequently this initial repentance and faith can be simply expressed to God himself in prayer.

Grow in godliness and battle for holiness. Such saving faith is something that we exercise, but even so it is a gift from God. Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). At the same time, Paul explained that Christians know an internal battle: “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17). God’s gift of salvation has been given to Christians, but the evidence of that salvation is lived out in the continual work of God’s Spirit. We can deceive ourselves, and so Paul encourages his readers to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Peter encourages Christians to grow in godliness and so become more confident of their election (2 Peter 1). We don’t create our own salvation by our actions, but we reflect and express it and so grow in our certainty of it. Because we Christians are liable to deceive ourselves, we should give ourselves to the study of God’s Word to be instructed and encouraged in our salvation, and to learn what is inconsistent with it. Jesus’ descriptions of his followers (see Matthew 5–7), or Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit’s work in us (see Galantians 5:22–23), act as spiritual maps that help us locate ourselves to see if we are on the path of salvation.

Result:

God’s plan is to save his people from their sins—and to bring his people fully and finally to himself (Matthew 1:21; 2 Timothy 2:10). Believers experience salvation in this life in both a past and present sense, and we anticipate salvation in a future sense. Believers have been saved from the

penalty of our sins; we are currently being saved from the power of sin; and one day, when God’s plan of salvation is completed and we are with Christ, we shall be like him, and we shall be saved even from the very presence of sin. This is God’s plan of salvation.

Love of the Church motivated by the Assurance of salvation

1 John 4:11-14

Introduction

An elderly man said to H.A. Ironside, “I will not go on unless I know I’m saved, or else know it’s hopeless to seek to be sure of it. I want a definite witness, something I can’t be mistaken about!” Ironside replied, “Suppose you had a vision of an angel who told you your sins were forgiven. Would that be enough to rest on?” “Yes, I think it would. An angel should be right.” Ironside continued, “But suppose on your deathbed Satan came and said, ’I was that angel, transformed to deceive you.’ What would you say?” The man was speechless. Ironside then told him that God has given us something more dependable than the voice of an angel. He has given His Son, who died for our sins, and He has testified in His own Word that if we trust Him all our sins are gone. Ironside read I John 5:13, “You may know that you have eternal life.” Then he said, “Is that not enough to rest on? It is a letter from heaven expressly to you.” God’s Spirit used that to bring assurance to the man’s heart. (H. A. Ironside).

 

  1. The Exhortation to Love (vv. 11)

“Beloved” – mentioned another time.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

The expression “God so loved us” – either refer to:

  1. The manner of God’s love to the reader – He loved the readers in this way, that is, in a gracious and sacrificial way.
  2. The extent of God’s love – He loved them to the extent that He sent His unique Son to save them.

The Latter is preferred, though it is difficult to distinguish between the two in this context.

In either case, John is using God’s love for the readers as an example and incentive for his readers to love one another.

Matt 22:37-39 “And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’”

Burdick explains:

The fact of God’s matchless love lays upon us a continuing obligation (Greek present tense) to be loving one another. Not only is it true that we have received the nature of God by reason of our new birth and thus we should love, but we have the example of His love teaching us and persuading us to love each other.

Those who are children of God they ought to have mercy as God have mercy on us.

Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

We must live a holy life as He is holy

1 Peter 1:15-16 “   but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

We must love one another as God loved us.

 

II. The Motivation to Love (vv. 12-14)

In these verses John is drawing a connection between loving other believers and the assurance of salvation as an incentive for his readers to heed his exhortation.

 

  1. The first motivation is that God is seen through our love to one another (v.12)

“No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.”

In this verse John is answering an implied question, how is God seen in this world?

– Since God is pure spirit and absolutely holy, no man has ever seen God at any time.

– Yet, this does not mean that God cannot be seen.

– John’s point is that God can and should be seen in the love that those who are born of Him show toward one another.

– Those who continue (present tense) to show love toward one another demonstrate that God abides in them, that is, they demonstrate that they have been born of God and that they enjoy a saving relationship with God.

– Furthermore, by loving other believers, God’s love that has been sown in us is perfected in the sense that it is reaching its intended goal.

John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

We have to show the world God by our love to each other when:

  1. We meet together (Heb 10:24-25; Acts 2:42)
  2. We practice Baptism and communion (Acts 2:41; 1 Cor 11)
  3. We witness to the world together (Matt 5:13-16)
  4. we are united (Eph 4:1-6)
  5. We are welcoming (Col 3:9-11; James 2:1-7)

 

2.  The second motivation is the witness of the Holy Spirit (v. 13)

The Subjective element of assurance is the internal witness of the Spirit

“By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”

The readers can know, that is, they can have confidence that they abide in the Father and Father in them because of the presence of God’s Spirit in their lives.

The connection between this verse and the preceding one is clearly implied. As the believers love one another, God’s Spirit gives them assurance that they are the children of God and have eternal life.

Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Galatians 4:5-7 “so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”

Ephesians 1:13-14 “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 

  1. The third motivation is the witness of the apostolic preaching of the gospel (v. 14)

The Objective element of assurance is the witness of the apostolic preaching of the gospel (v. 14)

“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

“We have seen and testify” – (cf. 1 John 1:1-3) The use of the pronoun “We” is referring to the apostles and eye witnesses.

“that the Father has  sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” – John introduces another criterion for confirmation of the believers’ union with God: adherence to the apostolic message. They bear “witness” to the Father’s saving activity in the Son.

This fact that God promised us salvation and eternal life motivate us to love one another.

1 Tim 1:15 “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”

2 Pet 3:13 “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

 

Love toward One Another Motivated by God’s Love

1 John 4:7-10

Introduction:

This is the third and final time John appeals to the subject of brotherly love.  He first mentioned it in 2:7–11, where it is given as an indicator of one who is walking in the light. The second occurrence comes in 3:11–18 (or even 3:10–24) and is mentioned as evidence that one is a child of God.

 

  1. The Command to Love (v. 7a)

“Beloved” a new term John calls the believers. Here they are beloved by God, has a new stand before God.

“Let us love one another” – occurs three times in this passage. Here in v. 7 it is an exhortation; in v. 11 it is a statement of duty, and in v. 12 it is a hypothesis.

John 15:12, 17  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…“This I command you, that you love one another.”

1 Peter 1:11 “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.”

1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”

 

  1. The Source of Love (vv. 7b-8)

v. 7b “for love is from God” The basis for this love is God and his love; in fact, it is because (hoti) love is from God. Love flows from or out of (ek) God and has God as its spring or source.

“and everyone who loves is born of  God and knows God.” Not only is this true of God, but all who love have been born (gegennētai) of God.

Rom 5:5 “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

– John now turns from the positive expression of truth to its negative expression. He adds emphasis to the point in v. 7 by now stating the converse.

v. 8 “The One who does not love does not know God” Negatively the one who does not love is not born of God and has no relationship with him.

“for God is love” – The nature of God is love. Akin is his commentary says, “Because his very nature is love, mercy and goodness flow from God like a beautiful river, as sunlight radiates from the sun. Love, real love (cf. 1 Cor 13), has its ultimate source and origin in God. It is not an abstract concept but concrete action, as John will now explain.”

 

  1. III.                The Nature of Love (vv. 9-10)

 

  1. A.      The Love of God is Tangible (v. 9) something we can touch, benefit from

v. 9 “By this the love of God was manifested in us,” – manifested is in the aorist tense which is a past tense. God manifested his love in us in a certain point in history.

“that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world” –  The perfect tense, has sent, points to the abiding results of the sending.

“has sent” apostéllō is to send forth on a certain mission such as to preach (Mark 3:14; Luke 9:2); speak (Luke 1:19); bless (Acts 3:26); rule, redeem, propitiate (Acts 7:35; 1 John 4:10); save (1 John 4:14). The expression that Jesus was sent by God (John 3:34) denotes the mission which He had to fulfill and the authority which backed Him. The importance of this mission is denoted by the fact that God sent His own Son.

“so that we might live through Him” – to have eternal life with Christ and through Christ.

1 Thess 5:10 “who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”

2 Cor 13:4 “For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.”

Gal 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

 

  1. B.      The Love of God is sacrificial (v. 10)

v. 10 “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us” – God is always taking the initiative to love first not us. This verse implies that man has not love of and in himself of God. God has to initiate this love.

“and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – In this verse the purpose in sending the Son is not the incarnation but the atonement—God sent his Son to die. Our act was to sin. God’s was to love and send.

Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 John 3:16 “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

 

القس عيسى حداد

 

1. هو حمل الله الذي يرفع خطية العالم

“وفي الغد نظر يوحنا يسوع مقبلاً اليه فقال هوذا حمل الله الذي يرفع خطية العالم.”  أنجيل البشير يوحنا 1: 29

            الرب يسوع هو الحمل اشارة الى الخروف المقدم كذبيحة. فان يوحنا يتكلم الى يهود الذين يعلموا تماماً ما المقصود في الحمل. لكن هنا يسوع يدعى “حمل الله” اي ان يسوع كان الحمل الذي وفرهُ الله للبشر لكي يرفع خطية العالم. كلمة يرفع تشير الى ان يسوع سوف يكون الذبيحة البديلة عن البشر (رسالة الرسول بولس الى أهل كورنثوس الثانية 5 : 21). فان المسيح وفر ذبيحة كفارية عن كل العالم لكن كل من يؤمن يستفيد من منافع هذه الذبيحة. في العهد القديم الخاطئ ياتي في ذبيحة الى الهيكل وعندما يقدم الذبيحة فانه يضع يدهُ عليها علامة على اتفاقهُ مع الله على خطيته وتاكيده انهُ لا يستطيع التكفير عن خطاياه بل انه ينقل خطاياه بشكل رمزي الى الذبيحة المقدمة (سفر اللاويين 1 : 4). وهكذا ايضا ذبيحة المسيح فهي بدون فعالية للاشخاص الذين لا يؤمنوا بل للذين يؤمنوا فيحصلوا على غفران الخطايا (رسالة بولس الرسول الى أهل أفسس 1 : 7).

2. هو ابن الله الحي

            عبارة “ابن الله” في الكتاب المقدس لا تعني ابن بالجسد. فان الرب يسوع موجود منذ الازل فهو لم يولد قط. لكن هذه العبارة تشير الى العلاقة الروحية بين الاب والابن. فان الرب يسوع المسيح هو الابن بالعلاقة الى الاب. هذه العبارة في انجيل يوحنا لديها اهمية عظمه، فالمقصود بها بان لدي الرب يسوع نفس الطبيعة الالهية. فان الابن لديه كل صفات وجوهر الله لذلك اراد اليهود رجمه عندما قال الرب انه ابن الله (أنجيل البشير يوحنا 5 : 16 – 18).

“وانا لم اكن اعرفه. لكن الذي ارسلني لأعمد بالماء ذاك قال لي الذي ترى الروح نازلاً ومستقراً عليه فهذا هو الذي يعمد بالروح القدس. وانا قد رأيت وشهدت ان هذا هو ابن الله.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 1 :33- 34

“فسمع يسوع انهم اخرجوه خارجاً فوجده وقال له اتؤمن بابن الله. اجاب ذاك وقال من هو يا سيد لأومن به. فقال له يسوع قد رأيته والذي يتكلم معك هو هو. فقال اومن يا سيد وسجد له.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 9 : 35-38

“واما هذه فقد كتبت لتؤمنوا ان يسوع هو المسيح ابن الله. ولكي تكون لكم اذا امنتم حياة باسمه.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 20 : 31

“ونعلم ان ابن الله قد جاء واعطانا بصيرة لنعرف الحق. ونحن في الحق في ابنه يسوع المسيح. هذا هو الاله الحق والحياة الابدية.”  رسالة يوحنا الرسول الاولى 5 : 20

3. هو المسيا المنتظر

            الله وعد بان يرسل مخلص من شعب اسرائيل (سفر التثنية 18 : 18) وعندما ياتي هذا المخلص سوف يكون سبب خلاص للجميع (نبؤة أشعياء النبي 61 : 1 – 4؛ قارن انجيل البشير متى 4 : 12 – 17).

“قالت له المرأة انا اعلم ان مسيا الذي يقال له المسيح يأتي. فمتى جاء ذاك يخبرنا بكل شيء، قال لها يسوع انا الذي اكلمك هو.”  أنجيل البشير يوحنا 4  : 25-26

4. هو خبز الحياة

            هذه الكلمات هنا هي كلمات مجازية. فان المسيح يقصد فيها انه هو معطي الحياة. فيه كانت الحياة والحياة نور الناس كما قال يوحنا في الاصحاح الاول.

“فقال لهم يسوع انا هو خبز الحياة. من يقبل الي فلا يجوع ومن يؤمن بي فلا يعطش ابداً.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 6  : 35

5. هو نور العالم

            النور هنا حسب النص يتم مقارنتها بالظلمة، فان المسيح يعبر ويظهر قداسة وبر الله الكاملة، الذي لا يوجد فيه الخطية (الرسالة الى العبرانيين 4 : 14 – 16). كل من يتبع المسيح اي يؤمن به فانه لا يستطيع ان يمشي في الظلمة اي يعيش حياة غير اخلاقية بل يحيا حياة بارة تليق في المخلص.

“ثم كلمهم يسوع ايضاً قائلاً انا هو نور العالم. من يتبعني فلا يمشي في الظلمة بل يكون له نور الحياة. أنجيل البشير  يوحنا 8: 12

6. هو من فوق الذي كان من البدء

“فقال لهم انتم من اسفل اما انا فمن فوق. انتم من هذا العالم اما انا فلست من هذا العالم. فقلت لكم انكم تموتون في خطاياكم . لانكم ان لم تؤمنوا اني انا هو تموتون في خطاياكم. فقالوا له من انت، فقال لهم يسوع انا من البدء ما اكلمكم ايضاً به.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 8 : 23-25

7. هو باب الخراف

            هذا التعبير يشير الى ان يسوع هو الطريق الى خلاص البشر. فان يسوع يستخدم التوضيح من مزرعة فيها حضيرة.

“فقال لهم يسوع ايضاً الحق الحق اقول لكم اني انا باب الخراف. جميع الذين اتوا قبلي هم سراق ولصوص. ولكن الخراف لم تسمع لهم. انا هو الباب. ان دخل بي احد فيخلص ويدخل ويخرج ويجد مرعىً. السارق لا يأتي الا ليسرق ويذبح ويهلك. واما انا فقد اتيت لتكون لهم حياة وليكون لهم افضل. انا هو الراعي الصالح. والراعي الصالح يبذل نفسه عن الخراف.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 10: 7-11

8. هو والاب واحد

            المقصود بذلك ان المسيح لديه نفس طبيعة الاب. فان المسيح هو الله في الجوهر. فكون يسوع المسيح (الابن) هو والاب واحد هذا لا يعنى اندماج الاقانيم بل يعنى ان الابن لديه نفس الطبيعة الالهية. كما يقول الرسول بولس في رسالته الى أهل كولوسي “فانهُ فيهِ يحل كل ملء اللاهوت جسدياً.

“أنا والاب واحد.”  أنجيل البشير يوحنا 10 : 30

9. هو القيامة والحياة

“قال لها يسوع انا هو القيامة والحياة. من امن بي ولو مات فسيحيا. وكل من كان حياً وامن بي فلن يموت الى الابد. اتؤمنين بهذا؟” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 11: 25-26

10. هو الطريق والحق والحياة

            يسوع المسيح هو الطريق الوحيد للخلاص فهو الوسيط الوحيد بين الله والناس (رسالة بولس الرسول الى تيموثاوس الاولى 2 : 5).

            “قال له يسوع انا هو الطريق والحق والحياة. ليس احد يأتي الى الاب الا بي.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 14: 6

11. هو تعبير وصورة الله الحقيقية

“الذي، وهو بهاء مجده، ورسم جوهره، وحامل كل الاشياء بكلمة قدرته، بعد ما صنع بنفسه تطيهراً لخطايانا، جلس في يمين العظمة في الأعالي.” الرسالة الى العبرانيين 1 : 3

“قال له فيليبس يا سيد ارنا الاب وكفانا. قال له يسوع انا معكم زماناً هذه مدته ولم تعرفني يا  فيليبس الذي رآني فقد رأى الاب. فكيف تقول انت ارنا الآب.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 14: 8- 9

12. الاله المبارك الى الابد

 “ولهم الاباء ومنهم المسيح حسب الجسد الكائن على الكل الهاً مباركاً الى الابد آمين.” رسالة بولس الرسول الى أهل رومية 9 : 5

13. هو رب الكل

“الكلمة التي ارسلها الى بني اسرائيل يبشر بالسلام بيسوع المسيح. هذا هو رب الكل.”  اعمال الرسل 10 : 36

“وتعين ابن الله بقوة من جهة روح القداسة، بالقيامة من الاموات: يسوع المسيح ربنا.” رسالة بولس الرسول الى أهل رومية 1 : 4

14. هو ديان الاحياء والاموات

            “وأوصانا ان نكرز للشعب ونشهد بان هذا هو المعين من الله دياناً للاحياء والاموات.”  اعمال الرسل 10: 42

15. هو الكائن منذ الازل

“قال لهم يسوع: الحق الحق أقول لكم: قبل ان يكون إبراهيم أنا كائن.” أنجيل البشير يوحنا 8 : 58

            في سفر الخروج 3: 13 – 14 عندما دعى الله موسى لكي يخلص شعبهُ من العبودية قال موسى: “ها أنا آتي الى بني اسرائيل وأقول لهم: إلهُ آبائكم أرسلني إليكم. فإذا قالوا لي: ما اسمهُ؟ فماذا أقول لهم؟” فقال الله لموسى: “أهيه الذي أهيه”. فان هذه العبارة “أهيه الذي أهيه” يمكن ترجمتها بالشكل التالي ايضاً “انا هو الكائن”. فان ما كان يقصدهُ الله في قوله هذا انهُ هو الكائن منذ الازل. فانه موجود قبل الوجود، وذاتي الوجود. والرب يسوع عندما قال انه “قبل ان يكون إبراهيم أنا كائن” كان يشير على الاغلب الى نفس العبارة الموجودة في سفر الخروج عن اسم الله. فان الرب يسوع يقول بانهُ هو الكائن منذ الازل، ايضاً ذاتي الوجود. فالرب يسوع ليس فقط يقول انهُ كان متواجد قبل ابراهيم بل هو موجود قبل البداية. هو الله الازلي

The Creator: Owner of Everything

 

Introduction

 

WHO MADE ME? I love the story of the boy sitting on his father’s lap as they were looking into a mirror. The boy said to his dad, “Dad, who made me?”

He said, “God made you, son.”

He said, “Dad, who made you?”

He said, “God made me, son.”

He said, “Dad, who made granddad?”

He said, “God made him, son.”

He said, “Dad, who made great-granddad?” He said, “God made him, son. Why do you ask?”

The boy took one look back in the mirror and said, “Well, it just seems to me He’s been doing a better job in recent years!”

 

In psalm 19:1 the paslmist praise the Lord for His creation saying, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” When we look at the mountains, hills, sea, sky, stars, animals, the diverse kind of plants and flowers, and to humans we see the majesty and wonder of God’s creative activity. God created all things by His Word.

 

Our sermon today we want to talk about God the Creator, His creation, and His will in creation.

 

Outline

I. The Creator: The Triune God (Gen 1:1) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

1. Described to be God (Gen 1:1; Col 1:15-17; Ps 104:30)

2. Described to be Mighty (Isaiah 40:18-26)

3. He spoke and it was – Psalm 33:9 “For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”

4. He has the right to end creation (Gen 6:7) “The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”

5. One day He will end this world and start a brand new world where righteousness will dwell forever (1 Pet 3:13) “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

 

Application

God is the owner of all things everything in Heaven and on earth (Neh 9:6). Because sin entered the world (Rom 1:19ff.) we can speak of creation as if God lost the ownership of his creation. That’s why we read in passages like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

 

II. Creation: Those who are created (Col 1:16)

1. The Heavens and every thing in it

a. Created the Angels (Neh 9:6)

b. Satan and all of his fallen angels (Gen 1:31; 2:1; cf. Isa 14; Ezk 28:11ff.)

c. The vast universe with all the stars in it, and the galaxies (Gen 1:1)

2. The Earth and everything on it

a. The Land: desert (Gen  1:1

b. Animals (Gen 1)

c. Humans (Gen 1:21; 26-27; 2:3, 4; 5:1, 2; 6:7)

 

Application

We are God’s creation therefore we are ought to turn to him and not away from him (Gen 3).

 

Ps 27:8 “When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”

1 Chronicles 16:11 “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Psalm 34:10 “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”

 

III. Creation was Created from Nothing: The visible from the invisible (Heb 11:3; cf. Gen 1:1)

 

Theologians involved in teaching about creation they usually use the Latin phrase Ex nihilo meaning “out of nothing” to describe the original creation in Genesis 1:1.

 

This biblical truth speaks against the theory proposed by Charles Robert Darwin[1] called Evolution Theory. The main thrust of this theory is that,

 

He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.

 

But we know from Genesis 1 and 2 that all God’s creation from plants, animals, humans were created directly by God. And that the original earth and universe was created from nothing by God.

 

IV. God’s Will in Creation (Rev 4:11; Ps 148:5; Gen 1:26-27)

 

God will was to create all things especially mankind in order for man to glorify God.

 

V. The Creator Holding Everything by His Word (Col 1:15ff.; Heb 1:1-3)


[1]Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist. Darwin published his theory with compelling evidence for evolution in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favored competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin’s scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.

 

 

On  May 11, 2000 a lady found a new e-mail message on her computer, which simply said, “I love you”. It looked innocent enough, perhaps even romantic. Like most of us would, she clicked to open the message, and the so-called “Love Bug” was born. With lightning speed it raced around the world, bringing politics and business to a halt. It was a deadly computer virus that caused millions of computer software programmes to crash. One virus, but so much contamination. But it’s not the first time that a single virus has caused so much grief to mankind. In fact, it’s a kind of replay of a deadlier virus that hit Planet Earth more than six thousand years ago polluting the first human couple, Adam and Eve. Despite God’s warning not to click on to Satan’s message, they did so with appalling consequences for them, and through them to all mankind. That virus is called “Sin”.

I. The First Dialogue: The Serpent and the Woman (3:1-7)

a. Satan spoke twice (3:1, 4-5)

b. The woman was open to dialogue (3:2-3, 6)

c. The Immediate Results (3:7)

1). Their eyes opened (3:7a; cf. v. 5) knowledge of Good and Evil by experience of disobedience

2). They knew that they were naked (3:7b) – Shame, fear cf. v. 10; 2:24-25)

3). They made to themselves coverings around their waist (3:7c) – Lost Freedom cf. v. 21

II. The Second Dialogue: The Lord confronts Adam and Eve (3:8-13)

III. The Third Dialogue: The Pronouncement of Judgment (3:14-19)

a. Judgment on Satan (3:14-15)

1). On the literal Serpent (3:14)

“The serpent had earlier been a noble creature; as a result of the judgment it was altered in form and shape. Because the serpent exalted itself it would now be forced to crawl on its belly and eat the dust of the earth as it crawled along” (Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook, p. 309).

2). On the force behind the Serpent – Satan (3:15; Rom 16:20)

b. Judgment on the Woman (3:16)

1). Experience Pain in childbirth (3:16a)

2). Struggle with Submission (3:16b)

c. Judgment on the Man (3:17-19)

1). The Curse of the Ground (3:17b-18)

2). The Need to Work (3:19a)

3). The Entrance of Physical Death (3:19b cf. Rom 5:12)

The fall of Adam and Eve effected all of mankind. We as children of Adam inherited Adam’s sin.

IV. The Naming of the Woman, The Making of the garments, and casting out of the Garden (3:20-24)

a. The Naming of the Woman (3:20)

b. The making of garments (3:21): Gives us several hints concerning God

1). God took initiative to resolve our problem (Eph 2:1-4)

2). God provided a sacrifice to die on behalf of Adam and Eve (Heb 9:11-14)

3). God provided Christ’s Righteousness to cover us (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 3:21-31)

c. The Driving out of the Garden (3:22-24)

But God in His mercy found a solution for our problem of sin. He provided a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins.

 

I. THE NATURE OF GOD

     A.      The Spirituality of God “God is Spirit.”

1.      STATEMENT OF THE FACT, JOHN 4:24: “GOD IS SPIRIT.”

Meaning: The Samaritan woman’s question,“Where is God to be found?” etc. On Mt. Zion or Gerizim? Christ’s answer: God is not to be confined to any one place (cf. Acts 7:48; 17:25; 1 Kings 8:27). God must be worshipped in spirit as distinguished from place, form, or other sensual limitations (John 4:21); and in truth as distinguished from false conceptions resulting from imperfect knowledge (4:22).

Luke 24:39: “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

Col. 1:15: “The image of the invisible God.”

1 Tim. 1:17 (R.V.): “Now unto the King incorruptible, invisible.”

These passages teach that God has nothing of a material or bodily nature. Sight sees only objects of the material world, but God is not of the nature of the material world, hence He cannot be seen with the material eye—at least not now.

2.      CAUTIONS AGAINST REPRESENTING GOD BY GRAVEN IMAGES

Exod. 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself [a]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” (Deut. 4:15–23; Isa. 40:25).

3.      DEFINITION OF “GOD IS SPIRIT” IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THIS

God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, without passions, and therefore free from all limitations; He is apprehended not by the senses, but by the soul; hence God is above sensuous perceptions.

4.      QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS WITH REFERENCE TO THE STATEMENT THAT “GOD IS SPIRIT.”

(a)      What shall we do with statements like MAN WAS MADE “IN THE IMAGE OF GOD”?

(Gen 1:26-27; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24) By that is Meant that the Image of God in Man Consisted in Intellectual and Moral Likeness Rather Than Physical Resemblance.

(b)      WHAT IS MEANT BY THE ANTHROPOMORPHIC EXPRESSIONS USED OF GOD?

For example: God is said to have hands, feet, arms, eyes, ears; He sees, feels, hears, walks, etc. Such expressions are to be understood only in the sense of being human expressions used in order to bring the infinite within the comprehension of the finite. How otherwise could we understand God saving by means of human expressions, in figures that we all can understand!

(c)      HOW ARE SUCH PASSAGES AS EXOD. 24:10 AND 33:18–23, IN WHICH IT IS DISTINCTLY STATED THAT MEN SAW THE GOD OF ISRAEL, TO BE RECONCILED WITH SUCH PASSAGES AS JOHN 1:18: “NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME,” AND EXOD. 33:20: “THERE SHALL NO MAN SEE ME AND LIVE”? ANSWER:

(aa)      Spirit Can Be Manifested in Visible Form:

John 1:32: “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove [or in the form of a dove].” So throughout the ages the invisible God has manifested Himself in visible form. (See Judges 6:34: The Spirit of the Lord clothed Himself with Gideon.)

(bb)      On This Truth is Based the Doctrine of “The Angel of the Lord”

In the Old Testament: Gen. 16:7, 10, 13. Note here how the Angel of the Lord is identified with Jehovah Himself, cf. vv. 10, 13. Also Gen. 22:12—“The angel of the Lord … not withheld from me.” In 18:1–16, one of the three angels clearly and definitely identifies himself with Jehovah. Compare chapter 19, where it is seen that only two of the angels have come to Sodom; the other has remained behind. Who was this one, this remaining angel? Gen. 18:17, 20 answers the question; v. 22 reads: “And Abraham stood yet before the LORD.” In Exod. 13:21 it is Jehovah, while in 14:19 it is the Angel that went before Israel. Thus was the way prepared for the incarnation, for the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is undoubtedly the second person of the Trinity. This seems evident from Judges 13:18 compared with Isa. 9:6, in both of which passages, clearly referring to Christ, the name “Wonderful” occurs. Also the omission of the definite article “the” from before the expression “Angel of the Lord,” and the substitution of “an” points to the same truth. This change is made in the Revised Version.

B. Self-Existence

  • While man’s ground of existence is outside of himself, God’s existence is not dependent upon anything outside of himself.

Exod 3:14 “I am who I am.”

John 8:58 “Before Abraham I am.”

Isaiah 41:4 “Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning?

‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”

Rev 1:8 ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “ who is and who was and who [a]is to come, the Almighty.”

C. Immensity

  • God is infinite in relation to space.
  • He is not limited or circumscribed by space
  • On the contrary, all finite space is dependent upon him.
  • He is, in fact, above space.

1 Kings 8:27 ““But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!

2 Chron 2:6 “But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to [a]burn incense before Him?”

Ps 113:4-6; 139:7f; Isa 66:1; Jer 23:24; Acts 17:24-28

D. Eternity

  • God is also infinite in relation to time
  • He is without beginning or end
  • He is free from all succession of time
  • He is the cause of time

Gen 21:33 He is called “the Everlasting God”

Ps 90:2 “From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”

Ps 102:27 “You are the same, and your years will not come to an end.”

Isa 57:15 “The high and exalted One Who lives forever.”

1 Tim 6:16 “God alone possesses immortality.”

II. The Attributes of God

A. Incommunicable Attrbiutes

            1. THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD

  • By the omnipresence of God is meant that God is everywhere present.
  • This attribute is closely connected with the omniscience and omnipotence of God, for if God is everywhere present He is everywhere active and possesses full knowledge of all that transpires in every place.
  • This does not mean that God is everywhere present in a bodily sense, nor even in the same sense; for there is a sense in which He may be in heaven, His dwelling place, in which He cannot be said to be elsewhere.
  • God is everywhere and in every place; His center is everywhere; His boundaries nowhere.
  • But this presence is a spiritual and not a material presence; yet it is a real presence.

(1)      SCRIPTURAL STATEMENT OF THE FACT

Jer. 23:23, 24 ““Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “ Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.” (Psa. 10:1-14).

Psa. 139:7-12 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8  If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

Isaiah 66:1 “Thus says the Lord, “ Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.

Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?”

Acts 17:24-28—“For in him we live, and move, and have our being.”

  • Without His upholding hand we must perish;
  • God is our nearest environment.
  • From these and many other scriptures we are clearly taught that God is everywhere present and acting; there is no place where God is not.

This does not mean that God is everywhere present in the same sense. For we are told that He is in heaven, His dwelling place (1 Kings 8:30); that Christ is at His right hand in heaven (Eph. 1:20); that God’s throne is in heaven (Rev. 21:2; Isa. 66:1).

(2)      SOME PRACTICAL INFERENCES FROM THIS DOCTRINE

First, of Comfort: The nearness of God to the believer. After dwelling on this great and awful attribute in Psalm 139, the psalmist, in vv. 17, 18, exclaims: “How precious are your thoughts to me … when I awake, I am still with You.” By this is meant that God stands by our side to help, and as One who loves and understands us (Matt. 28:20).

Second, of Warning: “As in the Roman empire the whole world was one great prison to a malefactor, and in his flight to the most distant lands the emperor could track him, so under the government of God no sinner can escape the eye of the judge.”

Hebrews 4:13 “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

2. THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD

  • God is infinite in Knowledge
  • He knows himself and all other things perfectly from all eternity, whether they be actual or merely possible, whether they be past, present, or future.
  • He knows things immediately, at the same time, exhaustively, and truly.

(1)      SCRIPTURES SETTING FORTH THE FACT OF GOD’S OMNISCIENCE

Isa. 40:28—“There is no searching of his understanding.” Israel’s captive condition might lead to loss of trust and faith in God. But Israel has not seen all God’s plans—no man has.

Job 37:16—“The wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge.” Could Job explain the wonders of the natural phenomena around him? Much less the purposes and judgments of God.

Psa. 147:5—“His understanding is infinite.”

1 John 3:20—“God knows all things.” Our hearts may pass over certain things, and fail to see some things that should be confessed. God, however, sees all things.

Rom. 11:33—“How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.” The mysterious purposes and decrees of God touching man and his salvation are beyond all human comprehension.

In detail, and by way of illustration:

(aa)      His Knowledge is Absolutely Comprehensive.

Prov. 15:3—“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good.” How could He reward and punish otherwise? Not one single thing occurring in any place escapes His knowledge.

Prov 5:21—“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponder all his goings.” We may have habits hidden from our fellow creatures, but not from God.

(bb)      God Has a Perfect Knowledge of All that is in Nature.

Psa. 147:4—“He tell the number of the stars; he call  them all by their names.” Man cannot (Gen. 15:5).

How, then, can Israel say, “My way is hid from the Lord”? Cf. Isa. 40:26, 27.

Matt. 10: 29—“One … sparrow shall not fall to the ground without your Father.” Much less would one of His children who perchance might be killed for His name’s sake fall without His knowledge.

(cc)      God Has a Perfect Knowledge of All that Transpires in Human Experience.

Prov. 5:21—“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponder all his goings.” All a man’s doings are weighed by God. How this should affect his conduct!

Psa. 139:2, 3—“You know my down sitting and my uprising, you understand my thought afar off. You compass my path and my lying down, and You are acquainted with all my ways.” Before our thoughts are fully developed, our unspoken sentences, the rising feeling in our hearts, our activity, our resting, all that we do from day to day is known and sifted by God. v. 4—“There is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” Not only thoughts and purposes, but words spoken, idle, good, or bad.

Exod. 3:7—“I have seen the affliction … heard the cry: know the sorrows of my people which are in Egypt.” The tears and grief which they dared not show to their taskmasters, God saw and noted. Did God know of their trouble in Egypt? It seemed to them as though He did not. But He did.

Matt. 10:29, 30—“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Exod. 3:19—“And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.” Here is intimate knowledge as to what a single individual will do.

Isa. 48:18—“O that thou hadst harkened to my commandments! then had thy peace have been as a river,” etc. God knows what our lives would have been if only we had acted and decided differently.

(dd)      God Has a Perfect Knowledge of All that Transpires in Human History.

With what precision are national changes and destinies foretold and depicted in Dan. 2 and 8!

Acts 15:18—“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world [ages].” In the context surrounding this verse are clearly set forth the religious changes that were to characterize the generations to come, the which have been so far literally, though not fully, fulfilled.

(ee)      God Knows from All Eternity to All Eternity What Will Take Place.

Isa. 48:5-8—“I have even from the beginning declared it unto thee; before it came to pass I showed it thee.… I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things,” etc.

Isa 46:9, 10—“I am God … declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”

3. THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD

The omnipotence of God is that attribute by which He can bring to pass everything which He wills. God’s power admits of no bounds or limitations. God’s declaration of His intention is the pledge of the thing intended being carried out. “Hath he said, and shall he not do it?”

(1)      SCRIPTURAL DECLARATION OF THE FACT; IN GENERAL:

Job 42:2—“I know that you can do everything [all things], and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Gen. 18:14—“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” What had ceased to be possible by natural means comes to pass by supernatural means.

4. IMMUTABILITY OF GOD

  • By the immutability of God is meant that God’s nature is absolutely unchangeable.
  • It is not possible that He should possess one attribute at one time that He does not possess at another.
  • Nor can there be any change in the Deity for better or for worse.
  • God remains forever the same.
  • He is without beginning and without end; the self-existent “I am”; He remains forever the same, and unchangeable.

(1)      SCRIPTURAL STATEMENT OF THE FACT: THE ETERNITY OF GOD

Hab. 1:12—“Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One?” Chaldea had threatened to annihilate Israel. The prophet cannot believe it possible, for has not God eternal purposes for Israel? Is He not holy? How, then, can evil triumph?

Psa. 90:2—“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Short and transitory is the life of man; with God it is otherwise. The perishable nature of man is here compared with the imperishable nature of God.

Psa. 102:24-27—“I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old thou hast laid the foundations of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” With the perishable nature of the whole material creation the psalmist contrasts the imperishable nature of God.

Exod. 3:14—“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.” The past, present and future lie in these words for the name of Jehovah.

Rev. 1:8—“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

Introduction

The Christian life, by its very nature and definition, represents something quite different from the way we previously lived. In contrast to being dead in sins and trespasses, it is a new life. While it is of lifelong and even eternal length, it has a certain point of beginning. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step,” said the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu. And so it is with the Christian life. The first step of the Christian life is called conversion. It is the act of turning from one’s sin in repentance and turning to Christ in faith.

The picture of repentance from sin is found in both the Old and New Testaments.

Ezekiel 33:7-11 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. Therefore, repent and live.” Later on we read in Ezekiel prophesy a warning to the wicked to turn from his wickedness.”

Although in Ephesians 5:14 is not directly stated, Paul uses different imagery but basically is the same idea: “Awake sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Furthermore, in Acts we find Peter promoting a change in direction of life: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

 

The Components of Conversion

Conversion is a single unit yet has two distinguishable but inseparable characteristics: repentance and faith. Repentance is the unbeliever’s turning away from sin, and faith is his or her turning toward Christ.

 

Saving Faith

Faith is fundamental and crucial in Christian dogma and conduct. It was the one thing which was in particular Christ acknowledged as the supreme virtue. The Syrophoenician woman mentioned in Matthew 15 had perseverance; the centurion in Matthew 8, humility; the blind man in Mark 10, earnestness. But what Christ saw and rewarded in each of these cases was faith. Faith is the foundation of Peter’s spiritual temple (2 Pet 1:5–7); and first in Paul’s trinity of graces (1 Cor 13:13). In faith all the other graces find their source.

Faith is the first and foremost divine requirement placed on man. The writer of Hebrew says in Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Also John the apostle in John 6:29 he says, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

Furthermore, faith is the Hallmark of a Christian. Christians are called believers in the Bible, not reenters or converts. In Acts 5:14 “All the more believers in the Lord were added.” The apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Show yourself an example of those who believe.”

 

Definition

We will start by defining all the Hebrew and Greek terms that have the concept of faith.

The group of Hebrew words that is translated faith is ‘aman‘emnunah‘aman has the idea of being firm, established, sure. In the hiphil it means to believe. ‘emunah means faithfulness, faith; “A trust that is steadfast.” The bible say in Genesis 15:6 “Abraham believed (‘aman) in the Lord.” We also read in Habakkuk 2:4 “The just shall be saved by his faith (‘emunah).”

Another word used in the Old Testament that is translated to trust, lean upon is Batach. This emphasizes the reliance aspect of faith, especially when followed by the prepositions beth (in) or ‘al (upon). In Psalm 13:5 “I have trusted in Your lovingkindness…” Psalm 25:2 “O my God, in You I trust.” Also we read in Psalm 26:1 “…And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.” The phrase of trusting “without wavering” carries the idea of steadfastness.

The other word that carries the idea of faith in the Old Testament is chasahChasah means to trust, take refuge, i.e. to put trust in (God), confide or hope in (God, figuratively). Psalm 7:1 reads “O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge.” The “fear of the Lord” which is linked to wisdom, keeping the commandments, etc., is an Old Testament reference to faith.

The Greek concept of faith uses the noun Pistis, which mean basically faith. Paul in Romans 1:17 “But the righteous man shall live by faith (pistis).” The counterpart form of the verb is pisteuo, which is translated “faith,” “trust,” “believe.” Jesus rebuked the people for their materialistic motivation and their lack of spiritual perception and then they said to Him in John 6:28-29 “Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

Therefore, we would define saving faith as the knowledge of, assent to, and unreserved trust in the accomplished redemption of Christ as revealed in the Scriptures. “In a strict and special sense of the word, faith means a belief in things not seen which is based on testimony.” (Charles Hodge)

The Elements of Faith

There are three components of faith: the intellectual aspect, the emotional aspect, and the volitional aspect.

Faith has a cognitive aspect. There must be something to be believed. There must be an apprehension of truth. Hebrew 11:3 reads “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God.” There must be content of faith. Faith cannot operate in a vacuum; it must have knowledge upon which to meet. The Bible maintains that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17), that men must “receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thess 2:10). Furthermore, the Bible tell us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb 11:6). The intellectual side of faith can be seen in texts that speak of believing “that…”; i.e., a belief concerning some facts (John 8:24; 11:42; 14:11; 16:27; 20:31; Rom 10:9; 1 Thess 4:14; 1 John 5:1, 5). In this feature of saving faith “lies the importance of doctrine respecting Christ. The doctrine defines Christ’s identity, the identity in terms of which we entrust ourselves to him. Doctrine consists in propositions of truth.”[3]

The second aspect of the components of faith is the assent; the emotional aspect of saving faith; and the affirmation of truth. The truth that was understood in the intellectual aspect must be accepted as indeed is a factually true. It must pass to the stage of one’s conviction or a whole-hearted assent that the truth applies to the person himself. In Matthew 9:28 Jesus asked the blind men, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said, “Yes, Lord.” i.e. they comprehended His power and accepted it as being capable of operating in them. Also we read in Matthew 8:13 about the centurion who was concerned about his servant. He accepted Jesus as true. So Jesus said to him, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” “Without this element faith becomes simply mysticism, for to place one’s trust in what one has heard or read about but does not believe to be true is simply an “existential leap” into the abyss of absurdity.”[4]

The third and last aspect of saving faith is the trust; the volitional aspect; the appropriation of truth. In this confidence aspect, knowledge has gone from acceptance or approval and from acceptance or approval to surrender and reliance. As Robert Reymond says about this element, “as the sinner cognitively, affectively, and volitionally transfers all reliance for pardon, righteousness, and cleansing away from himself and his own resources in complete and total abandonment to Christ, whom he joyfully receives and upon whom alone rests entirely for his salvation.”[5] This third element is essential that faith should include. Because this is the most characteristic aspect of faith, and to fall short of trust is to fail to exercise saving faith. The object of this trust is Christ Himself as revealed in the Word. It is Christ who saves not faith itself, and faith is the vehicle of attachment to His finished work of redemption. We read in Scripture “Trust (batach) in the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5). The “heart” is the seat of the will or volition, the control center of the person. To trust with all your heart is to trust with your whole being, a complete commitment.[6]

Saving faith is a gift from God ultimately. While it is the sinner who believes, his faith does not originate with him. The capacity and ability to believe come from God (Phil 1:29; 2 Pet 1:3).

 

Repentance

The importance given to the doctrine of repentance in the Scriptures can hardly be overestimated. The glorified Christ placed beyond all doubt that repentance is to be a part of gospel proclamation, when he declared on the evening of his resurrection from the dead: “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47). John the Baptist as well began his public ministry, as did Jesus also, with the call to repentance upon his lips (Matt 3:1-2, 8, 11; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3, 8; Acts 13:24; 19:4; cf. Matt 4:17).

When Jesus sent forth the twelve and the seventy messengers to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of heaven throughout Galilee, He commanded them to preach “that people should repent” (Mark 6:12).

First and foremost in the preaching of the apostles was the doctrine of repentance: Peter (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22); Paul (Acts 17:30; 20:21; 26:20). The author of Hebrews indicates that “repentance from dead works” is a first principle of the doctrine of Christ (Heb 6:1).

The burden of the heart of God, and His command to all humanity everywhere, is that they should repent (2 Pet. 3:9; Acts 17:30).

Certainly, failure on the part of man to listen to God’s command to repentance means that he shall absolutely perish (Luke 13:3, 5).

Does the doctrine of repentance find such an important place in the preaching and teaching of today? Has the need for repentance diminished? Has God lessened or changed the terms of admission into His kingdom?

 

Definition

The basic Old Testament terms that is used is Nacham from “to draw a deep breath,” an expression of deep feeling of either relief or sorrow. Therefore the meaning is to repent, to regret. “It is often used of God to indicate a change or possible change in his plans: Genesis 6:6-7; Exodus 32:12, 14; Deuteronomy 32:36; Judges 2:18. But this word is also used to describe sorrow for sin in human beings: Judges 21:6, 15; Job 42:6; Jeremiah 8:6; 31:19.”[7]

Much more commonly used for repentance is the other Old Testament word, shub. This word means to turn back, to go in the opposite direction. It highlights the fact that repentance means a change of direction, from the wrong way to the right way (from sin 1 Kings 8:35; from evil, Job 36:10; from transgression, Isa. 59:20). In a positive way shub means turning to the Lord: Psalm 51:13; Isaiah 10:21; Jeremiah 4:1; Hosea 14:1; Amos 4:8; Malachi 3:7.

The two main New Testament words for repentance are metanoia and epistrepho. The verb corresponding to metanoia is metanoeo; it is the common Septuagint rendering of nicham.Epistrepho, however, is the common Septuagint translation of shub.[8] Although we cannot draw hard and fast lines, generally metanoia seems to emphasize the inner change involved in repentance, whereas epistrepho stresses the change in one’s outward life which implements and gives expression to the inward change.[9]

Therefore, the definition of repentance is a change of mind away from sin and toward God. It is not merely a change of opinion. It is a change of view, feeling, and purpose respecting God, sin, and the sinner himself. These are all the workings of the mind, not just brain cells or glands. Repentance is the first phase of conversion or turning to God.

R. Kearsley states it this way: “[Repentance] describes a radical change in the individual’s disposition, for the change of mind concerns his judgment upon himself and his sin together with an evaluation of God’s demands upon him. The transformation implied, therefore, is not a matter merely of mental judgment, but of new religious and moral attitudes (a turning to God, 1 Thess 1:9) and of new behavior (Acts 26:20…”[10]        Ryrie, on the other hand, seemingly restricts repentance to a cerebral activity, saying, “The only kind of repentance that saves is a change of mind about Jesus Christ—to an acceptance of the fact that He is God (Deity, Lord).”[11]

Millard J. Erickson defines repentance saying, “Repentance is godly sorrow for one’s sinn together with a resolution to turn from it.”[12] It is important to notes the two aspects of the definition Erickson give us. In on side repentance is a change of mind away from sin. The apostle John writes in Revelation 9:21 “and they did not repent of (ek) their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.” The writer of Hebrews write in Hebrews 6:1 “…Repentance from dead works…” In the other side repentance also means a change of mind toward God. The apostle Paul was talking to the elders of Ephesus that when he was in Ephesus he “solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Paul also said to the church in Corinth that he rejoiced over the Corinthians, “not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance…for the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor 7:9-10).

It is important to note that mere sorrow for one’s actions, or even deep remorse over one’s actions, does not make up genuine repentance unless it is accompanied by a sincere decision to forsake sin that is being committed against God (cf. Ex. 9:27; Num. 22:34; Joshua 7:20; 1 Sam. 15:24; Matt 27:4; Heb. 12:17).

It is equally important to say that we cannot say that someone has to actually live that changed life over a period of time before repentance can be genuine, or else repentance would be turned into a kind of obedience that we could do to merit salvation for ourselves. However, genuine repentance will result in a changed life. Indeed, a genuine repentant person will start at once to live a changed life, and we can call that changed life the fruit of repentance.

The Elements of Repentance

There is basically threefold idea involved in true repentance.

First, true repentance has to touch the intellect. Repentance includes knowledge of sin, a change of view. This is recognition and apprehension of what sin really is and what it means. King David prayer of confession and repentance he said, “I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3). Again in Revelation 9:21 “They did not repent of their murders…” Matthew 21:29 “He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.” The word here used for “repent” means to change one’s mind, thought, purpose, views regarding a matter; it is to change your mind about something. This change is well illustrated in the action of the prodigal son, and of the publican in the well—known story of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 15 and 18). Thus, when Peter, on the day of Pentecost, called upon the Jews to repent (Acts 2:14–40), he virtually called upon them to change their minds and their views regarding Christ. They had considered Christ to be a mere man, a blasphemer, an impostor. The events of the few preceding days had proven to them that He was none other than the righteous Son of God, their Savior and the Savior of the world. The result of their repentance or change of mind would be that they would receive Jesus Christ as their long promised Messiah.

Second, true repentance would also involve a touching of the emotions. It includes a genuine regret or sorrow for sin, a change of feeling or attitude. Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:9 says, “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.” The context (vv. 7–11) shows what a large part the feelings played in true gospel repentance. We have to also compare the attitude of the rich young ruler who “became very sad for he was extremely rich” but did not repent (Luke 18:23). Moreover, in Matthew 11:21 the sorrow aspect or regret factor in repentance is seen in the common biblical phrase “repent in dust and ashes.”

Third, true repentance would involve a touching of the will and disposition. This includes a desire to seek pardon, the volitional aspect, a change of purpose.

This involves the use of the will. It is a determination to abandon disobedience and to surrender the will to Christ; an intention to abandon sin. John MacArthur says, “It is a redirection of the human will, a purposeful decision to forsake all unrighteousness and pursue righteousness instead.”[13]

Repentance in this aspect is an “inward turning from sin and a disposition to seek pardon and cleansing.”[14] This is followed by the fruits or evidence of repentance. We read in Job 42:6 “I repent in dust and ashes.” David’s prayer of repentance: “Create in me a clean heart.” Peter in Acts 2:38 says, “Repent and be baptized…for the forgiveness of sins.” We also read about Paul that he preached “Repent…performing deeds appropriate to repentance.” Moreover, in Matthew 3:8 we read, “Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with your repentance.”

Repentance, like faith, is properly the act of the sinner. However, the true or ultimate origin is not man. Repentance is also a gift of God by an operation of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim 2:24-25). It is an act man under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit The prophet Zachariah said that God will pour out on Israel in the end times “the Spirit of grace and supplication” and then they will mourn in repentant prayer for forgiveness (Zech 12:10). The sinner repents, not God.

The Relationship between Repentance, Faith and Conversion 

We read in Scriptures that repentance is associated with both faith and conversion. Paul said to the elders in Ephesus that he was testifying to both Jews and Greeks of “Repentance toward god and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). We see in this verse the relationship between repentance and faith. We further see that repentance has some relation to conversion.  Peter in Acts 3:19 says, “Therefore repent and return” (converted; NKJV).

Furthermore, it is important to notes that repentance is put before faith when both are mentioned together. In Matthew 21:32 concerning people’s attitude toward John the Baptist, they “did not even feel remorse [metamelomi] afterward so as to believe him.” In Mark 1:15 it reads “Repent and believe the gospel.” Also in Hebrews 6:1 “Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”

However, sometimes faith stands alone in verses like (John 3:16; Acts 16:31), and sometimes repentance stands alone (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 11:18; Rom 2:4; Heb 6:6; 2 Pet 3:9).[15]

Ryrie says repentance in his definition, a change of mind about Jesus is simply faith; faith is a synonym for that kind of repentance.[16] In other word, that repentance and faith are not separate entities or separate aspects of the act of the soul when the sinner comes to Christ and salvation.

However, in cases like the preceding two points where faith or repentance stands alone, it is better to understand them as a part for the whole. That is faith in those tests includes repentance, confession, conversion, etc., and repentance in those texts includes faith and all the rest.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that faith and repentance are the two aspects of conversion. Repentance is the change of mind with a disposition to seek pardon aspect, and faith is the seeking pardon through trust aspect, and both comprise the turning (conversion) of the person from sin to God and salvation.

John Murray says concerning faith and repentance that there is no priority. “The faith that is unto salvation is a penitent faith and the repentance that is unto life is a believing repentance.”[17]

 

Notes


[1]Morton Smith, Systematic Theology, 2 vols. (Taylors, South Carolina: Greenville Seminary Press, 1994), 2:444.

[2] Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, abridged ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: James Clark, 1960), 440.

[3]A quotation quoted by Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith in one volume, (Nashville, TE: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 728, from John Murry, “faith,” in Collected Writings of John Murray, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977), 2:258.

[4]Ibid. Robert L. Reymond, 728.

[5]Ibid. Robert Reymond, 728-29.

[6]For a full decision about the use of the Hebrew and Greek terms to further define this aspect I recommend reading Robert L. Reymond, Systematic Theology, pp.728-29.

[7]Anthony A. Hoekema, Saved by Grace, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1989), 123.

[8]Ibid. 124.

[9]Ibid 124.

[10]R. Kearsley, “Repentance” in the New Dictionary of Theology, eds. David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson, and J. I. Packer, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 580.

[11]Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 96.

[12]Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1983), 950.

[13]John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988), 163.

[14]Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology, (Valley Forge, PA: Judson, 1907), 833.

[15]Those who repent are considered believers: Acts2:38-47 [esp. vv. 38, 44]; see also Acts 11:17-18.

[16]Ibid. Charles Ryrie, So great Salvation, 100.

[17]John Murry, Redemption-Accomplished and Applied, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1955), 113.

Timothy K. Jones once said, “Sometimes telling a story has as much effect on the teller as it does the listeners. Martin Buber, the Jewish philosopher, recalls: ‘My grandfather was lame. Once they asked him to tell a story about his teacher, and he related how his master used to hop and dance while he prayed. My grandfather rose as he spoke and was so swept away by his story that he himself began to hop and dance to show how the master had done. From that our he was cured of his lameness.’ When we tell the story of our Master, we too experience His power.”  When proclaiming the good news (the gospel) to others the believer experience God’s power working within him giving him joy and fulfillment.

The New Testament uses two words to describe evangelism. The first word is euangelizo which means “to bring a message, announce good news.” Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 3:6 “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love,…” In Acts 5:40-42 after the apostles were put in prison they were beaten and then released. They rejoiced that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for the sake of Christ’s name. “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching (lit. Evangelize) Jesus as the Christ.”

The second word describes the person who evangelize “evangelist (euangelistes)” it occur three times in the New Testament. Even though Philip was originally chosen in the early church to minister to widows (Acts 6), he eventually becomes an “evangelist” (Acts 21:8). In 8:4-25, he evangelizes Samaria after the persecution on the church in Jerusalem. And in 8:26-40, he leads the Ethiopian eunuch to salvation in Christ and baptizes him. Paul commissions Timothy with doing “the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5). In Paul’s listing of the various ministry gifts in the church, one of them is the gift of “evangelist” (Eph 4:11). While all believers are called upon to share their faith and in that sense “evangelize,” there is a gift of special empowerment whereby God blesses their evangelistic work with the fruit of conversions.

Thus evangelism is the proclamation of the message of the gospel about the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus repentance and believing in the message of the gospel will grant us forgiveness of sin and thus receiving eternal life.

This essay will be covering five ways in developing an action plan to become a more evangelistic church. First, evangelism involves developing the burden for the lost in the heart of the believers. Second, it involves proclaiming the good news. Third, it involves a clear presentation of the gospel. Fourth, it involves a response to the proclamation of the gospel. Fifth, it involves a delight in seeing people come to Christ.

Compassion for the Lost

Evangelism involves developing a burden in the believer’s hearts for the lost people. The congregation must have a great desire to see people saved; compassion for the lost in this world.

There are many thought patterns can destroy the congregation hunger for evangelism. One is isolation from unbelievers. Believers tend to separate themselves from unbelievers. Believers can’t find an unbeliever for the same reason a criminal can’t find a police officer, because they are not looking for one. A second pattern is insulation; believers also tend to be in a contact with other believers only. Being in a believing context is more comforting for one becoming a child of God. Third pattern is insensitivity, lacking love for unbelievers. Indifference is a fourth one, not caring about Christ’s command. Unconcern about the many direct command’s of Christ and the apostles in the New Testament. Ingratitude fifth, being ungrateful for salvation. Believers Lose of joy in the Christian life. Ignorance, being unaware of Christ’s commands; evangelism is accidental or at best unintentional.[1]

The question that needs to be asked is: How to overcome these and other patterns to put the people in action for evangelism?

First of all, offer the biblical mandate to the congregation. Convince the congregation of the biblical commands (Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16, 19-20; Luke 24:46-49; John 17:18; Acts 1:8). The reference in the gospel of Mark 16 is excellent example notes for example the Lord command in verses 15-16 he said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” This command was followed with a practical outreach ministry from the disciples, notes in verses 19-20 “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God and they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” Likewise, the early church took Christ’s command very seriously and they evangelize all Jerusalem (Acts 2:38-41, 47; 4:31; 5:20, 42; 8:4-5, 26-40; and Paul’s missionary journeys Acts 13-28). In addition, every member of the early church was involved in evangelism (Acts 8:4-8), not only the apostles (Peter, John, James, etc) or people who were gifted in evangelism (such as Peter, Philip, Paul, Barnabas, etc) were evangelizing. Notes what Acts 8:4 says, “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” This is just one instance of many were we see every member of the early church had this compassion and enthusiasm about evangelism. Furthermore, the early church even thought of the need of sending missions to the unevangelized areas of their time (Acts 13:1-3). Beside, evangelism was the only means that the early church would grow with (Acts 2:37-38, cf.41; 4:4, 31, cf. 32; 5:42; cf. 6:1; etc).

Secondly, the congregation has to realize that they are either in love with Christ and longing to tell others of Him, or we are ashamed of Him. C.H. Spurgeon once said to his church, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.”

Thirdly, the congregation has to realize that unsaved people are going to hell. Paul says in Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of god is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in righteousness.” After listing all the evil acts and desires people do Paul says in Colossians 3:6 “For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience.” Spurgeon encouraged his church once said, “If sinners be damned, let them have to jump over our bodies, if they go to hell let it be with our arms around their legs. Let no one go there unwarned.”

Fourth, make the congregation energized to evangelism through persistent, specific prayer. Encourage the congregation to pray for specific unbelievers. Pray for God to draw them to salvation which is a work God desires to do (John 6:44; 2 Pet 3:8-9). Let the congregation know that this is a command and a work that the Holy Spirit desires to do in and through people (Romans 10:13-15, 17). The congregation has to think about their personal responsibility (1 Cor 15:3; 1 Pet 2:9). Moreover, witnessing brings joy to God and to the person who is witnessing (Luke 10:17-20). Pray for God to open doors for witnessing (Rom 10:1). Pray for God to grant us the courage and patience (Eph 6:9-10). Pray for God to give us the right words to say (Col 4:4; John 12:49).

Let’s equip our people with this passion for evangelism and give them the outlets for obedience.

Proclaiming the Good News

Evangelism involves proclamation of the good news. As mentioned above the word translated evangelizes in the Greek means “to bring a message, announce good news.” Paul in Romans 10:13-15 remind us by saying, “For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Carrying God’s gracious offer involves human beings whom God has brought Himself and then uses as His heralds. They share God’s message of salvation because He will save everyone who calls on His name. Paul’s then quoted from Isaiah 52:7 concerning the eagerness of the bearers of good news. Those who bear it have a “beautiful … feet,” that is, their message is welcome. Paul also said earlier in the same letter “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jews first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16).

The word of God is the mean that the Holy Spirit uses to convert people. Peter in 1 Peter 1:23-25 says, “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever and this is the word which was preached to you.” Wayne Grudem commented on these verses saying,

Was the ‘imperishable seed’ the word of God (cf. Lk. 8:11)? Or did Peter mean that the ‘seed’ was the working of the Holy Spirit with and through the word of God? He says they have been born again ‘of’ (ek, ‘out of, from’) imperishable seed ‘through’ (dia, ‘through, by means of’) the living and abiding word of God. The change of prepositions may indicate a change in nuance, but the distinction is not of great significance theologically, for in any case the Holy Spirit is active in causing means God uses to awaken new life in an unbeliever (cf. Rom. 10:17; Jas. 1:18). Yet in this text there is no explicit mention of the Holy Spirit.[2]

A Clear Presentation of the Gospel

Evangelism involves a clear and understandable presentation of the gospel. If a church plan to reach its community it is better to proclaim the gospel clearly. The church has to develop a clear formula of the basic and fundamental points of the message of the gospel. When the congregation don’t have a clear idea about what they want to say their message become ambiguous and unclear to the listener. The church has to equip its people for evangelism with Christ-centered message.

A clear presentation of the gospel centers on these main points. First, the message has to declare God’s holiness (Acts 17:31; 1 Pet 1:16; Rom 6:23; Psalm 50:4). God is Holy He punishes sin. We must give people a thorough grounding in the character of God as the self-sufficient Creator as part of our basic gospel. Second, the message has to reveal man’s sinful condition (Acts 17:30; Rom 3:10-12, 23). Third, the message has to declare Christ as savior and Lord (Acts 2:38; 5:31; 17:30). Fourth, the message has to call sinners to repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 3:9; 9:42; 10:43; 11:18; 20:21; 26:20; 2 Cor 7:10-11; 1 Thess 1:9-10).[3] However, anyone who makes the gospel sophisticated and abstract is not making a New Testament proclamation but is trusting in human understanding and his own wisdom (1 Cor 2:4-5).[4]

A Response to the Proclamation of the Gospel

Evangelism involves a response to the proclamation of the gospel. Many times witnessing fall short in the process simply because people are not asked to respond to the message. Asking people to surrender to God and His appointed Savior is one of the steps of witnessing. Unbelievers may heard the gospel news but they perhaps never been told to take a further step in believing and trusting in Christ in a personal level. Witnessing sometimes seen to be more generalized than specific. Believers may fall in arguments and debates with unbelievers, they may tell unbelievers to trust in Jesus but was not in a personal level.

Telling the unchurched about Jesus Christ, his deity, his death, his resurrection and our separation from him is not the final step. These are theological facts that describe every one of us, and require more than a mere nod of the head in response. In fact, they demand a response that involves a change of mind about how we view sin and a determination to turn to God.[5]

This point serve as a bridge to the last point which is seeing people trust in the Lord bring joy to the hearts of believers.

Delight in Seeing People Come to Christ

Evangelism involves a sincere joy and delight in seeing people come to Christ.  Because it is their burden and passion, the church rejoices as men and women come to faith in Christ. The congregation has to sense the excitement of evangelism. “Evangelism is proclaiming the good news. It is action, not just an idea, thought, prayer, something we do. This is the function the church was established to fulfill in the world. Believers were brought in to be edified, and sent out to evangelism.”[6]

Strategic Evangelistic Plans

Up to this point the paper talked about what evangelism involves. Now, here is some ways to encourage and involve the congregation in evangelism. First, enlist the evangelists. Identify, equip, enable, and mobilize evangelists in the church. Train up one man to oversee this area. Train up the evangelist (Eph 4), because with no leader, there is no ministry. Second, plan strategic outreach, not every opportunity is a good opportunity. Investigate; match giftedness with opportunities. The church is called to preach the gospel not just do social projects; the church has to make Christ clear. Third, make use of baptism services. In the New Testament baptism intended to be a public celebration. Believers use to be persecuted for doing such act (1 Pet 3:13-22). This is an opportunity for the body to be encouraged. Sinners are confronted with a changed life as an evangelistic service. Celebrate those who are making the effort, and use them to exhort the others. Fourth, interview believers, in order to, understand their fears and barriers for not witnessing. Fifth, provide resources to be used from the congregation as evangelistic tools. Provide Bibles, tapes, fundamentals of the Faith books or booklets. Sixth, establish a training ministry. A training ministry is intended to help believers memorize verses from the Bible. It also must help believers become flexible and sensitive to the needs of the moments.[7]

Conclusion

D.L. Moody made a covenant with God that he would witness for Christ to at least one person each day. One night, about ten o’clock, he realized that he had not yet witnessed; so he went out in to the street and spoke to a man standing by a lamppost, asking him, “Are you a Christian?” The man flew into a violent rage and threatened to knock Moody into the gutter. Later, that same man went to an elder in the church and complained that Moody was “doing more harm in Chicago than ten men were doing good.” The elder begged Moody to temper his zeal with knowledge. Three months later, Moody was awakened at the YMCA by a man knocking at the door. It was the man he had witnessed to. “I want to talk to you about my soul,” he said to Moody. He apologized for the way he had treated Moody and said that he had had no peace ever since that night on Lake Street when Moody witnessed to him. Moody led the man to Christ and he became a zealous worker in the Sunday school.[8]

This story is about the Billy Graham of the 19th century as once heard. It is simple yet genuine. It express who Moody had the sensitivity to this lost world, the desire to proclaim the message of the gospel, the clear and plain presentation of the gospel, and the response to the proclamation of the gospel, and lastly the delight in seeing people to come to Christ in a personal level.

Paul said one time to Timothy his son, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their won desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Coleman, Robert E. The Master Plan of Evangelism. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 1993.

Grudem, Wayne. “1 Peter,” In The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Vol. 17. Grand Rapid, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1988.

Metzger, Will. Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole person by Whole People. Revised and Expanded. Study Guide Included. 3rd Ed. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Books, 2002.

Mounce William D. Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.

Stitzinger, Jim, III. “The Way of Salvation: Man-Centered vs. God-Centered Evangelism,” Shepherd’s Conference notes 2005, Grace Community Church, Internet. 2005. Available: http://audio.gracechurch.org/sc/2005notes/StitzingerWayofSalvation.pdf. Accessed October 27, 2007.

__________. “Neighborhood Watch: Methods for Doing Ministry in Your Community,” In the Shepherd’s Conference notes 2007, Grace Community Church, Internet. 2007. Available: http://audio.gracechurch.org/sc/2007notes/Johnson,%20Neighborhood%20Watch.pdf. Accessed October 25, 2007.

Warren, Rick. The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without compromising Your Message and Mission. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995.

Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life. NavPress, 1991.

Wiersbe, Warren. The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984.

Witmer, John A. “Romans.” In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, 435-503. Wheaton: Victor, 1983.

Footnotes:

___________________________________________________________________

[1]Jim Stitzinger III, “Neighborhood Watch: Methods for Doing Ministry in Your Community,” In the Shepherd’s Conference notes 2007, Grace Community Church, Internet. 2007. Available: http://audio.gracechurch.org/sc/2007notes/Johnson,%20Neighborhood%20Watch.pdf. Accessed October 25, 2007.

[2]Wayne Grudem, “1 Peter,” In the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 17. (Grand Rapid, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1988), 90-91.

[3]Paul E. Little, How to Give Away Your Faith, (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Books, 2006) 115-16. Paul give different kind of patterns to give away the gospel message I like this pattern however you consult Paul’s book and read the many patterns that he lists, pp.104-123.

[4]Ibid. p.105.

[5]Ibid. p.112.

[6]Stitzinger, “The Way of Salvation: Man-Centered vs. God-Centered Evangelism,” Shepherd’s Conference notes 2005, Grace Community Church, Internet. 2005. Available: http://audio.gracechurch.org/sc/2005notes/StitzingerWayofSalvation.pdf. Accessed October 27, 2007.

[7]Ibid. Stitzinger, Neighborhood Watch, pp.13-14.

[8]Warren Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984) 205.

Introduction

Persecution is the act of rejection, hatred, and social and physical harm from people of this world to those who live and serve Christ and preach His gospel.

The Scripture is filled with passages that confirm my definition of persecution for example:

2 Timothy 3:12 “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

These words are a reminder to every Christians that they will face opposition for devotion to Christ. As Christ said to His disciples in

John 15:18-20 ” 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

Acts 14:21b-22 “Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.”

Persecution comes in different shapes, and degrees, and they come from different people. The early church was faced with different shapes of persecution. Some times they faced individual persecution, other times they faces persecution from the Jewish nation, the Roman government, and still other times they were faced with organized persecution especially in the life of Paul.

As Hiebert says, “Persecution “may vary in degree and take different forms in different countries and in different ages, but the basic hostility of the world to the godly man remains unchanged.”

Thus persecution is part of the church throughout it’s history. In reality persecution is the church fuel. Without it the church would not probably grow as it had grown or spread.

Many of the disciples and apostles of Christ were persecuted intensely. Fox’s Book of Martyrs writes about the death of the early church disciples. For example:

  • Stephen was cast out of the city and stoned to death
  • James the son of Zebedee 10 years later (A.D. 44) was executed by Herod Agrippa as a favor to the Jews
  • Philip was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterward crucified A.D. 54
  • Matthew was slain by a sword in A.D. 60
  • James the half brother of Jesus was beaten and stoned by the Jews at age ninety-four and finally had his brain dashed out with a fuller’s club
  • Matthias was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded
  • Andrew was taken and crucified on a cross, the tow ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground.
  • Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria at the great Solemnity of Serapis their idol.
  • Peter was crucified with his head downward, at his own request
  • Paul was arrested by Nero and beheaded
  • Jude was crucified A.D. 72
  • Bartholomew was at length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters
  • Thomas was martyred by being thrust through with a spear
  • Luke was hanged on an olive tree, by the idolatrous priests of Greece
  • Simon was crucified
  • John was exiled to the island of Betimes

Today I want us to think of persecution from a biblical perspective giving that persecution is part of the Christian life. Thus we will be looking at seven reminders from the Scripture to help us keep a biblical perspective as we go through trials, persecution, and suffer for the name of Christ.

1. God Appoint certain people to be persecuted.

Acts 9:10-15 “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.  10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.  11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”  15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

2. God promised to be with us.

Matthew 28:20 “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

3. God gives sufficient grace in the midst of persecution, trials, and suffering so that we would endure it.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

4. God is still Sovereign in the midst of persecution

Psalm 115:3 “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”

Psalm 135:6 “The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.”

Psalm 47:1-4 “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. 2 For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth. 3 He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

5. God will not allow anything in our lives that He knows we will not be able to endure.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ” No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

6. God will allow nothing to separate us from the love of Christ.

Romans 8:35-39 “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

7. Our Savior, king, and redeemer Jesus Christ is worthy of our dedication and suffering for Him because He suffered and died for us.

Revelation 5:8-14 “8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll

and to open its seals,

because you were slain,

and with your blood you purchased for God

persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.

10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,

and they will reign[b] on the earth.”

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,

to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength

and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

be praise and honor and glory and power,

for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Philippians 3:7-8  “7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”

These class notes, audio and video files of Wayne Johnston‘s series on Parenting According to the Bible are excellent teaching on the subject of parenting. If you desire as parents to follow what the Scripture says these classes will be a great start. Wayne Johnston is certified biblical counselor by NANC association. He will be a wonderful teacher to teach about parenting.

Date Video Class Audio Class Notes
1-9-2005 Teaching and Training (Part 1) MP3 Notes
1-16-2005 Teaching and Training (Part 2) MP3 Notes
1-23-2005 Love (Part 1) MP3 Notes
1-30-2005 Love (Part 2) MP3 Notes
2-6-2004 Discipline (Part 1) MP3 Notes
2-13-2005 Discipline (Part 2) MP3 None
4-3-2005 Communication and Parenting: Part 1 MP3 None
4-10-2005 Communication and Parenting: Part 2 MP3 None
4-17-2005 What is God Looking for in my Children: Part 1 MP3 None
4-24-2005 What is God Looking for in my Children: Part 2 MP3 None
5-1-2005 Other Parenting Issues MP3 None
5-8-2005 The Place of the Word of God in Parenting MP3 None
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