Guide Making God Known How to Bring Others to Faith

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The arrows show our efforts to reach God But the problem is that none of these good efforts actually cover up our sin or remove it. Our sin is known by God and stands as a barrier between us and God. Further, the Bible says that the penalty for sin is death. We would be eternally separated from God. Principle Three: Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin for us.

He now offers us complete forgiveness and a close relationship with him.

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Jesus Christ took all of our sins, suffered and paid for them with his life on the cross. Jesus died for us, in our place. He did this out of his tremendous love for us. Jesus not only died for our sin, but after this death on the cross, he physically came back to life three days later, just as he said he would. This was final proof that everything Jesus said about himself was true. To know him was to know God; to love him was to love God. Jesus said he could answer prayer, forgive sin, judge the world, give us eternal life. His countless miracles supported his words.

Instead of trying to reach God, he tells us how we can begin a relationship with him right now. And he now invites us to come to him, that we might begin a personal relationship with God. Just knowing what Jesus has done for us and what he is offering us is not enough. To have a relationship with God, we need to welcome him into our life…. We accept Jesus by faith.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Accepting Jesus means believing that Jesus is the Son of God, then inviting him to guide and direct our lives. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in. Self-Directed Life. Self is on the throne. Jesus is outside the life. Separated from God, life can often result in discord and frustration. Christ-Directed Life. Jesus is in the life and on the throne. Self has a relationship with God. You can receive Christ right now.

The precise words you use to commit yourself to God are not important. He knows the intentions of your heart. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians Most of the great heroes of the Bible share two things in common: they all wore sandals, and they were all required to persevere in their faith, though final victory was often years in the future. We, too—no matter how many setbacks we encounter—must never waiver in our belief that God can make us holy, and, if we persevere, will ultimately lead us in triumph.

Every disciple is willing to trust God for victory over sin at least once. The problem is when the war turns into Vietnam, with infrequent victories, heavy losses, and no foreseeable exit strategy. It is at this juncture that they need to know that faith is a long-term struggle and holiness a lifelong battle. Point to the many battles of faith in scripture fought and won over years, and not days. Show them how the Promised Land was taken one battle at a time. When victory is elusive they will need someone to help make sense of it and prepare them for the long war.

Hebrews 6:4-6 - Falling Away from the Faith

Without a proper perspective, they may resolve the conflict with a ceasefire, and an acceptance of behavior far from godliness. Help them persevere in the battle believing God will, in time, bring victory. Here is another truth into which faith must sink its teeth: we must choose to believe that our temptations and struggles are not unique and therefore never insurmountable, unfixable, or unforgivable.

It is a lie to believe that any temptation is irresistible, or that we are unique in any of our struggles. Every disciple is tempted to believe that in some area of their lives, they deviate from the norm. Satan desires for us to feel alone. You might ask your disciples if they have ever felt this way or in what area they tend to think of themselves as having unique trials or temptations.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose Romans The next battle of faith is for all those who have experienced damage in their lives, or within themselves, due to sin. God can take any manure and from it grow a garden, as you participate in this promise by faith. While it may be impossible to imagine how God can bring good out of our train wreck of past and present failures, this is hardly a limiting factor.

Everything in our past can be taken and used for good. And faith is the means by which God enters the equation.

Through the examples of biblical characters such as Peter and Paul, and through examples from your own life, you must help your disciples strap on the shield of faith against the lie that anything in their lives is unredeemable, gratuitous, or random. Now, there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing 2 Timothy Along the bottom of the wall, a worker of this communist country was picking up trash.

I clocked him at one piece of trash a minute, which at that rate would have taken him longer to clear the grounds than it took to build the Great Wall. Where we visited included a maze of concession stands, tons of them—Great Concession stands. Someone told me that those who operated the stands employed principles of the free market, meaning that the more they sold and the more they charged for what they sold, the more they profited. One of the women at the booths actually grabbed my coat and dragged me to her counter.

It would be an understatement to say that it was a motivated workforce. The difference between these two workers was a chasm. One worked like a sluggard because he knew that he would always make the same amount no matter what he did communism.

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The other worker knew that her effort would be rewarded the free market. The doctrine of eternal security that we can never lose our salvation was never meant to negate the teaching of rewards. In many places in the Bible, God makes it clear that our obedience and faithfulness will be rewarded. We are called to exercise faith in future rewards, choosing to believe that our actions or inaction will be compensated.

We are not told what these rewards will be, but simply given the assurance that it will be worth our while. Teaching our disciples to maintain an eternal perspective, or to live for eternity can cultivate their faith toward this truth, provided that our definition of what is eternal encompasses far more than evangelism, for Jesus states that even a cup of water given in his name will not fail to be rewarded.

Adam and Eve became convinced that God was holding out on them. Eating from the tree was in their best interests. When things are going wrong, we justify our sin with self-pity. More innocuously, many of us fall prey to pessimism and distrust that what lies in wait over the time horizon is anything but good, often brought on by a nagging suspi- cion that God never did forget our sin, and payday is right around the bend. Everything God does in our lives is motivated by love, and any minor deconstruction of that truth is a lie that can have serious ramifications.

In helping your disciples with this struggle, you might ask some questions to discover if their mind has a proclivity to move down this path. You might also share in what ways you tend to doubt the goodness of God. Intimacy with Christ is the best answer to any and all doubts of His goodness.

When we feel close to Christ, we sense that He is on our side, and when we feel distant, we come to suspect that He is not. Memorizing scripture is great, but passages of scripture are animated by our intimacy with Christ. In some way we are all victims of identity theft. Having trusted Christ, we are heirs with Christ of all that is in Him. In the movie Cheaper by the Dozen, the youngest child is treated as the family outcast. Over the course of time he begins to believe it, rumors become a lie, and the lie grows in power until he runs away from the family believing he has no place within it.

Our faith in our identity in Christ is absolutely foundational to our lives. Faith is fed by reading the Bible. Commend it to your disciples for daily reading particularly during times of deep trials and temptation when they are most prone to forget who they truly are, and believe things about themselves and God which are not true. Today I deliberately choose to submit myself fully to God as He has made Himself known to me through the Holy Scripture which I honestly accept as the only inspired, infallible, authoritative standard for all life and practice.

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In this day I will not judge God, His work, myself, or others on the basis of feelings or circumstances. ONE I recognize by faith that the triune God is worthy of all honor, praise, and worship as the Creator, Sustainer, and End of all things. I confess that God, as my Creator, made me for Himself.

In this day, I therefore choose to live for Him. Revelation ; Isaiah ,7,21; Revelation THREE I recognize by faith that God has proven His love to me in sending His Son to die in my place, in whom every provision has already been made for my past, present, and future needs through His representative work, and that I have been quickened, raised, seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies, and anointed with the Holy Spirit Romans ; ; Philippians ; ,7,13,19; Ephesians ; ,6; Acts , FOUR I recognize by faith that God has accepted me, since I have received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord John ; Ephesians ; that He has forgiven me Ephesians ; adopted me into His family, assuming every responsibility for me John ,17; Ephesians ; Philippians ; given me eternal life John ; 1 John ; applied the per- fect righteousness of Christ to me so that I am now justified Romans ; ; ; made me complete in Christ Colossians ; and offers Himself to me as my daily sufficiency through prayer and the decisions of faith 1 Corinthians ; Colossians ; Galatians ; John ; Matthew ; Romans ; Hebrews , FIVE I recognize by faith that the Holy Spirit has baptized me into the body of Christ 1 Corinthians ; sealed me Ephesians ; anointed me for life and service Acts ; John ; seeks to lead me into a deeper walk with Jesus Christ John ; ; ; Romans ; and to fill my life with Himself Ephesians I confess that in my salvation my part was only to receive Him and that He dealt with my sin and saved me.

Now I confess that in order to live a holy life, I can only surrender to His will and receive Him as my sanctification; trusting Him to do whatever may be necessary in my life, without and within, so I may be enabled to live today in purity, freedom, rest and power for His glory. All things build upon this. In describing our spiritual armor, Paul uses a helmet to illustrate the truth of our salvation: that which protects the mind, and protects us from a fatal blow. We make it a critical part of basic follow-up, because scripture affirms that it is. Let your disciples doubt that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Let them doubt that the Cubs will ever win a World Series. But, rehearse this with them until that helmet cannot be pried off their head.

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Faith is like a muscle; it grows by lifting weights. Weights are the resistance—the doubts, mental whispers, and circumstances that tell us the opposite of what faith must believe. He is for me. He has a plan. And so all disciples are periodically tossed into a boat and sent out into a raging storm, where God is conspicuous by his absence. We are not trying to rescue our disciples from the situations and circumstances that will cause faith to grow.