Sunday School Lessons

Why we do and why we don’t…

There are basic topics that every Christian should know and understand. These deal with the corporate as well as the individual when it comes to Christianity. These fundamentals of the faith are all things we will stand in account for. By that same token, as teachers we need to be sure that those under our charge have been taught these principles. Each one of these topics have dozens of verses and should be understood thoroughly. What is listed below is a sample for each with each easily becoming a lesson of its own. MOST false doctrines wrongfully divide the truth of the topics below… it is important that you understand them so that you are well grounded in the faith and able to expound them to your students.

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Getting Saved

Synonymous with salvation is being born again or getting saved. Often times we call it accepting Christ as your personal saviour. Any way you say it, salvation is where you recognize that your sins are against God, and you ask God to save you. This decision leads to a physical transformation that seals you until the day of redemption.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

John14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Baptism

Baptism is an outward demonstration of an inward change. It is not part of salvation as an event, but should follow salvation as an picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the event where he died for your sins.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

The Church

The Church is a God ordained entity where His people gather to sacrifice and commune. The body fitly joined together allows for the needs of the body to be met by the several talents of its members.

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Coming to Church

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

Communion

This is an ordinance of the New Testament Church whereby we take time to Remember what Christ did for us as well as take time to examine ourselves.

1 Corinthians 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Tithe

This ordinance of the Church is where you give back to God a portion of what He has given to you. This is what supports the Church, pays salaries, utilities and bills and the different ministries.

Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

The Word of God

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

John 21:24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Psalms 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Church Roles

So that the Church can work together God placed offices with people called to those positions. These talents are specific to a task so that the Church can grow in faith and knowledge.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

These positions are not to be taken lightly. While they are positions of leadership and authority, they also carry with them an awesome burden:

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Pastor or Bishop

The office of a pastor means to be “among the people”. It is not a position that

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Deacon

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Teacher and Elder

To be honest, there are not a lot of good things said about teachers in the Scriptures. Of all the positions this one perhaps holds some of the greatest responsibility, and something not to be taken lightly. We can learn much from those who used the office of a teacher to corrupt. I can not stress this enough: you must learn to use God’s word to discern truth from lies and not follow false teachers.

Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Evangelist

This is a position through a local Church whereby you go out into the world to see people saved, and bring them into the body of the local Church. This person is well trained in doctrine and presentation of the Word of God.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The Individual

Covering of head

1 Corinthians 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Wearing Modest Clothes

1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Piercing, Tattoos & Cutting of the Flesh

Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 21:5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Deuteronomy 14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

1 Kings 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

Corrupt Communication

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Drinking Wine

Proverbs 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Isaiah 5:11  Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

Leviticus 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;

Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Ministering

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.

15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

Other Topics

Speaking in tongues

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

Once Saved always Saved (Eternal Security)

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The Law and Today

Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

New Testament Sacrifices

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Music

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Prayer

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Homosexuality

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

One of the lost doctrines in the Modern Church is that we are physically transformed when we get saved. It not JUST some spiritual decision, if is a transformation. Without this realization there is little desire to allow God to change our lives, because many make a profession out of guilt rather than grace. It is this that leads people to make a profession and not a change in position, Christianity becomes nothing more than a club that you join to sear your conscious and justify our sins.

A Change that Needs to Take Place

Ephesians 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

Paul is speaking to saved people early in the Church that are just adding to their daily existence without removing the things of the world…

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

(This is the point when you decide which way to go…)

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Part of why the world does not take Christians seriously, is because Christians don’t take it seriously.

We should PUT OFF

Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

We should PUT ON

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

When you get Saved there are some NEW things you get…

  • A New Name

Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

  • A New Nature

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

(David and Daniel called this an Excellent Spirit)

The OLD nature likes: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth, lying…

  • A New Heart and Spirit

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

  • A New Song

Psalm 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

The Transformation

If we truly get saved we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Literally having God with us all the time. So many fight against the still small voice because they never desired a change, they just desired to get rid of their guilt. It would be good if we show salvation as it truly is, not just a way to go to Heaven, but a transformation whereby we are a New Creature… old things are passed away… all things become new.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

This verse MUST be put into context. This is one of those verses that people mis-quote and stick on tshirts and plaques on the wall, with never really understanding the importance of what Jesus is trying to convey. 

In this verse Jesus was referring to Himself as He was going to lay down His life for the sins of mankind…

— however, this has some conditions.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus Continues in John 15 to identify who is His friend…

John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

IF…

This sacrifice (laying down His life) that Jesus is WILLING to give is conditional… the whosoever (John 3:16) is the friend that Jesus is talking about. This teaching that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and as a result the penalty of sin has been removed (fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man) is a false teaching.

God LOVED the world so much that He gave His only Son… that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH… would receive the gift and be a friend of Jesus…

But it goes further…

Note the stipulation when you take this in context: John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

This isn’t some circular reasoning. The commandment that God, through Jesus commands is basically… get saved, and love one another.

Back to our Base Text…

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

This is why the Word of God is so important. There’s no mystery, God provided everything we need to know in His word. He has made known everything we need. As such we are not kept from the information, like a servant would be; but the truth is shared with us.. like a friend would receive.

Jesus wants to be your friend. A friend of Jesus is someone who follows His commandments… that commandment is basically… Get Saved. (And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another)

The opposite of this is just as true

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Society today has come to the point that it does not take Christians seriously. This is because many Christians don’t take the word of God seriously. How can we effect a world with the change that the Bible speaks about, if we don’t allow it to effect us, first.

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

??? What are some spiritual sacrifices someone might offer up to God?

  • Name something that can be: spent, haggled for, bargained with, wasted, squandered, and redeemed and even sacrificed… but you can never get any more than you have? (answer: time)
  • Remember a sacrifice must cost you something… and be acceptable to God

What do you have that you can offer up to God? That will be acceptable?

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Today’s modern Church wants to tell God what HE should accept for a sacrifice…

Hebrews 11:4a By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,…

A Testimony of having an effect

Philemon 1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Effectual

The term effectual is a noun and a verb. It means that something not only had an effect but also the act of having an effect. (Life changing)

Paul could see that when people spoke to each other about the testimony of the people that were meeting at Philemon’s house that it was having an effect on their lives. That their testimony was challenging them to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.

If you examine the passage carefully you will note that Paul was not addressing what the this group at Philemon’s house was saying to the world (the witness)… but rather what the world was saying about the church at Philemon’s house. (their testimony!)

  • People today need to see our testimony, the need to see Jesus Christ in us.

An Effectual testimony, lifts up Christ

6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Note again: what was causing this effect was the testimony of this church that was causing a communication. People saw all their good works and it got them talking.

What about you? What is your testimony? Do the people around you see you as a Christian?

Do you even know the difference? Because those watching your testimony DOES.

God can do something special when you do it together

  • We are His hands, feet and voice

Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

What is the value of your sacrifice?

If I were to offer up $100 to each person in here that genuinely wanted to:

  • Come to church
  • Dress in a manner honorable to God
  • Act in a way honorable to God
  • Memorize just one verse a week (not just 3 minutes before quoting it) Thy Word have it hid in my heart… not head…
  • Bring your Bible
  • Bring a visitor

Is that worth $100? Or is that your “reasonable sacrifice?”

But like Cain some look at that and offer up the worldly effort and dare God not to accept it.

Like some arrogant gansta you pull out your own $100 just so you don’t have to go by God’s terms… but your own.

Even to the point that this effort isn’t WORTHY of your sacrifice…

These are the efforts that the world sees (our testimony), Is your sacrifice something that will have an effectual testimony? When people see YOUR faith… will it change peoples lives?

 

Exodus 11:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.

2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold.

3 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people.

4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

There is or SHOULD BE a clear difference between holy and unholy, clean and unclean. There should never be a question from the lost world about the fact that God is clean and Holy and His children are also clean and holy! The lost world knows drinking, smoking, tattoos, piercings, cuttings and branding are wrong, but they don’t need to justify it. Yet it seems that those who call themselves Christian constantly seek to bring those things into our life and body and then search the scriptures to try and justify their actions.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Moreover we see this account of the last plague as a clear picture of the condition of the world in sin and God’s people living under the bondage thereof. The shed blood and the passing over of God’s judgement is a great illustration of the blood of Jesus, the choice of obedience, and the rapture of the church.

The Passover

Exodus 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

The Picture of Salvation

This account and many others paint a great picture of salvation.

First in that God always made a way… but just one.

  • Adam – Don’t eat the tree
  • Noah – Get on the boat
  • Moses – Apply the blood to the door posts

All the way through to today:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

  • Jesus is the lamb that is pictured in the old testament:

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

The Exodus

Exodus 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.

33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.

Rapture

Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.

  • We are to be ready to get our of Egypt (always a picture of the world)

Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

I am not a proponent of pre-made Sunday School lessons. However, planning out the year of the major topics of things you want your class to learn is just wise. Especially when you take that topic to God and allow Him to show you things in the scriptures that will prepare you, that’s a double win. Too often churches get bigger and people get lazy so they switch to premade lessons… the end result is lessons that contain no Spirit lead information. It’s no better than looking it up online and just reading it. Information is NOT knowledge. It is our responsibility as teachers to impart knowledge.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

January – Self Examination and Things New

Examples:

  • Self Examination
  • New Creature
  • New Song
  • New Man

Example Verses:

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Psalms 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

February – Love

Examples:

  • For God so Loved (love in action)
  • Love Not… (world)
  • Love my commandments
  • Love one another

Example Verses:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

March – Morals

  • Stealing (things, time, value)
  • Lying (to God and others)
  • Corrupt communication
  • What is Sin and how does God see it

Example Verses:

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

April – Heroes of the Faith

Examples:

  • Jesus
  • Abraham
  • Jonah
  • Job
  • Noah
  • Moses

Example Verses:

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Hebrews 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

May – Memorial/ Service

Examples:

  • Memorial Day (greater love)
  • Christian Service
  • Memorials in the Bible (Marking where God has shown you something)
  • Setting the Example for others

Example Verses:

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Matthew 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

June – Fundamental Basic Doctrine

Examples:

  • Salvation
  • Baptism
  • Lords Supper
  • Tithe
  • Missions
  • Faith
  • How to Pray

Example Verses:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

July – More Advanced Doctrine

(should be taught from a definition point)

Examples:

  • What is prophecy and what makes it a prophecy
  • Virgin Birth
  • Rapture
  • Judgement Seat of Christ
  • Marriage Supper
  • 2nd Coming of Christ
  • Calvary

Example Verses:

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

August – Obedience

Examples:

  • To God
  • To Parents
  • To Government
  • Servant/Master

Example Verses:

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Ephesians 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

September – Character Traits

(fruits of the spirit) Taught from a positive point

Examples:

  • Honesty
  • Good Testimony
  • Integrity (keeping your word)
  • Leadership
  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • Generosity
  • Patriotism
  • Citizenship
  • Personal responsibility

Example Verses:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Philemon 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

October – Harvest

Examples:

  • Missions
  • Salvation
  • Doctrine and Mechanics of Giving
  • Witnessing
  • Testimony (You can reach those we cant)
  • Different Ministries Represented (Bring in a bus captain, Sunday school teacher, former pastor, missionary)

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

November – How to be a Christian

(designed to take what has been taught so far and put it in action)

Examples:

  • Reason for rules
  • Etiquette in Church
  • The House of God
  • Music, Television, Social Media
  • Thanksgiving
  • How to Pray

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

December – End of Year Wrap-up and Holiday Related

Examples:

  • Birth of Christ
  • Wise men still seek Him
  • Tender time for witnessing
  • Good and perfect gift

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.


Any sermon you wanted to get to but didn’t have time…

  • Rebellion
  • Law vs. Faith
  • Mysteries in the Bible
  • Role of a pastor
  • Work ethic
  • Feeding the 5000
  • Having an Effect in this world
  • The Hand of God

The King James Bible is a book that God provided, that was written over a 1500 year span where God used 40 men of God to write down God’s words from Shepherds to Kings across three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe) in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) and translated for the English speaking people to a point of perfection in circa 1611 with no errors and no contradictions.

There is no book in history that has ever came close to meeting any criteria that the King James Bible can stand upon.

It is important to recognize that God Himself pinned the scriptures so we can learn about Him, and about ourselves.

We Teach What We Have Learned

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

It is important to recognize here the importance of the local church and the importance of Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists. God uses these individuals to help teach and administer the scriptures to our benefit. As such we see Paul telling Timothy to remember whom he has learned the scriptures from. It is also important to identify how important it is to make sure that those you choose to gain knowledge from, preach and teach it straight.

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

It is important to teach children to love the book. To understand how to rightly divide the word and how to discern truth when it is provided. As such we can help parents help their children to grown in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

How the Bible is Written: (Inspiration)

The Method

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Practical exercise:

Find someone to write down a verse or statement exactly as its said:

(Example) Write Down – Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

  • Now who wrote it?
  • Who Authored it?

Now have another student copy the words from one paper to another exactly.

  • That is a Scribe – and how God spread the written word abroad.

Now hold up both… Which one is the Word of God?

Now if someone wrote this from English to Spanish – it is Translated.

This is the method that God used to write and spread the word of God.

The Purpose

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Profitable: For our benefit.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Doctrine: Principle, a position or truth.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Reproof: Is Blame – To take responsibility for your actions

This has so much truth as reproof in today’s society has been removed. We need to know and grow from our mistakes. We often deny them, ignore them or blame others rather than acknowledging them.

Proverbs 15:31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

NOTE: We can not seek correction without reproof.

Correction: To right those things that are wrong; the physical change after reproof (false doctrine, world’s information)

Proverbs 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

Instruction in Righteousness

2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

That we may be perfect

Throughly: Complete to the end. This is a correct spelling. Some modern publishers change this to thoroughly, so let me show you the difference. If you wash the dishes thoroughly, they are clean (or should be). However, they will get dirty again. Throughly means that they will be clean again and again until Jesus comes.

Furnished: Have every thing you need provided

Good Works: What we do to show what God has done for us.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Let’s break that down:

God will furnish everything that we need through the word of God until He comes for His Church so that we may be perfect before him.

I recall sitting with my Father and listening to him tell a story and ask him how I might be a good storyteller, he replied; all you need to do is place yourself in the story, then tell others what you see. As a youth I used this storyteller mindset in my school papers writing in such a way that allowed my teachers to participate with me in the story. I found that when I added the three S’s that it added substance to my stories. Those three S’s are Sight, Sound and Smell.

This inside out viewpoint was the method I used as I began in areas of ministry. I tried to stand on the boat next to the sailors looking at Jonah, I was sitting on a bale of hay when David was in the lion’s den, I was the standing in the corner of the pool when the Jesus made the lame to walk; then I wrote what I saw, heard and smelled. My goal was to have people experience the scriptures with me.

Character Study

Part of having someone experience the scriptures, either in written or speech format, you will benefit from studying the people that make up the story or account. The more you know about them, the more you can better relate to them.

Character method of Bible study is simply: putting yourself in their shoes. By looking at the different people in the Bible, their reactions, successes, and failures; you can truly get into the heart of the passage. There is 2 main ways to use the character study:

  • The Personage: looking at the character specifically by name, their history, position, responsibility, ect.
  • The Nature: looking at the nature, attitude, personality, character attributes.

It might not even be the major characters as you might need to see it from a different perspective to truly experience it. My favorite example is the sailors on the ship in the account of Jonah. Looking at what is going on from their perspective allows you to see that decisions have consequences… all decisions. These sailors lost nearly everything, all because of the transgress of one.

Set the Scene

Before jumping into the moral of the story, set the scene, and let people look around with you. Was it hot or cold? Rain or sunny? Day or night? Was it loud with the crowd shouting or whispers of murmuring? Did it smell like flowers on a spring day or the smell of pigs in the trough. How were they dressed? You see the more info you can provide to set the scene, the better your audience will be able to relate to it.

4D Experience

When you can bring in a physical element or demonstration you can tap into the other senses to establish a lasting memory or impression. Some of my more powerful sermons and presentations was where I was able to take a verbal description and add physical elements to it. I once preached the account of Jonah with the light off and the Sanctuary lit by lanterns. I had the sound system playing storm sounds and creaking of the ship, a strobe for lightening, rotten fish smell blown from a fan… then I walked up and down the isles with a spray bottle of water. Eleven people were saved that night in that little church. By placing them in the sermon through a physical setting it takes the message to a whole new level where they can set aside misconceptions to see and feel the experience of the scriptures.

An additional sermon example was to have children’s church separated into groups with each group having a responsibility. The sermon was the disciples in the storm, a row of kids lined up as the disciples rowing, another group with metal chairs was the thunder and another was the sounds of the waves and water.

Other examples might include images, measuring tape to show scale, science experiments and other visual props to provide an audio/visual experience that will allow the mind to recall the sermon more clearly because they feel like they were “involved” in it.

Not Causing a Distraction.

It is important to note that a physical demonstration, activity, or description can cause more of a distraction than adding charcter to the sermon. I must insist this mindset through experience that it must be Lord led, and well thought out and even rehearsed before you present it to God’s people. Sometimes I had what “I” thought was a great idea, but in practice or application; it created more of a distraction where people were more interested in the experience, they did not hear the message. It should also be done occasionally, so that it is something special, not normal. By having a balance that God can use for His glory, this method can see greater fruit in your ministry.

Experiencing the Scriptures in your Own Life

The Bible is written in such a way that it helps set the scene so that you can better understand and experience it. However, you must read it as such. To read the Bible just to read it you lose the message that the Lord wants you to understand. Slowing down and looking at the scriptures with empathy will help you understand how the man that fell among the thieves felt laying in the ditch, stripped of his clothes and left half dead. How you might feel with your outstretched hand as those who could help walked by; and the last person you’d ever want to help picked you up and took care of you.

Even the Book of Revelation is written from the point of view of a man placed in heaven, and simply described what he saw and wrote it down.

Like my Father said… place yourself in the story, then look around and tell others what you see. The mind’s eye can be used by the Holy Spirit to allow you to see, hear and smell details that will help you understand the scriptures better.  

Numbers 27:15 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying,

16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

This passage is speaking about when Joshua was called and anointed to be the leadership of the children of Israel and lead them into the promised land. In our illustration we will use it as a launching pad for the needs of a Pastor, to be allowed to be the leader and voice of God for the management of the congregation, and gathering people into it. 

As a leader, a called Pastor was to be the voice of God, whom God would use to see His will done through His people.

Today, in the modern church, we have a Pastor; anointed by God to lead a local congregation. This leadership goes with a charge go into the highways and hedges to bring them in (the lost) into the fold (church) so they are no longer without guidance and leadership.

I would note that this is becoming more of a challenge each day and year as the sheep are finding other spirits to lead them. Now we are not the only voice speaking, or even at times the loudest one. Competition with the souls of this world is fierce, if we do not recognize this challenge the we are doomed to fall short in our local churches and ministries.

The Spirit of this world

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This worldly spirit produces works of the flesh:

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

These works of the flesh draw people to them, sometimes because God’s people are more concerned with what happens inside the church building, that the fields we were called to harvest.

The world is lost like sheep without a Shepherd

The world is often identified as sheep, and God makes this comparison wisely, and accurately.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The rebellious nature in society today is such a powerful force. It has made it fashionable to be rebellious. In fact all anyone needs to do lately is make a stand for something, and the world will rally in rebellion against it. This passage says “we have turned everyone to his own way”, simply not God’s way. From a child we see untamed rebellion being nurtured by society with this: you can be whatever you want to be or identify as, mentality. It screams Romans chapter 1:

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

In the absence of the truth the world will LISTEN TO WHOEVER IS SPEAKING, and take it as the truth.

A local Pastor is the Shepherd that God set to help bring them in

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

The voice of the church in the community MUST be the voice of truth, available and ready. With as many churches we have in this country, if we were to stand behind a singular voice and a singular message, delivered by faithful men of God; more concerned about souls rather than the size of the building they preach in… we would begin to see the world’s spirits to be nothing more than a tempting whisper to those who are rebellious or weak.

However, we hid the gospel behind closed doors.

2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

It is time to come out from withing the walls of the church and go into the highyays and hedges and compel them to come in.

Stop undermining the authority of the Pastor

Part of this rebellious mindset is to look at the Pastor of the local church as more of a moral position rather that a spiritual leader. Placing ourselves under the leadership of the local Pastor is part of God’s organization of the church.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

We need to find those lost sheep and bring them in

Everyone has a friend, neighbor or family member that is lost without Jesus. God’s desire is that we bring them in to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and become saved. We are the outreach of the Pastor, his extension from the pulpit to the community.

Essentially, God speaks through the Pastor, the Pastor speaks through us.  

When we are faithful to God’s method we can receive God’s message. We then take this message to the community to be the voice that is more powerful than the voice of the world. We can then bring them in, see them saved, disciples and sent out to bring MORE in…

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This is one of those verses that you often see on a coffee cup, or on a t-shirt in a Christian book store. Which is fine, providing we understand the context of the verse.

The verse is in 3 save 4 parts and we will dissect them to be sure we have the correct understanding of this verse, and hopefully the Lord will speak to your hearts today.

  1. Romans 8:28a And we know that all things work together for good…

Too often this is where the verse stops. A statement with no understanding where people look at bad circumstances in their lives and then try to find the silver lining.

Another verse that people often use at the end of a bad day is:

Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

To somehow sound more spiritual, when in truth… we are not promised that our day will be a great day…

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

  1. Romans 8:28b… to them that love God…

In order for the first part of this verse to have any relevance… you must apply the second part: ye must be saved.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

God has no responsibility to bless those who are not saved. Anymore than I have a responsibility to the neighbors kids.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

  1. What am I doing with God?

Romans 8:28c… to them who are the called according to his purpose…

There is a point in your life that, if you are allowing God to work in your life; that you will make choices based of Godly principles rather on the circumstances of the moment.

Examples might be:

  • Reading your Bible because you want to vs being told to.
  • Rearranging your schedule to consistently read your Bible.
  • Coming to Church because you desire to be here to see what God has in store, rather than coming to play.
  • Learning the Bible verses and songs because it is a desire of your heart, not a motivation of the flesh. (motivation of the flesh is seeking a reward for doing what is right)
  • Allowing your testimony to be such that you never have to tell someone you are a Christian. The way you talk and the way you act tells everyone you are a child of God.

One simple verse with a meaning that is stacked…

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

That God will use the circumstances that life puts us through, as Christians; to allow us to have a greater testimony of what he’s done for you.

Example:

  • God allowed my wife to have cancer. At the time it was hard to say that all things work together for good… however, now that we look back we can see:

For the first time in all the years she had been saved, she began to share the Gospel with other women there at the Markey Cancer Center. She was able to lead many women to the Lord who were in the same circumstances she was in, yet without hope. Afterwards she started teaching in Sunday School, helping is different ministries, teaching in a Christian school; the list goes on. God was able to take a bad situation and use it for His glory; making something great out of it.