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When Problems Multiply

“Our problems multiply as we try to get around God’s truth and God’s way for dealing with our stuff and label our sin as something other than sin. We seek to legitimize it, put a decent face on it, and gain sympathy and understanding from others as a result of it.”

When Problems Multiply


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Please Excuse the Mess

Please excuse the mess while I clean up the blog.  There are too many posts with very little order.  Outdated posts that make no sense today, 6 years later.  News article posts with links that no longer exist. Posts with comments that jump all over the place. Posts I want to revisit after years of growth. Etc. So excuse the mess while I weed through the mess. 😉

Plus I found my theme has been discontinued and has not had the most recent updates to go along with the recent WordPress updates.  Thus the broken links everywhere.

Berean Wife

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Session 5 – The Founding and Founder of the Church – David Miller

Matthew 16:13-18

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

KJV

Ecclesiology – the founding of the church
Christology – the founder of the church

The Founding of the Church – Ecclesia is described three ways in the New Testament.

1. The church is the visible, local body of believers, described using these metaphors:

a. A building

b. A bride

c. A body

2. The church is an institution. In this form it is abstract. But the manifestation of the abstract is only in a local, visible body.

a. Abstract principles, i.e., “the family”, are never taken to mean a universal body. It always refer to an abstract institution that is only manifested in a local, visible way.

3. The church is a broad collection or comprehensive inclusive body which is to be gathered together at a point in time in the future. This church will be local and visible.

The Founder of the Church – three statements regarding the founder of the church:

1. The character of the founder – the Son of the living God

a. Made of the exact same stuff as God the Father

b. Has the exact same characteristics as God the Father

2. The condescension of the founder – the Son of Man

a. Speaks of the humanity of Jesus Christ

3. The Christ

a. God’s anointed one

b. Three classes of men were anointed: prophet, priest, king

i. Prophet – he has a message. Sound in doctrine.

ii. Priest – he has proper credentials.

iii. King – he has a kingdom

Video available at G3 Conference

 


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Session 2 – The Radically Normal Life of the Christian – Tim Challies

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.
7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,
11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,
12 so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

ESV

How do we live out the Christian life on a day-to-day basis? What does it look like in the home? What does it look like in the local home?

We are inundated with books that encourage us to live radical lives. To live crazy lives. These books are trying to meet the need to feel significant, to make a difference. The Bible tells us to be extraordinary. But is also tells us to ordinary, to be normal. What is the ordinary Christian life?

Thessalonica was a big city. It was an important city. It was an immoral city. The Christians ask Paul what it looks like to live as a Christian in such a city. What is Paul’s answer? Does he tell them to sell everything and spend all their time witnessing? Does he tell them to sell everything and live in a cloister? No.

We live with a low-grade guilt that we are not doing enough.

The summary of Paul’s teaching regarding living the Christian life:
1. Be decent
2. Be devoted
3. Be diligent

1. Be decent

a. Be sexually pure. The way we express sexuality tells whether we are following God or following along with the world

i. The culture in Paul’s day was shocking in its sexual immorality

ii. People being saved and coming into the church were bringing this baggage from their old life with them and did not know how to deal with it

b. The commands (vv. 3-5)

i. Negative – abstain from sexual immorality in order to be holy

ii. Positive – control your own body in holiness and honor

1. Self-control – Christians learn to control their desires

iii. Don’t do – Do do. Put off – Put on. Stop and Start. Run away – Run to.

c. The warnings (vv. 6-8)

i. Sexual sin defrauds another person

ii. God is the avenger

1. It cannot be hidden from God

2. God will protect the innocent from the guilty

iii. To ignore the warnings are to ignore God himself

d. What does it not say?

i. It does not say be celibate.

2. Be devoted (vv. 9-10)

a. Contrast is love versus lust.

b. Churches are warned about their lack of love and their loss of love.

c. The church in Thessalonica was exceling in love.

d. Four observations of the love of the Christian

i. Love is taught by God

1. How? By the cross. By the gospel.

ii. The primary object of the Christian’s love is for each other.

1. Love must make us uncomfortable because we must love those who are not like us.

iii. Love extends outward

1. …all the brothers throughout Macedonia.

2. Can the love of your church be gauged by what is said by other churches?

iv. Love is meant to grow.

1. It is a lifetime calling to grow.

2. …more and more.

e. What does Paul not say? Move around the world and love over there. He says love those around you right where you are.

3. Be diligent (vv. 11-12)

a. Aspire to live quietly. Be peaceful. Calm down. Be content to be unremarkable, to be unnoticed. Be normal.

b. Mind your own affairs (business). Don’t be involved in things that are not your concern.

i. Serve with others interest in mind, not your own interests.

c. Work with your own hands. Take care of yourself. Don’t be lazy. Don’t consider work as something beneath you.

This kind of life is to display the power of God to Christians and non-Christians (v.12). Your life will be God-honoring. We are not impressive to others if we are lazy, if we are busybodies, if we are unloving, if we have no self-control. The Lord expects us to live lives as ordinary Christians. Those who are going to live a “radical” life must also be ready to live an “ordinary” life. If we want to see the ultimate example of living this ordinary life, we need look no farther than the Lord Jesus Christ.


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The Sacred Search Couple’s Conversation Guide by Gary Thomas

The Sacred Search Couple’s Conversation Guide by Gary Thomas

Free Kindle book for a limited time. {Today 12/17/13 Kindles are $49}

In this companion resource to The Sacred Search, Gary Thomas helps dating and engaged couples work through the critical issues and questions they must address before they decide to marry. The Sacred Search Couple’s Conversation Guide features 9 sessions of biblical study for couples, as well as a pastor/counselor’s premarital plan for walking a couple through the guide.

The The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not about Who You Marry, But Why? is available for $2.99 for a limited time.  I have read this book and it is one of the better books dealing with dating or courting relationships.  It does not go off into the extremes of patriarchy where the father picks the fellow for his daughter nor does it leave couples floundering around hoping that dating gets them the “perfect” marriage partner.

What if you stopped looking for a “soul mate” and started looking for a “sole mate”—someone who will live out with you the great purpose of God? What if dating isn’t about finding “the one” but making a wise choice so you can better serve the One who loves you most? What if God didn’t design relationships to make you happy but to make you holy?

In The Sacred Search, Gary Thomas will transform the way you look at romantic relationships. Whether you are single, dating, or engaged, Gary’s unique perspective on dating will prepare you for a satisfying, spiritually enriching marriage even before you walk down the aisle. As Gary reminds us, a good marriage is not something you find—it’s something you make.


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A Quest for More by Paul David Tripp

A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You by Paul David Tripp

Free Kindle book for a limited time.

Paul David Tripp expertly traverses the deepest recesses of the human heart and compassionately invites fellow Christian travelers to journey with him into God’s bigger kingdom.

The author promises readers that they will be encouraged, excited, and motivated by hope as they learn how to set aside their “little kingdom” attachments which can expertly masquerade within the church as Christian activism, legalism, emotionalism, formalism, creedalism, and externalism; in favor of God’s expansive and soul-freeing eternal quest. Tripp demonstrates through sound biblical principles how humanity is made by God to transcend far beyond the mere physical realm and is likewise created to be “glory junkies;” those whose visionary lives are governed by God’s grand purposes rather than existing only within their narrow self-interested confines.

Writes the author, “It is a fundamental denial of your humanity to narrow the size of your life to the size of your own existence, because you were created to be an ‘above and more’ being. You were made to be transcendent.” Tripp then shows Christians how to “transcend” through daily, moment-by-moment, practical methodology that transforms individuals into the image of Christ. It is within this purpose-driven framework, this “Quest for More”, that Paul Tripp compels believers to see beyond the worldly deception of personal achievement, success, materialism, in order to break free from this ungodly fulfillment that is too easily satisfied with a mediocre walk with Christ. Instead the author invites committed sojourners to a life characterized by an unyielding passion that pursues God simply for the pleasure of his glorious company and in the process, affect eternal change in a hurting, hopeless world.


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Reimagining Church By Frank Viola

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity By Frank Viola

Free Kindle book for a limited time.

Author Frank Viola gives readers language for all they knew was missing in their modern church experience. He believes that many of today’s congregations have shifted from God’s original intent for the church. As a prominent leader of the house church movement, Frank is at the forefront of a revolution sweeping through the body of Christ. A change that is challenging the spiritual status quo and redefining the very nature of church. A movement inspired by the divine design for authenticity community. A fresh concept rooted in ancient history and in God Himself.

Join Frank as he shares God’s original intent for the church, where the body of Christ is an organic, living, breathing organism. A church that is free of convention, formed by spiritual intimacy, and unbound by four walls.

Pagan Christianity? Frank Viola and George Barna was a book I reviewed back in 2008 when I first started this website.  While I didn’t agree with everything in the book it was a good impetus to go back and see what exactly the Bible does say about church, worship and living as believers.  I’m sure Reimagining Church will be similar with points that line up with Scripture and make you think and points that takes things to far.  But then if you don’t think about these things then you are not truly being Berean (Acts 17:11).


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The Process Is The Point – Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1–3 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

6. Lay aside every weight

Hebrews 12:1 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Notice that weights are different from sins? What might be some weights that hinder us yet it isn’t sin?  They may even be good things that keep us from doing the best things.

What could you streamline?  Hobbies, extra activities, etc.

How can you evaluate things as to being a weight?

1. Glorify God?

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

2. Profitable? or

3. Enslaving?

1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV) “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

4. Cause Others to stumble?

1 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

5. Edify Yourself or others?

1 Corinthians 10:23 (ESV) “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.


See the The Process Is The Point Series


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