Are You Confessing Your Sins? 1 John 1:8 through 2:2

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1 John 1:8-10 (NET) 8 If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

1 John 2:1-2 (NET) 1 (My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, 2 and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.

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Context:

• In the previous passage, John corrected the false teaching that there is no need for a professing Christian to live a life of holiness, in other words, there is no need to walk in the light. Now in this passage John confronts two more false teachings.

Phrases:

If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

• This is the second of three ‘if we say’ statements that John uses in this passage to correct false teachings.

• This phrase, ‘if we say we do not bear the guilt of sin’, or as other English translations say , ‘if we say we have no sin’ means John is correcting those Christians who believe they currently no longer maintain a sin nature and no longer sin. This is the heresy known as perfectionism.

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/heresy-perfectionism/

• Paul also teaches against perfectionism. Romans 7:21 (NET) So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me.

• John goes on to say that the person who says he no longer is in a sinful state or no longer sins is lying to himself and he is void of the truth.

Discussion Question:

• If a professing believer thinks they are perfect, then what does that say about their knowledge of God’s holiness?

• How can thinking you are sinless harden your heart toward the Holy Spirit’s convicting work in your conscience?

But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.

• Above, the false teaching was a person who says he has no sin, but the correct response is not to deny the presence of sin but rather to confess it.

• Though not mentioned, this confession should be with repentance. A person who confesses sins with no intention to change is confessing falsely.

• God is ‘faithful’ to forgive and cleanse us of unrighteousness because of His faithful and reliable nature. God keeps His word.

• God is ‘righteous’ and justified to forgive and cleanse us of unrighteousness because His wrath and judgement on man’s sin has already been executed on His Son.

• Notice the continual nature of the forgiving and cleansing. This is a life long thing, not a one time thing.

Discussion Questions:

• How would explain to a new believer how to confess their sins to God?

• What parallels can be drawn when confessing faults between parents and children and God and His children?

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

• In the previous false teaching, the heresy was the professing Christian believed they were currently sinless. But in this false teaching, John refutes the false teaching that we have never sinned in the past.

• Instead of lying to self as in the last false teaching, here John says the person is lying to God. God knows all of our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. God knows our past sins of commission and past sins of omission.

Discussion Questions:

• Have you ever met a person who proclaimed they have never sinned? What do you think is lacking in their understanding of God’s righteous standard?

(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.)

• This is parenthetical statement because it is between the ‘if we say’ and ‘but’ verses as is the pattern in this passage.

• My little children may mean John is old at the time of this writing or that those he is writing to are his disciples or his spiritual children.

• John provides another purpose for his writing all the things in this letter. He writes to instruct believers not to sin.

But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One-

• Although John writes that believers should not sin, yet he provides hope if anyone does sin.

• The believer’s hope is that Jesus Christ is their advocate before the Father.

• Webster defines advocate as…one who pleads the cause of another; specifically : one who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court.

• Jesus Christ, our advocate, is called the righteous One. It is not a sinful man who pleads our case, but the righteous One. The case that he pleads is we have received His righteousness and He has received our wrath as mentioned next.

• John Gill says beautifully, he allows in court all their sins, with all their aggravated circumstances; nor does he go about to excuse or extenuate them; but he is an advocate for the non-imputation of them, and for the application of pardon to them: he pleads in their favour, that these sins have been laid upon him, and he has bore them; that his blood has been shed for the remission of them, and that he has made full satisfaction for them; and therefore in justice they ought not to be laid to their charge; but that the forgiveness of them should be applied unto them, for the relief and comfort of their burdened and distressed consciences…

Discussion Question:

• How do you feel knowing Jesus Christ is pleading your cause before the Father when you sin?

and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins-

• Keeners Bible background commentary says…an atonement, a way to appease or satisfy the wrath of a God whose standard had been violated; it alludes to the sacrifices offered for atonement in the Old Testament.

and not only for our sins but also for the whole world-

• Meaning Jesus not only died for the sins of His Jewish disciples – see verses 1:1-4, but also for God’s elect throughout the world.

• John 1:29 (NET) On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

• John 17:20-21 (NET) 20 “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, 21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.

Discussion Question:

• Knowing Jesus’ sacrifice was for the world, what do you feel is our responsibility to tell the world of this good news?

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Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.

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Are You Confessing Your Sins?

Bob,

Since the time of Adam’s sin, men are born with a sinful nature. Though you have been redeemed, sin is still present with you.

Resist sin, and walk in the light. Yet if you sin, confess your sins. Confess them quickly and frequently. Don’t let them build up a wall between us. Be transparent. I know all, so there is no need to hide anything. Confess them with repentance. Don’t confess and go right back to it. Fight against it. Forsake it. Flee from it. Walk in the Spirit.

My Son, Jesus, is pleading your case before Me. He has made atonement for you with His life. My wrath is satisfied by His death on the cross for sin. You are forgiven and cleansed.

Go and tell the world the good news of what my Son has done and what He is doing.

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Why Did They Suppress The Truth? Romans 1:18-25

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Romans 1:18-25 (NET) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, 19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

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Phrases:

For

• The word, for, connects this phrase with the last phrase and contrasts two groups of people: those made righteous by faith mentioned in the previous passage and those who practice unrighteousness mentioned in this passage.

the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people-

• In the previous passage, righteousness was revealed in the gospel. In this passage, God‘s wrath is revealed, from heaven, where God abides, against those who do wrong against God and against man.

• The method of God’s wrath in shown below in verse 24.

who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness-

• The motive for suppressing the truth is humanity’s own unrighteousness or sins.

Discussion Question:

• Can you name topics in our culture today where people suppress the truth to do what they want?

because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made –

• The truth they suppress is the knowledge of God revealed clearly by what He made.

• His invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature are clearly seen in creation, such as, His creativity in creating various forms of life and the vastness of the stars in the heavens, His goodness by providing for people and animals, His righteousness in creating moral beings with a conscience, His justice in that people die for their sin.

So people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks-

• Humanity is without excuse because of the witness of creation.

• Through creation they knew God, but they did not give him the grave respect due to the Creator nor give Him thanks for their many provisions.

but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened-

• Their thinking about God was foolish and in error.

• Not taking care of their convictions toward the true God their hearts were darkened.

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools –

• In their own minds they thought they knew how to worship God best, but instead they ignored what they knew from creation and foolishly did what follows:

and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles-

• Instead of carefully and gravely worshiping the invisible God, they made physical idols resembling people, birds, animals, and reptiles.

• Psalm 106:20 (NET) 20 They traded their majestic God for the image of an ox that eats grass.

• Jeremiah 2:11 (NET) 11 Has a nation ever changed its gods (even though they are not really gods at all)? But my people have exchanged me, their glorious God, for a god that cannot help them at all.

Discussion Question:

• They could have ignored worship altogether. Why do you think they created idols to worship?

Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves-

• This is the wrath of God mentioned in verse 18. Instead of destroying them like Noah’s flood or Sodom and Gomorrah’s fire and brimstone, He allowed them to fulfill their impurity.

• This sexual sin may in part be referring to the practice of their idol worship.

• Psalm 81:11,12 (NET) 11 But my people did not obey me; Israel did not submit to me. 12 I gave them over to their stubborn desires; they did what seemed right to them.

• Hosea 4:17,18 (NET) 17 Ephraim has attached himself to idols; Do not go near him! 18 They consume their alcohol, then engage in cult prostitution; they dearly love their shameful behavior.

Discussion Questions:

• Explain how the consequences of this method of God’s wrath may ripple through a culture of a people, a nation, or even a family?

• Explain how God’s mercy provided through the Gospel can restrain His wrath?

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen-

• Paul repeats his earlier statement of exchanging God for idols, but he words it in a different way.

• Paul calls the idols a lie.

• The last phrase of praising God is sometimes called a doxology.

Have You Received God’s Righteousness? Romans 1:14-17

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Romans 1:14-17 (NET) 14 I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”

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Context: 

  • In the last passage, Paul expressed his desire to visit the Romans that they may be mutually comforted by each other’s faith. Now Paul says he is also eager to preach in Rome the gospel which is God’s power for salvation. 


Phrases:


I am a debtor –


  • Although Paul says he is a debtor to all, this does not mean that he owes them or is under obligation to them directly, instead he means that he is obligated to reach them because of God’s calling on his life. 


  • Thayer Greek Lexicon Defines the Greek word for debtor as one held by some obligation, bound to some duty. 


  • Acts 26:16-18 (NET) 16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’


Discussion Question:


  • Do you think we have the same obligation to share the gospel today?  If so, why?


both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish-


  • Barns Commentary.  This term “barbarian,” Βάρβαρος, Barbaros, properly denotes one who speaks a foreign language, a foreigner, and the Greeks applied it to all who did not use their tongue


  • Keeners Bible Background Commentary says…Gentiles (1: 13) included two categories, by the Greek division: Greeks considered everyone else in the world “barbarians”; they also often considered themselves wise and others foolish.
  • Cambridge Bible For Schools and Colleges says the meaning for wise and fools is  …the cultured and the uneducated.


Discussion Questions:


  • Why are Christians biased against other races, the poor, and the uneducated that they don’t make efforts to give them the gospel as they to toward others?


Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome-


  • Meaning Paul was ready and willing to announce the good news specifically to the Romans as part of his mission to tell all the world. 


Discussion Question:


  • How can we be better prepared to share the gospel?


For I am not ashamed of the gospel-


  • Meaning Paul was not embarrassed of the gospel, meaning the faithfulness of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for our sins. 


for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes-


  • Meaning the gospel is powerful to convert the believer from being condemned in sin to being justified and acceptable before God. 


Discussion Question:


  • When did you understand the gospel and believe? Explain. 


to the Jew first and also to the Greek-


  • Meaning the gospel came to the Jews first through Jesus and also through Paul who preached in the synagogues before going to the Gentiles.


  • Acts 13:45-46 (NET) 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. 46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles.


For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith-


  • A) righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel – Meaning not God’s righteous character is revealed but rather God’s gift of righteousness and justification is uncovered in the gospel to the person who has faith in it. 


  • B) faith to faith – The Cambridge Bible for schools and colleges says…(1) The initial step, the entrance to justification, is faith: (2) The life of the justified is maintained by faith: faith is the starting-point and the course.


just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”-


  • Paul reiterates that the life of those justified is by faith and quotes Habakkuk 2:4. 
  • Philippians 3:8-9 (NET) 8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, 9 and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness.
  • Romans 3:20-23 (NET) 20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Are You Walking In The Light? 1 John 1:5-7

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1 John 1:5-7 (NET) 5 Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

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Context:

  • In the previous passage, John described his eyewitness account of Jesus with the purpose of others having fellowship with John and the other Apostles. Now he describes the test of professing Christians and the benefits of those who walk in the light. 

Phrases:

Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you-

  • The message John and the Apostles heard directly from Jesus was…

God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all-

  • This is one of three ‘God is’ statements in the New Testament.
  • God is light.
  • God is Spirit. 
  • God is love. 
  • God is light means God has all knowledge, all purity, all holiness, and He is without any mixture of ignorance or sin. 
  • In the context of the next few verses, the emphasis of God being light is on His purity and holiness more so than his infinite knowledge. 

Discussion Question:

  • If you were to describe God in one word, how would you describe him?
  • Why is light associated with knowledge?
  • Why is light associated with purity ?

If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness we are lying and not practicing the truth-

  • Meaning those who say (including John himself) that they have fellowship with this God of purity and holiness yet ‘keep on walking’ in darkness, meaning unrepentant sin, then they….
  • A) are lying about their fellowship with Him, 
  • B) and they are not practicing the truth of their profession. 
  • Though a Christian is never perfectly sinless in this life, they are never comfortable living in a particular sin or sins, they continually fight against walking in sin, they continually repent of sin that has been discovered within them. 
  • A professing Christian who takes no thought when sinning and takes pleasure indulging their sin shows their profession of fellowship with the Light is a lie. 
  • John 3:19,20 (NET) 19 Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed.
  • Ephesians 5:5-11 (NET) 5 For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
  • Romans 13:12-13 (NET) 12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy.
  • 1 John 2:9(NET) 9 The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian is still in the darkness.

Discussion Question:

  • Why do you think teaching on holiness is neglected in the modern church?

But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin-

  • Meaning if Christians live their lives pursuing holiness as God is holy then…
  • 1. They will have fellowship with other believers.  However, professing Christians living a life of unrepentant sin, such as sexual sins, seem to naturally cut off their fellowship from believers. If unrepentant professing Christians do not naturally move away from believers, then the church must take action to lovingly discipline them with the motive that they will repent and be restored. 
  • 1 Corinthians 5:11 (NET) But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.  
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:14 (NET) But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed.
  • 2. Jesus’ blood cleanses them from all sin.   Meaning at the time of a believer’s conversion they were declared righteous through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for sin, but from conversion onward the believer now continues a life of repentance and faith thus continually being cleansed by Jesus’ blood.

Discussion Question:

  • Can you think of someone who was involved in unrepentant sin and then faded away from believers?
  • If an unrepentant professing Christian continues walking in darkness, what does the verse imply regarding them being cleansed by Jesus’ blood?  What does this imply regarding their original conversion?

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Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage. 

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Are You Walking In Light?

Bob

I am light. My knowledge is perfect. I am the One who enlightens the mind. I am pure. There is no mixture of sin within Me.  There is not one speck of darkness within Me.  I dwell in the light. I am the Father of lights.

Do not forsake teaching my children to walk in holiness. They must know that if they are children of light then they should walk as such.  Examine yourself as well. Do you have unrepentant sin in your heart?  Confess it, forsake it, resolve it if needed, and continue to trust My Son’s blood for your cleansing. 

Do You Have Vision To Visit? Romans 1:8-13

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Romans 1:8-13 (NET)

Do You Have Vision To Visit?

8 First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually remember you 10 and I always ask in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. 11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles.

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Phrases:

First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world-

• Paul was thankful to ‘his God’ that the grace of God extended to the Romans.

• Paul heard about their faith everywhere he traveled (the northern portion of the Roman Empire above the Mediterranean Sea).

• Keener’s Bible Background Commentary says… “All roads lead to Rome”; due to the connections of the whole empire with Rome, Christians everywhere knew about the faith of believers in the capital.

Discussion Question:

• Can you name others for which you are thankful for their testimony in receiving Christ?

• Where is the the farthest point on earth that someone knows of your faith?

For God, whom I serve in my spirit –

• Meaning Paul’s spirit was motivated to serve God in the way shown in the next phrase…

• John 4:23,24 (NET) 23 But a time is coming – and now is here – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

by preaching the gospel of his Son-

• Meaning proclaiming the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

(God) is my witness that I continually remember you and I always ask in my prayers if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God-

• Meaning Paul had a long and persistent desire to visit the believers in Rome. Therefore, he was persistent to pray that he may visit. The below verse was his plans to go to Jerusalem and then to Rome- this did happen, but as a prisoner.

• Acts 19:21 (NET) 21 Now after all these things had taken place, Paul resolved to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. He said, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”

Discussion Questions:

• What was Paul’s desire in his prayer?

• How can we be intentional to make local visits?

• What questions would you ask during a visit?

• What spiritual purposes and actions should be included in our visits?

• Have you ever been on a short term international mission?

For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you-

• The spiritual gift Paul wants to impart is the teaching and sharing of the Apostle himself.

• Ephesians 4:8, 11-12 (NKJV) 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 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…

that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine-

• Meaning the intended purpose of his visit was mutual comfort.

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now)-

• Meaning he was prevented up until this writing because the needs of all the other places he had ministered.

Discussion Question:

What practical ways can we be persistent to schedule our visits?

so that I may have some fruit even among you-

Meaning Paul desire was to win souls and help the Roman Christians grow.

• Philippians 4:17 (NKJV) 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

• Colossians 1:6 (NKJV) 6 Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:

just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles-

• Meaning fruit from the rest of the Gentile churches that Paul already ministered to outside of Rome.

Are You Partners With The Apostles? 1 John 1:1-4

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Are You Partners With The Apostles?

1 John 1:1-4

1 John 1:1-4 (NET) 1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life – 2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). 3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). 4 Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

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First John is very difficult to outline. See why at this link.

Phrases:

This is what we proclaim to you-

• The meaning of ‘we’ is referring to John and the other Appstles who were with Jesus.

• The ‘you’ is not identified. But scholars believe this was a circulating letter to either Jewish believers or to both Jewish and Gentile believers since the audience is not identified.

what was from the beginning,

what we have heard,

what we have seen with our eyes,

what we have looked at and our hands have touched-

• Meaning John and the others were eyewitnesses of Jesus. They heard, seen, studied Him, and touched him.

• Luke 1:1-2 (NET) 1 Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning.

• 2 Peter 1:16-18 (NET) 16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” 18 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

Discussion Questions:

• Later John mentions that antichrists have come. Meaning those who deny Jesus came in the flesh. Knowing this reference, why did John mention details regarding how he experienced Jesus?

• What other New Testament passages refer to someone touching Jesus?

• Which New Testament ordinance today makes use of our senses to worship our Lord?

(concerning the word of life –

• Meaning Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Jesus is also called the, Word, who created all life.

• John 1:1-4 (NET) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.

Discussion Questions:

• Does calling Jesus the word of life refer to His humanity or his divinity? Explain?

and the life was revealed-

• Here Jesus is called life. The life was revealed as also shown in the Gospel of John 1:14.

• John 1:14 (NET) 14 Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.

and we have seen and testify and announce to you-

• John is using eyewitness language, ‘testify’, to persuade others that what he is announcing is true based on what he had experienced.

Discussion Question:

• Have you ever had to give an eyewitness testimony for a police report or court case?

the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us-

• John now calls Jesus not only the life but the eternal life that was with the Father.

• By calling Jesus the eternal life it means Jesus is God who has lived eternally with the Father and has come to offer eternal life to the world.

• Micah 5:2 (NET) 2 (5:1) As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah – from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past.

What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us-

• John provides the first purpose for his writing his eyewitness account, that his audience will have fellowship with John and the other Apostles.

• Strong’s Definitions: κοινωνία koinōnía, koy-nohn-ee’-ah; partnership

• Kittle defines as participation, fellowship.

• Thayer’s defines as intercourse, fellowship, intimacy (Webster defines intercourse – connection or dealings between persons or groups)

• Bauer defines as association, communion, fellowship, close relationship

• Galatians 2:9 (NET) and when James, Cephas, and John, who had a reputation as pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Discussion Question:

• By using the word, fellowship, how did John see the interaction between believers should be?

(and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ)-

• John makes clear that he has fellowship with both the Father and the Son. This is mentioned because of the antichrists mentioned later who deny that the Son has came in the flesh.

Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete-

• First note how John says ‘we’ write unto you. Although John is the author the other Apostles also endorse the message of this letter.

• The second purpose in writing this letter is the joy of John and the other Apostles will be full if the believers reading the letter follow its instructions.

3 John 1:4 (NET) I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth.

Discussion Questions:

• How do you feel when your children follow your instructions vs when they do not follow?

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Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.

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Bob,

I came in the flesh. The disciples heard Me, seen Me, touched Me. I just didn’t come for a brief appearance, but I stayed with them many years. They studied Me and knew Me well. Listen and trust their eyewitness testimony.

Not only did I come in the flesh, I Am also God. I am the word of life. All things were created by Me and for Me. I am the life. I am the eternal life.

Therefore, you are safe to have fellowship with Me. If you have fellowship with Me, then you also have fellowship with My Father. And if you have fellowship with us, then you also have fellowship with My Apostles and the other believers around you. Participate with those other believers around you. Be close to them. Partner and associate with them. Commune with them. Don’t isolate yourself from the family of God. Do this and My joy will be full.

Nimuel Chhatria India Missions Report – May – July 2018

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Our dear prayer partners ,Loving greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ,

1,REPORTING TIME PERIOD , MAY TO JULY 2018 ,

2,DONATION RECEIVED THROUGH THIS PERIOD ,Received through PayPal and Western Union ,

3,Donation Spent this period ,Spend all ,

4,ACCOUNT BALANCE END OF THIS PERIOD ,Contact for details.

5,LIST OF PEOPLE SERVED ,Total 121 people professed to Jesus Christ ,

6,LIST OF PLACES VISITED THIS PERIOD , 36 Villages

7,SPECIAL EVENTS THIS PERIOD ,

A, VBS program among the children and Youths ,

B,Bible training program among 22 people ,

C,Baptist Women Fellowship ,

D,Started a SAFE HOUSE among Leper’s Children,

E,Distributed daily needs among Leper people ,

F,Gospel meetings and reaching to new areas ,

8,PRAISES FROM THIS PERIOD ,

Thank God for His grace that enabling us to do the personal evangelism and many people professed to Jesus by grace through faith ,

Praise God for our HOPECELLS group ,VBS among Children and Youth ,

Praise God for our Youth meetings and many youth professed to Jesus and some surrendered their life to witness for Christ sake ,

Baptist Women’s fellowship ,praise God many Women are dedicated their life to be a witnessing life ,

Praise God for our prayer partners and gracious hands ,

9, PRAYER REQUEST ,

A, Pray for our gospel work ,as we are committed  for the gospel work , visiting Door to Door ,absolutely praying for a four Wheeler for gospel team work

B,Kindly pray for our new field and souls for their spiritual growth ,

C, kindly pray for SAFE HOUSE Lepers’ Children ,

D, Kindly pray our missionaries funds ,

E, Kindly pray for HOPE CELLS group ,

F,Kindly pray for two Church building ,

G,kindly pray for our Baptist Bible Training program should be continued ,

10, FUTURE PLAN ,

A, Gospel team work ,along with personal evangelism , Follow up work ,bringing testimony and build them to be a witnessing life ,

B, Gospel meetings in various places ,

C, Children program among Hindu people , teaching them who is Jesus Christ ,

D, Youth program ,

E, Leadership program ,

F, Baptist Bible Training program ,

D, Social work among Leper Camp ,Children as for their daily needs and teaching them the love of Jesus Christ ,

Above all kindly uphold us in your prayer as we have been praying for you all , your family members ,your jobs , and increase of believers in your house church ,let God name be glory through this ministry  ,

Total numbers of Missionaries ,Pastors ,32 , yet this month through our ministry around 6 Women Evangelist an interested  to join in our group but no funding

Total numbers of HopeCells group ,45, people 345.

Total numbers of Worship group ,40, people of House Church ,684.

God bless you all ,

in His glad service ,

President ,

Nimuel Chhatria ,

NEW LIFE MOVEMENT ,BAPTIST MINISTRIES IN INDIA ,

Cell ,+91 94377 39404

Have You Kept The Kiss? 1 Thessalonians 5:25-28

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1 Thessalonians 5:25-28 (NET) 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us too. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27 I call on you solemnly in the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

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Context: Paul’s final words for his first letter to the Thessalonians.

Phrases:

Brothers and sisters, pray for us too-

• The context is Paul praying for the holiness of the Thessalonians in the previous verses, therefore, Paul could be asking for the same prayer for himself and his coworkers, Timothy and Silas.

• Or this is a general request prayer request themselves and their mission.

Discussion Questions:

• What specific prayer requests do missionaries need today?

• What specific prayer request do our church leaders need today?

• How can we be intentional to pray for our missionaries and leaders?

Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss-

• Meaning their greetings toward one another should be warm yet holy.

• Keener’s Bible Background Commentary says…Kisses were a common affectionate greeting for those with whom one had an intimate or respectful relationship….The kiss was normally a light kiss on the mouth, readily distinguishable from lovers’ passionate kisses. Nevertheless, due to abuses, in subsequent centuries the church limited the practice of the liturgical kiss of fellowship to men kissing men and women kissing women, although this was not the initial practice.

• Romans 16:16 (NET) 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

• 1 Corinthians 16:20 (NET) 20 All the brothers and sisters send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

• 2 Corinthians 13:12 (NET) 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

• 1 Peter 5:14 (NET) Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Discussion Questions:

• Do you know of any family members or cultures that still kiss today during greetings?

• Typically, how has the church in our culture practiced similar greetings

• How could a warm greeting with other believers improve unity in our churches today?

• How would you describe your personal affectionate greetings toward other believers?

• What disadvantages do you see in giving a warm greeting?

I call on you solemnly in the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters-

• Meaning Paul was very serious in his command that these words should be orally read to the believers.

• Keener’s Bible Background Commentary says…Many people could not read, so reading his letter aloud was the only way everyone in the congregation could be acquainted with it.

A) Solemnly

• This Greek word is only used here.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

• ἐν-ορκίζω; to adjure, put under oath, solemnly entreat.

• Barns Commentary writes…The richest blessing of heaven to mankind is the Bible; and there is no book ever written so admirably adapted to the common mind, and so fitted to elevate the sunken, the ignorant, and the degraded. There is no more decided enemy of the progress of the human race in intelligence, purity, and freedom, than he who prevents the free circulation of this holy volume; and there is no sincerer friend of the species than he who “causes it to be read by all,” and who contributes to make it accessible to all the families and all the inhabitants of the world.

Discussion Questions:

• Most churches in our culture do a good job of reading portions of scriptures during church meetings. What is your practice for reading scripture at home to your younger children?

• Who do you remember first taught you to read?

• Why do think so many Christians in our culture do not read the Bible?https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3018425

• Paul believed his words were very important. How can we be intentional in reading and studying the word of God that was preserved for us?

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you-

• Meaning Paul desires the Thessalonians’ spiritual good and wellbeing which comes though Jesus Christ.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says …The apostles and N. T. writers at the beginning and end of their Epistles crave for their readers the favor (`grace’) of God or of Christ, to which all blessings, especially spiritual, are due.

• The practice of writing these words with Paul’s own hand gave authenticity to his letters.

• 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18 (NET) 17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

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Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.

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Bob

You are blessed to have missionaries and your Pastor in your life. Pray for them! Just as the Apostle Paul desired the prayers of the Thessalonians so your pastor and missionaries you know need your prayers. Pray for their boldness, their work on My behalf, and their safety. Designate time to pray for them.

Greet one another warmly. Again, you must make this a regular practice. Your culture has turned cold, sterile, and increasingly isolated due to electronic communication. Give My spiritual children a warm greeting. Let them know in a practical way your deep and holy care for them.

Read and study My words. I inspired them, collected them, preserved them, translated them, and educated you to read them. Read and study them! They are full of salvation and wisdom.

New Testament 2 class at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Just finished my New Testament 2 class (Romans to Revelations) as part of the summer intensive program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  The intensive included a 40 hour class (8am to 5pm for one week), assignments to create two New Testament book outlines, 8 sermon plans, 600 pages of reading, and a 3 hour final exam.

  1. I was impressed by my teacher, Brett Akright.  Anyone who has taught for 8 hour days knows it is mentally draining, yet he seemed to get better as each day was getting late.  We asked many questions, and I was impressed by his breadth of knowledge to give guidance on every question.  I also enjoyed time with the other students (missionary, youth pastor, worship pastor, students).  I was impressed by their talent and knowledge at such a young age.  Praise God for such high quality individuals to serve His church.  My main takeaway from the class was to better understand the Old Testament references mentioned in the New Testament, the New Testament context and background of each letter including the themes of each letter, and the historical background related to each letter.  I did learn of two new resources regarding Bible backgrounds.  The first was recommended by the teacher.  Backgrounds of Early Christianity.   The second recommendation came from a student.  The IVP Bible Background Commentary.  I purchased both.  The second one I bought on my Kindle, and I have already been using it for my personal study and blogs.
  2. Creating the two New Testament book outlines was my favorite part of the class:  Ephesians and 1 Peter.  You can really understand the flow of each New Testament letter after doing a detailed outline.  The sermon outlines were also good.  You can see how the sermon subjects are taken right out of your outlines.
    1. Ephesians
    2. First Peter
  3. The textbook, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown is very good.  You can see how the writings of the early church fathers who quoted from the New Testament letters help prove early dates and authenticity of the New Testament letters.  Each chapter  in the textbook wrestled with authorship of each letter, dating the letters, provenance, destination, occasion, and purpose of each letter.  The theology section of each chapter was helpful.  Section by section discussion through each New Testament letter is useful.  I will definitely consult this book before starting on my next New Testament book study.
  4. The final exam.  Well who likes a 3 hour final worth 60 percent of your grade.  But it’s got to be done.  Enough said.
  5. Already signed up for New Testament 1 (Matthew – Acts) for the fall semester.

God Bless, Bob.

 

Is God Making You Holy? 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

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1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NET)

23 Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this.

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Context: Paul is writing short lessons as he ends his first letter to the Thessalonians.

Phrases:

Now may the God of peace himself –

  • This is Paul’s prayer. See verse 25, where Paul says, pray for us too. Therefore, this must be Paul’s prayer for their sanctification.
  • Paul calls Him ‘God of peace’ because God took action to reconcile us to himself through Jesus Christ even while we were yet sinners.

• Romans 4:25 – 5:1 (NET) He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification. Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

• 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NET) 19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation.

Discussion Question:

• Can you share your story of how you received peace with God through Jesus Christ?

make you completely holy –

• Notice the word ‘make’ is in the present tense. God is doing this work now.

• ‘Completely’ means in spirit, soul, and body mentioned next. In other-words, the whole man.

• ‘Holy’ means to set apart. Some translate as sanctify.

• Summarizing, God is at work in the believer and in their lives to make them more and more like His character in every way in every day.

• John Gill Commentary says it beautifully:…sanctification is a progressive, gradual work, it is like seed cast into the earth, which springs up, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, and is as light, which shines more and more to the perfect day.

• 1 Corinthians 1:8,9 (NET) 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

• Ephesians 5:26,27 (NET) 26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, 27 so that he may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.

• Philippians 1:6,10 (NET) 6 For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 10 so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ,

Discussion Questions:

• What does the phrase say that God is making us?

• Can you think of ways through which God is making us sanctified?

and may your spirit and soul and body –

• The Pulpit Commentary says…The “spirit” is the highest part of man, that which assimilates him to God; renders him capable of religion, and susceptible of being acted upon by the Spirit of God. The “soul” is the inferior part of his mental nature, the seat of the passions and desires, of the natural propensities. The “body” is the corporeal frame.

• Romans 1:9 (NET) For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually remember you

• Hebrews 12:3 (NET) Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up.

• Romans 12:1 (NET) Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service.

be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ-

• Meaning the believer’s spirit, soul, and body are kept blameless by God’s sanctifying work in the believer all the way to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

• ‘Entirely blameless’ does not mean completely sinless, but means the believer is preserved from falling away or becoming rebellious against God’s ways.

• Imagine buying a refurbished beach house on the windy ocean for your King who’s time of coming could be weeks, months, or years in the future. At anytime the king arrives, the house you bought for him is good and acceptable for him. But it is your work to keep the house preserved against the harsh elements and to continue to make improvements to make the home even better. This is the work that God is doing with the believer.

Discussion Question:

• Imagine Jesus was coming back today. Has He preserved your faith? What improvements has he made in your character since your conversion?

He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this –

• Meaning the same God who called the believer to reconciliation can be fully relied upon to 1) complete his sanctifying work in the believer and 2) keep the believer blameless to the end.

• Hebrews 12:6-10 (NET) 6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.” 7 Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8 But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. 9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? 10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness.

Discussion Questions:

• What motives do earthly parents have to continue in training up their children?

• What motives may God have to train up his children?

• How does it feel to know your Heavenly Father will never give up on training you?

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Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.

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Bob

I brought you reconciliation through My Son. I did not do this that you may remain the same, but I did this that you may be completely transformed more and more.

Be holy for I am holy. I am making you holy

by My Spirit convicting you of sin,

by my written and preached word,

by examples of others,

and by the good and bad times of life.

It is all for your sanctification.

My Son will return. How will your character be when He returns? What will you doing at His revelation? I will keep you blameless.

I am your Father. I will sanctify you as a good Father does his son. Trust Me. It’s all for you good. I desire your life to be transformed that all the principalities and powers will see My grace and Work in you. I desire your character to grow to be like your Father’s character, that is like My character.