What is God’s Will for Your Mouth? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NET)

16 Always rejoice, 17 constantly pray, 18 in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not extinguish the Spirit.

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Context:

Paul continues to list several brief instructions as he ends his first letter to the Thessalonians.

Phrases:

Always rejoice –

• Meaning to make it a practice to continually rejoice in all situations. Even in the midst of suffering, the Christian has much to rejoice over due what Christ has obtained for him for eternity.

• James 1:2 (NET) My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,

Discussion Questions:

• How often should the Christian rejoice?

• What is the opposite of rejoicing?

• How does always rejoicing go against our corrupt human nature?

• What are some specific things we can rejoice over?

• Can you name someone who is a good example of always rejoicing?

constantly pray –

• Meaning to make it a practice to continually speak to God.

• Romans 12:12 (NET) 12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer.

• 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NET) 1 First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, 2 even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, 4 since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Discussion Questions:

• How often does our study’s phrase say to pray?

• When is the last time you prayed privately? Or with someone else?

• What are different types and categories of prayer?

• Do you keep a prayer list?

• Describe your current prayer practice?

in everything give thanks –

• Meaning to thank God for all things in all situations – even bad situations.

• Philippians 4:6 (NET) 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.

• Colossians 3:17 (NET) 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Discussion Questions:

• In this phrase, In what things should we give thanks?

• What is the opposite of thankfulness?

• How would you describe the reasons why a person is ungrateful?

• Can you ‘count’ / name some of your many blessings for which you are grateful?

• How does the teaching of sanctification and God’s sovereignty provide hope to the Christian to be thankful for even the bad things that come in life?

For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus –

• Three possible interpretations.

• Meaning this way of speaking (rejoicing, prayer, and gratitude) is what God wants in each of our lives as Christians. This is my preferred interpretation.

• Or, Paul means only giving thanks is God’s will for them.

• Or, Paul means everything mentioned from verse 11 is God’s will for them.

Discussion Questions:

• Can you describe how different our lives would be on the inside if we just spoke in these three ways – always rejoicing, constantly praying, and in everything giving thanks?

• Can you describe how differently the outside world would see Christians if we spoke in these three ways?

Do not extinguish the Spirit –

• Meaning do not put out the influence of the Holy Spirit from our lives.

• Ephesians 4:30 (NET) 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Discussion Questions:

• How would you describe the Holy Spirit to someone who may ask?

• Why do you think Paul’s command includes the word ‘extinguish’ when speaking of the Spirit?

• If you wanted to extinguish a relationship with your best friend or spouse, how would you go about doing it? Isn’t it the same with our relationship with God?

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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

Rejoice! Yes, there is always something to complain about. It’s in your corrupt human nature to complain and be depressed. But don’t follow your corrupt nature, always rejoice!! Look at all your blessings and acknowledge them to Me and to others. I have put so much good into your life – little blessings in many many details. Rejoice in all of this good. Rejoice about heaven and My work for you. I created you, brought you into the world, gave you a spiritual birth, saved you through My Son, given you an eternal inheritance. Rejoice. You will be with me forever! Show all your rejoicing that is within your heart by smiling and testifying to others of My blessings toward you.

Pray. There is so much to pray about and people to pray for. Talk to Me as your friend. Don’t let our friendship be extinguished by being so busy and ignoring My Spirit within.

Continue to give thanks in everything. I know you tasted how even suffering is for your sanctification, and you are beginning to trust in My sovereign plan. I know you are beginning to see things, good and bad, are ultimately for your good and maturity. Continue to be grateful for all things.

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Will You Pursue Good in the Face of Evil? 1 Thessalonians 5:15

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1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NET)

See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.

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Context:

Paul continues to finish his letter with a barrage of short commands.

Phrases:

See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone-

• Paul commands not to respond back to evil with revenge against anyone – those in the church nor those outside of the church.

• Leviticus 19:18 (NET) 18 You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

• Proverbs 20:22 (NET) 22 Do not say, “I will pay back evil!” Wait for the LORD, so that he may vindicate you.

• Proverbs 24:17,29 (NET) 17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice, 29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will pay him back according to what he has done.”

Discussion Questions:

• What does this phrase in Thessalonians say not to do?

• What are ways those in the church of Thessalonica May have been treated by those outside the church?

• What are ways we may be treated evil today by those inside the church, outside the church, at work, or even in our own home?

• Does this verse mean we should not defend ourselves, set boundaries, or calmly communicate our point of view?

• How should we respond to evil directed toward us?

Barns commentary summarizes it well:

The moment we feel ourselves acting from a desire to “return evil for evil,” that moment we are acting wrong. It may be right to defend our lives and the lives of our friends; to seek the protection of the law for our persons, reputation, or property, against those who would wrong us; to repel the assaults of calumniators and slanderers, but in no case should the motive be to do them wrong for the evil which they have done us.

but always pursue what is good for one another and for all-

• The conjunction, but, ties this phrase to the previous phrase. Instead of repaying evil, always pursue what is good.

• The adverb, always, describes when to pursue good. The implication is to always pursue good – even after receiving evil.

• Good must be pursued. If we are passive it will not happen.

• ‘One another’ and ‘for all’ describes who should receive the good that is being pursued. One another, are those individuals inside the church. For all, refers to the church as a whole or to those outside of the church.

• Romans 12:17-21 (NET) 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

• Galatians 6:10 (NET) 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.

• 3 John 1:11 (NET) 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is bad but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God.

Discussion Questions:

• What is the verb in this phrase?

• When we receive evil, do we feel like pursuing the other person’s good?

• We know we should always pursue good toward our friends and enemies. Then why do you think we find it so difficult to put effort to do good toward others?

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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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Will You Pursue Good in the Face of Evil?

Bob

Do not repay evil for evil. This will only stir up more wrath. Let me take care of things. Give place for me to work and discipline.

However, don’t be a target for constant abuse. Confront others gently by calmly explain your position. Then do what goes against your nature – Pursue the other person’s good. This will pursue peace.

Do You Care Enough to Say Something? 1 Thessalonians 5:14

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1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NET)

14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all.

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Context: In the last passage, Paul commanded the church to highly esteem their Elders in love because of their labors, exercising of authority, and admonitions. Now Paul beings to end the letter with a list actions Christians should do.

Phrases:

And we urge you, brothers and sisters-

• Paul now exhorts not only the leaders but all of the individual church members to….

admonish the undisciplined-

• Each church member is commanded to admonish the undisciplined.

A). Undisciplined

• Strong’s Definitions: ἄτακτος; átaktos, at’-ak-tos; unarranged, i.e. (by implication) insubordinate (religiously)

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – deviating from the prescribed order or rule.

• Galatians 6:1a(NET) 1 Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness.

• Matthew 18:15 (NET) 15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother.

• James 5:19,20 (NET) 19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, 20 he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

• 1 John 5:16a (NET) 16 If anyone sees his fellow Christian committing a sin not resulting in death, he should ask, and God will grant life to the person who commits a sin not resulting in death.

• Jude 1:22,23a (NET) 22 And have mercy on those who waver; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire;

• 2 Thessalonians 3:15 (NET) 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Discussion Question:

• In this phrase, who is Paul specifically writing to at Thessalonica?

• What does Paul tell them to do?

• Why should the members admonish others and not rely only on the Elders to admonish others?

• Why do you think church members hesitate to admonish the unruly?

• Do you have an experience you would like to share of admonishing or being admonished?

comfort the discouraged-

• Next Paul commands church members to encourage the discouraged.

A) discouraged

• Strong’s Definitions: ὀλιγόψυχος oligópsychos, ol-ig-op’-soo-khos; little-spirited, i.e. faint-hearted.

• 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NET) 3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Discussion Questions:

• In what ways do people become discouraged?

• What are ways to show encouragement and comfort to others?

• Have you received comfort from others during a discouraging time? What helped you the most?

help the weak-

• The third command from Paul to church members is to help the weak.

A) help

• Strong’s Definitions: ἀντέχομαι; antéchomai, an-tekh’-om-ahee; to hold oneself opposite to, i.e. (by implication) adhere to; by extension to care for:—hold fast, hold to, support.

B) Weak –

• Strong’s defines as strengthless.

• Luke 10:9 (NET) Heal the sick in that town and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come upon you!’

• 1 Corinthians 8:9 (NET) But be careful that this liberty of yours does not become a hindrance to the weak.

Discussion Questions:

• What is the verb in this phrase?

• In this immediate context, what may Paul be referring to when he says those who are weak?

• Broadly speaking, in what different ways are people weak?

be patient toward all-

• Meaning to be patient with people in the three states mentioned above: those needing admonishment, those needing encouragement, and those needing help while in weakness.

• 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 (NET) Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful.

• Galatians 5:22 (NET) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Discussion Questions:

• What is commanded it this last phrase?

• Finish these two phrases, a person who is patient is ? A person who is impatient is?

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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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Do You Care Enough to Say Something?

Bob

Admonish others who need correction. Do not rely only on the elders to do it. You have access to people that the elders do not have access to. Admonish humbly. When you speak a word of admonishment, it shows that you love them.

Encourage those who are discouraged. Encourage those who have fallen into sin and are discouraged about their failures – lift them up – remind them of My forgiveness. Encourage those who have been through great suffering with the same encouragement that you were encouraged through your suffering.

Help the weak. Help those who are weak in faith. Help those that are having doubts. Help those who are unsure on what is right and what is wrong. Help the sick. Help the poor.

Be patient with everyone as I am patient with you. Those who are patient show that they are filled with My Spirit, are mature, and are humble. Those who are impatient are immature and arrogant.

Are you Esteeming the Elders? I Thessalonians 5 verses 12 to 13

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1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NET)

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

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Context: Paul finishes his revelation related to the second coming of Christ and how the Thessalonians should live as children of the day. Now he teaches them to honor the leaders among them.

Phrases:

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those-

• This is speaking of ‘those’ Elders among them.

• The Greek word translated acknowledge is usually translated in the New Testament as, know.

• KJV translated it as, know.

• Kittle’s Theological Dictionary defines as to recognize.

• In other words, the Elders among them should be known in the group, meaning they should not be ignored, and they should be recognized, given consideration, given attention, and given respect.

Discussion Questions:

• How would we acknowledge a public leader, like mayor or governor, if they came to our church?

• What is the motive of some who ignore the leadership in the church?

who labor among you –

• The first function Paul mentions of Elders is they work hard in their ministry for others.

• Strong’s Definitions: κοπιάω kopiáō, kop-ee-ah’-o; to feel fatigue; by implication, to work hard

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – to labor with wearisome effort, to toil.

• Acts 20:28 (NET)28 Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.

Discussion Question:

• Can you list some functions Elders do that require their hard work?

and preside over you in the Lord-

• The second function Elders do is they lead with authority over others in the church.

• Strong’s Definitions: προΐστημι proḯstēmi, pro-is’-tay-mee; to stand before, i.e. (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon -to be over, to superintend, preside over (A. V. rule).

• Hebrews 13:17 (NET) 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you.

• 1 Peter 5:5 (NET) 5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

• 1 Peter 5:2,3 (NET) 2 Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. 3 And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.

Discussion Question:

• What could happen in the church if there is no recognized leadership.

• Explain how can an Elder exercise authority in leadership yet not ‘Lord it over’ the flock?

and admonish you-

• The third function Elders do is to warn and correct others.

• Strong’s Definitions: νουθετέω, nouthetéō, noo-thet-eh’-o; to put in mind, i.e. (by implication) to caution or reprove gently

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – to admonish, warn, exhort.

• Titus 1:9 (NET) He must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching and correct those who speak against it.

• 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NET) 24 And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, 25 correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth 26 and they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.

Discussion Questions:

• What types of things should Elders admonish?

• Why do you think Elders in many churches neglect to admonish others?

• How should we respond if we are admonished by an Elder?

and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work-

• Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines the the Greek word for ‘esteem’ as to think, to consider, to regard.

• The Elders should be not only regarded , but regarded most highly.

• An Elder should be highly regarded in love because of their work.

• Galatians 4:14 (NET) 14 and though my physical condition put you to the test, you did not despise or reject me. Instead, you welcomed me as though I were an angel of God, as though I were Christ Jesus himself!

• Galatians 6:6 (NET) 6 Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches it.

• 1 Timothy 5:17-19 (NET) 17 Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching. 18 For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker deserves his pay.” 19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses.

Discussion Question:

• List some works Elders do that should cause us to esteem them in love?

Be at peace among yourselves-

• In the immediate context, this phrase means we should be at peace with our leaders. However, certainly it also means we should be at peace with each other.

• Ephesians 4:3 (NET) 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Discussion Question:

• What should we do if we have a disagreement with the an Elder so peace will continue to abound within the church?

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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 Esteeming the Elders?

Bob

Highly esteem your Elders in love. They labor hard for your soul. They organize, they study, they prepare, teach, preach, train, serve, and they pray for you and your family. Consider them, think of them, acknowledge them, regard them.

Be careful of feelings of disrespect toward Elders because Satan desires to use them against you, the Elders, and the church. Resolve discontentment by thinking things through, by putting yourself in their shoes, and by speaking with them directly.

Honor them with double honor – with respect and monetarily for all their labors on your behalf.

Nimuel Chhatria India Missions Report February Through April 2018

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OUR DEAR PRAYER PAYER PARTNER’S , LOVING GREETINGS TO YOU IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST WHOM WE LOVE AND SERVE ,GLORY TO BE GOD AND THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND HELPS ,

1,REPORTING TIME PERIOD , February to April -2018

2,DONATION RECEIVED THROUGH THIS PERIOD , We received little through Western Union and PayPal ,

3, DONATION SPENT THIS PERIOD , Spent all ,

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

5,LIST OF PEOPLE SERVED THIS PERIOD ,135+8=143 People professed to Jesus as their personal Saviour and God ,

6,LIST OF PLACES VISITED THIS PERIOD ,49 Villages ,

7,SPECIAL EVENTS THIS PERIOD ,

A, Baptized 8 people and started a worship group , House Church ,

B, Gifted a Bicycle to a Pastor ,

C, Follow work at Bahadurpita Village ,

D, Bible studies class among 9 Missionaries at Raipur Chhattisgarh State ,

E, VBS program among Outcast Children ,Leper’s Camp ,

CHHATTISGARH State ,9 missionaries report through Pators,Biskot Sika ,

A , They have visited total 37 Hindus Villages ,Distributed total ,1000 NT and

4300 gospel tracts ,

B, Started 36 HopeCell ,Prayer group and 9 worship group ,

C, These 9 missionaries are giving much an interest emphatically in personal evangelism , Going Door to Door ,meeting the people ,sharing gospel with NT & tracts ,

8, PRAISES FROM THIS PERIOD ,

Thank God for His grace that enabling us to do the personal evangelism work

and many people professed to Jesus by grace through faith ,

Praise God for our Hope-cell group ,Follow up work   ,VBS among outcast

Children ,

Baptism program ,

Donated a Bicycle to a Pastor ,

Praise God for our prayer partners and their gracious hands ,

9,PRAYER REQUEST ,

As we are committed for the gospel work ,personal evangelism ,Visiting Door to Door ,absolutely praying for a Four Wheeler for gospel team work because doing unitedly is much profitable ,

Kindly pray for gospel team work and their needs ,

Kindly pray for a Church building in Raipur City ,

Kindly pray for a Church building in Bahadupita Village ,

Kindly pray for Hope cell to establish ,

Kindly pray for new souls ,and worship group ,

Kindly pray for Children at Leper Camp as we plan to do a Day Care Center ,

10,FUTURE PLAN ,

A, Gospel team work ,

B,VBS Program in Summer time ,

C,Baptist Bible training School , One year course ,

D, In every month we will do the HopeCell and Follow up work ,

TOTAL NUMBERS OF MISSIONARIES ,PASTORS ,32

TOTAL NUMBERS OF HOPECELLS GROUP ,45

TOTAL NUMBER OF WORSHIP GROUP ,40

TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE OF HOUSE CHURCH ,684

TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE OF HOPE CELLS ,345

Above all kindly uphold us in your prayer as we have been praying for you all , your family , your Jobs, let God name be  glory through this ministry , Here sending Chhattisgarh State report in separate mail ,

God bless you all ,

In His service ,

Rev,Nimuel Chhatria ,

NEW LIFE MOVEMENT ,BAPTIST MINISTRIES .INDIA ,

Cell, +91 94377 39404

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Pastor Biscot Report

Respected dear Sir,

Loving greetings to you and your family in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Thank you so much for valuable prayers and support to ward Chhatisgarh India ministry. As I update the reports of three months uphold in your prayer. the almighty God enable us to work for Him in five districts of chhatisgarh along with our nine missionaries(gospel team) as mentioned bellow.

THE REPORT FROM FEBRUARY TO APRIL 2018.

1. Praise God for the month of February we visited 10 villeges in two districts and distributed more then 200 NT bibles and 1000 copies tracts. where we started ten prayer cells in each villege and two worship group. also we had bible study classes, fasting prayer meetings every week.

2. Praise God for the months of march once again we visited 12 villeges in three districts and distributed 300 NT bibles and 1500 copies tracts. wonderfuly we did follow up works, in this month also we started 12 prayer cells and three worship group. we done four places bible study class with youth and trained new disciples among trival people.

3. Praise God for the month of April we visited 15 villeges in three districts and distributed 500 NT bibles and 1800 copies tracts. also started 14 prayer cells and 4 worship group. Thanks God for privilleg to have get together all our chhatisgarh missionaries and had bible study classes along with pastor Nimuel Chhatria, who taught very nicely to our young missionaries. our brothers got spiritualy boldness and commited to work more, also reach the gospel to unreach place,  thanks God for VBS done very nicely among outcast children, where our children learn so many bible verses, stories, and action songs. all to gather it was so wonderful and glorious program for our missionaries ministry. to God be the glory.

4. Please pray for our upcoming programs VBS, Youth meeting, women meeting, gospel meeting, and out reach ministry.

Specially pray for the outcast orphan children we have been pryaying for their eat, wear and educations. If we do not take care up those children their future will be so pathetic.

5. Please pray for the church building of chhatisgarh.

6. Please pray for the missionary funds as thy are working in different places.

7. Within this three months of our nine missionary ministry 135 people received the Lord Jesus Christ for their personal God and Savior.

8. Above all these we need much prayer and sufficient funds.

9. All together reached 8 districts, 37 villeges, 1000 NT bibles, 4300 tracts, saved 135 souls.

IN HIS SERVICE

Pastor. Biskot Sika

Raipur chhatisgarh

Day Child are You Awake? 1 Thessalonians 5 verses 5 through 11

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1 Thessalonians 5:5-11 (NET)

5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. 6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. 9 For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.

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Context: The immediate context is Christ’s second coming and the Judgement.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 (NET) For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night.

Phrases:

For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness-

• Sons of the light means they are born of God and see clearly as in the daylight to the things of God and that the day of the Lord is coming.

• Sons of the day also means they are believers and are spiritually awake and alert.

• Believers are ‘not of the night nor of the darkness’ as unbelievers. Unbelievers are unaware and cannot spiritually see Christ nor His day coming. For unbelievers, that day will come as a thief in the night.

• Ephesians 5:8 (NET) 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light –

Discussion Question:

• Explain the differences you see in your life now that you have been transformed from a son of darkness to a son of light?

So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober-

• Meaning believers should live their life alert and sober keeping the day of the Lord in view. They should not live as unbelievers who are unaware and in a state of sleep.

• Romans 13:11-13 (NET) 11 And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 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.

For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night-

• Paul describes activities done at night: sleeping and drunkenness. When sleeping , one is not aware. When drunk, one’s senses are dulled. Unbelievers live unaware and dull to the fact that the day of Christ is coming.

• 1 Peter 5:8 (NET) Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.

Discussion Question:

• With what things of the world have we become drunk and spiritually dull towards God?

But since we are of the day, we must stay sober –

• Paul repeats that believers should live sober by using the following methods.

by putting on the breastplate of faith and love-

• Paul describes the first way to stay sober – put on faith and love as a breastplate.

• Faith means to continue to trust him.

• Love means to continue to give ourselves in service to Him and others.

• 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NET) 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Discussion Questions:

• Why do you think Paul describes faith and love as a breastplate?

• How does putting on faith keep a believer sober minded?

• How does putting on love keep a believer sober minded?

and as a helmet our hope for salvation-

• The 2nd way to stay sober is to continue to put on the helmet of hope for salvation.

Strong’s Definitions: ἐλπίς elpís, el-pece’; to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation; confidence.

• Hope for salvation does not mean we are hoping to receive salvation, rather it means our hope, anticipation, expectation, and confidence is that we have already obtained salvation which will be fully realized at His second coming.

• This is the second time in this letter that Paul mentions faith, love, and hope.

• 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NET) because we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Discussion Question:

• How does putting on hope keep a believer sober minded?

For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ-

• Paul is teaching that our hope is so sure that we were even destined to gain salvation through Christ,

• Acts 13:48 (NET) 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed.

• Unlike unbelievers, who are destined for wrath.

• 1 Peter 2:7-9 (NET) 7 So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him-

• Meaning Jesus died for believers, and all believers will be gathered together on that day alive whether they are currently alive or have already died. This is repeated from chapter 4.

• 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NET) Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other-

• As in chapter 4 verse 18, Paul again commands them to encourage each other with these truths.

• He commands us to build up each other to live as those who are of the day, and to live in faith, love, and hope.

just as you are in fact doing-

• As in chapter 4, he again commends the Thessalonians for doing the very things he is reminding them to do.

Discussion Question:

• Who are we encouraging to live like a son of the day? Who is encourage us?

———

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

———-

Day Child are You Awake?

Bob

Do you remember the way you were before your spiritual birth. You were following the ways of the world and blinded from seeing Me. But then I awakened you.

Don’t live like unbelievers who focus on this world. Don’t become drunk on money, comforts, and entertainments. I am coming! Live your life knowing that I am coming.

Protect your spiritual life with the breastplate and helmet. Continue in faith that I am coming, and all is in My control – even suffering. Love others! Become less self centered by giving of yourself to others. Maintain hope that My day is coming, and your salvation will be realized.

Be encouraged by all My other children who influence you, and be an encourager to those brothers and sisters around you. Encourage them to be alert and awake – not sleeping or drunk with the world.

History of Christianity 2 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Spring 2018

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I really enjoyed my first class at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Spring 2018.  History of Christianity 2 extends from the Reformation up through today.  We used the book, The Story of Christianity, Volume 2, by Justo L. Gonzalez.   My professor, Dr Michael McMullen, was very interesting and informative.

https://www.mbts.edu/about/faculty/michael-d-mcmullen/

I appreciated that he gave us some freedom to choose individuals we could study from a short list of characters from the Reformation and Post Reformation history.  I also enjoyed many of the students’ classroom presentations – we were allowed to give a presentation or write a paper.  I was impressed with the talent and knowledge of the students even though most were half my age 🙂

Below are highlights of some of the individuals we learned about during the class.  Next is a link to my English Reformation PPT that I created.  Last are the individuals I chose to study from Dr. McMullen’s short list with a short abstract for each individual.

Individuals Covered in Class

Pope Clement VI, Erasmus, Martin Luther, Ignatius of Loyola, William Tyndale, King Henry VIII, John Calvin, Michael Servetus, John Edwards, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, John Eliot, William Wilberforce (briefly covered John Locke, Sir Isaac Newton, Voltaire, David Hume, Immanuel Kant), Andrew Fuller, Michael Sattler, and many many others were mentioned more briefly.

English Reformation PPT

Below is a link to my English Reformation PPT

https://app.box.com/s/phvzeferdmu4bfz0ap8feo3eldg19pd7

Individuals I Chose to Study from Short List

John Wesley 1703 to 1791

Sources:  Gonzalez, class notes, Bruce Gore lecture.

3 c’s

The Club, Conversion, and Colonies

The Holiness Club

John Wesley was the youngest child of 19.  He was homeschooled in the classical languages by his parents, Samuel and Susanna.  Samuel was an ordained Anglican priest.  At 5 years old John survived a house fire.  This event influenced his thinking throughout his life.  He attended Oxford University.  There he was a member of the Holy Club which his brother, Charles, help start.  The name, Holy Club, was given to them by the other students as a term of mockery.  The club had many rules such as, prayers, songs, reading from the Greek text of the scripture, fasting twice per week, Lord’s supper weekly, and they began visiting prisoners.  They also earned money to help pay for the debts of those in the debtors prison.  An Oxford tract referred to the club as the Oxford Methodists – the name stuck.  John also became a priest in the Anglican Church in 1728.

The Conversion

John went to America on a mission which lasted two years.  During his trip, there was a life threatening storm at sea.  Being already impressed with the behavior of a group of Moravians, he was more impressed during the storm as the Moravians calmly sang while the boat deck was flooded by the sea.   After arriving in Georgia, he tried to bring his strict Method from the holiness club to those he was serving.  However, the mission did not work out, and in his own words he said, Georgia was a disaster.  After 2 years he went back home with self-doubts and feeling he did not have saving faith as the Moravians.  Moravian, Peter Boehler, told him to keep preaching faith until he had it.  In 1738 at a Moravian meeting at Aldersgate Street in London, the German Moravians were reading Martin Luther’s commentary on the book of Romans.  While listening, Wesley said, I felt my heart strangely warmed, I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation.

The Colonies

Wesley (an Arminian) was friends with George Whitefield (a Calvinist).  George asked John to take over his mission to the miners in Bristol.  Here John learned to open air preach and his following grew.  He started many groups to be used to feed them into the Anglican Church.  He kept his meetings at different times than those of the official church so they would not conflict.  He desired his followers to take communion at the Church of England.  The bishop of Bristol tried to limit his traveling and preaching, but  John said, the world in my parish.  Wesley used lay preachers as a solution to the rapid growth of the movement.  Due to a law requiring registration for buildings which the Anglican Church did not recognize, Wesley had to register his buildings and worship under English law.  Also, in the colonies, Anglican priests came back to England during the American Revolution.  Since Wesley believed biblically, a bishop and an elder is the same office, he believed he could ordain.  Due to the need in the colonies, he ordained two elders there and others in Scotland.  These actions eventually lead to the new denomination, Methodists, by the time of Wesely’s death, although he still desired to stay Anglican.

George Whitefield

  1. Holy Club
  2. Calvinist
  3. Colonies

Sources:  Class notes and Bruce Gore Lecture.

Holy Club

George Whitefiled, 1714-1770, was born in England in a poor family.  He attended Oxford as a servitor to pay his way through school.  He had a passion for the theatre.  At Oxford, he helped start the Holiness Club with Charles Wesley.   George’s conversion was from reading a book given to him by Charles Wesley, The Life of God and Soul of Man.  Like John Wesley, he became an Anglican priest.  Even during his ordination speech some in the room were converted.  He preached to the miners in Bristol using his open air preaching method.  He knew his preaching was effective by seeing the streams of tears down the dust covered faces of the miners.  He requested help from John Wesley to help with the work in Bristol.  Under John, the work began to grow and over his lifetime morphed into the English Methodists.

Calvinist

Although there are many points where Whitefield and the Wesleys are similar, they did have a significant doctrinal difference with regard to Calvinism.  George was a Calvinist while John was an Arminian.  George even used his Calvinist beliefs within his evangelistic sermons.  Even today, you can listen to his sermon being read on youtube, the Potter and the Clay.  Calvinists believe that God decreed who will be saved based on God’s own purpose and will.  Arminius believed that God made His selection by foreseeing how the person would choose in the future.  At the Synod of Dort, the assembly gave 5 points refuting the Remonstrance in the Netherlands.  These 5 points against the Remonstrance are as follows:  T – total depravity – that man is totally depraved and can only be saved by God’s grace, U – unconditional election – that man was not chosen by God based on man’s works, L – Limited Atonement – that Jesus’ Sacrifice is efficacious for only the elect, I – Irresistible grace – that if you were of God’s elect, then his grace would be irresistible and would be received, P – Perseverance of the saints – the faith and sanctification of the elect would persevere to the end.

The Colonies

Whitefield opened an orphanage in Savannah, Georgia.  Today, the Bethesda Academy is the oldest charity still in operation. Whitefield’s chapel is still there. Though Whitefield was not against slavery, he did believe slaves should be educated and receive the gospel.  During a sermon with slaves in attendance, at the end of the sermon, he directly addressed the slaves by quoting the verse that in Christ we are all one.  George preached for 30 years.  Some say he preached so much that it was like a 30 year long sermon.  He preached in England, Scotland, and the Colonies where God used Whitefield in the Great Awakening.  He spoke 1000 times a year, 3 times a day, speaking 60 hours in a week, seven days a week.  He crossed the Atlantic Ocean 13 times.  He spoke to crowds of 20,000 people.  Ben Franklin calculated that his voice could be heard by 30,000 people.  There are reports that he could be heard up to one mile away.  He preached in Johnathan Edward’s church.  Sarah Edwards said Whitefield was a born orator.

 

Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758

Sources:  class notes, Bruce Gore lecture, and Gonzolez – History of Christianity Volume II, Britannica.

  1. about Edwards
  2. the great Awakening
  3. the Theologian

Edwards

Jonathan Edwards, 1703 – 1758, is America’s greatest theologian and philosopher. Edward’s grandfather was Solomon Stoddord, a very well respected pastor of the church in Northampton in Massachusetts Bay colony.  As a child, Jonathan was homeschooled and learned Latin by 6 years of age, by 13 Greek and Hebrew.  He entered Yale by the age of 13.   Edwards was very interested in the natural sciences.  He often gives illusions to natural science examples in his sermons and writings. He married Sarah Pierrepont, and they had 11 children.  Many of Edward’s decedents became university presidents and pastors.  After the death of his Grandfather Stoddard, Edwards became Pastor of Northampton in 1729.

the great Awakening

Although Edwards was not an emotional speaker and he read his sermons word by word, a great revival happened in 1734 while Edwards was teaching on a series regarding Justification by Faith Alone.  The revival spread through the region.  Within about 1 year, 300 people in Edward’s church professed faith in Christ.  Edwards wrote about the awakening in 1737, A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God.  George Whitefield and Gilbert Tennent were passionate speakers, and the awakening spread even more throughout the colonies.  However, Edwards was later dismissed from his church based on his view of who should take the Lord’s Supper – only true believers for Edwards.  He later wrote a book, Qualifications for Communion.  Edwards then became a missionary to the Indians.  By 1757 he became president of what is known today as Princeton University.

Theology

Edwards at first objected to God’s sovereignty in who will be saved and who will not be saved, but after his conversion in 1721 he calls the doctrine sweet.  Edwards became a strong defender of Calvinism.  He wrote about original sin, but his most famous work was, The Freedom of the Will.  The book uses Romans 9:16 as it’s basis:  It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  He believed the verse proved that man was saved by God’s grace through God’s decree and not by man’s own corrupt human desire which could not receive grace.

Edwards argues that man has natural ability to choose God, but man does not have moral ability to choose God.  This argues in defense of Calvinism’s assertion that man cannot choose God because he is (T)otally depraved and spiritually dead toward God; this is the first assertion in the Calvinist formula, T.U.L.I.P.  As an example, Edwards gives an example of a prisoner that remains in an OPEN cell because his pride will not allow him to come out and kiss the king’s ring to be forgiven.  Though he has natural ability to walk out, yet he does not have the moral ability, due to his pride, to walk out.  So man has natural ability, but he does not have a moral ability to come to Christ due to his spiritually dead condition.

Edwards argues that though man is free to make choices, those choices are based on previous choices and other factors that are not within one’s control, such as, his natural predisposition, his moral inability, and his circumstances, such as, when he was born, where he was born, who his parents are.  If the first chain link in one’s own life was not a free choice, then how can all the subsequent choices be considered totally free?

John Spilsbury 1668

2B’s and Three K’s

Sources:  Michael Thompson Dissertation

B – Baptist

John Spilsbury was one of the early Particular Baptist leaders in England in the early 1600’s.  Some believe his church was the first Particular Baptist Church in England.  Spilsbury had no formal education.  His occupations were being a cobbler, a weigher of hay, and knitter of socks.  He married in 1627.  John pastored for 23 years.  He died between 1663 and 1668.  In additions to his pastor duties, he also put effort toward the London Association of Particular Baptists which still remains today.  Spilsbury’s church still exists today, Church Hill Baptist Church.

It is assumed that John Spilsbury was the main author of the First London Confessional, 1644.  Seven leaders from his and other particular Baptist churches signed the document.  The primary purpose of the document was to make more clear the doctrine of the particular Baptist compared to the Anabaptists.  Many in England were calling the particular Baptist group Anabaptists, and John wanted to make clear that his church’s doctrine was in alignment with orthodox Christian doctrine of the Presbyterians and Congregationalists:  mainly the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and Calvinistic doctrine regarding salvation.

At that time there were three major groups of Baptists:  Anabaptists, General Baptists, and Particular Baptists.  All three groups believed in believers’ baptism, and they were against the practice of baptizing babies as the Catholics, Anglicans, and Presbyterians.  However, there were several differences between the groups.  Some of the Anabaptist groups denied the Trinity and were pacifists.  The General Baptists believed in general atonement.  This aligned them with the Arminian view of salvation that Christ’s atonement was general and could potentially be received by anyone whose will cooperated with God’s grace.  Particular Baptists believed in particular atonement, or limited atonement, which aligned with the Calvinistic view of salvation that Christ’s atonement was only for the Elect who God chose according to the council of His own will who would receive God’s grace only after being born again from their dead spiritual state.

In the Anglican Church there were many Puritans.  They desired to purify the Anglican Church to operate more biblically.   However, some Puritans separated from the Anglican Church and became known as Separatists.  Churches started by Separatist were illegal.  Both the general Baptists and particular Baptist churches in England were made up of separatists.  Spilsbury’s church met in secret, and he was imprisoned briefly in 1641.

B – Baptism

In addition to being an author of the First Baptist Confession, 1644, John Spilsbury also wrote defenses of believers’ baptism known as, Treatise Concerning the Lawful Subject of Baptism, and God’s Ordinance, the Saint’s Privilege.  Spilsbury argues against the idea that infant baptism is a substitute for old covenant infant circumcision. He believed only those with faith should be baptized which is not possible with an infant.  He said there is no example or command in scripture to baptize infants.  The church should be made up of believers not of those baptized into it as infants of whom many will never be believers and will corrupt the church.  Baptizing infants will allow people to be easily confused by thinking that baptism is for salvation.  It makes void the possibility of personally obeying Christ’s command for baptism if baptized already as an infant.  Infant baptism goes against the sign itself, which is a willful dying, burying, and rising with Christ though faith. He argues if infant baptism is the substitute for infant circumcision, then why are children refused the Lord’s Supper which could be seen as a substitute for the Passover from which ancient Israel’s children partook.

Three K’s

Within John Spilsbury church were three men who would later become better known in church history than Spilsbury:  William Kiffin (1610-1701) who is the only person to sign both the first and second Baptist London Confession; Hanserd Knollys (1598-1691) who left the English Church, went to America, and started a Congregational Church and America’s second Baptist Church; and Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) who also signed the second Baptist London Confession, compiled what is known as Keach’s Catechism, and compiled Hymns for singing in the churches.

Ignatius of Loyola and his Rules of Thinking with the Catholic Church, 1522

Acronym P.R.I.E.S.T

P- Confess sins to a Priest, also His views on predestination.

R – His views on relics.

I – His views on Images

E – His rule on the Eucharist and Mass.

S – His rule on veneration and invocation of the Saints.

T – His rule on FasTs, such as those done during LenT.

—–

Pope Clement VI and His Bull of Unigenitus 1343

Acronym P.P.P.

P – About the Pope.

P – About the black Plague.

P – About the Treasury of Merit as the bases for Indulgences for reducing time in Purgatory

—-

Erasmus of Rotterdam and his banned book, Praise of Folly, 1509.

Acronym B.B.B.

B – About Erasmus, his name meaning, Beloved

B – About his Greek text of the New Testament as the basis for Luther and Tyndale’s Bibles

B – About his Banned Book, Praise of Folly.

—-

Ignatius of Loyola

Sources:  Class Notes, and Documents of Christianity – Rules of thinking with the Church (1522).

Ignatius was a soldier in Spain.  Oddly he was short with red hair – not your typical Spaniard.  As a soldier,  he was hit by a cannon ball in the legs.  He survived several surgeries due to the cannon ball injury.  During his recovery, he believed he had a vision of Jesus and Mary.  He spent much time in a cave and practiced asceticism by praying for 7 hours a day.  It was during this time that he wrote the Rules for thinking with the Church, Spiritual Exercises II in 1522 – only 5 years after Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis.

While in France, he co-founded a religious order called the Society of Jesus with Francis Xavier.  The Society of Jesus is also known as the Jesuits.  The Jesuits are an educational order within the Roman Catholic Church.  Eventually, the Pope recognized the order and Ignatius’ rules.  The Jesuits spread through the world with an aggressive missionary movement.  Some countries, such as, Britain banned the group.  Today in my home town, Rockhurst College and High School are a result of the Jesuit movement.  The Jesuits are considered a counter-reformation movement because they came after the reformation and defended much of the Roman doctrine and practices that the Reformers were against.

Below are a few of the rules in Ignatius’ Rules for Thinking with the Church, Spiritual Exercises II, 1522.

P.

Ignatius affirmed private confession of sins to a Priest.

He acknowledges the elect are predestined, yet in the rules he warns against over emphasizing the teaching.  He also goes on to warn against emphasizing Salvation by Grace and through Faith.  He believed all three teachings could make the followers lazy when it comes to practicing good works, which he believed were efficacious, and in practicing Means of Grace.

R.

One rule specifically mentions the veneration of Relics.  Relics, many of which were fake, were a target by the reformers.  Visiting relics were also a form of indulgence under the works of satisfaction in the Roman doctrine of penance.  Martin Luther specifically targeted indulgences.

I.

He has a rule for the veneration of Images.  Yet he does say they should be used as they are intended.  Many Catholics wrongly endow the images with special powers.

E.

He has a rule on participating in the Eucharist at least annually, though he recommends more often, such as monthly or preferably weekly.

S.

He has a rule on the veneration and invocation of the Saints.

T.

He also has a rule on practicing fasTs. Specifically he mentions the Fast during the season of LenT.

—-

Pope Clement the VI, Papal Bull, Unigenitus, 1343.

Sources:  Class Notes and Documents of Christianity, Papal Bull Unigenitus, 1343.

  1. About the Pope.
  2. About the Plague.
  3. About the Bull which speaks of the Treasury of Merit which is the basis of the indulgences which are used to reduce time in Purgatory.

P – About the Pope.

Pope Clement the VI was the 4th Avignon, France Pope.  His real name is Pierre Roger.  He was awarded the name Knight Roger.  Pope Clement was headquartered in France.  He refused his invitations to headquarter in Rome.  He used the Palace of Joan I.  He offered to pay 80,000 Crowns for the palace, yet he actually never paid for the palace.  He justified this because previously the palace was used as a brothel and now he was giving it a better purpose, and he did absolve Joan of sins.  One quote about Pope Clement was, He was a patron of the arts, but he is not a Saint, when speaking about the character of the Pope.  He did participate briefly in the Crusades by ordering a naval attack on Smyrna.

P – About the Plague.

During his time as Pope, the black plague was present.  He did spend much time ministering in the plague.  He never caught the disease himself.  He ministered by organizing aid for the sick, those dying, and those who died.  Many at that time blamed the Jews for the plague because they were not catching the disease as frequent as others.  However, he put down this idea, and he believed the plague was caused by God’s wrath.  He absolved the temporal sins of all who died in the plague.

The plague was called the black plague because of the black spots it would cause on the victims and because it was spread by black rats.  Some estimate that the black plague resulted in the death of 60% of all Europeans.  Many believe the black plague was indeed what we know now as the bubonic plague.

P- Purgatory

Pope Clement wrote the Papa Bull of 1343 named Unigenitus.  Uni is Latin for, only.  Genitus is similar to our word Genesis, it means begotten.  So the name of the Bull is Only Begotten, a reference to Jesus Christ.  The word Bull refers to the lead bubble that is pressed with the Pope’s seal.  The bubble looks like a water bubble when water boils, which is the word, Bullire in Latin.  The leaden seal shows that the document is authentic.

The first half of the Bull is very Biblical.  It speaks of the blood of Jesus Christ.  However, the second half then goes into Roman Catholic doctrine, such as the Treasury of Merit being dispensed by Peter’s successors, meaning the Popes.

Although the words purgatory or indulgences is not mentioned in the bull, Cardinal Cajetan, used the bull during Martin Luther in the Augsburg trial of 1518.  The Treasury of Merit mentioned in the Bull is for the remission of all or part of temporal sins.

In the Roman Catholic doctrine of Penance, the penitent must go through four steps:

  1. Confession of their sins to a Priest.
  2. Contrition – or genuine remorse and repentance for the sin.
  3. Works of Satisfaction
  4. The Priest can then absolve the penitent.

Within the Works of Satisfaction the penitent must make up for the sin he committed.  However, if making up for the sin is not possible or was not done perfectly, then the believer must still suffer in purgatory for the temporal sin.  Ultimately, they believe they will still go to heaven due to the Grace of God, but before entering, they must suffer in purgatory to be purged of their temporal sins.  However, the use of an indulgence can be used to reduce the time in purgatory.  The indulgence can be a work, a pilgrimage, purchasing an entrance to see a relic, or purchasing a piece of paper that states some time off from purgatory through monetary sacrifice.  (During the time of Martin Luther, a Friar named John Tetzel was selling these indulgences.  The money was being used to build St Peters Basilica in Rome.  Luther believed the selling of them was being abused by Tetzel which led to Luther writing the 95 Thesis and writing directly to Rome about them.  However, this resulted in his excommunication from the Roman church.)  When an indulgence was obtained, the merit was withdrawn from the Treasury of Merit mentioned in the Bull.  The Treasury of Merit contained the merit of Christ, Mary, and the works of all the elect from the beginning of time to the present time.  Even today, the supererogation works of the saints are incrementally being added to the Treasury of Merit.  Of course, the Reformers were against the abuse of indulgences, and they were against the doctrine of purgatory which they believed was against the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice.

—-

Erasmus of Rotterdam, Praise of Folly, 1509

Acronym B. B. B.

B – Beloved

B – Bible

B- Banned Book

Sources:

Class Notes, Praise of Folly, 1509

B – Beloved

Desiderius Erasmus Rotterdamus was originally known as Garard Gerardson.  His parents died in the black plague.  He was educated in a monastery.  The name Erasmus means Beloved.  He became a monk and a Roman Catholic Priest.  He was Dutch and was from Rotterdam Holland.  Erasmus lived during the time of the Reformation.  He was controversial because he never took a clear side – Luther or Rome.  However, he did believe the church needed reformed, but he could not agree with the methods that Luther used.

B – Bible

Erasmus compiled ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.  Before Constantinople was sacked by the Muslims in 1453, many ancient manuscripts were saved and brought to Northern Europe.  During the Renaissance, Northern Europe desired to get back to the original documents and move aside the clutter of scholasticism.  During this time, the only Bible that was legal was Jerome’s Latin Vulgate.  This Latin Bible was the Roman Catholic Bible.  They kept it in Latin so only the educated scholars could study and teach it.  It was forbidden to translate it into common languages.  Erasmus wrote many pamphlets explaining how the Greek text that he compiled and translated into Latin was better than the existing Latin Vulgate translation.  Martin Luther and William Tyndale used later editions of Erasmus’ Greek text when they translated the Bible into German and English.

B – Banned Book

Erasmus’ most famous book was named, Praise of Folly, written in Latin in 1509.  The book was later translated into several languages.  He wrote the book to amuse his friend Sir Thomas More, the Chancellor of England during King Henry VIII’s reign.  The book was banned on the index of banned books by Rome until 1930.

Folly is personified.  She is praised in all the things gone wrong in society.  Various subjects are mentioned, but the book is important because of the harsh criticism it makes from the monks all the way up to the pope.

Remember, Erasmus was a monk, so he remembers well their lifestyle.  He criticizes them as follows:  because they do not work, they fill up their day with foppish ceremonies, they seemed overly concerned about grooming their beards, they trust in their works for salvation, they pride themselves on their poverty and not speaking.  He seems to imply that he would rather see them working and speaking to help others.

Erasmus really goes after the superstitions of trusting in Saints.  In one place he mentions that if prayers are made to St Christopher, then people will feel safe the next day.

The harshest words were reserved for the Pope.  He said they get their position through buying votes, and they keep their position by poisoning their challengers.  They only appear to help people, but in reality they do not.  He condemns all their foppish ceremonies.  He condemns their excommunications and their roaring bulls.  He said their life is a life of ease.  He mentions their long trail of servants, even implying some servants being prostitutes.

The book added fuel to the fire for a society that was ready for change.  Some saying, Erasmus laid the egg which Martin Luther hatched.

 

 

 

Are You Ready for The Day of The Lord? 1 Thessalonians 5 verses 1 through 5

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1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

1 Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you.

2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night.

3 Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would.

————-

Context:

This passage continues Paul’s revelation from chapter 4 regarding the coming of Christ when all will be gathered to Him at the trumpet’s call. This will not only be a day of hope when Christians shall be gathered, but this day will also be a day of judgement and wrath for unbelievers.

Phrases:

Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters-

• Meaning Paul addresses the timing of when Christ will return.

• Acts 1:6-7 (NET) 6 So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, “Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.

you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you know quite well –

• Meaning there is no need to write to them because they already know the time of His coming is unknowable like an unexpected thief in the night. Possibly Paul already taught this during his previous visit to the Thessalonians.

that the day of the Lord will come –

• Here the event of Christ’s return is called ‘the day of the Lord’. It is a day of judgement for unbelievers as will be shown below with the three negative examples.

• 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (NET) 6 For it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to you who are being afflicted to give rest together with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. 8 With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will undergo the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength, 10 when he comes to be glorified among his saints and admired on that day among all who have believed – and you did in fact believe our testimony.

in the same way as a thief in the night-

• Meaning Christ’s return will be unexpected for unbelievers like a thief in the night.

• While one is sleeping and unaware a thief can steal, so this is the case with unbelievers. They are spiritually sleeping, meaning spiritually dead, and they are unaware of the danger coming to take away everything.

• 2 Peter 3:10 (NET) 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare.

Discussion Question:

• Have you ever been the victim of a thief? Explain your experience.

Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them –

• This is a second phrase to show how surprised the unbelievers will be at His coming. They are spiritually dead by believing everything with their life and soul is at peace and is secure, but then without notice, destruction will be on their life and soul forever.

Discussion Question:

  • Have you ever been in a car accident? Describe how sudden it happened.

like labor pains on a pregnant woman-

• A third way to show the surprise and the pain they will experience is like child birth.

• John Gill says it this way, “whose anguish and pains are very sharp, the cause of which is within herself, and which come suddenly upon her, and are unavoidable…”

Discussion Question:

  • Have you experience labor? Describe your feeling of surprise when the first contraction happened.

and they will surely not escape-

• Meaning there will be nowhere to hide from the wrath of GOD that is coming on them.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would-

• Meaning Christians are expectant of His coming, though they don’t know the time and the season, and their soul is prepared against the event because they are not in the darkness as unbelievers. They are alive and in the light.

• Colossians 1:13 (NET) 13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves,

• 1 Peter 2:9,10 (NET) 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Discussion Question:

Have you ever successfully deterred a thief? How did you prepare to not become a victim?

Explain your memories when you were called out of spiritual darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son?

What can we do to warn those of the coming judgement of God?

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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 Ready for The Day of The Lord?

Bob

Remember how you were lost in sin and in life. I called you to come hear the gospel with your friend. Remember how you felt the truth draw your soul to My Son over and over each time that you heard it. You tried to forget it and resist it, but the message of My grace within you was irresistible. Finally you trusted My Son as your redeemer. Now you are ready for My Son’s return.

Now tell others the message! You preach, and I will draw.

Do You Have Hope To See the Sleeping? 1 Thessalonians 4 verses 13-18

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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NET)

13 Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians.

15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep.

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.

18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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Phrases:

Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep-

• Paul now writes about the return of the Lord with those Christians who are asleep, meaning those who have died. This does not mean that their soul is sleeping. This means that the believer’s body is dead. Paul and Jesus call this sleep. It’s a way of showing that someday the ‘sleeping’ body will awake in the resurrection as shown in the phrases below.

• John 11:11-13 (NET) 11 After he said this, he added, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. But I am going there to awaken him.” 12 Then the disciples replied, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 (Now Jesus had been talking about his death, but they thought he had been talking about real sleep.

so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope-

• Notice Paul does not say they will not grieve for their loved ones, but rather they will grieve differently because they have hope that their Christian loved will be seen again as mentioned in the next phrases.

Discussion Question:

• Explain any differences that you have witnessed how a believer deals with grief differently than a non-believer?

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians-

• Meaning just as Jesus has risen from the dead, so Christians who have died will also be raised from the dead and brought back with Jesus at His coming.

• The phrase, God will bring with Him, can mean…

• a) God the Father will cause the raised Christians to be brought back with Jesus, or

• b) God the Son will bring back the raised Christians with Himself.

• 1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NET) 13 so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

• 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (NET) 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him.

• Jude 1:14 (NET) 14 Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones…

For we tell you this by the word of the Lord-

• Meaning Paul has received the following details as revelation from God.

that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep-

• Paul provides details of the order in how Christians will gather together with the Lord at His coming. Paul is clear that the bodies of those who have died in Jesus will go ahead first. This order is again repeated in the phrases following.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command-

• Meaning just as He ascended to Heaven in the Book of Acts, now He will descend from Heaven. However, this time he will return with a cry of incitement for His elect to gather to Him.

• Strong’s Definitions: †κέλευμα kéleuma, kel’-yoo-mah; a cry of incitement

• Webster defines incite as – to move to action : stir up : spur on : urge on

• Acts 1:11 (NET) 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.”

with the voice of the archangel-

• Meaning Michael the archangel will also be present with his angles, and he will call.

• Jude 1:9 (NET) But even when Michael the archangel was arguing with the devil and debating with him concerning Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”

• 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7 (NET) 6 For it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to you who are being afflicted to give rest together with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.

and with the trumpet of God-

• Trumpets were used in ancient times to signal movements of people and armies. This trumpet is for the same reason – to gather God’s people.

• Numbers 10:2 (NET) “Make two trumpets of silver; you are to make them from a single hammered piece. You will use them for assembling the community and for directing the traveling of the camps.

and the dead in Christ will rise first-

• Paul repeats the order in which they will raise once again. First those who are asleep, now defined as dead in Christ, will rise first.

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air-

• Second in order to rise will be those who are still living. All of His people throughout all time will be gathered together with the Lord in the clouds. We will all be changed to be imperishable and immortal.

• 1 Corinthians 15:52-53 (NET) 52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

• Philippians 3:20-21 (NET) 20 But our citizenship is in heaven – and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.

And so we will always be with the Lord-

• Oh how comforting! We will all be together, and we will all never again be separated from the lover of our souls – the Lord.

Therefore encourage one another with these words-

• These words encourage us because ..

• the dead will be raised

• we will be changed

• we will be together

• we will be with the Lord forevermore.

Discussion Question:

• What comes to your mind after studying this revelation?

• Knowing we will all be gathered together with the Lord in the clouds, how could we be better at Christian unity now in this time?

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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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Do You Have Hope To See the Sleeping?

Bob,

Do not despair, lose all hope, or go into deep depression for those believers who have died. I am sovereign, and I am in control of everything. Just as I have raised from the dead, so I will raise them back to life. You will all be gathered together at My trumpet’s call.

All the believers throughout time will be gathered together. You all will be with Me forevermore. We will be spending eternity together. Therefore, today make an effort to be unified with other believers.

Have You Yielded to Faith? Romans 1 verses 5-7

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Bible study with Chris and Brianne.

Romans 1:5-7

5 Through him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name.

6 You also are among them, called to belong to Jesus Christ.

7 To all those loved by God in Rome, called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

————

Phrases:

Through him we have received grace and our apostleship-

• Meaning through Jesus Christ mentioned in the previous verse.

A) we-

• Meaning the apostles (Paul and Timothy) Romans 16:21.

B) Received grace-

• Two possible interpretations.

• First, meaning God’s Divine favor by which the apostles were made saved from their sins.

• Second, not speaking of saving grace, but rather grace to do the work of an apostle.

• (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) used of the power to undertake and administer the apostolic office.

• Romans 15:15-16 (NET) 15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve the gospel of God like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

C) Our apostleship- see the previous passage study for the definition of an apostle.

to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name-

A) to bring about the obedience of faith-

  • Meaning the purpose of their apostleship.
  • Meaning to give others the choice to obey trusting in the gospel or to disobey by not trusting in the gospel.
  • Jamieson, Faussete, and Brown commentary: that is, in order to men’s yielding themselves to the belief of God’s saving message, which is the highest of all obedience.
  • John 6:29 (NET) Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires – to believe in the one whom he sent.”
  • Acts 6:7 (NET) The word of God continued to spread, the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:8 (NET) With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

B) among all the gentiles-

• Meaning all of the gentiles that Paul speaks with wherever he goes (the gentiles are his main audience in Rome).

C) on behalf of his name-

• Meaning the Apostles are doing this work among the gentiles for Christ’s name.

Discussion Question-

• God gave Paul a purpose. How can we determine God’s purpose for us?

You also are among them-

  • Meaning the believing gentiles in Rome are among the other gentiles who have the obedience of faith mentioned above.

called to belong to Jesus Christ. –

  • Meaning those believing gentiles in Rome are called to come to Jesus.
  • John 6:44-45 (NET) 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.

To all those loved by God in Rome –

• Not speaking of all the Romans, but God’s love is referring to those believing Gentiles in Rome who are called above.

called to be saints-

• Meaning that the believing gentiles in Rome are called to be sacred and set apart for Him.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines saint as set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his.

• Strong’s Definition for the Greek word means, sacred.

Discussion Question

• Explain the time in your life when you experienced God’s calling to come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ?

Grace and peace to you-

• Paul’s common greeting in his letters.

• Meaning he desires they will experience God’s spiritual favor (grace) and harmony (peace).

from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ-

• Meaning by whom the blessings of grace and peace flow.

• God the Father, the provider, the authority, and Father to Jesus and his children

• The Lord Jesus Christ meaning our Master, Savior, and the Anointed one.