Key Text: Romans 12:1-18
So far in this Christianity 101 series, our topics have been mainly centered on an individual’s relationship with God. Not only must individual Christians learn to love God, we must learn to love other people and we must also learn to be loved by other Christians.
While Christianity must always be personal, it must be lived out within a Christianity community, specifically within a local church. So what is the church? Why is the church so important for our personal transformation? And how can we love other Christians and be loved by them in the context of a local church?
Right next to Bible study is prayer. If we desire to grow in Christ, connect with God, find the direction we desire in life, and see God move in our lives in personal ways, then Christians must be a people of prayer.
Core to Christianity is the Bible. Without the Bible we would not know God in all the fullness that he has revealed himself through the Scriptures. God has ordained the Bible to be central in the Christian’s life not to replace a personal relationship with God but to enhance it.
If God creates us into new creations once we put our faith in Jesus Christ, why do we still sin? And if God’s grace is endless, why does it matter if we sin. As we look at Romans 6:14, we will see that “sanctification” is the answer to our questions.
What Is Justification? What Has Gone Done to Us Through Christ?
A man was summoned to court because he had neglected to pay his taxes for many years. He now owed such an immense debt, he could never pay it back. Just as the judge was about to throw the man into prison, an unexpected turn of events happened.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is the golden rule. It is the summary of the entire law (Galatians 5:14). And it is the second greatest commandment within the entire Bible (Matthew 22:37-40).
But how do we love our neighbors as ourselves? To answer that, let’s look at Like 10:25-42.
Everyone is unique, thus Jesus draws us to himself uniquely. While each of has an individual story of straying and thus God will reach out to us in individual ways, there are often many common themes all of us experience on the road to reunification with God. One such story that depicts the path nearly every conversion is that of Zacchaeus.
Imagine you woke up one morning and you were in the middle of the ocean on ship with other crew members. No one knows how you all got there. No one knows what you all are supposed to be doing. You are all just there . . . on ship . . . with no coordinates . . . no mission . . . in the middle of a the vast ocean.
To make matters worse, no one on the ship really knows anything about sailing, navigating, or fishing. All the equipment for survival and a successful mission are present on the ship, it’s just that no one really knows how to use any of this.
Ministry is often glamorized from the outside looking in, and with good reason. Ministry is amazing on many fronts.
So it’s a natural temptation as a young person attending seminary, learning about so many wonderful principles, to imagine how your future ministry will thrive. How easy it is when you have a secular job to think “ministry” would be so less frustrating and difficult than your current place of employment. You just wish you could be serving people all day, having people come to you for help, helping them with the love of Christ, and being warmly loved in return for your hard work? Ministry would be amazing!
While I am not here to bash a vision like this or shame anyone with ideas like this, I think it’s also safe to say those who have been in any type of Christian ministry for an extended period of time know things are not so sterile and orderly. There’s so much pain and pleasure mixed together in real ministry.
Key Text: 1 John 4:1-21
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So who is God and what is he really like? As we will see in this chapter, our answers to these questions will shape the way we live.