INTRODUCTION: THE PURPOSE FOR THIS CLASS
The purpose of Essentials 201 is to provide the tools necessary to help each believer become a spiritually mature disciple of Jesus Christ.
â€œ...that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.â€
â€œThen we will no longer be infants...we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.â€
I. WHAT IS â€œSPIRITUAL MATURITY?â€
Spiritual Maturity is __becoming more like Jesus___.
â€œFor from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him... should become like his Son.â€
II. FACTS ABOUT SPIRITUAL MATURITY
â€œHave nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godlinessâ€
1 Timothy 4:7
A. It is not _automatic__.
B. It is a __process__.
C. It takes __time__.
III. UNDERSTANDING DISCIPLESHIP
â€œ...So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.â€
A. ___disciple__ is a biblical term for someone who decides to follow Christ and learn from Him.
B. The term disciple is related to the word _____discipline____.
C. The more like Christ I become __the more God can use me__.
D. The mark of a disciple is __cross-bearing__ .
Jesus said, â€œAnyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.â€
E. How often am I to do this? _____daily______
Jesus said â€œIf anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.â€
F. What is involved in â€œcross bearing?â€ Whatever it takes to give Christ first place in my life.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
IV. HOW CAN I BECOME A DISCIPLE?
By developing the Habits of a disciple.
â€œ... since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.â€
Definition of â€œhabitâ€:
â€œA continual, often unconscious inclination to do a certain activity, acquired through frequent repetition. An established disposition of the character.â€
The habits of a disciple are:
A. Daily fellowship with the Lord through Bible study and prayer.
B. Regular fellowship with other believers, especially in the context of a local church. C. Growing spiritually by living a Spirit-led life.
D. Giving of yourself in love and service.
THE GOAL OF THIS CLASS:
That I will ______commit_____________ to the habits necessary for spiritual maturity.
HABIT ONE: BIBLE STUDY & PRAYER
Getting a Grasp on Godâ€™s Word
â€œAll Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.â€
2 Timothy 3:16-17
I. HOW TO GET MORE FROM MY BIBLE
A. I must accept its authority.
Your attitude toward the Bible makes a huge difference.
â€œWe also thank God continually because, when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.â€
1 Thessalonians 2:13
â€œFor prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.â€
2 Peter 1:21
The authority of Scripture is based on its inspiration .
â€œThe Holy Spirit came upon certain men at a certain time without suspending their own personalities and so guided them, that the words they recorded represent the inerrant and infallible truths that God wanted us to know.â€ -Robert J. Morgan
B. I must Assimilate its truths.
1. _____HEARING______ Godâ€™s Word.
â€œFaith comes by hearing the word of God.â€ Romans 10:17
2. ____READING____ Godâ€™s Word.
â€œBlessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it...â€
How often should I read Godâ€™s Word? DAILY.
â€œIt is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.â€
3. ___STUDYING____ Godâ€™s Word.
â€œ...they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.â€
4. _______MEMORIZING______Godâ€™s Word.
â€œKeep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.â€
5. ______MEDITATING____ on Godâ€™s Word.
â€œBut his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.â€
Meditation is the habit of Pondering & Visualizing about a Bible verse in order to better appreciate its meaning and significance.
C. I must Apply its principles.
â€œOnce you know these things you will be blessed if you do them.â€ John 13:17
â€œDo not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.â€ James 1:22
1. Bible study is not simply an academic Exercise .
2. Bible study is Godâ€™s inspired Flawless Growth plan for a successful life.
â€œEvery passage in the Bible is given to enrich our lives with promises to claim, commandments to obey, attitudes to adjust, burdens to share, actions to take, or prayers to echo.â€ â€“Robert J. Morgan
3. As we process the Bible through daily living, the Holy Spirit will use its truths to make us more like Christ .
II. HOW TO TALK WITH GOD
â€œAlways be joyful. Never stop praying.â€
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17(NLT)
In the beginning we were created to have fellowship with God but because of Adamâ€™s fall Jesus sacrificed Himself to make a relationship with God possible.
Jesus exemplified a personal relationship with God through prayer that gave Him great strength.
Every person who has ever been effective in service for God has developed this habit. The only way to be a healthy Christian is to commune with God daily through prayer.
A.The importance of daily prayer time: ___It is commanded
â€œBut when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.â€
B. The purpose of daily prayer time: To develop__closeness___ with God and accomplish __His will_ .
â€œSubmit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you...â€
â€œWhat other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our
God is near us whenever we pray to him?â€ Deuteronomy 4:7
â€œThe greatest PURPOSE of prayer is to recognize the presence of the
Heavenly Father.â€ -Andrew Murray
Pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done. Matthew 6:10
C. How to begin a daily prayer time:
1. Select a specific Time and Place .
â€œVery early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where he prayed.â€
2. Follow a simple Plan .
How to spend, say, fifteen minutes with God:
1. Ask God to speak (30 Seconds).
2. Bible reading, starting where you left off (6 Minutes).
3. Prayer (6 Minutes).
d. Bible Memory (2.5 Minutes).
Note: Many Christians keep a daily journal as a tool for maintaining their â€œQuiet Timeâ€ routine. Many other resources and books are available to help you develop these disciplines. See the 201 Appendix for helpful resources to get you started.
HABIT TWO: FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
â€œLet us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherâ€”and all the more as you see the Day approaching.â€ Hebrews 10:25
How can a church grow large yet maintain close friendships?
Every member needs to be a part of a Small Group (small group) . â€œ(They met) day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house.â€ Acts 5:42
â€œYou know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.â€
At Restore Church, we believe our church must grow LARGER and SMALLER at the same time.
I. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SMALL GROUPS?
â€œThey devoted themselves to the apostlesâ€™ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.â€
Small Groups provide opportunities for:
A. Prayer .
â€œThey devoted themselves to the apostlesâ€™ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer...â€
B. Care .
â€œ...All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need...â€
C. Fellowship .
â€œ...Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts...â€
D. Discipleship .
â€œ...They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people...â€
II. SMALL GROUP CHARACTERISTICS
1. Frequency (Make your group a priority)
2. Authenticity (Share your true feelings)
3. Mutuality (Encourage groupâ€™s spiritual growth)
4. Courtesy (Respect differences)
5. Sympathy (Support in times of need)
6. Humility (Accept each otherâ€™s weaknesses)
7. Honesty (Speak the truth in love)
8. Mercy (Forgive when I am hurt)
9. Confidentiality (Keep each otherâ€™s confidences)
10. Unity (Support our purposes)
â€œMay the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.â€
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
â€œ â€˜A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.â€™â€
HABIT THREE: GROWING SPIRITUALLY BY LIVING A SPIRIT-LED LIFE
I. WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
1. The Holy Spirit is a person .
â€œI will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.â€ John 14:16 (NASB)
1. The Third Person in the Trinity .
â€œBut the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.â€ John 14:26 (NASB)
THE HOLY SPIRITâ€™S ROLE IN OUR LIVES
â€œGathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, â€œWhich,â€ He said, â€œyou heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from nowâ€¦you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.â€â€ Acts 1:4-8 (NASB)
1. The Holy Spirit enables us to know Godâ€™s:
• Comfort .
â€œAnd I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.â€ John 14:16 (KJV)
• Conviction .
â€œBut now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, â€˜Where are You going?â€™ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. â€œBut I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.â€
John 16:5-8 (NASB)
1. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live with Christ like:
• Character .
â€œFor the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lordâ€”who is the Spiritâ€”makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.â€ 2 Corinthians 3:17-18(NLT)
â€œBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.â€ Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
• Power .
â€œBut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.â€
1. The Holy Spirit equips us with Spiritual Gifts.
â€œThere are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spiritâ€¦ Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.â€
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
â€œTherefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,â€
â€œAt that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: â€œYou are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.â€
â€œMay the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.â€
2 Corinthians 13:14
While all three members of the Trinity are equal in power, glory, and divinity, they seem to assume different tasks. In their joint work, they have assigned themselves specific roles, each working in perfect conjunction with the others. In simplest terms:
A. The Father _____PLANS_____ . The Father is the Initiator .
B. The Son _____PROVIDES______ . The Son is the Mediator .
C. The Holy Spirit _PROMPTS_. The Holy Spirit is the Activator .
Just before His crucifixion, Jesus explained to His disciples that He was about to provide salvation for the world by dying on the cross. Then, He explained, He was going to return to heaven and send the Holy Spirit to apply that salvation to the hearts and lives of those who would believe in Him.
â€œAnd I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you foreverâ€”the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.â€ John 14:16-17
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit had come upon certain people at certain times for certain tasks.
â€œThe Spirit of the Lord came upon him [Samson] in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat...Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men...â€
â€œSo Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power...â€
1 Samuel 16:13
â€œThe Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisonersâ€ Isaiah 61:1
II. THE IN-DWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus promised that following His ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon the church and would actually dwell within the believer. In Acts, Jesus repeats His promise about the Holy Spirit, and in Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the church to indwell each believer. Paul explained it this way:
â€œDo you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.â€
1 Corinthians 6:19
But the Holy Spirit wants to do more than Dwell within us. He wants to Fill us.
III. THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
â€œDo not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.â€
In this passage, there is a
1. Being filled with the Spirit
2. Being filled with drunkenness
B. Comparison .
The Bible makes this comparison three times (Luke 1:15, Acts 2:13-15, Ephesians 5:18). Why didnâ€™t Paul say â€œDo not lie, cheat or steal; instead be filled with the Holy Spirit?â€ He contrasted Spirit-fullness with drunkenness because there is a point of comparison between them.
C. Command .
Paul is commanding the members of the Body of Christ to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
D. Possess a Lifestyle of Growth .
1. Gâ€“___Go to church___
2. R â€“ ___Read the Bible____
3. O - ____Obey Godâ€™s Word______
4. W- ______Witness to others_____
IV. EVIDENCE OF BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. Power for victorious Christian Living .
â€œDo not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.â€
2. Thanksgiving 3. Submission
B. Power for victorious Christian Service .
â€œBut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.â€
â€œAfter they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.â€
â€œMy message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spiritâ€™s power...â€
1 Corinthians 2:4
V. HOW CAN I BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT ON A DAILY BASIS?
C __confess sin______
A ___ask to be filled___
R _____rededicate your life______
As you begin each day like this, you are â€œwalking in the Spiritâ€ and the fruit of the Spirit is developing in your life.
â€œ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.â€
2 Timothy 4:7,8
â€œBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...â€
HABIT FOUR: GIVING OF YOURSELF IN LOVE AND SERVICE
â€œJust as you excel in everything... in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness... see that you also excel in the grace of giving.â€
2 Corinthians 8:7
1. THREE AREAS OF GIVING
1. Give of your Time .
â€œBe very careful, then, how you liveâ€”not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.â€
B. Give of your Talents .
â€œEach one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Godâ€™s grace in its various forms.â€
1 Peter 4:10
C. Give of your Treasure .
â€œIf your gift is... giving, give generously.â€
Romans 12:8 (NLT)
II. SEVEN BENEFITS OF GIVING
A. Giving is a quality or characteristic of God .
â€œGod so loved the world that He gave his only Son.â€
B. Giving draws me Closer to God.
â€œWhere your treasure is, there your heart will be also.â€
C. Giving is the antidote to Materialism .
â€œCommand those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to be generous and willing to share. In this way they may take hold of the life that is truly life.â€
D. Giving strengthens my Faith .
â€œTrust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding... Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of your income, and he will fill your barns to overflowing.â€
Prov. 3:5, 9-10
â€œGive and it will be given to you... For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.â€
E. Giving is an investment in Eternity .
â€œThey are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.â€
F. Giving Blesses me in return.
â€œA generous man himself will be blessed.â€
â€œA generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.â€ Proverbs 11:25
G. Giving makes me Happy .
Jesus â€œ...It is more blessed to give than to receive.â€ Acts 20:35
III. THREE REASONS FOR GIVING
A. It Expresses our Worship .
â€œIn the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering.â€
â€œAscribe to the Lord the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.â€
1 Chronicles 16:29
â€œOn coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.â€
B. It Extends our Ministry .
â€œAll the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.â€ Exodus 35:29
â€œAfter this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herodâ€™s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.â€
C. It Expands our Investments .
â€œDo not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.â€
â€œTithing is not a Law to be obeyed, but a Pattern to be followed as a starting point in our giving to God. After all, the basic question is not how much of our money we shall give to God, but how much of Godâ€™s money we shall retain for ourselves.â€ â€“Robert J. Morgan
IV. GIVING WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDES
A. Give Willingly .
For if the willingness is there, your gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one doesnâ€™t have.â€
2 Corinthians 8:12
Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion.â€
2 Corinthians 9:7a
B. Give Cheerfully .
...for God loves a cheerful giver!â€
2 Corinthians 9:7b
C. Give Sacrificially .
They gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service. 2 Corinthians 8:3-4
D. Give Expectantly .
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and whoever sows generously also will reap generously.â€
2 Corinthians 9:6
...They gave themselves first to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 8:5
ESSENTIAL HABITS OF A HEALTHY BELIEVER
Personally and Corporately
â€œBut the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.â€
1. Bible Study and Prayer
2. Fellowshipping with Others
3. Growing Spiritually by Living a Spirit-led Life 4. Giving of Yourself in Love and Service
Attend Discovery 301 next week at 9:00