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GRASPING & UNDERSTANDING THE TRUTH

&

RELEVANCY OF SCRIPTURE

 

A Home Study on Psalm 3 for Biblical Comprehension Relevancy

&

Overcoming Fear and Facing Adversity

 

 

TRENTON CLARK RINDOKS

RLGN 489

MAY 13, 2016

 

Grasping & Understanding the Truth & Relevancy of Scripture

A Home Study on Psalm 3 for Biblical Comprehension Relevancy

&

Overcoming Fear and Facing Adversity

I. The Proposition

” According to A Barna Research Group Poll, Only 18 percent of Christians, or than less than two of every ten read the Bible every day. Worst of all, 23 percent or almost one in four professing Christians—say they never read the Word of God (Whitney 2014).”  Paul makes it clear in Romans that while repentance, Baptism and belief in Jesus are necessary Sanctification and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit are required for salvation. For while Christ Atoning Sacrifice was offered and paid the ransom fully for all sin and death sanctification is the mean through the leading of Faith and Christian living in which one is transformed and restored into the image of  Christ ( Eikōn). Additionally, while Jesus is the door to salvation Faith or the Holy Spirit provides the keys to enter the Kingdom.  Romans 12:1-2  States, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” In this passage, Paul is stating that sin originates and centers in our thoughts and therefore we must constantly renewal of our mind with truth and the ways of God or his Holy Word if we wish to live in Godliness, develop virtues, and not be overcome by vices or ways of the flesh.

Additionally Paul states that reading and meditation on the Word leads to the development of Spiritual character and dying to the  ways of old-self or the ways of sin (Adam), thus leading to our transformation to the New Adam or Eikōn. In  Second Timothy Paul states a correlation of this, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work ( 2 Tim 3:16-18).”

Finally, In Ephesians Paul states how scripture can form one of the most potent tools in our arsenal for spiritual warfare. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should (Eph 6: 12-18).”

“Jesus often asked questions about people’s understanding of the Scriptures, sometimes beginning with the words, “Have you not read . . . ?” (Matthew 19:4; Mark 12:10). He assumed that those claiming to be the people of God would have read the Word of God. And a case can be made that this question implies a familiarity with the entire Word of God. In addition, When Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).’  Surely He intended at the very least for us to read “every word,” for how can we “live . . . by every word that comes from the mouth of God” if we have never even read “every word that comes from the mouth of God (Whitney 2014)?” If Jesus commanded it, why are so many of us not doing it? Many of us blame it on time, but others on lack of ability comprehend or relate to the Word.

The purpose of this gathering is to illuminate minds and open hearts be better equipped to understand and relate to Word of God in a relative fashion while maintain the intent understanding the context of the occasion and audience while bridging the gap into our modern world. Additional the small group study will focus on Psalms 3 and is intended to address to areas of fear and overcoming adversity and depending on God to meet one’s needs and the necessity of prayer. Psalms 3 NIV states:

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”[b]

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

 

The method of analysis and instruction is the Crossing the Bridge Method outline by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays (Duvall and Hays 2012). A simplified version will be first introduced as a foundation and further studies will build upon the foundation should interest develop or needs arise.

The initial analysis for this event began in 2015. The initial project was to be a home study to overcome fear in Adults that never originated do to schedule conflicts. Further requests and assessments of social and personal needs are making this hypothetical project more of a reality than possibility. The question should not be a matter of why to start but when to start, and the answer should be as soon as possible.

II. Method

Interpretation of Psalm 3 Outline

Using Psalms: three as an example text for interpreting, study and mediating on God’s Word a concise theological/biblical method will be taught on some common applications for this verse for the Christians today. The method used to interpret this verse will be the four-step method known as the Interpretative Journey. This method starts by examining the text in relevance to the time, place and context when written and bridges the gap to a relevant meaning to contemporary society (Carter, Duvall and Hays 2005). When interpreting The Books Psalms one needs to approach the verse or passage as a conversation with God as each Psalm in themselves convey one of three messages Praise, Laments or a cry for help, and Thanksgiving (Carter, Duvall and Hays 2005).

Each Psalm contained within the Book of Psalms were written as songs thus much of the context is in an allegorical or, poetic and symbolic language. Interpreting the verses. We should not take all the context as literal but consider the metaphors as would do if one was  trying to gain understanding into a contemporary songs such as Bob Dylan’s “knocking on Heaven’s Door (Dylan 1973). ”  In the song, Dylan is not literally knocking on an actual door. However, in our mind and heart Dylan paints us a vivid picture of one approaching death.

The Biblical Meaning / Historical Setting

“Each Psalm is an independent unit isolated from its literary context and thus we must consider the historical context throughout the entire book first (Carter, Duvall and Hays 2005).”

The Book of Psalms subdivision in a fivefold format parallels the first five books of the Torah or The Pentateuch. The first five books is the story of Mankind creation his Eternal blessed state or oneness with God and his separation-death as result of sin, and the process to recovery or reconciliation of his righteousness with God.

The Book of Psalms is a collection of 150 songs that are a composition for worship in The Temple of Jerusalem. The Book of Psalms is divides in a Five-book format. At the end of each Psalm in the first four books is a conclusion with a doxology or “Word of Praise” (Ps 41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52, 106:48). The fifth book closes with a praise song, Psalm 150 (Hindson and Yates 2012).

Psalm 3 is a composition of King David and is a lamentation as he fled from his son Absalom who led a rebellion against him (his father) and used subterfuge and influential power as a Judge to proclaim himself rightful  authoritive heir to the throne. David fleeing Jerusalem and was pursued by Absalom’s Army. This Psalm was composed in and under the context of the constant face of fear and facing the uncertainty of death. David’s orders Absalom to be punished with kindness when captured.  However, when Absalom’s hair becomes entangled in a tree he is executed for his crimes. In reaction to David’s grief over his son’s actions, the morale of his army was low and his soldiers defy their orders. Instead of victory, David’s forces returned to Jerusalem in sorrow.

The Story of Absalom is recorded in 2 Samuel: 13-19 the main theme to remember is God has providence over all events in History (2 Sam: 17:14 NIV ). Another contextual point illustrated is the love and forgiveness of a parent for a child despite what action they may choose to do. This Psalm forms the basis to the parable of The Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. Psalms 3 concludes with a Doxology.

The historical-contextual meaning to the Biblical audience of this passage can be summarized in the following statement.   Psalms 3 is a prayer to God to protect one from harm of an enemy. Furthermore, God will conqueror fear, provide, and sustain one’s needs and assist in the deliverance from one’s enemies. At first glance, one may view the enemy to be the literal encroaching forces of Absalom but Absalom can also apply to Sin or principalities of evil as well. David’s metaphor as  God as a shield and is also used in New Testament Paul using such a reference in Ephesians 6:16 to the Faith we have in God the obedience and trust perseverance and endurance and ultimately empowerment and at time sacrificial living . The Obedience by faith that comes through the Authority of Christ and the  leading of Holy Spirit in our becoming and imitating of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Differences and Similarities

Although the Psalms were written under the Old Covenant (Law) and us as, Christians live under the New Covenant (Guidance or Virtues of the Heart). The differences are not that great. Jesus did not come to overturn the Law but he modified it to a manner in which it is easier for one to apply in their daily life. In The Great Commandment:  Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.’ ‘This is the first and Greatest Commandment.’ And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments (Matt 22: 37-40  ).’” This Commandment if followed encompasses the Law. Thus, the Old Covenant serves as a guide for our actions and a determining factor for what is sin. Jesus also reminds us that all of us will fall short and none of us can uphold the law completely by our own accord: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:20 NIV).”  Like the Israelites in David’s time, we face the threat of war, and need protection from enemies additionally forces both physical and spiritual threaten us on a daily basis.

 

 

The Meaning (Crossing the Bridge)

The theological/Biblical Statement can thus be stated simply in the following way. By an action of Faith (The Shield) God will protect, and provide for us. God will give us strength to defeat our enemies but we must always thank him and put him above all things.

Examples of Application

The application for this passage is in times of danger whether the force of opposition is a spiritual or physical The Presence of God will provide comfort, strength, and the means to defeat our enemies. We use our Faith, The Shield, The Word of God, The Sword, The Breastplate of Righteousness, or Spiritual Living, The Belt of Truth, and The Helmet of Salvation to protect us and defeat our adversaries.  Finally, we need not forget to praise God for what he does in our life. Like David in times of strife one should turn to prayer first as God will provide and meet all needs, protect and strengthen the body, mind, and soul and give us the Gifts of Spirit to persevere all circumstances in times of suffering and in times of abundance for the glory of his kingdom.

III. Strategy Plan

  1. Target: Adult Small Group
  • Assessment Date: May, 13, 2016
  • Assessed By: Trenton Rindoks & Associates
  1. General Age Group Characteristics
  2. Age Level: ____35-65_____
  3. Gender ☐ Males Only ☐ Females Only      × Mixed Group

 

Physical:

Some have illness (physical)

 

Some mental

 

 

 

 

Cognitive:

 

2 Scientific/ rational (deductive/Objective)

 

2 Abstract

( inductive subjective

Faith is firm is some

Able to read and Understand Modern Language Translations (NIV)

 

Linear view( Black/ White thinkers)

 

Some existentialist

 

Psychosocial:

Low Esteem

 

Fear /Anxiety/ Depression

 

Secondary need displacement

 

Rejection

 

Western Prospective of Culture Religion

 

Post-Modernism

Evangelical

Modernism view

 

Some Pluralist/  Universalistic / Agnostics

 

Mix of conservative and Liberal positions on Politics and Religion ( or Lack thereof)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual:

 

Accepted Christ

Basic  Bible Knowledge

 

Blame of God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1.  
  1. Characteristics of the Ministry Setting

 

  • Kind of Group (Indicate the agency and type of ministry in which the teaching is to take place): Home Bible study

 

  • Size of Group (Indicate number of students who are anticipated or attend regularly):

4-6

 

  • Social-cultural Characteristics of Group (type of community, ethnicity, types of employment, economic level, community size, etc.): White, middle class, from small rural / suburb community 20 miles outside Memphis. Various occupations, some self-employed and disabled
  • Spiritual Maturity Level of Students: Beginner to mature, a few seekers and Agnostics

 

  1. Specific Group Characteristics

 

  • Interests:

Art, Music, Cooking, sports, movies. Music, philosophy, literature

 

  • Abilities: Construction / Handyman, Cooking, Auto repair, Pottery, Creative Writing, Care Giving,  Parents, Teaching

 

  • Limitations: basic Understanding of Bible, Some or Seeking Agnostic

 

 

  • Observed Needs: Many confusing Secondary needs as Primary and living in the flesh. Confusing the pursuit of happiness as the desired means of God instead of servitude and obedience. Many do not realize reliance on God produce Joy= Happiness and prosperity, Some are Agnostic and have a Pluralistic Understanding

 

 

  1. Points of Ministry: Examples from music, movies, art and contemporary life and other areas comparing contrasting worldly ways with Godly ways. Ask Questions How, What, Where, When, Why format to keep flow going.

 

 

 

Date:    11/20/14                    Location:    My Home  Munford, TN                                                              File Under: Psalms 3
Target Group:

A Home study group of 4-6 consisting of adults ranging in age 35-65 at various stages in their relationship with Christ. Some struggle with acceptance/ belonging issues and confuse secondary with primary needs relying on flesh nature to fill gaps of inferiority.

Passage:

Psalms 3

 

Cross-references:

2 Sam: 17:14; Matt 22: 37-40; Matt 5:20; Ephesians 6:10-20, Rom, 1-8, 12-15:3

Exegetical Idea:

By an action of Faith, or prayer, (the shield) God will protect, and provide for us.

 

 

Pedagogical Idea:

God will give us strength to defeat our enemies but we must always thank him and put him above all things

 

 

 

Lesson AIM(s)

Cognitive (Head): The student will see how reliance on prayer in a time of need will give strength and provide protection (Security Need). That reliance on God superior than instinctive action. Right thinking starts with God and fear often center in the mind.

 

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Affective (Heart): By turning to prayer, one can be a conqueror of fear as a change of thinking in a Godly direction conquers anxiety. The Holy Spirit comforts and Provides Gifts for all situations and circumstances although at times we must endure suffering for Growth as Christ himself suffered (Rom 1-8) Renewal of Mind and Transformity (Rom 12- 15:3)  Whom shall I Fear ( Rom 8)

 

 

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Behavioral (Hands): By continue reliance on prayer for one’s needs one will see that one’s needs are to be met by placing God first.  One over time will become less anxious and secondary needs (or worldly /compulsive outlets) will be replaced by spiritual right thinking and a change of heart.

 

 

 

Hook:

Take 15 Minutes alone and contemplate on the passage then answer the questions.

Break into Groups and Share and Discuss solutions.

1.      What would you do if you were threatened or your life is in danger?

2.      What is your instinctual response to fear?

3.      What world solution comes to mind to combat and adversary or fear?

4.      What would God have you do?

5.      What can you learn from David’s example on how to face fear

6.      Why should we thank God when closing a prayer?

7.      Why did Absalom die on a Tree?

8.      What can we learn from David’s Reaction to Absalom’s deviance?

9.      What Adversaries are we as society facing today?

10.  What is any Area of fear in your life?

11.  How does God provide the blessing in your life?

12.  Why is dependency on God superior to self-sufficiency or self-appointed authority?

13.   Whom do we Fear?

14.   Who is the provider of security or source of strength and comfort in your life?

15.  What is your ultimate Goal or strength and weakness and Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book:

Content Outline

1.      Historical info explained

 

 

 

 

2.      Compare of Shield and combat of adversaries

 

3.       Group Analysis Psalm 3

 

4.      Review & Discuss Possible solutions and Alternatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         

Methodology

Mini lecture from 2 Samuel:  13-19 to explain historical setting of Psalms 3. Explain difference of old and New Covenant (; Matt 22: 37-40; Matt 5:20)

 

Ephesians 6:10-20

 

 

Read and Analyze Psalm 3 Conclude with question and Answer from Hook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look:

1.      Ask each student to think of ways each could better use prayer to overcome fear, and better rely on God first.

2.      Suggest each  Student spend 10 minutes a day on awakening reviewing day ahead inviting God into their life and Thanking God at night before bed reviewing where they acted instinctual relying on self, and where prayer should have been used to overcome fear, or provide for a need.

 

 

 

 

 

Took:

Begin with Praise either singing Hymns or Listening to Praise Music and Sharing of snacks or a Meal.

Communion: Offer communion to any who wish to Partake of it in Remembrance of the Suffering of our Lord Jesus and his Atonement for the Sin of All Humanity.

Group Prayer: Conclude with prayer requests and a Lord’s Prayer Thank God for what he has done in all participants Lives. Read John 3:16-21 and offer to Pray a prayer of Salvation for those who wish to turn their life to Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rationale:

This study is designed to both provide a more concise method to comprehend the Bible while working on Issues, of Fear and increase dependency on the Holy Spirit, in Prayer and in Faith while promoting community and unity and fellowship.

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Carter, Terry G, J. Scott Duvall, and J.Daniel Hays. Preaching God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.

 

Duvall, Scott J., and Daniel J. Hays. Grasping God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Dylan, Bob. “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” Pat Gareet & Billy the Kid. 1973.

Hindson, Ed, and Gary Yates. The Essence of the OLd Testament: A Survry. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2012.

 

Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2014.

 

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The Authority of Christ

Three themes present in the sermons of Peter in Acts 2:5 identify the Authority of our Lord Jesus Christ: The bodily Resurrection and Ascension, The Exaltation and Providence and unstoppable – ability of God’s will over the will of man.

First, the bodily Resurrection and Ascension serves as prove that what the prophets foretold had happened. As stated by Polhill “ from Moses and from the time of Samuel onward The Resurrection and Ascension must come from One who was both fully Human and fully Divine. David still rests in Hades and thus, no human could serve as either a uniting king, conquer physical and spiritual death, and restore the separation from God that resulted from the sin of Adam and Eve or grant Salvation (Polhill 1992,2003).” One has to remember that the Prophets in the Old Testament served both the function of Judges, predictors of God’s future wrath and to warn of event that are will occur in the present age if one does not change their ways. Additionally In the section of the Major Prophets only 5% deal with the New Covenant, 1% deal with deal with events that will happen in our present era, 2% are Messianic in Nature the rest thus are event that occurred in history (Duvall and Hays 2012). Thus, all prophecy and signs have a relationship that are past, present and future in meaning.

God, The Father, being purely Holy divine & pure Holiness would destroy creation itself, as the father cannot look upon evil ( Hb 1:13) and the Holy Spirit being without human-form would not be able to fully experience or be an adequate sacrifice for the sins of the Humankind, thus only a Man-God would suffice.

Secondly, the Ascension and Exaltation of Our Lord Jesus Christ as the Man-God serves the function to illustrate that during the second-coming Jesus Christ will return in the same manner in which he ascended. This is important to show that although Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecy humanity is not fully restored to the image of God, The Nation of Israel is not yet fully redeemed, and all people of all nations who are willing have yet to accept and profess the authority and name of Jesu Christ as the Lord and Savior! Additionally, evil is not fully contained as temptation remains as principalities, and the Prince of the Earth still are in direct opposition with the Kingdom of Heaven. However, Jesus did provide a means for Salvation through the establishment of a New Covenant for the whole of humanity and a formula for the resisting of temptation. Christ gave us a comforter, a source of Inspiration and protector. Heaven and Earth or the New Jerusalem is a future prediction that will not come to pass until Old Israel is restored to God, our Savior-King returns to set up his Earthly Kingdom and all face the day of the Lord. The most important aspect is that upon Ascension Jesus current sits at the right hand of the father a place of glory or hyper-exaltation. Jesus-Christ thus is the ruler over all creation Heaven and Earth and is with God or the same as God of the same substance, authority, power. Prominence and sovereignty.

Finally, Providence and unstoppable force of God’s will over the will of man is illuminated by Luke in (Acts 5: 38-39) when Peter states in reference to Theudas and the uprising that resulted in response to his teaching in comparison to the martyrdom of Stephen that if such activities are of human origins they will fail.  When such endeavors of God’s will succeed and one will only be fighting a losing battle against God’s purpose, authority sovereignty itself. Peter used such literary devices in (Acts 4:12 NIV) When he states “Salvation is found in no one else name under Heaven.”  In Acts 4:19-20 Peter and John reply when commanded not to keep teach, proclaim, performing miracles and such  under the Authority or in the Name of Jesus “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!  As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4: 19-20 HCSB).” The implication of the above verses taken from the various speeches before the Sanhedrin is will of God has ultimate providence over the will of man.  The authority of Christ is the same as that of the father himself, God Kingdom calling is global in perspective and not reserved to Jews and the nation of Israel. All who go against the will of God will face judgement and will fail. Any who act out of their own self-ambition, concept or desires will fail and are not serving God’s purpose. Unity, faith, suffering for the glory of God, Prayer repentance, grace and the availability of Salvation to all people will become the central themes of the Universal church. Additional subthemes include defense of the weak, compassion to all, commodity, not giving into the status quo (being like the Sadducees), and being overly concerned with the Law (Like the Pharisees). From thenceforth, Salvation must come from willful receiving the gift of Salvation of Grace deeds or faith alone are not sufficient. One must have both.  Also all gifts, signs and miracles are performed in the name and Authority of Jesus Christ in conjunction with faith and assisted by the Holy Spirit anything else would be considered a sin against God. When all three pint are considered, it demonstrates and illustrates the Authority of Jesus Christ as well as Providence Of & Will of God and the Unity and Sovereignty of the Trinity.

In God, Christ, & Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

 

References

Duvall, Scott J., and Daniel J. Hays. Grasping God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eve-offering-the-apple-to-adam-in-the-garden-of-eden-the-elder-lucas-cranach

 

Gnosis-SophiaEleuthería-Pneuma Revised

The theological effects of YHYW on ministry and my worldview point

 

Introduction

The theological effects on God on my vocation as a minister and the importance of a sound doctrine as a relationship with the world as a whole can best be stated in such a manner. First, Gnosis, or Knowledge, and wisdom, Sophia, must be achieved by constantly studying and implementing God’s Word. In Theology for Today, Elmer L. Towns illuminates the reader on the following concerning the Bible’s Credibility. “Christianity is as credible as its foundation which is the foundation which is the immutable rock of the Holy Scripture. Nevertheless, this Book is no natural book, for it claims to be a divine revelation, penned by human authors. As such, the Bible has dual authorship written by men in their own language, yet the Holy Spirit guided the process so that both the words and messages are without error or mistake. The following rational argument that the Bible is the accurate Word of God is based on the presupposition that there is a God.

Since God is what He is-infinite, loving, and the Redeemer-we can only expect that, a loving and wise God would reveal a plan of redemption to humanity powerful enough to save him.

Since man is what he is-limited, sinful and needy-we can only conclude that, he needs a message of help that will meet his need.

Therefore, we expect the message of redemption from God that is given to meet the needs of sinful and to be authoritative, accurate, and reliable (Towns 2008,2002, 28).”

Secondly, Eleuthería, freedom, can be defined in such a manner.” freedom, liberty, especially: a state of freedom from slavery (Concordance 2011,1987).” The belief in freedom is not an overturning of Mosaic Law as some theologians but rather a freedom from the rigid structure of the demands or religious ritualism and practice of the Old Testament Covenant.

A final thought is how we as creatures created in God’s image come into play in society. This does not only apply with our interaction with humanity and the natural world, but also our morality and our overall nature. This is what I gained most to help me strengthen my belief (philosophy) and my doctrine (faith, Concept of God and the Church).

 

ten-commandmentsGnosis and Sophia

It is important not only to the minister but for all Christians to be firmly grounded in the Scriptures. The Bible should be the first and primary source of knowledge and wisdom.  One should carefully, take note of the surround passages around the verse being studied and should keep in mind the historical meaning of the passage or verse.  A comparison should then be deduced looking for similarities and differences in the ancient and modern world. The syntax and use of literal and figurative language should also be notated and then a practical application of the central theme should be applied to one’s life to gain full insight I the meaning. I also, recommend always seeking God in prayer before analyzing and interpreting any passage of Scripture.

To try to outline the central theme or Books of knowledge in the Bible would be impractical. However, in regards to Salvation one should start with the Gospels, Acts and then read Romans (Especially Rom 1-8).

One who is entering in the role of ministry should read the Book of 1 Timothy (1 Timothy 3:1-16; 4:6-5:2; 5:17-25). The Books 1 and 2 Timothy deal with pastoral responsibility.

In regards to the Books of Wisdom, or Poetic Books, the main sources would be Proverbs, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and James. However as the whole Bible is the revelation of God, one may never know where illumination may come from. One may discover a passage read one day might provide new insight as one grows in the Spiritual Gifting’s and the Fruits of The Spirit.  Although, the Words have not changed our understanding our theology should blossom as we grow in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Eleuthería

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew5:17:20).”

Although Christ himself state in the Gospel of Matthew he will not abolish or change the Law the Book of Galatians teach that we are no longer required to the ritualism of Jewish customs under the Law (Galatians 5:3). Paul then explains that we should be rid of keeping the law and return to living by grace (Galatians 5:9). The Book of Galatians in general addresses the issues of the Law as it relates to the Christians and has been misinterpreted since the writing of this Epistle. When one compares it to the Book of Hebrews, Colossians, Ephesians, and Romans and James as well as the above quote from Matthew, one gains the full meaning of Christian Liberties. We are to be Servants, of faith Hope and love for Christ, evangelizing and spreading the Gospel. We are to Church plant, and we are to be subservient to the government, to be peacemakers and by sanctification become righteous (less sin full more Christ like) developing in the Fruits of the Spirit. We are to show kindness, compassion, and mercy, to teach, preach and rebuke (but with kindness). We are not to forsake the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), but to use them as an example for our daily lives. The main purpose for righteousness and servitude is not for us as Salvation is guaranteed to the believer (John 3:16), but to bring others into the glory of God’s kingdom and grace. I firmly embrace we have but one main purpose as Christians which ensures are Eleuthería and is commanded by Christ that is to follow the Great Commission(Matthew 28:16-20).

On Creation and the impact on my Belief and Doctrine

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;  male and female he created them ( Gen. 1:26-27).”

Many often misinterpret the meaning of man as being created in God’s image. The true definition is more than a physiological meaning and related to the nature of one’s soul and spirit. The difference between the soul and spirit can best be explained in the following way. The soul resides within ones heart and is the source of morality, knowledge of  virtues ( love, kindness, mercy, justice..) and the center of one’s instinctual drives. The Spirit is one divine nature, is the source of the Spiritual Fruit, ones connection with God, and forms a connection with the God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Unlike are basic desires and instincts only the Holy Spirit can blossom our Fruits. The Spiritual Gifts are the various talents given to humankind to serve others especial in service Of Christ and the Church. Some individual may only be given one gift while others more. However, as one matures in spirit The Fruit blossom and other fellow Christian may instruct us thus gifts can develop more over time. The separation of the soul and spirit has been a controversial area of theology for many centuries. Many theologians have been accused of being heretics for embracing such a belief as it alludes to animals and Angels having souls. However, only humankind and God have a Spirit. This is what is referred to as the image of God in the book of Genesis and this is what humankind has suffered the penalty of death for due to the nature of the sin of Adam and Eve. A sin that is passed down from generation to generation-to-generation and which is ingrained in all of us or as one may say the knowledge of good and evil. A final note on the fall the natural world (animals and the environment) have become hostile to us because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. This is the penalty of the physical death and loss of immortal life.  The Doctrine of Salvation and Grace of Jesus Christ is a means to restore our proper oneness with God for those who accept Jesus as the redeemer, priest and king, and the one who has and will fulfill the Davidic Covenant during the time of tribulation and the Eschatological Era. All will be judged but only the non-believer will suffer the penalties under the Day of the Lord and The Anti-Christ. For the Christian our judgment will be based on our deeds in order to place us in a position of office in the kingdom of heaven. The Christian will not even be present at the time of the tribulation this time of judgment is for the renewal of the Jewish people and for the non-believer.

jesus-christ-crowned-0609Conclusion

The role of theology on the minister thus can best be broken down into three subareas, Gnosis, Sophia, and Eleuthería. As God created all things as stated in the Book of Genesis and there is only one God made up of Three personas, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, All are omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent although Christ chose to limited his Hypostatic Union, “ The incarnation of the Son of God in a human nature inseparably united forever with the divine nature, yet remaining distinctly whole and unchanged forever so that one person , Jesus Christ is truly God and Truly man( (Elwell 184,2001, 583).” This limiting of power was done for several reasons. First, one may recall the bible notes humankind cannot look upon the divine, and secondly I believe Christ did so to teach us that the miracles he performed could be duplicated through him and the Holy Spirit by those who came to believe follow , and serve Jehovah( In all aspects). A final point to consider although all persons are God each one is subservient to the father and each has a unique set of responsibilities in Heaven and Earth to accomplish.

Much more could be written on the topic of Theology and the effects on ministry and I would not even claim to be an expert on such issues. In regards to theology in general it is my believe systematic theology has given me insight into many facets of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit and introduced me to the various doctrines and beliefs of the Apostles, Church fathers and modern scholars on this subject. It is my belief systematics is a sound doctrine as it encompasses many of the other areas of theology and works well for general ministry and study. However, I believe one may wish to explore other areas based on their spiritual gifts to be of maximum service to the Body of Christ and to continue to mature as Christians.

I also hold firm to a believe that since God in omniscient one may benefit from studying the natural sciences, philosophy, mathematics, sociology or other sources of knowledge as well. Even views that claim or seem to disprove the nonexistence of God should be studied. Remember God is also omnipotent and one may never know whom God places in one’s life to evangelize to. Nature and the universe itself can also help one establish a sound doctrine of faith as well. Just beware of false teachers and the powers of principalities, consult the Bible first, and as always pray.

 

In God Christ and then Holy Spirit,

Trenton Clark Rindoks

 

Word count: # 2047

Bibliography

Concordance, Strong’de. HELPS Word-studies. 2011,1987. http://biblesuite.com/greek/1657.htm (accessed July 5, 2013).

Elwell, Walter A. “Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd Edition.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd Edition, by Walter A. Elwell, 218-219, 583-584. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 184,2001.

Towns, Elmer L. Theology for Today. Mason: Cengage Learning, 2008,2002.

 

 

 

Holy-Spirit-Dove-Fire

Pneumatology: On Spiritual Gifts and the Fruits of The Holy Sprit

(The relevancy of speaking in tongues to the Post-Modern Christian)

 

Introduction

Pneumatology: Spiritual Gifts  

“An old friend you have not seen since high school finds your profile on Facebook and notices that one of your interests is systematic theology.  He sends you a message asking you, the “expert,” about spiritual gifts, especially the issue of speaking in tongues that is being debated in his home church (Dr. Ted Rivera [Professor of Theology Liberty University]).”

Pneumatology is the theological study of the Holy Spirit. This doctrine explains the identity, office, and empowerment of the Holy Spirit and establishes the monotheistic relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Pneumatology explains the Spirit has both a human and spiritual relationship much like Christ and is a persona (Psa. 51:11, Acts 7:51, John 14:17, Romans 8:16) and like Jesus is omniscient (1 Cor: 25), omnipotent (Zech. 4:6), and omnipresent (1 Cor. 2: 10-16). The Holy Spirit was present from the beginning and part of creation (Genesis 1:2; Gn. 1:7) and originated from the father but sent forth from the son and is present in all men but awakened at the time of salvation.

The Holy Spirit is responsible for ones conversion to Christ, seals and protects us from sin, grants spiritual gifts and empowers the fruits of the spirit. The Holy Spirit also, illuminates us on the Word (reveals the truth in the Bible) and give us the gift of prophecy (preaching, judgment, revelations). Like Christ, the Spirit is subservient to the Father. Christ in our present age serves as our advocate and intercessor (Christ act much like an attorney petitioning for the removal of judgment against the sin we committed to God.  Jesus Christ also, answers and petitions our prayers), Jehovah is the judge and creator.  The Holy Spirit acts as the persona of God in this age of man and is the force that evokes our redemption which was brought about by the crucifixion and can only be obtained in a believe in Jesus as ones Lord and Savior( John 3:16-21).

The above paragraphs are a summary of research taken from my personal experience and academic knowledge my main sources are: Elmer L. Towns Theology for Today and the Bible. My preferred version for scripture quotation is the New International Version, unless otherwise indicated, as I find it to take balanced approach between the contemporary and literal translations (Towns 2008,2002, 261-322).

Spiritual Gifts

Leslie B Flynn in his book well known book on spiritual gifts provides the following definition, “A gift is a Spirit-given ability for Christian service (Towns 2008,2002, 311). Romans 12: 3-8, 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Ephesians 4:7-11 illuminate us on spiritual gifts. “These Scriptures suggest gifts are given to men (1 Cor. 12:11) and these men in turn to the church (Eph. 4:11). Lewis Sperry Chaffer expands on this by explaining the gifts are wrought by the Spirit and not by human ability (Towns 2008,2002, 307).”

Spiritual gifts contrast Fruits of the Spirit as the Fruits of the Sprit relate to our spiritual character as expressed and taught by Christ and illustrated by the Law (Exodus 20). The Fruits of the Spirit are such things as love, compassion, mercy, justice, faith, hope and the like and form a singular unit within our God Conscience. Fruits are present in all humankind, are in a limited or unknown stated do to sin, and will awaken when the Holy Spirit enters and dwell in one’s body once one accepts Christ as one’s Lord and Savior.

Although the book of Galatians teaches us that we are free from the oppression of the Mosaic Covenant   Christ himself stated He would not abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17-20).

The Book of James also teaches the importance of deeds in the balance of faith:

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds. “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead (James 2: 14-26 [NIV]).

Spiritual maturity is develops in faith through the blossoming of the Fruits of the Spirit and by exercising of our spiritual gifts. Some individuals may have only one gift while other people may have several. However, one may be more prominent. An overly willful sinful nature, excessive pride or use for personal gain may cause the extinguishing of the gifts either temporary or permanently depending on one’s sanctification and the will of The Holy Spirit.  Other individuals can help develop a gift and gifts may be sought (2 Timothy 1:6). Some theologians believe gifts are bestowed originating  at The Baptism of The Holy Spirit ( The time the Spirit dwells in the believer, usually at salvation, but more accurately when one sincerely accepts The Crucifixion, Redemption, Salvation,  Grace,  and Sanctification of Christ). This refers to The Great Commission, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28: 18-20).

Some theologians argue that the Holy Spirit became present to all men at the time of Pentecost or during the Ascension. While other use the term to describe period when an individual is under the influence of the Holy Spirit such as the description of the disciples speaking in languages unknown to them at Pentecost ( Acts 2) or the healing of a sick individual ( Acts 3:1-16 or the performance of some other spiritual gifting.

Speaking in Tongues

Biblical Definition

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.2For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.  I would like every one of you to speak in tongues but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified (1 Corinthians 14:1-5).”

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way (1 Corinthians 14:39-40).”

The Bible contrasts and defines the gifts of prophecy with speaking in tongues in the book of 1 Corinthians. Many theologians argue the gift of speaking in tongues and the sign gifts of interpretation, healing, miracles and apostleship are not relevant today.  The church was founded by the Apostles in the early millennium and the gifts were necessary to only bring the Gentiles to Christ, Establish the Church and bring harmony among Greek, Gentile and Jewish Christians(1 Cor 22).  The early church was founded primarily by oral tradition and many people did not understand or read Hebrew or Greek so sign gifts were necessary to communicate the Word (Towns 2008,2002, 307). There was not an established Canon until the Vulgate of the 4th Century although there were manuscripts, Targum, The LXX, and Epistles in circulations in the early Church.

Relevancy Today

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears (1 Cor. 13:8-10)”.

On the relevancy and necessity of tongues versus prophecy (Preaching and fourth telling), 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 states speaking in tongues will end.  However, it one reads in (1 Corinthians) Paul explains that if done with love the speaking in tongues and the gift of prophecy are necessary. He also explains that speaking in tongues is for unbelievers and prophecy for believers to bring judgment and convict nonbelievers of their sinful natures. Paul also warns that if the whole Church is speaking in tongues an inquirer or nonbeliever may not be able to interpret the Gospel and consider the congregation and the minister mad. Therefore, it is far better to preach than to speak in tongues.

Many Churches still practice and advocate the speaking in tongues. I visited a few Pentecostal Churches where the practice is common. Although Paul also states one may pray for interpretation this did not happen for me. It is my believe all gifts of The Spirit are a sign of a person who has been Baptized by the Holy Spirit but I am also aware the Bible warns of the appearance and gifts of false prophets as well. It is my conclusion that it is only relevant to speak in tongues when used for evangelism in a language unknown to the native speaker.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, one should be careful of any church or religious group that advocates the use of speaking in tongues for daily or weekly communion with God or worship. Such practices may be the result of false teachers and bring about division in the Body of Christ. Only when the Holy Spirit leads an individual to speak in tongues to communicate the Gospel or a message from God and by Faith, Hope and Love should one readily accept it.  We as Christians know Jesus will appear soon but do not know when the exact time will be. We do know for certain there will be false teachers appear who will lead believers astray and the Antichrist will appear as a secular and religious leader. We also, know that many will fall and rapture will come to pass, followed by a tribulation and then a thousand year reign of Peace by our Prophet-Priest-Redeemer-King. It is of the utmost importance we are prepared and we prepare those around us for the coming age. This is not a mere request of Christ but a commision (Commandment). Much like the commission taken by a military member entering into service we are compelled to serve and prepare other for the Service of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

In the name of Christ, the Father and the Spirit,

Trenton Clark Rindoks

Bibliography

Towns, Elmer D. “Theology for Today.” In Theology for Today, by Towns L. Elmer, 261-331. Mason: Cengage, 2008,2002.

 

ProdigalSon

The Leading of a Prodigal back Home:

I chose to witness to my roommate who asked to remain anonymous. She has some knowledge of the Bible, has attended church, but has lost her child, is in a failing marriage, a victim of multiple repeated domestic assaults incidents by various boyfriends, sexual assaults and is fighting a battle with alcoholism. On top of all these struggles she has a strained relationship with her family and suffers from depression and anxiety. However, she wants to know Jesus. I saw the opportunity to help turn her life around and possibly help her ease her pain as well as guide her along the path of salvation. With the permission of my wife Sheryl we decided to take her on, reluctantly, as a border, during the beginning of the semester. I have tried to reach her in the past but to no avail. When she reached out to me this time my heart could not say no. Although, I was hurt by her in the past, as we once were engaged, I also, had an unsuccessful real estate deal with her and we have had a struggling friendship for many years as I have felt she has always came to me when she only needed something in the past. I prayed forgave her empathized with her and started fresh this time allowing the Holy Spirit to direct the friendship.

PART ONE – What method of evangelism did you use and how did you start the Conversation?

I would guess I it started initial as a gesture of friendship Evangelism but I employed a mixture of methods during the conversation. As I stated in the above introductory, she as some knowledge of the scripture so I pulled from the intellectual approach mostly. Using the outline of  “The Roman Road” and “The Principals of the Spiritual Laws” I was  able to redirect her thinking away from a secular view to a theological view.  I then asked some of the questions in “The masters Approach.

 

PART TWO – What was the reaction?

At first she was trying to impress me with her knowledge of scriptures and trying to say that some sin is ok in one’s life. All she has to do is pray after her sin and all is forgiven.

I had to switch gears hear and reminder of what James says on Scripture knowledge and Christ on deeds in Matthew.

James 2:15-19

New International Version (NIV)

“15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”[i]

Matthew 7:22-25

New International Version (NIV)

22 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”[ii]

At points she became agitated and stating “It is not right to force religion on someone” and “people should have the right to drink and have a good time.” I was able to calm her down by reading from Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 64:6-9

New International Version (NIV)

6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean,

    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;

we all shrivel up like a leaf,

    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

7 No one calls on your name

    or strives to lay hold of you;

for you have hidden your face from us

    and have given us over to[a] our sins.

8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father.

    We are the clay, you are the potter;

    we are all the work of your hand.

9 Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord;

    do not remember our sins forever.

Oh, look on us, we pray,

    for we are all your people.”

 

She then started talking about worry doubt and fears. I reassured her that once she commits her life and trusts fully in the lord these things will start to leave her. That it is our self-reliance, or on things like our material success, other people, and things of the world that bring about happiness. Even our friends and family can let us down at times but our one true friend Christ will never let us down. Christ God and the Holy Spirit are always there. Are always are true friends are our real family. All we need to do his reach out and ask. She then said a marvelous thing. “We can do all things with the power of the Holy Spirit Amen?

I took this as a confession of Salvation and the presence of the Spirit.

 

 

PART THREE – How did you conclude the conversation in order to follow up? 

We concluded it with a copy of my evangelism paper as she wanted to review some of the scriptures and charts as used to illustrate our sinful nature. I invited her to attend Gateway Baptist Church with myself and my wife and gave her a meditation book and a book outlining Psalms 23 to carry to work with her. I informed her she can come to me at any time for prayer or counseling and as long as she will make an attempt to live righteously and not bring evil into my household she is welcome to stay. I will be a friend to her and love her in the way Jesus loves. I reminded her that Love is the greatest Commandment:

Matthew 22:37-40

New International Version (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”[iii]

 

 

 


[i] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:15-19&version=NIV. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[ii] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207:22-25&version=NIV. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[iii] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2022:37-40&version=NIV. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Methods of Evangelism:
In this essay I will outline a few approaches used in Evangelism. I will Illustrate two Intellectual approaches, the Relational or “friendship Approach and the Masters Approach (confrontational).
I will conclude with a synopsis or brief conclusion on how I have applied these approaches over the years in my own life.
Part ONE – Evangelistic Method: Taking the Intellectual Approach
(Four Spiritual Laws versus the Roman Road):

The First intellectual pursuit is best used after one has established a personal relationship with an individual. It can be an effective tool to bring a nonbeliever, skeptic or those of a different faith to accept Christ as it points out the severe nature of Sin, Gods Plan for our life and that Salvation is a gift and without Christ man is truly lost. I have pasted “The Four Spiritual Laws as a diagram and an outline which was compiled by Campus Crusade for Christ, 375 Highway 74 South, Suite A, Peachtree City, GA 30269. This easy to use Method explains our sinful nature the need for Salvation and includes a nice version of the Salvation prayer. When dealing with an individual who becomes hostile or unresponsive to any Evangelistic approach one should never take offense. One should avoid arguments at all costs and all testimonies should be brief and be Biblically supported. The aim is to give the Glory to God, Christ and The Holy Spirit first. One should remember the Holy Spirit will convert the individual to Christianity. As stated in Evangelism Is… How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence “Everyone who is saved has become so as the result of the convincing work of the Holy Spirit. As we share the Gospel, the Holy Spirit speaks to the heart of the nonbeliever convincing and conflicting them, pursuing and persuading them. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin, righteousness, and judgment.”

Just as there are physical laws that govern
the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws
that govern your relationship with God.

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
God’s Love
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
God’s Plan
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”
[that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).
Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life?
Because…

Man is sinful and separated from God.
Therefore, he cannot know and experience
God’s love and plan for his life.
Man is Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn
self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.
This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference,
is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
Man Is Separated
The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).
This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion
-but he inevitably fails.

The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf…

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
Through Him you can know and experience
God’s love and plan for your life.
He Died In Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
He Rose from the Dead
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day,
according to the Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to
the Father but through Me'” (John 14:6).

This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

It is not enough just to know these three laws…

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as result of works that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)
We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting
Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.
Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross
for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.
We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
These two circles represent two kinds of lives: ( ClickJESUS-CHRIST-design-11451027-800-1067 Link)

http://www.campuscrusade.com/fourlawseng.htm

Self-Directed Life
S-Self is on the throne
-Christ is outside the life
-Interests are directed by self, often
resulting in discord and frustration Christ-Directed Life
-Christ is in the life and on the throne
S-Self is yielding to Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan
-Interests are directed by Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan
Which circle best represents your life?
Which circle would you like to have represented in your life?
________________________________________
The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)
God knows your heart and is not as concerned with your words as He is with the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)
God knows your heart and is not as concerned with your words as He is with the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
The Roman Road uses a series of five questions designed to evoke a response in the person one seeks to save. I have reprinted “The Roman Road” from http://christianity.about.com

Romans Road of Salvation
1. Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.

Romans 3:10-12, and 23
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does well, not a single one.”… For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (NLT)
2. The price (or consequence) of sin is death.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
3. Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our death.

Romans 5:8
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)
4. We receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9-10, and 13
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved … For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NLT)
5. Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us into a relationship of peace with God.

Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (NLT)

Romans 8:1
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Romans 8:38-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)

The main difference between the two approaches is “The Roman Road” focuses more on the nature of our sins and requires a bit more scripture memorization to master. It is a well thought out and easy to follow ministry tool and should not be over looked for its complexity. Which one to use would depend on the type of individual one is working with and how the Holy Spirit directs the conversion process. It is my experience the first approach works best with people who are more resistant to spiritual change or hostile. The second would work well with those who are consumed with guilt, grief or feel unworthy to come to Christ. Both approaches will lead the individual to consider the grave nature of sin, that they are a sinner that Christ is the Way and without him all is lost and the need for a Christ centered life is of utmost importance.
Part TWO – Evangelistic Method: Friendship Evangelism (The S.H.O.T. Approach)
The S.H.O.T. Approach is an easy to follow approach that was first illustrated in the book Friends Forever The acronym S.H.O.T is explained by David Wheeler in chapter 37 in Evangelism Is in the following manner:
1. “Somewhere. The initial aim to invite an unsaved neighbor or friend to somewhere with you – a ball game, dinner or other place. Hopefully this will begin the relational dialogue.
2. Help. The next step is to ask this person to assist in a help ministry. ( Establishes camaraderie and furthers dialogue)
3. Ours. The next step is to invite the person or family to your (our) place for a meal and more relationship building.
4. Trust After establishing trust, the final step is to go to their place. If your testimony and personal faith have not already been shared through previous encounters (assuming the leadership of the Holy Spirit), this is a good time to give it a “shot” and present the gospel message.”
It should be also noted that the principal of help teaches the Biblical principles of servitude, and compassion. Illustrating the love that Christ taught do freely gave to us.
Part THREE – Evangelistic Method: Ways of the Master
“The Ways of the Master” approach emphasizes the Ten Commandments as the basis to establish whether or not someone is a sinner. This simple approach use a series of questions and answers designed to evoke a response and open the eyes of the nonbeliever to the futility of living by good deed alone; the true nature of sin and that life without God Christ, The Resurrection, and the Holy Spirit is meaningless.
One Can Start off with a set of basic question such as:
1. Do you consider yourself a Good person?
2. Do you believe in God or if you were to die would you go to Heaven?
3. Do follow the Ten Commandments (If a proclaimed Christian or Jew)?
Once a person responds by giving a list of accolades and deeds cite the following scriptures:
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”(Matthew 7:22-25 (New International Version).
Faith and Deeds
“14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” [e] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone (James 2:14-24 (NIV) ”
20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20 (New International Version).
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags
we all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind our sins sweep us away(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV).
One should patiently listen to the attended person who is the target of the message and not seek to aggressively convert or control conversation. Remember the Holy Spirit will guide the process, will place the desired words in one’s mouth and lead one through the process.
The Next stage to steer the recipient towards Salvation. I have found the easiest way to do this is to quote from John 3:16(NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Finally, if the person is entirely ready and willing, realizes in the futility of living a life in a sinful state and believes that God, Christ, The Resurrection and the power of the living Holy Spirit is the only true hope and the gift of salvation is the only hope offer to pray the Salvation Prayer aloud with individual.
“Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
Amen.”
Part FOUR – Application of These Methods in my Life:
Over the years I have applied all three methods but found the “Master Approach” seconded only by the “Friendship Approach” the easiest to deploy. In the arsenal on spiritual warfare and combating sin there is not one approach that is the most successful. The approach that had success one day may not work the next. I remember the teaching of Paul that reminds us to be flexible and humble while trying to put our self in the shoes of those we witness to.
Paul’s Use of His Freedom
“19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Corinthians 9 (New International Version).”
Finally, creativity in witnessing, spreading the Gospel and Evangelism goes along way.
In Christ,
Trenton Rindoks

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