Tag Archives: Life

Firm Foundations Two (22 of 55) How Do I Witness And Disciple?

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How Do I Witness And Disciple?

Every believer has the responsibility to be a witness for Jesus and make disciples. This process of sharing the gospel and making disciples is one that should be continually repeated. As we preach the gospel, baptize new converts, and teach them the Word of God, they in turn should do the same.
2 Timothy 2:2

Believers Are Disciplers

  • You are the only Bible that most people will read. This means that most people are not going to sit down and study the Bible, but they will watch your life. Your life is a living testimony to what you believe.
    1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Corinthians 3:1–3
  • As a person who makes disciples, you are leading people. Therefore, you are asking them to follow you. You need to make sure you are following Jesus so your way of life can be imitated. As people learn to follow the Lord, they will mimic us and the way that we follow Him.
    2 Thessalonians 3:7–9; Hebrews 6:12; 13:7; 3 John 11; 1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2:14; Philippians 3:17
  • As a person who makes disciples, we need to have a strong relationship with the Lord. We are to put off our former way of life and live unto God. Our character should become more like Jesus’. He should be changing us from the inside out.
    Psalm 15; Ephesians 4:20–32; Colossians 3; James 1:21
  • As a person who makes disciples, we should be consistently studying our Bibles, worshipping God, attending church consistently, giving, praying, serving, and doing good works for the glory of God. We are to model what we teach.

Disciplers Preach The Gospel (Four Steps To Teaching The Gospel)

  • Step One: You are a sinner and death is your penalty. Most people believe they are good people, but the Bible says that all are sinners. You need to help people realize they have sinned against God, and the punishment for this is death and eternal separation from God. You can refer to different Bible verses and take people through the Ten Commandments to show them their sinful condition.
    Exodus 20; 34:7; Romans 3:12–23; Hebrews 9:27; John 3:36
  • Step Two: Jesus died and rose again for you. Once people realize their sinful condition, they need to know how God made a way for their sin to be forgiven through the gospel. God showed His love to us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save sinners. He was perfectly good or sinless—He never disobeyed God’s laws. He didn’t have to die, but He loved us so much that He willingly died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. Three days later He arose, proving everything that He had claimed was true.
    John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Step Three: You must repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ. Once a person realizes the death and resurrection of Jesus, then they need to hear the gospel call: repent and believe. Repentance is renouncing your former way of life (sin, pride, self-righteousness, etc.) and turning to a new way of life that is only found in the Lord Jesus. This is a change of mind, heart, and life based on the understanding of truth. Faith is trusting in Jesus to save you. You trust that Jesus’ death and resurrection is enough to forgive your sins. This is more than intellectual assent of the facts about Jesus, but you are basing your salvation on them.
    Acts 20:21
  • Step Four: Salvation is a gift of grace that you must receive. Once a person is in agreement with their sinful condition, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and heard the gospel call to repent and believe, then the time has come for them to accept the gift of salvation. Explain that salvation is a gift of grace from God, therefore it is not earned by anything we do (good works, baptism) but is freely given to us with the only condition of accepting it. From a repentant heart, they can confess to God, placing their trust in Jesus, depending exclusively in Him, and nothing else for their salvation. At that point they become a believer.
    Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 6:23; 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Acts 4:12

Disciplers Make Disciples (Principles In Training Others)

  • Discipleship starts with the gospel, but it does not stop there. We are to continue teaching and training every believer in the faith. Each believer should be praying that God will give them someone specifically to give the gospel to, study the Bible with, and train. After we pray, we watch for people who we can train, expecting God to answer our prayers.
    Luke 6:12
  • Discipleship is teaching others. Find one or more persons who would be willing to study the Bible with you, and pick a time to get together each week. When you get together here are some suggestions to follow: teach them how to pray; teach them how to read their Bibles, discuss what was read and answer any questions they have; teach a Bible lesson using the Firm Foundations lessons; help them become members of a church, find a place to serve and encourage them to take notes during the church services; help them memorize the books of the Bible and Bible verses; eventually, teach them how to start discipling others.
  • Discipleship is life on life, meaning that you will not only sit down and teach them lessons about the Bible, but they also will spend time with you and learn from your life. Jesus trained His disciples by being with them. Many things are caught more than taught.
    Mark 3:14; 1 Corinthians 16:10–11, 4:17
  • Discipleship is double vision, meaning that you see where a person is and where a person can be through the power of the gospel. No matter how bad someone’s situation is, you know what God can do to change their life. Your disciples will make mistakes, but we are called to have compassion and trust that God is doing a work in them. Your disciples will become your friends and you should refer to them as your friends and not “my disciples”.
    Judges 6:13–18; Hebrews 5:1–4

Review Questions

  • Who has the responsibility to make disciples?
  • What are the four steps to presenting the gospel?
  • Does making disciples just mean sharing the gospel? Why or why not?
  • What are some of the principles in training others?
  • Are you ready to make disciples?

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Firm Foundations Two (21 of 55) What Is The Great Commission?

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What Is The Great Commission?

The Great Commission is the task of the church to be continuously making disciples of all nations until Jesus’ returns. This is to be carried out by going to the nations of the world preaching the gospel, baptizing new converts in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching the Word of God to edify the believers.
Matthew 28:18–20

The Power And Authority Of The Commission

  • After Jesus died and rose from the dead, He appeared to the disciples and told them that all power was given to Him. Jesus was claiming absolute, sovereign authority which would be the basis for the command that He would give them. Therefore, it is in the name of Jesus alone that we fulfill the great commission.
    John 20:21
  • As they fulfilled this command, Jesus told His disciples that He would be with them always. We not only obey this command in the name of Jesus but He also goes with us. We do not go on our own, but we know that He is with us.
  • This command should be carried out until the end of the world. Until Jesus returns to judge the world and set up His Kingdom, we are to obey this command. The One who has all authority in heaven and earth has commanded us to do so, and He also has promised to be with us through the entire process until the end of the world.
  • Jesus told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them so they would have power to be witnesses of Him unto all the world. The Holy Spirit would be their power for ministry, and He is still our power for ministry today.
    Luke 24:46–48; Acts 1:8

The Mission Of The Commission

  • The mission of the Great Commission is to make disciples of Jesus from all nations. A disciple of Jesus is one who believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior. He willingly follows Jesus and desires to obey all that Jesus taught, to the glory of God. This is fulfilled through going, baptizing, and teaching.

– Going: Believers should go into all the world preaching the gospel. Those who believe the message of the gospel will be saved, and those who do not believe will be damned. Every believer should be involved in going into their local area preaching the gospel and sending believers to other parts of the world to preach the gospel.
Mark 16:16

– Baptizing: Once a person hears the gospel and believes, he should be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This testifies that the person is willing to be identified as a disciple of Christ and is a step of obedience in following Christ.

– Teaching: As repentance and the remission of sins are being preached in Jesus’ name, we should also be teaching all that Jesus taught, including the whole of Scripture.

  • As we see this commandment fulfilled in the New Testament, (as they went preaching the gospel, baptizing new converts, and teaching them in the faith), it resulted in local churches being established. It was to this end that the commission was to be fulfilled: to establish local churches who would have the responsibility to continuously carry out the command to make disciples by going, baptizing and teaching.
    Acts 14:21–23; Acts 15:41; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 3:2

The Reach Of The Commission

  • The commission tells us to go into the entire world. The Bible says to go: to “all nations,” to “all the world,” “among all nations,” and “in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We can conclude that God wants us to make disciples of all people of every nation, country, and people group.
  • We need to overcome any racial attitudes that we have towards other countries or people. Over 7 billion people are alive today and we need to see their need to hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
  • We are to reach the world because they are condemned already and without excuse. The only hope for any person to be reconciled to God is through believing in Jesus and confessing His name.
    John 3:18; Romans 1:20
  • We are to be witnesses of Jesus to the entire world at the same time. You obviously will start where you are and preach the gospel in your local town, but it should be the desire of each church to be reaching out to other parts of the world at the same time through sending missionaries to preach, baptize, and teach.

The Responsibility Of The Commission

  • Senders and Goers: The Bible is clear that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How will they call on Him if they have not believed? How will they believe if they have never heard of Jesus? How can they hear if there is no preacher, and how can they preach unless they are sent? We have the responsibility to go preach the Gospel and send around the world those willing to witness of Jesus.
    Romans 10:13–15
  • The Ministry of Reconciliation: God has done all the work necessary through Jesus to reconcile man to Himself. It is this message of reconciliation that He has committed to us who have been reconciled to God by Jesus Christ. We are now ambassadors for Christ.
    2 Corinthians 5:14–21
  • Our Shame: Some people still do not have the knowledge of God and this is our shame. God is not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance. Will we obey the great commission and make disciples of all nations?
    1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Peter 3:9

Review Questions

  • Where does the authority of this commission come from?
  • Who gives us the power to be a witness of Jesus?
  • What is the reach of the Great Commission?
  • What is the mission of the Great Commission?
  • How do we fulfill this mission?

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Firm Foundations Two (20 of 55) What Are Spiritual Gifts?

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What Are Spiritual Gifts?

Spiritual gifts are certain abilities given to every believer to serve God through building up the church or the body of Christ. As we recognize our ability, we should desire to use it in accordance with the Scriptures to build up the church for the glory of God.

Understanding Spiritual Gifts For The Edification Of The Church

  • Only believers receive spiritual gifts. The basis for receiving spiritual gifts is one’s belief in “Jesus as Lord.” Before belief in Jesus, you lived a lifestyle contrary to God, but the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to you and you confessed Him as Lord; therefore, being saved you received the Holy Spirit and were given spiritual gifts.
    1 Corinthians 2:8–14; 12:1–3; 1 John 5:6–8
  • There is a range of gifts, but one God. As believers, we are part of the body of Christ. Every person is in the body of Christ, but the body is made up of different members. Every person’s role in the body is important and useful, but different. Therefore, we should see ourselves as one and work together for the edification of the body.
    Romans 12:4–6; Ephesians 4:4–6; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 12–27
  • The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts to each believer according to His own will. All the gifts come from the Holy Spirit; therefore, we should use the gifts that He has seen fit to give us.
    Ephesians 4:7–8; Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18, 28
  • We are to desire spiritual gifts so that we can excel in edifying the church. As we understand the importance of spiritual gifts and their use in the church, we should desire them so that we may properly serve God and build up the church. Spiritual gifts are for the common good, and as we use them, we “manifest the Spirit” which in turn profits all.
    Ephesians 4:12–16; 1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:1, 12
  • All spiritual gifts should be used in love (humility, gentleness, patience) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. To use your spiritual gift without love means that you profit nothing. Love never fails, and if we dismiss love in our desire for spiritual gifts, we are missing the point. Love is superior than any other gift and should be a part of all spiritual gifts. It is the greatest manifestation of the Spirit.
    Ephesians 1:1–3; Romans 12:1–3; 1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:1–13
  • All speaking gifts within the church should be used in a way that everyone in attendance can understand what is being said so that all can be edified. Also, the use of these gifts in the church should not be characterized by confusion, but be spoken one at a time, showing self-control and being done decently and in order.
    1 Corinthians 12:8–10, 28; 14:19, 23–26; 31–33
  • There are two main types of gifts: temporary and permanent. The temporary gifts were given to authenticate that the Apostles were truly appointed by God and their teachings were truly from God. These signs continued as the Apostles laid the foundation of the church and ceased after the Bible was completed. The permanent gifts are still available to be used for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.
    Ephesians 4:12

Temporary Spiritual Gifts For The Establishment Of The Church

Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:8–10; 28–30

  • Apostles: The apostles were men chosen to lay the foundation of the church and to give the Word of God to us. They were confirmed through being eyewitnesses of and chosen by Jesus, as well as, performing miraculous signs.
    Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; Acts 8:6–7; 11:28; 21:10–11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3–4
  • The Working of Miracles: This gift was the ability to do supernatural things that displayed the power of God. This was a sign that the person performing the miracles was from God. Jesus did many miracles as recorded in the Gospels. The disciples also had power to do miracles, such as casting out demons.
    John 2:12; Luke 9:1; 10:17–19; Acts 2:22; 6:8; 8:7; 13:6–12
  • Healing: This gift was the ability to miraculously heal people of their sickness to authenticate the message being preached and the one who is preaching it. This gift was used by Jesus, the Apostles, the seventy, and a few others in the New Testament.
    Matthew 8:16–17; 10:1; Luke 10:1; Acts 8:5–7; 2 Corinthians 12:12
  • Various Kinds of Tongues: This is the gift to speak the things of God in a foreign language, unknown to the speaker. This was also used to fulfill prophecy, serve as a sign to unbelievers, confirm the gospel, and show that God is now working among all people.
    Acts 2:5–21
  • Interpretation of Tongues: The ability to interpret a foreign language being spoken.

Permanent Spiritual Gifts For The Operation Of The Church

Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:8–10; 28–30; Romans 12:6–8

  • Gifts of the Word: These gifts are the ability to speak forth the Word of God unto men to edify, exhort, comfort, teach, convert, etc. These gifts no longer include new revelation from God or foretelling the future, like in Acts, but it is a reiteration of the already revealed Word of God. These gifts include prophets/prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, teachers/teaching, exhortation, evangelists, and pastors.
  • Gifts of Serving: These gifts are the ability to serve efficiently and effectively. These gifts include government/ruling, helps/ministry, giving, mercy, faith, and discerning of spirits.
  • Categorizing the Gifts: The above gifts are separated into two categories to emphasize their “main function,” but are not limited to those categories. The Bible tells us what the spiritual gifts are, but does not define them nor limit it to these gifts only. Therefore, we need to be cautious when applying our spiritual gifts and always make sure it is in accordance with the Bible.

Review Questions

  • Who receives spiritual gifts?
  • Who distributes the spiritual gifts?
  • What is more important than our spiritual gifts?
  • What are the temporary gifts? Why were they temporary?
  • What are the permanent gifts? Why are they permanent?

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Firm Foundations Two (19 of 55) How Do I Give?

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How Do I Give?

Giving is handing over our money, material possessions, and lives for the purposes of God. As believers, we realize all that we have, including ourselves, belongs to God. We desire to be good stewards and managers of our lives and everything that we own or will own.

Giving Stewardship

  • God is the Creator of everything; therefore, He is the owner of everything. As believers, we recognize this fact and yield not only our lives, but also everything we own, including our money, to God.
    Genesis 1:1; Psalm 50:10
  • When we realize everything is God’s, it helps put our relationship with God, money, and things into perspective. God is the owner and we are His managers. We are to administer everything that we have according to His will. We ask God for wisdom and the more we grow in His knowledge and grace through the Bible, the more we realize how to administer all He has given us.
    1 Corinthians 10:31; James 1:5
  • When a believer chooses to use his money and all that God has blessed him with for the glory of God, it shows that he does not covet or love money. We cannot serve two masters. Jesus is our Lord, not money.
    Matthew 6:19-34; 1 Timothy 6:10
  • Willingness to give shows that God’s love abides in us. We are motived by the love of God, and we help others who are in need. We are blessed to be a blessing.
    1 John 3:17-18

Giving In The Local Church

  • Freewill Offerings: Giving offerings is part of the church in the New Testament. We find that the church gave to take care of their needs and their leadership, to help other believers in need, and to support those taking the gospel to other parts of the world.
    Acts 2:45; 4:34-37; Romans 15:25-27; Galatians 6:6; 1 Corinthians 9:11-12; 1 Timothy 5:18; Philippians 4:15-16
  • Free of Charge: The local church is not like a business. It is not authorized to have a mandatory charge for its members or anyone who attends, including any type of money, tithe, membership fee, etc. The church should be financially supported through the freewill offerings of its membership.
    Matthew 21:12-13
  • Free from the Tithe: The tithe that was fully established and required under the Mosaic Law required the Nation of Israel to give multiple “one-tenths” of their agricultural produce and/or livestock as a way to support the Levites, celebrate festivals, to help others in need and worship God. In Christ, the tithes have been fulfilled and believers are freed from the law—no longer required to give tithes, offerings, or sacrifices to the tabernacle, etc; nor is the tithe carried over in the New Testament for required giving in the local church.
    Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21-26; Deuteronomy 14:24-29; 2 Chronicles 31:5; Malachi 3:8-10; Romans 6:14

Giving Principles

  • Giving should be regular. When Paul told the Corinthian churches to take up offerings to help the believers in Jerusalem, he told them to collect the offerings on the first day of every week. This shows a pattern of giving regularly. As we receive regularly, we should give regularly.
    1 Corinthians 16:1-2
  • Giving should be according to what you have. Paul also told them to give “as God hath prospered” them. So each person should give a certain amount according to how God has prospered him and within his financial limits. The more God prospers you the more you should give.
    1 Corinthians 16:2
  • Giving should be willful and cheerful. Paul tells the church to give according to what they have decided in their hearts and not grudgingly or of necessity. But remember you reap what you sow; if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly; and if you sow bountifully you will reap bountifully.
    2 Corinthians 9:7
  • Giving results in blessings from God. When we give, God is faithful to take care of our needs and will bless us in return, spiritually and materially.
    2 Corinthians 9:6, 8; Luke 6:38
  • Giving is pleasing to God. Doing good to others by sharing what we have with them is a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.
    Hebrews 13:15-16
  • Giving results in thanksgiving to God. We not only show forth that we are trusting in God to take care of us through giving, but also we cause others to give God thanksgiving.
    2 Corinthians 9:11-15

Giving Considerations

  • 100% Participation: Every Christian should participate in giving. First, offer yourself to the Lord, then consider how you can take part in other areas of giving. The churches of Macedonia were in extreme poverty, but they gave generously.
    2 Corinthians 8:1-5
  • Together is better: It is not the responsibility of just a few people to give, but it is something we do as a whole. Everyone gives willingly and according to what he has so that one’s abundance supplies another’s need. We can do more together than we can do separately.
    2 Corinthians 8:13-15
  • Starting at grace: What should we give? For every person it is different. We need to seek God and decide in our heart what we can give regularly according to our means. We are no longer under the law but under grace. We have so much to be thankful for, so let’s excel in our giving.
    2 Corinthians 8:7; 9:7

Review Questions

  • What is God’s position and what is our position?
  • What did they give in the New Testament?
  • Are we required to tithe as recorded in the law? Why?
  • What are some principles of giving?
  • Are you ready to start giving?

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Firm Foundations Two (18 of 55) How Do I Pray?

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How Do I Pray?

Prayer is when a believer speaks to God. This includes: asking, supplication, thanksgivings, praise, confession and intercessions. Believers know that God can hear them and that He will respond according to His will. Believers should be constantly praying and paying attention to what is going on so that they can make their requests known to God and thank Him for when He answers prayer.

Prayer Is For Believers

  • Our New Relationship: As believers, we are born again, meaning that we have a new relationship with God —- that of a son and father relationship. Because God is our Father, we can boldly speak to Him and know that He will hear us.
    Galatians 4:6–7; 1 Peter 3:12; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 5:15
  • Our Helper: As believers, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. We often do not know how to pray or what to say, so the Holy Spirit prays for us to the Father. Thus, we can know that God is working through us even though we have faults.
    Ephesians 6:18–20; Jude 20–21
  • Our Privilege: As believers, we have the new privilege of asking in the name of Jesus. We don’t have to worry like nonbelievers, nor be anxious about everything. Instead, in everything we can pray in Jesus’ name, making our request known to the Father.
    Philippians 4:4–7; John 14:13-14

How To Pray

  • The Example Prayer: Jesus gave us an example prayer so that we would know how to pray. He addressed God and asked Him to do many things. His prayer included: His desire to see God glorified and God’s will to be done, asking God to provide for that day’s needs, for God’s grace, and help to live right.
    Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:1–4
  • Three Types of Prayer: (1) Supplication is when we earnestly and humbly ask God for something specific. (2) Intercession is when we pray for someone else. (3) Thanksgiving is when we thank God for who He is, what He has done, is doing, and is going to do.
    Colossians 1:3–4; 1 Timothy 4:4–5
  • Watching: Prayer is to be a constant part of our Christian life. We should be paying attention to our lives and those around us, constantly asking God to do a work and thanking Him when He does.
    Romans 12:12; Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17–18
  • Examples in Acts: The church in Acts exemplified the praying life for us. They were devoted to prayer: prayed when making decisions, prayed when they performed miracles, pastors saw it as part of their main work, they prayed when they laid hands on people, and they prayed for those in persecution.
    Acts 1:14, 24; 2:41–42; 6:4, 6; 9:40; 13:3; 12:5, 12; 14:23; 20:36; 21:5
  • Bible Prayer Request: The Bible gives us several examples of prayer requests that we should be praying for, or that would help us in our prayer life. We should use the Bible to help us pray.
    Philippians 1:9–11; Colossians 1:9–10; 4:12–13; Matthew 5:43–48; 9:36–38; 26:41; Luke 6:27–28;10:1–2; Romans 10:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:2–3; 3:9–10; 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12; Philemon 4–7; l; 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Prayer Principles

  • Prayer is not to be used to show off. When you pray, you should not pray to be seen of others, but you should find a place to pray in secret. Jesus exemplified this for us as He often went away to a place by Himself to pray.
    Matthew 6:5–6; 14:23; Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:18; 20:45–47
  • Prayer is not repeating the same words over and over. We are to pray with our minds, meaning we are thinking about what we are praying and not just saying simple phrases over and over thinking we will be heard because of our repetition.
    Matthew 6:7–8
  • Jesus went off and prayed by himself three times and the disciples were also to be watching and praying, but they fell asleep. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
    Matthew 26:36–45; Mark 14:32–41
  • Prayer is submitting to God’s will. We should pray for God’s will to be done over our personal preference. Jesus asked God to deliver Him and then He said that if there is no other way, let Your will be done. As we ask God to intervene in our lives, we should always be willing to submit to His will over our own.
    Luke 22:41–45; 1 John 5:14
  • Prayer is an expression of faith. Whatever we ask in prayer through faith, believing that it will come to pass, we will receive it and it will be ours.
    Matthew 21:18–22; Mark 9:14–29; 11:20–25
  • Prayer is to be consistent. God invites us to ask Him for what we need. We should be persistent in praying and seeking God for those things if we really desire to obtain them. Remember, if our earthly father knows how to take care of an earthly son, how much more does God know how to take care of His child.
    Luke 11:5–13
  • Prayer requires waiting. We might not always see a prayer answered immediately, but Jesus tells us that God will give justice to those who cry to Him day and night.
    Luke 18:1–8
  • Prayer requires us to be humble. We do not come to God bragging about how good we are, but we come with a humble heart, knowing that we are sinners and only made good by the grace of God.
    Luke 18:9–14
  • Prayer can be hindered. Not asking, asking with wrong motives, unbelief, doubt, sin, praying without understanding (praying in tongues), or even having a bad relationship with your spouse can hinder your prayers.
    1 Peter 3:7; 1 Corinthians 14:13–15; 1 Peter 4:7; James 4:2–3

Review Questions

  • What kind of relationship do we have with God?
  • Who helps us pray?
  • What are the three types of prayer?
  • What does it mean to watch and pray?
  • What are some prayer principles?

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Firm Foundations Two (17 of 55) How Do I Study The Bible?

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How Do I Study The Bible?

Bible study is the privilege of a believer to understand God’s Word through reading, interpreting, and applying the Scriptures. A healthy habit of studying the Bible will also include: meditating on Scriptural truths, obeying Scriptural commands, and teaching the Scriptures to others. This is accomplished through knowing how to properly interpret the Bible so that one will know what it says and means for themselves.

The Usefulness Of The Bible

  • The Bible is the Word of God. It is infallible, inerrant, and complete. It is necessary for us to know God and His will. We glorify God by doing His will, and His will is revealed to us in the Bible.
    Psalm 19:7; 30:5–6; Romans 10:14–17; 2 Timothy 3:14–17; Revelations 20:18–19
  • The Bible is the source of truth. As believers correctly study, interpret, and apply the Bible to their lives, it will help them in the following ways: guide them, give them victory over sin, allow them to grow in the faith, and bring them true joy.
    Psalm 119:11, 105; 1 Peter 2:2; Luke 11:28; John 17:17; 1 John 1:4

The Believers’ Attitude Towards The Bible

  • Believers can spiritually understand the Bible. Only believers can understand the Bible, because the Holy Spirit lives inside of them. Therefore, believers should know, study, honor, love, obey, and teach the Bible.
    1 Corinthians 2:12–14; Psalm 138:2; 119:97; Job 23:12; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 John 2:5
  • Believers should desire to understand the Bible. Like a newborn baby desires milk, believers are to desire the Word of God. We should put away our sin and receive the Word. The more we live holy lives, the more we will desire the Word and vice versa.
    1 Peter 2:2; James 1:21–25; Psalm 19:10; Matthew 4:4
  • Believers should diligently study the Bible. Bible study is not always easy, but it is often hard work. We should be diligent to study the Bible and pray for God to open our eyes so we can understand and apply the truth correctly.
    Acts 17:10–12; 1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 119:17; Ephesians 1:16–18
  • Believers should meditate on the Bible. We should think about the Bible, consider its truths, memorize it, and constantly keep it on our minds.
    Deuteronomy 6:6–7; Psalms 1:1–3; 37:31, 119:11, 105; Joshua 1:8; 1 John 5:3
  • Believers should teach the Bible. We have a responsibility to communicate the Bible to others. This should motivate us to read, study, interpret, and meditate on the Bible.
    Matthew 28:19–20; 2 Timothy 2:2

How To Study The Bible

  • Read the Bible: All believers should read or have someone read the Bible to them so they know what it says. They should read the entire Bible, Old and New Testament, because it is all profitable.
    1 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 1:3
  • Interpret the Bible: All believers should interpret the Bible so they know what it means. When you interpret the Bible, you want to follow some principles that will help you understand its meaning. Below are four principles:
    Nehemiah 8:1–8

– The Literal Principle: You interpret the Bible according to its natural meaning. You are not trying to find any hidden or special meanings in the text, but you interpret it in the plain normal way the author intended it and in accordance to its literary style.

– The Historical Principle: You interpret the Bible in its historical context. You should ask many questions, such as: When was it written? Who wrote this book? What was the historical setting? Who was this written to? How would they interpret it? Why was it written?

– The Grammatical Principle: You interpret the Bible according to its grammatical structure (nouns, verbs, pronouns, etc.).

– The Scripture Principle: You interpret the Bible according to the Bible. The Bible will never contradict itself, but it will always be in harmony. We compare Scripture with Scripture.

  • Apply the Bible: You apply the Bible according to its interpretation. How does the scripture apply to you? This does not mean “what does this verse mean to you,” but based on the Scriptures proper meaning, “what application does it have for your life?”
    2 Timothy 3:16

Other Bible Study Helps

  • Reading Plan: It is useful to read through the Bible in an organized way. Start at the beginning of a book and read all the way through. Decide on an amount of time or an amount of chapters to read everyday, so that you will consistently be reading the Bible.
  • Bible Resources: The Bible can be hard to interpret sometimes because it was written in a different language, culture, location, and time. There are books that can help us understand these areas so that we can properly interpret the Bible (Dictionaries, Concordances, Commentaries, etc.).
  • Basic Bible Study: If you do not have any Bible resources, you can still interpret the Bible through the following process: pray, read, put the passage in your own words, note your predetermined ideas, look for what the Bible says (not others), study and know the context, ask questions about the text to clarify your understanding, compare your findings with other Scripture, explain it and apply it the best you can.

Review Questions

  • What does the Bible reveal to us?
  • Why can believers understand the Bible?
  • What are 3 ways to study the Bible?
  • What are the 4 principles to interpret the Bible?
  • Are you fulfilling your responsibility to teach others about the Bible?

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Firm Foundations Two (16 of 55) What Is The Lord’s Supper?

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What Is The Lord’s Supper?

The Lord’s Supper is a gathering of believers to eat the bread and drink of the cup in remembrance of Jesus and what He did for us, and to show forth our Lord’s death until He comes again.

The Institution Of The Lord’s Supper

  • The Lord’s Supper was first instituted by the Lord Jesus with His disciples.
    Matthew 26:26–30, Mark 14:22–26; Luke 22:15:14–20; John 6:48–54, 63
  • Jesus said He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until He could do so with us in His Father’s kingdom. Therefore, we are to eagerly expect His return, or love His appearing. He waits to eat with us in His kingdom.
    Luke 22:18; Matthew 26:29; 2 Timothy 4:8
  • Paul tells the church to keep the ordinances, or teachings, that we have received from the Lord. He then instructs the church about the Lord’s Supper as a way to remember Jesus and show forth His death until He comes again.
    1 Corinthians 11:2; 23, 26
  • The Bible is not clear about how often we are to take the Lord’s Supper. It only says: “as oft as ye drink” and “as oft as ye eat”. Therefore, there are no certain times that we eat the Lord’s Supper, but we should desire to take the supper like Jesus desired to take it with His disciples before suffering.
    Luke 22:15; 1 Corinthians 11:25–26

The Ingredients And Meaning Of The Lord’s Supper

  • The juice we drink is the fruit of the vine and represents the blood of Jesus.
    1 Corinthians 11:25; Matthew 26:28

– We drink juice from the fruit of the vine. This is grape juice in its natural state without the addition of alcohol. The Bible says, “The life of the flesh is in the blood,” and the purpose of the juice is to remind us that God has given us the blood to make atonement for our souls by allowing His sinless Son to die in our place.
Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18

– By Jesus’ blood we have a new everlasting testament or covenant. No more sacrifice is needed. In the Old Testament, the priest had to come and offer a blood sacrifice every year for the remission of sins, but Christ has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 9:15–28; 13:20–21

– When drinking the fruit of the vine from the cup, we should remember that we are now justified by Jesus’ blood and saved from the wrath of God. We can have joy in God because our atonement has been received.
Romans 5:8–11

  • The bread we break is unleavened and represents the body of Jesus.
    1 Corinthians 11:24; Luke 22:19

– We eat unleavened bread. Leaven in the Bible is a symbol for sin; therefore, we do not use leavened bread. The purpose of the bread is to remind us that Jesus became flesh and bore the punishment of our sins in His own body so that we could have everlasting life.
Matthew 16:6; 26:26, Mark 14:22; 1 Corinthians 5:6–8, 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24

– Jesus willingly gave his body as the sacrifice for our sins so that we could be saved. He was beaten and bruised so badly that He did not even look like a man anymore.
John 10:18; Isaiah 52:14; 53:5–6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:2; Titus 2:14

  • The Lord’s Supper is not a time of feasting, but it is a time to eat and drink in remembrance of Jesus. We are not to change the ingredients, because they have been specifically given to the church to be followed.
    1 Corinthians 11:20–22

The Requirements For Participation In The Lord’s Supper

  • To take part in the Lord’s Supper, you must be a believer. You need to check your life and make sure of your salvation. Participation in the Lord’s Supper is not part of your salvation, but it is a time to remind you about your salvation.
    2 Corinthians 13:5
  • To take part in the Lord’s Supper, you must be living in obedience to the Word of God. You must first examine yourself. You need to judge yourself (not others) before you eat or drink, confess any sin in your life and make sure you are growing in the faith. You do not want to take it unworthily. He that eats it unworthily brings damnation or judgment on himself. This can mean sickness or even death. We should fearfully or respectfully take part in the Lord’s Supper.
    1 Corinthians 11:27–34; Hebrews 12:8; James 1:23–27; 1 John 1:9; 3:3

Review Questions

  • What do we drink in the Lord’s Supper? Why?
  • What do we eat in the Lord’s Supper? Why?
  • How often do we eat the Lord’s Supper?
  • Who can participate in the Lord’s Supper?
  • What should I do before participating in the Lord’s Supper?

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Firm Foundations Two (15 of 55) What Is Baptism?

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What Is Baptism?

Baptism is when a believer’s whole body is immersed into water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as a testimony of his faith in Jesus alone for salvation. It is a symbol that expresses a believer’s decision to believe in and follow Jesus.

The Testimony Of Baptism

  • Baptism is often called a believer’s first step of obedience after salvation, because as a follower of Jesus, he is being obedient to Jesus’ command to be baptized.
    Matthew 28:18–20; 1 John 2:3
  • Baptism reminds us that we are saved by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, spiritually, our old-self is buried with Him, we die to sin, and we are raised to live for God.
    1 Corinthians 15:1–4; Romans 6:1–11; Colossians 2:12
  • Baptism is an outward testimony to the church and others that a person has started to believe in Jesus Christ, they are now a Christian, and they desire to identify as His follower and with His church.
    Acts 2:41
  • Baptism is not part of salvation, nor does it wash away your sins. We are saved by grace through faith. Only Jesus’ blood washes away our sin.
    Ephesians 1:7; 2:8–9; 1 John 1:7; Colossians 1:20

The Requirements Of Baptism

  • The Bible gives us commands and many examples of baptism that we need to follow, not adding to or taking away from them. We cannot change baptism to fit our circumstances or culture. It is a specific symbol to be fulfilled in a specific way and all Christians should desire to be baptized in the proper way according to the Bible.
    Acts 2:38–41; 8:36–40; 16:25–34
  • The first requirement is salvation. In the book of Acts, baptism always followed salvation and never preceded it. Baptism is the outward symbol of your internal belief in Jesus.
    Acts 2:41; 8:38; 9:17,18; 10:48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:4,5
  • The second requirement is to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a clear command that is given by Jesus Himself.
    Matthew 28:18–20
  • The third requirement is to be baptized by immersion. Your whole body should be immersed into the water and then should come back out. This is the only mode that can properly display our spiritual union with Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection.
    Romans 6:4; Acts 8:38–39
  • The fourth requirement is that baptism must be administered. You cannot baptize yourself. Every example of believer’s baptism in the New Testament is administered by male Christians in the church. Therefore, based on these examples and the teaching that women are not to have positions of authority in the church, women should not baptize.
    John 4:1–3; 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 1:11–16
  • If you were not baptized according to the above requirements, then you have not received biblical baptism. Therefore, you need to be baptized. Biblical baptism is received after salvation; in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; by immersion in water; and administered by a male Christian in the church as an expression of your faith in Jesus.
    Acts 19:1–9

Concerns About Baptism

  • What if I believed baptism as part of my salvation? According to the Bible, you are not baptized, nor are you saved. If you believe that you have to trust in Jesus plus get baptized to be saved, then you are not a Christian. Salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ plus nothing else. You need to repent of your works and confess Jesus as Lord for salvation. Only then as a response to your salvation can you be baptized, knowing baptism has not part in your salvation.
  • What if I was baptized as a baby or before I was saved? According to the Bible, you have not been biblically baptized. Children and/or babies who cannot make a firm salvation decision for themselves cannot be baptized. A person can only be baptized after salvation. If you are saved, then you should be biblically baptized.
  • What if I was baptized by sprinkling or not baptized by immersion? According to the Bible, you have not been biblically baptized. There are no examples of sprinkling in the Bible. If you are saved, then you should be biblically baptized.
  • What if I was baptized by someone unqualified? Although the focus of Scripture is not on the person who baptizes, but on the person being baptized, it seems that those who can administer baptism are limited to male Christians in the church. You should desire that your baptism is performed in this way. If this man later falls into sin, your baptism would still be valid if it was performed under the authority of a real local church.
  • What if I do not get baptized? First, salvation is only by the grace of God. If you do not get baptized, you can still be a Christian. Second, since baptism is a kind of obedience (in which Christians should take joy in obeying the Lord) you would need to ask yourself why you do not want to get baptized in obedience to the Lord’s command. This could be a sign that you are not a true believer.
  • What if I cannot or do not have the opportunity to be baptized? If you cannot be baptized due to circumstances out of your control then the Lord knows your situation. There is no special ranking for those who are baptized and those who are not. The man hanging on the cross that believed in Jesus never was baptized (by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit after salvation).

Review Questions

  • Baptism is an expression of what decision?
  • What are the four requirements of baptism?
  • Can babies or small children be baptized? Why or why not?
  • Is baptism part of salvation? Why or why not?
  • Why would a person need to be baptized again?

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Firm Foundations Two (14 of 55) What Is A Local Church?

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What Is A Local Church?

A local church is a group of believers who consistently gather together in one place for the common purpose of carrying out the will and work of God and to grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:23–25

The Formation Of The Local Church

  • Every person who repents and believes automatically becomes part of the church in general. The church is also called the “body of Christ,” with Jesus being the Head. Although all believers are part of the body of Christ, Jesus carries out His will through local churches. The local church started with Jesus and His disciples, and it was established when they received and were filled by Holy Spirit.
    Matthew 16:13–18; John 20:22; Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18
  • Today, a local church exists when believers: regularly gather for edification in the Word of God desiring to obey it, are willing to baptize new believers as a testimony of their faith in Jesus alone for salvation, and eat the Lord’s Supper together in remembrance of His death, looking forward to His return.
    Acts 2:38; 4:31; Colossians 1:24–26; 1 Corinthians 11:20–26
  • Therefore, the local church is not a building, nor is it a group of believers who only meet together to study the Bible. A local church is a group of believers who consistently meet together obeying what the Bible has taught about the purpose and work of a church.

The Function Of The Local Church

  • The local church worships God together. Believers are the “praise of God’s glory.” We express our reverence and adoration for God through proclaiming the Word, singing songs, making melodies, giving offerings and giving thanks.
    Acts 13:1–3; Ephesians 1:11–14; 5:15–21; Colossians 3:16–17
  • The local church edifies each other. We love each other and treat each other like family. We speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We are constantly preaching, teaching, and warning each other so that we might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. We are unified in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God.
    Ephesians 4:11–16; 5:19–27; 1 Timothy 5:1–2; Colossians 1:28
  • The local church exists to evangelize the world. Jesus commanded believers to be witnesses of Him to the entire world. Each local church should be involved in preaching the gospel to their local area and sending missionaries to preach the gospel in all parts of the world. Together we can pray, give and go.
    Matthew 28:18–20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46–48, John 20:20–21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13–15
  • The local church does good works. As believers we show our love through the preaching of the Word, works of compassion, works of mercy, and caring for the poor. We are to do good to all men, but especially to those in the church.
    Luke 6:35–36; Acts 4:32–35; 11:29; Galatians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 1 John 3:17–18

The Health Of The Local Church

  • A healthy church teaches the Bible correctly and obeys it. Every local church is not the same. They may be a “real church” if they are preaching the “real gospel,” but they might not be a “healthy church” if they are not fully obeying the Bible’s commands. Every believer should desire to be a member of a healthy church that does right according to the Bible.
    Galatians 1:6–9; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 13:7–9, 20–21; 1 John 5:2; Revelation 22:18–19
  • A healthy church has proper leadership. Jesus is the Founder, Builder, and Head of the church. A church has two main offices: pastor and deacon. The leadership should meet the Bible’s requirements and lead by example. The church should take financial responsibility of the pastor. Women are not to be in positions of lead teaching or offices of authority in the local church. The government has no authoritative role in the church.
    Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Corinthians 14:34–35; 1 Timothy 2:11–14; 3:1–13; 5:17–19; 1 Peter 5:1–4
  • A healthy church practices church discipline. Jesus gave the church instructions on dealing with believers who have fallen into sin. The goal is to restore and reconcile the believers and purge out those who are the unrepentant or not real believers.
    Matthew 18:15–17; 1 Corinthians 5:6–7, 12–13
  • A healthy church is unified. The members of a local church should be unified in their purpose, functions, and core beliefs. There are many members and gifts, but we all work together for the same goal.
    1 Corinthians 12:12–26; Ephesians 4:4–6
  • A healthy church does things decently and in order. When the members of a local church meet together, everything they do should conform to the standards of the Bible. There should not be chaos or unruliness.
    1 Corinthians 14:23–25; 33; 40
  • A healthy church understands and exercises spiritual gifts properly. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to each believer as He wills. Each are to be used for the common good or to build each other up. All gifts should be used in love. Also, some gifts, such as tongues and healing, have ceased along with the office of an apostle.
    1 Corinthians 12:1–11; 13:2, 8; 14:1
  • A healthy church has active members. As a Christian, you should find a local church as described in this lesson and join its membership. As a member, you should assemble when they do; you should be learning, worshipping, and growing in the Word of God; you should take part in the work of God through spreading the Gospel and serving others.
    2 Timothy 2:2; James 1:22–25

Review Questions

  • Who is the founder and builder of the church?
  • Is the local church a building? Why or why not?
  • What are the functions of a local church?
  • What are some characteristics of a healthy church?
  • Are you a member of a local church?

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Firm Foundations Two (13 of 55) What Is The Holy Spirit Like?

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What Is The Holy Spirit Like?

The Holy Spirit is God the Spirit. He is fully God and equal to the Father and Son. Today, He lives inside of all believers as a Comforter, Counselor, and Helper. He is the one who enables man to believe in Jesus, and the one who empowers every believer to follow Jesus for the glory of God.

The Divinity Of The Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. This means that He is God and equal to the Father and the Son, but also an individual that has a specific role to fulfill. He is not a force, energy, power, wind, or a dove, but He is God and we are to treat Him as such.
    Acts 5:3–4
  • The Holy Spirit in the Bible is called the “Spirit of God,” “Spirit of the Lord,” “Spirit of Truth,” “Comforter,” “Spirit of Life,” “Spirit of Christ,” “Spirit of Adoption,” “Spirit of the Living God,” “Spirit of Jesus Christ,” “Eternal Spirit,” and “Spirit of Grace.”
    Matthew 3:16; Luke 4:18; John 15:26; 16:7; Romans 8:2; 9, 15; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Philippians 1:19; Hebrews 9:14; 10:29

The Work Of The Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Scriptures. He worked through the human authors of the Bible to record exactly what He wanted them to write so that we could have the Word of God. He now uses the Word of God to reveal the will of God to us.
    2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:10–11
  • The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts unbelievers of their sin. Through the preaching of the Word of God, He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
    John 16:7–11; 1 John 5:6
  • The Holy Spirit causes unbelievers to repent and be born again. He is the one who washes, sanctifies, and justifies in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    John 3:4–8; 6:63; Titus 3: 4–7; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 John 4:2–3; 2 Thessalonians 2: 13; 1 Corinthians 12:3
  • The Holy Spirit is the one who enables us to have a right relationship with God through Jesus. He has set us free from the law of sin and death. We no longer live in fear because there is no more punishment. We are made children of God and we live to please God.
    Romans 8:1–2; 14–17; 1 John 4:18
  • The Holy Spirit dwells inside all believers all the time. Jesus told His disciples that it was good for Him to leave them because He would send the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel of John, they received the Holy Spirit by the breath of Jesus. In the book of Acts, we see that they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Today, every believer receives the Holy Spirit upon salvation.
    Romans 8:9; John 7:37–39; 14:16–17; 20:22; Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:13
  • The Holy Spirit makes believers more and more like Jesus. The Bible says believers are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and, therefore, this changes the way they choose to live. He is making them holy and producing spiritual fruit in their lives.
    1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19–20; Galatians 5:19–22
  • The Holy Spirit seals the believers’ salvation forever. Once they believe, they receive the Holy Spirit: this means they are sealed. They will always be saved because it is the Holy Spirit doing the work inside of them.
    Ephesians 1:13–14; Romans 8:11

The Filling Of The Holy Spirit

  • As believers, we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is different from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit puts us in Christ and happens only once at the time of salvation. The filling of the Holy Spirit happens more than once and gives us power to serve God, serve others, and be a witness of Jesus.
    Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:3–4; Galatians 3:27–28
  • As believers, we are commanded to walk in the Holy Spirit. This means that our regular way of life should be characterized by the fruits of the Spirit because we are led by the Spirit.
    Galatians 5:16–25; Romans 8:14; Ephesians 2:10
  • As believers, we are given spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit that we are to use to edify each other, and the church. Everyone’s gifts are different, but all are useful in the body of Christ. They should be used within the realm of the church with self-control, orderliness, edification, and love.
    1 Corinthians 12:4–11; 14:1
  • As believers, we are filled with and walk in the Spirit when we allow the Word of God (that the Holy Spirit inspired) to change who we are. We must read, study, meditate on, and submit to it. We cannot do this on our own, so the Holy Spirit helps us in our understanding and, through the Word, fills us to walk in His ways, to be a witness of Jesus, and to do the will of God.
    Colossians 3:16–4:1

The Testimony Of The Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit testifies of the Word of God (as contained in the Bible). He will never reveal anything contrary to the Bible. The Bible is the Sword of the Spirit that all believers can use in spiritual battle. Not only does He testify of the Bible, but He also helps us to understand and remember it.
    John 14:26; Ephesians 6:11; 1 Corinthians 2:10–16
  • The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus. He will always point people to Jesus and direct worship to Him. In the book of Acts, we find that believers were filled with the Holy Spirit many times. Most of the time this was for boldly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus.
    John 15:26; 16:13–15; Acts 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9; 1 Corinthians 2:4–5

Review Question

  • Is the Holy Spirit equal with the Father and the Son?
  • What book is the Holy Spirit the Author of?
  • What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
  • Where does the Holy Spirit live and what kind of fruit does He produce?
  • Who does the Holy Spirit testify of?

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