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Archive for June 2008

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## Your prayers please ##

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Tomorrow, Monday 16th June, the mission group at the Church I attend, will be meeting to discuss whether to formally take Partake Ministries as an official church mission partner... Below is the outline I gave them and it is also attached to this posting as a PDF... Thank you for your prayers...

Dave Roberts Partake Ministries

Why Partake?

It is going to be harder to be a Christian Disciple in the western world as time goes on, and so discipleship and learning solid biblical doctrine etc is essential in order to endure sufferings/ persecution... Also discipleship is just not done a whole lot in the church today..."

Vision Statement: Partake Ministries exists to communicate and disseminate resources for the purposes of Evangelism and Christian Discipleship by employing radical and relevant methods.

Mission Statement: With the help of the Holy Spirit, to strengthen those who are weak in faith; to comfort the spiritually uncomfortable and to make uncomfortable the spiritually comfort. This is done so that people would “partake of righteousness” Matthew 5v6, and that through their life of discipleship, Jesus would have supremacy (Colossians 1v18).

What do we do?

1. Write, produce and distribute evangelistic/discipleship resources. These would be distributed both online and through churches, with a suggested donation basis. Currently these include:

  • ·ADD (Active Daily Discipleship) Partake! Discipleship Course. This will be distributed by audio CD and/or MP3 CD, and accompanied by a booklet outlining the teaching with appropriate questions. Talks of up to 10 minutes, completed and recorded. Being proof-read at the moment.
  • The Jesus File - 8 short talks/videos of less than 3 minutes discussing Jesus evangelistically.
  • The Bible File - 8 short talks/videos of less than 3 minutes discussing how we should interact with Scripture. Audio is complete so need to work on the videos.
  • Bible Book in a Minute - where each book of the bible is summarised and key verses given within a minute. New Testament written and videos produced. The Old Testament is to be started.
  • JOG (Jesus Overview in the Gospels) - Series of 10 minute talks. Completed and recorded. Being proof-read at the moment.
  • BBW (Big Bible Words) - Short talks of no longer than 3 minutes, discussing some of the major words/themes of the Christian faith… Currently being worked upon.
  • JAPE (Jesus' Anecdotes & Parables Explained) - Short talks of no longer than 3 minutes, discussing some of Jesus’ parables. Not started yet

2. The website(s) currently has on average about 100 unique visitors daily and on average 150 downloads occur. 3. Running a discipleship course on a lunchtime, evening or on a Saturday - either at PBC or another church in town. 4. Assist churches to use virtual communities and virtual reality in their local ministry. 5. Support smaller churches and lead worship and/or preach there in order to give the elders/pastor a break for a week. 6. Devising a welcoming & newcomers strategy for churches. 7. Devising a discipleship strategy for churches.

Reasons Why I Believe God Is In This Venture

  • Other people have suggested it, including those churches that have turned me down for jobs.
  • Other people who I don’t know, who have evaluated the resources.
  • Other people who I do know, who say that it would suit my gifting.
  • Through prayer and the regular prayer-walks I have engaged upon through Ringwood town.
  • God has supplied 2 flexible and part-time jobs for me to remain in Ringwood and also have time for the development of Partake Ministries.
  • Support Group has been set-up and Accountability Group will be set-up.

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Old and New Nature

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Partake - Words In Scripture Explained – Old Nature & New Nature

Welcome to Partake WISE. The word for today is “old and new nature”…

Old clothing!

I wonder if you have ever had a favourite piece of clothing, say a coat, a shirt or a dress. It was so comfortable and cosy that you wore it seemingly every day. Then one day you realised that this coat was dirty and smelled badly. It was infested with fleas, mites and disease-ridden bacteria. It was filthy and needed washing. It was no longer fit to be worn yet you still wanted to wear it because it is so comfortable. But you couldn’t wear it, because it was only fit for burning and burying.

Swapping old for new!

That is the same for the Christian Disciple in regards to the old sinful nature that each person is born with. This old nature is in conflict with God, because it is self-centred and self-pleasing. When you became a Christian Disciple, you gained a new nature that is both God pleasing and God centred. When Jesus died on the cross, it was for your old sinful nature as well as your sins! Your baptism in water symbolizes your old inherent sinful nature as being buried with Jesus Christ (Romans 6v6) and you are raised to live a new life with a new nature (Romans 6v4)!

Why have this new nature?

Now that you are a Christian Disciple, and have a new nature, you are no longer separated from Him because of your old nature. You have a new nature and God has taken care of your past and He no longer holds your sin against you!

We fight the old with the new!

As a Christian Disciple, you have a new spiritual nature to help you fight the struggle against sin and disobedience against God who is now your King and master! Moreover, He has put His Spirit within you, and the more you allow Him to control you, the stronger your new nature becomes. Your old nature is gone, burned and buried. Continue living as if you are always putting on your new nature like a new coat, so that as His disciple, you are living a life worthy of His Holy Name.

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Father God

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Partake - Words In Scripture Explained – God the Father

Welcome to Partake WISE. The word for today is Father God

The vast majority of all people, to some extent, have had an earthly father. Your father may never have shown you love, consideration or friendship. On the other hand, your relationship with your father may have been everything you could hope and desire for in a father-child relationship. Either way, cast aside all thoughts of your earthly father, as we consider together God the Father.

The defining function of God the Father is that He is the Almighty who intervenes, sustains and provides for all things. God the Father is a perfect father.

The Father of All Creation

As all of humanity is made in the image of God, the Fatherhood of God must apply to all humanity. God is the Father of our Spirits (Hebrews 12v9). God as Father wants everyone to be in His kingdom (Luke18v16). By calling him Father that means that God is a personal God! He loves all of His creation and He sustains it! He wants them in a relationship with Him!

The Father of Jesus Christ

From when Jesus as a twelve year old proclaimed he was about His Father’s business, to His teaching on prayer when He said to call God, Father; to the agonising prayer of John 17 and in His final words on the cross, Jesus cried out “Father God, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23v46). The words Jesus spoke were those He heard from the Father. The actions Jesus did were those He saw the Father doing (John 5v19).

The Father of Christian Disciples

For the Christian Disciple, God is Father because Jesus Christ was the Son of God (Romans 8v17; Hebrews 2v17). Christian Disciples have been adopted as heirs and as children (John 1v12). The Christian Disciple is to partake of the Father’s nature (2 Peter 1v3-4)! God the Father both cares for His children (Matthew 6v32) and disciplines His children (Hebrews 12v6-8). Above all, Christian Disciples can never be separated from the love of God the Father (Romans 8v39).

Two books I can recommend on Father God are:

"The Father Heart of God" by Floyd McClung

“From the Father’s Heart” by Charles Slagle

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88. Partake - The Christian Disciple and Doctrine

Paul writes in Titus 2v1: “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.“

In a lot of churches today, the word ‘doctrine’ is unfashionable. Doctrine belongs to a time gone by, they say, and new experiences of God and miracles from God are the way forward for the church. Some churches teach only what they think people want to hear, tickling the ears instead of exposing them to biblical truth led by the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote about this in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Is that not indicative of where some parts of the church, particularly in the west, are today? Teachers preferring to tickle the ears of their listeners, instead of stirring people into living transformed lives for Jesus Christ.

What is Doctrine?

The words translated as “doctrine” are found frequently in the letters written by Paul, chiefly in what are called the Pastoral Epistles: 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. Doctrine is the study of God, as revealed through the pages of the Bible. The more the Christian Disciple learns about the God they choose to follow, the more

  • The Christian Disciple will be able to deal with the daily pressures of living in a society ever distancing and alienating itself from God;
  • ·The Christian Disciple will continue learning and understanding the very nature of God and be able to both act and react, rightly in varying circumstances
  • ·Will continue to develop the relationship between themselves and the God they serve

Who is Doctrine for?

Doctrine is for all Christian Disciples,

  • ·regardless of the level of academic achievement (or none);
  • ·regardless of the length of time they have been a Christian Disciple;
  • ·regardless of their status in the church they attend, whether the Christian Disciple is a church leader or an ordinary church member who sits in the congregation.

Doctrine Matters

So, for every Christian Disciple, doctrine matters. Doctrine matters because what you believe about God, ultimately affects how you will behave. If the Christian Disciple has solid, biblical doctrine being practised in their life, they will live a life of total obedience to Jesus Christ. For the Christian Disciple is to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5v6) and this can only come about through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. As the mind is renewed and transformed (Romans 12v1) with teaching about Jesus Christ, and the Christian Disciple puts into practice what the mind learns, the life of the Christian Disciple is transformed. Then people will ask questions. Questions regarding the reason why the Christian Disciple has been transformed. Questions asking about the reason for the hope the Christian Disciples hold onto. That way the Gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ is spread. That is one of the ultimate reasons why doctrine is important – it is also evangelism.

Learn and practice

The need to learn and practice true biblical Doctrine is ultimately important when faced with persecution for being a Christian Disciple. If the Christian Disciple’s faith is based on anything less than the belief in Jesus Christ as both God and Man, then ultimately that foundation will break, and there can be no hope. If the Christian Disciple is only seeking to have their ears tickled with what they want to hear, then enduring persecution for being a Christian Disciple is much harder than if that Christian Disciple has had a solid Doctrinal teaching about living the Christian life. With solid Doctrinal teaching, the Christian Disciple has hope, and an unending hope, enabling them to endure persecution.

True or false

Another reason, learning solid doctrine is important is so that the Christian Disciple will be able to discern true Apostolic & biblical teaching from the false teaching of heretics and those who want to lead Christian Disciples astray. Titus 1v9: “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Or as Paul writes to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1v3 “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer.” Or further on 1 Timothy 6v3-4: “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.”

Christian Discipleship is fulltime, for 24 hours of the day, every day. The Christian Disciple is to partake of righteousness as commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as other things as commanded and instructed in the Bible. The Christian Disciple, can engage in Active Daily Discipleship, through learning true Biblical doctrine. By learning biblical doctrine, the Christian Disciple will be enabled to start discerning true beliefs from false beliefs and ultimately engage biblical doctrine into living a life worthy of Jesus Christ. Experiences and miracles are important, but to base Christian Discipleship upon them and not on solid biblical doctrine, produces a rollercoaster effect and not the constant reliance on the indwelling Holy Spirit for direction, guidance and trust.

For more to think about please do read for yourself the book of Titus. It is 3 short chapters and won’t take very long. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. How does what I believe about God, change the way I live for God?

Q2. As I look back on my Christian life, can I notice discernable differences in how my life has changed as I put into practise my beliefs?

Q3. When engaging with others, do I seek to have my ears tickled with what I want to hear or do I seek to be exposed to apostolic truths about the God I profess to serve?

Finally, here are a couple of recommended books to help your study of Doctrine. Both of these are well written, easy to read, easy to understand and pack a punch.

  • Knowing God by JI Packer
  • Basic Christianity by JRW Stott

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The book of Hebrews summarised in one minute with key verses and key theme...

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The book of Philemon summarised in one minute with key verses and key theme...

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