July 31, 2008

WISE - Serving

Words In Scripture Explored

Serving

As Christian Disciples, we are called to a life of serving God and other people. You are not alone, but part of a larger body where each member is called to perform a serving function. By serving others as a Christian Disciple, it shows unity and solidarity to those outside of the church who frequently accuse the church of infighting and “devouring one another”.

Serving

The Christian life is to be dynamic and active. The word “servant” is key in Scripture and is used at least 500 times in its various forms. When a Christian Disciple serves, God’s honour is released, and shows Jesus Christ’s beauty and glory, to those being served and to those watching. That is to be your motive for service. Serving is never to be about what you and I can get out of it. When that is the motive, God is not glorified. God’s glory and the total supremacy of Jesus over all things, is to be the goal in the life of all Christian Disciples.

Spiritual Growth Comes From Serving

If you desire to grow spiritually, then serve! For spiritual growth comes from serving rather than you being served. This is because what you give in service of God and others, your faith grows and Jesus Christ gives back even more to you. Jesus speaking in Matthew 25v15-30 tells of the rewards for faithful service and the penalties for being faithless. When you serve others, it is a sign of your trust and faith in God.

Serving Reflects Jesus Christ’s Life

By serving, we reflect in some small way the greatest servant of all, Jesus Christ, who came to serve and give his very life for others (Mark 10v45). As a Christian Disciple, you are In serving others fulfilling the command that Jesus gave to love God and love others. Showing love and serving others achieves this aim of total obedience to Jesus.

Salvation is not through Your Service!

However a warning! Don’t be led into the trap of thinking that your service will lead to your salvation, as some will say. It will not! The only reason you have salvation, is because of the service of Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully human. Your acts of service would never be able to pay that price, but your acts of service will help point others to Jesus, who paid the price for your salvation and others. So as you go from here, go to serve others and by doing so, you will also be showing your service to Jesus Christ your Master. Thank you.

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July 28, 2008

WISE - Holy Spirit

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored – Holy Spirit

G’day and welcome to WISE! The word for today is God the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity. As such we do not refer to the Spirit as “it” or “that”, but rather Him! Wherever the Holy Spirit is, the Father and Son are also present because they are one (John 14v18-23).

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit and His relationship with you as a Christian Disciple?

1. Glorify Christ: His prime role is that He will glorify Jesus Christ the Son of God (John 16v13-14). He does this by testifying (John 15v26) and witnessing for (Acts 1v8) Jesus Christ.

2. The Paraclete – Comforter: He stands alongside (John 14v16) and lives in all believers (John 16v7).

3. Declares God’s Word: For you, the Holy Spirit interprets and illuminates the Bible, as you submit to Him and the Bible (John 16v12-15; 1 Corinthians 2v10-16)!

4. Convicts: The Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16v8)

5. Salvation: As Christian Disciple, you are born of the Holy Spirit (John 3v3-8). For without the Holy Spirit, nobody can be a Christian Disciple (Romans 8v9; Gal 2v20; Colossians 1v25-27)

6. Sealing / Ownership: The Holy Spirit indwelling you is assured proof of you being God’s possession (2 Corinthians 1v22; Ephesians 1v3), for the Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing your future redemption, salvation and inheritance (Ephesians 1v13; 2 Corinthians 1v22).

7. Filling: This speaks of the Holy Spirit’s control or domination of your life. The imperative here is that we are to be filled, and go on being filled (Ephesians 5v18).

8. Sanctification: As you walk, live in, and are led by the Holy Spirit, you are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 7-18), (Galatians. 5v16; Romans 8v13).

9. Baptism: While this Holy Spirit baptism usually occurs at your conversion, it does sometimes after afterwards! The Biblical accounts show both of these occurrences. As Billy Graham once said “I don’t care how you get Him – get Him!”

10. Service: The Holy Spirit equips you for service by giving you spiritual gifts and working in you to will and to act according to His purpose (Philippians 2v13).

Finally, how is the Spirit seen? The Spirit’s work is in greatest evidence, where people’s lives become more holy and more like Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12v3; 2 Corinthians 13v7). Look back on your life and see how the Holy Spirit has been working in and transforming you since your conversion. Then ask Him to reveal to you the areas you still need transforming.

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July 26, 2008

WISE - Fellowship

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored – Fellowship

G’day and welcome to WISE.  The word for today is “fellowship”.

I meet people who tell me they are Christians, but don’t want to go to a church anymore.  But by not doing so, they are missing out on perhaps one of the greatest blessings of being a Christian: fellowship.  One of the great things about belonging to a church is the act of fellowship, which results from walking with one another (1 John 1v7).  God has created us for fellowship and Jesus Christ has redeemed us so that we can have this fellowship together (Colossians 1v3-5). 

What is fellowship? This is rooted in the words koinōnia and koinōneō, which is a mutual sharing together, and not merely a mutual association.  Fellowship is both in having fellowship and giving fellowship. 

Why fellowship? When Christian disciples fellowship with each other, God is glorified as a result (Romans 15v7).  It is as a collective body that the Church fellowship grows in grace and maturity together, overcoming by grace, the weaknesses of each individual member (Ephesians 4vv12-16).  You are commanded to continue meeting others for fellowship, so that mutual encouragement “toward love and good deeds” can take place (Hebrews 10v25)! By this you can live a consistent godly life, particularly if sins are confessed to each other (James 5v16)! 

Victory is also seen in the eyes of a fellowship, rather than singular individuality (1 Corinthians 15v57; 1 John 5v4).  Whilst God deals with us as individuals, it is through fellowship that God strengthens you, for you are supported, healed and compensated by other Christians.  These are all very good reasons why Christians need to find a Church to attend!

How do we fellowship?  Biblical fellowship sees the church having common purpose (Psalm 133v1-3), belief (Acts 2v42), hope (Hebrews 11v39-40) and needs (2 Corinthians 8vv1-15).  Just as Christians have fellowship with the Father (1 John 1v3), Jesus (1 Corinthians 1v9) and the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2v1), so do they have with each other (1 John 1v7).  The things a fellowship shares are, but not limited to, possessions (2 Corinthians 8v4), sufferings (Philippians 3v10) and the Gospel (Galatians 2v9; Philippians 1v5). By participating in His suffering and having fellowship with Jesus through his own sufferings, Paul was able to enter a deeper relationship with Jesus.

How have you enjoyed fellowship this week and how will you enjoy it in the week to come?

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