Mission: Possible (With God)

Mission Possible With God

Job 42:1-6

I. With God, it was possible “back then”

    A. The Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17; 3:1-6, 14-15)
    B. God’s promise to Abram (Genesis 15:1-6; 16:1-2; 17:15-19; 21:2)
    C. God’s deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 3:11-12)
    D. The evangelization of the world (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Colossians 1:5-6)
    E. Preaching even to Caesar (Acts 23:11; 25:1-12)

II. With God, it is possible “today”

    A. 7.8 billion people in the world, but the church is losing 300 preachers each year
    B. Individual Christians have a responsibility to be active in the work of evangelism
    C. Don’t know enough? Study and learn! (2 Timothy 2:15; 2:2)
    D. Utilize sound resources like oabs.org to increase your personal knowledge

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 195/260: Read 2 Corinthians 3

Notice the reverence with which Paul speaks of the old covenant. He says it was “glorious.” In other passages, he calls it our “schoolmaster” or “tutor” (Galatians 3:24) which leads us to Christ. And that is where the true understanding of the Old Testament lies: in the light of the life of Jesus Christ.

The most valuable aspect of the Law of Moses was that it guided genuine seekers to the One who was able to do what the Law never could. The old covenant is called “the ministry of condemnation” by the apostle because it did not have the power to save. But the new covenant—the gospel of Christ, the “ministry of righteousness”—“exceeds much more in glory.”

The old law, though glorious, no longer has authority over the people of God. The new law is “what remains.” That is the standard by which we must live, for that is the standard by which we will be judged on the last day (John 12:48).

Do you want to understand the Old Testament? Read it through the eyes of one who believes in Jesus, “because the veil is taken away in Christ.”

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

1 Corinthians 15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Pray

Pray for wisdom when studying the Scriptures.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 194/260: Read 2 Corinthians 2

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul confronted them about their tolerance of a sinful situation. They were not dealing with the problem, but rather they were boasting about their tolerance! The apostle chided them because they had not “mourned” over this sin, and urged them to “deliver such a one to Satan,” and to “purge out the old leaven.”

By the time we get to the second chapter of 2 Corinthians, discipline had evidently been enacted, but the brethren would not let the formerly sinful man forget what he had done. Paul again corrects them, writing, “This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.”

When one of God’s children repents, we, as that person’s brothers and sisters, should embrace them in their repentance and encourage them as they make the necessary changes in their life. The Corinthians were told to “reaffirm your love to him.” Show the brother that he is forgiven, and that he is welcomed back into the fellowship of God’s saints.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, ______________, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is ______________ in vain in the Lord.

Pray

Pray for those who are caught up in sin, that they may find their way home. Pray for yourself, that when they do come back, you will show them the love of Christ.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 193/260: Read 2 Corinthians 1

Several years ago, a novel called Pay It Forward was published and later made into a movie. The basic premise is to do a favor for someone, and instead of them “paying it back” by doing a favor for you, they “pay it forward” by helping others.

Does that sound like Christianity? The Father sent the Son to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. That is beyond our ability to repay, but we can “pay it forward” by telling others what He did, and how they can benefit from His sacrifice.

Paul says something similar about comfort in the first chapter of 2 Corinthians. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

The comfort that God provides when we struggle, we should be able to “pay it forward” by comforting others who are struggling. In so doing, we can influence others in a godly way, and perhaps lead them to the truth of the gospel.

We are comforted so that we may comfort others. We are won to Christ that we might win others. We are taught the truth that we might teach others. Pay it forward!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ______________, immovable, always ______________ in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to show others the love of Christ.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 192/260: Read 1 Corinthians 16

How do we treat the people who do the work of the Lord? In his closing thoughts to the church in Corinth, Paul urged them to treat Timothy with love and respect when he arrived. “And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.”

Those who labor in the Word, who dedicate their lives to teaching the lost and fulfilling the Great Commission, are too often mistreated by the brethren at large. Friends, the preacher who is teaching the truth is not your enemy. He teaches the truth because he wants you to go to heaven. He is not trying to make you feel guilty about what you have done; he is trying to make you want to do better.

This is the charge that Paul issued to Timothy in a personal letter to the young preacher: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).

The apostle wanted the church to listen and to make the needed corrections in their lives, and to treat the preacher with respect as he instructed them in these things. Let the preacher do his work “without fear”; “let no one despise him.”

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Pray

Pray for the proper attitude in receiving the truth revealed in the Word.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 191/260: Read 1 Corinthians 15

“If I ever walked through the doors of a church building, it would surely collapse.” Have you ever heard someone say something like that? Or perhaps, “There is a special place in hell reserved for sinners like me.”

Have you ever heard of Saul of Tarsus? He consented to the death of Stephen, a man “full of faith and power” (Acts 8:1; 6:8). Luke records how Saul was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” and sought permission to capture them and bring them back to Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2).

Do you know who Saul of Tarsus became? He was one of the greatest missionaries the church has ever known: Paul the apostle. Despite his former life of blasphemy, persecution, and insolence, God displayed His marvelous mercy in the life of Paul (1 Timothy 1:13).

If God could turn around the life of someone like Saul of Tarsus, He won’t cause the building to fall in on a sinner today who decides they want to get right with Him. We serve an awesome God who wants to raise us up on the last day, to change us from corruptible to incorruption, from mortal to immortality. And He has the power to do it!

Be like Paul – repent of your former sins, submit to Christ in baptism for the remission of sins, and work every day for the Lord with passion and zeal.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Pray

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving to God “who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man (But a Spiritual Giant) (Luke 19:1-10)

Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man Luke 19

Luke 19:1-10

I. His biography

    A. Jericho (Luke 19:1; Joshua 6:3-5)
    B. His name, profession, and wealth (Luke 19:2)
    C. His stature (Luke 19:3)

II. His attitude

    A. Ingenuity and humility (Luke 19:4)
    B. Jesus already knew him (Luke 19:5; John 1:43-49)
    C. Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully (Luke 19:6)

III. The perception others had of him

    A. Tax collectors = sinners (Luke 19:7)
    B. Jesus’ perception was different (1 Kings 16:7; Acts 13:22)

IV. His benevolence

    A. Not boasting (Luke 19:8; Mark 10:17-22)
    B. Is obedience necessary?

V. His salvation

    A. A son of Abraham (Luke 19:9; Galatians 3:26-29)
    B. He needed Jesus (Luke 19:10; John 3:17)

Baptism in the Letters

Baptism in the Letters

I. “Every spiritual blessing…in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3)

    A. Is it important to be “in Christ”? (Romans 3:24; 6:23; 8:1,39; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 15:19; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Galatians 2:16; 3:28; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:15)
    B. How does one get “in Christ”? (Galatians 3:26-27

II. Contact with the blood of Christ

    A. “Baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 2:13; 1 John 1:7)
    B. Former life of sin is gone (Romans 6:5-7, 17)

III. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:4-7)

    A. “Through the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5)
    B. Results: justification by grace and heirs of the hope of eternal life

IV. Direct link between baptism and salvation (1 Peter 3:18-22)

    A. Baptism is an “antitype”
    B. Baptism “now saves us” (1 Peter 3:21; Genesis 3:1-5)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 190/260: Read 1 Corinthians 14

Biblical Christianity is a religion of decency and order. Paul set forth several principles for the first century church to follow. Remember that they were endowed with the miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit, and there was some controversy over which gift was most important.

Still today, even though we are no longer blessed with miraculous abilities, there are disputes among religious people over their roles in the worship service. The same principle Paul set forth in the first century applies for the church today: “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

There is far too much confusion in the religious world. We would all be better off by going back to just what the Bible says; we should do Bible things in Bible ways, speak as the Bible speaks, and remain silent where the Bible is silent.

God is the author of Christianity, and He has established certain ways to do things in His service. Who are we to decide we know better than the Almighty? “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” When we substitute our opinions for God’s commands, we destroy the peace that He established.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Pray

Pray for peace and unity in the local congregation.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 189/260: Read 1 Corinthians 13

“Love is love.” Perhaps you have seen or heard that phrase with regard to the LGBTQ+ community. The thought behind their message is that love is pure and it doesn’t matter who you love. But is that what the Bible teaches?

Paul has quite a bit to say about love in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. Notice these two things in verse 6: love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” Does that mesh with the homosexual agenda and their meaning of the phrase, “Love is love”?

The New Testament reveals God’s mind concerning homosexuality. It is “vile” and “against nature” (Romans 1:26). It is “shameful” (Romans 1:27). It is “unrighteous” and will prevent one from “inherit(ing) the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

The New Testament also reveals that one can change. There were some in Corinth who had formerly subscribed to the homosexual way of living. Paul writes, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

If love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth,” then those who are engaged in sexually immoral acts—whether homosexual or heterosexual—must give those up and turn to God.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is ______________ to man; but God is faithful, who will not ______________ you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to ______________ it.

Pray

Pray for guidance through the Word of God to discover what love truly involves.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)