Christian Discipleship

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A Christian disciple is one who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and endeavors to learn and practice the teachings of Christ.  The first disciples were called Christians at Antioch. ( Acts 11:26 )

The Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19-20 left this command to His disciples:   

Matthew 28:19  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20  "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'' Amen. (NKJV)

This commission is two fold - make disciples and teach them.  This study course will follow this line of thought.

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First Steps


One must become a Christian, before one can become a Disciple of Jesus Christ. In this section, let us examine what the Bible says concerning:

A.  How to become a Christian

  1.  How they did it in the beginning church in response to Christís command.

Mark 16:15  And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Vs.16    "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned   (NKJV)

Notice: That the Gospel is preached -  people believe - then they are baptized

The Word  Believe in this case means more than ďconsider as trueĒ but also to have faith in - to entrust ones spiritual well-being to Christ.

Example of Philip

Acts 8:5-6  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
6.  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

Vs.12   But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Acts 8:35-37   Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36.  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37.  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

From the example of Philip we can see several things.

1.  He preached Jesus - (the Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ)

Romans 10:14-15   How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15.  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

2.  They heard

Romans 10:17   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

People preach in far away places so that people can hear the Gospel and have faith in Jesus Christ ( entrust ones salvation to Jesus Christ and the work of his cross and not self effort.)

3.  They believed

Romans 10:8-10   But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9.  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Notice: the Eunuch confessed out loud to Philip

Acts 8:36-37   And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37.  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Question:  Can a baby believe with all itís heart and confess with itís mouth?

4.  Then they were baptized

Acts 8:38   And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Peters example:

Please read Acts 2:1-41

Vs.14-36   Peter preaches to the crowd about Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:37.  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Pierced to the heart - their conscience   The Holy Spirit convicted them

Peterís Answer

Acts 2:38, 41   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Vs. 41.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

They repented of their sin of rejecting Christ  - (they turned from)

  * Repentance in this case was a sorrow for their sin, that led to repentance

They received his word ( the Gospel ) - (they turned to Christ)

Then they were baptized.

The book of Acts is a record of the work of the Holy Spirit through the early church. God has not changed His way of Salvation, man has. Their are many churches that still preach the Gospel; and baptize those that believe.

What is the Gospel Message? (The Basics)

1. Mankind is a sinner and cannot save himself, he is out of fellowship with God his creator and is destined to Hell.
2. God has provided a way for mankind to be saved, and to come into fellowship with Him.
3. This way: is only though His only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Man must hear the Gospel, believe and make a personal choice to repent and turn to Jesus Christ and accept Jesus, as their Savior.

  * Just look around, read your paper, watch the news, be honest with yourself.

Romans 3:10, 23  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Vs.23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

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Erroneous Views

Based on

  1.  Iím a good person

The Bible says:

Romans 3:1   As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Vs.23  ..all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

2 Timothy 1:9   Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Isaiah 64:6  But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Ephesians 2:8-9   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Vs.9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Question: have you ever committed a sin? Above - all have sinned

 * Just one little sin disqualifies a person from heaven

Why?

God is totally Holy, Totally pure - Sin cannot come into his presence

Jesus is the only person who has never committed one sin. Also, he was born without original sin.  He had to be born of a virgin, so that He would not inherit original sin. The sin of Adam and Eve that was passed off to the human race.

-- Living Bible
Romans 5:12  When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. His sin spread death throughout all the world, so everything began to grow old and die, for all sinned.

Original sin is inherited by every person through Adam. We sin because were sinners.

God had to deal with that root of sin. That's why Jesus said :

John 3:3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Hebrews 9:22   And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

* All the blood of the animals in the Old Testament was for the atonement of sins. (The
  covering for sins)

* Christ Jesus poured out his blood for the remission of our sins.  (The putting away of our sins.)

Hebrews 9:12   Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hallelujah!  He obtained redemption for us.

  2.  I was Baptized

Water baptism is for believers only; those who hear the gospel, believe, and turn to Christ as their Savior. This is the pattern we see throughout the early church, as is seen in the book of Acts. Water baptism is the outward symbolic act, of the regeneration, that has already taken place in the heart ( spirit ). It symbolizes the death of the old life and the birth of the new.

Peter said repent and be baptized.

Philip said if you believe with all you heart, you may.

Apostle Paul said

Of baptism:

1 Corinthians 1:17-18   For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Of the Gospel:

Romans 1:16   For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

There is no such thing as  Regeneration by water baptism.

Please read the following:  Acts 10:1-48

Notice: that while Peter was preaching about Jesus they received the Holy Spirit, later they were baptized in water. ( Only born again Christians can receive the Holy Spirit ) they became Christians before they were baptized in water. Water Baptism has nothing to do with regeneration.

Peter shares the experience with the Jewish Christians

Acts 11:14-17   Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
15.  And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
16.  Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
17.  Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

The problem with infant baptism.

Babies canít repent
Babies canít believe
Babies canít confess.

Babies are in a state of innocence. At some point in time, children recognize wrong. When they choose wrong (sin) over whatís right; the original sin nature is activated; at which point that young man or woman becomes a sinner in need of salvation; which is only through and by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each person must make a personal choice for Jesus.

Can a baby make a personal choice?

Has it rejected Godís gift of salvation through Jesus?

Many people that have been baptized as infants, grow up thinking that they are Christians and most attend a church.
Their lives are evidence that they have never experienced a heart change. They live a life of sin and have no desire for God. Their religion soothes their conscience

If reading this bothers you, ask yourself why?  Have you ever repented and asked Jesus to be your Savior. Have you ever made a personal choice?  Be honest with yourself. God Knows

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A Disciple Must

1.  Abide in Christ       

-- New International
John 15:4  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

* A Christian, is a Christian every day not just on Sundays. 24 hr. a day - 365 days a year

2.  Be a doer of Godís Word

James 1:21-22   Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves

3.  Count the cost

-- Living Bible
Luke 14:26-27  ``Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters--yes, more than his own life--otherwise he cannot be my disciple.
Vs.27  And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me.

Matthew 10:24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

* What does it mean to take up your cross?

Self life must be crucified daily.  

Apostle Paul said ď Itís no longer I who lives, itís Christ who lives in me.Ē

Jesus must be first, before anyone or anything else.

A Disciple follows his master.

4.   Be Rooted in good Doctrine

Acts 2:41   Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

-- New American Standard
2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
Vs.17   that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

1 Timothy 1:13.  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

-- New International
2 Timothy 4:2-3   Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
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.

 -- New King James
Ephesians 4:11  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13  till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14  that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive,

Christians that are not rooted in good doctrine, are swayed by every teaching that comes along.

NOT ALL DOCTRINE IS GOOD!

WHY?

-- American Standard
1 Timothy 4:1  But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,
2  through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron;

-- New King James
2 John 1:7, 9,10   For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
9  Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
 

NOT  EVERYONE  WHO  KNOCKS  ON  YOUR  DOOR  IS OF  GOD!

BEWARE!

Matthew 7:15-18   Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Acts 20:29-30   For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15   For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

* How we can recognize them

  a. Their Fruit

16.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17.  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

  b.  They twist the Scriptures - to suit their teaching

-- New King James
2 Peter 3:16  as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

  c.  They donít glorify Jesus

John 14:16-17   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17.  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 15:26   But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Holy Spirit will always lift up and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, through Godís servants.

  d.  False teachers will attack the foundational doctrines of Christianity.
 

A few Samples

The Virgin Birth
The deity of Jesus Christ
The resurrection of Jesus Christ
The Trinity
The inspiration of the Holy Bible
The way of salvation through Faith in Jesus

* A great many Christians donít know what they believe, for what ever reason they have never been rooted and grounded in the truth; therefore they are easily moved, by false teachers.

When YOU know what the Bible says, YOU wonít be moved.

  e.  False teachers will use other writings, books etc. and say that they are in equal  authority with the Bible.

* The Bible contains 66 books - 39 in the Old Test. and 27 in the New Test. The Christian Church accepts these to be the  only inspired Word of God.

5.  Fellowship with other Believers

1 John 1:1-3   That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2.  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3.  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:25   Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

The Church is not a building or any certain denomination, but is all born again  believers, from the day of Pentecost to the 2nd. coming of Jesus Christ. It is the body of Christ, of which he is head ( Ephesians 1:22-23 ). As such, the church is a temple for the habitation of the Holy Spirit ( Ephesians 2:21-23 ) and is espoused, as a chaste virgin to Christ ( 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 ) and will be translated to meet the Lord in the air at his 2nd. coming ( 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 ).

The Church meets together locally, under various names and denominations, for the purpose of worship, praise, fellowship, and the teaching and preaching of Godís Word: with its governing body of Pastors, Elders, Deacons, etc.

We are members of each other-compared to a body  ( 1 Corinthians 12:13-27 )

New American Standard
1 Corinthians 12:12  For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.


      * Each person is needed - just as each part of the human body is needed.

      * An illustration:   Every part of a car is needed and important. One little spark-plug
         can cause the whole car to run bad. Most people never see the spark-plug, only the
         big shiny outside. The car may have cost  $50.000 but with out that $1.00
         spark-plug it will not run right.
 

WHAT CAN A SPARK-PLUG DO BY ITS SELF ?

A Spark-plug finds its greatest fulfillment in doing what it was designed to do.

      * Many think they donít have to go to church, once they become Christians; Usually
         itís because they donít want to make the sacrifice and sometimes it is a sacrifice.

BUT

Godís Word says to do it.


      Disciples must be willing to do what Godís word says even when itís a sacrifice; Do   
      you think Jesus wanted to go to the cross?

-- New King James
Ephesians 4:15  but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -Christ-  
16  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Every joint supplies:  Each and every person is a vital part of any church, each has something to give, something to do.
 

In many churches the Pastor is run ragged trying to do it all.
 
Can my hand do what my foot is supposed to do, or my eye, my ear etc.

Notice the following scripture.

-- New King James
Ephesians 4:11  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,    

* An Illustration:

In repairing a damaged wall, sometimes decayed boards must be replaced with solid timber.

Many Christians are not following discipleship because of wrong thinking, which stems from wrong teaching.

We should assemble in a church, where God says to go and do what God says to do.

We assemble because the Bible says to do it, thatís not an option. There are many reasons why we are to assemble, which I cannot cover in this study course, for they are a study course within themselves.

6.  Present their body unto the Lord

Romans 12:1-2   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 6:13-20   Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
14.  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
15.  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16.  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17.  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18.  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19.  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20.  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God'

Notice what Apostle Paul says concerning his body.

1 Corinthians 9:27   But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Jesus Christ has claim to our physical body, for His glory, His purposes.
 

COUNT THE COST

Our bodies are for the Lord
Our bodies are for our husband or wife

-- New King James
1 Corinthians 7:2  Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
3  Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

-- New King James
Hebrews 13:4  Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

7.   Realize Certain Truths  

    a.  Christians are Godís children

John 1:12   But as many as received him, ( Him is Jesus ) to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Romans 8:15-16   For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

1 John 3:1-2   Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

  * All are Godís creation but only born again Christians are Godís children. That what
     Godís word says, not me.

Galatians 3:26   For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

    b.  Because we are his children, God will discipline us

-- Revised Standard
Hebrews 12:6  For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives
7  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  
8  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  
9  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  
10  For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  
11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

    C.  We are joint-heirs with Christ

Romans 8:16-17   The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17.  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Galatians 3: 29   And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

By studying Godís word, there are many things we can find out concerning our inheritance. The Holy Spirit will help us.

-- New American Standard
1 Corinthians 2:11  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God,

   Study the book of Ephesians and look for phrases such as ďin Christ - in Him - by Him -  
   in the beloved etc.Ē It will reveal what God has done in our behalf in Christ.

 
* It is not wrong to say about yourself, what the Bible says, concerning you.


    Example:

    I am a child of God - God is my Father - I have an inheritance - I am blessed with all
    spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ ( Ephesians 1:3 ) etc.

 * A realization of who we are, and what we have; helps us in our daily Christian lives.

 * When confronted by Satan, Christ resisted him from His position as the Son of God.
    Jesus knew who He was.  ( Matthew 4:1-11 )


    d.  Were not of this world

John 17:14   I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

World - cosmos, The world in this case is the sphere of ungodliness that dominates mankind because of his fallen state. The word cosmos refers to order - arrangement and in the bad sense, the order - arrangement under which Satan has organized this world of fallen mankind upon his principles of selfishness, force, greed, ambitions, and pleasure. This worlds system is very often, outwardly religious, cultured, philosophical, and refined but blind to the truth.

We are in the world but not of it.
   
   Therefore:

1 John 2:15-16   Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1 Corinthians 6:14-18   Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15.  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16.  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18.  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Until Jesus Christ comes for us, we are in this world but we are not to partake of the ungodly way of it.

-- New American Standard
1 John 5:19  We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

-- Living Bible
2 Corinthians 4:4  Satan, who is the god of this evil world, has made him blind, unable to see the glorious light of the Gospel that is shining upon him, or to understand the amazing message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is God.


Christians are to be a light to the world.

Matthew 5:14-16   Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Philippians 2:15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Matthew 5:13  "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Do not conform to the world

Romans 12:1-2   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 * The word conform means ( to fashion one self according to the pattern of )
    
Beware of the world's philosophies

-- New American Standard
Colossians 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

-- New King James
Colossians 2:18  Let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

REMEMBER!

New King James
John 3:16  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  

Matthew 18:11   For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.


    e.  Conforming to His image

-- New American Standard
Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
29  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;

 * God our Father, is conforming us to the image of His  Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

-- New King James
2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Philippians 1:6   Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 * This work is an ongoing work and will find it completion at the return of Jesus Christ
    for His church.

-- New King James
1 John 3:2  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

  1.  God Uses:  ( everything  Romans 8:28 - above )

      John 17:17   Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

      1 Peter 5:2   As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may
       grow thereby:

      Ephesians 4:11   And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
      evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
      12.  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of  
      the body of Christ:
      13.  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
      God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

      -- New King James
      Romans 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know
      what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us
      with groanings which cannot be uttered.       

_______________________________

Warfare of Disciples

1.  The Flesh

The flesh in this case, is that part of us that stems from our soul and our bodies; and reflects our old manner of life, as we were in Adam. The soul is made up of our will, our emotions, our intellect etc. our bodies possess the 5 senses. Even though we have been born again and are new creatures in Christ; we can still act like we did before we got saved.

 Judicially: God sees Christians  as crucified with Christ, our old man ( what we were as a fallen people in the community of Adam, with him as the head of ) was put to death when Christ died on the cross.

Jesus Christ called the last Adam ( 1 Corinthians 15:45 ) instituted a new community  which He is the Head of;  born-again Christians make up this community and possess a new spiritual nature. ( the new man ) For a Christian to live victoriously, he or she must understand and apply these truths in every day living. A Christian can choose to live in the flesh ( live carnally ) and reflect 1st. Adam ( sinful Adam ) or walk in the spirit and reflect last Adam ( righteous Jesus ).
 

WE MUST RECOGNIZE

    a.  The Old Man is Judicially Crucified      ( What we were in Adam )

Romans 6:3-12   Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4.  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised
up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of  life.
5.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9.  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

    b.  Putting on and putting off

Ephesians 4:22  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23  and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24  and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.

The phrase putting off the old man and putting on the new man is one of exchanging clothes and refers to a change in character in light of a change in identity, having moved from our old existence ( without God, dead in sin  see Ephesians 2:1-12 ) to a new existence ( with God, in righteousness see Ephesians 1:1-14 )

The old man refers to a life style consistent with sin, but inconsistent with being in Christ. The new man refers to a lifestyle consistent with being in Christ and truth.

Ephesians 4:1  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

 A Christian must recognize that in a legal sense our old man was crucified with Christ and according to 2 Corinthians 5:17 he or she is a new creature.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

-- Living Bible
2 Corinthians 5:17  When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!

   * A Christian must realize that he or she CAN choose to put off the deeds of the old man and put on the deeds of the new.

   * It requires crucifying the flesh.
 

HOW?

*  Works of the Flesh

Galatians 5:16-21  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
18.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19.  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness,
20.  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21.  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The works of the flesh are evident.  One must be truthful and honest with themselves, recognize that their flesh is in control and crucify it.

HOW ?

  * Recognize when your flesh is in control.  ( the work of it - above )

  * By realizing that you're not the the same person you use to be.  ( a new creature now )

  * Recognizing that you are a child of God.

  * By the power of the Holy Spirit

  * By speaking out loud the word of God. It is written - the appropriate scripture.

  Some examples:

      1.  An outburst of anger at the elderly lady at the traffic light.
 

      Recognize the flesh - ( its work ) Speak out loud - shut up flesh! It is written ďthe  fruit of the spirit is gentleness and self 
      control."

      2.  A Christian man sees a neighbor lady in a small bikini and begins to entertain thoughts about her.

       Jesus said: ďwhoever looks at a woman to lust for her, commits adultery in his heart.Ē
      What he should do:  Speak! ungodly thought leave my mind; for it is written ďthou  shall not commit adultery.Ē
 

( See my study course Christian Warfare )  

  * What happens if a Christian will not correct self ?

-- American Standard
1 Corinthians 11:27-32   Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.
29  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
31  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
32  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Hebrews 12:6-11   For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8.  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10.  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Vs.14   Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Galatians 5:24   And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  

* There are many Christians who are not walking in Godís health and blessings because they  will not judge self.

1 Corinthians 11:27-32 ( above ) says that many were sick and some were asleep (died)

    * They failed to judge their actions - God did.

    * Sin is sin regardless if it comes from a believer or a non-believer.

2.  Satan

  * Satan appeals to our flesh ( temptations etc.)

James 1:13-15   Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14.  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

  * This is one of the reasons that our flesh must be crucified.

James 4:7   Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

  * The way to resist Satan is:

  a.  Example of Lord Jesus

Matthew 4:1-4, 10-11    Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3.  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4.  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

10.  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11.  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

  b.  Your Armor

Ephesians 6:10-13   Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 

( Read the rest of the chapter to see what your armor is.)

* Some facts about Satan

Blinds Minds

2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-4   But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
Vs.4   In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Sinners Still Under His Rule

ACTS 26:18   To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Contends With Godís People

EPHESIANS 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Called an angel of light (A Phony)

2 Corinthians 11:14   And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
         
              Servants of the devil do the same thing. ( Wolves in sheepskin clothing )
              Phony preachers
              Leaders of worldly religious sects
              
             1Cor. 11:15   Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as
              the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Satan is defeated

Hebrews 214.  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Satanís final doom

Revelations 20:10   And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

_______________________________

Headship of Christ

1.  Over the church

Ephesians 5:23   For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the Church: and is Savior of the body.

Colossians 2:19   And he is head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

When a person is born-again they automatically become a member of The Church, the body of Christ; in which the Lord Jesus Christ is Lord and Head of.

The Church is not a building or any certain denomination, but is all born again believers, from the day of Pentecost to the 2nd. coming of Jesus Christ. It is the body of Christ, of which he is head ( Ephesians 1:22-23 ). As such, the church is a temple for the habitation of the Holy Spirit ( Ephesians 2:21-23 ) and is espoused, as a chaste virgin to Christ ( 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 ) and will be translated to meet the Lord in the air at his 2nd. coming  ( 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 ).

  * Each person is to hold to the Head, Jesus Christ and be subject to Him.

-- Simple English
Colossians 2:19  He is not holding onto the Head.  The whole body grows the way God made it grow, held together by its joints and ligaments, getting its support from the Head.

The Church meets together locally, under various names and denominations, for the purpose of worship, praise, fellowship, and the teaching and preaching of Godís Word: with its governing body of Pastors, Elders, Deacons, etc.

    2.  Over Authorities and Powers

Matthew 28:18-20   And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

1 Peter 3:22   Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Revelation 1:18   I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.  

Colossians 2:15   Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

_______________________________

Realize God's Kingdom
 

* An Illustration of the Kingdom of God, here on earth, would be the United States Embassy in a foreign land. The Embassy is considered a piece of America, governed by America in a different country. At this present time; Godís Kingdom here on earth is a spiritual one; where he reigns in the hearts and lives of those that have accepted his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and are submitting to his Lordship.

 As Christians, we can be likened to the U.S. Embassy: we are governed by God, but we live in a world that as a whole, is in spiritual darkness; where Satan still rules in the hearts and lives of unbelievers. The good news is that Jesus Christ made it possible to escape from Satanís grasp and to enter the Kingdom of God, by translation at the new birth.

As Ambassadors, this is the message that we proclaim to the citizens of this lost world. While on earth, Jesus Christ exercised the authority of Godís Kingdom, as can be seen in the casting out of demons, healing the sick, raising the dead and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom.
 

_____________________________

a.  We have a King       ( His Majesty King Jesus, Lord and Savior )

1 Timothy 1:17   Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

-- New King James
1 Timothy 6:14   that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing,
15  which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

-- New King James
Revelation 19:16  And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

b.  Christians are his people

  1. By birth

-- New King James
John 3:3  Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.''

  2.  By translation

Colossians 1:13   Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

C.  Love is the primary principle

MATTHEW 22:37-39   Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38.  This is the first and great commandment.
39.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

  1.  Loving God

  John 14:15, 21,24    Vs.15   If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  21.  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my           Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
  24.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

  2.  Loving People

  John 13:35   By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

  John 15:12   This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

  1 John 3:11,14,16-18   Vs.11   For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning,  that we should love one another.
  14.  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother 
   abideth in death.
  16.  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the 
   brethren.
  17.  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from
   him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
  18.  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

  3.  Love enemies

  Matthew 5:44-46   But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
  pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
  45.  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,
  and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
  46.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

4.  The Excellence of Love

  1 Corinthians 13:4-8   Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
  5.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of  
  wrongs.
  6.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
  7.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
  8.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where
   there is knowledge, it will pass away. (NIV)

  5.  Love is the Royal Law

  Romans 13:8-10   Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
  9.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou
  shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love  
  thy  neighbour as thyself.
  10.  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

  6.  God gave us his Love
  
  Romans 5:5   And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost   
  which is given unto us.

* Itís my prayer that this Basic Study Course has helped you, to grow in Discipleship.

 * For more information on kingdom principles and other subjects, see my other study   
    courses.
 

May you grow in grace and truth.

  2 Peter 1:5   But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
  6  to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
  7  to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
  8  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in  the knowledge of our Lord Jesus
  Christ.

In Christ's Service 
E.L. Davis

biblestudycourses@yahoo.com
http://foundationbiblestudy.tripod.com