< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sanctification and Justification

7 years of Bible Study Fellowship gave me a pretty good handle on Sanctification and Justification. Something that trips a lot of Christians up. But it’s still not easy to explain simply! Pastor Kurt Gebhards did an excellent job last week.

He started by making it clear that Christ alone is our righteousness. The only reason God accepts any man is because of Christ’s work. Our standing is unconditionally secure because of Jesus.

But! Our advancement is because of what we do.

As Christians, our obedience gladdens Him and our disobedience saddens Him.

Justification is the act of Salvation. God declares us righteous because of Christ. It’s a one time act and complete right away. It is entirely God’s work.

Sanctification is the believer becoming holy. A work in progress that won’t be complete until he or she gets to heaven. This is our growth toward becoming like Christ. We work at it by cooperating with God.

Colossians 3:12 – 25 says we have been chosen by God, Holy and beloved. This is our standing in Christ. Then it goes on to list 34 commandments of what we should do because of this! This is a wonderful passage to read daily!

Pastor Kurt said there are 6 ways to apply this:
1. Understand that your choices honor God or grieve Him.
2. Ask yourself if you truly want to honor Him.
3. Ensure proper motivation, which is grace.
4. Exert yourself.
5. Labor and love.
6. Sacrifice.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Put Christ Back in Christmas

Put Christ back into Christmas! Don't let anyone tell you you can't say Merry Christmas! Pass out buttons, send cards, wear the greeting! Makes a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer too! Put Jesus in His rightful place and have a Merry Christmas! Shop here

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Pleasing God

Pastor Kurt Gebhards continued his sermon from Philippians 4:14-19 today. He talked about what a generous God we have.

The first gift God gives His children is Salvation. Then because of our joyful receiving of that gift He gives us the gift of Spiritual Gifts. Next He gives us the gift of Christian life (fellowship with fellow believers.) And then He gives us the gifts of service and finally the gift of rewards.

He could have stopped at Salvation and it would have been more than enough!

Pastor Kurt went on to talk about the rewards and what it takes to please God. We all want to hear the words someday, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” But not all Christians will. We have to earn that. Think about putting periods in that sentence: Good. And faithful. Servant. God is pleased when we are good. He is pleased when we are faithful. And He is pleased when we serve. In other words, when we act like His Son. When we sacrifice for someone else.

What we do, how we do it and our motivation are all important. Generosity is particularly pleasing to God because He sees Himself in that.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Little Girl telling the story of Jonah

This is so wonderful!

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

You Alone

Pastor Kurt Gebhards gave a sermon on Philippians 4:14- 19 today and while the whole thing was (as always) inspirational and great, there was one part I just loved!

In this passage Paul is writing to the Philippians, thanking them for their support. At the end of verse 15 he wrote, “you alone” or in some translations, “you only”. No other church had entered into a partnership with Paul in giving and receiving.

Pastor Kurt encouraged us to act like we were the only ones helping. Because maybe we might be! We need to be the one who gives, who has integrity, who is kind, who speaks up for Christ, who picks up after someone, who’s not selfish or lazy. We need to be generous in attitude, with our time and with our money.

He suggested three ways we can be a “you alone” type person:

1. Care from a compassionate heart. Does your heart beat for the needs around you?
2. Consider your circumstances. Be on the look out for needs around you.
3. Cultivate ministry “fast twitch”. Be on the job and immediately be the first to help and serve. Remember people’s names; showing that you care. Be a blessing to everyone you come into contact with.

Don’t wait for anyone else to act this way first. Do it, even if you do it alone!

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Mark 2:1-13

Pastor Kurt Gebhards continued his study of the book of Mark this week and once again I'd like to share some of the highlights.

Mark 2:1-13 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.

Jesus had come “home” to Capernaum. This was probably to Peter’s house. And the word immediately got out that He was back and the people flocked to see more demons cast out and more people healed. But the Bible states that Jesus stayed focused. He “preached the word to them.” He was intent on spiritual healing.

But the crowd was frenzied. 31 times in the book of Mark it talks about people mobbing Jesus. But He was always calm, gracious and compassionate.

This time the house was so crowded that a paralytic and his 4 friends couldn’t get in the door. And they were desperate for Jesus to heal the man. He was their only hope. So they went up the stairs to the flat roof and began to dig through the clay layer, the tile layer and the sticks and thatch layer until they had a big enough hole to lower down the man who was on a stretcher.

This would have taken awhile and caused a huge mess! The people in the house must have certainly wondered what was going on! But Jesus didn’t seem irritated. In fact He honored their desperate action, by calling the man “My Son.” And He forgave the man’s sins, showing His priority for spiritual healing over physical healing.

The scribes were thinking “Only God can forgive sins.” And they were right. Only God can! But, they missed the fact that Jesus IS God! Instead they called Him a blasphemer.

Jesus answered their thoughts. And then He also physically healed the man to show His authority over everything. Christ has authority over our lives: our jobs, our homes, our thoughts, our finances, our future! Every time we reject His authority we call Him a blasphemer, saying He doesn’t have the right to do this. But He does!

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