Assurance – Session 6

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart – Session 6

  1. What does idolatrous love of the world reveal?
  2. The question is not _____ you worship, but _________ you worship.
  3. How do we overcome the world?
  4. ____________ is the gift by which we ______________. (1 John 5:4, 1 John 4:19)
  5. It’s not that our desire for sin is too __________, but that our love for God is too _____________.
  6. Only by _________________ for the world can you ___________ the world. (1 John 2:17)

Assurance – Lesson 5

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart – Session 5

  1. Explain Martin Luther’s “Damnable Doctrine of Doubt”. Do you agree or disagree with this doctrine?
  2. Read 1 John 2:15-16. What diagnosis for a relationship with God is mentioned in this verse?
  3. What is meant by “Do not love the world or the things of the world”?
  4. Describe the meaning of “lust” as it pertains to 1 John 2:16.
  5. Read 1 John 5:21. What is idolatry? When does a good thing become a bad thing?
  6. Read 1 John 5:21. What is idolatry? When does a good thing become a bad thing?
  7. Read Luke 14:33 and Luke 14:26. Describe how we are to show love for God based on these verses.
  8. Read Mark 1:15, Acts 2:38, and Acts 17:30. Does repentance follow belief?

“We don’t come to him as bad people trying to become good people; we come as rebels to lay down our arms.” – C.S. Lewis

Assurance – Lesson 4

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart – Session 4

  1. Explain what is meant by “Truth as fact becomes real as experience.”
    • Magnification happens first at conversion but it happens again and again for the rest of your life
  2. We were created for fellowship. List some ways God reinforces this statement.
  3. Three ways to build your relationship with God:
    1. Put yourself in the presence of His Word (Read the Bible)
      • Do a quiet time
      • Memorize scripture
      • Pray the scriptures back to God
      • Get in a small group
      • Become an expert at applying the Scriptures to deep and broken parts of life.
    2. Pray for it
    3. Keep obeying even when you don’t ‘feel’ it.
  4. Why is present posture better proof than a past memory?
  5. According to Romans 10:9-10, what is necessary to be saved?
  6. Explain James 2:17 if these requirements are all that is necessary to be saved.

Assurance – Lesson 2

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart

  1. Does God want us to know we are saved? How can we know for sure we are saved?
    1. A saved person placed their hopes of heaven entirely on Jesus – 1 John 5:13
      “Assurance doesn’t come by remembering a prayer you prayed in the past but by the posture you are in the present.”
    2. A saved person has a new nature – 1:John 5:18
      “It doesn’t matter what your mouth says on Sunday morning, it matters what your life says Monday through Saturday.”
  2. What is your relationship to your chair at this moment? What about your relationship with Jesus?
    1. Belief in your sin – 1 John 1:8,10
    2. Resting on Jesus – 1 John 2: 1-2
  3. Do you know Jesus? Are you keeping his commands?
    1. Someone who claims to know Jesus and does not keep his commands is a liar – 1 John 2:4
  4. Why does God punish those who sin?
    1.  Describe the difference between “faithful and just” and “merciful and kind” – 1 John 1:9
    2. Jesus didn’t just plead your case before God, he took the punishment for your sin – Galatians 3:13-14
  5. Read 1 John 5:16-17. What is meant by “a sin that leads to death”?
    1. It does not mean you cannot repent – John 6:37
  6. What action characterizes a righteous man?
    1. It’s not what you do, but what you do after what you did – Proverbs 24:16

“Conversion is not sinless perfection, but it is a new direction.”

Assurance – Lesson 1

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart – Session 1

  1. J.D. told his story about struggling with assurance of salvation. Have you struggled? Do you still? Describe that.
  2. How do repentance and faith, as explained in this session, give depth to the idea of asking Jesus into your heart?
  3. How does a misuse of the sinner’s prayer grant assurance to some who shouldn’t have it and keep it from some who should?
  4. Read Romans 10:9-10. How did this session impact how you understand this passage and others like it? 
  5. Does God want us to know we are saved? How can we know for sure we are saved?
  6. Explain why Jesus put acceptance before change when he spoke to the adultress.
  7. Search your heart and mind for why you are attending this study. Write down below what you hope to get out of this study.

God’s acceptance is the power that liberates us from sin, not the reward for having liberated ourselves.

Purpose for this study: Comfort those who are troubled, and trouble those who are unjustifiably comforted

Key Verses: Matthew 7, Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 5:13-18, John 14:18, John 14:1-3, 1 John 4:19

Priests Sent To Minister To A World In Desperate Need

Priests Set Apart by God

Priests were people set apart by God to guide and shepherd his people. One entire tribe of the 12 original tribes were tasked with this job. The Levites were descendants of Levi, one of the 10 sons of Jacob (the other two were Manasseh and Ephraim, sons of Joseph).

Read: Malachi 2:1-9

“And now, you priests, this warning is for you.  If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my  name,” says the LORD Almighty,
“I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.
“Because of you I will rebuke your descendants ; I will smear on your faces the dung from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.  And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the LORD Almighty. 

God’s Covenant

“My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. 
“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. 
“So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”

No Inheritance For The Priests

The Levites were not granted land when God delivered the Israelites to the promised land. Instead, they were to tend the temple and ensure that God’s laws were kept. They were keepers of the law. In the reading, God rebukes the Levites because they have failed to keep His law. He sends them this warning so that He may keep His promise to the Levites. He tells them they have shown partiality in the law.

Jesus by His death has become the high priest for all mankind. He became the once for all sacrifice for our sins. If He is in us and we are in Him, and we are his followers, then we are priests under Him. We are to keep God’s law, and shepherd His people, and as prophets, spread His word.

Are You Fulfilling Your Priestly Duties?

Are you keeping His covenant? Have you kept His law, and are you spreading His word?

“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.” – Malachi 2:7

Judging Crime Fairly and Correctly Using Biblical Principles

Judging Crime Fairly and Correctly

Judging crime fairly and correctly has been sacrificed in today’s era. This is not merely a recent trend, however. Read Solomon’s warning in Proverbs 24:23-25

“These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good: Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them.”

Media Affects Our Ability To Fairly Judge Crime

When a crime happens today, the news carries a handful of details almost immediately. We humans as part of our nature form an opinion based on our life experiences and usually assign guilt or innocence knowing only what we heard from a 30 second sound bite.

Know All of the Facts Before Making A Judgement

This is not sound biblical principle. What you hear is not nearly enough to form an opinion. This is why we have trials where loads of evidence is presented and rules are followed. A judge presides who officiates and keeps the process on track.

In biblical times, arbiters (judges were a different occupation) would go to the town walls and hear disputes before rendering a final and usually impartial decision.

How to Fairly and Correctly Judge Crime

If we are to reflect God’s justice, we should reserve judgement until all evidence is presented in a fair and impartial manner. If we cannot fairly judge, then judgement is reserved for God.

“Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.” – Deuteronomy 1:17

“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” – John 7:24

Jesus Prayer For Us – A Prayer of Blessing and A Purpose

Jesus Prayer – Blessing, Purpose, Protection

Jesus prayer for His followers was both a blessing and a mission. It was a prayer of purpose and one of protection. Read: John 17:1-26

“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

Jesus’ Prayer For Us

“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you.

“Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

Not of This World

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Prayer For Future Believers

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

We Belong to Christ

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

John Records Jesus’ Prayer

When Jesus spoke to the Father in His most intimate encounter, John recorded it in his Gospel. How fearful the disciples must have been when Jesus turned his focus from His requests for Himself to requests for His disciples.

Jesus says that as He delivered The Father’s message to His disciples, so he sends them into the world to continue his work.

Jesus then continues to pray a prayer of protection for all Christians, present and future.

Our Work Isn’t Finished

Our work continues to this day. We are to deliver God’s message of hope and salvation to a world doomed to destruction. Jesus has even prayed for us in this mission. Do you continue to fulfill the Great Commission, or have you considered your job finished in the matter?

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…” John 17:20

Jesus Savior The World Needed – Not The Savior The World Wanted

Jesus Savior of Sinners and Tax Collectors Alike

Jesus savior of all people, from sinners to tax collectors, and even executioners, visits Jericho. He runs across Zacchaeus who was one of the least well thought of citizens.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector for Caesar. The profession was known for cheating people by overcharging taxes and keeping the extra for themselves. The citizens of Israel hated the tax collectors.
“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.  All the people saw this and began to mutter,
“He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord,
“Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Read: Luke 19:1-10

Jesus Comes to Save Jericho

When Jesus came to Jericho, he came to seek the lost. He found Zaccaeus, a jewish tax collector who worked for the Roman government. He cheated his fellow Jews out of money and kept any above what Caesar asked for.

Jesus asked Zaccaeus to come down from the sycamore tree he climbed, for he was to host Jesus. This confused many of the religious people of Jericho. They grumbled and asked why Jesus would go to the home of a sinner.

Zaccaeus Answers the Call of Jesus the Savior

Zaccaeus told Jesus he would give half of possessions to the poor and pay those he had cheated back 4 times as much.

Jesus explains that he did not come into the world to condemn the lost, but to save them.

Are we truly following Jesus’ Savior Methods?

How do we spend our time? Do we surround ourselves only with fellow believers? That is the natural thing to do, but God is supernatural. We should strive to seek the lost and share The Gospel with them. Whom will share Jesus with and allow Him to save?

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house.”
Luke 19:9

God’s Blessing to Jericho Through The Prophet Elisha

God’s Blessing Through Elisha

God cursed Jericho, but the faith of it’s new citizens provided God’s blessing through the prophet Elisha.

The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.” 

Jericho’s Citizens Obey Elisha

“Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 
Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’ ” 

God Rewards The Faith of Jericho’s Citizens

And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.” – 2 Kings 2:19-22

After God led Joshua to destroy Jericho, He promised a curse on any who dared to rebuild it. About 550 years later, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt it losing two sons in the process. The water source near Jericho poisoned its new citizens.

When Elisha visited, the citizens of Jericho called to him, asking for his blessing. Elisha asked for a bowl of salt. Once Elisha delivers God’s Blessing on the bowl of salt, he tosses it into the water, purifying it.

If Elisha had not returned to Jericho, God may have never blessed the town with safe drinking water. If the citizens of Jericho had not asked for the blessing, it may not have happened either.

God’s blessing required both the faith of the citizens of Jericho and that of the prophet Elisha to clean the water for the town.

The Prophet’s Role in God’s Blessing

Prophets are bridges between man and God, delivering God’s blessing. If we are now prophets in the Great Commission, what is our role in bridging the gap for our fellow men? How are we a blessing for them?

“This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” – 2 Kings 2:21