Bible Lesson 143

Basic Knowledge required for Christians

“Ye Shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32

“Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.”
Alfred N. Whitehead.

“THE BEST WAY TO SHOW THAT A STICK IS CROOKED IS NOT TO ARGUE ABOUT IT OR TO SPEND TIME DENOUNCING IT, BUT TO LAY A STRAIGHT STICK ALONGSIDE IT.”
D.L. MOODY

In this lesson we want to look at what we call Christianity and Christ; and Christianity can be found no place other than in the Revelation of God of Himself, to and for mankind. That revelation of God is called the Holy Bible and it tells us wonderful and marvelous things, including things about God, and about ourselves ; about our rebellion against God and how we can have our condition before God, completely changed from being under the wrath of God, to being just and righteous in His sight. Perhaps you are thinking the question right now that asks what it is that I lack. I am a good person, a decent husband and father or wife and mother?so what further does God want from me?

The answer is that God only wants you to die and live! God makes it clear that we are all born of the flesh?dead in trespass and sin, and under the wrath of God. So regardless of how good you and even those around you think you to be, you are damaged goods in the eyes of God. What did we do to get ourselves under the wrath of God? We were born with the nature that all of us inherited from our great grandfather Adam. Remember the story of Adam and Eve, the first couple and how they were given a paradise by God that we know as the Garden of Eden.

God put them in that paradise and gave then one commandment, which was, “Of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17). Earlier in the book of Genesis, we are told that it was God that planted that garden, eastward in Eden, and put Adam there.

God made every tree that was pleasant to the sight and good for food. That means that every fruit tree and all kinds of shade trees and nut trees were there; however there was a tree that God forbade them to eat the fruit of and that was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That also means that there was another tree there, and that was the tree of Life. Adam and Eve were created by God as innocent, they had never sinned and that’s the reason that God forbade them the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.

Does it surprise any of us, knowing how reckless and hardheaded man is? Just tell your children that they are not to do something and that makes them determined to do what you have said they were not to do. Many times a child is killed by some dangerous thing that the parent denies them to do or have, and I suppose that Eve must have had that streak in her; because that is what she did when the devil approached her and tempted her and she disobeyed God and caused Adam to disobey.

Eve did not eat of the tree of life, which was not denied to her, but she did eat of the tree that God had said they were not to eat. That is the seed in all of us who have been born in this world since that time with the exception of The Savior, Jesus Christ. We were born loving sin and hating the things of God. God hates sin and will not tolerate it and so we have the problem of a nature that loves to sin and will continue to sin until God calls us out of the world and to Himself, brings us back from death to life (Spiritual), Justifies, Sanctifies, Glorifies and recreates us in His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:1-10;Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 51-2; 1st Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 8:28-30.”

Have you come to the realization that you were not what God created you to be? Do you even realize how far below God you fall, in life, position, statue and power and everything else that you can think of? Most of us have a hard time admitting to ourselves that we are not infallible, and in reference to God we are ignorant, weak, broken down, unheeding and dying and going to hell, because we refuse to turn to God for help. Life takes hold of us, usually as soon as we leave the supervision of our parents, and we struggle to do the best we can (Which is never good enough for God). We live, we work, we sleep, we eat, and before we know it we are dying; and sadly most of us who die, do so without ever taking serious what our condition is. We live many years on this earth and never really read or study the Word of God to find out what He has in store for us. It has become convenient to think in the back of our minds that death is the end of everything, that when they throw that dirt on our casket that it is all over for us.

That may make you feel good, but that is a pipe dream. Death is not a period for anybodies life, it is rather a colon and rather than the end it is only the beginning of eternity, that time that never ends. We spend a short time on the front-end of our live preparing ourselves for the years we spend here on the earth (Normally around 80 years at the most), and we spend exactly no time preparing to meet our Creator, Sustainer, and Savior at the Judgment seat. How sad that day will be for those who have thrown away precious time that they could have prepared themselves to spend eternity because they chased the few moments that God allows us to spend here on the earth. Many of us like Adam, refuse, or pretend to, hear what God has said. The Bible tells us that there are two gates, two roads or ways, two destinations that we must choose prior to the time of our death.

One gate is narrow and the other is broad. We can barely squeeze through that narrow gate, but it is so easy to pass through that wide gate and follow that broad road that leads to hell, and sadly we find it so easy we stay on it until our heart beats that last beat and we find ourselves before God, who will judge us on what we have done on the earth. First, what we did about Gods gift of life that He gives to those who obey Him. Now, I have said all of that in order to set the stage for us to see that we are a people in great need and our need is to Have Jesus Christ to receive us and change us and make us acceptable to God. None of us was born acceptable to God, every one of us was born with Adam’s sin nature and as a result we are separated from God. Adam’s nature was not the only cause of our separation from God; because we all love sin in some form and to one degree or another. Now, if you all have come to the realization that you are lost and undone, dying and going to hell for eternity, we are ready to look further into what the Bible says we will believe after we are saved.

First and foremost we must come to the knowledge that we are depraved creatures, if not by our actions then by our potential. If you are reading this right now, you need to know that you were a depraved creature until you were saved, and if you are not truly saved and able to know that about yourself, you need to know that God says that you were depraved and need the mind and Spirit of Christ to give you that wisdom. As I said, not everyone goes to the depths of depravity but all of us under the right circumstances and conditions could and would do things that we think are beyond understanding. We all start out even with God, we are all candidates for hell for eternity. Once you understand that God is the Creator and you are the creature, you are ready to see the kingdom of God and you know in your heart of hearts that you are in trouble with God. Now, some will never come to that point because they have ears to hear; but they refuse to listen. They have eyes to see but they steadfastly refuse to see.

Now that we know that we are depraved creatures in great need of the Savior Jesus Christ, we must know that God is correct in all that He does. We may wonder about some things but once we really understand who God is, and His Power and Wisdom and Mercy, we will look to Him for the answers to our problem of sin. We must see God as One God who exists as the Trinity. There is God the Father in heaven who has planned your salvation if you will ever be saved. There is the Son of God, Jesus Christ who is eternal God, now in the flesh, who came to the earth to save (Purchase) His people from their sin, and there is the Holy Spirit who is God, who moves to quicken us in salvation and lead and guide and instruct us afterwards.

If you question how God can be ?One God’ and still exist as three distinct, equal in essence entities, then you are normal. That problem is above us all and we accept by faith that what the Bible teaches is the truth and we operate with that settled in our minds. All three operate as God and all are of the same mind, always in agreement. All three work together in our salvation when we are saved. The Father in eternity past (before the worlds were spoken into being) planned that those who are ever saved would be saved, in time, while we are living here on the earth. The eternal Son of God (God, Himself), gave up heaven for a time and took on the form and flesh of man, so that He could identify with us as humans as He died to purchase us out of sin and give us life eternal in heaven. The Holy Spirit is the quickened that is mentioned in Ephesians 2:1-10, and He takes up residence in each saved person and never leaves them alone. He leads us and teaches us all things about Christ, who is the Messiah. The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ was a product of the Holy Spirit who overshadowed Mary and supernaturally planted Jesus in her womb. Mary had to be a virgin, because if she had not been then Jesus would be a product of sin.

John 3:16-21 explains to us the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth, and it tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Then Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the God who tabernacled (lived) with us, speaks to us in John 6:44 and says, “No man can come to me except the Father draws him.” That explains what John 3:16 says since it clearly says that it is not up to us to decide to be saved it is always up to God, because He has an eternal plan that He works out with precision in the lives of all of us as we live here on the earth. We don’t and can’t know His eternal plan but we know for certain that He teaches us in the Bible that He does. The question now becomes how can anyone know that the Father is drawing them?

That’s an easy one because you will know that God is calling when you act on His calling, without delay and with great urgency. When God calls any person, that person always falls at the foot of the Cross and the feet of Jesus Christ, and cries out for mercy. I know that in our society we like to believe that we make the decision to be saved, but that is not Biblical. We also believe that joining some church group equates to salvation, but that is not Biblical either. Joining a church group makes you a church member; but joining and following Jesus makes you a Christian. I am writing all of this so that you can check out the scriptures that are listed and prove to yourself that you know the truth; because it is the truth that makes you free. I invite you to read and contemplate the verses in John 8:30-47; John 1:1-18; Ephesians 1:1-14; Genesis 6:1-6; Romans 5:12-21; Romans 6:23; Romans 6:1-14; Romans 7:24-25; Romans 8:1-35.

Just so that you can put it all together the truth is: God does not love you unless you are saved; your are not saved unless you are obeying all you know that Christ has commanded; you may never be saved unless God quickens you and brings you from death in trespass and sin, to Spiritual life; you may never be saved unless you seek the face of God which is found only in the inspired , inerrant and infallible Word of God, the Bible, or hear it from a preacher who is called by God and is faithful to preach nothing but the Word of God, from the Bible (Romans 10:17); if you are not saved when you die you are destined for hell for eternity. And if you are truly saved, you have been recreated in Jesus Christ, and are a new creature, who will inherit heaven for eternity, and who always acts like a Christian (Ephesians 2:1-10; 2nd Corinthians 5:17; John 14:21-24).

Always remember that you are not dealing with some friend, or family member or pastor, but The Almighty God who spoke and all the worlds that we know or don’t know yet, came into being. We do not deal in fantasies, myths or gossip, we must deal with the Revelation of God that we find in the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, the Bible. When God says that He sent His Son Jesus to die so that those who believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life, God explained verse 16 of John 3:16 in the next 5 verses of John 3, when He said in verse 17, that He did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved, He meant that the first time that Jesus came to the earth (over 2000 years ago), He came to die to redeem a people: not everyone but only those who would obey Him.

Jesus did not come that time to condemn the world because the Father had already condemned it because of sin. We must understand that the next time Jesus Christ comes to this earth it will be for judgment of those who have not obeyed. In verse 18 of John 3: we find this the reasons that anyone will be saved and that verse says, He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already (right here and right now); because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. We need to stop and think how we were born condemned but because of the substitution of Christ for us on the cross to bleed and die in our place, we are saved when we really believe. That means we must understand what believe means in the Biblical sense: those now believe the way God meant for us to believe to the degree that they agree with the Word and the Will of God as it is stated in the Bible, and they act on that belief as they walk and talk and live and die the way Jesus Christ did.

Now, verse 19 reminds us of why those who die and go to hell, are never saved, and God tells us there that the reason is that Light came into the world (John 1:1-5), and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. That brings up the question for us today and that is ?Are you walking in the light of the Word and Will of God, and am I?’ Verses 20 and 21 explains verse 19 and 20 remind us that if we belong to some church or profess to know Christ, and practice evil, we deceive ourselves because those who know, believe, and practice the truth, indicate that they have truly been saved because they walk in the light. How many things about your present life would you want printed in the paper or even revealed to those around you?

Now, before anyone ruptures themselves attempting to walk in the darkness and appear to walk in the light?remember that I told you here that you can never do that. You may be able to fool the preacher, the congregation, the Church and the denomination; but you can never fool God. The old saying that ?Your sins will find you out’ hold true without fail. You may be able to fool some today and others to morrow and everybody as long as you live, but the Bible tells us that ?It is appointed unto man, once to die and then the Judgment'(Hebrews 9:27). That means that if you fool everyone here on the earth there is a payday coming and it will be one you will never be able to pay or fool!

Another truth is that there are not more roads to heaven than one. That is a belief that is prevalent in the visible church of our day and people love it; because it allows people to make decisions, and is not quite as narrow as Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, said it was. Remember, Jesus said to us, in Matthew 7:13-14, that there are only two gates, two ways and two destinations available. The Holy Spirit in true salvation leads those who will be saved through that strait Gate (Jesus Christ), and leads us down that narrow (difficult) way that leads to heaven. Christ in verse 14 clearly tells us that there will only be a few that will go that route, instead they will stagger through that wide gate and swerve down that broad way that leads to hell. Why do you suppose that Christ would say that only a few would go in through that strait gate and walk that narrow way? It is because there are costs involved in being a disciple of Christ (Luke 14:26-33).

It is because of how we have forgotten how important the Bible and it’s doctrines are to those who live today. Preachers do not really encourage Bible study any more. They apparently have found that the less a person knows about the Bible the better for the unity in their group. That is the reason that so many (not all, but many) preachers know precious little about their congregation and about what their members really believe. It is easy to mount a pulpit on Sunday, and preach for a few minutes without ever accusing any of sin or even putting a face on sin. They mostly sing a song and greet people as they leave the church to never say a word about Christ or God or the Bible, but come back next week for more. I would think that rather than being so concerned about filling pews and meeting budgets and building buildings, preachers would consider success when they missed some in the Pulpits on some Sundays, because they were witnessing or doing some good deed. What we need to know about the truth is that we are saved to serve, we are not saved to sit in the pews.

I would think that some of these people who have never missed a Sunday for years would one day learn enough to do what the Lord told us to do in the Great Commission, and that is that we are to go..Go..Go and make disciples of all whom you reach(at least those who will hear)?teaching them to observe (obey) all that Christ has said we were to do! That does not happen when we knock on some door and invite someone to come to our Church, or when we mention the name of Jesus as we tell jokes and practice evil, or as we put on our church faces and go to church just to say we have been there. If you don’t think that there is a horrific need for truly saved people to witness and lift up Jesus, you just do not know what is going on in our world. Now do not go out half-cocked or half qualified to speak for the Lord. You will know when you know enough to witness and it will be after the Holy Spirit has assured you. Remember that you will almost never get yes when you ask to speak to someone about the Lord and their relationship to Him, because Jesus told us in John 15:18-19, that the world and the worldly would hate us because it hated Him. We are told by the inspired Word of God that we must be diligent to present ourselves approved to God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the world of truth (2nd Timothy2:15. Then we are told that, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, throughly equipped in every good work.

Billy Graham hit the nail on the head when he said about truth?’Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. What our young people want to see in their elders is integrity, honesty, truthfulness, and faith. What they hate most of all is hypocrisy and phoniness. That is why it is important for us to go to church, read the Bible, and to say grace at the table . Let them see us doing what we would like them to do.’ I would add to that that our young people need to witness the fruit of the truth lived out in our daily lives and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Most of the young people in our societies need Adults who know how to be parents.

The Youth do not need us to attempt to be their friends or buddies; instead we are to be the rudder and the control that says no to their weird ideas: and approval when they do the right things. It seems to me that too many grandmas, and grandpas, and parents want to be more idiotic than their kids. God gave children to Adults to raise, not adults to children. In closing let me say that there is a great need for people who will make the time and take the effort to learn the Bible in it’s context. Only then can we know the truth?.and remember it is the truth, not the latest fad or myth that comes from the devil, that sets us free.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob