This year we’re going to work at developing some tools that will help us “live by faith” rather than just practicing “the faith” every now and then. Our theme verse can be no other but Luke 9:23 – “Then He [Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Notice the all inclusiveness of this statement as indicated by Jesus’ words “all” and “daily”. “All” is every one, and “daily” is every day – discipleship is an everyday occurrence for everyone who chooses to follow the Lord Christ, the Son of God.
- Theme Intro. click here — slides click here
- Jesus Prepares His Disciples click here — slides click here
- Jesus Teaches Prayer click here — slides click here
- Daily Prayer Handout click here
- Nehemiah’s Restoration Prayer click here — slides click here
- Pray the Promises Handout click here
- Word For Your Heart (Scripture Memorization) click here — slides click here
- Scripture Memorization Handout click here
- Barriers To Delighting In God’s Word click here — slides click here
- Curbing Complaining Through Memorization click here — slides click here
- Four Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Lost click here — slides click here
- Turning The World Right Side Up click here
- Modeling Barnabas, Modeling Christ click here — slides click here
- Created In Christ Jesus For Good Works click here — slides click here
- Hospitality, A Neglected Command click here — slides click here
- Simon Of Cyrene: The Cross Of Obedience click here — slides click here
- Joseph Of Arimathea: The Open Disciple click here — slides click here
- A Day In The Life Of Jesus click here — slides click here
- Challenges To Obedience click here — slides click here
- A Spiritual Alignment click here — slides click here
- Visible Signs click here — slides click here
- The Path To Change click here — slides click here
One thing is certain; we will not help to convert anyone to Christ unless we first discuss the importance of that work. How may we increase our opportunities to lead others to Christ during a gospel meeting?
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In Acts chapter eight we have a record of the first preaching of the gospel to those who were not fully Jews. Samaritans were a mixed race and held in utter contempt by most Jews (cf. Jn 4:9). The conversion of the Samaritans to Jesus Christ will teach us several great lessons.
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In the Book of Acts we can follow Peter, Paul and others preachers as they preach the gospel of Christ and pave the way for many souls to be converted to Christ and thus saved from the consequences of their sins. In this lesson we are going to examine those cases of conversion.
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IF you see value in gaining and growing in the knowledge of God’s will. IF you see value in developing a faith in Jesus Christ that will enable you serve God acceptably and to worship Him properly. IF you see value in being with the people of God. Then you are seeing the value of a gospel meeting. And as with other valuable endeavors we should give our best effort to support it.
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Many religious groups use a method they call “witnessing” or “testifying” to communicate the good news of salvation in Christ. Individuals within these groups will relate a personal experience, which they believe to be an encounter with God, and then they will talk or give testimony about what Jesus has supposedly done for them. What about this commonly accepted religious practice? Is it the proper way to tell others about the gospel?
After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus appointed witnesses to testify of the events they had seen. Their eyewitness testimony, along with the power given them to perform miracles, would confirm the identity of Jesus. He told these witnesses, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). These witnesses were the apostles. They were the actual witnesses who had “accompanied” Jesus during His earthly life, and had seen Him after His death and resurrection (Acts 1:21-22). On three separate occasions Peter said concerning himself and the other apostles, “we are witnesses…” (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 10:39). These witnesses (apostles) were “chosen before by God” and commanded to “preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:40-42). These passages regarding witnesses are not applicable to anyone today. There are no living eyewitnesses of Jesus.
Today, the Lord has commanded “preaching” as the means of communicating His gospel (1 Cor 1:21). His people are authorized to “declare” the gospel (1 Cor 15:1). There is a difference between witnessing and preaching (or declaring) the gospel. Today’s so-called witnessing is highly subjective. It involves the telling of personal experiences, which has the effect of filtering the divine gospel through fallible human thoughts. This practice is unnecessary and may even result in a corruption of the message from God’s true witnesses-the apostles. On the other hand, preaching or declaring the gospel (contained in Scripture) is objective work. It is based on a body of facts. Preaching allows one to listen to the recorded testimony of the actual witnesses. Modern day witnessing focuses on human experience, while declaring what the Bible says focuses on the authority of God.
The Bible has one basic message for everyone, one plan of salvation. Why not simply declare the gospel and let people decide what they will do with it? That was the approach Jesus took (Matt 11:28; Rev 22:17). The work of spreading the gospel is not to tell everyone about your personal experiences, but to hold up Jesus as He is depicted in the Scripture. Paul once said, “we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5).
The apostle Paul was an actual eyewitness of Jesus Christ, and was called to testify in His behalf. Yet the steps Paul took in becoming a Christian, are the same steps that you and I must take in order to wear that Name. Pay close attention to the last sentence in the following passage, for it reveals what a believing and repentant person must do to be saved. Ananias preached to Paul saying, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ (Acts 22:14-17).