The Christian’s Declaration Of Independence

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The Christians Bill of Rights

The Christian’s Bill of Rights

1. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have only one right: and that is to give up all rights to ourselves (2 Cor. 5:14-16; Romans 14:7-9).

2. We have the right to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Mt. 16:24-26).

3. We have the right to esteem others more highly than ourselves; and love our neighbor as ourselves

(Mt. 22:39;

Phil. 2:1-5).

4. We have the right to fulfill the law of Christ in bearing one another’s burdens of sin (Gal. 6:1-3).

5. We have the right to be wronged and to maintain a faithful testimony (1 Cor. 6:1-8).

6. We have the right to live in unreciprocated self-sacrificial love (Eph. 5:1-2).

7. We have the right to forgive others the smaller debt, as God in Christ has forgiven us the larger debt (Eph. 4:31-32; Matthew 18:12-35).

8. We have the right to suffer for the gospel and to take the blows for the One who took the blows for us (1 Peter 2:21-24)

9. We have the right to be “subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men” (Titus 3:1-2).

10. We have the right to not be political agitators trading the truth of His Word to play politics with men’s souls; thinking that true spiritual change occurs through legislation rather than the transforming power of the gospel of grace. (1 Peter 4:10-16).

11. We have the right to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).

12. We have the right to be stripped of all earthly things (Matthew 5:40-42).

13. We have the right to not repay evil for evil and to be at peace with all men as much as it depends on you (Romans 12:17-18).

14. We have the right to love our enemies, do good to them that hate us, bless those who curse us and pray for those that despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44-45).

15. We have the right to pursue holiness-not personal happiness (1 Peter 1:13-16).

16. We have the right not to be ashamed of the gospel (2 Tim. 1:6-18).

17. We have the right not to harbor revenge, anger, bitterness, clamoring, wrath, malice and slander (Ephesians 4:31).

18. We have the right not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19).

19. We have the right to repent of and not cherish our sins (Psalm 66:18).

20. We have the right to guard the trust; and to contend for the once for all delivered to the saints faith (1 Timothy 6:20; Jude 1:3).

21. We have the right to train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3).

22. We have the right to reflect God’s covenantal relationship with us by honoring our vows in the covenant of marriage with our spouse Mt. 19:6).

23. We have the right to worship Christ Jesus as God of very God; Creator; Redeemer; Sovereign Lord and Ruler of all (Col. 1:15-19; Hebrews 1:8; Phil. 2:5-11).

24. We have the right to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable pleasing unto God (Roms. 12:1-2).

25. We have the right to live in the expectancy and hope of the Lord’s return by which we purify ourselves (Roms. 12:1-2).

26. We have the right to march daily on our knees in prayer; praying for our leaders in government; our church leaders; our fellow believers; our families; and the lost (1 Timothy 2:1-3; Ephesians 6:18-21).

27. We have the right to praise and glorify God according to how He has revealed Himself through the pages of His Word (Col. 3:16-17).

28. We have the right to the accountability of the local church; to obey our leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over our souls, as those who will give an account (Hebrews 13:17).

29. We have the right to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20).

30. We have the right to have no rights apart from Christ Himself; “for whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matt. 16:25: John 15:5).

 

A Puritan Prayer for Those Who Have Surrendered Their Rights in this Life

“Accept His worthiness for my unworthiness, His sinlessness for my transgressions, His purity for my uncleanness, His sincerity for my guile, His truth for my deceits, His meekness for my pride, His constancy for my backslidings, His love for my enmity, His fullness for my emptiness, His faithfulness for my treachery, His obedience for my lawlessness, His glory for my shame, His devotedness for my waywardness, His holy life for my unchaste ways, His righteousness for my dead works, His death for my life!”

Daily Bible Reading Plan for the Week of April 22, 2012

Daily Bible Reading Plan for the Week of April 22, 2012

Day 94:

Mark 7: 24-37

1 Cor 12:14-31

Psalm 89: 1-18

Judges 16

Day 95:

Mark 8:1-13

1 Cor 13 (The LoveChapter)

Psalm 89:19-52

Judges 17, 18

Day 96:

Mark 8: 14-21

1 Cor 14:1-25

Psalm 90

Judges 19

Day 97:

Mark 8:22-30

1 Cor 14: 26-40

Psalm 91 ( My favorite psalm)

Judges 20,21

Day 98:

Mark 8:31-38

1 Cor 15:1-28

Psalm 92

Ruth 1

Introduction to the Book of Acts – A History of the Early Church

The Book of Acts

A history of the Early Church

The book of Acts also called The Acts of the Apostles was written by Luke, the same author of the gospel of Luke. Both documents were adressed to a “most excellent Theophilus” who may have been a high ranking Roman government official. The book of Acts was written sometime between 61 and 64 AD. The book ends with Paul’s house arrest in Rome in 61AD. The book makes no mention of Paul’s death or Nero’s persecution nor of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. This places the date of this book at least before 70 AD. Luke was a very accurate and detail oriented historian and would have included these events if they had happened at the time of writing. The book of Acts is a condesned history of the early Apostolic church, it is an eyewitnmess account of the spread fof the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome. The recurring theme in the book is the empowerment of the early believers from the Holy Spirit and it is this same Holy Spirit that empowers believers yet today. While being a historical narrative it also is theologically profound. We as believers do not have “blind” faith, but a FAITH that rests on the facts of history. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are historical facts recorded by Luke in the gospel that bears his name. The book of Acts gives believers the reassurance that our faith in Christ is based on and rests on historical facts.

1 Corinthians 15:17

New Living Translation (NLT)

17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.

Acts 1:1-5

New Living Translation (NLT)

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

1 In my first book[a] I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with[b] water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Luke 24:36-53

New Living Translation (NLT)

36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.

41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.

44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations,[a] beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things.

49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

The Ascension

50 Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. 53 And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 24:47 Or all peoples.

2 Peter 1:16

New Living Translation (NLT)

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes

It is in the first cahpter of this book that is recorded Jesus ascedning into Heaven, Jesus is the prominent figure of this book. The central theme of the all the sermons, defenses, and the life of the church throughout this book is that of the Resurrected Christ. It is in this book that we meet Saul of Tarsus, and learn of his dramatic conversion experince and how he becomes the Apostle Paul, and of his missionary ecxperinces and influenc over the early church.

Outline of the Book of Acts

              1. The apostle’s witness in Jerusalem

              2. The Early Church’s Witness to All of Judea and Samaria

              3. The Witness to the End of the Earth

More Milk and the Meat is Still Tender- A Little About Hell

God justice demands the penalty be paid for sin. What is that penalty? It is death.

 

 

Romans 6:23

New International Version (NIV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 6:23 Or through

Look at that verse very closely. This verse has both bad news and good news in it. The bad news is that we are all sinners and that we now see the result of sin is death. The Good News is that we have a redeemer in Christ Jesus. Lets examine the first part of that verse for a moment. “For the wages of sin is death” Death is separation, separation from God’s presence. I am going to discuss something here that we do not like to talk about and that is hell. The only way to Heaven is by coming to Christ and accepting the free gift of salvation. There is no other way. Jesus holds the keys and it is He that must let you in. This cannot be made clear enough nor can I state it strongly  enough. There are only two locations that one can pass onto at the moment of physical death that is either heaven or hell. Hell is a real place and that is taught irrefuatbly throughout scripture. Hell is both a place of the evil and wicked dead(unsaved) and a condition of retribution for the unredeemed. Sheol is in one sense the undifferentiated place of all the dead. (Job 3:13-21) and in another sense the special doom of the wicked. (Psalm 49:14). What is the nature of hell? What is hell like?

1.eternal punishment (repeated references to this) Matt 25:46

  1. eternal fire ( 18:8, Jude 6
  2. the pit of the abyss ( Rev 9:2,11)
  3. Outer darkness (Matt 8:12)
  4. the wrath of God ( Rom 2:5)
  5. the second death (Rev 21:8)
  6. eternal destruction from the face of God ( 2 Thess 1:9)
  7. eternal sin (Mark 3:29)

We see here three concepts of what hell is and they are:

  1. The absence of rightenouss(Mark 3:29)
  2. Separation from God ( John 3:36)
  3. Judgement ( Matt 8:12 ; 25:31-46)

The above is what the consequences apart from Christ are of sin and of rejecting the gospel message. Lets recap the scriptures that we have been looking at:

Romans 3:23

New International Version (NIV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

1John 1: 8, 10

 

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us

 

10f we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

 

 

Romans 6:23

New International Version (NIV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 6:23 Or through

Milk is Sweet but Meat is Better- Are You a Sinner?

Well, now Easter is over and we must move on, the crucifixion and the resurrection, sin and eternal life are the milk of the gospel, that is easy to understand if not accept. Sin, death, eternal life, salvation are all what is the milk of the gospel , we must drink the milk if we are to grow, we will not grow if we do not drink the milk, but our strenght comes from the meat of the gospel. Putting these things to work in how we live our lives. No, I am not talking about a salvation by works, but a salvation that leads to doing good works, not out of a compulsory command but out of heart felt desire to reflect the love of Christ through our actions and our words. We cannot do enough good works to outweigh the evil that lies within us all- the world says that mankind is bascially good but God says that the heart of man is continually evil. The sins of the heroes of the faith stick out like sore thumbs throughout the Bible. Paul was a persecutor and murderer, Abraham was a liar, Jacob was a con man and a thief, King David was an adulterer and murderer and possibly even a rapist(yet he was a man after God’s own heart), Noah was a drunk, Peter was a liar( denied he even knew Jesus, not once but three times as Jesus predicted he would), There are countless other examples, I mean no disrespect by pointing this out, these examples are stated to make the point- we are not good by any means, these men were all very close to God yet they fell into sin, like the rest of us, they tried to be good people yet they fell short or missed the mark. This is what is the common thread of humanity is sin.

Romans 3:23

New International Version (NIV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

1John 1: 8, 10

 

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us

 

10f we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

 

Sin is what nailed Jesus to cross. This is the meat of the gospel, it was not the Romans that crucified Jesus, it was not the chief preists or elders, it was not Judas that betrayed Him, yet in a sense it was. It was and is the sins that we all have committed. Perhaps the hardest teaching of Christianity is that the first thing one has to do is to admit to being a sinner, an evil vile sinner, admit to being a bad person, that one has to confess to the crimes that they have committed to a wrathful vengeful but just God. When you stand in God’s court are you going to demand justice or plead for mercy?