The Master’s Class, Summit Church
DO I REALLY HAVE TO HONOR MY BOSS? (1 Peter 2:17-18)

DO I REALLY HAVE TO HONOR MY BOSS? (1 Peter 2:17-18)

June 12, 2016
But my boss is moody, unfair, unjust, corrupt, and just plain awful to me.  You can’t be serious; do I really have to honor my boss?

In our lesson today, Peter will talk about how we treat those around us.  The good people and the bad people.  The popular people and the social misfits.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who have rejected Christ, and even those who we work for.  God wants us to win others to Christ, that is our mission.  We won’t do that if we treat people poorly, or if we are in an adversarial relationship with them.  People respond to those who treat them with respect.  You don’t have to like them, or what they stand for, or even what they have done to you or others, but you can still treat them with respect and honor.  

I have a son who works as a prison guard in a maximum security prison.  This is a place that houses the worst of the worst in our state penitentiary system.  Some guards use their position of authority to abuse the prisoners and treat them with despite.  The prisoners react to this treatment with violence and it endangers all of the guards and other prisoners.  My son has learned that if you treat them with respect, always watchful for deception, that the prisoners will generally respond with obedience and a level of respect in return.  This is not to say that the prisoners would not harm you in a blink of an eye, but people, even really bad people, respond to being treated with respect. 

God wants His ambassadors to be seen as law abiding, caring people, who treat others with respect, even in the face of persecution.  

Peter says that we are to do this, For so is the will of God.  This is not optional.  To do otherwise is to be out of God's will.  Our first priority is unto God.  This applies to all of our relationships.  

Sounds a lot like what my father told me, and what I told my own kids.  There are just times that a parent must say to their child, I want you to do this, because I said so.  I don’t have to explain myself, just do it because I want you to.  

Now, fortunately, God is in the process of giving us a further explanation for His command to obey, but He starts out with, you are to do this because it is my will for you.  Pretty simple. So simple, even I can understand it.  Be obedient to the laws of man, or be out of God’s will.  My dad would expect my response to such a statement from him to be, yes, sir.  God expects the same thing.  
GOD’S PLAN WILL BE DONE (Romans 16:21-27)

GOD’S PLAN WILL BE DONE (Romans 16:21-27)

December 13, 2015
One of the great Biblical promises that we have as believers is that God’s plan will be done.  No matter what man does to mess things up in this world, no matter what schemes and plots that Satan has for this world, God’s plan will be done.  It will be done just like He set it up to be done before He created the universe and everything in it.  Nothing has changed in this plan, and nothing will change.  God’s plan will be done, period.  

The fact that I know this promise of God to be true is comforting to me, and that is why God gave us this promise, so that we could be comforted knowing that God was in control.  Paul closes out this epistle with a declaration of this promise.  The almighty God of the Bible is the everlasting God, and His purposes and His goals are pursued by Him from age to age.  Christians may be feeble and frail, but God is strong.  The church may look like it is weak and divided, but it is the body of Christ and therefore it is linked to Omnipotence.  Whatever else may fail, the work of God cannot.  

Paul draws our thoughts to Him whose loving counsels foresaw the fall of man, provided for it before the foundation of the world, foreknew us, foreknew you and me, loved us into the kingdom, and who arranges for all things to work together for our good and His eternal glory.  Paul also draws our thoughts to the Son of His love, our blessed and glorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  And having filled our hearts and mind with these thoughts, Paul says a final Amen to this great epistle.
HOW DOES GOD’S WILL CHANGE THE BELIEVER? (Romans 12:2)

HOW DOES GOD’S WILL CHANGE THE BELIEVER? (Romans 12:2)

July 16, 2015
What is God’s will for our lives, and how does that change us?  Finding God’s will is accomplished by sacrificing our whole being to God as a living sacrifice.  This means that we surrender our life to God.  He is ours to command.  He is the Master and we are the slave.  We obey Him.  

Jesus commanded that we are to be salt and light to a dark world.  Salt is a preservative, an antibiotic, and a flavor enhancer.  It is applied externally and it draws attention to something different.  A believer is to be a preservative of the absolute truths about right and wrong that God has established.  We are to stand up when the world decides to call that which is wrong, right, and that which is right, wrong.

The believer is also to be a light unto the world.  One of the great facts about light is that darkness is simply the absence of light.  No matter how deep the darkness, the simple candle will chase that darkness away.  No amount of darkness can overpower the light of that candle.  When there is light, darkness goes away.  Light for the believer comes from within.  Salt is external, and light is internal.  Light emanates from the core of the believer.  We are to be a light to a dark world.  We are to show the world that there is an escape from the deep darkness of the world.

In order to be salt and light, the believer must be changed from what they were before.  If we look and act like everyone else, then we are neither salt nor light.  Yet, this change in who we are does not happen all at once for most of us.  Most believers will spend a lifetime having their body, soul, and spirit conformed to the image of Christ.  But the world needs to see this difference.  It needs to see the light of God’s Word shining through us.

In order to accomplish this us we must consecrate our body so that the Holy Spirit, who has made it His temple, might have free access to all its members, and free control over all its activities.  The believer who presents his body in this manner is changed.

Romans 12:2
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
KJV

Listen to this podcast to learn how a believer is not to be conformed to this world, but is to be changed morally and mentally to show the world that the will of God is truly good, acceptable, and perfect for each of us.
WHO ARE YOU CONTROLLED BY?  (Romans 12:1)

WHO ARE YOU CONTROLLED BY? (Romans 12:1)

July 3, 2015
If you were to ask the general population of this country, Who are you controlled by?  Many, if not most, would declare that nobody controls me, I control myself, for this is the land of the free and the home of the brave, right?  However, the truth of the matter is that there are likely a number of entities and people that we submit ourselves to be controlled by.  For example, the government bodies that we live under, both nationally and locally.  We submit ourselves to the authority of, and the rules and procedures of, these men and women who say they have the authority to rule us.  

There is your employer, you submit to their authority.  Your spouse.  Your peers.  Your religion.  Law enforcement.  So there are lots of entities and people we allow to control us.  We submit to their authority, and what they tell us to do, we do.  We are controlled by them.

Now, most Christians would immediately reply, Well Keith, obviously I am controlled by God.  And my reply would be, do your actions match your words?  Considering the way society’s shift in morals is moving at breakneck speed today, Christians are going to be faced with some difficult decisions.  For many years, in this country, the general moral and ethical principles of the country were based on Judeo-Christian values, so the Christian in this country had it fairly easy.  

Yet, we stand today at a crossroad in this country.  Nine men and women in black have decided that marriage is defined by what they say it is and that it is not defined by God.  Never mind that it has been defined by God as one man and one woman, and for almost all of history, and in almost every civilization, as one man and one woman.  Man’s definition is that marriage can be two women, or two men, or three women and men, or ten women or ten men, or in other words, anything goes.  For without the absolute truths of right and wrong as established by God, anything does indeed go.  

This decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has set the stage for the U.S. government to criminalize Christianity.  If you choose to say what the Word of God says about homosexuality, it will be deemed as hate speech.  The consequences of this will be that you can be fined, arrested, or have your business, your home, and your job taken away from you for stating what God says.  

If you are a Christian, you will then have a choice of submitting yourself to the authority of the government, or to God.  While the Bible is clear that we are to submit ourselves to local authorities, which are established and allowed by God, it is also clear that this obligation only goes until they dictate you violate God’s Word.  So this question of, who are you controlled by, will quickly transform from an intellectual exercise to a reality.  

Now, as for me and my family, our choice is that we are controlled by God, and no government, especially 9 people in black robes, is going to change that.  While I understand that those are brave words, and that they will very soon be tested, therefore, we are depending solely on God to empower us to live those words in our lives as we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God, wholly controlled by Him.  

THE SOVEREIGN WILL OF GOD (Romans 9:14-18)

THE SOVEREIGN WILL OF GOD (Romans 9:14-18)

April 25, 2015
What does it mean when we say God’s sovereign will?

Does it mean that God, and God alone, determines the absolute truths about what is right and what is wrong, or does the concept of right and wrong depend on the social values established by man?

Does it mean that no matter what man does, God’s predetermined series of events, or God’s plan for the universe, will be completed?  In other words, will God’s will be done, no matter the choices that man makes?

Does it mean that God can show mercy to whom He chooses to show mercy to, and wrath to whom He chooses to show wrath to?  Do the actions of man determine whether they will receive God’s mercy, or God’s wrath?

God’s actions toward man are always just and righteous because God defines the meaning of the words just and righteous.  If this was not the case, and man decided what was just and righteous, then God would not be the sovereign God.

Does the creation have the right to question the actions of the Creator?  Can a potter make one vase cherished and special and the other vase ordinary and common?  Does the potter’s creations have the right to challenge the work of the potter?

These are the questions that Paul will answer in our lesson today.  Certainly the sovereignty of God is one of the more difficult concepts for a stiff-necked, willful, and arrogant, mankind to accept.  But God is sovereign, God is also merciful, and we have much to be thankful for that both of these facts are true.  

Listen to this podcast to learn about the sovereign will of God.  
THE UNSTOPPABLE WILL OF GOD (Romans 8:28-30)

THE UNSTOPPABLE WILL OF GOD (Romans 8:28-30)

March 18, 2015
If someone were to tell you that God already knew whether you would go to heaven or hell before you were even born, in fact He knew it before He formed the universe, your reaction may be one of saying “Well, that’s not fair, I should get to choose.”  You might also say that “If God already knows what’s going to happen, then we are just robots going about the things that God has already determined for us.”   

Predestination and election are two biblical concepts that have divided theologians, churches, and religions, for centuries.  How God can be sovereign with an unstoppable will, and man can have a free will is simply beyond our capacity to understand.  For it is a concept difficult for man to accept that everything that God planned from the dawn of time has happened, is happening, and will happen.  There have been no changes and no surprises.  There are no emergency meetings in heaven between the Holy Trinity to react to something man has done.  Man can try as hard as he wants, but nothing that man has done, is doing, or will do, can change the purposes, the plan, or the will of God.  If man could, then man would be sovereign and not God.  

Predestination is the biblical teaching that declares the sovereignty of God over man in such a way that the freedom of the human will is also preserved.  It is only when we accept this truth that we can begin to completely surrender our lives to God.  

Yet, it is important to emphasize that God's predestination of human events does not eliminate human choice.  We cannot bypass verses such as:

Romans 10:13
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

A simple key to the concepts of predestination and election is that if you want to be a member of the called ones, or the elect, then accept God’s calling to be one of the whosoever ones that call upon the name of the Lord.  It really is that simple.

Listen to this podcast to learn what Paul really means when he tells us:

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
KJV