The Master’s Class, Summit Church
HOW FAR WOULD JESUS GO? (Romans 15:1-7)

HOW FAR WOULD JESUS GO? (Romans 15:1-7)

October 25, 2015
Over the last two chapters of our study, Paul has certainly made it clear that part of lovingly exercising our religious liberty to do the debatable things, the things not clearly defined as wrong in the Bible, is knowing when not to do something, or knowing when it might cause harm to someone else.  

I believe Paul would sum up his argument in this chapter by saying the spirit of charity, or the spirit of love, outweighs all of our other concerns.  If we truly love our neighbors as ourselves, then we will not do anything that will harm them.  Just as we would not do anything to harm ourselves.  

Paul has told us that in the area of essential beliefs, or the things clearly defined in the Bible, we are to have unity.  How do we have that unity?  By moving closer to Christ.

In the area of non-essential beliefs, or the debatable issues, we are to have liberty.  How do we express and enjoy that liberty?  By moving closer to Christ.

In all things we are to have charity towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.  How are we to show this charity?  By loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and spirit.  How do we show God that we love Him this much?  By moving closer to Christ.  

If we do the first commandment, the second commandment will take care of itself.  

If we do the second commandment, then we will be our brother’s keeper, and we will do, or not do, what it takes to help build our brother and sister in Christ, spiritually.  

So this is the spirit of charity, or love, that we are to have towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.  But Paul has not finished yet.  I think he knew that if he left it here, depending only on our love for our neighbor, we would respond as we have.  So, he has an even higher ground to map out for us.  It is a great thing to treat a weaker brother in the spirit of charity, or love.  It is a far greater thing to treat them in the spirit of Christ. 

In this lesson, Paul will basically ask the question of how far would Christ go in building up a fellow brother or sister in Christ, and then he will tell us that is how far we should go.  
THE BENEFITS OF KNOWING GOD (Romans 5:1-5)

THE BENEFITS OF KNOWING GOD (Romans 5:1-5)

November 2, 2014
We live in a world where the predominant thought in a person’s mind when confronted with a decision is What’s in it for me?  Quite naturally, if they are going to buy something, they want to know the benefits of owning that item.  For instance, owning a home provides shelter and security, stability in that your lease won’t run out and you have to move.  The down side is ownership.  Anything that goes wrong you own the problem.

This is the same way that most people approach a decision about accepting Jesus as their Savior.  They think they know all of the benefits and downsides, but do they really?  

They look at what most people think of when they consider the benefits of knowing God, which is eternal life in heaven, and then they look at the perceived downside of having to change their lifestyles.  

They ask themselves, is a life in an eternity that they cannot see right now, worth giving up whatever they are doing today that they know is not right under the rules of God.  They are asking what is in this for me right now, not later, but right now?

This is the problem that we face as we try to explain the benefits of knowing God.  They see the persecution of Christians in today’s society, so it can easily appear as if all of the benefits are out in some unknown future.  So the task that we face as Christians is what can we tell them about the benefits of knowing God right now, in our lives today?  

Listen to this podcast as we learn that it is because we know Christ as our Savior that we have peace with God, we have access to the constant presence of God, we have the patience and endurance to face trials and tribulations in our lives through the power of God, and most of all we have hope.  

Do you have hope in your life today?  For the believer, God is our hope, our hope is in God. That is the benefit of knowing God.  
TO BE PATIENT TO THE END (James 5:8-11)

TO BE PATIENT TO THE END (James 5:8-11)

June 15, 2014
We live in a world today where more Christians are being killed for their faith than at any other time in history.  Countries in the Middle East, like Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia daily beat and execute Christians just because their faith does not match their own Muslim religion.  Places of Christian worship are destroyed by the religious intolerant.   What is sad is that the mass media and the other governments of the world have, for the most part, ignored what is going on in these countries. 

The U.S. is also following this trend.  While it is currently possible for preachers and teachers of the Word of God to tell what God has defined as the absolute truths of right and wrong, I see a time coming very soon when these same sermons will be considered as hate speech by our own government.  Preachers will be silenced from telling the world what the Bible teaches, even in their own churches.  Imprisonment, lawsuits, and persecution, will be applied to those who choose to preach and teach Biblical truths.  Our government has systematically removed God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible, from our government meetings, our schools, our universities, and the public square.  

I believe as Ronald Reagan once said, "Without God, there is no virtue, because there's no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we're mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." -- Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast in Dallas, Texas, 23 August 1984 (President RONALD WILSON REAGAN)

Listen to this study of the book of James to learn that even in the face of the harshest persecution, God has a happy ending for us as believers.  We have the promise of the Lord’s return.  

We have the promise that the Lord will come in power and judgment.  

We have the promise of an eternity in heaven with the Lord Jesus welcoming us with the words well done.  

We have the promise of joy, unspeakable and full of glory.  

This is why we can be patient.  Why, when we are subject to religious intolerance and persecution, we can be still, and why we can be strong, for we know the day of the Lord is coming soon.  
STORMS AND CHRISTIANS (James 1:2-5)

STORMS AND CHRISTIANS (James 1:2-5)

December 9, 2013
Have you ever asked the question why a loving God would allow storms into the life of a Christian?  What could possibly be the purpose for God to allow such things to happen to those people who are trying to be good?

In our new study of the Book of James, we learn that God wants each believer to grow spiritually.  And if we are honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that we grow more in the times of trials that we face, than we do when everything is going great.  

It is in a time of trial that God teaches us patience, or to abide, in handling the trial.  It is in a time of trial that God moves us out of the ruts that we so easily fall into.  He mellows us out, and He matures us.  He strengthens our faith in Him, and He teaches us to become fully reconciled to His will.

Listen to this podcast to learn that these storms are permitted in our lives by a wise and loving heavenly Father, who is too caring to be unkind and too wise to make any mistakes.  These trials will always have a divine purpose and they will be for our good.

God loves you, and He wants only what is best for you.  The question is are you willing to trust God in the time of trial?