The Master’s Class, Summit Church
GOD’S PROVISIONS, GOD’S PROMISES (2 Peter 1:3-4)

GOD’S PROVISIONS, GOD’S PROMISES (2 Peter 1:3-4)

October 17, 2016
What was the most solemn vow that you have ever made?

Swearing in as soldier?  Taking the oath to become a law enforcement officer, or some public office?

For me, it was the day I spoke my wedding vows.  Those words meant something very important to me, and they mean just as much today as they did 38 years ago.  I promised to love my wife, to comfort her, to keep her, meaning I would provide for all of her needs, and that I would remain faithful to her no matter what comes in our lives till death do us part.  Those are pretty powerful words.  I have promised to love my wife, protect her, and provide for her.  When she needs a home, or food, or shelter, or someone to provide courage, strength, a helping hand, or just someone to stand by her as she deals with a problem, I have promised to provide that for her.  It is my promise that I will do these things, and I have lived my life trying to keep that vow.  It is the most solemn vow that I have ever made, and most likely ever will make.  Now, lots of people get married making this vow to each other, but the problem with vows made by man is that it is a weak person making the vow.  Try as we might, we sometimes fail to meet our promises.  

Our lesson today is about the promises that God has made to provide for His children, the born again believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master and, therefore, have become adopted into the family of God.  The wonderful thing about these promises is that it is the unchanging, supreme, Creator of all things, almighty God who is making them, and He will not fail. Not ever. Not once.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that we already have all the wisdom, strength, courage, power, patience, and anything else that we might need to live a victorious life for Christ.  Everything that you need is in God and God is in you.  Amen.  
THE SOURCE OF POWER IN A CHRISTIAN LIFE (1 Peter 1:22-25)

THE SOURCE OF POWER IN A CHRISTIAN LIFE (1 Peter 1:22-25)

April 10, 2016
Have you ever been told by someone in authority that you are to go do something that you don’t believe is within your capability to do?  At my workplace, we move people around to different roles a lot.  With a large part of the employees, they are moving to a different role about every two years.  This means that they have to quickly learn how to do a particular role, and then just when they get a basic understanding of how to do it, they move on to another role.  

Quite often they will move a very young, inexperienced, person into a position of greater responsibility and expect them to sink or swim.  I often hear people say that they were intimidated by the responsibility of the new role, and that they did not feel capable of doing it.  However, the company philosophy is one of if you have the right virtues, talents, and philosophies, then they can put you just about anywhere, and you will succeed.  It can be a bit daunting at times.  

The one thing the company does do is provide the right tools to help a person who is humble enough to ask for the help.  I have watched as a person will try to succeed by his own wit and knowledge, and almost always, you will see them fail, many times quite miserably.  I have watched others who were humble enough to ask for help and they can often succeed.  The corporate world can be a real meat grinder of people.  The proud can rise, but they can also fall quite hard.   

The demand that God puts on us as believers is very similar to this.  You take a brand new Christian, and you immediately give them the elevated standing of an ambassador to the almighty Creator of all things.  You then tell them all of the things that God has done for them to provide them with eternal life and redemption, much as Peter has been doing over the last several weeks, and then you tell them all of the things that this new standing, or position, requires of them.  

They are to hate sin, they are to live a life that is uniquely different from the life they led before, and the life of the lost people all around them.  They are to tell people about the gospel message of Christ, but more than that because words can be hollow, they are to live a life that is a testimony to the Christ they serve.  They are to be a light in the darkness drawing people to them so that they can lead them to the cross of Jesus.  

It is easy to be intimidated by this requirement of a holy life.  Yet, God formed His plan of redemption for us from the foundation of time.  That plan included the tools and resources that the new-born Christian could depend on to accomplish the task that God had given them.  They just have to be humble enough to ask for the help.  It is absolutely impossible to live a holy life that is acceptable to God under your own wit and knowledge.  You simply cannot do it on your own.  You must use the power and tools that God is offering you, or you will fail, and fail miserably.  

Those tools and resources are the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, and the living, indestructible, incorruptible, and eternal, Word of God.  It is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God who are the true source of power in a Christian life.  God has provided them as part of His plan of redemption, you just have to be humble enough to seek them out and use them.  This is what our lesson is about today.  Listen to this podcast to learn the true source of power for the Christian to live a holy life.   
OUR SANCTIFICATION BY GOD (1 Peter 1:2b)

OUR SANCTIFICATION BY GOD (1 Peter 1:2b)

January 17, 2016
God is both an exterior and an interior decorator.  He is an exterior decorator in that He enables us to stand before Him because He has paid the penalty and removed the guilt of sin from us.  But He is also an interior decorator.  As the Holy Spirit, He moves into our hearts and lives there.  It is by the power and work of the Holy Spirit that He make us the kind of Christians we should be.  God does not leave us in sin when He saves us.  He doesn’t walk away saying well I hope things turn out right for you.  Instead, He moves into our heart and He empowers us to become the Christian that He wants us to be.  

Justification declares the sinner righteous.  It is our position in Christ, we are justified in Christ.  When Christ died on the cross for our sins, God was able to look at sinful, hopelessly lost, man and declare him righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Not because we had earned it, but because God declared us to be righteous.  

Sanctification makes the sinner righteous.  When we are saved the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and begins the lifelong work of sanctification, or the process of making us more like Christ.  We are purified by the trials that we face.  We are tempered by the persecution that we face.  We are sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit who makes us righteous.

Justification removes the guilt and penalty of sin.

Sanctification removes the growth and the power of sin.

This work of the Holy Spirit in a human heart begins with conviction.  Before sanctification can occur we must be born again and that begins with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.  Once we are properly convicted of our need for salvation, He then moves on to our regeneration.  After the Holy Spirit completes our regeneration, He begins the process of our sanctification, and then the climax is our ultimate glorification.

Listen to this podcast to learn how the Holy Spirit of God performs the work of sanctification in our lives.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SIN?  (Romans 6:6-10)

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SIN? (Romans 6:6-10)

December 12, 2014
What value is a promise made to you if you do not believe it and appropriate it in your life?

God has said in His Word that believers have victory over sin and death.  This is God’s promise.  But what good is that promise if we do not believe it and appropriate it in our lives?

The problem is that many of us do not feel like we have died to sin.  Sin is still a problem in our lives.  We are still allowing sin to dominate our lives.  We feel like we are alive to sin.

How we feel is important to us, for it can make a real difference in our performance.  For example, God has given me the task of speaking in front of various groups of people, on both secular and Biblical issues.  When I feel confident about the subject I am going to be speaking about, I perform better, I am more relaxed, I am not worried about making a fool out of myself.  My voice projects, it is stronger, and my whole attitude is one of confidence in what I am speaking about.  In other words, I am victorious in performing the tasks that God has given me.  

However, if I were to get up and speak on something that I know nothing about, and that I have had no time to prepare my thoughts, then I would feel nervous, my words would be halting, and the word “UH” would be repeated over and over.  When I feel less confident, then I am likely to fail in the tasks that God has given me.  My feelings impact how I conduct myself.  

Now somebody might say, Well the Bible says that if God asks you to do something, He will empower you to do it. 
And I would say precisely.  I am allowing my feelings to impact my performance in my obedience to God.  God tells me in His Word that He will provide, but when I allow my feelings to guide me, I am saying that I don’t believe God.  

The same thing applies to how we deal with sin.  If we are confident in our knowledge of the Word of God, then we are victorious in dealing with sin.  Paul has said that we are dead to sin, and that we are to be totally unresponsive to it, but how can we do that?

By putting our feelings aside, and believing what God tells us and applying it in our lives.  This is what our lesson is about today.  Knowing that not only have we died to sin, but that we have also been raised to walk in the newness of life, victorious over sin and death.
HOW CAN YOU DEFEAT SIN? (Romans 6:1-5)

HOW CAN YOU DEFEAT SIN? (Romans 6:1-5)

December 4, 2014
As a believer, would you say that you are in a constant battle with sin in your life?  

Every Christian should answer yes to this question, for Satan has never given up on destroying you, especially once you became a Christian.  But the wonderful good news that God has for us is that each believer has the power of the Holy Spirit of God to defeat sin in their life.  They can be victorious against sin.  

The process of sanctification is the ability of God to make sinners, whom He has declared righteous, actually righteous.  Paul will tell us that the justified sinner cannot continue in sin because he died and rose again in Christ.  This does not mean the believer will not sin, but it does mean that they will not continue live in sin.

To continue in sin leads to slavery.  Believers have been freed from the slavery of sin.  There is no reason for them to go back to it.  The believer has a new nature now, and he is to obey God.  

Union with Christ in His death and resurrection means that He is now our Lord and our Master.  He gives us freedom, but that freedom is not a license to live in sin.

Today, we are going to begin a series of lessons that talk about the power that we have, as Christians, to be freed from slavery.  The slavery that a lost person has to Satan and sin.  We are going to see how the power of God frees a believer from the dominance of sin in their lives and empowers them to live a victorious Christian life.