The Master’s Class, Summit Church
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF KNOWLEDGE (Romans 3:1-8)

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF KNOWLEDGE (Romans 3:1-8)

August 23, 2014
Knowledge is power.  When you know something that others do not, you have an advantage over them.  That is why gossip is so enticing.  For that moment when you know something nobody else does, it makes you the smart one, the one on the inside, the one who has control of where that knowledge goes.  You get to choose who you will allow to join you in this exclusive club for those who have this knowledge.

At the workplace, knowledge is a leverage point.  When people refuse to share knowledge at work, it makes the company less efficient and less productive, but it can be viewed as job security for the person who has the knowledge.  If you are the one with all the knowledge of how things work, it makes it more difficult for the company to let you go.  It makes you more valuable than somebody who does not have this knowledge.  That value gives you leverage.  

Scientific knowledge is often the deciding factor in war time.  The country with the best weapons, the best training, and the best strategy, is usually the one who defeats the other.  Knowledge of how to make a nuclear bomb was the deciding factor in ending the war with Japan in WWII.  The country who got the bomb first was the victor.  

Knowledge is also power in the religious world.  When the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity, most of them did not know how to speak Hebrew anymore.  They spoke Aramaic which was the official language of the Babylonians.  This meant that the priests and the scribes would have to translate the Scriptures during the worship services for the people.  If the priests could declare what was right and wrong, regardless of what the Scriptures really said, then they had power over the people.  Nor could the people challenge their interpretation of the Law for they could not read the Scriptures themselves.  The religious leaders used this power to control and to mislead the people.

As Christians we have been given knowledge the world does not understand.  We have been given the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is tremendously powerful knowledge, for it is the secret of how to have eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven.  The Holy Spirit lives within our hearts and He shares the knowledge of God with us.  He opens the Word of God and He explains it meanings, it promises, and most all what God has done for our salvation.  God wants us to use that knowledge to lead others to Christ.  He has tasked us with the awesome responsibility of being His ambassadors on earth.  We have the knowledge that can help bring others into this group of believers that God calls His own.  

Our lesson today is about how those with that knowledge failed to share it with the world.  When God gave the Mosaic Law to the Jews, He gave them the knowledge of right and wrong.  He gave them something more valuable than gold or silver.  He gave them the light of 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.  
THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD (Mark 16:19-20)

THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD (Mark 16:19-20)

November 29, 2013
There are many things that I am grateful to God for, the love of my family, the love of a wife that I have been married to for 35 years, and a loving God that uses me to teach and preach the Word of God.  God has truly been gracious to me and my family, but most of all He has been gracious to each believer for we serve a risen Lord.

Listen to this podcast to learn how the ascension of our Lord is as significant to our faith as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is.  Jesus is alive and working for us today.  Jesus did not just go off into heaven and leave us never to be heard from again.  His work on earth has provided us with a perfect and complete salvation.  His work in Heaven continues our salvation as our great High Priest in the Holy Tabernacle in Heaven.

Jesus is alive.  Jesus is working for us in Heaven, and Jesus is coming back.  These are things that distinguish our faith from all other religions. These are things we base our faith on.  Join me as we give thanks to a gracious and loving God.
THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST PART II (Mark 16:6-18)

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST PART II (Mark 16:6-18)

November 18, 2013
One of the most important events in the life of a believer is the resurrection of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides each believer with a living Jesus Christ sitting on the right hand of God the Father.  He is sitting because He has accomplished the work of our salvation.  

The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides us with a message to tell others about eternal life, about power over sin in our lives, and about our ability to stand before God clothed in the robe of righteousness purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. 

Listen to this podcast to learn the message that Jesus has commanded us to go out into the world and preach about the gospel of His death, burial, and resurrection, baptizing them in the name of the Lord.  

This is why the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ are so important to us as believers.  Jesus Christ is alive and because He is alive, and I have made Him my Savior, I know that I know, that I know, that I am going to be with Him for all of eternity.

It is my prayer that each of you will be there with me.

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST-PART I (Mark 15:38 to 16:6)

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST-PART I (Mark 15:38 to 16:6)

October 30, 2013
Do you have any core beliefs that you will not compromise on, that you cannot be dissuaded from, and that you will stand up and proclaim no matter the audience, no matter the danger, and no matter the consequences to you?


Such beliefs must be important to you personally for them to have such meaning.  They must be things like your integrity, your belief in the inherent rights of the individual to life, liberty, and their ability to choose how they will exercise that liberty.  For many they include the right to worship God freely in the manner they choose without interference from the government or others.  


These core beliefs are what define you as an individual.  They define how you will react in a given situation, what you stand for, what you will tolerate from others, and what you will choose to put your life at risk for.  They are what drive a young lady to stand when a cowardly man with a gun in his hand demands that all Christians are to stand up.


Every true believer in the gospel message of Jesus Christ has at their foundation two such beliefs:


(1) The death of Christ.  Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross for our sins.  It is the blood of Jesus that was shed on the Cross that makes our salvation possible.


(2) The resurrection of Christ.  Christ rose bodily from the dead.  He conquered death and sin with His resurrection, and because of this, we can have eternal life in heaven with Jesus.


The gospel declares that Jesus was made sin for us, (this means that He took on our sin, He paid the penalty for our sin,) that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, (our ability to stand before God, clothed in the righteousness of God, is only because Jesus died for us and was raised again for our justification.)


The unique fact of the gospel is the Resurrection. All other religions record the death of their leader. Only the Christian faith records the Resurrection of its Founder. 


All other religious leaders are dead. 


Only Jesus is alive.  Listen to this podcast to learn why this is absolutely important and imperative for you to know and believe.

WHY JESUS HAD TO DIE (Mark 15:33-37)

WHY JESUS HAD TO DIE (Mark 15:33-37)

October 23, 2013
Have you ever asked the question, Did Jesus really die on a cross or is that just some story from the Bible?

And if Jesus did die on a cross, What does that have to do with the things that I may have done during my life?  How can something that Jesus did have any effect on me and my eternal life?  

These are the basic questions that form the foundation of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  The answers to these questions are told, retold, and symbolized over and over again, in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

God specifically provided an inerrant and infallible book, called the Bible, so that man could know and understand what the life, death, burial, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ means to each of us.  

Each of us has come short of the mark of absolute perfection demanded by a holy, perfect, God.  The penalty for that failure is death.  

As a just God, God must condemn those that have failed to meet this mark of absolute perfection.  

As a loving God, God sent His Son to pay the penalty of death that we deserve.  Jesus willingly took our punishment for us.  

Listen to this podcast to learn Why Jesus had to die.  Jesus tells us that Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  Listen and learn just how much Jesus loves you.

ATTITUDES THAT CAUSED JESUS TO BE CRUCIFIED-PART II (Mark 15:16-32)

ATTITUDES THAT CAUSED JESUS TO BE CRUCIFIED-PART II (Mark 15:16-32)

October 18, 2013
Over the last several weeks our politicians have demonstrated the power of a person’s attitude to do things to hurt others and our nation.  We have seen self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and cowardly compromise, on full display by people who are elected to represent the needs of the people rather than their own enrichment.  We have also seen the courage of a few to demand changes, even in the face of overwhelming condemnation from those in their own party.  

A person’s attitude can also be used to draw people to you, or drive them away.  It is the same in politics as it is in matters of faith.  If your message of faith is positive, affirming, and compassionate, then it will draw people to you.  On the other hand, if your message is negative, condemning, and filled with words of anger and hate, it will drive most people away from you.  Most of all, your attitude must be matched by the way you live your life.  Hypocrisy is in every area of life, and it is easy to spot.  The most dangerous part of hypocrisy is what it does to those around you.  Many people will walk away from the gospel message of Christ because of what they see in counterfeit Christian.  

Listen to this podcast to hear the second part of a lesson on how the attitudes of those around Jesus caused the Creator of all things to be rejected and crucified on a cross.
ATTITUDES THAT CAUSED JESUS TO BE CRUCIFIED (Mark 14:66 to 15:15)

ATTITUDES THAT CAUSED JESUS TO BE CRUCIFIED (Mark 14:66 to 15:15)

October 11, 2013
A person’s attitude is a powerful thing.  It has a great deal to do with how we act while we are doing a task, how we think about that task, and how we speak about it.  A simple example is how we approach our job, if our attitude is one of enjoyment, or one of passion for that job, it makes the days go quicker, and we have a true feeling of accomplishment about our job.  You feel good about yourself and who you are.  

On the other hand if our attitude is one of dreading our job, or it is just a thing we do to pay the bills, it creates stress in our lives which has an effect on our health, the days drag on and on, and we are just looking forward to quitting time so we can go and do something we love.

But our attitude about something is even more powerful than that, for it can be used to drive us to do things that we would not ordinarily be capable of.  Consider the attitude a person would need to have in order to knowingly condemn a man to die a horrible, painful, death for a sin that He did not commit.

Listen to this podcast to learn the seven attitudes that lived in the hearts of the people responsible for the death of Jesus Christ.  As you listen, look for these same attitudes in your own heart.  

THE OBEDIENCE OF THE LAMB (Mark 14:37-65)

THE OBEDIENCE OF THE LAMB (Mark 14:37-65)

October 1, 2013
On a human level it is very hard for us to willingly take the blame for what somebody else has done.  Our natural reaction is to defend ourselves, to make sure that everyone knows who is rightfully to blame, especially when the punishment for the crime carries with it a heavy penalty, such as years in prison, or even death.  It would take a great deal of love for one person, who was innocent, to willingly take the blame for a crime they did not commit to save another from facing that penalty.    

Yet this is what Jesus Christ did for each of us.  

Listen to this podcast to learn why Jesus stood silent before His accusers when He was falsely accused of crimes He did not commit.  Learn why Jesus would allow a mob of men to take Him to be crucified without putting up a fight to resist them.

Jesus did all of this, including dying on a cross, so that you could have everlasting life.  Jesus died in your place. He took your punishment.  He suffered so that you would not have to.  Jesus did all of this because He loves you.    

THE LORD’S SUPPER (Mark 14:22-24)

THE LORD’S SUPPER (Mark 14:22-24)

September 28, 2013

When was the last time that you participated in taking the Lord’s Supper? 

How did you go about preparing yourself to participate?

Why is the Lord’s Supper an important part of the believer’s life?

Listen to this podcast to find out what the Bible says about the Lord’s Supper.  Jesus instituted this ordinance of the church for us to remember what He has done for us.  Later, Paul tells us that we are to be serious, and not casual or flippant, in our preparation and participation is this very important ceremony.   

This is to be a time of remembrance of the love that God has for us, and it is to be a time of self-assessment and repentance. 

Don’t miss the wonderful message that is to be found in the believer’s heart as they remember the finished work of salvation that Jesus has done for you.

HOW JESUS SUFFERED (Mark 14:25-36)

HOW JESUS SUFFERED (Mark 14:25-36)

September 25, 2013
Life often places us in situations where we have a loved one who is suffering in great pain, or emotionally from a loss.  Our natural desire is to be able to reach out and remove that suffering from them and place it on ourselves. We want to take their place, and let us handle the pain.

I remember watching my mother as she suffered in pain from terminal cancer.  There was nothing more that I wanted to do than take that pain away from her and let me bear it.  I wanted to do this because I loved her enough that I was willing to take her place, even if it meant that I would die.  

If we as people are capable of this kind of love, how much more so is a holy God capable of this kind of love?  It is because of God’s love for us that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross so that we could avoid the suffering and pain of an eternity spent burning in the Lake of Fire.  Jesus took on our suffering so that we could choose not to.  God loves each of us so much that He desires that none of us should perish.

Listen to this podcast to learn how Jesus suffered great pain on the cross.  How Jesus suffered emotionally on the cross. How Jesus suffered at the hands of a holy God on the cross, and Jesus suffered at the hand of Satan while He was on the cross.  

Most of all, hear why Jesus had to suffer.



JESUS PREPARES FOR THE CROSS (Mark 14:1-21)

JESUS PREPARES FOR THE CROSS (Mark 14:1-21)

September 14, 2013

Who was in control of the events that led to Jesus dying on the cross?   

Was it the Jewish religious leadership?

Was it the Romans?

Was it Judas who betrayed Jesus?

Listen to this podcast to discover the answer to this question is that Jesus was in complete control of the events that led to His death on the cross.  He deliberately, knowingly, and willingly walked to the cross.   God so loved each of us as humans that He sent His only begotten Son to die so that none should perish and each of us should have the opportunity for everlasting life. 

Jesus tells us that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Jesus went to the cross to make that possible. 

Join us as we begin a series of lessons that describe the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.   Listen as God shows us just how much He loves us. 

JESUS IS COMING, ARE YOU READY? (Mark 13:28-37)

JESUS IS COMING, ARE YOU READY? (Mark 13:28-37)

September 4, 2013

If you knew that a thief was going to break into your house tonight while you slept, how would it change the way you act tonight?  How would you go about making yourself ready for him?   

As a believer, if you knew for certain that Jesus was coming tomorrow, how would it change how you live your life today?  How would you go about making yourself ready for Him?

Would there be a sense of urgency to tell your friends and family about Jesus and what it means to have eternal life?

If you knew that you would stand before Jesus as your Judge tomorrow, would you be on your knees tonight asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins. 

Listen to this podcast to hear what the Bible says about when Jesus is coming, and who Jesus is coming for, and then ask yourself Are you ready for Jesus to come?

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF THE LORD’S COMING (Mark 13:14-27)

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF THE LORD’S COMING (Mark 13:14-27)

August 29, 2013

One of the most popular topics for Bible study is the prophecy concerning the end-times.  Jesus deliberately told His disciples of the events that would occur in the future so that they would not be discouraged when He left them.  He knew that they, and all the believers that followed, would face terrible persecution for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Jesus knew that they could face that persecution only through the power of the Holy Spirit working in them and the firm knowledge of the goals and events that they were working toward.  He told them of a coming day of judgment for the nation Israel for their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, and He told them of a coming day of judgment for a world that had rejected God.  But Jesus also told them of the rewards for those who made Jesus their Lord and Master. 

Listen to this podcast to learn the definition of terms like the Church Age, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Great Tribulation, and the Millennial Kingdom, and then listen to the description that Jesus gives of the Tribulation Period.   

Learn the signs that we as believers today are to look for so that we can be assured that Jesus is coming again.   And make no mistake about it, Jesus is coming again.

 

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS? (Mark 12:41 to 13:13)

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS? (Mark 12:41 to 13:13)

August 19, 2013

Our lives are full of signs.  Good signs, and bad signs.  Signs that are clear, and signs that are hard to see.  Signs that mean a promise will be kept, and signs of betrayal.  Signs that we look for with hope, and signs of things that we dread. 

Biblical prophecy is about God telling us of things to come.  Things that are good, and things that are bad.  Things that we look forward to with hope, and things that we dread.  Most of all, Biblical prophecy is about the promises that God keeps.

Listen to this podcast to learn what it means to give everything thing that you have to God, and then look for the signs that God has provided so that you know, that you know, that you know, that your Redeemer cometh. 

God has promised that Jesus will come again to establish His Kingdom on earth.  This lesson is the first part of a two part series on the signs that tell us that God keeps His promises. 

JESUS REJECTS RELIGION (Mark 12:38-40)

JESUS REJECTS RELIGION (Mark 12:38-40)

August 14, 2013

Have you given up on religion?

Many people would say yes to that question, and the fact is, you should. 

Religion is simply man’s way of telling God, I got this, I can do this on my own.  If I follow these certain rules that I created, and if I do these certain rituals that I created, and if I give this much money that I decided is enough, then I can earn or buy my way into heaven.   

Listen to this podcast to hear how Jesus totally rejects religion.  Jesus has taught us that the single greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  Jesus then says if you can do this, then to be a believer is simply having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Master and Savior. 

Jesus rejects man’s rituals.  He rejects man’s religious ceremony.  He rejects man’s declarations about what is right and wrong.  Instead, we are to ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, make Him our Master, and then love Him with all that we are. 

That’s it.  It is that simple.  Listen and rejoice with us as we learn what Jesus thinks about man’s religion.

TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL THAT YOU ARE (Mark 12:28-37)

TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL THAT YOU ARE (Mark 12:28-37)

August 7, 2013

If someone were to ask you which law was the most important what would you say?

Would it be that we are not to murder someone?

Would it be that we are not to steal from someone?

How about that we are not to abuse a child?  Even the prisoners in our jail system hate those who would abuse a child.

Listen to this podcast to learn that the most important law in this world is to love God with all of your heart, with all of your mind, with all of your strength, and with all that you are.  The second most important law is to love your neighbor as yourself. 

If you can learn to obey these two laws, then all of the other laws that man can create are no longer relevant.

If you can obey these two laws, and never fail, then you can live in heaven for eternity.

However, if you fail to obey these two laws, even just once, and we will all fail, then you need Jesus as your Savior.   This is the simple message of this lesson, you need Jesus in your heart.

TO KNOWINGLY DISBELIEVE (Mark 12:13-27)

TO KNOWINGLY DISBELIEVE (Mark 12:13-27)

July 29, 2013

The criminal justice system in our country makes a distinction between those who commit crimes either ignorantly or accidentally, and those who commit crimes knowingly, willfully, and with malicious intent.  This distinction has been playing out in our media for the last several weeks.  However, the justice system has a special dislike of those who commit crimes knowingly, willfully, and with malicious intent. 

This same principle works in the spiritual realm as well.  The Bible is clear that there are degrees of punishment in Hell, as well as levels of reward in heaven.  There is no doubt in my mind that a person like Stalin, or Hitler, or Charles Manson, or a person who would intentionally harm a child, has a special place in the hottest, loneliest, darkest, and most pain filled place in Hell reserved for them.  It is a place that they will spend the eons of eternity being tormented in.

But imagine the penalty that will be imposed by God on those who have willfully, knowingly, and maliciously rejected Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the sacrifice that He made on the cross for the sins that they have committed. 

These people have heard and rejected the gospel message of Jesus Christ on the TV, the radio, in books and magazines, and the personal testimonies of family and friends who told them how a gracious God has sent His only Begotten Son, so that they may have eternal life.  They have then compounded this sin by convincing others to reject Christ, or even persecuting those that are Christians.  They have made this choice knowingly, willfully, and maliciously.

Listen to this podcast to hear how Jesus Christ exposes the willful ignorance of those that would reject the Word of God and the great Biblical truth of the resurrection of the dead.

JESUS CONFRONTS HIS ENEMIES (Mark 11:27 to 12:12)

JESUS CONFRONTS HIS ENEMIES (Mark 11:27 to 12:12)

July 24, 2013

How well do you choose the times to confront your enemies, and when it is time to walk away? 

Most of us are not real good at making that choice, we either let people walk all over us, or we tend to push our will upon others. 

Jesus had spent much of His ministry avoiding a direct confrontation with the religious leadership of the Jews.  His previous visits to Jerusalem had been subdued and quiet.  Jesus actually spent most of His public ministry walking the countryside between Capernaum and the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee and all the points in-between. 

He would respond to direct challenges from the local leaders of the synagogue and the representatives sent from Jerusalem to see what was happening.  But when it became too contentious, He would simply move on to the next village.  Jesus devoted much of His time to teaching the people and performing wonderful miracles of healing the sick and raising the dead.  He was developing a great following among the people that would serve Him well at the end of His ministry. 

Jesus now becomes much more direct in His confrontation with the Jewish leadership.  He makes a triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, He cleans out the temple courts of the tradesmen that were managed by the chief priest, and then He teaches and heals in the temple without the approval of the chief priests. 

Listen to this podcast to learn how Jesus controlled His own destiny as He pushed the Jewish leadership into completing the tasks that the Lord’s Father had sent Him to do.  Jesus was driving to the cross.  He was in control.  He knew what He was doing and where it would lead, but He did it anyway so that you and I could have everlasting life. 

Jesus was never more Kingly during His public ministry than He was during this last week before the cross.

ARE YOU ALL SHOW AND NO GO?  (Mark 11:12-26)

ARE YOU ALL SHOW AND NO GO? (Mark 11:12-26)

July 19, 2013

Are you all show and no go?

For many people religion is about appearances.  On every Sunday morning they get out their best pious religion suit and put it on to go to church.  They sing the worship songs, they raise their hands, they may even say an amen or two as the preacher gives his sermon.  Then they go home, they take off their pious religion suit and put it back in the closet until next Sunday. 

They are all show and no go.   

Listen to this podcast to learn how God intends for the believer to have fruit to show for his labor.  In fact, the day is coming when Jesus will judge the works of a believer to determine the rewards, or the loss of rewards, that believer will receive. 

In this lesson, you can learn how to be serious about your desire to work for God, how to have your prayers answered, and how to earn the fruit that God is looking for in your life.