The Master’s Class, Summit Church
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU? (Romans 14:7-12)

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU? (Romans 14:7-12)

September 27, 2015

So if I were to ask the question, what are the important things in the life of a believer, what would you say?

Is it the church that they go to?

Is it the type of worship service they have on Sunday mornings? Whether it is contemporary in style or traditional?  Does the preacher teach the whole word of God vs. just the gospels?

Is it the witness the believer has before the world, is that important to you?  What about how they live before their brothers and sisters in Christ?

What if I were to change the questions and ask what are the things that Christ would judge as important in the life of the believer, would they be the same things?  Are the things you have done in your life, worthy of being judged by Christ?  Would they be considered important to Christ?

The fact is that we as Christians cannot live our lives apart from Christ.  Whether you live, you will have to live to Him; whether you die, you will have to die to Him.  To live to Christ means that it is how Christ looks at our lives that is most important to how we live.  What is important to Christ is what should be important to us, and nothing else.  Our Christian conduct is not gauged by the foods spread out on the table, but by the fact that our lives are spread out before Christ.  That is the important thing.  

All of these differences of opinions on debatable things, which seem so important to us now, will fade into insignificance when death enters the picture. There are those who doubt the Lordship of Christ before they die, but beyond the grave the Lordship of Christ will not be in debate at all.  

As a believer, Christ will judge the things we have done and give us rewards or loss, and as believers, it will be our greatest joy to cast the crowns of our rewards at the Lord’s feet.  Paul’s message to us is that if every believer maintains in his own life the Lordship of Christ, if it is Christ that we look to for approval, and not man, then true unity will not be impossible, in fact, it will happen without us even having to worry about it.  

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH DEBATABLE ISSUES (Romans 14:5-12)

HOW TO DEAL WITH DEBATABLE ISSUES (Romans 14:5-12)

September 20, 2015
Last week we began a section of study on how to handle debatable issues, and we said that there are going to be issues of Christian behavior where the Bible does not specifically say you must do it, nor does it clearly prohibit that activity either.  We asked the question about whether or not uniformity in thought about these debatable issues was imperative within the membership of a church, and Paul has advised us that, no it is not.  

In fact, while a lack of complete uniformity on debatable issues can be frustrating, Paul has told us to welcome the Christian brother and sister with various ideas.  He encouraged the brother who is stronger in the faith to embrace the weaker brother.  

Now, just to be clear, I will state that on issues where the Bible is clear, the church must not allow intentionally false doctrines to exist in the church.  People may have differing opinions even on these issues, but the Bible is to be final arbitrator on such an issue.  

If the Word of God proclaims homosexuality to be a sin, and it does, then it is a sin. Period. 

If the Word of God says that salvation is by grace alone, and it does, then salvation is by grace alone.  Period.  

God’s Word is final.  

But on issues that are not clearly defined in the Bible, such as some of the social issues, diets, and special worship days, we can disagree on things and remain in fellowship together. This is what our lesson is about today, how to deal with debatable issues and have unity in the church.
THE CHRISTIAN AND DEBATABLE ISSUES (Romans 14:1-4)

THE CHRISTIAN AND DEBATABLE ISSUES (Romans 14:1-4)

September 13, 2015
THE CHRISTIAN AND DEBATABLE THINGS

Without question, there a certain issues in our faith that are non-negotiable.  An example is the inerrancy of the Bible, for if the Bible is not true in every respect, then it is false in every respect and our faith is worthless.  

Another example is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He was born of a virgin, He died on the cross, He was buried in the tomb and He physically, bodily, rose from the grave on the third day, just like He said He would.  These truths are non-negotiable.  To be a born again believer, you must believe these things.  Uniformity in thought is demanded by God on these issues if you want to be a child of God.  

However, are there issues in the Christian life where uniformity in thought is not necessary?  In other words, are there issues about our faith that we can disagree on and it is ok?

What about eschatology?  The fact that certain events are going to occur, like the second coming of Christ, is not debatable.  The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming again.  However, the order of certain events, and various details about each event, while I may feel it is important, is it ok to have different opinions on these things?

What about social issues?  Like drinking, dancing, or the clothes we wear and how we wear them?  I remember when if a woman wore slacks to church she would likely be asked to leave.  I can also remember when wearing shorts in the sanctuary was not allowed.  Is it ok to disagree on these issues and it not become a faith issue between believers?

The answer to these questions is what our lesson is about today.  
HOW CHRISTIAN LOVE BEHAVES (Romans 13:12-14)

HOW CHRISTIAN LOVE BEHAVES (Romans 13:12-14)

September 8, 2015
So, if God decided to paint a big sign in the sky and say tomorrow is the day that Jesus is coming for the Rapture.  How would that change your behavior today?

Is there anyone you love that you would make a beeline to and say, “Listen to me, this is really important, time is short, look up in the sky at that sign and let me tell you again about Jesus?”  

Is there anything in your life that you want to confess before Jesus came?  Some hidden sin that nobody knows about, but now everyone is getting ready to know about, as you stand before your Lord?

Or would you simply start putting on your rapture shoes and say, “Hallelujah Lord Jesus, I am ready, come take me away!”

Do the answers to these questions tell you how seriously you believe that the Lord Jesus could come at any minute, or, are you saying in the back of your mind, “but Keith, aren’t there some things that must happen before the Lord comes again?  Don’t we have time for them to happen before we have to get serious?”

Let me say this real slow, and real clear, just so there is no misunderstanding.  There is nothing in Bible prophecy that must happen before the Rapture occurs.  Nothing.  Are there things that must occur before Christ comes to set up His Millennial Kingdom? Of course.  But nothing must happen before the Rapture can occur.  It can happen in the next moment and not one prophecy will have failed to be fulfilled.  

So the question is, just how serious do you believe that the Lord Jesus could come at any moment, and does your life show it?  This is what our lesson is about today.
A CHRISTIAN’S LOVE (Romans 13:8-11)

A CHRISTIAN’S LOVE (Romans 13:8-11)

September 1, 2015
Why do you obey the commandments of God?

It is because you are afraid of God?  Certainly, there have been times when somebody says something particularly stupid about God that I have said, “Wait just a minute while I step over here so that I will not get in the way of the lightning bolt that is getting ready to come down upon you.”  And I certainly believe that for God’s love to be real, so must His wrath be real.  

But, as believers, we obey the commandments of God because we love God and we want to please Him, and we can do that because the question of our salvation, or eternal life, has already been settled by our faith in Christ.  This means that our obedience is because we love God. 

Why do you obey the laws of the various governments and employers that God has placed in authority over you?

Because you are afraid of the consequences?  Perhaps, but our lessons over the last several weeks would say that the believer is to obey the laws of man because we love God, and we want to please Him.  Right?

Why are you committed to being faithful to your spouse?  Certainly it is because we love them, but more importantly, we love God, and we want to glorify Him by the way that we love our spouse.   

So in each case, it is our love of God that is the motive behind our obedience.  Not fear, but love.  

So how do we show the people who we meet in the world around us that we love them?  

The answer is the same as it was for the other three questions I just asked, we show our neighbors that we love them by obeying God’s commandments.  The Lord Jesus simplified this for us by saying that if we obeyed just two commandments, all of the others would just fall into place.  

The first was to love God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength, and the second was to love our neighbor as ourselves.

This is what our lesson is about today, our love of God, and how we show that love.