The Master‘s Class, LifeChange Church Wichita
IS GOD’S PLAN REASONABLE? (Romans 3:27 to 4:5)

IS GOD’S PLAN REASONABLE? (Romans 3:27 to 4:5)

October 11, 2014
Is God’s plan of salvation reasonable?  That is an interesting question, for if we are to consider whether or not God’s plan of salvation is reasonable, then we have to ask is God reasonable?

I have to admit that I have never thought of the word reasonable in relation to God.  God is divine, therefore, He doesn't have to be reasonable.  God is gracious, God is loving, God is our judge, He is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, but is God reasonable?

Is God reasonable as He judges our works?  What are His standards?  Are they reasonable?

The word reasonable is defined as rational, in accord with common sense, not expecting more than what is possible, not exorbitant, and fairly good.  So with these words in mind, if you believe that you will be accepted by God based on your works, or how much good versus how much bad you have done, then will God be reasonable in His judgment of your works?

To answer this we have to ask what is the standard that God will use to judge us by? And the Bible tells us that our works must meet the standard of God’s own perfect righteousness and holiness.  Is it rational for God to expect perfection?  Is it in accord with common sense, and is it not expecting too much? 

Most people would answer that God knows that we cannot be perfect so it would be expecting too much for Him to demand perfection.  My response is that God created Adam and Eve in perfect bodies and placed them in a perfect environment called the Garden of Eden.  God expected Adam and Eve to keep that perfection.  It was man who willfully chose to sin and corrupt the perfection that God had created.  So it is certainly reasonable for God to expect man to be as perfect as He created him.

If this is true, then that leaves those who believe in salvation by works with a problem.  How can they meet the standards demanded by God when man is no longer capable of perfection?  

Does God have to change His standards?  The Bible says there is no changing in God.  What God demanded in the past, God demands today.  What God expected from Adam in the past, God expects from us today.  The bottom line is that I would not trust the best five minutes of my life to meet the perfect standards of God.  So if man’s plan is not possible, what is God’s plan?

God’s plan is salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.  In man’s plan of salvation by works, everything depends on the sinner.  In God’s plan of salvation by faith, everything depends on the perfect work of salvation performed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that if you want to plead not guilty and demand a fair trial, then God will give you one, a trial where your works must meet His standards of perfection.  The more reasonable approach is to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, plead guilty, and depend on God’s mercy and grace that He is able to grant us through the perfect work of Christ.


HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

October 2, 2014
For the believer who has Christ as his Savior, words like justified, freely, grace, redemption, propitiation, faith, and blood all have very specific meanings to their faith.  Yet how many Christians can define these words in a way that allows others to understand how God’s plan of salvation has changed their lives?  

For example, as you relate God’s plan of salvation to someone you know, can you tell them how it meets their need of being seen as righteous before God because of the redemptive price that was paid by Jesus on the cross.  How it grants them redemption?  How it serves as propitiation, and how the means of this salvation is our faith in Christ?  How the redemptive price for this salvation was so high, that it cost the shed blood of the Son of God?

The wonderful good news about God’s plan of salvation is that a holy and perfectly righteous God devised a plan of salvation that reaches down into the depths of sin and darkness that man has fallen to, and yet does not compromise God’s own inherent holiness, justice, and righteousness.  Listen to this podcast to learn what these words mean to your salvation, and to the salvation of those who want eternal life with Jesus in heaven.
IF MAN IS TO BE SAVED, THEN GOD MUST SAVE HIM (Romans 3:21-23)

IF MAN IS TO BE SAVED, THEN GOD MUST SAVE HIM (Romans 3:21-23)

September 25, 2014
When we accept the apostle Paul’s statement that we are all hopelessly guilty before a holy God, and that we are  helpless to redeem ourselves, the natural questions that might be asked are, What then?  If I cannot help myself, then who will?  Am I too bad, have I done too many bad things to be saved?

This is exactly the question that Paul wants us to ask, because this tells him that we are ready to hear about God’s plan for the justification and salvation of man.  Paul is going to tell us that we have a God that loves us, and He has a plan for us.  

God’s plan is a simple plan, yet it is a difficult plan for many of us to accept.  We do not easily admit that we cannot do something, or that we are dependent on others to something for us.  The more successful in life that you are, the more difficult is for you.

God’s plan is a complete plan that stands ready for us, when we are ready for God.  Jesus has done all of the work for our justification, redemption, regeneration, and salvation.  You only have to accept it.

God’s plan costs us nothing, it is free to us, but it cost God the Father, the most precious thing that He has, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  

God’s plan tells us that if man is to be saved at all, then it is God that must save him, and it is by God’s plan, and only God’s plan, that man can be saved.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that God has a plan of salvation for sinners, even the worst of sinners.  There is nothing that you could do, other than rejecting God’s plan, that would be too bad for you to be saved.  This makes God’s plan unique among other religions.
WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A LITTLE GUILTY (Romans 3:13-20)

WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A LITTLE GUILTY (Romans 3:13-20)

September 19, 2014
When your religion demands that you do more good than bad, you must always ask yourself, Have I done enough? The problem is that you will not know the answer to that question until you stand before the judgment of God.

You must ask yourself, how many right things does it take to outweigh a really bad thing? Is there ever a way to earn enough good things to overcome a violent crime, such as a rape, or an armed robbery, or even murder?  Is there anything that a person can do that can overcome these things in a religion that says that the good a person does must outweigh the bad things that a person does?  

This is the question that most people are asking themselves, have I done enough to please God?

What if I told you that there was a simple answer to this question?  The answer is, no, you have not, and you never will.  That is probably not the answer that you were expecting, right?  Well, right here in this question and answer is the key to what makes Christianity, God’s true plan for salvation, so much better, so much more practical, and so much simpler, than all of the religions that rely on the scales of right and wrong. 

The gospel message of Christ presents a much different scenario for man.  We do not have to wait until we die to find out where we shall stand in the judgment.  We can know right now.  Paul says that there is none righteous, no not one.  Then he says that through God’s law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Every mouth, not some mouths, but every mouth shall be stopped from protesting their innocence.  For by the law all the world, not some select group of do gooders, but everyone, all the world becomes guilty before God and therefore we all need a Savior.  You know this now, not when you stand before Christ on that judgment day, you know this now, and your opportunity to do something about it is now.  

John tells us that He that believeth on him (Christ) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

If you fail to accept Jesus as your Savior, the verdict that you will hear from Christ at the Great White Throne judgment will be that you rejected Christ.  That none of your good works are good enough, they are as filthy rags before a holy God, and that you are condemned to spend eternity burning in the fires of hell.  

It is a vain belief in any religion that says you should hang on to hope that somehow, even still, that your good deeds can outweigh your bad deeds.  That maybe somehow you will be able to do something that God will judge as acceptable to Him.  If you believe this, then this lesson is for you.  The best, the most sincere, and the most strenuous attempts to please God by keeping His law will fail.  It cannot be done.  Truly, man is not only helpless in his condition, but he is hopeless in his case before a Holy God.  

Yet all is not lost.  The wonderful good news of the gospel is that if man is to be saved, then God must save him.  God loves you, and His most sincere desire is that you join Him in heaven for all of eternity.  If you are willing to accept His free gift of salvation, then you can indeed do just that.  This week’s lesson tells us that we are all guilty before God, that we all need a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ.
ARE YOU GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD? (Romans 3:9-12)

ARE YOU GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD? (Romans 3:9-12)

August 28, 2014
Almost everything in our secular world has a level of performance that is judged to be good enough to obtain a benefit from that action.  

For example, under our criminal justice system a person’s intent is often considered when making a judgment about whether they are guilty of a crime, or of the punishment for a crime that is committed.  A person who accidentally bumps into someone and knocks them down is judged differently than someone who intentionally pushes somebody to the ground in order to intimidate them.  A person’s intent is considered in making this judgment.

Our education system is built on a grade point system.  A student can pass a course by getting at least a 2.0 grade point in the class.  The person who scores a 2.0 may not have tried very hard when they studied, but they were just good enough to pass the course.  They get to pass the course and move on to the next level, as opposed to someone who received only a 1.9 grade point in the class.  

The religious world has the same type of grading system for a person’s intent.  Almost all of the world’s religions have what is called the scales of good and bad.  A person is deemed to be good enough for the god of that religion, if the number of what the religion calls good actions outweigh the number of bad actions. 

The person’s entrance into heaven often depends on that scale of good and bad.  So a person lives their lives with this mental scale in their minds.  They know that they are not going to be good all of the time, but if they can only be good enough to tip the scale toward the good side, then they will be determined to have been good enough for god.  

True, Biblical, Christianity is the only religion that says that man can never be good enough for God.  Best intent does not matter.  The fact that you have a well documented religion, full of rituals, and rules, and procedures intended to show your intent is to be a good person, is meaningless to God.  

In the area of criminal law, the term illegal per se means that the act is inherently illegal.  Therefore, an act is illegal without extrinsic proof of any surrounding circumstances such as a lack of knowledge or other defenses. It doesn't matter what your intent was, it doesn’t matter that you have more good than bad on your record, if you are guilty of a crime that is illegal per se, you will be judged accordingly.

This is the standard that God has set for man’s righteousness when he stands before a Holy God on that judgment day.  The fact that you have committed any sin, regardless of intent, regardless of how many other so-called good things that you may have done, you are guilty of sin and cannot be judged righteous before God.  

No one can pass this bar.  No one can live a life without committing a sin.  Therefore, God tells us in our lesson today that there is none that are righteous, no, not one.  We all need a Savior.  We all need to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Master.  All of us, every single person who has ever lived, or will ever live, needs the blood of Jesus to make them righteous before God. 

Listen to this podcast to learn why you need a Savior, and His name is Jesus Christ. 
THE POWER OF SALVATION (Romans 1:8-16)

THE POWER OF SALVATION (Romans 1:8-16)

July 9, 2014
If you believed someone was about to go into a dangerous situation, what would you do to help them?

Would you tell them about the danger?  Would you try to stop them if you knew the danger was imminent and very real?  What if they still wanted to go, would you ask others for help in stopping them?  Would it depend on if it was a loved one, or a stranger?

Most of us would go to great lengths to keep someone, even a stranger, from walking into a dangerous situation like a fire, or stepping in front of a train, or stopping a robbery in progress.  Much of our reaction would depend on how serious we believed the danger to be and how well we knew the person.  

As a believer in Jesus Christ, you know of the imminent danger that much of the world faces once they die.  If you truly believe that heaven and hell are real, and that the only way to avoid spending eternity in hell is to find Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then what are you willing to do to save the people you know, or even a stranger, from that certain danger?

Listen to this podcast to learn the power of the salvation provided by God for those that call upon His name.  Listen to the words of the apostle Paul as he tells us that believers are indebted to the whole world because of the grace of God and what Jesus did for us on the cross.  
THE GOSPEL MESSAGE OF GOD (Romans 1:2-7)

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE OF GOD (Romans 1:2-7)

July 5, 2014
Each of us make important decisions that will have an impact on the direction that our lives take.  For example, the career path that you choose determines what kind of training, education, and work that you will do.  

Your choice of career determines your financial position in society, how you will spend your work day, whether it is on a construction site, in a hospital, or in an office for the next 40 years of your life.  

Choosing the person whom you will spend the rest of your life married to is an important decision as well. Choosing the mate that God has for you will lead to a relationship that is only excelled by our relationship with Jesus.  

On the other hand, choosing the mate that satisfies your earthly desires will lead to a life full of sorrow and pain. When you are ready to dedicate the rest of your life to being one with another person, you must consider that choice very carefully.

But the single most important decision that each one of us will make is what we will do about Jesus Christ.  All of the other decisions that you make, career, marriage, or education, will have an impact on your life here on earth, that brief period of about 70 years that you live.  

The decision you make about what to do with Jesus Christ will impact your life for all of eternity.  It will decide where you will spend eternity, either heaven or hell.  It will decide whether you will spend eternity either with God, or separated from God.  

The decision of whether you will spend eternity in heaven or hell has nothing to do with how good or bad you are.  It rests solely on your acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ as your Savior.  The penalty of sin is death.  We are all sinners and we are all going to die, unless the Lord comes first.  However, not all of us are going to heaven.  In fact, many more are going to hell.

Jesus tells us 

Matt 7:13-14
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
KJV

The critical decision that determines which gate you will go through, and therefore, where you will spend eternity must be made while you are still alive.  God has given you a finite time to make your choice about Jesus Christ.  

This is the gospel message of God.  It tells you that you must make a decision about Jesus Christ.  
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.

CAN YOU SEE WHO JESUS IS? (Mark 10:41 to 11:11)

CAN YOU SEE WHO JESUS IS? (Mark 10:41 to 11:11)

July 8, 2013

Can you see who Jesus is?

The world sees Jesus as prophet, a teacher, but ultimately they see Him as a failure because He was hung on a cross to die the death of a criminal.  But the world does not see the purpose of Jesus’ death, or the fact of His bodily resurrection.

The disciples saw Jesus as the Promised King of a Promised Kingdom.

Bartimaeus was blind, but he saw Jesus as the hope of a lifetime.  Once he could see he saw Jesus as his Lord and Master. 

The Jews of the city of Jerusalem saw Jesus as the prophet of Nazareth of Galillee.

The Bible tells us that Jesus came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many

Listen to this podcast to learn how Jesus came to this earth to be a minister to others and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Who do you see Jesus as?  I hope you see Him as the one and only path to eternal life.  Jesus wants you to see Him as your Savior and Master. 

WHAT MUST I DO TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE? (Mark 10:13-22)

WHAT MUST I DO TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE? (Mark 10:13-22)

June 10, 2013

What must I do to have eternal life?

Eternal life is an issue that each of us must decide how real it is, and if it is real, what we must do to have eternal life.

There are multiple religions, philosophies, and teachings, on what eternity looks like, and what a person must do to enter into it. 

Must you earn it?  Must you be a member of a certain religion? Is there any sin that will be unforgivable, or unpardonable, that would definitely keep you out of heaven?

Now, make no mistake about it, I firmly believe that the only true answer to this question is found in Jesus Christ.  It is found in Jesus Christ and Jesus alone.  There is no other way to eternal life in heaven, but through Jesus Christ. 

Listen to this podcast to learn what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do, to provide you with eternal life.  The answers you seek are in the Bible.  The Bible is the true, the inerrant, and the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God where Jesus tells us what we must do to find eternal life in heaven. 

WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?  (Mark 8:27-38)

WHO IS JESUS TO YOU? (Mark 8:27-38)

April 29, 2013

Who is Jesus to you?

This is a question that each of us must answer, even if choosing not to answer the question is your response. 

From an academic perspective, the world has debated who Jesus is for two thousand years.  Is He an important religious figure?  Is He a prophet, or a teacher?

But the question of Who is Jesus to you is about your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Listen to this podcast to learn how your decision to accept or reject a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, is the single most important question you will answer in your life.  It is more important than choosing a spouse, to have kids or to not have them, or even the career choice that you make.

This single decision will determine how you will live beyond the grave.  It will determine how you will spend eternity.

CAN YOU WAIT TOO LONG? (Mark 6:14-29)

CAN YOU WAIT TOO LONG? (Mark 6:14-29)

March 10, 2013

We live in a society that promotes acting now before it is too late. Items that we want go on sale so we rush down to the store to beat the crowd. Ads proclaim buy now while supplies last.

There is so much noise, so many offers, that we become desensitized to the messages. When companies call us on the phone we screen our calls using caller ID. We don't answer the phone hoping that they will stop calling.

God is knocking on the heart of the unbeliever. God wants everyone to be saved. Not just some elect group of people, but all people. God loves you and He wants you to have eternal life. So God knocks, and God waits. He never barges down your door. He never forces His will upon you. He just knocks and He waits.

The question is how long will God wait? Can you wait too long before God stops knocking and walks away?

Listen to this podcast to find out if a person can pass that invisible line of God's mercy to God's wrath. Can it ever be too late to accept Jesus as your Savior?

TO REJECT JESUS CHRIST (Mark 6:1-13)

TO REJECT JESUS CHRIST (Mark 6:1-13)

February 26, 2013

The single most important decision you will ever make in your life will be to accept or reject Jesus Christ.  

The single most important prayer you will ever pray will be to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Master.    

It is not the sin in your life that will determine what happens to you after you die.  It is has nothing to do with the scales of good and bad that you have done.  

To have eternal life requires that you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master.  To reject Jesus will condemn you to eternal separation from God and torment in Hell.  Nothing else matters.  Nothing, and no one, else has the power to save you, but Jesus Christ. 

Listen to this podcast to learn why people want to reject Christ and what the consequence of that rejection is.     

THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO SAVE (Mark 5:21-34)

THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO SAVE (Mark 5:21-34)

February 10, 2013

When we need something done that we cannot do for ourselves, then we begin to search for someone with the power to meet that need.

When my car needs repaired, when something in my home needs repaired, I begin a search for someone with the power to meet that need.

When my need becomes a desperate need, I look for someone with the power to save me.

Listen to this podcast to find the One with the power to meet the most desperate need in each of our lives. Listen and discover that Jesus Christ is the only One with the power to save you.

If you are lost in a dark world, then Jesus Christ is the answer to that need. Jesus Christ has the power to save you.

THE ONE WITH ABSOLUTE POWER (Mark 5:1-20)

THE ONE WITH ABSOLUTE POWER (Mark 5:1-20)

February 3, 2013
What kind of world do you think we live in?
Is it one of promise, and goodness, where evil is a rarity?The world is full of promise, but one look at the daily headlines tells us that evil is not a rarity. It happens every day. There is a constant struggle between darkness and light.
Knowing that evil exists, each of us tries to create a bubble of security around us. We try to shield our families from the darkness. Yet evil intrudes when a man walks into a school and shoots innocent children.
Listen to this podcast to learn the source of that evil, and find the only ONE with the absolute power to defeat it.
FAITH IN SOMETHING OR SOMEONE (Mark 4:33-41)

FAITH IN SOMETHING OR SOMEONE (Mark 4:33-41)

January 28, 2013

What do you place your faith in to get you through the trials of life? Your friends, your family, or your own abilities?

What do you place your faith in to deal with the inevitability of death and what happens after death?

Is it science, medicine, or religion?

Science can tell you why you are going to die, but death will still ultimately come.

Medicine can make you feel better before you die, it can even extend your life, but death will still ultimately come.

Religion, with its works, and its rules, can make you feel like you are doing something about death and what comes after, but death will still ultimately come.

Listen to this podcast to hear what the Word God says that we are to place our faith in. Rejoice as the Bible tells us the something and the Someone that has the power to control death and what comes after.

IS YOUR SALVATION REAL? (Mark 4:10-20)

IS YOUR SALVATION REAL? (Mark 4:10-20)

January 7, 2013

Is your salvation real?

Our churches are full of people who have made a profession of faith but do not possess Christ in their hearts. Their faith is an intellectual acceptance of Christ, but they have not been reborn.

Others have attended crusades, or evangelistic meetings, and had an emotional experience, only to find that being a Christian means facing persecution.

Listen to this podcast to learn how the Bible tells us we can be sure of our salvation. How we can be sure that Christ lives in our hearts.

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