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Information about Week8

Published on January 4, 2008

Author: Cuthbert



Foundations for Christian Growth (Phase II):  Foundations for Christian Growth (Phase II) Water Baptism & Tithing Memory Verse: Malachi 3:8-11 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings! You are bound for judgment because you are robbing me – this whole nation is guilty. “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,” says the Lord who rules over all, “to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all.” And I will rebuke the l devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, says the LORD of hosts.” What does God expect of you? :  What does God expect of you? God expects you to know and obey his Word: The Bible Be a member of a church - Get baptized in Water Communicate with Him – Prayer and Fasting Be good stewards of you time, spiritual gifts, talents, & wealth Understand your position in Christ – The righteousness of God Have Faith in God & Cultivate faithfulness in your life Confront temptations successfully - Spiritual warfare Recognize your enemy Put on the Full Armor of God Understand the Doctrine of Redemption Election, Gospel call, Justification, Sanctification, death and glorification Understand the Doctrine of the Trinity How can God be three persons, yet one God? How can Jesus be fully God and fully man, yet on person? The ministry of the Holy Spirit throughout the history of the Bible God expects you to expect the return of Christ There will be a Final Judgment and Eternal reward & punishment Stewardship of Resources :  Stewardship of Resources God expects you to exercise good stewardship of resources entrusted to you: Time, Spiritual gifts, Talents, wealth (tithing and Offering) Be a part of a church and use your spiritual gifts Get baptized in water by immersion Spend time communicating with him (Prayer and Fasting) God expect you to keep in proper balance the three major priorities in life: God Family Work Water Baptism How should it be done? :  Water Baptism How should it be done? The practice of baptism in the New Testament was carried out in one way: The person being baptized was immersed or put completely under the water and then brought back up again. Baptism by immersion is therefore the “mode” of baptism or the way in which baptism was carried out in the New Testament. This is evident for the following reasons: The Greek word translating “baptize” means: to plunge, dip, immerse something in water. In Mark 1:5-10, people were baptized by John “in the river Jordan”. When Jesus had been baptized “he came up out of the water” (Mark 1:10). John’s gospel tells us, further, that John the Baptist “was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23). Again, it would not take “much water” to baptize people by sprinkling, but it would take much water to baptize by immersion. The Necessity for Water baptism :  The Necessity for Water baptism While we recognize that Jesus commanded baptism (Matt 28:19), as did the apostles (Acts 2:38), it is not necessary for salvation. To say that baptism or any other action is necessary for salvation is to say that we are not justified by faith alone, but by faith plus certain “work” the work of baptism. More to the point is Jesus’ statement to the dying thief on the cross, “today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23:43). The thief could not be baptized before he died on the cross, but he was certainly saved that day. Another reason why baptism is not necessary for salvation is that our justification takes place at the point of saving faith, not at the point of water baptism, which usually occurs later. Baptism is necessary if we are to be obedient to Christ !!! Who should be baptized? :  Who should be baptized? The narrative examples of those who were baptized in the New Testament suggest that baptism was appropriately administered only to those who gave a believable profession of faith in Jesus Christ. After Peter’s sermon at Pentecost we read “those who received his word were baptized (Acts 2:41). Similarly, when Philip preached the gospel in Samaria, we read “when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus, they were baptized both men and women (Acts 8:12). Likewise, when Peter preached to the gentiles in Cornelius’ household, he allowed baptism for those who had heard the Word and received the Holy Spirit –that is, for those who had given persuasive evidence of an internal work of regeneration (Acts 10:34). Lydia and her household, after the Lord opened her heart to believe) (Acts 16:14-15) The Meaning of Water Baptism :  The Meaning of Water Baptism Water baptism by immersion symbolizes our union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. Paul says: “Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection. We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For someone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Rom 6:3-8) When the candidate for baptism goes down into the water it is a picture of going down into the grave and being buried. Coming up out of the water is then a picture of being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. Public declaration of your death…:  Public declaration of your death… Water baptism pictures the most fundamental truth of the Gospel: the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and the believer’s union with Him. Water baptism is a public burial of the old life, and a public confession of faith in Christ: “I have died to sin, and selfishness and to live my new life in Christ Jesus.” Water baptism is a sign of repentance, a change so drastic that the old person is buried. It is a way of giving testimony to what has happened inwardly in your heart, and a clear commitment to turn from the old life. Water baptism helps you to grasp the reality of the spiritual truth that the old “you” has died. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor 5:17) Age for Water Baptism:  Age for Water Baptism How old should children be before they are baptized? The most direct answer is that they should be old enough to give a believable profession of faith in Jesus Christ. It is impossible to see a precise age that will apply to every child, but when parents see convincing evidence of genuine spiritual life, and also some degree of understanding regarding the meaning of trusting in Christ, then baptism is appropriate. The exact age for baptism will vary from child to child, and somewhat from church to church as well. Who can perform this ceremony? :  Who can perform this ceremony? We should recognize that scripture does not specify any restrictions on who can perform the ceremony of baptism. However, baptism is the external sign of entrance into the body of Christ, the church (1Cor 12:13), then it seems appropriate that it be done within the fellowship of the church wherever possible, so that the church as a whole can rejoice with the person being baptized. If baptism is the sign of entering the fellowship of the visible church, then it seems appropriate that some officially designated representative of the church be selected to administer it. For these reasons, it is usually the ordained clergy who baptizes, but there seems to be no reason why the church from time to time, and where it deems it appropriate, might not call on other church officers or mature believers to baptize new converts. In acts 8:12, Philip preached the gospel in Samaria and then apparently baptized those who came to faith in Christ). In what name should a believer be baptized? :  In what name should a believer be baptized? Jesus commanded water baptism “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19) No where in the Bible has anyone been baptized according to Mat 28:19. Paul says in Colossians 3:17 “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Baptism performed by the disciples of Jesus: Peter commanded baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) Peter ordered baptism of Cornelius and his household in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:48) Philip baptized new believers in Samaria in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul in Ephesus ordered baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. Preferred formula: “I baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Acceptable formula: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Tithing :  Tithing Malachi 3:8-11 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings! You are bound for judgment because you are robbing me – this whole nation is guilty. “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,” says the Lord who rules over all, “to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all.” And I will rebuke the l devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, says the LORD of hosts.” The principle of sowing and reaping:  The principle of sowing and reaping Everything begins with a seed… God linked seedtime and harvest time, sowing and reaping, giving and receiving into the same thing throughout the Bible Receiving follows our giving; a harvest cannot happen without first planting the seeds Genesis 8:22: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” God’s example of Sowing and Reaping :  God’s example of Sowing and Reaping John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” God aimed at the giving of his son, who is the seed of seeds. Jesus is called the seed of a woman (Gen 3:15) The seed of Abraham and David (Gen 17:9; Gal 3:16)(2 Sam 22:51) The seed that God sowed that He might receive his lost family back God so loved …that He gave His best – His only Son! Out of love He gave Jesus to die for our sins and rise again for our salvation. (2) He gave (His seed-time) for a desired result with an expectation of a harvest time (You and me being restored in fellowship with Him). Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure you gave it shall be measured to you again.” Tithing and the People of God:  Tithing and the People of God The prosperity of Israel in the promised land did not depend on advanced agricultural techniques but on its obedience to the Word of God (Deuteronomy 11:10-15). The Israelites were taught: Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed (harvest of what you sow) . . . year by year. . . . that thou mayest learn to fear (revere) the Lord thy God always (Deut 14:22-23). Tithing reminded the Israelites that they, as well as the land, belonged to the Lord. Since all they possessed was the result of His loving provision, before all other considerations, their tithes to the Lord were to be given first. Furthermore, no Israelite could come before the Lord without an offering commensurate with his income. To merely bring leftovers or a small pittance of one's income would be an expression of disobedience and ingratitude. The command was clear…:  The command was clear… They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which He hath given thee (Deut 16:16-17). The Israelites were not only taught to bring their tithes to the Lord as a spiritual and moral obligation, but they were to "rejoice" with a heartfelt appreciation for the privilege of honoring God with their tithes and offerings. The giving of tithes and offerings carried the promise that the Lord thy God may bless thee (Deut 14:29). Five hundred years before the Law was given to Moses, Abraham, father of the faithful (Rom 4:11), paid a tenth (tithe) to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God as an acceptable offering to the Lord (Gen 14:18-20). Melchizedek is a figure of Jesus our High Priest with no beginning or ending. In the New Testament Paul says “…On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. (1 Cor 16:1-2) Tithing Continues…:  Tithing Continues… Jacob vows a tenth of all his property to God (Genesis 28:22) Mosaic laws instituting (Lev 27:30-33; Num 18:21-24; Deut 12:6-7; Deut 17-19; Deut 14:22-29; 26:12-15) Tithes were awarded to the Levites for their priestly service because They would not receive land in Canaan (Num 18:19-21). They, too, gave a tenth of what they received (v. 26). Deuteronomy instructed households to bring their tithes to the sanctuary for a joyous sacrificial meal. If it was too far, the offerer was told that the goods could be sold locally and the money used near the sanctuary to buy "anything you wish" including oxen, sheep, wine, or strong drink (Deut 14:22-26). The people was rebuked for withholding their tithes (Mal 3:8) They were accused of robbing God! Tithing continues…:  Tithing continues… Hezekiah oversaw a restoration of obedience to God during which so much was given in tithes and offerings that rooms had to be prepared in the house of the Lord (2 Chron 31:10-11). Upon return from captivity Nehemiah led another restoration and made sure tithes and offerings were collected (Neh 12:44) so the Levites would not have to work in the fields (Neh 13:10). Jesus refocused attention on inward motives. He regarded stewardship of finances as an indication of trustworthiness with spiritual things (Luke 16:11), which were more important (Matt 6:19-20). Luke 16:11 “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Render unto God the things that are God’s…:  Render unto God the things that are God’s… Today, the Lord's ministries, missionaries, churches, Bible schools, translators, and other agencies are being sustained through the tithes and offerings of His people. All of what we call our possessions, even ourselves, belongs to God the Creator of all things. Jesus said: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's (Matthew 22:21). Both tithing (Luke 18:12) and the giving of offerings (21:4; Acts 24:17) were still being practiced by Israel during New Testament times. Special offerings were collected by Paul for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem (Romans 15:26). Jesus says: “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you Tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are things you should have done without neglecting the others.”(Matt 23:23) Condition of Blessing :  Condition of Blessing "Bring ye all of the tithes into the Storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine House, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10). Many read and plead this promise without noticing the condition upon which the blessing is promised. We cannot expect heaven to be opened or blessing poured out unless we pay our dues unto the LORD our God and to His cause. There would be no lack of funds for holy purposes if all professing Christians paid their fair share. Many people may be missing their blessings because they are robbing God! How much should we pay?:  How much should we pay? Nowhere does the New Testament require Christians to tithe in the sense of giving 10 percent, but it does reiterate many things associated with tithing: Those who minister are entitled to receive support (1 Cor 9:14); the poor and needy should be cared for (1 Cor 16:1); Gal 2:10); those who give can trust God, as the source of all that is given (2 Cor 9:10), to supply their needs (2 Cor 9:8; Phil 4:19); and giving should be done joyously (2 Cor 9:17). Paul's teaching suggest that giving is voluntary and that there is no set percentage. Following the example of Christ, who gave even his life (2 Cor 8:9), we should cheerfully give as much as we have decided (2 Cor 9:7) based on how much the Lord has prospered us (1 Cor 16:2), knowing that we reap in proportion to what we sow (2 Cor 9:6) and that we will ultimately give account for our deeds (Rom 14:12). God loves a cheerful giver…:  God loves a cheerful giver… 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. We should do better today… :  We should do better today… It cannot be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is incorporated in the gospel (2 Cor 9:13-14). If the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause of Religion and the service of God be greater now than in Old Testament times, then Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrew in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God. Tithing ought to be the minimum standard for us today! Every Jew was required by the Levitical law to pay three tithes of his property (1) one tithe for the Levites; (2) one for the use of the temple and the great feasts; and (3) one for the poor of the land. Are you sowing generously or are you robbing God? What about offering?:  What about offering? The Jewish people paid tithes and gave offering They gave offering for various reasons The offering must be given freely (Lev 19:5) The offering must be perfect and free from blemish (Lev 3:1,6; 22:21) What are your thoughts …?:  What are your thoughts …? Paying tithes from Gross pay or Net pay? Where should we render tithe and offering? What about paying tithes or offering to television ministries? What if I want to pay more or less than 10%? What do you think about rich preachers? Any other question! Jesus’ Personal Invitation to you… :  Jesus’ Personal Invitation to you… Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give You rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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