bible.jpgHere are the notes from Wednesday night’s Parent Bible Study:

What do Baptists believe about the Bible? (Part Two)

“…salvation for its end…”

I. The Bible is a book about Salvation

Deut 6:1-2 “This is the command – the statutes and ordinances – the Lord your God has instructed me to teach you, so that you may follow them in the land you are about to possess. Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life.”

a. Obedience leads to life and blessing

b. Disobedience leads to catastrophe – The Bible guides our life (Psalm 119:105 – Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.)

c. There are four ways that we can demonstrate our love for the Word of God: studying, obeying, teaching, listening (Hebrews 4:12-13, Isaiah 55:11, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

d. The main purpose of the Bible is to point us to Jesus Christ and to tell us how to be saved. (1 John 5:13) (Andy Stanley story)

e. Other purposes include teaching, rebuking, correcting, training in righteousness, and equipping for good works.

II. The Bible is completely true

“ …and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

“If you read the Old Testament, you will find phrases like ‘the Word of the Lord’ or ‘the Word of God’ or ‘God spoke or ‘the Lord said’ used 3,808 times. If the Bible is not the Word of God, it’s the biggest bundle of lies that has ever come to planet Earth. The Bible is truth, absolutely.” – Adrian Rogers

“The instruction of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.” Psalm 19:7

There are five specific ways Baptists affirm that the Bible is true.

a. The Bible is authoritative – All scripture is God-breathed so that Christians have no right to dismiss or question any biblical text, for all Scripture is God-breathed. We do not base our teachings on mere human tradition, nor do we base our faith on human wisdom. The Bible alone is the rule of our faith and life.

b. The Bible is infallible – God never fails, nor does his Word. The Bible is the strongest weapon in the hands of the believer. (Eph. 6:17)

c. The Bible is inerrant – It contains no doctrinal error of any kind.

d. The Bible is sufficient – We are not to add or subtract from the Bible. (Deut. 4:2) We should decide every issue from a biblical perspective.

e. The Bible is eternal – the Word of the Lord endures forever (1 Pet. 1:24-25)

2.jpgChapter thirteen closes the first part of the book, entitled “Foundations for Child-Rearing.” There are six areas of summarization of Shepherding a Child’s Heart.

1. Your children are the product of two things. The first – shaping influence – is their physical makeup and their life experience. The second – Godward orientation – determines how they interact with their experience. Parenting involves (1) providing the best shaping influences you can and (2) the careful shepherding of your children’s responses to those influences.

2. The heart determines behavior. Learn, therefore, to work back from behavior to the heart. Expose heart struggles. Help your children see that they were made for a relationship with God. The thirst of the heart can be satisfied in truly knowing God.

3. You have authority because God has made you his agent. This means you are on his errand, not yours. Your task is to help your children know God and the true nature of reality. This will enable them to know themselves.

4. Since the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, you must set such a worldview before your children. You must help them learn that only in him will they find themselves.

5. Biblical goals must be accomplished through biblical methods. Therefore, you must reject the substitute methods that our culture presents.

6. God has given two methods for childrearing. They are (1) communication and (2) the rod. These methods must be woven together in your practice. Your children need to be known and understood. Thus, rich communication is necessary. They also need authority and firmness. Thus, the rod is necessary. The rod functions to underscore the importance of the things you talk about them.

In Part Two, we will apply these principles to the specifics of the childrearing through the various stages of childhood.

New Logos

January 28, 2008

Check out our new logos!

The first one is for FirstKids – the entire Children’s Ministry

firstkids-logo1.jpg

This one is for FirstSteps – our preschool ministry

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Friday Reflections

January 25, 2008

1. Having a sick child is no fun. My son Jackson was diagnosed earlier in the week with the Croup and an ear infection. For three days his nose ran more then a broken faucet. Now that he is getting better he is starting to gag the medicine and spit it out…Praise God he is getting better, though.

2. I really am excited how God is working through FirstKids. We are changing things, people are responding in positive ways and we are slowly eliminating our barriers to growth.

3. I’ve been at my new position since September. The longer that I am here the more I realize that there are many areas that I am ultimately responsible for that I know little or nothing about. The larger any organization is, the more impossible it is to know about every little detail. That is why it is so helpful to have so many talented and dedicated volunteers and staff.

bible2.jpgNotes from last night’s study:

What do Baptists believe about the Bible?

“The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction.”

1. The Bible is God’s Revelation of Himself to Mankind

a. General Revelation – God’s making known His nature and purpose through nature and history. God reveals Himself to us all persons through the moral faculty we call conscience. Our undeniable knowledge of good and evil, of right and wrong. C.S. Lewis calls this the Law of Nature. (Romans 1:25) Psalm 19:1-2 – “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”

b. Special Revelation – God’s making known His nature and purpose through the written Word and His Son Jesus Christ. Romans 1:18-20 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

“It has God for its author,”

2. The Bible was written by God – What do we mean by that?

a. Inspiration – The breathing of God’s Spirit on human speech and writing to produce the text of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”)

b. There are several different theories of inspiration

i. The Dynamic Theory – God gave human authors basic ideas that they developed in their own ways.
ii. The Verbal Plenary Theory – Every word of the Bible is fully inspired. God used their personalities, writing styles, and personal experiences to accomplish His perfect purpose. The Holy Spirit worked through them, inspiring them so thoroughly that they were moved to write exactly what God intended – right down to the very words. We hold to this one.
iii. The Dictation Theory – The authors were passive instruments who recorded divine dictation.

3. Why did God choose His written Word to reveal Himself? Wayne Grudem gives three reasons (Grudem, Systematic Theology, 50).

a. More accurate preservation – Depending on memory and the repeating or oral tradition is less reliable
b. Opportunity for repeated inspection – permits careful study and discussion, which leads to better understanding and more complete obedience
c. Accessible to many more people

Questions to wrestle with:

1. What about the “man on a deserted island” or “the African in the bush?”
2. Does this make God unfair, unjust, or unloving?

Next week we will look at part 2 of The Scriptures:

1. What is the Bible about?

2. Is the entirety of the Bible true?

ist2_3621127_evangelism.jpgHow can we share the Gospel effectively?

This question is often posed by people who want to share Christ, especially with people they know, but they oftentimes do not know where to begin. How do we share the Gospel with our friends?

Let’s look at Acts 4:23-31 to see what the early Christians did:

We need to understand that we can reach others for Christ primarily by praying. There are several aspects of our prayers that we should be concerned about when it comes to evangelism.

1. Know that we are praying to our sovereign Lord (v.23-24)

23When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,

Let us first understand that we are praying to God who is the ruler and creator of all. The first thing the disciples did when they approached the Lord in prayer was to praise him with adoration. God is in control of all and he is sovereign. Jesus did not chase down the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. When he was told what he needed to do, he left and rejected Jesus and Jesus let him leave. The Lord is ultimately in control of the salvation of others. Our job is to present the gospel, not make people accept, because it is their decision. We are praying to our sovereign Lord who is ultimately in control and we must trust the results to Him.

2. Know that we are praying for our enemies (v.25-28)

25who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Peter and John are quoting Psalm 2. They are acknowledging that Herod and Pontius Pilate and all the people involved in Jesus’ crucifixion were only acting within God’s will. They were enemies of Jesus but God used them to fulfill His purpose. Also, Romans calls unbelievers “enemies of God.” The truth is that before we accept Christ, we are at odds with God. Likewise, our enemies are the people who are not Christians. But, instead of wanting to harm them, like some militant religious fanatics, we are to pray for them, because without Christ, they are doomed. All people that are lost, who we are praying for, are our enemies. They are at odds with God and are desperate for redemption. We should pray for our “enemies.”

3. Know that we are praying for boldness (v.29-31)

a. Boldness to be faithful (v.29)

29And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,

They prayed that they would be granted that they would share Christ with boldness. In Acts 17:32-34, upon preaching to the Athenians, the text tells us that some “sneered” at Paul but some accepted his message. People will either accept or reject the Gospel. And when they reject it, it may not be a good situation for faithful believers. Indeed, Christians have been persecuted for over 2,000 years. When people reject our message, we should, like Jesus and Paul, move on. We are called to be faithful in our message, but the conviction of the lost comes from the Spirit, not us, lest we can boast.

b. Boldness for results (v.30)

30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

They prayed for the Lord to heal and that signs may be done by His name…not their own. It is for Jesus’ name, not ours, that we witness. We do not witness to make “another notch in our belt.” Often, we may be asked the question,“ How many people have you led to Christ?” This question is not entirely accurate. First, it is not “us” who leads people to Christ, it is the Spirit. A better question would be, “How many people have you spoke to about Christ?” Pertaining to healing mentioned in this verse, in this day and age, the miraculous is less common. However, people also need spiritual healing. We should be bold in our prayer for results.

c. Boldness for conviction (v.31)

31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. “

When they prayed, the place was “shaken” and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Spirit that we will be able to faithfully proclaim the Word of God. We have to allow the Spirit to touch our hearts in order to do evangelism right. It is only through conviction, a heart change, that we will desire to share the Gospel. Pray for your heart to develop a burden for the lost.

awana1.gifYesterday was a fantastic day here at First Baptist.

At our AWANA program during the evening, we were blessed to have SC state Missionary, Mike Hawkins, visit us and give a wonderful message about the purpose of AWANA and inspired us all as we learned about the many children that the ministry reaches across the world. If you are not involved with AWANA at First Baptist, it is never too late to start! Also, if you do not attend First Baptist and have surfed over to this blog, I would encourage your church to pray about starting an AWANA program for your children if you do not already have one.

Thanks to all of those families that joined us ice-skating on Friday night. We had a blast even if I only made it around the rink once!