Category Archives: Disciple

How Do We Do This?

Hello!

person washing his hand

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What an unexpected couple of weeks this has been. We are gearing up for online church. We are cancelling in person meetings. We are looking to protect each other and walk in wisdom. How do we do this?

  1. We pray. We pray for patience for those who are spending more time with their families in close quarters throughout the day. We pray for those whose jobs may be affected. We remember those going through cancer in prayer. We uphold each other to avoid temptation, be delivered from evil, and to walk upright an godly lives. We pray for our neighbors and for those we have never met.
  2. We read. We devour scripture. We memorize passages of comfort (Psalm 23, Philippians 4, and Joshua 1 are all great options.) We rejoice that the 66 books of the Bible are true, entirely truth, and preserved for us.
  3. We serve. We can serve others and carry their burdens. We can find out who needs help, and help. We can explore new avenues of help, even when we cannot be in close proximity (I don’t need to be near you to rake your yard).
  4. We strategize. We need to make a plan for the next days ahead. We need to know how to conduct ourselves if this continues for weeks or even months.
  5. We labor in the work of ministry. Some are going to plant food to share. Some are going to prepare a 4-session Bible study to share. Some are going to write the hymns for the next generation.
  6. We connect. The body of Christ is all the members. Jesus is the head of the body and everyone in Jesus is vital to the body. We reach out more often. We call, video call, text, message more often. We do more more often!

Believers in Jesus don’t live in fear, for our God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46).  We do follow the instructions of the government, serve like Jesus, do good to all (especially those of the household of faith), and rejoice with hope. Tonight, gather your family on the couch, pray together, read Psalm 23, and enjoy pasture in which God has provided.

Enjoy life while building up

Did you hear about the guy who walked 328 feet underwater? Someone tossed him a bar of soap and he washed ashore. 🙂

woman beside girl

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Do you feel grounded in Bible? Not just can you read it, but do you understand how Genesis connects to Isaiah? Do you know why Revelation points so heavily to events not yet fulfilled? Are you confident of you standing with God?

Discipleship, the process of helping believers follow Jesus. It starts with gathering Sundays, and continues through the week. Getting together can look like drinking coffee,skiing down a hill, or asking “why do we have to believe in Jesus” (as one of the kids of Cornerstone did last night at small group). The goal is to enjoy life while building up in Christ.

Study the Bible in context (check this 11:00 minute video out). Ask others for help. Ask questions. Gather together. And let us be intentional about building up.

 

black and white photo of clocks

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The times are literally changing Sunday with the start of Daylight Saving Time. We will see you at 10 am!

Sin, Sinners, Sinning

What is sin? Why is there sin? Is sin a problem? If a problem, is there a solution?

These are questions that many have pondered and wrestled with over the years. For example, why do children hurt each other? Why do parents fight? Why is it so hard to keep society from crumbling? Those who believe the Bible is true find the answer “all have sinned.”

Sin is “to miss the mark.” This can only be helpful if one knows what the mark is that we are missing. Biblically, the mark is holiness (purity and not committing sin), righteousness (just, right, acting with integrity), and perfection (not erring or failing). The Apostle Peter wrote commanding holiness citing the Old Testament book of Leviticus, “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”” (1 Peter 1:16).

Sin entered the world, according to the Bible, through disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Genesis 3, and then spread to all mankind. We are born as sinners, who sin, and keep on sinning.

Sin is a problem because it separates us from God. Ephesians 2:1-3 describes the state of those who are in their sin, who are not removed or separated from sin. There, we discover sinners are

  • “dead,”
  • following the prince of the power of the air (Satan),”
  • “sons of disobedience,” living “in the passions of our flesh,”
  • “carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,”
  • and “children of wrath.”

This bleak picture describes the continual struggle of those who seek their own desires, live apart from the biblical instructions, and ultimately will end up separated from God for eternity (Revelation 20:11-15).

There is a remedy! Sin has a solution. Sin can be removed through One who has taken our sin. Jesus took the sin of the world to the cross. He died, not for our sin only, but also the sin of the whole world. Thus, “all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

That is the kicker. Many know of Jesus, have heard of Him, and even claim to follow Him. But only those who believe in Him will be saved. John tells us how we can know if we are saved, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.”

If you are unsure if you are saved from sin or not, there is a simple test:

  1. Do you recognize you are a sinner, that is you have sinned (Romans 3:10, 23)? And that because of sin you are separated from God (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3)?
  2. Do you believe Jesus is Immanuel, God become flesh, who died on the cross for your sin and rose again?
  3. Do you love believers in Jesus?

These are 3 descriptions of those who are saved. Only those who believe in Jesus are those saved. There are 3 books in the Bible that are specifically written so those who believe might know they are saved and are have eternal life. They are The Gospel of John, Galatians, and 1 John. If you are unsure, read them, and evaluate if you believe in Jesus. If so, the problem of sin has been dealt with, you are viewed by God as a sinner no longer but as a saint (one set apart), and sinning should not be the lifestyle that defines you.

What does it mean to “bear fruit?”

In John 15, Jesus and the 11 disciples (Judas having already left to betray Jesus) are gathered in the upper room partaking of the Passover feast. Jesus explained,

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Also, in verse 5:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

To bear fruit, according to the context, is to hear the words of Christ and act accordingly. Therefore, as a believer in Jesus, you should be be aware that salvation is through faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and be aware of what He teaches is the way a believer should live.

Some of Jesus’ teaching is obvious, don’t lust (Matthew 5:28, 29), don’t lie (Matthew 19:28), don’t murder (Matthew 5:22), and don’t reject Him (John 5:39, 40). However, He came to give life. As He told the Jewish people, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” There is more to bearing fruit than just doing good works or not sinning, as bearing fruit should be a lifestyle for a believer.

The abundant life is the fruitful life of following Jesus! This is summed up in John 15:7, 8:

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

Live your life as a follower (what disciple means) of Jesus, and in doing so, bear much fruit.