Disciplines of a Godly man by R Kent Hughes

 

DSC04491

Questions and a summary of the findings of my church (CPRC) Men’s Bible study

A MUST for all zealous and conscientious followers of the Lord Jesus

DISCIPLINES OF A GODLY MAN

CHAPTER   1             Questions 

1.What does ‘disciple’ mean and what do you think, having read chapter one the main thrust of this book is?

 2.What does the world of sport teach us about the Christian life? See Paul’s illustrations in 1 Cor.9:25-27  1 Tim.4:7,8  Eph.6:12.

 What words signify effort?

3.What is the difference between excelling in an earthly pursuit eg sport, musical skill or maths and growing in godliness? See 1 Cor.4:7 Rom.3:10 and Eph.2:1

4.Hughes states ‘as children of grace spiritual discipline is everything’-is this not a contradictory statement (ie is grace not unmerited favour?) see HC LD45  John 17:17 and Westminster Larger Catechism Q154

 5.What does training for an Olympic event entail?

 What is the spiritual equivalent  for the believer? i.e. spiritual discipline

Why is this important?

6.What holds us back? (Heb 12:1)What is laying aside every weight so we can run?

What holds us back or gets in the way?

7.What is the difference between legalism and discipline?

8.Why does spiritual exercise (discipline) make a difference? 1 Tim.4:7,8.  Rom 8:13. Isaiah 40:31.

And what difference?

9.What will this discipline cost? Are you willing to pay the price? Why or why not? 

10.Where is the source of power for this discipline? (2 Tim.1:7)

Can we become disciplined men of God?

Pray for yourself and the others in response to what you have learned.

 

Chapter One   Discipline for Godliness   

1)       A disciple is a learner or follower. The disciples spent three years with The Lord learning from Him and that learning, as in the mastery of any ‘discipline’ eg medicine, carpentry or driving a car, takes effort. The world of sport teaches us much about the Christian life. The word ‘exercise’ in 1 Timothy 4:7 is ‘gumnaso’ the word from which we get gymnasium, a word meaning to exercise naked ie hard,sweaty, training. Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 uses the word buffet or ‘subdue’ meaning to disable by punching on the cheek to describe his attitude to his body/sinful flesh. We also have ‘wrestle’ in Ephesians 6:12 and run in Galatians 5:7 and Hebrews 12-all signifying physical, and by inference spiritual, effort in our Christian lives.

2)       The difference between excelling in an earthly  skill or sport and growing in godliness is that innate (hereditary) ability counts in the former but in the latter we all start from scratch ie dead in total depravity then regenerated.1 Cor.4:7, Eph.2:1. But even brilliant men like Leonardo Da Vinci and Winston Churchill worked very hard at their jobs.

3)       Growth in grace is not contradictory to having spiritual discipline because God has ordained means by which we grow (see HC LD45 and WCF LC Q154-handouts available on table)

The means of grace are the Word (preached, read, studied, memorized and meditated upon-see ‘Hand’ handout),the reading of good Christian books and magazines, the sacraments, fellowship, witness  and prayer.

4)       Training for the Olympics involves diligence and dedication, commitment of time, coaching and personal discipline ending in the competition and accomplishment. Likewise in spiritual matters and in practical terms we need to have personal and family devotions around the word and prayer, regular church attendance, personal reading and preparation for BS. Our Coach is Christ who has finished the race and gone before us.The goal is our upward calling into God’s presence.

Ps 88:13-emphasises the morning being the best time to meet with God.

5)       This is important because as meat and drink are to the body so is the word to our souls and as breathing and exercise are to the body so is prayer to the soul .

6)       We are held back by weights that so easily beset us (Heb.12:1)-these are inordinate worldly affections and associations and  anxieties, the laziness and lusts of the flesh and the temptations of Satan. We naturally don’t like pain or cross-bearing. Lack of spiritiual discipline means unfruitfulness, immaturity and defeat. 2 Peter 1:5- We must rule ourselves.

7)       Legalism is self-centred man-made rules kept to earn merit with God whereas discipline consists God-centred and God-pleasing habits.

8)       Spiritual discipline as compared with physical discipline (which only benefits the short time we are on earth)yields blessing in personally being freed from lusts and vanity and has repercussions in family and church but also for the life to come where it reaps a harvest of treasure in heaven as we pray, give and build up others in their faith. (Isaiah 40:31,1 Cor.3:10-15).

9)       This discipline will cost us everything-a price we must be willing to pay because as Christ laid down His life for us we too must lose our –‘self-life’ for His life in us. It takes time and effort and consistency (running with patience the unique marathon race of life which we all have to complete).The temptation in every endurance race  is always to give up!

10)   We have God’s help by the power of His indwelling Spirit (2 Tim.1:7)-He is the Spirit of power to overcome the flesh and sin, of love- to God and others as opposed to self-love, and of a sound mind(true doctrine and self-control) .

We can all be disciplined men (and women) of God. Let us pray to this end.

 

 

Disciplines of a godly man     Chapter 2 Purity  Questions  

Helpful verses (not exhaustive)

Qu 2/3   1 John 2:15,16. Proverbs 5.1 Cor.7:5 Song of Solomon

Qu 4   1 Cor.6:18, Job 31:1

Qu 5    Romans 7 Genesis 39. 2 Samuel 11 2 Kings 9:30

Qu 6     Deut 17:17

Qu 9     Mark 6:31, 1 Tim.6:17

Qu11    Hebrews 11;25,  Proverbs 5:4,5

Qu 12   2 Samuel 12:10,11. 1 Thess 4:3-6

Qu 13   2 Thess 2:22   1 Thess 5: 17

Qu 14  Acts 24:16, Gen.5:22 1 Kings 17:1  1 Cor.10:12. 

  1. Hughes states ‘sensuality (sexual temptation) is easily the biggest obstacle to godliness among men and is wreaking havoc in the church’. Discuss

 2.       Godliness and sensuality are mutually exclusive-why? 

3.       How is sensuality used in advertising? 

4.       How can we avoid this bombardment? 

5.       Why is sexual temptation/sin so pervasive and powerful? 

6.       David had many wives (contrary to the standard for Hebrew kings).His embracing ‘socially permitted sensuality’ desensitized him and was sinful. What lessons can we learn from this?

 7. What ‘legal sensualities’ mentioned by Hughes may cause us to fall? 

Any others? 

8. How many sins did David commit around the adultery with Bathsheba? 

        9. Is relaxation ever harmful? 

        10.What does the author mean by ‘God disappears to lust-glazed eyes’? 

        11. How can something that brings such pleasure be wrong? 

         12.What were the consequences for David?

         13.In relation to Joseph’s resistance to sin how can we exercise the ‘discipline of divine  awareness’? 

          14.What can we do to keep pure in the midst of prevalent immorality and guard ourselves against these snares?

 

Disciplines of a Godly Man

Chapter 2   Purity

Our answers

1.Reading 1 Corinthians 6:9-20

Almost every church and each of us could tell a story of major lapse of a member or pastor in this area of life and much sin never is known publicly.

Loving sexual impurity necessarily means not loving God   1 John 2:15,16.

Sensual advertising is everywhere. The temptation is just to view women as sexual objects. Best NOT to even look. Job 31:1 Prov.5:20

Sexual temptation is so powerful because our old man lusts(Romans 7), there will always be wicked women (Prov.5) who will sell their bodies, and even the lustful  thought  is sin (Matthew 5:28-30).Need to deal radically with this.

David (and his successors) ignored Deut.17:17 and it brought trouble.

There are many ‘legal sensualities’ we should avoid-titillating pics in newspapers and mags, internet porn, certain TV programs, coarse humour etc. Control the ‘eye gate.’

David broke most of the ten commandments in his sin with Bathsheba and subsequent events.

Relaxation that neglects duties and is self-indulgent is sinful. There is a place for interests eg sport and hobbies as a rest from work. Mark 6:31, 1 Tim.6:17

When lust is conceived, God is forgotten.

There is no doubt that sexual sin is pleasurable (Hebrews 11:25) but the consequences are dire (Prov.5:4,5). For David it meant rebellion from his son, the death of three of his sons and the temporary loss of his kingdom.

Joseph who fled fornication is our example of the ‘discipline of Divine awareness’-‘How could I do this great sin against God?’ The means to strengthen us -daily devotion, continual prayer, gratitude. 1 Thess. 5:17, 2 Tim.2:22, Col.3:5, Acts 24:16. Making fellowship with God our number one priority and treasure.

Other thoughts-falling into sexual sin destroys our fellowship with others and usefulness in the church.

 

 

 DISCIPLINES OF A GODLY MAN

Chapter 3   Marriage

 

1.       What does the relationship of Christ and His church teach us about marriage? Eph.5:22-33

 

 

 

2.       Why do we submit to Christ?

 

        3.How do both relationships start? (think of the marriage ceremony).

 

         Why is this important.

 

4.What does ‘one flesh’ mean?

 

 

5.What three aspects of love does Hughes highlight? They all begin with ‘s’. Can you describe them and how they are manifest practically? (Acts 9:4,John 17,1 Peter 3:7).

i)

 

ii)

 

iii)

6.How can we encourage our wives’ spiritual growth?

 

7. How do we love ourselves biblically?

 

8. What is involved in true communication (in marriage)?

 

CPRC MENS BIBLE STUDY
DISCIPLINES OF A GODLY MAN
        Chapter 3 Marriage- answers

1.     Ephesians 5 along with other Scriptures teach us that the marriage relationship should reflect that of Christ and the church.

a.     It is permanent (only death breaks the marriage bond)

b.     The husband is head and exercises sacrificial leadership.

c.      The wife submits and respects her head.

d.     The relationship is entered into by taking vows (making confession) eg of fidelity and for better or worse.

2.     We should gladly submit to Christ because of His love in the cross, now and forever. Further because He is Lord and because it is best for us.

3.     Both marriage and the relationship between Christ and the church are examples of covenant love. In marriage we date, have a ceremony and then the consummation. In the Covenant we are given to Christ in eternal election, united to Him by faith in time and the consummation of our love will be at the marriage supper. In both relationships there is real commitment cf  fornicating ‘partnerships’ today.

4.     One flesh means the union of body and soul where two complimentary persons truly act as one.

5.     Love consists:

Sacrificial love-death to your own rights, time and pleasures, a suffering with your spouse and prayer for her.

Sanctifying love-mutual sanctification and exposure of selfishness.

  Self-love-devoting energy, time and creativity to the spouse as to      yourself in, for example, daily devotion, reading, food, sleep and exercise.

      6.We can encourage our wives’ spiritual growth by praying for them             (eg Paul’s prayers),share what you are learning, mutual help in              Bible study, asking her advice and opinion.

7.True communication involves real concerned listening, expressing yourself in writing, phoning or face to face talking. Spending time and sharing everything you are thinking, feeling and planning (but sometimes not everything and not all at once) (keeping a dual diary/calendar).Complimenting, exhorting, admonishing, Gifts. Dates.

 

 

 Chapter 4    Fatherhood         

1.       Children have a longing for father. Many families lack male leadership. What did you expect  and want from your father?

Did it happen? Why or why not?

 

 

2.       Attributes of our heavenly Father                                How to practice it

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

       3.Review the questions on p54.viz

 Do you criticize or build up?

 Are you overly strict?

 Are you impatient or self-controlled in dealing with them?

 Are you consistent in expectations?

 Do you keep promises?

 Do you show favouritism?

 Are you tender?

 Do  you share in discipline?

     4. How did Eli and David fail in parenting?   ! Samuel 3:11-13, and David?

  

     5. What does Proverbs 22:6 teach and does it hold true?

 

      6. Hughes says that children need to know their parents love each other? Why?

   

    7. How important is Scriptural advice (and good books) about parenting?

 

   Pray that the Spirit will empower you to practice the discipline of fatherhood.

DISCIPLINES OF A GODLY MAN      Chapter 4      Fatherhood

 

Readings Ephesians 6:1-4  and Hebrews 12:5-11                         

1.Children want closeness and secure love from their father.

For many children who have fathers they spend too little time with their children.

Many children have no father or no secure father and others are victims of divorce which is hatred.

2.

 

Attribute of our Heavenly father How to apply it
Love, continual fellowship Listen to and give time to children, embrace, pray. Love your wife.
Gentleness, tenderness Don’t bully
Knowledge and foresight Ask questions, teach, prepare and save for
Teaches Devotions, catechism work
Disciplines, warns Chastisement
Gives, comforts Wise gifts
Help and guidance Homework, advice
Head Rule
Upright and holy Example

 

 

3.We need to praise our children as much as we can and not be continually criticising.         

We must not be overly strict but patient and self –controlled and discipline quickly.

We need to be consistent in our expectations, keep our promises, not show favouritism and share the discipline with our wives.

4. Eli and David (1 Sam.3 and 1 Kings 1) did not challenge and discipline their sons with the result they rebelled and brought shame upon their fathers and they perished.

5. Many verses in Proverbs guide us on this theme eg chapter 13:24,22:6,23:13,14.29:15,17

In God’s covenant families godly training will usually mean the child grows up to keep the covenant.

6.Children need to know their parents love each other because that gives them security. Insecure and unloved children will often become self-willed rebellious gang members and promiscuous teenagers looking for love among peer group.

7. Fathers and mothers should be willing to learn from godly example, faithful preaching and good books on parenting eg Ted Tripp-good parenting is not innate (inbuilt).

Our aim…’All our children are serious Christians and want to make their lives count for Christ.’

 

 CPRC  MEN’S  BIBLE  STUDY

Disciplines of a Godly Man  Chapter 5   Discipline of Friendship

 

1.     Why do we need Christian friends?

 

 

2.     List some of the reasons and blessing of friendship?     Don’t forget  the Trinity

 

 

3.     What should friendship entail?

 

        4.What do we miss out on without close friends?

 

 

        5.What can we learn from Jesus about friendship?  (John15)

 

       6. List as many of the truths of Christian friendship that were shown by David and Jonathan?  ( 1    Samuel 14-18)

 

       7.What is the Titus touch?  (2 Corinthians 7:6,7)

 

       8 What has prayer to do with friendships?

 

       9. How important is hospitality in friendship?  (1 Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2)

 

      10. What do you look for in a friend?

 

       Are you willing to work at these attributes yourself?

       11. What would God have you do in this area of life?

 

Disciplines chapter 5  (our answers)

Friendship

Reading Colossians 2:2-19

1.Why do we need Christian friends (fellowship)?

Because as covenant people we are brought into God’s covenant-the Trinity-our God is a family (social) God existing in three Persons. We are made to reflect Him in marriage and fellowship. Genesis 1:26, 2:18. The Trinity exist in loving intimacy. John 17:21-26. Although the persons are equal yet there is a seeking of the other that is other-centred . Christ submits to and serves the Father and the Spirit glorifies Christ ie submission, sacrifice and service.

Because we belong to a body, the body of Christ and the parts can only function when joined together-just like cells glued together in the body and joints and ligaments.1 Cor 12:12. Eph 4:16.

Because in the body we have gifts to minister eg teaching, serving, administrating. Eph.4:11,12. 1 Cor.12

Because we all need love, encouragement, exhortation and support (particularly prayer). Heb.10:24,25.1 John 4:12,James 5:16, 1 Thess 5:25. The love among the members IS THE SPIRIT.

Because together we are strong. Eccles 4:12

Because we should be companions of the godly. Psalm 119:63 as opposed to the ungodly (Psalm1)

2.What should friendship entail?

Mutual desire to glorify God. Psalm 34:4

Mutual interest, care and concern. Phil.2:4,Gal. 6:2. Help, hospitality, asking questions, listening, emotional empathy. James 1:19

Mutual knowledge and communication. John 15:15.1 Thess 2:8.

Companionship.

Forgiving.

3.What do we miss without close friends?

Sense of belonging (to the local church esp)

Affirmation ,intimacy and  love.

We backslide.

Adminition (esp elders)

4. What do we learn from Christ’s friendship?

He cared for, shared with, admonished  and practically helped (fishing, breakfast, washing) the disciples. He also, called, empowered and commissioned them

He spent three years as their Companion.

He ultimately laid down His life for them-the ultimate loving act.

5. The example of David and Jonathan 1 Samuel 14-18

Unity of soul (desire for God’s glory, courage). Mutual care and love and particularly in Jonathan’s case deferring to David (giving royal clothes)  Phil 2:3 and John the Baptist. John 3:30.

Titus was able to strengthen brothers through encouraging news.

6. The importance of prayer in friendships.

You cannot really call someone a friend if you do not pray for them. It is THE means of building up friendships even when miles apart-it knows no boundaries. Note Paul and Romans (whom he had not met)and all his prayers in the epistles.

7. Hospitality is vital. 1 Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2.

8. What to look for in a friend.

Trust, loyalty, availability, resources, willingness to overlook faults. Different levels eg mutual interest eg sport but at deeper level spiritual interests/goals.

Helpful  resources: Trinity in Covenant by Prof David Engelsma and SB AUG 2012 P445

 

CPRC  Men’s Bible Study        Disciplines chapter 6      Discipline of Mind            Sept 1st (DV)

 

1.       Scripture says our character is determined by our thoughts-Prov.23:7, Mark 7:21, James 1:14,15. Why is this?

 

2.       God knows every thought of ever man-true or false?  Job 42:2, Psalm 94:11,139:2, Matt.9:4, 1 Cor.3:20.

3.       What determines how we think?

Fallen man….Psalm 10:4,Eph 4:18,Matthew 6:23,Genesis 6:5, Psalm 94:11,Romans 1:18-32.

 

 

The believer….1 Cor.2:16,Rom.12:2,3,7:21-25, Isaiah 26:3, Phil.2:4,5,2 Tim.1:7,Eph 6:10-18,2 Cor.10:3-6

 

 

4.       What admonitions are we given in Scripture about our minds?  Prov.4:23, Phil.4:8

 

 

5.       Can we control what we think about? What are the alternatives?

 

Do you agree with Hughes statement that Paul’s positives in Phil.4:8 ‘ demand a determined rejection of negative input’?

 

He says ‘a Christian mind is impossible without the discipline of refusal.’

 

6.       What does this mean in practice regarding what we watch, read, listen to and laugh at?

 

7.       How do we apply Psalm 101:2,3, Job 31:1, Matt.5:29?

 

Luther famously said..’ We cannot stop birds flying over our head but we can stop them nesting in our hair!’

              Phil 4:8 ‘Think’ means reckon, consider thoughtfully with deliberate and prolonged   contemplation                             

8.       The positives we need to continually think about are? (Ps.119:97-100)

Application?

What good Christian books (or sermons) have influenced your thinking?

In what areas of your thinking do you struggle to be disciplined? How can you grow towards wholeness (shalom/peace) in these areas? 2 Cor.7:1,10:5,Rom8:13.

 

Discipline of Mind (part 1) Questions 1-6

1. ’As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ Prov.23:7-so Scripture teaches us that our character is determined and shown by what we think about. Our thoughts tell us (and God) who we really are-they are for the most part hidden from others but not from Christ. (Luke 11:39 Psalm 139:2 Ps 94:11). It is from the inner man (heart) that thoughts come-either good or bad (Prov.12:5,Mark 7:21)

 

2. Fallen man’s thoughts are only evil continually (Gen.6:5) because he is a practical atheist (Ps.10:4) He is ignorant of God, spiritually blind, in darkness, and separated from God.(Eph.4:18).

 

3. In contrast the believer has the mind of Christ by His Spirit and is being renewed daily although he battles constantly with fleshly lusts, Satanic lies and doubts and fears. (Rom.7:7, 1 Cor.2:16.)Christ’s mind is one characterised by humility (Phil.2:5-8), love for God (Rom.5:5), love for His law (Rom.7:22) and love for His people.(1 John 4:7).

 

4. We are admonished to ‘keep our hearts’ (Prov.4:28) and ‘keep our hearts and minds’ (Phil 4:6-8) meaning our wills, motives and aim in life (by prayer v6!) and by thinking upon good things. Practically this done from input from sound preaching, reading, study and fellowship.

 

 

 

5.We are to reject evil lusts, memories, plans and imaginations and pull down any strongholds (lying arguments and self-deception) in ourselves and others.(2 Cor.10:3-6).We are also responsible for the gates of our senses (eyes, ears)ie what we watch and listen to and are to be self –controlled (2 Tim.1:7).Satan tempts us using our lusts*, and his demons inspire false teaching that can lead us astray.(1 Tim.4:1).We are given the ability to resist him and be victorious through the armour of God.( Eph.6:10-18,1 Cor. 10:13,James 4:7)

Sexual lust* is one of the most prevalent-promising short term pleasure but spoiling our relationship with God. Fornication is the one temptation we are told not to resist but to flee!

Next BS (DV) Sat Sept 22nd 8pm on Questions 6-8

 

Westminster Larger Catechism

Question 137: Which is the seventh commandment?

Answer: The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Question 138: What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.

Question 139: What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections;all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.

 

CPRC Men’s BS ‘ Disciplines of a Godly Man’ 

Discipline of the mind (part 2) Questions 7-12

7.What are these verses telling us? Psalm 101;2,3.Job 31:1 Matthew 5:29

 

8.What things are we admonished to think about and meditate upon? Phil.4:8 Psalm 119:97-100. 2 Cor. 3:18

 

What habits generally produce physical health?

 

What corresponding habits produce spiritual health?

 

9.In what areas of mind do you struggle? How can you grow?

 

Can there be strongholds needing broken down in a believer’s life?

10.What constitutes temptation and what are the steps Satan uses? Genesis 3. James 1:12-14

 

 

11.How is temptation good for us?

 

12.How can we help one another be victorious over temptation?

1 Cor.10:12,13 James 5:16 1 John 1:9

 

Why should we specially pray for church elders and ministers?

 

 

7. The verses (Psalm 101:2,3 Job 31:1 and Matthew 5:29) admonish us concerning what we look at-we must be careful and indeed ruthless with our eye ‘gate’ eg pornography, females we see on the street. Why? We don’t want to offend our God and lose close fellowship with Him and if we are married we must be content and thankful for our spouse and have no need to look elsewhere!

8. We should think about the Scriptures and good Reformed and Christian books. Psalm.119:97-100. 2 Cor.3:18 Psalm 48:9 Rom.12:3.The Word hand (which holds on to the Bible tightly consists of five fingers corresponding to hearing, reading, studying, memorising and meditating (thumb).

Physical health is produced by good food, fresh air, exercise, sleep and friends and relationships-the spiritual equivalents are the taking in of Scripture, prayer, fellowship and witness.

9. It was generally agreed that lust was probably the major area in which we struggle to control our minds but alongside that are spiritual laziness, wrong attitudes to fellow believers and unforgiveness. (Eph.4:27).There may yet be ‘strongholds’ of sinful habits, thought patterns and sinful motives in the believer and the answer to them stronger truthful arguments that can pull them down. 2 Cor.10:3-6. The Gospel is logical and reasonable. We are admonished to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. 2 Cor.7:1,Rom.7:22,23.8:6 and 12-15.Col.3:2.There has to be a conscious putting off of the carnal old man and a putting on of the new man.(Eph.4:22-27) We have the mind of Christ-our new spiritual nature to which we must submit. When we backslide or get into a sinful rut only God can restore us. 2 Tim.2:24,25. James 5:15-20. Proverbs 20:12.

10. Satan has not changes his methods from antiquity (2 Cor.2:11).

Four steps to sin: a) Desire-inordinate lust of the eyes or flesh or sowing to sinful pride-for pleasure, revenge etc Gen 3. James 1:14,4:1,2. Desire to overindulge-sex, food, sleep, to possess-covetousness, or impress (make a show…..’you shall be like God’

b) Doubt-‘Did God say…’ Heb.3:12.

c) Deception-a lie-‘You shall not die..’’ no-one will ever know’ ‘ it’s only a little sin’

d) Disobedience-the sinful deed is done.

What makes people suicide bombers, attend mass, wear amulets, smoke, get drunk, take drugs, fornicate, believe false religions-LIES! (2 Thess.2:11).Temptation and testing is inevitable. We are all alike (1 Cor.10:12,13.Heb.4:15,16). Satan knows our weaknesses. Watch and pray (Matt.26:41)

Self- discipline is basically ‘teaching yourself’ to do the right thing, your duty rather than what you feel like.

Temptation is good for us. Luther said they were his masters in divinity. When tested and tried and we come out victorious we are purified, our character develops and our dependence on God grows.(1 Peter 1:6,7)The fruit of the Spirit ripen slowly. Eg if God wants us to learn patience or integrity he will try our patience and we will be tempted to be dishonest.

11. We can help one another be victorious by sharing our weaknesses and sins and by praying for each other.(James 5:16).This is especially true of our church leaders who are our standard bearers.

The armour of God is our defence against doubt and fear (shield of faith and helmet of salvation), accusations (breastplate of righteousness), despair and lies (belt of truth, sword of the Spirit) and all anxiety/need for wisdom (prayer without ceasing).Eph.6:10-18).To sum up to resist temptation and walk in the Spirit we need true doctrine, zeal, a good conscience and the fullness of the Spirit.

Disciplines     Chapter 7     Devotion      Questions

1. Why is prayer an important part of the Christian walk? What forms should it take? How can it be encouraged?

 

2. Write down what you think of meditation?

 

What can it do for us?

 

3. Why is confession an important part of devotion?

 

4. How does God knowing all that you think and do affect you?

 

5. Do you make time to hear His voice and commune with Him?

 

6. When is best?

 

7. What stops you?

 

8. What are you going to do about it?

 

9. What facets of true worship are found in Psalm 146-150, Luke 1:46-55, Revelation 4,5.Isaiah 6:8 Romans 12:1.

 

10. What do you think of the list of hymn writers on page 91?

 

11. What does Hughes say is the ultimate act of worship? (p92-3)

 

OUR PRIVILEGE

Belgic Confession, Article 26; Day 5: Access to Divine Majesty
by Rev. Martyn McGeown

Romans 5:2: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.”

Our first examination of this beautiful article of our Belgic Confession concentrated on the negative: We have no access to God. But, says Peter, “Christ also hath once suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18). With our only Mediator and Advocate, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, uniting the two natures in one person, we have access into the very presence of God. Thus the Son of God became man “that we men might have access to the divine Majesty.”

Access to the divine Majesty means, first, that we can stand in God’s presence without fear. We do not need to be terrified to approach God as if He would destroy us if we come too close. We have access. We have right and ability to approach God. In fact, and here is the wonder of it all, we have a greater and freer and richer access to God than even the angels. We have the same access to God as Christ Himself does. Perhaps you would like to meet someone very important. What you need is someone who will introduce you, who will recommend you. But, we have the very Son of God who introduces us to the Father. By His work as Mediator (His perfect life and atoning death, as well as His resurrection, ascension, rule at God’s right hand and continual intercession) He gains us access to God.

Access to the divine Majesty means, second, that we have fellowship with God. Think of a mighty king. His servants have access to him: They may approach him to serve him. The common citizens do not have that access. But our access is more than that of a servant. That is the access which angels have. Our access is the access of children to a father. That is a sweeter, closer, more intimate access. The children sit on the father’s lap, whisper in his ear, sit at his table and share his life. That, to speak reverently, is the kind of access we have through our Mediator. We enjoy the Father’s love; He draws us into fellowship and communion; He calls us to pray to Him; He speaks to us in the Word; He lives in our hearts by His Spirit; He showers us with blessings; and He has promised that we shall dwell with Him. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).

This access is ours because Christ has purchased it for us. We, who are poor, guilty sinners, Christ has justified, and the Father has adopted. The adoption papers are signed in the blood of Christ, our Elder Brother, who has brought us into the Father’s house. And we enjoy that access by faith, by faith in Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate!

 

 

Disciplines Chapter 7 Devotion

1. Why is prayer an important part of the Christian walk? What forms should it take? How can it be encouraged?

 

2. Write down what you think of meditation?

 

What can it do for us?

 

3. Why is confession an important part of devotion?

 

4. How does God knowing all that you think and do affect you?

 

5. Do you make time to hear His voice and commune with Him?

 

6. When is best?

 

7. What stops you?

 

8. What are you going to do about it?

 

9. What facets of true worship are found in Psalm 146-150, Luke 1:46-55, Revelation 4,5.Isaiah 6:8 Romans 12:1.

 

10. What do you think of the list of hymn writers on page 91?

 

11. What does Hughes say is the ultimate act of worship? (p92-3)

 

OUR PRIVILEGE

Belgic Confession, Article 26; Day 5: Access to Divine Majesty
by Rev. Martyn McGeown

Romans 5:2: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.”

Our first examination of this beautiful article of our Belgic Confession concentrated on the negative: We have no access to God. But, says Peter, “Christ also hath once suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18). With our only Mediator and Advocate, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, uniting the two natures in one person, we have access into the very presence of God. Thus the Son of God became man “that we men might have access to the divine Majesty.”

Access to the divine Majesty means, first, that we can stand in God’s presence without fear. We do not need to be terrified to approach God as if He would destroy us if we come too close. We have access. We have right and ability to approach God. In fact, and here is the wonder of it all, we have a greater and freer and richer access to God than even the angels. We have the same access to God as Christ Himself does. Perhaps you would like to meet someone very important. What you need is someone who will introduce you, who will recommend you. But, we have the very Son of God who introduces us to the Father. By His work as Mediator (His perfect life and atoning death, as well as His resurrection, ascension, rule at God’s right hand and continual intercession) He gains us access to God.

Access to the divine Majesty means, second, that we have fellowship with God. Think of a mighty king. His servants have access to him: They may approach him to serve him. The common citizens do not have that access. But our access is more than that of a servant. That is the access which angels have. Our access is the access of children to a father. That is a sweeter, closer, more intimate access. The children sit on the father’s lap, whisper in his ear, sit at his table and share his life. That, to speak reverently, is the kind of access we have through our Mediator. We enjoy the Father’s love; He draws us into fellowship and communion; He calls us to pray to Him; He speaks to us in the Word; He lives in our hearts by His Spirit; He showers us with blessings; and He has promised that we shall dwell with Him. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).

This access is ours because Christ has purchased it for us. We, who are poor, guilty sinners, Christ has justified, and the Father has adopted. The adoption papers are signed in the blood of Christ, our Elder Brother, who has brought us into the Father’s house. And we enjoy that access by faith, by faith in Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCIPLINES OF A GODLY MAN       Chapter 7   Devotion     Answers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.There are many reasons prayer are an essential part of a Christian’s devotional life:

a)Christ commands us to pray-ask, seek, knock. Matthew 6 with promises. 1 Tim.2:1 and this despite the fact He knows our needs before we ask AND when praying for the salvation of others, His eternal decree of election and reprobation.Rom.10:1

b)We need to pray to resist temptation Matthew 26:41 and get wisdom. James 1:5

c)Prayer glorifies Christ as we show our dependence and our faith and glory in His answers. Ps.116:1,2. Ps. 65:2

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath and covenant conversation with our heavenly Father.

Prayer may take the form of a set aside time or be extemporaneous (spontaneous) see Gen.24, Neh.2:4. We can pray about anything and everything. Phil.4:6,7. Ps.51:6 we should be absolutely honest with God and pray with heart.

Aspects of prayer: ACTS Adoration(Praise),Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (asking)

2. Meditation is mulling over the word which we have heard preached, or read, or studied or memorised with a view to applying it to ourselves. Ps.1:1,2 Ps.119:59,60. Ps 139.Ps 63.

Why is Scripture vital in devotions?

a)It converts us continually Ps.19:7.Rom 12:1

b)It gives wisdom Ps.119:97,98

c)It imparts faith Rom.10:14

d)It is a mirror and face of Christ that sanctifies us. John 17:7. 2 Cor.3:18 James 1:22-25.

3 Confession is important because we must keep a clean slate with God for Him to answer. Acts 24:15. Ps.66:18. Prov.28:13,14. 1 John 1:9

4. The fact God knows all about us humbles us, comforts us and should make us reverence Him.

5-8.We should make daily time to meet with Him as the Psalmist, and Christ and Daniel. Ps.55:17,Ps.5:3,Ps 88:9,Ps.63:1.The morning is best when you are freshest and have the day ahead.

Keep a prayer list-family, friends, church, missions and the wider world. Use mobile phone or computer.

9-11.Psalms 146-150, Luke 1:46-55,Rev.4,5. Isaiah 6:8. Rom 12:1,2.Heb.13:15 These verses reflect two great truths-first that praise is a sacrifice and so is submission and consecration to God, indeed it is the ultimate act of worship.’ Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee.’

What privileged people we are to have access to an all powerful, loving, Heavenly Father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disciplines      Chapter 8      Prayer     Questions

Reading Ephesians 6:10-20 and HC LD 45

1.Why is prayer of primary importance in our pilgrimage and warfare?

 

2. What is praying in the Spirit? Jude 20. See also Matt.6, Eph.1, Rom.10:1, Rev 7:9

 

3.Why is persevering in prayer emphasised?      Luke 18:1-5

 

4.Is it possible to be continually praying?    1 Thess.5:17

 

5. What various petitions can you make for yourself (and others)? Lord’s prayer, James 1:5, 1 Tim.2:2.

 

6.What about corporate prayer?  Acts 1:14, Exodus 17, Matthew 26:40.

 

7.Why is intercession for our fellow believers vital? And perhaps especially our ministers? Eph.1, 6:19,20

What should we pray for them?

 

 

8. Who should be on our prayer list?

 

9. What preparations are required for this discipline?

10. What is prayer?

 

11.Why is it a battle to pray?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disciplines of a Godly Man     Chapter   8      PRAYER

 

1.Prayer is of the essence of our covenant relationship with our Father it is COMMUNION, WORSHIP (Heb.13:15), (HC LD 45),WARFARE (Eph 6:10-20,Matt.26:41)and WORK (and a good work-provided it is 1) in line with God’s commands 2)out of faith and 3)for God’s glory.

2.Praying in the Spirit is praying according to the word of God. We pray for daily physical needs-food, warmth, shelter, job, healing and spiritual needs-heartfelt adoration, confession, thanks and supplication for all spiritual blessings for ourselves and our brethren (Thy will be done’-His precepts), ‘Thy Kingdom come’-labourers for the harvest, the salvation of the Jews and elect representatives of every tribe and nation, the persecuted, our authorities. Jude 20. Matthew 6.Paul’s prayers eg Eph.Phil and Col.1,Matt.9:38. Rev.7:9 Rom.10:1.Heb.13:3.1 Tim.2:2.Ezek.22:30.James 5:16.

3. Persevering in prayer is emphasised (Luke 18:1-5) because God may make us wait for answers Hab.2:3 and Isaiah 30:18-often with the purpose of changing us.

4.It is possible to be continually in an a prayerful attitude and send spontaneous prayers Godward. 1 Thess. 5:17

5.Lawful petitions we can pray for ourselves and our brethren are as above-physical and spiritual needs. Among the spiritual are: for the Spirit, deliverance from evil, wisdom, a worthy walk, thanks for the brethren, revelation, sincerity, love, hope, fruit, patience and longsuffering, strength, and peace in the church. Matthew 6.Eph.1:16-19.3:14-19.James 1:5.

6.Corporate prayer is important and there are many examples in Acts and promises attached.eg Acts 1:14,Matt.18:19. We should do more-find a partner or partners.

7.Intercession is vital for our fellow pilgrims and church leaders /pastors because we need grace daily as we are daily under attack and more especially pastors, and their preaching/teaching will only be effective by the Spirit. Paul’s prayers are an excellent model and we should remember our marriages, parents/children and our witness.

8.Prayer lists are a useful aide-memoire and could include church consistory, church members, family, unsaved friends, those in authority, missions and  the persecuted.

9.Preparations for prayer-make a time, pick an undisturbed place and have a stimulus (Bible reading, good book).’Have an appointment with God and keep it.’ Corrie Ten Boom.

10.Prayer is pouring out your heart to God. It is a sacrifice, self-denial, admission of need,love for others, worship, warfare, SPIRITUAL WORK-these are reasons why it is hard and a battle to get down to it! It is against our flesh (natural pride and self-reliance). Remember that no spiritual good is ever done without the word and prayer which is why the apostles ‘gave themselves’ to these disciplines. True prayer needs to be heartfelt and is not measured by oratory or length. ‘The effectual fervent prayerof a righteous man availeth much.’ James 5:16

 

 

1.There are many reasons prayer are an essential part of a Christian’s devotional life:

a)Christ commands us to pray-ask, seek, knock. Matthew 6 with promises. 1 Tim.2:1 and this despite the fact He knows our needs before we ask AND when praying for the salvation of others, His eternal decree of election and reprobation.Rom.10:1

b)We need to pray to resist temptation Matthew 26:41 and get wisdom. James 1:5

c)Prayer glorifies Christ as we show our dependence and our faith and glory in His answers. Ps.116:1,2. Ps. 65:2

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath and covenant conversation with our heavenly Father.

Prayer may take the form of a set aside time or be extemporaneous (spontaneous) see Gen.24, Neh.2:4. We can pray about anything and everything. Phil.4:6,7. Ps.51:6 we should be absolutely honest with God and pray with heart.

Aspects of prayer: ACTS Adoration(Praise),Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (asking)

2. Meditation is mulling over the word which we have heard preached, or read, or studied or memorised with a view to applying it to ourselves. Ps.1:1,2 Ps.119:59,60. Ps 139.Ps 63.

Why is Scripture vital in devotions?

a)It converts us continually Ps.19:7.Rom 12:1

b)It gives wisdom Ps.119:97,98

c)It imparts faith Rom.10:14

d)It is a mirror and face of Christ that sanctifies us. John 17:7. 2 Cor.3:18 James 1:22-25.

3 Confession is important because we must keep a clean slate with God for Him to answer. Acts 24:15. Ps.66:18. Prov.28:13,14. 1 John 1:9

4. The fact God knows all about us humbles us, comforts us and should make us reverence Him.

5-8.We should make daily time to meet with Him as the Psalmist, and Christ and Daniel. Ps.55:17,Ps.5:3,Ps 88:9,Ps.63:1.The morning is best when you are freshest and have the day ahead.

Keep a prayer list-family, friends, church, missions and the wider world. Use mobile phone or computer.

9-11.Psalms 146-150, Luke 1:46-55,Rev.4,5. Isaiah 6:8. Rom 12:1,2.Heb.13:15 These verses reflect two great truths-first that praise is a sacrifice and so is submission and consecration to God, indeed it is the ultimate act of worship.’ Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee.’

What privileged people we are to have access to an all powerful, loving, Heavenly Father.

 

 

 

Disciplines  of a Godly Man      Chapter   9   WORSHIP                   (for Sat Nov 24th2012)

 

1.      Why is worship so important?

 

2.      Who is worship for?

 

3.      How should our worship be governed?

 

 

 

4.      Is Christ present?                  Verses to prove this?

 

 

5.      What  is the ultimate priority of our lives?

 

       5.How should we prepare for worship on the Lord’s day?

         Practically?

         Spiritually?

6.      What does in spirit and truth mean? (John 4:24)

 

7.      In worship services where would we disagree with Hughes?  Pages 116/117

 

8.      What are some helpful practical hints he gives? Pages 118/119

 

9.      What is worship according to Paul in Romans 12:1?

 

10.  Think of some instances in your life when you worshipped/gave God special thanks?

 

11.  Look at Genesis 24:26 ff and Acts 16:25-what can we learn from these verses? (1 Thess 5:18)

 

12.  What motivates you to worship?

 

 DISCIPLINES     Chapter 9    Worship

1.     Worship is of prime importance to the Christian because 1) It is our calling and a command John 4:23.Psalm 45:11.2) We owe it to God 3) It glorifies Him 4) It is of the essence of communion with God Ps.95:6.

2.     Worship centres on God and it pleases Him. Our being blessed is a by-product.

3.     Public worship should be governed by the ‘Regulative principle’ which states we only do what is expressly commanded in Scripture namely: Call to worship and blessing (votum),Psalm singing, prayer, Scripture reading, giving alms/offering, preaching/teaching, doxology.

4.     Christ is present in public worship. Matt.28:20, Ps.22:22,25.40:9,10.Heb.2:12.Rev.2:1. When He is not (as in many departing and apostate churches) ‘Ichabod’ may be written over their doors-‘The glory has departed’.

5.     The ultimate priority of our lives is to walk in communion with God and this is expressed in daily devotion, worship, thanksgiving and seeking first His Kingdom. Whatever we’re doing we can be occupied with God.

6.     Preparing for the Lord’s Day entails getting as much prepared the day before and getting to bed for enough sleep. Prayer for the preaching, service and fellowship is important.

7.     Worshipping ‘In spirit and truth’ means wholeheartedly, by the Spirit and according to Scripture. The opposite is hypocrisy. Mark 7:6,7.

8.     We differ from the author regarding hymn singing and choirs, both of which we don’t do.

9.     In the preaching, taking notes helps and prayer to apply the Scriptures.

10.                        Worship is lifelong consecration. Rom.12:1.The worship service should glorify God and humble man.

11.                        There are many instances in our lives where we have worshipped and thanked God eg for a wife, home, children, health, church, good books.

12.                         Genesis 24:26 and Acts 15:16 are good examples of spontaneous praise and worship. Our thanks should be perpetual.

13.                        What should motivate our worship is the Spirit but also God’s greatness, our salvation at the cross, and all that God has done for us and given us.

 

 

CPRC  MEN’S    BS    Chapter 10    INTEGRITY

 

Reading Eph.4:15-32

1.      We listed some recent public examples of lying and stealing in society and acknowledged that this is the outworking of man’s total depravity Rom.3:4,13, Psalm 116:11 and the fact their father is the arch thief and liar Satan. We also shared some of our past sins in these areas.

2.      Integrity is wholeness and entireness, honesty in all speech and dealings. Psalm 15 and 51:6. It involves speech, work, obeying the law, living according to Biblical convictions whatever the cost, keeping promises. Prov.15:4, 20:6,7.

In Scripture we have numerous examples eg Paul (Acts 24:16, 2 Tim.3:10), David, Job (2:3.27:5), Joseph.

         3. God wants truth and integrity in His people because it reflects His character. John  14:6,  Prov.12:22,20:7,10 Ps.78:72. The church cannot prosper if there is a lack of it and It also is a good witness. We may need to pray for discernment if we suspect we are being lied to or ripped off. Law-breaking is so prevalent especially among men because they are selfish, materialistic, often have no social conscience, no fear of God and are influenced by the media. When they do decent things it is because it benefits them. Types of lying: deliberate (to save face) eg Peter, half truth, lying to protect (Rahab), exaggeration, omission (keeping quiet).

 4. Hughes states that declining morals threaten the survival of life as we know it. He is right because global economic collapse will have dire consequences. Nazism, communism, Islam and terrorism, evolutionism, abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality all have dire consequences for society. The corruption of those in power affects those they rule.

 5. Churchgoers’ ethics seem no different from society at large because a large majority are hypocrites, they do not benefit from true preaching of the gospel or Biblical teaching which alone brings true repentance and godliness.

 6. Examples of those judged by God for lying are Satan, Ananias/Sapphira, and Gehazi (Elisha’s servant),

 7. Biblical examples of integrity (see 2 above)

 8. Benefits of integrity- honour,(1 Samuel 2:30),clear conscience, godly character, good witness, intimacy with God. Faithfulness in small things will lead to greater responsibility (Luke 16:10-11, 19:17). Couples who were judged faithful and entrusted with awesome responsibility were Zacharias/Elizabeth and Mary/Joseph.

 9. The greatest benefit of integrity to me personally is maintenance of fellowship with God.

 

 

 

 

 

DISCIPLINES       Chapter 10       Integrity

1.Corruption, lying and stealing are endemic in our society. In politics, workplace, home and churches. Can you give some examples and also Scriptures to account for it.

 

 How about examples in your own life?

2.What is integrity?                                                                                                     

What does it involve?

Can you find Scriptures that commend it and also give examples of those who exhibited it?

 

3.Why does God want truth and integrity in His people?

 

Do we need to pray for discernment in our dealing with people?

Why is law-breaking so prevalent, especially among men?

 

4.Is Hughes right when he says declining moral ethics threaten the survival of life as we know it? Think back to the original lie and the ultimate liar.

 

5. Why are the ethics of churchgoers no different from society at large?

6.Give some examples of those who were judged by God for lying?

7.Give some Biblical examples of men of integrity.

8.What are the benefits of integrity according to Hughes? Acts 24:10, Ps.51:6. Luke 19:17

9.What benefits mean most to you?

 

CPRC   MEN’S   BS    DISCIPLINES    CHAPTER  11    THE TONGUE

  (D.V. Saturday   January 5th   in the church)

Reading   James   3

 

1.Apart from the fabricated lie mentioned by Hughes which he says brought about the Boxer Rebellion in China think of other words that have brought havoc to nations and the world. Think of words spoken AND written.

 

2. What are some wicked uses of the tongue and where in Scripture are they mentioned?

 

 

 

3. What positive effects can the tongue (words) have?

 

 

 

4. Think of words that have helped or hurt you in the past?

 

5. Describe how even prayers can be sinful?

 

6. What are the four images of the tongue in James 3? Which one speaks most to you?

7. To do some more study you could look up LIPS, MOUTH or TONGUE in a concordance.

 

 

 DISCIPLINES  11  The Tongue   Answers

  Reading  James 3

 

1.       Many speeches and books have brought untold misery or blessing to the world. Misery-Hitler’s speeches and ‘Mein Kampf’, Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’, Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’.

Blessing-The Scriptures, Luther’s 95 theses, Calvin’s Institutes. Death and life are in the power of the tongue Prov. 18:21.

2.Wicked uses of the tongue. Note that the tongue is the expression of the heart /mind and a test of our religion.Matt.15:11.James 3:2.1 Peter 3:10.Prov.10:19.

Backbiting-to speak ill of someone in their absence. Rom.1:30

Blasphemy-to speak contemptuously of God or sacred things. esp against the Spirit Matt.12:31.Mark 3:29.2 Tim.3:2.

Boasting. Prov.27:1,James 4:13-15,1 Cor.4:7.cf Daniel 7:8 and Jer.9:23,24 and all false religions of merit Eph.2:8,9.

Degrading humour-Eph.5:4

Flattery-insincere praise given in order to take advantage.Prov.26:28,29:5.Psalm 5:9,12:3,4.James 5:12.Rom.3:13,14

Gossip-malicious or scandalous tales. Prov.16:28,18:8,17:9,26:20

Judging (sinfully) Rom.14:10-15.James 4:11.Matthew 7:7.

Lies-Col.3:9,

Murmuring and complaining (eg weather!)-Jude 16. Israelites in wilderness.

Nagging-Prov.27:15

Revenge-Rom.12:19.

Slander-false malicious report.Prov.10:18,1 Tim.3:11.

Sowing strife-1 Tim.6:4.James 3:14. Prov. 6:19

Swearing/cursing Rom.3:14.Matt.5:34. James 5:12

2.      Good uses of the tongue

Comfort Rom.15:3,4.II Cor.1:4,1 Thess.2:11,5:11

Confession 1 John 1:9

Encourage Acts 4:36,

Forgiving Prov.17:9,Matt.6:12.

Gospel /teaching  truth/wisdom Rom.10: 9,14,15 Acts 18:26.Prov.10:21.2 Tim.2:2.Psalm 37:30.

Judging (rightly)-sin/false teaching. James 5:19,20. Matt.18:15.

Knowledge Job 33:3

Love/Showing interest Phil 2:3,4.

Silence Acts 8:32 Prov.13:3.

Truth Eph 4:15.

WORSHIP/PRAISE Heb.13:15. Psalm 63:3.

3.      Even prayer can be sinful. Matthew 18:11 if it is spoek self-righteously or to draw attention to ourselves/for the praise of men.

4.      The four images to describe the tongue. Fire-which warms or burns. A rudder or bit that controls a ship or horse. A spring-which spouts fresh or salty water. A tree that brings forth different fruits. It was mentioned that God decrees all the word we say. Prov. 16:1.

 

DISCIPLINES  Chapter 12  Discipline of Work        

  Sat Jan 26th 2013

 

1.     What is the attitude of most people to their work?

 

 

2.     What two sins regarding work do Hughes and Scripture warn us against?

 

 

3.     What Scriptural principles and verses prove that work has dignity and   worth?

 

4.     How is the curse on work experienced today?

 

5.     Does our work have meaning?

 

 

6.     How and why?

 

7.     What should be the Christian’s  attitude to work?

 

8.     What about retirement?

 

 

9.     Are there one or two workmates or ex-colleagues we could pray for?

 

 

 Chapter   12                          Discipline of Work –answers

Readings   Psalm 104:23,24  and Colossians 3:22-25

1. Most unbelievers see work as something they have to bear, a means of livelihood but in which they will do the minimum, watch the clock, get their money and run!

2. Both laziness (see Proverbs 6;6,13;4,24and 22:29) and overwork are sins. By overwork we mean doing so many hours, or with a desire to be rich or reach higher status, that we neglect  God, our church or family and hence focus on self rather than God’s glory. This is exemplified by the rich farmer who when laying up goods for himself suddenly died. By contrast, if we are rich toward God He may entrust us with riches and the early church all who were well off shared liberally.

3. Work has dignity and worth-it was given to Adam (Gen.2:15) before the fall, commanded by Moses (Exod.20).We all have a calling (1 Cor.7:20,21). God continually works (without lifting a finger and never tires!) Christ worked. We work as stewards of God on this earth, looking after things or people. We serve Christ. (Col.3:23, Eccles. 9:10, 1 Cor.10:31)

4.The curse is felt in work in the fact that everything decays, work is tiring, sinful people give us hassle and their lack of diligence leads to things going wrong, harm to and  more work for others, they may be corrupt, unaccepting of our good advice and over-demanding. Much is futile and leaves no legacy or leaves it to foolish children.

5. Our work has meaning in that we serve God and supply the needs of our fellow men in society, the family and church. We are witnesses at work. Paul worked to support his ministry. Bezaleel and Aholiab by the Spirit , did beautiful work in the service of God making the tabernacle (which would ultimately decay).

6. We are building into:  a)our children’s  lives  b) the lives of fellow saints. We build up stronger bonds (ligaments in the body) by caring, sharing, praying for and building them up. (Eph.4:12,28).We may be used in adding to the church.

7. Our attitude should be: a) we should work (2 Thess. 3:10) b) It is a God-given call (just as much as a call to teaching ministry) c) Work heartily (1.Cor.15:10) d) do it to a high standard (Christ did all things well.( Mark 7:37) e) It is a sphere of witness.

8. In retirement we still work-we can study, pray, serve voluntarily in society and church.

9. At work, we should pray for colleagues and if God opens opportunities and hearts, they will show interest.

 

 CPRC  Mens’  Bible Study     Chapter  13   

  Discipline of perseverance

 

1.     What is the Biblical meaning of ‘the perseverance of the saints’?

See Canons of Dort Head 5.

 

2.     Which churches deny this truth?

 

 

3.     Write down some Bible verses that encourage you to persevere?

 

4.     From Hebrews 12:1,2 what should encourage us to persevere?

 

5.     In the necessary steps to persevere of what must we divest ourselves?

 

6.     What can we learn from physical running races that apply to the Christian life?

 

7.     Why must we focus on Christ and keep Him in mind?

 

 

 

8.     What enabled Him to persevere?

 

 

9.     What must we not do?

 

 

 Answers at  CPRC  Mens’  Bible  Study    ‘Perseverence’

Firstly addendum to last week. God delegates work-the work of being stewards of His earth eg farming. The work of ruling eg government, the law. Pastoral work-under-shepherds in the church.Parenting.

Reading Colossians 2:1-7.

1.      Perseverance is our preservation in faith so that we persevere till we get to glory. So well described in detail in Canons of Dort Head 5 esp art.8.

2.      Many churches deny this truth eg all free-willers and Arminians, Wesleyans, Methodists and many Pentecostals.

3.      Scriptures that encourage us:

God’s work Our responsibility ‘continue’
Psalm 136 John 8:31,
Phil.1:6 2 Tim.3:14
Eph.1:14,2:10 Acts 13:43,14:22
Romans 8:28-39 I Cor.15:58
John 10,28,29 Col1:23,4:2

4.      Hebrews 12:1,2 encourage us to persevere in that Christ has gone ahead and we being in Him, shall follow, we cannot fail! All the other saints made it! Christ finished and so did Paul (2 Tim.4:7)

5.      To persevere we need to divest ourselves of sin (esp. besetting sins) by mortifying it and also of weights which are wrong priorities in our lives to which we give inordinate amounts of time or effort or that enslave us or take God’s place.

6.      Paul teaches us that running in the Christian race is a marathon requiring endurance. We MUST finish to win the prize. Each has a different individual race (there are many different types of marathon!), runs at different speeds and has different abilities and opportunities for service. There has to be effort and there is always some pain but the finish is worth looking forward to!

7.      We must focus on Christ because He is the forerunner, goal, our example and guarantee. He resisted unto blood.(Rom.8:17).His attitude was to glorify God and to depend on God. We are His servants who need to continually look to Him for guidance (Psalm 123:2,25:4),pray for His help (John 15:5)

8.      He  persevered by His continual dependence in prayer, on the Word and His Father’s command (John 10:18,14:31.Psalm 40),on the Spirit enabling, empowering and comforting. His focus on the joy, glory, inheritance that awaited Him-His marriage to His bride for whom He died.

9.      We must not compare ourselves with others as Peter did (with John 21:21),take our eyes off Christ (as he also did on the sea),fear man (as he did),be ashamed of the cross (as he was!). I Cor. 4:7,II Cor. 10:12,Phil.2:3,4)and positively we must esteem others better and consider their interests.

 

 

 CPRC  Men’s Bible study     ‘Discipline of Church’   Chap 14 S at March 9th 8pm

1.Why do so many believers not join a good church?

 

2.Why is this wrong?

 

3.’God is our Father and the church our Mother’ (Cyprian)-do you agree?

 

4. Why is a churchless Christian stunted and incomplete?

 

5.’Outside the church there is no salvation’ (Luther)-discuss.

 

6.Give some reasons from Hebrews 10:24,25 and 12:22-24 why it is vital to be a member of a true church.

 

 

7.Why is commitment vital to the institution of marriage and the church?

 

8. ‘The church must be at the centre of your life’-agree?

9.What disciplines does Kent Hughes say are involved in Church membership?

 

10.How does regular attendance and participation in church life strengthen your relationship with God and others.

 

11. What are the strengths and weaknesses of our church?

 

 CPRC  Men’s  BS   Discipline of Church  Ch14.(ANSWERS)

 

1. Many believers don’t join true churches because:

a) there are none near them and they either cannot or will not move.

b) they prefer their independence and are unaware of the mandate.

c) they hold misplaced loyalty to a false church.

d) their lives are compromised by sin

e) they are ignorant of the marks of a true church.

2. Refusing to become a member of a true church is sinful because:

a) it flies in the face of apostolic teaching

b) it means they have no oversight (obey those who rule over you), care, fellowship and will likely backslide or grow cold.

c) they lack the preaching and sacraments which are commanded. (‘hear ye Him’,’ baptise’, ‘take eat’)and are the chief means of grace.

d)they disobey the fourth commandment regarding worship and the Sabbath.

3. The church is our ‘Mother’ and we all need a mother.

a) in most cases a church was the instrument of our rebirth    Ps.87:5 we are adopted children, called out of the world and into the church.

b) we need Mother’s milk  1 Peter 2:2

c) we need the love, care and admonition of Mother.

4. A churchless (or house group) Christian is stunted and incomplete because:

a) salvation (ongoing) depends on true preaching, sacraments, fellowship, body life* ,use of gifts and oversight. Eph.4.  1 Cor 12. The image of temple and body requires joining of parts together.

b)covenant life begins with commitment and public confession (or infant baptism)

c)assurance is lacking.

5.We believe you can be a Christian outside a true church but you may be a disobedient one and the process of salvation depends on membership. Many who leave true churches or never join are not true believers .1 John 2:19.

6. The verses in Hebrews show reasons why it is vital to be a member:

a) mutual exhortation to love and good works

b)assurance growing as we meet and have foretaste of glory (Jerusalem above) where we are united to the church triumphant, are with angels, and God in Christ is present.

c) we obey the ‘one another’ ministries and we have assurance by the sacraments (blood of sprinkling).

7. Commitment is vital because we make public covenant promises for life in both cases (Marriage and church membership). Christ is our Exemplar-He covenants unconditionally and eternally with His people. We are betrothed (as good as married in Jewish understanding) to Him now and the consummation occurs at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

8. Church must be the centre of our lives because Christ is central. Col.1:28.

9. The discipline involved in church membership are: membership, regular attendance, giving, participation, love and prayers. God’s love is experienced in the church 1 John 4:12. James 5:16.

10. Regular attendance and participation strengthens spiritual life in that:

a) we are exposed to the means of grace and learn and apply Biblical truth. Heb. 11:6.

b) we build relationships.

c) we are being obedient .

Body life: *Here are most of the ‘one another ‘phrases in NT.

LOVE John 13:34, PREFER Rom.12:10, EDIFY Rom.14:19,ADMONISH  Rom.15:14,GREET Rom.16:16,CARE 1 Cor.12:25,SERVE Gal.5:13,FORBEAR Eph.4:2, BE KIND,FORGIVE Eph.4:32,COMFORT 1 THess.4:18, EXHORT  Heb.3:13  PRAY FOR  James 5:16, BE HOSPITABLE I Peter 4:9, BE SUBJECT I Peter 5:5, SHARE Acts 2:45.

 

 

 CPRC  Men’s BS   Discipline of Leadership   Ch 15    March 30th 2013 (DV)

 

1.What seven qualities of Joshua made him an excellent leader?

 

 

 

 

2. Name at least five men who were given a vision of God’s glory?

 

3. Why must leaders be men of prayer and devotion?

 

4. What other qualities does Hughes mention toward the end of the chapter?

 

5. Do you envy any leader?

6. In what areas does God want you to express more faith?

 

7. What leadership qualities of Stephen are mentioned in Acts 6:3,5?

 

8. Why is expendability important for leaders?

 

9. Why is male leadership lacking in the church today?

 

10. We are all prophets, priests and kings. Kings (ie leaders) in which respects?

 

CPRC Men’s BS   Chapter 15   Discipline of leadership (answers)

Reading Exodus 33

1.Joshua was a leader of high calibre. It is noteworthy that we never hear of him being charged with any serious sin or fault. His name means ‘Jehovah Salvation’ the same as Jesus. He was a type of Christ who led his people into the Promised Land. The themes of his book are ‘God is faithful to His covenant ‘(Deut 7:8) and ‘God gives His people rest.’

His characteristics include:

  • ·        Personal devotion/prayer and worship   Ex.33:11, Numb.32:12. He was about age 30 when Exodus 33 occurred. This resulted in power with God eg ‘sun stand still’
  • ·        A vision of the Lord   Joshua 5:14 (the Captain) and on Sinai with Moses
  • ·        Servanthood/magnanimity (Servant of Moses) Josh.11:15 cf II Tim.2:2
  • ·        Faith  Heb11. Numb.14:6-9
  • ·        Spirit   Deut 34:9
  • ·        Ordination  Numb 27:18.  Deut.31:7,8.
  • ·        Courage   Josh.10:25
  • ·        Commitment  Josh.24:15
  • ·        Taught the people   Josh.8:35.

A leader also makes himself expendable by communicating his vision (friendship), delegation (orchestration and training), demonstration (example) and determination. Moses and Christ did this.

God prepares and gifts leaders.

2.Others who were given vision of God were Moses, Isaiah, Paul Peter,James and John. This is important because it motivates and encourages. (Daniel 11:32). Our equivalent is knowledge of Him in the Scriptures II Cor.3:18.

 

3.Leaders must be men of prayer and personal devotion because it shows their utter dependence upon God without whom we can do nothing (John 15:5) and are unprofitable servants. The flesh profiteth nothing eg Moses first attempts at liberating.

4. (see 1 above)

5.None

6.? Admonishing others, witness, fear of death and lack of assurance.

7.Stephen (Acts 6:3,5) was a man full of the Holy Ghost, faith and wisdom. Cf David in I Samuel 18 cf Saul (Psalm 119:98)

8.Expendability is vital because every leader has to hand over his role and he should train up others (II Timothy 2:2).

9. False doctrine (higher criticism),compromise with world and feminism and apostasy in churches.

10.We are all leaders in our own sphere (office of believer)

Prophets-to mutually teach and admonish one another/submit AND witness.

Priests-to pray for others.

Kings-to rule ourselves, family (if ordained –church)

 

 CPRC  Men’s Bible Study Disciplines    Chapter 16    Giving

     Scheduled for Saturday  May  11th 8pm

 

1.What are the dangers of desiring wealth?

Why is this?

Is wealth itself a sin?

 

What liberates us from materialism?

 

2.What are the Biblical principles of giving?

 

 

3.How  does the Bible (and Hughes) describe giving?

4.What were some of the Old Testament rules for giving? (Numbers 18:21ff.Deut 12:10-18,14:28.)

 

 

Who were the recipients?

What warning did God give? (Malachi 3:8)

5.What do you think of the sayings,’ God is no man’s debtor.’  ‘You can’t out-give God’. ‘God’s work ,done in God’s way will never lack God’s resources.’

6.How do we measure the grace of giving? How is our giving a good spiritual barometer?

 

7.What sacrifice lies behind all giving?

8.To whom should we give? 

CPRC   MEN’S   BS  Chapter 16   Discipline of Giving 

Reading : I Chronicles 29:1-14 noting the willingness and joy of the people and the acknowledgement that God owns everything.

1.       Desiring wealth and having great wealth is dangerous because it may be or become an idol that keeps a man from coming to Christ and something that men seek as their priority to the loss of their souls. The foolish rich farmer in Luke 12:16-21 is our example and note Matt.6:24, Luke 8:14 (where cares and materialism choke any real interest in the gospel) and I Timothy 6:9,10-the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil eg stealing and murder (Ahab/Naboth). This is because Satan uses money and materialism to deceive men-it promises much but does not deliver-you want more and more and are NEVER satisfied. It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom.  Matt.19:21-26 but they do and can.

Wealth in itself is not sinful-witness Abraham, Job, Solomon and Barnabas.

Our attitude to wealth is all-important-we must see it as God-given and we as stewards of it to His glory.

We are liberated from materialism by realizing that all our satisfaction is in God*(see Levites below)-He is our reward and our (eternal) life. Psalm 17:15. Phil.3:8. Our relationship with Him can never be lost and though we lose all else we are rich in His spiritual blessings and can be content in all situations.Phil.4:11. Think of the saints suffering in Eritrea.

 

2.The Biblical principles of giving are:

 

a)God owns all.

b)God loves a cheerful, generous giver (no compulsion and no law against private ownership) II Cor.9:7

c)Give as you are prospered  I Cor. 16:2. But all should give-even the poor, unemployed etc

d) Give regularly

e) Give of the firstfruits. Prov.3:8,9.

f) Give yourself first in consecration  II Cor.8:5. Rom.12:1

g)Deacons administer church’s gifts.

h)Respond to needs spontaneously . Acts 2.

i) Give anonymously (where possible) Matt.6:3.  Eph.4:28

j) Principle of stewardship-saving (Prov.6:6-8.30:25 ) with a long-term view, spending and giving (Luke 16:10,11)

There are wonderful promises attached namely; faithfulness in material things will bring stewardship of true spiritual riches, also blessing (Acts 20:35). Treasure and heart go together. Matt.6:19-21. Also warnings-Malachi 3:8-10.

 

3.The Bible calls giving a grace-which means some spiritual endowment given by Him.

 

4. Old testament commands: The tithe of everything  Numb.18:21-29

                                                      The tithe for the poor (every third year) Deut.14:28,29

                                                      On top of this were the firstfruits (Ex.22:29,23:19) and freewill offerings.

The recipients of their giving were the Levites (priests and keepers of the tabernacle) whose inheritance was God Himself*, and the poor. Today the equivalent are the church and it’s pastor, other needy believers in our fellowship  eg widows, and finally unbelievers in need as we are led. Galatians 6:10.

 

5. We agree with the sayings.

 

6.Our giving is a spiritual barometer-we give much as we love much (remember Mary Magdalene’s alabaster box). The poor widow gave all she had. Mark 12:42. The Macedonians gave despite poverty. II Cor.8.

Heart attitude is vital-Ananias and Sapphira’s hearts were not right with God.

The persons of the Godhead are our example .Rom.8:32 and II Cor.8:9.

 

7. What should motivate our giving? Same as every other good work namely our gratitude.

Examples: Barnabas Acts 4:37, Paul I Thess.2:8 and Zaccheus Luke 19.

 

8. Heresies regarding giving. Wolves fleecing the flock with promises and asking for ‘seeds’ of faith giving, health and wealth gospel that God wants you rich and poverty is a curse or lack of faith.

Asceticism-living as a hermit or giving everything away. I Cor 13 (without love for God and it being in obedience to God it profits nothing). This applies to all giving that is seeking merit of God or done to be seen by others. 

 

 

CPRC  Men’s Bible Study   Disciplines of a Godly Man   Chapter17    Witness       

1.What were the different attributes given to Andrew by Hughes and what do they mean? 

2.Hughes states that the major influence in people coming to attend church is………….. 

3.What three types of evangelism does he describe? 

4. Think of some of the different spheres of your relationships eg family, neighbours, recreation  and share some names for prayer. 

5. Why is it important to foster relationships and invest in them? How do we do this? 

6. Write out a short testimony that you could share in 1 minute. (A paragraph or at most two). 

 7.This  illustration may help share the gospel. (See Bridge Illust’n in videos on this site)

 

 CPRC  Men’s Bible Study   Discipline of Witness

Reading I Peter 3:1-18

Where in the ‘Three Forms’ do we find references to our witness?

Answer: Heidleberg Cat. LD 12 Q/A 32 ‘But why art thou called a Christian?

Answer. Because I am a member of Christ by faith, and thus am partaker of his anointing; that so I may confess his name, and present myself a living  sacrifice of thankfulness to him:  (Matthew 10:32)

And HC.LD 32 Q/A 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery, merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?

Answer. Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit, after his own image; that so we may testify, by the whole of our conduct, our gratitude  to God for his blessings, and that he may be  praised by us; also, that every one may be  assured in himself of his faith, by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation, others may be  gained to Christ.(Matthew 5:16)

1.Andrew is given the attributes of knowledge (of Christ),selflessness (in bringing Peter and knowing he would be more prominent), optimism (boy with 5 loaves etc),and expansiveness (bringing Greeks to Christ).

2.Hughes states that the single most influential factor in seeing others come to attend church is the personal one-to-one, witness and relationship of a friend or relative.

3. Three kinds of evangelism are mentioned:

 a) Ordinary relational evangelism with relatives, workmates, friends, under God’s ordering and His giving of opportunity.

b)Preaching-the official witness of the church which enables (a).

c)Confrontational (cold turkey)-door-to-door, open air/tracting.

4. We should all have a prayer list of family members, colleagues and friends for whom we are praying and seeking to witness.

5.We believe it is vital to foster relationships and invest in them because we need to build up people’s trust, stimulate interest and await opportunity to share  the gospel. We do this by showing interest and concern and care for them, offering hospitality and help, sometimes asking them favours, and praying for them. All this notwithstanding the antithesis of  Psalm 1. We remember Christ was called a friend of sinners and I believe all He befriended He actually saved. We do not know who the elect are but we emulate Him.

6. We practiced sharing a brief testimony (one minute or so) in case we are ever asked how we came to Christ-a worthwhile project!

 

7. We looked at the ‘Bridge Illustration’ which is a simple cross-centred gospel message illustrated for which WE NEED TO KNOW SOME BASIC BIBLE REFERENCES! You could start with those below-write them out on cards and carry them around.(this is in video form on my website at http://www.julikennjulian.webs.com).

 Draw two sides of a cliff and label one ‘Man’ and the other ‘God’. The bottomless un-crossable gulf between the two is caused by SIN (Isaiah 69:1,2).Fill in on man’s side Biblical truths as shown and same on God’s side. Then speak a bit about man’s futile efforts to bridge the gap-good works, religion etc. Then draw God’s provision in the cross of Christ and share I Peter 3:18. Finally to cross the bridge we must repent and believe the gospel.  (see above or in videos section)         Mark 1:15

 

Ye shall be my witnesses Isaiah 43:10.(notes from BRF 2012 conference)

Full speeches on BRF website

Summaries

1)Hanko-Zech.4:6. ‘Not by power, not by might but by my spirit, saith the Lord.’

The continual supply of oil represents the church being assuredly gathered by the Holy Spirit who makes the building blocks, shapes them and adds them to the temple when they die. The office of Joshua and Zerubbabel, priest and man of kingly line, were only once ever united in the person of Melchizedek ,a type of Christ who is the pourer out of that oil (at His ascension).But what is our part?

2)Engelsma-The martyr church. Acts 7,8:4.

Stephen dies ignominiously but gloriously for his Lord. His witness was the supreme secrifice where he willingly laid down his life for the Lord. He sees Christ standing in glory-the sublime assurance his Lord was resurrected and ascended and he was going there! The content of his witness- the awesome Lordship of Christ-over the world (Son of man in Daniel), over death (receive my spirit),over judgement of all men (lay not this sin to their charge).Our lives must display His Lordship-in our walk including our exposure of errors that deny His Lordship.

3)Hanko-Isaiah 43:9,10. Our call to witness. We are made such by the Scriptures. Denial of the inspiration of any of it is fatal. We witness of what we know- Christ and our living fellowship with Him by faith. We are the light of the world.

4)Engelsma-The content of our witness.

There is only really ONE FAITHFUL WITNESS to the truth-Christ. God determines the content of the witness personally and of the church-Reasons -1) So He may bless.2)Because of danger of falsehood.3)Our sinfulness. Purpose-lead people into true churches, expose and harden rebellious sinners. Much false witness-from false churches, cults, other religions.

It may be any/every part of Scripture.

1)      God and His glory (the only God)

2)      Jesus Christ the Lord-salvation/repentance. (also OT-creation/Adam)

3)      Our hope and joy- I Peter 3:15. We look forward to great good-in life, in death, resurrection  compared to unbeliever-purposelessness ,death, hell.

Part of our witness is to expose all false witness.

5. Hanko-Official witness of the church

Because the church is His body! Each local church is His body too. Christ is there by office bearers, the marks of the true church and it’s Biblical constitution. It’s major witness is preaching-in the established church and in the mission fellowship. Difference of address-one is to His covenant people (His bride) in love, the other a more formal serious call to repentance and faith. All the classes of young and old teach us the content of our witness. The preaching is the power to make us witnesses. The aim of the individual believer is to bring people to hear the preaching. All the devotions( personal and family), catechism classes and Bible studies and personal witness compliment the preaching.

6.McGeown-Mission message and methods

The great commission was given to the apostles and their successors (who baptize) who officially preach. Missionaries are ordained and sent only by the church institute. They went to Jews first. Macedonian call (group of interested people).Missionary is called to preach, nothing else. Mission work is preaching. The apostolic open air work was in recognised places or where crowds had already gathered.

7.Engelsma- Personal witness

I Peter 3:15.Every member responsible.

a) For praying and supporting the ministry and it’s message.

 b) Also as individuals. I Thess.1:8. We ‘echo’ the preaching witness. We witness in the church to each other-comfort, instruct, admonish. Col.3:5,6 and 16. In  our families. Schools. Andrew with Peter ‘I have found the Messiah’, come and hear Him (in church).We share in Christ’s anointing to witness. H.C. LD 12. Calvin- ‘when  there is occasion and God gives opportunity’. Whole counsel (incl. refuting error).In our regular normal lives. The fearful will be lost (Rev.21:8).Toleration is not a Christian virtue. Courage required. Suffering glorifies God and makes us happy! Samaritan woman’s witness effective .  Also Gadarene demoniac.

8.Hanko-Witness of a godly life.

Being  pilgrims passing through, we are strange to worldlings. Being different and attractive our life should make people ask questions. Being a church member, having church central and greatly desiring the preaching is essential.  Being an exemplary citizen till that means disobeying Christ. Being a good worker, husband or wife. Being constantly at the cross.

9.Engelsma-The manner of our witness

‘With  meekness  and fear’. May  include hard-hitting  condemnation (polemics) of heresy which distorts the message and abolishes it, or ungodly ways of life. Does not mean we never offend. eg Amos 4:1,5:21.Gal.1:8. ‘Hypocrites’. Love for God trumps love for the false teachers. Our confessions,  therefore our witness, is condemnatory of all heresy. We contend for the faith. Tolerance ruins souls. Witness  to the grace of God and in awe of Him. Aim not to win the argument but the person.

 

 CPRC   MEN’S  BIBLE STUDY     DISCIPLINE OF MINISTRY   (Chapter 18)  DV   

1.       What is ministry? 

2.       Describe the small-hearted person? 

3.       Describe the large-hearted person? 

4.       Why does Hughes bring discipline into the phrase, ‘discipline of ministry’? 

 5.       What ministry is he talking about? 

Think of church and outside.

 6.       On the basis of what Biblical truths do we base this ministry? (See Psalm 37:23)

 7.       What do we learn from I Thess.2:8,9 and II Cor.11:27,28?

8.       What hinders effective Christian ministry? Think of attitudes and prejudice.

 9.       How do we view divine appointments? Is there a long-term view? 

10.   What will it cost us?

 11.   Any additional ministry God might be calling you to enter? 

       What preparation is required?

 

 

Disciplines    Chapter  18    Ministry  

Reading   Philippians 2:1-9.

1.Ministry is serving others in the church and outside (Gal.6:9,10).Ministry covers spiritual activities and practical work (I Cor.12,Eph.4) and may include teaching/preaching, leadership/eldership, deacon’s work/giving,hospitality,gardening,cleaning,socializing,welcoming, babysitting, encouraging.

2. A small-hearted person is isolated, avoids relationships, doesn’t help or volunteer or go out of their way for anyone else or to speak to a visitor, they are selfish and limit their prayer to family and close friends.

3.A large-hearted person is loving. He or she greets others and visitors, shows concern for others, is willing to serve in the church in any way when asked, opens himself  to others, and  prays for a wide circle and into the world (cf Paul in Romans 16).

4.Ministry needs discipline because we are naturally lazy and self-centred. In every sphere of life we need to exercise ourselves; be it personal physical exercise and cleanliness, or serving others. Christ is our example in John 13-denying Himself and washing the disciples’ feet.

5.Hughes is mainly concerned with reaching out to others who are lost but also within the church. He challenges us to reach across barriers as equals ie sinner to sinner and see meeting people and everything as divinely appointed. He uses the example of Paul who was a very hard worker, both with his hands and with the Scriptures (I Cor.15:10, I Thess.2:8,9). Practical ministries like letter-writing, e-mails, phone calls and Facebook posts can all count.

6. Biblical ministry is based on: a) Love-for God and our fellow man (I John 3:18).                            b)Christ’s example in laying down His life. c)Our gifts and life in the body.

7.We learn from Paul ( I Cor.11:27,28 and I Thess.2:8,9) that Paul was willing to suffer for Christ and others-he cared for the churches, he had no desire for personal gain, giving himself freely in his teaching and he worked all hours!

8.Attitudes that hinder ministry are pride (wanting pre-eminence eg Simon the sorcerer and Diotrephes), selfishness, laziness, apathy, pleasure-seeking and even racism or judging people by their appearance (tattoos!). In speaking to people who oppose sound doctrine we need to be sensitive and gentle.

9.We have to try and discern where longer term relationships are leading and give them thought and prayer with the aim of winning that person to Christ.

10.Ministry will cost us time (for the person, for prayer)  and money (giving). We need to overcome fear of rejection and may lose friends.

11.Regarding ministry in the church we said it would pay to check all the ‘one another’ phrases in the NT. Here are all the positive ones: ‘Love,prefer,teach,admonish,salute,care,serve,forbear,forgive,comfort,edify,exhort,provoke to love and good works,pray for, have compassion, be subject.’

 DISCIPLINES  OF  A  GODLY  MAN    

 Overview/summary    

1.Why does Paul emphasis discipline in I Timothy 4:7 and what is the overall message of Hughes’ book in which he speaks of ‘spiritual sweat’?

 2.What’s the difference between the discipline of a (godless) Olympic athlete and that of the believer?

 

3. In the Christian life what is it we essentially need from  God ? (James 4:6)

4.What do discipline and grace have to do with each other?

 

Define each term carefully.

What is the importance of each?

What aspect of God’s character encourages you to persevere?

5.Name a few basic disciplines which are the means of grace and underlie godly discipleship?

 

 

6.In what areas of life are believers especially under attack these days?

 

7. Do you see meaning in your life and work at  present?

8. Is the church central in your life?

9.Are you happy with your stewardship of gifts and resources?

10.Could you share the names of one or two acquaintances for whom you would like the rest of the group to  pray?

11.Do you believe you have enough opportunities to reach out to non-believers and how can these be enhanced?

12.Are there areas in your life needing greater discipline?

13. Would you like to share one or two things that have been a help or blessing from these studies?

Any questions to bring up on 22nd let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Reply to “Disciplines of a Godly man by R Kent Hughes”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.