Bible Study Notes 10/26/21

Word Alive!

© 2021Fall Series

You Can Change!

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tuesday, 26 October 2021, Lesson 5, Part 2


Chip Ingram, Yes! You Really CAN Change

Devotional Time: “Change” Chapter 4 (pp. 101-108)


Confident of Change – As for our part, we must remain “confident” that the changes God intends for us will come to fruition. When things don’t work out the way we envisioned, we could become prone to feel denied or defeated. At such times, we must be assured that God has a plan for us. In the devotional, Yes! You CAN Really Change, author Chip Ingram offers this advice: “When you are confident that God really loves you and empowers you, you can take steps of faith and trust Him to respond.” Paul assured the Christians in Philippi that God will always “complete” what He has begun in the lives of His children (cf. Philippians 1:6, NIV). Paul was very passionate in his appeal to the Philippian Christians. The New Testament Greek word rendered is peitho (pi-tho), which is translated “being confident.” The meaning of the word conveys a sense of “inner confidence.” Paul is literally saying, “I have inward certainty that God will act on His promises.” This is akin to the faith we see in King David, in one of his final set of psalms. David, late in his reign, prays “with confidence in the Lord’s plans, which are perfect.” (cf. Psalm 138:8 NIV; Also notes in NLT Study Bible, 2008). David also believed that the future of God’s people was “secure and certain,” but the faithful must be willing to trust (“wait on”) the Lord (cf. Psalm 27:13-14, NIV). A Hebrew word often used to convey confidence is batach (baw-takh), which means “to be bold or sure” in one’s assertion. The language of the scripture is clear, that we should have full confidence in what God has promised concerning the details of our lives. It’s certain we will not always “understand” what God is doing, or or how He’s at work on our behalf. Our confidence is in God’s authority over the circumstances that will bring change in our lives, We can trust God for His wisdom, and receive wisdom ourselves through our trust in Him (cf. Job 28:24-28, NLT). Lest we think we can bring about change by ourselves, we need to accept the work God does on our behalf; and, what we do to cooperate with God’s great plan for us. Pastor Ingram says: “Only God can bring about change, but He never chooses to do it alone. He works through Christians loving one another in community and operating in each of our areas of giftedness in a way that allows transformation to occur.” God’s grace brings life changes!God will use our faith environments to bring about enduring change.


God’s Grace – It is the wonderful “gift of grace” that God has given and apportioned to every believer, which equips us for change (cf. Ephesians 4:7, NIV). This special grace is the bequeath of Jesus Christ when He was resurrected. This special gift of grace is to transform us more into the image of Christ, and to help us assist other Christians in the evolving transformation of their lives as well. Pastor Chip Ingram comments: “Grace is God’s unmerited favor. That means there is nothing we can do to deserve it or earn it. He gives grace not only through His Spirit and His Word but through the lives of other people. That’s why our transformation is not only a gift but a responsibility.” God’s grace must be present in our personal lives, and in the operation of our lives corporately within the community of faith. We are called to help each other; and, through the work of God’s grace, live at peace with each other, especially fellow Christians (cf. Galatians 6:2;10, NLT). The responsibility of having received God’s gift of grace, obligates us to experience change in the help we provide others. Paul speaks of the responsibility we have as mature Christians to serve as an accountability ministry in helping to restore Christians with personal-moral struggles (cf. Galatians 6:1, NLT). Pastor Ingram says, “When we live in authentic community, we act as a catalyst for change in each other’s lives.” The Apostle Paul warns each of us that we all need to be vigilant in our personal behavior, or we too could experience similar trials. Paul was very transparent about his past life, and its failings. Yet, he was unabashed about how the grace of God had changed him; bringing him into the faith he once persecuted (cf. I Corinthians 15:9-10, NIV). When Paul initially came into the faith, he was shunned by some of the other Christians. Although he was a changed person, they feared Paul, because of his former life (cf. Acts 9:26, NIV). Paul assured them he had been called to reach the wider Gentile world with the Gospel. He was not trying to encroach upon their work. Paul urged the other Christians to see his call as authentic, and that he was a part of them, rather than apart from them. Change in a person’s life is not always accepted eagerly by others. Some Christians may be reluctant to encourage others. Paul admits to an estranged experience with many of the Christian leaders in Jerusalem initially, but he was grateful that a report about his change brought joy and praise to God by some in the area (cf. Galatians 1:22-23, NIV).


________________________________KEY IDEA________________________________


What We Believe!


Be confident in the change that God promises.


1. God initiates change but requires our participation.


2. The gift of grace, God’s favor, is for every Christian.


KEY VERSES


Philippians 1:6, NIV

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good working you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”


Psalm 138:8, NIV

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love,O Lord, endures forever – Do not abandon the works of your hands.”


Psalm 27:13-14, NIV

“I am still confident of this:I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”


Job 28:24-28, NLT

“God alone understands the way to wisdom; He knows where it can be found, for He looks throughout the whole earth and sees every-thing under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then He saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what He says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.”


Ephesians 4:7, NIV

“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”


Galatians 6:2;10, NLT“

Share each other’s burdens,and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.”


Galatians 6:1, NLT

”Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”


I Corinthians 15:9-10, NIV

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle,because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them -yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”


Acts 9:26, NIV

“When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples,but they were all afraid of him,not believing that he really was a disciple.”


Galatians 1:22-23, NLT

“I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy. And they praised God because of me.”


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