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Bible Study Notes 3/29/22

Word Alive!

© 2022 Winter Series

Finding God’s Purpose Forward!

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tuesday, 29 March 2022, Lesson 9, Part 1

Dr. David Jeremiah, Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and

Purpose For Tomorrow

Devotional Time: Chapter 7 (pp.113-132)

Believing: A Strong Conviction – It is recorded in the Book of Acts, that the first believers were subjects of persecution and arrest because of their faith. They fled Jerusalem, but an amazing thing happened. The scriptures state, “But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went (cf. Acts 8:4, NLT). The boldness of these first adherents of faith in Jesus Christ were undaunted by the circumstances around them. Their conviction and belief in the Lord Jesus, propelled them forward. They were determined to share the life-giving news they had received, despite all odds. These were what the scripture calls “ordinary people.” They possessed no civil authority, nor special human powers. Certain of their belief in the Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, and empowered through the Holy Spirit, those believers “turned the world upside down (cf. Acts 17:6, NKJV). The Greek New Testament word that’s rendered “believe,” is pisteuo, which means, “to be confident;” or, “to be persuaded.” It is a strong verb, often spoken in the active voice. We see evidence of this kind of belief in much of the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to fellow Christians. Paul speaks of his personal ordeals, but emphasizes his strong belief and convictions as a result of his faith (cf. Philippians 4:12-13, NLT). Paul is settled in the quest to find his purpose forward, because of his conviction. Through God’s grace, Paul experiences “strength,” amid his challenges (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:10, NLT). In his insightful book, Forward, Dr. David Jeremiah explains: “A conviction is a fixed belief, a deeply held set of certainties that lodges in the center of your mind and heart. It is critical that your convictions be sound and true…Paul’s core convictions were the foundation of his incredible life and ministry.” As we embrace the teachings and principles of Scripture, our convictions will become strong, and form the core of our beliefs, thoughts, and actions (cf. 2 Corinthians 10;3-4, NLT). Our belief in the promises of God, will take us to places where we can be blessed immeasurably. The Christians addressed in the Letter to the Hebrews were told: “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” (Cf. Hebrews 10:6, NLT). Peter’s admonition to Christians who were encountering persecution is applicable for us today. Whatever the forces that converge on our lives, we must uphold our conviction in Jesus Christ. Our hope in the Lord, must be readily shared with others. Our life example, faith, and compassion can become a witness to God’s love and power (cf. I Peter3:14-16, NLT).

Holding To The Faith – Finding your purpose in life means believing in something or someone. What we come to learn in the Scripture form the principles for the core beliefs we have. Out thoughts, attitudes, and behavior are shaped by what the faith teaches us. Our communication with others should be such that we can respond to others in a mature and knowledgeable manner (cf. Colossians 4:5-6, NLT). The Apostle Jude, brother of Jude, was a strong defender of the Christian faith, and he encouraged Christians during a time of great spiritual and cultural challenge (cf. Jude 1:1b-4, NLT). The power of the faith we embrace, is its ability to endure testing, criticism, and misapplication. The Apostles spoke of the faith, as an irrefutable set of beliefs, taught by Jesus, and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, wisdom, and teachings. Early Christians were taught, “Hold to the teachings of the faith!” Paul assured his son in the faith, Timothy, the Holy Spirit would help him safeguard the “truth” that was given to him (cf. 2 Timothy 1:13-14, NLT). Our purpose in life becomes clearer when we embrace the principles in the scriptures, and apply these teachings to our lives. It is true that all around us, human culture seems to be crumbling, and people have abandoned the core teachings of the faith. However, Dr. Jeremiah says in spite of these things, we should never underestimate “God’s love for us.” He further quotes the late Dr. John Stott who said, “Insecurity is written across all human experience. Christian people are not guaranteed immunity to temptation, tribulation, or tragedy. But we are promised victory over them. God’s pledge is not that suffering will never afflict us. But that it will never separate us from His love.” It is the inseparable love of God for us, that gives us assurance in “holding” to the truth of Scripture. If we abandon the hope inherent in our faith, we will never be able to find life’s purpose in going forward. In the Letter to the Hebrews, Christians are reminded that the Word, God has given us, is not a body of static human reasoning, but is “alive!” The Scripture is truth, eternal, and it exposes our deepest thoughts and desires (cf. Hebrews 4:12-13, NLT). The living Word is the source of our faith, and the foundation for our beliefs. We further hold to these beliefs, because in them we receive an affirmation of hope, which leads us forward. Dr. Jeremiah says we should not underestimate the optimism we receive from our beliefs. He says, “The most basic conviction in life is rooted in understanding the nature of God. Without a good, powerful, loving creative, eternal God, there’s no basis for optimism.” Paul said it is to God, whom we are most accountable!

________________________________KEY IDEA________________________________

What We Believe!

Moving forward means, affirming our belief!

1. We must live our conviction, and help others see the truth!

______________________________KEY VERSES______________________________

Philippians 4:12-13, NLT

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation,whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength.”

2 Corinthians 12:10, NLT

“That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when

I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-4, NLT

“We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knockdown the strongholds of human reasoning, and to destroy false arguments.”

I Peter 3:14-16, NLT

“But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone ask about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live, because you belong to Christ.”

Colossians 4:5-6, NLT

“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

Jude 1:1b-4, NLT

“But now I find that I must right about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God's marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Timothy 1:13-14, NLT

“Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me – a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.”

Hebrews 4:12-13, NLT

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our inner-most thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.”

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