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SCRIPTURE - Phi. 3:10, 2 Tim. 2:15                                                                                                                    MAY, 2017

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


The subject for this month, takes a look at the one institution that is here to bring us in to a full understanding of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

No matter who you are, or how old you are, when it comes to your position in Christ, as far as how you are supposed to live your life, you have to come to grips with the fact that without the proper 'training' so to speak, you are completely as ignorant as a new born baby.

Let's think about a new born baby for a minute.

When they come in to this world, they are completely at the mercy of those that are around them. They don't know what they are. They don't know who you are. You could be friend or foe, but they have no idea of what that means. The only thing they do know is they have been in a place where it was dark, and relatively quiet. Everything was peaceful. Then, after some time, they are removed from that place of solitude, and put in a place where there is a lot of noise and light, and they are frightened, so they start crying.

Then when someone wraps them in a nice warm blanket, and they are placed in the arms of their parent and rocked a little bit, they calm down, and begin to adjust to this new environment, and begin to feel at ease.

Over the course of the following days, weeks, months and years, they begin to learn how to do certain things, and hopefully what not to do, all for the express purpose of being a good child, that knows right and wrong.

Why is this necessary???

So that they can be a productive addition to our society.

The major portion of that learning however, comes when they are placed in school.

It is the school, that has the responsibility of working with the parents, to mold this child, in to an individual that hopefully will contribute positively to our society.

From the natural standpoint, have you ever thought about the fact that, in the natural order of things, you always have to teach a child to do the good/right things??

They inherently will do things that are not considered positive behaviour because, as the bible tells us, Prv 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him/her.

Notice, this naughty behavior manifests itself at birth. As soon as the baby is taken from the womb, they begin to cry. They do this because someone has disturbed them, and they don't like it. And the only thing that stops them is when someone does something to make them feel better. Have you noticed how children will begin to manipulate their parents by crying until the parent, or someone, does something to make them feel better???

Well, that is selfish behavior and if not addressed early, will lead to big trouble somewhere down the road in life.

Well, the point is, this is only one example of the types of behavior that need to be corrected.

My point is, education is the key to get an individual to become a proper fit in society. Without it, disaster is looming.

This is why the school systems start at what is called kindergarten level, and slowly mold the child up until they become an adult at the 12th grade.

It is a slow process, but the reward hopefully is even if they don't go to college/university, or any post graduate endeavors, they will be ready to take their place, and be a productive member of society.

The school system, usually will not, or should not pass a child on to a higher grade until they have mastered those skills that are deemed necessary to move on up.

Sad to say however, in certain areas of our society in this nation, some schools do exactly that. They push a child on up to the next level, when they need to remain where they are until they get things right.

The result is, if and when they graduate, they become a burden on society because they are unprepared to cope with the basic things that all of us face. So what happens in the long run is, they remain as little kids that have to have someone else take care of them to make them feel good.

If that doesn't happen, they have a fit, and begin to do things that will land them in jail, or the cemetery.

If you can understand that, then you can understand the subject of this month's message.

The scenario is about the same, but with a twist.

The individual does not have to be a little child, physically. They can be, but they can also be any age, as long as they are alive, and, when they come to Christ, they spiritually, are babies.

And, as babies, they carry the same characteristics as our natural babies exhibit, in that they have their own personalities, that, in relation to God, need to be changed to conform in to what will make them a positive/productive influence in not only the body of Christ, but also the world.

And just as the education system in society starts out with babies and molds them in to adults, the Church needs to do the same thing.

If the Church does not do this, then there will be chaos because things will not go right in the life of that individual, and they will continually, be the cause of problems for those around them.

In a basic sense, just like our physical baby was in the womb, where there was peace and quiet, and no one disturbed them, life as they knew it was just fine.

However, when a person comes to Christ, there is a radical change in things, and in order to cope with these changes, the individual has to learn to deal with them.

The mission of the Church is to first, bring man back to God, and second, tear down all things that stand in opposition to that goal.

In this process of bringing man back to God, the Church has to educate the individual, as to what spiritual condition they are in. That means they have to be made aware of the fact they are 'sinners.'

Rom 3:10 - 11 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Rom 3:23 For ALL HAVE SINNED, and come short of the glory of God;

In comparing this condition to God, it means that unless an individual is willing to change their behavior, and seek God to follow His direction for their lives, they are destined for destruction[in this life] and hell[eternal damnation]!!

God doesn't want this for them, so He has put the Church here to try to prevent that from happening. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to make this decision. And usually, any person in their right mind, knowing all the facts, would choose to make that change.

Well, when they make that change, they essentially enter into the Kingdom of God, as a newborn baby.

And, what did I say about newborns??? They have to be trained/educated into becoming a productive member of society/Church.

And just like it is up to the parents and society to mold that child, so too, it is up to Christ and the Church to mold this newborn babe in to a mature individual ready to take their part in furthering the mission of the Church.

Now, using the example of the school system, which starts out at kindergarten level, and works its way up to the 12th grade, and beyond, the Church should be doing the exact same thing.

It should take this newborn baby Christian, and begin to mold them in to a mature Christian, ready to go out and accomplish the second goal of the Church which is to tear down all things that the enemy has put in place to prevent it, the Church, from accomplishing its main mission, which is, bringing man, back to God.

Well, just how is the Church supposed to do this??

Through Sunday School, and Bible Study!!

Actually, the two work together because they take in account one premier function and that is, 2Tim 2:15 STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.

Now, the difference between Sunday School and bible study is this.

Sunday school, essentially, is conducted for about an hour, on Sunday's before the main worship service.

In it, depending on the denomination, the lesson for that particular Sunday, is a precursor to what the sermon that is going to be preached in the worship service later is about.

This way, the participants, can better understand the sermon, and take away a deeper understanding of that message, as compared to someone that has no prior enlightenment.

Bible study, on the other hand, is where the people get together for about two hours thereabouts, and get in to a deeper understanding of other scriptures, and how they apply to our present day lifestyles.

It is during this time that those with questions, can ask the minister for more details about the particular subject being taught.

Some times, it may be an extension of the Sunday sermon, where more clarification is needed, or it can be totally different. It depends on the particular church.

However, the key is to mold the individual in to someone that can best be described as, a mature representative of Jesus Christ.

Take a look at these scriptures.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.

Rom 8:6 For to be CARNALLY MINDED is death; but to be SPIRITUALLY MINDED is life and peace.

If you will notice the capitalized parts of each of them, you will see terms that speak of change, becoming new, and different mindsets.

In a nutshell, in order to become a mature representative of Christ, your entire mindset has to be changed from carnal, to spiritual.

Well, what does that mean??

First you have to know what the two terms, carnally minded, and spiritually minded, mean.

A person that is brought up to think and act as those that have no knowledge of Christ, are carnally minded.

This means, they face and deal with life, and its problems based on what they, and society feels is appropriate.

Some times, society, may, find certain behaviors unacceptable and encourage people to reject those actions like murder, rape, stealing, and other things.

These things are also rejected by Christ as well. However, don't get the idea that society is in agreement with God, because they are not. To the contrary, they just find these things, and others so reprehensible that they have no desire to see them as part of society.

However, as time goes on, and society becomes more liberal in its thinking, they may change the laws, to allow them.

The bible addresses this phenomenon in the following scripture.

Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Shortly put, it means even though the laws of carnally minded man, agree with God's laws, God does not honor them because man is following his laws, and not God's. It is somewhat like me going in to a store and seeing something laying on the floor that an employee didn't see, and I pick it up, and put it back on the shelf, the store has no obligation to pay me because I don't work for them.

By the same token, if you do something good, but you are not saved, God, owes you nothing. I will get more in to this, next month!!