Evangelism and Matt Chandler…

There were so many things that I learned from Matt Chandler’s talk this week.  I was told by people who are more well informed/more avid followers of Matt Chandler that everything that he talked about this week was from his book, The Explicit Gospel.  I loved how he talked about the “Gospel on the Ground” and also the “Gospel in the Air.”  I am going to go more in depth on these topics in the coming paragraphs and talk about what I learned from Matt.

            The first aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is God.  A person coming into Christianity definitely needs to understand the characteristics of God.  God is all powerful, omni-present, and omniscience.  He can do whatever He wills and does not seek the approval of anyone.  The second aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is man.  Matt said that there are three things that are wrong with mankind.  The first of these is that all mankind have changed the created things from God the creator.  The second thing is not only do we prefer creation to the creator, we believe the lie that our way is better than God’s way and we are smarter than Him.  The third thing that Matt said that mankind does wrong is that we fail to even acknowledge God.  A person trying to understand salvation needs to understand that God forgives us of all of ours sins, including the three things listed above.  The third aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is Christ.  The key aspect of understanding how we are saved as Christians is understanding that God sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross.  God did this to forgive every single person on the face of the earth for his or her sins.  Romans 3:23 makes is quiet clear that we are all sinners and have failed what God initially had planned for us (see Genesis 2).  Therefore, Jesus Christ is the bridge between God and us and is the key to salvation and eternal life with our Creator.  The fourth and final aspect of the “Gospel on the Ground” is response.  This response section is pretty straight-forward and easy to grasp but it important none the less.  There are two responses a person can have to God’s gift of salvation to us.  He or she can accept it or not.  Another very important thing to know for a new believer or person thinking about accepting Christ as their Savior and Lord is that we are saved through faith.  Faith is completely a gift from God and a belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.  A person cannot work or pay their way into heaven.  Another very important thing for a new believer to know about salvation is that we are called to only boast in the Lord and not in ourselves.  1 Corinthians 1:31 says, “Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.””  This is important to understand for the purpose of salvation because no matter how great a person may believe he or she is, God does the saving because he is merciful and loves us. 

            The “Gospel in the Air” is the other part of Matt Chandler’s book and the first aspect of it is creation.  Genesis 1 lays out the way the earth was created by God.  The “Gospel in the Air” goes on to talk about the fall of man and how sin entered the world.  This is important for a person to understand because from this point forward man will be a sinner by nature and the only way for a person to escape this sinful nature is through Jesus Christ.  In this specific section, Matt talked about how certain things such as sports or television are not sinful in their nature.  However, he said that if they distract him from witnessing to others or cause him to stumble then they are causing him to sin and need to go.  He said that God is too important to let petty things such as sports and television get in the way.  The third aspect of the “Gospel in the Air” is reconciliation.  This reconciliation is Christ reconciling us to God through faith by grace.  There is absolutely no other way to spend eternal life in heaven except through Jesus Christ.  The fourth and final aspect of the “Gospel in the Air” is consummation.  This area talks about Christ’s return and that all things will be made new.  Our earthly bodies will be exchanged for our spiritual bodies and we will remain with the Lord forever.

            Matt Chandler is a great teacher and I was able to learn much from what he had to say.  I also believe that a person who is curious about what Christians believe could learn much from sitting through the lectures that we were given last week.  In closing, I would like to reiterate that people are only saved through faith in Jesus Christ by grace.  We cannot do anything to earn the love of God but still He desires a personal relationship with each and every one of us.

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Thank You Martin Luther

I want to start this blog by saying that I love history!  It is so great to me that we have the opportunity to look back at significant people that stood for what they believed in and were willing to die for what they believed in.  Today we are going to talk about a man who many of us of studied and heard about before but I believe deserves a second look.  I hope you learn something new. Enjoy!

The history of the church is something that has always fascinated me personally.  The focus of the Bible throughout is Jesus Christ but I love learning about how the church started and all of the changes that have brought the church to where it is today.  Having said all of this, my absolute favorite era of the church is the Reformation.                                                                                                                                                                   The Reformation is the era of the church that took place from between AD 1517 and 1648.  One of the most important things to happen in this era is that the Pope began to lose his ultimate authority of the western world.  Until this point the Catholic Church was extremely powerful and the Pope was the leader of the Catholic Church.  A majority of the kings through the time before the Reformation were merely pawns whom the Pope had control of.  The Pope started to lose his power due to several different people and movements that stated that the Catholic Church was not Biblically accurate or doctrinally sound.  The main leader of this movement of Reformation was a man by the name of Martin Luther.  Martin Luther was studying to be a lawyer when he got caught out during a thunderstorm and made a promise to God that if he survived he would give his life to the ministry and become a monk for the Catholic Church.  In the year 1510, Luther was asked to run an errand in Rome (he was from Germany).  When he got to Rome he was astonished and very upset to see that the clergyman of Rome were corrupt morally and lived lives of luxury when everything that they were taught was opposite of the way they were living.  Sometime after he trip to Rome Luther became a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg.  It was during this time that Luther began to dig deeper into his Bible and come up with some conclusions about things that the Catholic Church was saying the Bible said.  Luther began to believe and teach that a person is granted salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone and nothing else.  Luther also discovered that the practice of indulgences (or paying to get someone out of purgatory) was not Biblical whatsoever.  On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” to the door of the local church of Wittenberg.  Luther did not post his theses to the door to revolutionize or break away from the Catholic Church but to simply start a discussion on whether these things should truly be happening within the church or not.  Shortly after Luther posted his “95 Theses” the Pope is quoted as saying, “There is a wild boar loose in the vineyard of God.”  The Pope then gave Luther an ultimatum to either recant his “95 Theses” during the next sixty days or be put to death.  Luther refused to recant at the Diet of Worms in 1521.  Here is what he said, “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason — I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other — my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”  From this point on the Pope would never stop trying to find and kill Martin Luther.  One of the greatest things that Luther did for the people of Germany is translate the Bible into their native language.  With the help of the printing press the Bible rapidly made its’ way around Germany.  This was a huge step because the Catholic Church said that only the clergy could read the Bible.    

            Martin Luther was an extremely influential person during the period of the Reformation and because of his courage many other nations and leaders rebelled against the Catholic Church.  This is the reason that Papal authority was overthrown and this is the reason that we are able to worship today the way that we do.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Relatively Ugly

This post is about the kings of the nation of Israel/Judah. Now before I continue I just want you to visually imagine Clint Eastwood sitting on the throne of Israel…cigar, cowboy hat, poncho, and all…or you could imagine King David dressed up as Clint Eastwood in this movie since he is the best king Israel ever had.

Image

Now, on a more serious not, I would like to share a few of the things I learned from the kingdom era of the nation of Israel. The main things I learned are that the major majority of the kings never followed God and His plan for Israel. I hope that you enjoy some of my following thoughts and feel free to share your thoughts as well!

The kingdom era was a very important time for the nation of Israel for several different reasons. The first of these is that the people of Israel wanted an earthly leader to reign over them as other nations had (1 Samuel 8:5) and God granted them their wish (1 Samuel 8:22). Another reason that the kingdom era was a significant time for the nation of Israel is that it was also the most prosperous time in Israel’s history. The nation of Israel has never been more powerful or successful than it was during the rule of the kings of Israel. However, this time of prosperity was short-lived due to the greed and unfaithfulness of the people and kings of Israel. During this time there was a united kingdom of Israel that had three kings and lasted for 120 years. Of the three kings, David is considered a good king, Solomon is considered a pretty good king, and Saul is considered a bad king. After the united kingdom era the nation of Israel split into the nations of Israel (north region with ten tribes) and Judah (southern region with two tribes). The new nation of Israel had nineteen kings and every single one of them was an evil king. The nation of Judah had twenty kings and only eight of them were considered good kings. The first king of Israel was Saul. Saul was chosen by God to be the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 9:17; 10:21). Saul was chosen by God for the role that he would play in destroying the Philistines. He was also chosen by God to represent the nation of Israel in the way that the Israelites wanted to be represented. Saul was said to be a very handsome and strong man, a head taller than any other people in the nation of Israel (1 Samuel 10:23-24). Saul is considered a bad king. The reason for this is that he never really had a heart for God. God chose Saul to represent and fight for the nation of Israel but knew that, ultimately, he would fail in his role as king because he did not love and listen to the Lord. The Lord tells Saul to utterly destroy Amalek and all that they have but Saul takes the best of everything the people had (1 Samuel 15:3; 15:9). Because of this the Lord decides take the throne from Saul and he ultimately gives it to David. Saul does not give it up, however, and it ultimately leads to his death. We can learn from Saul’s reign by listening to what the Lord tells us to do and by following his commandments. The next king that I am going to talk about is King Josiah. King Josiah was a king of the nation of Judah and was a good king. The book of the law was found during his reign. He read the book of the law and saw that Israel was not following the Lord and worked his entire reign to bring the nation of Israel back to the Lord. Josiah’s reign over Judah can teach the modern Christian that we should keep God’s commandments and not give in to the lies of this world. From the kingdom era I learned several different things about the character of God. Firstly, I learned that God is a God of wrath and will ultimately judge people who do not follow him and falsely bare witness against Him. Another thing that I learned from the kingdom era is that because God’s covenant is with His people He will never completely turn His back on them. He may bring His wrath upon some of the people but He always leaves a path of repentance and reconciliation to those who love and follow Him. The final thing I learned from the kingdom era is that God is just and will remove us from roles of leadership if we sin against Him. When we repent the Lord will forgive us of our sin but that does not make us fit to lead others. That is for the Lord and the body of Christ to decide. If Saul would have given up his throne to David like the Lord told him then the Lord could have utilized him elsewhere. He did not, however, and ultimately it led to much torment and his death. Therefore, justice was served for his disobedience. These are things are just a few of the things I learned from the kingdom era.

Thanks for reading!

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Mawwiage is what bwings us togeva today…

So…this clip may not be what you think of when you think of marriage but I think that “the Impressive Clergyman” as he is titled in the credits of the movie Princess Bride does a pretty good, yet brief, job of describing marriage.  And he makes you laugh in the process.

I have learned so much about what it looks like to be a husband in the last two months and my goal is to continue to learn and grow for the rest of my life with Chloé.  I am so blessed to have the best wife in the entire world and below I just wrote some of the things I learned from studying.

Marriage is one of the most beautiful and amazing things that God created and has blessed humanity with.  However, a large amount of marriages today are not the way that God intended.  A Biblical marriage is a covenant relationship that is not intended to be broken and the Bible clearly states that a person is not allowed to get out of marriage unless one of the partners commits sexual immorality.  The Bible also calls Christians to be equally yoked, or have the same beliefs, as the person that they marry.  A few other things that the Bible tells Christians about marriage is that all people are not called to marriage but those who are must love and respect their husband or wife.  The husband is to be the head and spiritual leader of the household.  The Bible also says that marriage is to be between a man and a woman.  Now that the Biblical expectations for marriage have been talked about it is time to look at some actual marriages in the Bible and discuss new things that I learned about marriage this week.

The first marriage that will be discussed is the very first marriage in the Bible and is when God actually established the covenant relationship of marriage.  It was between Adam and Eve.  The Lord saw that is was not good for man to be alone so he created Eve out of Adam’s flesh.  The negatives of this marriage are easy to pick out because they lead to the fall of man and entrance of sin into the world.  Eve does not listen to God and eats of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and Adam decides to have a bite as well knowing that the Lord said do not eat it.  This leads to sin and banishment from Eden.  The one positive that I gleam from this marriage is that God obviously saw that it was a bad thing for Adam to not have a partner therefore he created Eve.  The second marriage that will be talked about is between Abraham and Sarah.  The positive of the relationship are that both Abraham and Sarah are extremely faithful to the Lord and to one another.  Abraham did what the Lord told him and Sarah never complains about it.  The negative that will be pointed out is that twice Abraham told people that Sarah was his sister in an effort to keep himself safe when the Lord would have protected him and his wife.  The final marriage that will be talked about is between David and Bathsheba.  David was completely captivated by Bathsheba’s beauty and he coveted after her even though she had a husband.  He took her for his own and then had the husband murdered.  From these marriages a person can learn a large amount of things that are both good and bad about marriage.  I have learned to be faithful to the Lord and what he commands and to be faithful to my spouse. I have also learned that I should both serve and love my spouse more daily.

There are several things that I learned about marriage that I did not know before we talked about it in class this week.  The first thing is that I learned this week is that asking questions and being more open with my spouse our communication skills will improve.  The second thing that I learned is that both my spouse and I truly enjoyed the way that our parents raised us and we have much to talk about when we decide how to raise our family.  The third thing that I learned this week is that Chloé and I need to set both long and short-term goals that set us up for success.  The fourth thing that I learned was the fear dance.  The fear dance is extremely helpful because by knowing how Chloé and I push each others buttons then react we will be able to recognize and defuse a possibly negative situation.  The final thing that I learned this week was both Chloé’s and my love languages.  I learned that Chloé is physical touch, quality time, and acts of service.  I learned that my love languages are quality time, acts of service, and physical touch.

This week was extremely helpful in helping me understand my role as a husband better and attempting to be a better husband.  It was also great to reinforce that marriage is a covenant relationship and that God takes marriage seriously.  Finally I loved learning more things about my wife and things such as the fear dance and our love languages that I can apply to my marriage.

Resources

The Bible

Keith Chancey’s class lecture on marriage

Chad Hampsch’s class lecture on marriage

Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages”

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Inductive Study

Inductive Bible study can be defined as, “interpreting scripture with no pre-judgment, from the text itself, through analyzing the evidence and drawing out of it logical conclusions.”  In layman’s terms, inductive Bible study is using the Bible to study the Bible on a more in depth level.  An inductive Bible study can be a very important tool to a person wanting to learn more about the Word of God.  Therefore, the next part of this paper is going to tell why inductive Bible study methods are important.

Why is inductive Bible study important?  The first reason that inductive Bible study is important is that it allows people to pull information directly from the source, which in this case is the Word of God.  It is also important because it allows people to be able to understand the Bible better through studying on a more in depth level. Inductive Bible studies are more in depth because they ask penetrating questions and give the reader the opportunity to come to the conclusion themselves. The reader comes to their conclusion by cross-referencing the specific text they are currently studying with other verses in the Bible.  Key words or repeated words also greatly help the reader come to their own conclusion.  By studying the Bible in this way the reader is given the opportunity to recognize how the Word of God applies to their life. They begin to realize what exactly the Lord is saying through a specific text.

What are the three major areas of inductive Bible study?  According to David Lawson the first major area of inductive Bible study is observation.  Observation of the Bible is simply examining what the text says.  To do this, a person must ask the questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Another thing that is important in the area of observation when doing an inductive Bible study is the identification of key words.  Key words are words that are repeated and have importance to the text. These words will become obvious to the reader after having read the specific from beginning to end a few times. Upon finding these key words, the reader should begin to ask ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’ to see what they can learn about the word in each reference. Over the course of the reading the reader will begin to see a pattern. It may also help the reader to make a list of what they learn about the key word(s) each time that it is used. The second area of inductive Bible study is interpretation.  Interpretation of the Bible simply means that you come to an understanding of what the text says.  Context is the key to the interpretation of the scripture.  If something is taken out of context it can have a completely different meaning.  This is where cross-referencing comes into play.  A verse in James may have cross-references in Galatians and Romans.  These are verses that say the same or similar things and they will help when attempting to interpret the Bible and take passages in the correct context.  By cross-referencing the reader is less inclined to misunderstand or misquote the Bible. The third major area of inductive Bible study is application.  Application of the Bible is applying what is learned and making it a lifestyle.  It is living out what is learned from observing and interpreting the Word of God.

In closing, an inductive Bible study is an important thing to a believer because it allows him or her to understand the Word of God on a more in depth level. This kind of study gives a believer the opportunity to learn directly from the source rather than relying on other individuals conclusions.  A Christian will also be able to observe, interpret, and apply what the Bible says to his or her life.  Through this understanding a Christian may properly and effectively preach the gospel to others.

 

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog. At the Kanakuk Institute we are asked to start a blog to share what we are learning. Over the next 8 months I will continue sharing with each of you what the Lord is teaching me.

I chose the name “A Praying Husband” for my blog because in August I married my best friend and am learning what it looks like to be a husband and man pursuing the Lord.

Feel free to stop by or send me a message.

Caleb

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