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Spiritual Maturity Training Weekend 2 – Session 1. Core Doctrines and Church Life. Schedule. 10:00-10:45 – Session 1 – Core Doctrines 10:45-11:00 – Break 11:00-11:45 – Session 2 – What if we don’t agree? 11:45-12:00 – Break 12:00-12:45 – Session 3 – The Balance of Life and Doctrine

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Presentation Transcript
  • 10:00-10:45 – Session 1 – Core Doctrines
  • 10:45-11:00 – Break
  • 11:00-11:45 – Session 2 – What if we don’t agree?
  • 11:45-12:00 – Break
  • 12:00-12:45 – Session 3 – The Balance of Life and Doctrine
  • 12:45-1:45 – Lunch
  • 1:45-2:30 – Session 4 – Contemporary Issues: The Gospel and Homosexuality
  • 2:30-2:45 – Break
  • 2:45-3:30 – Session 5 – Contemporary Issues: Dating, Politics, & Fellowship
  • 3:30-4:00 – Q & A
Can we realistically say that Scripture alone influences our beliefs?Wouldn’t almost everyone claim that?
definition of terms
Definition of Terms
  • Scripture – The Word of God contained in the Old and New Testament (read and interpreted correctly)
  • Tradition – The common practice of the historic kingdom Christians (not the kind of tradition that Jesus denounced that subverts God’s Word or is put on an equal level with it)
    • Universal
    • Ancient (1st, 2nd, 3rd, centuries)
    • Consensus
  • Reason – Our God-given mental ability and wisdom that allows us to discern truth and what is right
  • Experience – Our own experience of what works and directed by God
our four factors
Our Four Factors
  • Ranking the Importance
  • How would you rank the four influences of Scripture, tradition (the good kind), reason, and experience in order of importance when it comes to determining our beliefs and practices?
  • Split into small groups and briefly discuss the answer
how do you approach the bible
How do you approach the Bible?
  • What method of biblical interpretation do you use?
  • Doctrines that are written in the blood of Christ and cannot be changed without changing the very nature of the gospel

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4


3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

Jude 1


17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3


1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

2 Timothy 2


4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

2 Corinthians 11


6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Galatians 1


2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

1 John 4


15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

2 Timothy 2

  • Examples
  • Deity & Humanity of Christ
  • Crucifixion of Christ
  • Resurrection of Christ & believers
  • Nature of Salvation
  • Baptism into Christ
  • The nature of the Bible
  • Father as God; Son as God; Spirit as God
  • Being part of the Body
  • Important doctrines that need to be defended but do not completely change the nature of the gospel or necessitate a break in fellowship
  • Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Romans 14

  • The trick here is that if these areas are not carefully watched, they can balloon into issues of blood
  • Some Examples
  • Examples
  • Respect for Martyrs in the Early Church
          • becomes
  • Special treatment of the saints (eating meals at their graves; kissing their bones; burying them under altars; etc.)
          • becomes
  • Full-blown veneration of the saints
          • becomes
  • Praying to saints and having mediators other than Christ
  • Examples
  • Making concessions to allow grieving parents to baptize children on their death beds
          • becomes
  • Defending the practice and allowing it to be practiced through choice
          • becomes
  • The standard practice
          • becomes
  • Innovating and accepting the doctrines of original sin and then predestination to defend the practice
          • becomes
  • An entirely different teaching and practice of salvation
  • Examples
  • Allowed referring to communion as a sacrifice on an altar and the bishop as an Old Testament style priest
          • becomes
  • Belief that communion was a type of actual sacrifice in addition to Christ’s death on the Cross
          • becomes
  • Belief in sacraments
          • becomes
  • Faith diminished as all that was important was the administering of the sacraments
          • becomes
  • Radical changes to the nature of church leadership, the expectations of holiness in the body, discipleship, etc.
  • Examples
  • Expansion of the role and authority of the bishop
          • becomes
  • Increasing role of authority and diminishing of the priesthood of believers
          • becomes
  • Exalted priesthood which can forgive sin, mediate for believers, etc.
  • The big danger is exploding these areas beyond important things to be defended, and just moving them into the blood category
  • Itcan beeasier to do that at times than striking the proper balance between guarding these doctrines but nottreating them as blood issues
  • Examples
  • How to go about discipling
  • Speaking in tongues
  • Predestination and Calvinism
  • Details about the Second Coming at the resurrection
  • Church structure and organization
  • How to interpret Revelation
  • Issues concerning the practice of communion
  • Dating guidelines
  • Church organization
  • Role of the Christians in Politics
  • The next biggest mistake is to say “well, these aren’t blood issues so I can go ahead and do it my way and no one better tell me otherwise.”
  • That’s the wrong mindset and not what Paul calls us to in Romans 14 (more on that in the next session)
important guidelines for these areas
Important Guidelines for these Areas
  • 23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
  • 25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[f]
  • 27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
  • 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God — 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
important guidelines for these areas1
Important Guidelines for these Areas
  • Is it beneficial?

keeping in mind the spiritual health of others)

  • Is it constructive to building up the body?

(or is it an exaltation of my rights)

  • Does it bring glory to God?

This applies to everything you do

  • Areas of complete opinion
  • They should still be directed by Scripture, faith, and god-fearing conscience
  • Scripture confirms that we will have different opinions and convictions in these disputable matters
  • Examples
  • Tattoos
  • Musical preferences
  • Using instruments in worship
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Going to movies
  • What time of day to have a quiet time
  • The big danger here is to expand these issues into the ink or even blood categories and get into fights or even break fellowship over them
things to think about
Things to Think About
  • Determining what goes into each of the 3 categories takes great discernment on the part of the body
things to think about1
Things to Think About
  • When we do have differences, even blood differences, we must have a heart to resolve these differences as a Christian
things to think about2
Things to Think About
  • We need to strike the balance between defending the faith and loving others
  • Never forget that we are called to love our enemies
things to think about3
Things to Think About
  • A Warning
  • Never let a position that you oppose define what you believe
  • Hold to your beliefs without jumping to extreme opposite opinions that push your beliefs beyond what they should really be
things to think about4
Things to Think About
  • One More Time
  • Determining what goes into each of the 3 categories takes great discernment on the part of the body