Diane Avenue Church of Christ. Hebrews 11 (NIV ) Faith in Action 11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. . BIBLE CLASS . The Importance of the Doctrine of Christ
Hebrews 11 (NIV)
Faith in Action
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
The Importance of the Doctrine of Christ
Fruitful, Faithful, and Fellowship
2 Kings 4:8-37; 1 Kings 17:7-24, 2 Kings 8:1-6
Today we would like to continue our discussion on the Importance of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. Last week we discussed Fruitfulness and Faithfulness. We were discussing why it’s so difficult to keep the two greatest commandments ever given to all who will hear them.
How does the gospel of Jesus Christ affect your faith that God as you journey through your daily Christian walk?
Jesus’ taught his disciples that when you love God and love others, Jesus said, all the rest of the Christian life falls naturally into place (Matt. 22:37–39).
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
How do we learn to love God
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
How, then, do we learn to love God? That’s the dilemma of the “great commandment”: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).
But how can true love be commanded?
Love for God is commanded in Scripture, but the command can only truly be fulfilled as our eyes are opened, our minds are opened, our soul is opened to see God’s beauty revealed in the gospel.
The Spirit of God uses the beauty of the gospel to awaken in our hearts a desire for God.
“We love Him,” the apostle John would say, “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 ). Love for God grows out of an experience of the love of God. At least that’s the way it should be. What’s stopping us?
God never stops loving you!
What is God like? Some people picture Him as an angry God--an all-seeing eye Who carries a big stick around, ready to clobber them!--Or a cruel tyrant, some kind of a monster, Who is trying to frighten everyone into Hell! But actually, He is love! He's a loving God who is trying to show you that love is the key into Heaven! He's so close, so intimate, so personal, so loving, so kind, so tender, so gentle, so concerned, and He's waiting with open arms.
The only reason He follows us around is that He's hoping we'll turn around and meet Him with open arms!
He never stops loving us no matter what we do. He never rejects us or withdraws His Love. He always has hope for us no matter how far we've strayed. So if you feel far from God, maybe it's because you haven't opened your heart to receive His Love and forgiveness! You need not continue to feel condemned for your mistakes and sins, only be sorry, ask for God's forgiveness, and be forgiven! (Isa.1:18; 1Jn.1:9)
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
If you'll even start God's way, if you'll just turn toward Him and start trying to find your way Home, the Father will come running toward you and receive you with open arms of love! (Lk.15:18-24) (Parable of the Prodigal Son)
In fact, Paul says whatever we do for God that is not fueled by love for God is ultimately worthless to Him:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor. 13:1–3)
What Is “Real” Spiritual Growth?
What Is “Real” Spiritual Growth?
In the last message Jesus gave to His disciples, He told them that the way to fruitfulness and joy—the “secret” to the Christian life—was to abide in Him (John 15:4).
They wouldn’t produce “abundant fruit” by reading books, intensifying their self-discipline, memorizing Scripture, or getting into study groups. Those things all have their place, but real fruit comes only from one place: abiding in Jesus.
John 15:4 (NIV)
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
The Greek word “meno” means literally “to make your home in.” When we “make our home in” His love—feeling it, saturating ourselves with it, reflecting on it, standing in awe of it—spiritual fruit begins to spring up naturally from us like roses on a rosebush.
His (Jesus) love is the soil in which all the fruits of the Spirit grow. When our roots abide there, then joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control grow naturally in our hearts.
So if you want to see spiritual fruit in your life, don’t focus primarily on the fruits. Focus on Jesus’ acceptance of you, given to you as a gift.
Psalm 1 (KJV)
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 1 (KJV)
4.The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
A Lesson of Faith
A Lesson of Hope
2 Kings 4:8-37
I would like to take a few minutes to talk about a woman of faith, a women of hope, a women who kept her faith in God.
2 Kings 4:8-11
One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”
11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there.
4:8-10The man of God made such an impression that one prominent family wished to show special hospitality to him. In a society that had become largely pagan, a display of friendship to the man of God possibly indicated faith in God.
2 Kings 4:12-15
12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”
She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”
14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.
Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”
15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.” “No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”
4:13Apparently Elisha could have influence with an ungodly king or other authorities. This is an example for Christians living in a corrupted political system. The woman expressed contentment with her situation.
4:15-16 The woman was barren in a society in which both pagans and worshipers of the Lord thought of barrenness as one of the curses from the gods. At the same time, any act of power could be a vindication of God's truth. Therefore this special help for the woman was a witness for God. More specifically, it was a statement that God could still give blessings to those who were faithful to Him.
Commentary: To her Husband:
She suggests to him, 1. That the stranger she would invite was a holy man of God, who therefore would do good to their family, and God would recompense the kindness done to him; perhaps she had heard how well paid the widow of Sarepta; (Zarephath in the region of Sidon) 1 Kings 17:7-24; Luke 4:25-27) was for entertaining Elijah. 2. That the kindness she intended him would be no great charge to them; she would build him only a little chamber.
Wherein can I serve thee?” I dwell (says she) among my own people, that is, “We are well off as we are, and do not aim at preferment.” It is a happiness to dwell among our own people, that love and respect us, and to whom we are in a capacity of doing good; and a greater happiness to be content to do so, to be easy, and to know when we are well off.
Why should those that live comfortably among their own people covet to live delicately in kings’ palaces? It would be well with many if they did but know when they were well off. Some years after this we find this Shunammite had occasion to be spoken for to the king, though now she needed it not, 2 Kgs. 8:3, 4. Those that dwell among their own people must not think their mountain stands so strong as that it cannot be moved; they may be driven, as this good woman was, to sojourn among strangers.
Elisha did use his interest for her in the court of heaven, which was far better. If Elisha could obtain this favour from God for her, it would be the removal of that which at present was her only grievance. He sent for her immediately. She very humbly and respectfully stood in the door (2 Kgs. 4:15), according to her accustomed modesty, and then he assured her that within a year she should bring forth a son, 2 Kgs. 4:16.
Joy and Sadness.
2 Kings 4: 17:22 - 17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.
18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”
* Note reapers is a farming tool
2 Kings 4: 17:22 -
His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.
22 She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.”
Joy of the Son
We may well suppose that, after the birth of this son, the prophet was doubly welcome to the good Shunammite. He had thought himself indebted to her, but henceforth, as long as she lives, she will think herself in his debt, and that she can never do too much for him. We may also suppose that the child was very dear to the prophet, as the son of his prayers, and very dear to the parents, as the son of their old age.
The Death of the Son
The sudden death of the child, though so much a darling. He was so far past the perils of infancy that he was able to go to the field to his father, and his joy of his son was greater than the joy of his harvest; and he complained to his father that his head ached, 2 Kgs. 4:19. Where should we go with our complaints, but to our heavenly Father? There the Spirit of adoption brings believers with all their grievances, all their desires, teaching them to cry, with groaning’s that cannot be uttered.
2 Kings 4:24-37
24She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’” “Everything is all right,” she said.
27When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”
28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”
29 Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.”
30 But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.
31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”
32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.
4:18-26When death entered the home of the Shunammite family, there was another opportunity to show that God could miraculously bless this family. The OT promise of earthly blessings for keeping the law was a general promise, not an absolute promise to every faithful person. There were many people who had faith but were not rewarded with freedom and prosperity, as in the case of Naaman's Jewish servant girl (5:2). Nevertheless, any blessing is an example of God's care for His faithful ones. To common perception, for the Shunammite woman to lose her son could send a negative message about God's dispensing of blessings.
4:27Elisha modeled both sensitivity and a recognition of his own limitations. His words the Lord has hidden it from me showed limitation to the knowledge and power God granted him.
4:28 Her ecstatic hopes are suddenly dashed, and her spirits are lower now than they had been before she was blessed with a son. Some grief is too painful to share with just anyone. Concealing her thoughts from her husband and from Gehazi, the woman wanted to deal with Elisha, the source of her blessing.
4:29-31When sent to bring healing to the woman's son, Gehazi was to be focused on the task. Gehazi's failed attempt to bring healing also revealed the human limitations of the man of God. Elisha had seemed confident that sending Gehazi was sufficient to heal the woman's son.
Such confidence had she of God’s goodness that she was very ready to believe that he who so soon took away what he had given would restore what he had now taken away. By this faith women received their dead raised to life, Heb. 11:35. In this faith she makes no preparation for the burial of her dead child, but for its resurrection; for she lays him on the prophet’s bed
(2 Kgs. 4:21), expecting that he will stand her friend. O woman! great is thy faith. Matthew 15:28
Hebrews 11:35 (NIV)
35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
4:32-35When Elisha arrived, he carried out a more complicated procedure for healing the son. In that day and time, even some sincere worshipers of the Lord might have taken this healing act to be a result of magical power given by God. In this way some may have mistakenly taken Elisha to be a man gifted with rare powers. Such notions are contrary to biblical revelation. We must understand that in the era of epic power encounters between the men of God and representatives of darkness, men such as Elisha performed spectacular feats only because they served as channels for God's miraculous power.
There was no magic to it; nor were the powers given to the men of God in such a way as to make the powers their own. Here Elisha's success was dependent on his prayer to the Lord.
(cf: 1 Kings 17:8-24)
What was the main objective of this story?
Why do you think she placed the boy on Elisha’s bed?
Did Elisha also learn a lesson? If yes what was it?
What life application did you learn form this story?
The doctrine of Christ is most important for unity because it is the foundation for Christian unity and fellowship
Some believe we may have fellowship with those who do not abide in "the doctrine of Christ." If a church has a piano or organ in its worship, they will not object. If a church observes traditions of men, such as Easter and Christmas, that is alright, too.
Q. What are your thoughts concerning this?
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:8-11)
Is John suggesting that we should not associate with those who do not teach or abide in the doctrine or false teachers? Or is this a warning for us to be careful whom we associate with?
2 John 9 –
John 8:31 - 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
1 John 2:23 - 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
2 John 10 –
Romans 16:17 - 17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
2 John 11 –
1 Timothy 5:22 - 22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
It would seem that we need to examine 2 John 9 a bit more closely. What was John talking about?
John was concerned about false teaching he was referring to Gnostics and other false teachers who believed they had advanced beyond the teaching of the Apostles teaching of Christ. This was a concern of John, heresy, the true teaching of Christ as the incarnate God man.
The apostle Peter says that the angels still “long to look into” the things of the gospel, because it dazzles their minds (1 Pet. 1:12). The angels have seen God face-to-face, and yet they still can’t get enough of the gospel! Do we think we are really ready to move on to something else?
Whatever spiritual dysfunction you have in your life, the cure is the gospel. Do we want to be filled with passion for God?
We should drink from the gospel. Do we want to get control of our bodies? We must be captivated by the gospel. Do we want to be content with what we have? We need to feast on the gospel. Do we want to learn to love our spouse? We have to be overwhelmed by the gospel.
Growth in Christ is never going beyond the gospel, but going deeper into the gospel.
My prayer is that this lesson will call us to a deeper understanding of the gospel as the true center of Christianity. I hope it helps you see that the gospel shouldn’t just be a ticket to heaven but the core of our entire lives. When you have made your home in the gospel. You will be radically generous. You will show audacious faith. These things are not added after the gospel, they flow from the gospel.
The basis for Christian unity/fellowship is the doctrine of Christ.
1. The doctrine of Christ is important for the church to be .