Central church of Christ 

New Smyrna Beach, Fl 

Sunday Bible Study, 9am.    Sunday Worship, 10am & 5 pm.    Wednesday Bible Study, 7pm.

Various Studies

Knowing God



What It Means to Know God

In the quest to know God, it is vital to understand just what it means to really know Him. Central to understanding this is the fact that God is both incomprehensible and knowable.




The Incomprehensibility of God

Scripture teaches that we can have a true and personal knowledge of God, but this does not mean we will ever understand Him exhaustively. The Bible is clear that God is ultimately incomprehensible to us; that is, we can never fully comprehend His whole being. The following passages show this:


"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable" (Ps. 145:3).


“Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:14).


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8–9).


"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” (Rom. 11:33–34; cf. Job 42:1–6; Ps. 139:6, 17–18; 147:5; Isa. 57:15; 1 Cor. 2:10–11; 1 Tim. 6:13–16).


These verses teach that not only is God’s whole being incomprehensible but each of His attributes—His greatness, power, thoughts, ways, wisdom, and judgments—are well beyond human ability to fathom fully. Not only can we never know everything there is to know about God, we can never know everything there is to know about even one aspect of God’s character or work.




Why God Is Incomprehensible

The main reasons for God’s incomprehensibility are: 


1) God is infinite and His creatures are finite. By definition, creatures depend on their Creator for their very existence and are limited in all aspects. Yet God is without limitations in every quality He possesses (Gen 18:14; Luke 1:37). This Creator/creature, infinite/finite gap will always exist. 


2) The perfect unity of God’s attributes is far beyond the realm of human experience. God’s love, wrath, grace, justice, holiness, patience, and jealousy are continually functioning in a perfectly integrated yet infinitely complex way (Ps 18:30).    


3) The effects of sin on the minds of fallen humans also greatly inhibit the ability to know God. The tendency of fallen creatures is to distort, pervert, and confuse truth and to use, or rather abuse, it for selfish ends rather than for God’s glory (Rom. 1:18–26). 


4) A final reason God can never be fully known is that in His sovereign wisdom God has chosen not to reveal some things: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). Many would label it unloving for God to decide to withhold some information from his people. They wrongly believe God should reveal everything they may want to know. Yet, as with all good fathers, God’s wisdom leads Him to refrain from answering all the questions His children ask Him, and this contributes to His incomprehensibility.


In heaven, God’s incomprehensibility will no doubt be lessened when the effects of sin no longer ravage minds and when He will most likely share some of His secrets. However, God will always be infinite and humans will always be finite, so He will always be beyond human ability to know exhaustively.




Implications of God’s Incomprehensibility

Because God can never be fully known, those who seek to know God should be deeply humbled in the process, realizing that they will always have more to learn. The appropriate response to God is a heart of wonder and awe in light of his incomprehensible greatness. God’s incomprehensibility also means that beliefs can be held with firm conviction even though they may be filled with inexplicable mystery. The Trinity, the divine and human natures of Christ, divine sovereignty and human responsibility, and many other core teachings of the Christian faith are profoundly mysterious; believing them requires a robust affirmation of the incomprehensibility of God.



The Knowability of God

The incomprehensibility of God could lead to despair or apathy in the quest to know God, but the Bible also teaches that God is knowable. While God can never be exhaustively understood, He can be known truly, personally, and sufficiently. God is personal, has definite characteristics, and has personally revealed himself so that He can be truly known. The multiplication of grace and peace in our lives is dependent on knowing God (2 Pet. 1:2–3), and this knowledge provides sufficient resources for life and for becoming the people God wants us to be.


Knowledge of God in Christ should be our greatest delight (Jer. 9:23–24; 1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 6:14). It is the basis of attaining eternal life (John 17:3); it is at the heart of life in the new covenant (Heb. 8:11–12); it was Paul’s primary goal (Phil. 3:10); and it leads to godly love (1 John 4:7–8). God will never be known absolutely, but we can know things about Him that are absolutely true, so much so that we can be willing to live and die for those beliefs. God has provided knowledge of Himself that is personal, relational, and sufficient for fruitful, faithful, godly living (2 Tim 3:16-17). No one will ever be able to say he lacked the necessary revelation to know God and to start living as God intends.



Implications of the Knowability of God

God’s personal and sufficient revelation of himself should foster solid conviction among believers. We need not live in ambiguity and uncertainty about who God is and what he demands of his creatures. The increasing influence of Eastern religions on the West, certain postmodern views of truth, and religious pluralism all emphasize God’s incomprehensibility so much that he is eventually made to seem unknowable. It then becomes impossible to say anything definitively true or false about him, and people then think that the only heresy is claiming that there is any heresy at all! On the contrary, because of His gracious revelation and illumination, God can indeed be known. God’s knowability should lead to eager, diligent, devoted study of God’s Word so that we can understand him as he has revealed himself and avoid any false view of God that will dishonor Him. We should never grow apathetic in seeking to know God because we are in fact able and equipped to know him and to please him with our lives.



The Character of God

“Without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Heb. 11:6)—but it is also impossible to have faith in God without knowing the character of God. Faith is belief in God’s promises, which in turn are grounded in his character.




Ways in Which God Reveals Himself

God has revealed himself primarily in four overlapping ways: (1) actions; (2) names; (3) images; and (4) attributes, as seen in the chart. God reveals himself through actions, names, and images because they carry vivid, experiential, creative, and situational power. However, it is God’s attributes that are the fundamental descriptions of who he is.




Primarily, God Has Revealed Himself In Two Major Ways

1) General Revelation: Through creation.

2) Special Revelation: Inspiration of his word, miracles, prophecy, through his Son, spiritual gifts, etc.




Means of Revelation                     Examples

actions  ......................................... creating, judging, redeeming

names  ..........................................“Lord” (Hb. YHWH, or Yahweh)

                                                      “God Almighty” (Hb. el Shadday)

                                                      “Master, Lord” (Hb. ‘Adon)

mental images  ..............................Father, Rock, Husband, Shepherd

attributes  ...................................... holiness, goodness, love, grace, wrath




Actions of God

God shows who he is in what he does. In creating the world, God shows his power, wisdom, beauty, goodness, and prodigious creativity. After the creation of humanity God talks to, walks with, and seeks out humans, even when they lapse into rebellion against him, showing that he is relational, personal, engaged, and caring. God demonstrates his holiness, wrath, and justice when he curses human rebellion in the garden and judges the unrighteous through the flood in Noah’s day. He shows his grace and mercy in establishing a covenant with Noah and Abraham. In sending his Son to live and die for humanity, he shows amazing love and compassion. Whenever God acts, we see his character displayed.


Names of God

God offers his name as a personal introduction and as a window into his character. This is why David says, “Those who know your name put their trust in you” (Ps. 9:10). To know his name is to know he is trustworthy. God’s act of naming himself is a profoundly gracious act of accommodation and engagement.


Among the many names for God in the Bible, there is none more important than Yahweh (translated “Lord”), a name that was revealed to Moses at the burning bush (Ex. 3:15). Linguistically related to the verb “I am,” Yahweh is packed with theological import. It most likely communicates God’s self-existence, independence, self-sufficiency, eternality, and unchanging character. These transcendent qualities are powerfully complemented when God also tells Moses to refer to him as “the God of your fathers” (Ex. 3:15). God is both majestic and intimate, the great, eternal “I am,” the God who knows his children by name and keeps his covenant promises. Christian worship, discipleship, and preaching must maintain both healthy fear of the Lord and freedom and confidence in his presence.


Another striking and revealing name for God is “Jealous” (Hb. ’El qana’). God tells Moses that he is so jealous for his glory expressed in the faithfulness of his people that “Jealous” is an appropriate name for himself. The reason God gives for his commandment against idolatry is grounded in his character as a jealous God: “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex. 34:14). God deserves and demands absolute, exclusive loyalty and hates spiritual adultery. In his jealous love he refuses to allow his people to be supremely devoted to anything but himself. Because he is absolutely worthy of worship, allowing his people to love anything more than him would compromise his justice and love.


Mental Images of God

Images of God are analogies from daily life that serve to illustrate his attributes. Among many other images, God is: Father, King, Consuming Fire, Judge, Husband, Shepherd, Potter, Farmer, Refiner, Landowner, Lion, Bear, Light, Water, Tower, and Lamb! These amazingly diverse descriptions from a multitude of human experiences offer pictures of God that reach minds and hearts in ways that abstract definitions do not. Images, like attributes and names, must be considered in relation to one another. If certain images are emphasized at the expense of others, God’s character will be misunderstood. The varied images in the Bible are all complementary to each other, and each is vital for understanding God. For example, God as the Rock points out his strength, stability, and justice, while God as Husband gives insight into his loving, faithful, committed heart for his covenant people.


The image of God as a Rock is used in both OT and NT. Deuteronomy 32 especially highlights God as Rock in light of Israel’s unfaithfulness: “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth” (Deut. 32:18; cf. Deut. 32:4, 13, 15, 30, 31, 37). Paul uses this image as a title of strength and applies it to Christ in 1 Corinthians 10:4: “and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” The Rock that followed and provided for the Israelites in the wilderness in the old covenant was the Christ who provides for the Corinthian believers in the new covenant. 


The strength and stability of the rock imagery is beautifully complemented by the tender, compassionate image of God as the Husband of his people. “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called” (Isa. 54:5; cf. Jer. 2:2; Hosea 1–3). God’s relational involvement with his people is so intimate and personal that he is jealous when his people are unfaithful. God speaks with the jealous voice of a husband who has been betrayed by an adulterous wife: “Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband, so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel, declares the Lord” (Jer. 3:20). The idea of God as a rock could lead to impersonal, static, cold conceptions, were it not for the intensely loving, engaged husband imagery. The marriage metaphor could reduce God to being weak, vulnerable, and pathetic if not for images like a rock (and a king, warrior, fire, etc.). Images of God bring his attributes from being mere abstractions into vivid clarity because they are based on our experiences of life.




Attributes of God

His attributes are his essential characteristics that make Him who he is. 


1) Independence: God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify Him and bring Him joy.


“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24–25; cf. Ex. 3:14; Job 41:11; Ps. 50:9–12; 90:2).


God never experiences need, so serving God should never be motivated by the thought that He needs us. He is the provider in everything.



2) Immutability: God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, although as he acts in response to different situations he feels emotions.


“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6; for “being,” cf. Ps. 102:25–27; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17; for “purposes,” cf. Ps. 33:11; Isa. 46:9–11; for “promises,” cf. Num. 23:19; Rom. 11:29).


God can always be trusted because he always keeps his word, and is never capricious or moody.



3) Eternity: God has no beginning or end and is in no way bound by time, although he sees events and acts in his world in time.


“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps. 90:2; cf. Ex. 3:14; Job 36:26; Ps. 90:4; Isa. 46:9–10; John 8:58; 1 Tim. 6:16; 2 Pet. 3:8; Jude 24–25; Rev. 1:8; 4:8).


Those who trust the God of eternity can know peace, rest, and comfort in the busyness of life and in spite of impending death, for God keeps them in safety and joy forever.



4) Omnipresence: God  is present everywhere with his whole being, though he acts differently in different situations.

“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth?” (Jer. 23:23–24; cf. 1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 139:7–10; Isa. 66:1–2; Acts 7:48–50).


God can be sought anywhere regardless of place. Believers should never feel lonely, and the wicked should never feel safe.



5) Holiness: God is absolutely and uniquely excellent above all creation (majesty) and without sin (purity).

“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (Rev. 4:8; for “majestic holiness,” cf. Ex. 15:11; 1 Chron. 16:27–29; Isa. 57:15; for “moral holiness,” cf. Isa. 5:16; 6:1–8; Acts 3:14; Heb. 7:26).


God should be feared and obeyed, and his people should earnestly pursue moral purity.



6) Omnipotence: God is able to do all his holy will.

“Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isa. 46:9–10; cf. Ex. 6:3; Job 37:23; 40:2; 42:1–6; Ps. 24:6; 33:10–11; 91:1; Dan. 4:34–35; Matt. 28:18).


God’s ultimate will is never frustrated by evil, so there is peace and confidence in the face of suffering for those who trust God.



7) Sovereignty: God has absolute rule over creation as King. 

“His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4:34–35; cf. 1 Chron. 29:11–13; Ps. 22:28; 24:1; 47:7–9; 103:19; Prov. 16:19, 21, 33; Dan. 4:25; 7:1–28; 12:1–13; Matt. 6:13; 10:29; Acts 17:26; Eph. 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:15; James 1:13–15).


Mankind should obey and submit to God as humble subjects of his kingdom.



8) Omniscience: God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible—past, present, and future.

“Whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20; cf. Job 28:24; 37:16; Ps. 139:1–3; 147:5; Isa. 55:8–9; Matt. 10:29–30; Rom. 11:33–34; 1 Cor. 2:10–11; Heb. 4:13).


All God’s thoughts and actions are perfectly informed by perfect knowledge, so he is perfectly trustworthy.



9) Wisdom: God always knows and chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals. Wisdom is a moral as well as an intellectual quality.

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might” (Dan. 2:20; cf. Job 9:4; 12:13; Ps. 104:24; Rom. 11:33; 16:27; 1 Cor. 1:21–29; Eph. 3:10–11).


God’s wisdom is not always clear to us, but it is great, deep, valuable, and should be highly desired and sought, and we should not doubt its reality even in circumstances that upset us.



10) Love: God freely and eternally gives of himself. The ultimate historical demonstration of God’s love is seen in the cross of Christ.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:8–10; cf. John 3:16; 15:13; 17:24; Rom. 5:8; 8:31–39; Gal. 2:20; 1 John 3:16; 4:16).


God is eager to extravagantly give of himself to meet the needs of lost sinners, so they should flee to him with confidence (cf. Rom. 8:32).



11) Wrath: God intensely hates and responds with anger to all sin and rebellion. God hates every threat to what he loves.

“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb’” (Rev. 6:15–16; cf. Ex. 34:7; Rom. 1:18; 2:4; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Thess. 1:5; 2 Pet. 3:9).


God should be greatly feared. Unbelievers should fear his judgment and turn to Christ for salvation. Believers should fear God’s fatherly discipline. The God who loves us is also the holy God who hates sin (1 Pet. 1:17).





The Power of Prayer Today

By Charles Brian Knight



A) God Can Do Anything, He is ALLMIGHTY!

    1) Gen.18:10-14, Nothing is too difficult for the Lord!

    2) Luke 1:26-38, Nothing is impossible with the Lord!

    3) Eph.3:20-21, The Lord can do far more than we can ask or imagine!

    4) Rom.8:28, Those who love God, and are living in accordance with His purpose: All things will work together for

        their good. 



B) How One Should & Shouldn't Pray

     1) Matt. 6:5-13, with proper respect and focused words. 

     2) Luke 18:1-14, with hunger, & humility.  

     3) James 1:5-8, in sincere faith.

     4) James 5:16-18, with a righteous & holy life.



C) What Disciples were told to pray for

     1) Matt.5:44, For those who persecute them. 

     2) Matt.9:38, For people to desire work in God's kingdom.  

     3) Matt. 26:41, To avoid temptation.

     4) Luke 21:34-36, For strength to be found faithful in the Lord.

     5) Col.1:3, Apostles prayed on behalf of church members.

     6) Col. 1:9, Paul prayed that Christians be filled with spiritual knowledge.

     7) Col.4:3, Pray for opportunities to teach the gospel to others.

     8) Eph.6:18, Paul commanded Christians to pray on behalf of their brethren.

     9) 2 Thes.1:11, that Christians walk worthy of their calling.  

    10) James 5:16, for each others struggles.

 


D) Should Christians Pray For Healing & Health?

     1) James 5:13, for those who are suffering.  

     2) James 5:14, for those who are sick.

     3) James 5:16-18, the prayer of a righteous person, does much good!!!

     4) 3 John 2, that all may go well, and for physical health. 

     5) 1 Pet.5:6-7, cast ALL of our cares on Him, because He cares for us.

     6) Phil.4:6-7, don't be anxious about ANYTHING!

     7) 1 Thes.5:17, Never stop praying. (to God for anything).

     8) Heb. 4:14-16, Jesus knows what we're going through, ask for His help.  







Eight Important Christian Disciplines

By Charles Brian Knight




DISCIPLINE #1: Bible Reading/ Study

    A) Necessity: (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 5:15-16) 

        1) God's knowledge & wisdom equips the Christian to be fully mission capable.

        2) To know who God wants us to be.

        3) To maintain focus in a busy, distracting life.

        4) Knowledge is life!


    B) Examples:

         1) Ezra: (Ezra 7:6-10).

         2) The Jews (Jn. 5:39).

         3) The Bereans (Acts 17:11). 


    C) Opportunities:

         1) Sunday: 9:00 A.M.-10:45 A.M. (church building).

         2) Personal Bible Study.

         3) Group Bible Study.

         4) Ladies Bible Class.

         5) Read the Bible with The Preacher & His Family.

 

DISCIPLINE #2: Growth (in knowledge and maturity)

    A) Necessity: (2 Pet. 3:15-18; Eph. 4:11-15). 

    B) Example: (1 Cor. 3:1-3).

    C) Opportunity: Growth comes by way of:

        1) Study

        2) Experience

            a. Being involved over time.

            b. Being involved in the lives of others (watching, listening, learning).

            c. Trying new things to contribute to personal growth in skill & abilities, to advance the cause of Christ.


   D) Marks of Spiritual Maturity:

        1) Spiritual understanding (Heb. 6:1).

        2) Discernment of God's will & change (Col. 1:9-10).

        3) Stability (Eph. 4:13-14).

      

DISCIPLINE #3: Love

    A) Necessity: (1 John 3:23; Col.3:14).

    B) Example: (1 John 4:7-11).

    C) Opportunities:

        1) Loving self. (Lev. 19:18; Eph. 5:28-29). 

        2) In the home. (Eph. 5:25; Titus 2:3-4).

        3) In the church. (Col.3:12-13; John 3:16-18).

        4) For our fellow human beings. (Matt. 5:13-16).


   D) Reasons For Loving One Another:

        1) God commands it (Gal. 5:13-15). 

        2) God's people are known by their love (Jn. 13:35).

        3) Love maintains fellowship (1 Pet. 4:8).

        4) Love promotes "Sacrificial" service (1 Thes. 2:8).



DISCIPLINE #4: Faith

    A) Necessity: (Heb. 11:6; Jn. 14:8-11) 

    B) Examples: (Heb. 11)

    C) Opportunities: (Prov. 3:5-7).

         1) Base life decisions on God's revealed word, not on feelings.

            a. Marriage

            b. Finances

            c. Family

            d. Occupation

            e. Friends

            f. Treatment of others

            g. etc...


    D) The Need For Faith In The Christian's Life

         1) It is the life-code of those justified through Grace (Rom. 1:16-17).

         2) No satisfactory relationship with God without it (Heb. 11:6).

         3) Cannot receive the blessings of God without it (Heb. 11:6) 

         4) Cannot see or understand God's righteous (Rom.1:16-17).

         5) It is the basis for real peace (Rom. 15:13; 2 Pet. 1:1-2).

         6) Actions not springing from faith are sinful (Rom. 14:23).

         7) Necessary to avoid eternal condemnation (2 Thes. 2:11-12).

 


DISCIPLINE #5: Prayer

    A) Necessity: (1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:1-4).

    B) Example: (Acts 2:41-42).

    C) Opportunities: They are endless, and convenient!

    D) Why Christians Pray:

        1) Prayer is open communication to God (Matt. 6:5-9).

        2) Prayer reflects a longing after God (Psalm 145:18-19).

        3) Prayer is opportunity to praise God (Matt. 6:9-13).

        4) Prayer shows reliance on God (2 Cor. 1:8-11).

        5) Prayer brings real peace (Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Samuel 1:1-18).  



DISCIPLINE # 6: Holiness

    A) Necessity: (Rom. 12:1; 1 Pet. 1: 13-16; 1 Cor. 3:16-17).

    B) Example: (Daniel 1:8-9).

    C) Opportunity:

        1) Purify the mind & heart (James 4:8; Phil. 4:8).

        2) Come out of the world (2 Cor. 6:17-18).

        3) Purify your speech (Eph. 4:29). 

        5) Perfect holiness by genuinely fearing God (2 Cor. 7:1).

        6) Embrace the moral & ethical teachings of the Gospel (Col. 3:12-16).

        7) Be controlled by the Spirit, not the flesh (1 Cor. 6:12-13).


   D) Significance of Holiness

        1) We've been cleansed by the Blood of Christ!

        2) The goal of holiness is to be like God (Lev. 19:2; Matt. 5:48).

        3) God dwells with Holy people (Deut. 23:14; Eph. 2:19-22).

        4) Holiness is needed for effective teaching (1 Pet. 2:9-12; 3:1-2).

        5) Holiness is required for acceptable worship (Mark 7:6, Rom. 12:1).

        6) Holiness is needed for godly service (2 Tim. 2:20-21; Titus 2:14).

        7) Holiness leads to a future hope (Heb. 12:14; 1 Thes. 3:12-13).



DISCIPLINE # 7: Worship

    A) Necessity: (Matt. 4:8-10; John 4:23-26).

    B) Example: (Acts 2; 1 Cor. 11; 1 Cor. 14) 

    C) Opportunities:

        1) With the Saints (Acts 2:46-47; 1 Cor. 11; 1Cor.14). 

        2) Personally (Daniel 6:10).

        3) One’s way of life (Romans 12:1).


   D) Benefits of True Worship

        1) The blessings of God's favor (Ex. 23:25-26).

        2) Guidance (Acts 13:2-3).

        3) Deliverance (Acts 16:25-26).

        4) Refreshed with real joy (Luke 24:50-52).

        5) A deeper sense of Jesus' lordship (Phil. 2:9-11).

        6) Boldness to share the gospel (Acts 4:23-31). 

        7) It convicts sinners (1 Cor. 14:24-25).

 


DISCIPLINE # 8: Gospel Sharing

    A) Necessity: (Mark 16:15-16; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; 1 Cor. 9:22-23).

    B) Examples (Jesus; The Apostles; N.T. Christians).

    C) Opportunities (Any and everywhere):

        1) In the home.

        2) In the community.

        3) At the market places.

        4) Through the internet.

        5) At church.

        6) At the park.

        7) At work.

        8) etc..

 


 




THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY CHARACTER VALUES

By Charles Brian Knight



To be read everyday as a family. Select one character value to emulate in your life each day. For example: Monday is "Love," Tuesday is "Compassion." At the end of each day, come together as a family discuss how you used the character value in your day. Once you've done all 24, repeat the process.


 

We are the ________________________________family. We are believers and followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We believe He is the Son of God, and we believe in His teachings on salvation and Christian Character.

 

As Christians, We believe the Lord’s teaching’s on Christian character plays a vital role in every part of our lives. They will make us better people, better Christians, and a better family!

 

We recognize that living the Christian Family Character Values is our duty every day. We also acknowledge, that when we are refusing to allow these values to work in our lives, that we are rejecting God’s will, and walking in sin.

 

We promise this day, that we will strive to the best of our ability to embrace these values, and remind each other to live by them!

 

1) Love: Always do what’s best for others, no matter what. (1 John 4:7-10).

 

2) Compassion: Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and be kind. (Colossians 3:12a).

 

3) Duty: Fulfill your obligations, do your job. (1 Corinthians 15:58).

 

4) Faith: Always believe, even though you can’t see it. (2 Corinthians 5:7).

 

5) Forgiveness: Don’t hold grudges or be bitter, let go. (Matthew 6:14-15; Eph.4:31).

 

6) Gentleness: Be calm. Treat others as if they were fragile. (Galatians 6:1).

 

7) Godliness: Pretend you are God, act just like He would. (Titus 2:11-12).

 

8) Goodness: Be good, and do good. (Galatians 6:9-10).

 

9) Holiness: Be mentally, spiritually, and morally pure. (1 Peter 1:15-16).

 

10) Hopeful: Always be confident because God is with you. (Romans 12:12).

 

11) Humility: Don’t be stubborn, proud, a know-it-all, or better than everyone. (1 Pet. 3:8).

 

12) Integrity: Always be fully honest. (Psalm 51:6a).

 

13) Joy: Let God and His love always make you warm inside. (Psalm 5:11; Galatians 5:22).

 

14) Kindness: Be considerate and useful. (Ephesians 4:32).

 

15) Longsuffering: Be strong, and endure. (Colossians 1:11).

 

16) Loyalty: Be faithful to God, your Family, and Friends. (Revelation 2:10; Prov.17:17).

 

17) Patience: Just wait, don’t be hasty. (Hebrews 6:10-12).

 

18) Peace: Be at peace in yourself, be nice to everyone. (1 Peter 3:10-11; Rom.12:17-18).

 

19) Personal-courage: Never be afraid or ashamed to do what’s right. (2 Tim.4:6-8).

 

20) Respect: Treat others the way you want to be treated. (Matthew 7:12; Rom.13:7).

 

21) Self-control: Think and behave with calm wisdom, not emotion or lust. (Gal.5:22).

 

22) Selfless-service: Put other people’s needs before your own. (Philippians 2:1-8).

 

23) Sincere-Faith: Don’t just say you believe in God, show it. (Joshua 24:14-15).

 

24) Virtue: Be an outstanding example of morality! (2 Peter 1:5; Philippians 4:8).

 




Why Jesus Was Born

By Charles Brian Knight




1) To fulfill the Law & the Prophets (Matt. 5:17). 

Jesus came to do what no one could do—live the Law perfectly, and fulfill the prophecies of the Scriptures.



2) To bring division (Matt. 10:34-39). 

It wasn't Jesus’ intention to make individuals hate or turn on each other. Rather, it was the Lord’s purpose to draw-out His true followers from among the things of the world that they value most.

 


3) To receive the throne of David (Luke 1:32-33). 

This is in accordance with two major prophecies of the O.T.. 1) The promise to David (2 Sam. 7:11-13, 16; Acts 2:29-35).  2) Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the church (Dan. 2:1-45). 

 


4) To call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).

This was the central theme of John the baptizer’s preaching and Jesus’ as well (Mk.1:4,14-15; Lk. 13:1-5; Lk. 24:45-47).

 


5) To do the will of God the Father (John 6:38).

Everything Jesus did was according to the Father’s plan. It is the Father’s plan that we obey His Son! (John 12:48-49; John 3:35-36).

 


6) To provide a more abundant life (John 10:10).

A normal human life is filled with uncertainty, doubt, and hopelessness. Jesus came to offer a more complete life--full of lasting joy, hope, faith, and peace! (Rom. 6; 8:28-39).

 


7) To be a light to the World (John 12:46). 

Since the garden of Eden this world has been lost in the darkness of sin. Jesus came to be that bright shinning light, leading us on the right path, of truth and righteousness. (John 1:1-14).

 


8) To bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).

Jesus came to confirm the truth to all humankind! Pilate asked, "What is truth" Jesus reveals that to us in John 17:17, "Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth." It is by the truth that we gain true knowledge of ourselves, and our purpose in life.

 


9) To save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).

The main focus of Scripture is the redemption and reconciliation of humankind. This opportunity became reality when Jesus died for our sins, by offering Himself up as a sacrifice to God. Nothing is of greater importance in life or history than this event at Calvary. (Col. 1:19-23).





Should Christians Get Tattoos?

By Charles Brian Knight











Should Christians get tattoos...? According to what Scripture teaches us about our unique relationship to God, No. 


Let's consider what the Bible has to say about being God's people.


Leviticus 19:27-28

"You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD."


During this time, the children of Israel have been rescued from 430 years of slavery in Egypt.  They made a covenant to be devoted to Him, They became God's Holy people. This carried with it the understanding that they must do their very best to reflect His purity and holiness. Thus God forbade them from being like the pagan nations around them who worshiped various false gods and tattooed themselves to represent their pagan beliefs.


Let's look further into this:


Ye shall not round the corners of your heads (temples), —It seems probable that this fashion had been learned by the Israelites in Egypt, for the ancient Egyptians had their dark locks cropped short or shaved with great nicety, so that what remained on the crown appeared in the form of a circle surrounding the head, while the beard was dressed into a square form. This kind of hair style had a highly idolatrous meaning; and it was adopted, with some slight variations, by almost all idolaters in ancient times. (Je 9:25, 26; 25:23), where “in the utmost corners” means having the corners of their hair cut.) Frequently a lock or tuft of hair was left on the hinder part of the head, the rest being cut round in the form of a ring, as the Turks, Chinese, and Hindus do at the present day.


Nor mar, the edges of your beard—The Egyptians used to cut or shave off their whiskers, as may be seen in the coffins of mummies, and the representations of divinities on the monuments. But the Hebrews, in order to separate them from the neighboring nations, or perhaps to put a stop to some existing superstition, were forbidden to imitate this practice.


You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead—The practice of making deep gashes on the face and arms and legs, in time of bereavement, was universal among the heathen, and it was deemed a becoming mark of respect for the dead, as well as a sort of propitiatory offering to the deities who presided over death and the grave. The Jews learned this custom in Egypt, and though weaned from it, relapsed in a later and degenerate age into this old superstition (Is 15:2; Je 16:6; 41:5).


nor print any marks upon you—by tattooing, imprinting figures of flowers, leaves, stars, and other fanciful devices on various parts of their person. The impression was made sometimes by means of a hot iron, sometimes by ink or paint, as is done by the Arab females of the present day and the different castes of the Hindus. It it probable that a strong propensity to adopt such marks in honor of some idol gave occasion to the prohibition in this verse; and they were wisely forbidden, for they were signs of apostasy; and, when once made, they were insuperable obstacles to a return. (See allusions to the practice, Is 44:5; Rev 13:17; 14:1).



What about Christians today under the New Covenant (Testament)? Should Christians, Who Are God's special people, get tattoos?


1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."


Romans 12:1-2

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."


1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.


1 Peter 1:15-16

"...but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written,“You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

From these passages we learn that Christians are to profess godliness in every way. We make statements by who we are, and by what we do in, and with our bodies.


The body belongs to the Lord, thus we must present our bodies as pure, holy, and Christlike. Christians with their bodies, are to profess godliness not worldliness. Consider the following passages. Each deals with differing situations, but the goal is the same: Profess godliness!


2 Corinthians 1:12

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God


1 Timothy 2:1-2

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.


1 Timothy 2:9-10 

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.


Titus 2:11-13

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,  waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ


2 Peter 3:10-12

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!



Conclusion

I have several tattoos from my Army days. And I regret every one of them. I didn't walk with the Lord while I was in the Army, I turned away to live my life how I wanted to. I had forgotten that my life was no longer my own, that it belonged to Christ.

There is nothing Godly or Christlike about having tattoos. They are simply a mark of worldliness.