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19. Discipleship

Jim Howard

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • June 20, 2018
    4:00 PM
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How many of ever heard of a book called in his step Well this was put out several years ago by the General Conference Minister Ariel Sharon and it was sort of a you know about dismal guide type of book and it went to the 28 fundamental belief it lists on the top. You read verbatim the fundamental belief and then it has just a host of bullet point statements that you read through this is a good book I've used before but it's a little more in one sense then I really needed it for baptismal preparation. And in another sense it was. Perhaps not the exact approach that I wanted so for instance if you look at how this is ordered the sequence of the topic it's in the same sequence as the 20 fundamental beliefs if you've ever looked at the 20 fundamental beliefs you know that there sequence by theological category so the doctrine of God doctrine of the church etc. And when you get in the doctrine of God For instance you've got you know the Godhead and then you have the Father the Son the Holy Spirit as a whole thing on that or people who believe as we do on the Trinity which you cannot take for granted to be clear because we're running into all sorts of anti turn Terry now but for those who do you don't necessarily need 5 pages of yours and I mean it's a lot that is you know you want to give some biblical foundation but it may be more than you necessarily need in preparation for baptism and then the other thing is that because it's in these theological categories you have for instance the remnant is in the doctrine of the church and then later when you get going later you come into the Sabbath so you actually come to the remnant before you come to the Sabbath we would never do that when we're giving Bible studies or evangelistic meetings or what have you so it's in an order based on theological categories not in order of how you would introduce somebody to the truth you understand so what because of the exhaustive ness of it and because of the issue with the order there are many people who have used what we refer to as clearing car so if you go it is written or made in facts or whatever you talk there evangelist they generally will not use something like this they'll use something like this that has this particular one is an amazing facts one that I know many of them in fact Vangelis use and it's got 19 point. That doesn't mean it doesn't cover all the 28 fundamental beliefs it just means it's consolidated into 1000 points and it's very brief Take for instance the Trinity Number 2 I believe in The Father His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that's what it has. So what we felt was we need something in between this and this because the problem with this not that it's intended to death the only thing you're going to say when you're preparing someone for baptism but if you are an elder or are just one pastor versus another pastor you don't really know if they're going to cover the essential things that need covered when you talk about each point you know you should be filling in the blanks but filling it in with what you know what should I say what's important to say and so what we try to do was was do something a little bit more of a narrative style has a little bit of a bullet point style but a little more of a narrative style covers all $28.00 fundamental beliefs but it puts them in a sequence that's more like we would with an evangelist ic approach and it consolidates and combines some of them where we didn't need the depth of you know expansive whatever but it also in some places gives expanded explanations that you wouldn't find in the fundamental beliefs or instance there is nothing in the fundamental belief that tells a person how to keep the Sabbath it tells you about the Sabbath but when you're preparing them for baptism you want them to understand how to keep the Sabbath the fundamental beliefs do not talk about for instance some of our key prophetic understanding you might never know who we believe the beast is or what we believe the mark of the beast is from going through our fundamental beliefs you know that I mean it mentions the 3 angels and the 3rd angel certainly the warning is some are going to be nice but there's nothing in there that gives any explanation that. So we wanted to give distill a paragraph here a paragraph there to get some expansion to some of those things so that's what this does if you take someone through an evangelist a campaign let's say and they come to most nights but not all the night to something and they say they want to be baptized you can give them one of these and say what I'd like you to do is read through this and on any point that you agree with and don't I mean questions about just check it but if there's anything that we haven't studied yet or the you have a question on then put a question mark on it and then you meet with them and you 1st start with the question mark and you go through and answer any questions that they have and try to help them with any things that they are struggling with and then after you've done that and when everything is done then you want to just do a quick you know in a what I mean just kind of OK so this one you know question about this one of this one because it's because they didn't put a question mark by it doesn't mean you shouldn't make sure you just at least ask the question if they're comfortable with it now you'll notice that there are some points in this that are in a tally. So if you look on like page 5 under the 1st doctrine of the Holy Scriptures in this particular booklet it has a My commitment by the grace of God I will strive to remain in close communion with Christ through daily prayer in Boston so right from the start you want them to be connecting to Christ OK So right now beginning of the preparation process you're wanting them to make that commitment and then as you keep going some of them do not have a specific commitment but they have a practical area such as on page 9. After you talking about the life death and resurrection of Christ I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal savior and believe that God in crisis forgiven my sins and given me a new heart you flip the page 10 and look at the 2nd bullet point on that page which is under the experience of salvation and it touches on another important commitment point having accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior I will aim to become like him in character choosing love humility courtesy and kindness in my words and actions with God's help I will forgive others as Christ has forgiven me one of the things I always do when I'm preparing people for baptism is I make sure that they're not like harboring bitterness toward someone that they will forgive so this just gives you an opportunity make sure that that's covered and that you covered that you know. Then you come down to the bottom of the page my commitment after the law of God It is my purpose out of love for God and in humble reliance upon his power to faithfully keep thinkin that clear enough right then you come to the Sabbath and under the Sabbath we have both the illogical doctrinal points in there and practical points like you look at the 3rd book point it says the Sabbath has to be observed on the biblical 7th day which extends from sundown Friday evening until sundown Saturday. Then look at the next point this was an addition that really we haven't seen in other stuff Bible prophecy revealed that a sinister power commonly referred to as The Anti-Christ would intend to change times and law this prophecy was fulfilled when the medieval church claimed to change the sacredness of the Sabbath from the 7th to the 1st day of the week a change for which there is no scriptural support Sunday would eventually become the commonly accepted day of worship among Christians and many people will no doubt be in heaven who unwittingly erred in regarding Sunday as the Sabbath through the century. Yet as truth is restored at the end of time God's people who were previously unaware of the false teachings of spiritual Babylon a prophetic symbol of the anti-Christ and those teaching like air will come out of her to follow the truce including the Bible Sabbath the seal we didn't at once statement we explained that hey just because your grandma on your mom you know kept Sunday doesn't mean they're going to be lost but here you are at the end of time and God's calling people out of Babylon and into Bible truths including the Bible Sabbath you call that So the they understand the idea to change the Sabbath or what have you which is not really in the fundamental beliefs they flip the page and you look at for instance the 2nd bullet point and it talks about the Sabbath. Commanding us to refrain from common labor It even says. Labor that deals with emergency situations care for the suffering or spiritual ministry is in harmony with the sacredness of the Sabbath but common labor even when done out of kindness such as building a deck for a neighbor does not fit the example Jesus gave of the kind of good deeds that are lawful on the Sabbath you are say with a saying like just because Habitat for Humanity or whatever just because somebody is doing some building project it's a good thing to do doesn't mean that it's an appropriate thing it's lawful to do on the Sabbath people say is lawful to do good on Sabbath Jesus said so but when you read the context remember what we talked about with biblical interpretation when you read the context you find that the type of. Kindness or good that was being done was rescuing this ox out of the ditch it was an emergency situation and a situation that dealt with suffering and therefore it fit the category but there's no suffering or emergency involved with building the fence or the deck or what have you so that's why we make sure they understand the distinction and if you keep going down it talks about buying and selling on the Sabbath and other things that are maybe not that are not appropriate and we've actually tweaked a little bit on here on the new publication made a little bit clear but if you look at the commitment point it says my commitment by the grace of God I desire to keep the Sabbath holy from Friday sundown to Saudi sundown enjoying the spiritual blessings of worship fellowship and service in harmony with this observance I choose to refrain from all secular work or activities buying or selling or hiring others to perform common labor on the Sabbath so you following and if you keep going through you find all the commitment points you come to the 2nd coming of Christ on page 14 it talks about preparing for Christ and not the world you get to death and resurrection on page 15 and the my commitment point says because the Bible teaches that those who have died are in a state of unconscious sleep I choose to avoid entertainment or practices that promotes promote false use of death or other spiritualistic activity you come to Christian behavior on page 17 and it's got 3 my commitment points the 1st one is dealing with health you got 3 points on health and then a commitment point by the grace of God I will care for my physical health this includes abstaining from unclean meats and from the recreational use of addictive mind altering substances such as our Kohol tobacco and other habit forming drugs. If you were to look at that one bullet point right above it it does identify that alcohol tobacco caffeinated beverages and other recreational drugs in our products are both addictive and harmful to our bodies Christian should have stay in from anything mind altering or addictive which has not been prescribed by a doctor God wants our minds to be clear so that we are more attentive to the voice of conscience and stronger to resist temptation so it makes some clear points then you get into entertainment and when you get to the next my commitment point on top page 18 it says by the grace of God I will avoid reading watching participating in or listening to central things that the Bible condemns I was strive to live a life of moral purity in my thoughts and actions you've also added a point in here is not of my commitment point it's right before this my commitment point that actually touches on I think we said it something like. Because. You know something about because God wants us to keep our hearts pure something like that. Christians should avoid viewing. Pornographic material or something like that so that is one of the points that we added for the new edition and then on the next Michael have a point by the grace of God I choose to dress modestly not with provocative works dragon clothing or with Jewry if wearing functional items they will be simple and modest if you look at the point right above that says many people based on the Bible's teachings concerning jewelry choose not to wear wedding rings if one chooses to wear a wedding ring viewing it as merely functional and not as an ornament in follows that such a ring would be a modest plain band this is actually the position of the world church even though it's not always seen. Then you look at the next page on marriage and family by the grace of God I will not commit fornication adultery or other forms of sexual immorality I will not live with a romantic partner while unmarried and will avoid any other living arrangement that may give the appearance of immorality so we have this issue a lot of times we're preparing someone for baptism it's a man and woman are living together and they say well yeah but we agreed that we weren't going to sleep together until we were married they're living together it's like the problem is you can't announce that everyone you meet you know like I know what this looks like but were clean and tell you I mean you're not going to do that so it becomes a stain on the your profession as a 7 to administrate So you have to not only avoid you know and when it comes to this type of area you have to avoid the appearance of evil. And then if you keep flipping the next page talks at the bottom about attendance by the grace of God I will follow Jesus sample of regular attendance and participation in the life and mission of the church the next page talked about wanting to be baptized the next. Next microwave The point is on page not till page $24.00 at the top and it says by the grace of God I will support the mission of the church by returning a faithful tithe and giving through offerings and she's also to refrain from the addictive and wasteful practice of gambling. And then at the top of page 26 of the last one is my desire to become a member of the worldwide 7th Avenue Church through baptism a profession of faith by the grace of God I will put forth personal effort to win souls to Christ sharing the everlasting Gospel in the context of 3 angels messages of Revelation 14 so what you have here are committed points that are dealing with practical areas and then many other points that are dealing with our beliefs and just make sure that they understand doctrinally in the same way as 7th Day Adventists and then when they get all the way through we explain to them that if they are you know like I'll read to you if you have read and agree with the summary of essential Bible doctrines and have decided to follow Christ as described by his corresponding practical commitments you are encouraged to take the important step of becoming a member of a local congregation of the worldwide 7th Avenue Church family this happens in one of 2 ways and then we have baptism profession of faith and then when they flip the page it tells them what they're going to commit to on the day of their baptism which is the 13 baptismal vows directly out of the church manual Now some people say why do we talk about specific things in regard to you know health and other things when they're not clearly expressed in the 13 baptismal bows I want to show you some things that you understand a little bit of the thinking look at number 11 on page 29 and says I know and understand the fundamental Bible principles as taught by the 7th Day Adventist Church now what would be the fundamental Bible principles taught by the 7th manager would be the 20 fundamental beliefs and I would even venture to say it would be those things that are placed in the officially voted church manual in the section that describes our belief system OK then it says. I purpose by the grace of God to fulfill his will by doing what. Ordering my life and harming these principles so when you use the terminology ordering my life what type of principle are we talking about what type of thing are we talking about a lifestyle or practical thing are we not this is not just cognitive But I'm going to order my life in harmony with this so apparently anything that is fundamental to 7th Day Adventists are the way back up not everything that is fundamental to 7th Day Adventists might be included in the 13 vows that's why Number 11 is there to say I know and understand the fundamental belief and I will order my life in harmony with those so just because there's a specific thing that is not listed there does not mean that it's not part of what someone should prepare for when they're being baptized and so you've now seen what we have placed in here as. A good balance of commitments or what someone should do in preparation for baptism and then you get to the last page and says The journey continues and it explains to the person preparing for baptism that after their baptism we will have an ongoing process of discipleship to continue guiding them right now in the new publication The official $28.00 fundamental beliefs are going to put as an appendix in this so that it's very clear and a description of why we order and did some things in here so it's very clear that this is not like a new an attempt to change or anything like that but it's a supportive document that has just got a different purpose and it has as referenced the other 20 that the actual wording of the 20 fundamental beliefs and order in the appendix that that's what you're going to get when you get the new one and I have any questions about it in that. The new one should be roughly 3 months I'm thinking 3 months. They will be made available to A.B.C. and then your churches will have to purchase them through the A.B.C. I mean as a general rule this is a type of resource and most of the grow resources that we're creating are resources that yes you can buy them individually but churches will want to obtain for use themselves the question is why we don't talk about eating blood when you know or for that matter we could talk about fat. Because we talk about unclean meats but we don't clarify the eating of blood I think the primary thing I would say to that in that. There is some question at least in my mind going them to I'm giving my own personal. I will express to people. The fact that blood and fat were not to be eaten I will express that but to make it something that they consider a commitment point makes it difficult because I'm not exactly sure what was the suitable practice for draining the blood. Today you could say oh you can only buy kosher but I'm not persuaded that what Jews are doing today to make something kosher is what they did in that day to make something kosher like maybe something in that day was not what would not be considered kosher You know I mean so I certainly will teach someone look man when you look at a carton a thing in his blood roll down it you know take a hint right but having said that to require someone to be kosher when I'm not positive that that is it seems a little bit arbitrary or maybe just inconclusive and that's why I would educate on it but I wouldn't necessarily put it in there as a required commitment as this where a personal thing is not an official church but let's move on to the next topic. Getting getting times. I'll give a brief something about medical marijuana. As of right now we do not have a national acceptance by Law of you know so we have states that we do not have a national acceptance and so as long as it's not legal even from a national standpoint I think we have we're on pretty solid ground Secondly I do think that we're going to need to nuance this a little bit because while there are you know there are drugs that we take for that are pretty harmful for pain relief and that sort of thing but they are very measured and taken in very careful way and I'm not convinced yet that the medical marijuana. You know people who are fine to let you advocates who are fine to have you spoken which destroys the lungs and. You know as someone who lived a former life. As someone who lived a former life I understand certain things that made me think. You know that's there's got to be if they're going to come up with something that is. Really medically sound and in and. Accepted by everyone it's going to have to be different than what it is now and I'm not sure it'll ever get there but anyway so as long as we're in this current situation we're not everyone is agreed on it we'll take our stand on the side of temperance and you know I don't feel that we need to be landing on the side of medical marijuana people at all. So I'm just thinking you know when you're talking about legal Yeah but we're talking about medical so. Like morphine is a strong. Addictive drug but I would be fully supportive of someone who could not who was in their dying period and could not or or just was surgically or whatever in a place where there was no other way for pain relief be fully supportive if it's done in the right way of them taking morphine that's a different use that you'll notice in the booklet said recreational use because even when I'm a get in a little bit of water here but even when you're talking about like caffeine I may not choose it but there are some people who say kick said when for instance because they you know because there's a level of caffeine in they believe opens up the pores and whatever you know migraines right I'm not here to say that that would prevent someone from being baptized or something like that when I'm saying is not recreational in that sense so anyway that's why I say not until there is a very different and universally accepted even by the church and I don't know that that will ever happen because I'm just not real comfortable with the mediums by which they're trying to distribute this and the way that they're saying that it's effective and all that it's not persuaded me or most people even outside of Adventism So I want to say just a word about this I was ham because I didn't have time to walk through it I've kind of wanted to do a little walkthrough but let me just explain to you how this works. What you want to do when someone is baptized is give them a copy of this and give a copy of this to a mentor and the mentor is going to meet with them weekly How often is that weekly if you do it once every 3 weeks once a month it will not work it won't work this is just like we learned this because we tried trial this way and you know me as the schedules allow whatever doesn't work it just doesn't ever go doesn't ever pick up so you do it weekly and that's how it's built there's 26 chapters or 26 weeks how many L. long as 26 weeks next months half a year so you meet once a week and you review a chapter now if you look on in the back on page 253. It begins the weekly outlines that the mentor can use so they know how to walk through the process so each meeting is outlined orientation meeting and then meeting everyone meeting number 2 etc Now in those there are things that the the mentor is encouraged to bring up in the discussion the new member can see that there's no problem with that this is totally transparent we're here to encourage you in these areas OK we're going let's talk about this next a thought about this thing oh you know now it's time where I need to introduce you to another member of the church we want to make sure you know everybody some churches they're going to order buddy in a week and you know this skip right over that will be no problem but when it comes to the time to you know invite them over for vespers in your home you bite them over for a Vespers in your home it's totally transparent the idea and you tell him right from the start this process is an intentional one to kind of integrate you into this social fell of ship of the church and to help you understand a little bit more about how the church works and what the Church believes and then as you get toward the end it'll especially be helpful in training us on how to be active in soul winning because we believe that every disciple every person has baptized needs to learn how to when other people and disciples by definition make other disciple the just tell him that right up front and then this will be the guide the mentor can use and then you go through the chapters the chapters are broken down under discipleship the devotional life the devotional I talked about the Bible the Spirit of Prophecy prayer character development family worship and it's very practical after that you get into witnessing it talks about the rise of the 7th Day Adventist Church and its mission and then it talks about how every individual is called to witness for Christ and as a practical application the end of every chapter to encourage them while this is happening when you get to week number 2 you read a chapter about the Bible in the. The Life section and in the end of that chapter it encourages the individual to begin a Bible reading plan a daily Bible reading plan that reads the Bible and a corresponding passage from the writings of L. Y. and that is all in the back in a reading plan and it every day is laid out it correlates where they read in the Bible and where they read in the spirit of prophecy which means that one of the 1st steps that the mentor needs to do is make sure that this person has access to the spirit of prophecy books they need even if they're using an app which I would not recommend I'd recommend that you give them the book and let them experience it and if you can get them doing that just that reading through the Bible the Spirit of Prophecy over that 6 months it will be life changing you'll set them on a course as one of the most active people in your church I can promise you you can get them doing that so one of the ways you do that is every day you meet after that you'll notice in them in the weekly outlines that the 1st thing says devotional review the 1st thing you do before you read the chapter for that week is he say now it let's share an insight from our devotional time this week I want to show you this text that I read and you share the devotion of that OK how about you now it's your turn and you share some devotional insight what is that doing is supporting them but it's also creating little accountability that it's not happening you can encourage them hey let's keep each other accountable this week will be better and you just encourage them and you trying to build spiritual habits is also the effort to try to build the habit of attending attending church attending Sabbath school attending prayer meeting or mid week Bible study every church has. So that's the process the book then goes into church life it talks all about the history of the church the organization of the 7th Avenue Church the. Sacred assemblies of the church the ordinances of the church all that's in there then it goes into lifestyle talks about. Sabbath keeping reverence stewardship helve modesty. Worldliness verses you know trying to remain pure and then help our marriage and family and then the last 5 chapters are on the cycle of evangelism and teach then teaches them how to prepare the soil by friendship and service how to plant seed by getting active in sharing literature how to give a Bible Study the 14 point the just tells them how to give someone a Bible study and then how to get people to make decisions for Christ and then encourages them at the very end to one now that they've finished this process to become a mentor to somebody else who's newer to the faith in them and walk them through the same book which is why I encourage churches pastors and churches to take their entire church through it because once everyone goes through it then everyone will understand what's involved and will be ready to mentor newer person when they come in they're going to Santa and you'll also know that the page numbers are not always the same in 3 across the book so there's a comment in the introduction that explains that that if your page numbers are different or whatever the reason that there's chapter titles and so you can kind of approximate You know like if there's 3 days of the same chapter then you're going to read about a 3rd of the chapter through the devil through chapter if your book doesn't happen to have the original paging So yeah you could run and run into the hiccups like that. How do you know which Fate which have the original paging. The best way I could tell you is to compare it well 1st of all if you buy any of the ones in the in the Pacific press currently prints in the blue hardback or whatever those original pages. Some of them are not but you'll find on the side of the page they put the original pages so if you see that you'll know that that's the original page if you can't really tell then I would take the app L N Y app and I would look up something from that you know you put in a search for a statement and see if the page reference on the app is the same as on the book if it's like totally different as the app is based on the original page All right let's bury heads Father in heaven thank you for the time that you've given us here bless each person here as they seek to prepare people all the way to the decisions for baptism and as they seek to mentor people to becoming full self-denying workers for you disciples of their Lord Jesus who are winning other decide to bless each one here in Jesus' name in this media was brought to you by Adil 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W dot. 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