Universal Flood!

Why I Believe the Flood of Genesis 6-9 was a universal Flood

The primary reason is that I sincerely believe that is what the Bible says.

Evil was universal according to Genesis 6:11-12

God decided to destroy both man and the earth Genesis 6:13

God said that everything with the breath of life was to die Genesis 6:17

Genesis 7:19-23 makes it clear that it was a universal flood

All the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered with water Genesis 7:19

The mountains were covered Genesis 7:20

All with breath died Genesis 7:22

All present non-marine animals came from the ark Genesis 8:19

God promised that a flood like this one would never happen again Genesis 9:11 (see also Genesis 8:21 and Isaiah 54:9)

Noah condemned the world by his faith Hebrews 11:7

Marine fossils have been found on top of mountains

“Millions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth” (Ken Ham)

The eruption of Mt. Saint Helen in May 1980 show what can happen in a short period of time with a lot of liquid

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Bible Timeline of a “Young Earth” Premillennialist

Timeline of Bible Events

Lee Delbridge

4004 BC Creation – Adam and Eve

2348 BC. The Flood

2091. Abraham entered Canaan

2066. Isaac & Jacob born

2135. Abraham birth

2000 BC Abraham

1991 BC. Abraham died

1975 Joseph

1886 BC. Isaac died

1876 BC. Jacob moved to Egypt

1446 BC. The Exodus

1000 BC High Point of Jewish History

931 BC Kingdom Split

852 BC. Elijah/Elisha

722 BC Assyria Captures the Northern Kingdom

586 BC Babylon Captures the Southern Kingdom

539 BC Medes and Persia Overthrow Babylon

539 BC Cyrus, King of Persia gives the Jews permission to return to their homeland

538 BC Zerubbabel and some Jews return and rebuild the Temple

515 BC Temple Rebuilding Complete

458 BC Ezra and some Jews return

445 BC Nehemiah and some Jews return to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem

4 BC Jesus is born in Bethlehem

29 AD Jesus Begins His Ministry

33 AD Jesus is crucified

33 AD The Church Begins in Jerusalem

95 AD John the Apostle writes Revelation

Future Events

The Rapture Occurs – Jesus Returns for His Saints

Seven Year Tribulation on Earth

Bema Judgment for Rewards in Heaven

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven

Jesus Returns to Earth with His Saints

The Battle of Armageddon

1000 Year Reign of Christ on Earth

Satan loosed for a short period of time

Great White Throne Judgment

Eternity — Heaven / Hell

The Bible on Money

Biblical Money Management

by Lee Delbridge

God Owns It All

Psalms 24:1

​The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.

If you believe God owns it all it will make a world of difference in what you do with your money! God not only owns your money He owns you! He owns your spouse and your children.

God expects you to work for a living

Ephesians 4:28

He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

Work is honorable and good.

God Expects You To Give Away a Part of What You Earn

Luke 6:38

Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Don’t Love Money

I Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Love God. Love People. Use money.

Don’t Trust In Money

I Timothy 6:17

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

Trust God. Never trust in money. It will always disappoint you if you do.

Don’t Be Deceived by Money

Matthew 13:22

And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

There is nothing that will take the place of money in the areas that money works. Don’t be fooled into thinking that money works in all areas — it doesn’t.

Stay Out of Debt

Proverbs 22:7

The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave

Figure out a way to “get by” until you can buy what you need with cash. For example, take public transportation a few months while saving to buy an inexpensive “starter” car.

Save for the Future

Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest.

Never spend more than 70% of your “take home pay.” Save money for emergencies, for upcoming purchases and for retirement.

Specialize in Your Job

Proverbs 22:29

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings;

He will not stand before obscure men.

Become an expert at what you do for a living. If that job is no longer needed, retrain for a new job and become an expert at that one.

Diversify in Your Investments

Ecclesiastes 11:2

Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.

Get expert advice from someone you trust about your investment. Expect a reasonable return. Don’t fall for get-rich-quick schemes. Invest in several areas that run counter to each other.

Pray God Will Give You The Right Amount of Money

Proverbs 30:7-9

Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me,

Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion,

That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”

Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.

Pray that God will give you enough money to live comfortably but not so much that you begin to trust in the money instead of God.

Invest for the Long Term — Eternity

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Invest (give) some of your money to places that have eternal results (church, missions, etc.)

Review

God Owns It All Psalms 24:1

God Expects You To Work for a Living Ephesians 4:28

God Expects You To Give Away a Part of Everything You Earn Luke 6:38

Don’t Love Money I Timothy 6:10

Don’t Trust In Money I Timothy 6:17

Don’t Be Deceived By Money Matthew 13:22

Stay Out of Debt Proverbs 22:7

Save for the Future Proverbs 6:6-8

Specialize in Your Job Proverbs 22:29

Diversify in Your Investments Ecclesiastes 11:2

Pray God Will Give You The Right Amount of Money Proverbs 30:7-9

Invest for the Long Term — Eternity Matthew 6:19-21

Quotes About Money I Like

The amount of money a person earns will always be in direct proportion to the demand for what he does, his ability to do what he does, and the difficulty of replacing him (Earl Nightingale)

In a free society you earn money by providing a product or a service other people want or need at a price they are willing to pay. Our rewards in life will always be in direct proportion to our contribution.

Remember the law of cause and effect. In finances, the money you receive is the effect and the service or product you provide is the cause.

Always do more than you are paid to do! If you do that you will build up rewards that will come to you in some form at some time.

There is no such thing as something for nothing. Everything cost someone something.

No one knows what the future holds or even if you have a future, but it is smart to plan for the future.

Lee’s paraphrase of the Five Laws of Gold from the book, The Richest Man in Babylon

1. Save 10% of all you earn

2. Put the money you saved to work to earn you more money

and reinvest the earnings to earn even more money

3. Get wise counsel on where and how to invest your money.

4. Have a purpose for your investments and invest only in

areas you are familiar.

5. Never try any “get rich quick” schemes.

The “Days” of Creation Week

Why I believe the “days” of Genesis 1:1-2:4 are normal days of about 24 hours each.

The primary reason is that I sincerely believe that is what the Bible teaches.

The first time the word “day” is used in Genesis 1:5 it means the daylight part of the day/night cycle.

In Genesis 2:4 the word day means a longer period of time.

In Genesis 1:5b; 1:8; 1:13; 1:19; 1:23; 1:31 the word day means a normal day of about 24 hours.

The reasons I believe this is true are:

* Genesis is written as simple historical narrative

* Exodus 20:8-11 clearly teaches that the creation days were normal days

* God said He created the world in six days Exodus 31:17 (see 31:12-18)

* The author’s original audience would have understood the text to mean normal days.

* In the Old Testament the word day combined with a number and/or the phrase “evening and morning” (as it is in Genesis One & Two) nearly always means a normal day.

Scripture, not science, is the ultimate test of truth (start with the Bible and compared everything else to it; not vice versa).

God can do whatever He wants to do. The only question is: “What does God say He did?” It seems plain to me that He said He created in world in six normal days.

Evolution vs Creation

Know the difference between operational science and historical science.

Operational science is repeatable, observable, and testable. It’s the kind of science that allows us to make advances in medicine, technology, and so on.

Historical science, on the other hand, deals with the origin of the universe. But, clearly, no humans were there to witness this event, and it can’t be tested or repeated.

Both evolutionary ideas and biblical creation are historical science — accounts concerning what happened in the past in regard to origins.

The Bible is the inspired inerrant Word of God and it teaches that God created the world. Look at these Scriptures

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalms 19:1

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

John 1:3

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Nehemiah 9:6

You alone are the Lord.

You have made the heavens,

The heaven of heavens with all their host,

The earth and all that is on it,

The seas and all that is in them.

You give life to all of them

And the heavenly host bows down before You.

Study the Bible

A SIMPLE WAY TO STUDY THE BIBLE

Lee Delbridge

Answer the following seven questions on each passage of Scripture you study.

WHO?

Who is writing or speaking? To Whom? About Whom? Who else is present? What do you know about each person? etc.

WHAT?

What’s going on? What events led up to this? What is the meaning of the words? What is the outcome? etc.

WHEN?

When did this take place? Was it before or after the death of Jesus Christ? etc.

WHERE?

Where is this taking place? Where else does the Bible teach on the same subject? (Look up some of these references starting in the New Testament.) etc.

WHY?

Why did this take place? Why do you think it is included in the Bible? etc.

HOW?

How did it happen? How are the people to obey? etc.

SO WHAT?

Make application to your life. What are:

The facts to be believed,

The commands to be obeyed,

The warnings to be heeded,

The promises to be enjoyed, or

The examples to be followed

The principles to be applied?

Sabbath vs Sunday

The Sabbath Day vs The Lord’s Day

By Lee Delbridge

Introduction

• God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it (made it holy) after creating the world in six days Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11

• Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it holy is one of the Ten Commandments Exodus 20:8-11

• Under the Old Testament Covenant the penalty for breaking the Sabbath was death Exodus 31:12-17

• God said that the Sabbath was a sign between Him and Israel “forever” Exodus 31:1-17

• Jesus worshipped on the Sabbath Day Luke 4:16

• On most of Paul’s missionary trips he visited the synagogues on the Sabbath Acts 13:14; 14:1; etc.

• The word Sabbath is in the Bible over 100 times and about one half of those times are in the New Testament

So why do Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath (which is Saturday)? Let’s look at the Scriptures beginning with the Old Testament about the Sabbath Day.

Creation

After Creating the World in Six Days, God Rested on the Sabbath and Made It Holy

Genesis 2:1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.

By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Nothing else is mentioned about the Sabbath

Day in the book of Genesis which covers from about 4000 BC until about 1800 BC

The Next Mention of Anything Special About the Seventh Day is With Moses and the Israelites in the Wilderness (Creation was about 4004 BC. Moses lived about 1450 BC)

Exodus 16:4-5

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.

On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”

The Law of Moses

The Mosaic Law – 2500 Years After Creation

Exodus 20:8-11

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

God was serious – The Jews Must Keep the Sabbath – Death Penalty For Failing To Do So

Exodus 31:12-17

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

“But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.

For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.

So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’

It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

The Christian Dispensation

Jesus Was Raised From the Dead on the First Day of the Week

Matthew 28:1-6

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.

And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.

And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “ Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

(Compare Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1-9)

Jesus was Raised from

the Dead on Sunday

The Church Began One The First Day of the Week

Acts 2:1

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

(The Jewish Day of Pentecost is Fifty Days after the Passover Sabbath)

The early Christians Seem To Worship on the First Day of the Week

Acts 20:7

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.

The Church Began

on Sunday

1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.

On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

John Seem To Worship on the First Day of the Week (The Lord’s Day)

Revelation 1:9-11

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

We Are No Longer Under the Mosaic Law — The Old Covenant

Colossians 2:13-17

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—

things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

The Early Christians Seem To Worship on Sunday

John 1:17

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:23-25

But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

We Should Not Judge or Condemn a Person Who Decides to Worship on a Particular Day

Romans 14:1, 5-6

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions….

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.

He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.

It’s Not the Day We Worship But the Person We Worship

Conclusion

Let’s Review

God “rested” on the seventh day after creating the world in six days

Over 2000 years later when Moses was leading the Israelites in the Wilderness and God provided manna they collected twice as much on the sixth day so that they would not have to collect any on the seventh day

God gave the Law through Moses which said “remember the Sabbath Day”. God was very serious that the Jews obey this law. Death was the penalty for breaking this commandment

The Mosaic Law ended with the death of Jesus and the beginning of the church

Gradually the church began worshipping on the Lord’s Day (Sunday; The First Day of the Week)

We should not judge or condemn those who decide to worship on a day different day than what we think is the right day.

We are no longer under the Old Covenant but are under the New Covenant

The Old Testament Jews celebrated creation and the Mosaic Covenant by worshipping on the Sabbath (Saturday)

The New Testament Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the New Covenant by worshipping on the First Day of the Week (Sunday)

Christianity Explained – Bibliography & Appendix

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

(And Lee’s comments about the books)

The Bible is the primary book that you should read and study. Everything else you read should be evaluated in the light of the Bible. I like the New American Standard Bible or the New International Version. In addition to your regular devotional reading, I encourage you to memorize key verses of Scripture and to master one or two books of the New Testament.

Bolles, Richard Nelson The 1995 What Color Is Your Parachute? Ten Speed Press P O Box 7123 Berkeley, California 94707 copyright 1995 (This book is updated every year, so be sure to get the most recent edition. The subtitle of the book explains the subject: “A practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career- Changers.” The premise of the book is that you are a unique person with special gifts and abilities that should be nurtured and developed and that you should select a career that is closely related to your uniqueness. It is a very revealing and helpful experience to work through this book. It will help you find a job and/or career that will not only provide a livelihood but also joy and satisfaction.)

Brandt, Henry Ph.D. and Skinner, Kerry L. The Word for the Wise Broadman & Holman Publishers Nashville, Tennessee copyright 1995 (The book is a little difficult to locate unless you have a Baptist Book Store in your area. It is about making Scripture the heart of your counseling ministry. It is the best book on Biblical Counseling I have ever read. It could be very useful for any Christian in learning how to deal with life’s problems and difficulties in a godly way.)

Carbonell, Mels, Ph.D. Discover Your Gifted In Christ Uniquely You P. O. Box 490 Blue Ridge, GA 30513 1-800-501-0490 copyright 1996 (This is one of several profiles

available on human behavior from a Biblical perspective. It includes tests to determine spiritual gifts as well as personality types)

Delbridge, Lee Bible Based Christianity Smyrna Christian Church 910 Concord Road SE, Smyrna, GA 30080 770-435-1723 (This is a handbook of Scripture verses arranged by topic.)

Jones, Laurie Beth The Path, Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life. Hyperion New York copyright 1996 (This is probably the best book I have read on how to discover your purpose in life. Ms. Jones gives some very practical steps to help you discover your purpose in life.)

MacDonald, William; Edited by Art Farstad Believer’s Bible Commentary Thomas Nelson Publishers Nashville, TN copyright 1995 (I disagree with this author’s position on water baptism and on whether a saved person can be lost or not, but other than those two issues this is the best one volume commentary on the Bible that I have ever seen.)

McCarthy, Kevin W. The On-Purpose Person, Making Your Life Make Sense Pinon Press Navpress Publishing Group P O Box 35007 Colorado Springs, CO 80935 copyright 1992 (This is a modern parable of one man’s search for his purpose in life. I really enjoyed and benefited greatly from reading this book.)

LaHaye, Tim Your Temperament: Discover Its Potential Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois copyright 1984 (This book is now available as a paperback under the title Why We Act the Way we Do. Mr. LaHaye is a Baptist minister and this is an excellent book on personality types. If you only get one book on personality types, get this one.

Appendix

How much time should a Christian give to the church and to his Christian activities?

A Christian should be a Christian 24/7 (24 hours per day, 7 days per week).

The minimum amount of time a Christian should give to his or her Christian activities are:

• At least one hour per week in public worship

• At least one hour per week in group Bible study

• At least one hour per week in private devotion

• At least one hour per week in Christian service.

How much money should a Christian give to the church?

There are three simple principles to guide a Christian about his or her material possessions:

• It all belongs to God

• You are the manager of what we normally say you own

• You are to manage it according to God’s principles that are revealed in the Bible. (The Old Testament Jews were required to give 10% of their increase.)

Christianity Explained – Chapter Three

Chapter Three

INTRODUCTION

God loves you and has a purpose for your life. God created you with special gifts, talents and abilities that would equip you to fulfill His purpose. You are on this earth for a reason. God’s purpose for you includes three “phases.” God’s purpose for you is that you be (1) saved, (2) sanctified and (3) serving. We have previously talked about the first two. Let’s talk about the third one. The Bible Teaches The Church Is A Body With No Unimportant Parts. In other words, every Christian has a place of service in the body of Christ. You discover your service ministry by discovering your S.H.A.P.E. (S=Spiritual Gifts, H=Heart; A=Abilities; P=Personality; and E=Experience.)

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

I Peter 4:10-11 says “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” This passage teaches us six very important things about Spiritual Gifts.

Two Facts About Spiritual Gifts

Every Christian has a spiritual (special) gift and each Christian is a steward of his or her gift. We like to jokingly say “I was behind the door when God was passing out gifts (talents).” But the fact is that the Bible teaches that each and every Christian has at least one spiritual gift and maybe more. A Spiritual Gift is a capacity for service. It may need developing but it is within you. It is a special area of ministry that God wants you to develop and use. God will hold you responsible for the use of your gift or gifts. In judgment, God will want you to give an account

of how you used the gift He gave you.

The Two Types of Spiritual Gifts

There are two types of spiritual gifts. There are the speaking gifts and the serving gifts. The speaking gifts includes prophecy, teaching, exhortation and other “speaking” ministries. The serving gifts include showing mercy, serving, giving and other “serving” ministries.

One kind is not better than the other. Both are needed in order to accomplish God’s work.

The Two Purposes of Spiritual Gifts

The two purposes of spiritual gifts are mentioned in this passage but you have to search a little to find them. The two purposes of spiritual gifts are to glorify God and to serve people. We glorify God by doing things in such a manner that God, not us, gets the glory (praise, credit). One little boy, when asked how can we glorify God said, “We glorify God by putting the spotlight on God.” When the spotlight is on God, I am in the shadows. God gave us the gifts; therefore He should receive the glory, the praise, the honor and the credit for the ministry performed using that gift. We are to use our spiritual gifts to serve others. Note that we use the gifts to serve others, not ourselves.

Nine Spiritual Gifts That Most Students Agree Are Available Today

Sincere Bible students disagree about whether all the spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament are available today. We do not want to get into that controversy in this booklet. We will just consider the nine gifts that almost all Bible believing teachers believe are available. (While the study of the controversy is important, this is not the place nor the time for that debate.) Seven of the nine gifts are listed in Romans 12:4-8 and we get two more from a list in Ephesians 4:11-16. The nine gifts are listed below with a very brief description of each.

Prophecy – which is speaking for God. The prophets in the Bible were inspired by God. The prophets today are not inspired in the same way. Christians who have the gift of prophecy are usually very firm and straightforward in presenting the truth. They tell the facts and sometimes forget that people have feelings. They are dedicated to telling the truth.

Service – Christians with the gift of service usually serve in practical ways, behind the scenes without drawing attention to themselves. This gift covers a wide range of activities that are absolutely essential for the success of the church and other ministries. Note the order in which the first three gifts are listed. Prophecy (preaching) then service followed by teaching.

Teaching – Christians with the gift of teaching are involved in giving instructions to others in an effort to change their knowledge, attitude and/or actions. While the prophets tell you what is true, the teacher will tell you why it is true and give additional details about it.

Exhortation – The Christian with the gift of exhortation exhorts, encourages, comforts and motivates others. He tells you how to use God’s truth in practical ways in your everyday life. People with this gift are usually compelled to give advice. They are very helpful as counselors to those with problems or those who are going through a bad emotional experience.

Giving – The gift of giving is the ability to share liberally and cheerfully with others. All Christians are to give a percentage of their income for the work of the Lord, but those with this gift enjoy giving above and beyond what is normally expected. Sometimes the person with this gift has a natural talent to made great sums of money but that is not always true.

Leadership – The gift of leadership (administration, ruling) is the ability to

organize and to administer a project to its successful completion. They are usually goal- oriented people who know how to plan the work and motivate others to work the plan.

Showing Mercy – The Christian with the gift of showing mercy shows mercy, understanding and kindness to those who are undeserving. Mercy is to refrain from punishing offenders and this person is very forgiving of people who have made mistakes and gotten themselves into some kind of financial difficulty.

Evangelism – The evangelist has a strong desire to present the gospel to the lost and to lead them into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Every Christian is to be involved in evangelism but the Christian with this gift is usually more concerned than others and he is usually more effective than others.

Pastor-Teacher – A Pastor-Teacher shepherds, feeds, leads and protects the flock (Christians), which is the church. Many Christians with this gift are in the located ministry as a “professional Minister” but that is not always the case. This person has a burning desire to teach and care for Christians and help them grow to maturity.

As you discover and use your particular gift(s), remember that other Christians have other gifts. One gift is not superior to another gift. All the gifts are needed in order for the body of Christ to function properly.

HEART (PASSION)

The “H” in the word “SHAPE” stands for “heart” and it means your passion, your desire, what you have “feelings” about. Usually there is a job or activity or function that you enjoy doing. You want to perform this particular activity. When you do it, it brings joy, happiness and satisfaction to you. It is something that the Lord has put on your heart. You know somebody ought to do this. When you keep feeling that “somebody ought to do this” you should realize that you are the “somebody” that ought to do it. This desire and conviction is a very strong indicator of the area in which you should work.

ABILITIES (Natural Talents)

The “A” stands for abilities or your natural talents. Each and every person has certain talents that allow him or her to excel in particular activities. The three areas of natural talents are (1) things, (2) people and (3) information. Each person is usually very good in one of the three areas. He may be fair in another area and very poor in the third area. If “things” is your area, then you like to fix things, you like to work with your hands, etc. If it is people, then you like to deal with them and be around people and work with and through them. If it is information then you like to work with facts, figures, knowledge etc. To understand this will not only help you in discovering your area of service in the church but also will help you tremendously in your job and career.

To help you discover which of the three areas you are the best in, I’m going to ask you to do something that will take a little time, but will be worth the effort. I want you to make a list of seven (7) things (projects, programs, etc) that you have done in your life. I want you to only include those projects or activities that brought great joy and satisfaction to you personally. Don’t include the ones that were the most profitable financially unless they also brought you personal joy and satisfaction. Some samples of things you might include are:

I obedience trained my dog

I built a deck onto my house

I read the entire Bible in one year

I wrote a research paper on a subject that was important to me

I learned to fly a plane and got my pilot’s license

I cut my grocery bill 25% by using coupons

I learned to get along with a very difficult person

I performed CPR on a person and might have saved his life

Now, go back over those seven things and determine which area of talent was most needed and used. Did I use my “people” talent or my “things” or was it “information?” The area that was needed and used the most in the seven things listed is probably the area in which you are the strongest. Try to be very honest and objective. If one of your seven projects was learning to do something, what brought you the greatest joy, the learning or the doing.

PERSONALITY

Several hundred years before Christ, Hippocrates discovered that people fit into one of four basic personality types. People who have never heard of personality types know that a person is naturally either active or passive. We realize that some people are “people-oriented” and others are “task-oriented.” We know that some people are extroverts and others are introverts. We know that some people are very outspoken and others are very shy. Some people are by nature very aggressive and others are very submissive. Many of these characteristics can be distinguished even when a person is a small child. In the last 100 years or so we have discovered that most people instead of being one of the four personality types are instead a combination of two (or more) of the personality types with one type being more dominant. As we look at the four basic types, realize that you are probably a combination of two or more of the types. It is very important that you realize that personality types are not mentioned in the Bible. We can learn about personality type from the science of human behavior and then go to the Bible and see examples of each type. It is not a “doctrine” of the Bible and therefore is not on the same level as the spiritual gifts. Having said that, let’s look at the four basic personality types.

The Sanguine also called the “I” personality is the Extroverted Feeling Type of a person. His goal in life is to have fun. He is a people-person. He likes to talk and to be the center of attention. They are usually the life of the party. They bring life to a room when they enter. They usually dress flashy or colorful. They are also forgetful, not very time-conscious and are “happy-go-lucky” type persons. They are a joy to be around for short periods of time but can get on your nerves in the long run. They make great sales people or public relations people. Two people in the Bible who seem to have been sanguines are David and the Apostle Peter.

The Choleric or D type personality is the Extrovert Thinking Type. He or she is a task- oriented person whose goal is control. If you don’t stop them they will take control over any situation in which they find themselves. They are the leaders, the drivers and the “get the job done no matter what” type. They are “over achievers” who accomplish a great deal in life. They are more concerned with facts than with feeling, so they may hurt some feelings in the process of getting the job done. Two Bible characters who seem to have been choleric are Paul and James.

The Melancholic or “C” type personality is the Introvert Thinking Type. They are task- oriented people whose goal in life is to have everything perfect. They are perfectionists. They like charts and graphs. They want to know the facts. They are usually very sensitive. Many of the great musicians and artists have been people with a melancholic personality. Two people in the Bible that seem to have this personality are Moses and Thomas.

The Phlegmatic or “S” type personality is the Introvert Feeling Type. They are people- oriented people whose goal in life is to have peace. They are calm, easy going and very likable. They are peacemakers who usually like to work behind the scene. While most

phlegmatics accomplish a lot in life, they appear to be lazy and not energetic. Two Bible Examples of people who seem to have this personality type are Abraham and Timothy

EXPERIENCE

The “E” is the acrostic SHAPE that stands for experience. Your experience can help a lot in determining what God wants you to do for him now. Be sure to consider all types of experiences. Several are listed below but don’t limit yourself to just these types of experiences.

Your Educational experience will include both formal schooling and other training you have had. For instance, if you are a trained accountant, God may want you to use that training to be the treasurer of the church or of some para-church ministry.

Your Vocational experience would include jobs you’ve had whether paid or volunteer. Ask yourself, is it possible to use the skills I developed at work to do something for the kingdom of God?

Your Spiritual experience has to do with your spiritual life and your Christian maturity. Spiritual maturity is very much needed in certain areas of ministry.

Your Painful experiences such as suffering, divorce, overcoming certain problems, serious sickness, death of a loved one, etc. can sometimes be very helpful in a particular job that needs to be done now.

Discovering your serving ministry is an ongoing lifelong process. You discover your serving ministry by discovering your S.H.A.P.E. (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences). Then you line those things up with God’s commands and the needs of people. Nearly always this process will point you to one or two specific activities that you should be involved in. As you look at these five areas, you will discover your purpose in service. Your service purpose may be different from everybody else you know. Be careful that as you fulfill your purpose that other people should also be fulfilling their purpose and it all works together to accomplish God’s purpose on earth! Are you willing to be used by God to do whatever He wants you to do? Most of the time, using the ideas in this chapter will help you determine what you should be doing for God. Occasionally God will call you to do something totally out of line with your “SHAPE.” But that is the exception rather than the rule.

FINAL SUMMARY

God loves you and has a purpose for your life. That purpose involves three phases. God desires that you be (1) saved, (2) sanctified and (3) serving. You are saved when you realize that you are a lost sinner and you receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Sanctification is a process of spiritual maturity as you grow to be more like Christ. That involves both a positive and a negative aspect. There are things you should do to “grow” in Christ, things like Bible study, prayer, church attendance etc. On the negative side, you need to learn how to deal with sin as it comes into your life. After you are saved and are in the process of being sanctified, you need to get involved in serving. One way to help you determine what service you need to render is to determine your S.H.A.P.E. This acrostic stands for Spiritual Gifts, Heart (passion), Abilities and Experience. Knowing and fulfilling God’s purpose for your life will bring a joy and satisfaction not found in any other way.

Christianity Explained – Chapter Two

Chapter Two

God loves you and has a purpose for your life. God created you with special gifts, talents and abilities that equip you to fulfill His purpose. You are on this earth for a reason. God’s purpose for you includes three “phases.” God’s purpose for you is that you be (1) saved, (2) sanctified and (3) serving Him. We have considered the first one, now let’s look at the second one. Positionally we are 100% sanctified in God’s sight because of the sacrifice of Jesus.  In this chapter, we will discuss how we can become sanctified practically.  To be sanctified means to be set apart. It means being set apart from the world and set apart to God. Sanctification is a life-long process that begins when you become a Christian and will continue as long as you are alive on this earth. It is the process of growing in the grace and knowledge of God and of His will for your life. I’ve divided this section into three parts:

  1. Follow the four-fold example of the first Christians as seen in Acts 2:42.
  2. Learn and apply 5 key “assurance” scriptures.
  3. Learn how to overcome sin in your life.

Follow the Four-Fold Example for the First Christians Found in Acts 2:42

 

           Acts chapter two describes the beginning of the church. The Apostle Peter preached a sermon about Jesus being the Messiah and challenged the people to accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Three thousand people responded and were baptized that day. Verse 42 of Acts 2 explains what they did after becoming Christians. It says, “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” A Christian is involved in these four activities all his life.

 

Bible Study

           The first Christians continually devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching. They listened to and obeyed what the apostles taught. The apostles wrote what they taught in what has become the New Testament. Therefore for us, we should study and obey the Bible, especially the New Testament. You study the Bible by hearing it, reading it, studying it, memorizing parts of it and meditating on it.  Every Christian should have a program of Bible study. The program may change from time to time, but there should always be some plan in effect. Some possible programs include: studying your Sunday School lessons, reading through the Bible in a year, reading through the New Testament twice in a year, memorize 100 key Bible verses, concentrate on one verse per week.

 

 

Fellowship

           The first Christians continually devoted themselves to fellowship. The Greek word (the original language of the New Testament) for fellowship was koinonia. It means sharing a common life. It describes the idea of teamwork or a business partnership. Christians care for other Christians. Everywhere God has a son, I have a brother. Everywhere God has a daughter, I have a sister. Fellowship includes church attendance, but it goes much deeper than just attending church services. It involves meeting the needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

 

 

Breaking of Bread

           The first Christians continually devoted themselves to the breaking of bread or participating in the communion service. This is also called the Lord’s Supper. It seems that they partook daily for a while and then settled into a pattern of weekly communion on the Lord’s Day (Sunday). When we partake we remember Jesus and His death for us. The (unleavened) bread represents His body which was broken for us. The juice (fruit of the vine) represents His blood that was shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. As we partake we are to remember Him, think about the fact that He died for us and that He is coming back soon. It is also a time to rededicate yourself to Him.

 

Prayer

           The first Christians continually devoted themselves to prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. Communication is a key to the success of any relationship. Prayer is communicating with God. You should both talk and listen. Christians should stay in an attitude of prayer all the time. They should also have a set time each day in which praying is all they do.

 

 

 

Learn and Apply Several Key Assurance Scriptures

 

           A Christian is in a spiritual battle with Satan and his angels. Jesus taught us how to win this battle in Matthew 4:1-11 as He faced and overcame three temptations. He quoted Scripture that applied to the temptation he was facing. Satan will tempt you by bringing thoughts to your mind and by speaking through people. Below are five primary temptations that Satan uses with Christians. He has used them for years and they have been very effective. But prayer and specific statements from the Bible will help overcome these temptations.

 

Are you really a Christian?

           Satan says to the Christians: “You are not really saved. Being a Christian can’t be that simple. There has got to be more to it than just trusting Jesus to forgive you.”  The Bible says, “And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” (I John 5:11-13) Eternal life is a free gift from God to those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. It is not based on my performance as a Christian. It is based on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jesus paid for my ticket to Heaven.

 

Are you sure that you can be good enough to be a Christian?

           Satan says to the Christians: “You’ll never be able to live up to the standards of Christianity. You know how weak you are. You should have waited until you had all your problems solved before you became a Christian.”

 

           The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” (I Corinthians 10:13) God will not allow the Christian to be tempted, tested or tried beyond his ability to handle. God limited how much Satan can do to the Christian. There is always  a Godly way out of troubles, temptations, trials, problems, etc.

 

You sinned again. It’s all over now.

           Satan says to the Christians: “You have really messed up now. You became a Christian and God forgave your sins. But now you have sinned again. You are no better off than before. Those sins are going to destroy your relationship with God.”

 

           The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins  and  to  cleanse  us  from  all  unrighteouness.“ (I John 1:9) There is never an excuse for sin because God has provided us a way out of every temptation. But even when we fail to take advantage of that offer and we do sin, He will forgive us. All we need to do is to confess to Him that we have sinned. We must acknowledge our responsibility for the sin. When we confess it and admit that it is our fault He will forgive us.

 

You don’t really believe that God hears your prayers, do you?

           Satan says to the Christians: “Who are you talking to? God is not interested in hearing your prayers. He is too busy with important things. You know better than to think that the God who created the entire universe will listen to your rambling.”

 

           The Bible says, “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (I John 5:14)  God always hears the prayers of the Christian. He always answers the prayers of the Christian. Sometimes His answer is Yes. Sometimes His answer is No. Sometimes His answer is “Not now.” But He always answers! You can rest assured that God will do what He promised He would do and He promised to answer the Christian’s prayers.

 

If God is in control, why do all these bad things happen?

           Satan says to the Christians: “Either God does not exist or He does not care anything about you. Look at all of the bad things that have happened in your life. Don’t you think that if God were really God He would remove all this evil from the world?”

 

The Bible says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Not everything that happens is good. But God promises that He is going to work it all out for good. Bad things do happen and we don’t understand all the reasons why. We do know that if God removed all the evil from this world we would not be able to enjoy the benefits. You see, if He removed all evil out of this world, He would remove us too because we are sinful creatures.

 

Learn How To Overcome Sin

 

           Jesus saved us from the penalty for sin when we became a Christian. We will not have to experience the “second death” which is separation from God for all eternity. We have been promised a home in heaven. Jesus will one day save us from the presence of sin when he takes us home with Him. Whether we die first or He returns, we will go to  be with Him. Nothing evil or sinful will enter into the eternal dwelling. We will be away from sin and evil. Jesus also provides a way for us to be saved from the power of sin. The Bible presents a very simple plan to overcome the power of sin in our everyday life.  Here’s how:

Recognize sin as sin

Repent of that sin and ask God to forgive you

Replace that sin by allowing the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in your life.

 

Recognize sin as sin

          

           We humans have a strong tendency to be able to see everybody else’s sin but our own. We will loudly put down the person who lies to us and never even consider the fact that it may be just as bad a sin for us not to forgive that person. We may be angry with a person for mistreating us and know that he has sinned; but we may not recognize that anger we have is also a sin. (There is such a thing as righteous anger, but most of us have never experienced that kind.)

           Study the following Scriptures and make a list of all the sins that are mentioned. The Scriptures are: Mark 7:20-23; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:28-31; I Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 4:25-31; Revelation 21:8. Go through the list of sins and mark each one that you have a problem with. Be completely honest with yourself as you do this. Some of the sins listed in these passages are listed below.

 

 

___Evil thoughts              ___Fornications ___Thefts                  ___Murder

___Adultery                      ___Coveting

___Deceit               ___Sensuality

___Envy                  ___Slander

___Pride                 ___Foolishness

___Idolatry            ___Effeminate

___Homosexuality          ___Drunkenness

___Reviling            ___Swindlers

___Lying                 ___Stealing

___Unwholesome Words         ___Bitterness

___Wrath               ___Anger

___Malice              ___Unforgiveness

___Unbelief           ___Cowardly        

___Immorality                 ___Sorcerers

___Unrighteousness       ___Wickedness

___Greed               ___Gossip

___Strife                 ___Haters of God

___Insolent           ___Arrogant

___Boastful           ___Untrustworthy

___Unloving                     ___Unmerciful     

___Inventors of Evil       

___Disobedient To Parents

 

Repent of your sins

 

           Repentance is a change of the mind caused by a sorrow for sins leading to a reformation of life. It includes being sorry for the sin you committed but sorrow by itself is not repentance. Repentance also includes a sincere intention of not committing that sin again. You pray and ask God to forgive you. As you pray you also ask God to replace that sin with the fruit of the Spirit that is the “opposite equivalent” of the sin.

 

Replace the sin with the fruit of the Holy Spirit

 

           For every sin there seems to be an “opposite equivalent” of it that the Holy Spirit will produce in my life when I allow Him to control me. Some of these are very obvious. For the sin of hatred there is love. For unforgiveness there is forgiveness. For sexual immorality there is morality and sexual purity. Study the following Scriptures and make a list of all the good traits that are mentioned. The Scriptures are: Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-14; Romans 12:9-21. These qualities are evident in our lives when we allow the Holy Spirit to control us. The Bible calls this being filled with the Spirit. Some of those qualities are:

___Love                             ___Joy        

___Peace                ___Patience          

___Kindness                     ___Goodness

___Faithfulness               ___Gentleness     

___Self-control                ___Kindness         

___Tender-hearted        ___Forgiveness

___Holiness           ___Compassion

___Humility           ___Hospitable

___Prayerfulness            ___Not Vengeful

___Treating Enemies Well

 

           Go through the list of righteous qualities that you made (or the one above) and mark each one that is not in your life on a consistent basis. Remember that these qualities are produced supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. You cannot consistently produce them in your human power.

 

Chapter Summary

          

           We have covered a lot of material in this chapter on how to grow as a Christian. The Bible word for this is sanctification. We suggest that in order to grow in your spiritual life you need to do three things.

 

Follow the four-fold example of the first Christians as seen in Acts 2:42. Every Christian should study the Bible, fellowship with other Christians, partake of the Lord’s Supper and pray regularly.

Learn and apply 5 key “assurance” scriptures. Every Christian should use Scripture to overcome the temptations of Satan. We gave you five key scriptures that answer five prominent temptations that Christians face.

Learn how to overcome sin in your life. Every Christian can overcome the power of sin by recognizing sin as sin, repenting of the sins he commits and replacing the sins with qualities produced when the Holy Spirit controls his life.