March 23rd, 2022

Pee Dee Union Baptist Church

Bible Study Material

Pastor Samuel Richardson III, Teacher

Temptation

Hebrews 2:16-18

Definition: [1] Trial; being put to the test. Thus God “tempted ____________ (Gen. 22:1)” and afflictions are said to tempt, i.e., ____________ (James 1:2, 12; Deut. 8:2), putting their ________ and ________ to the test. [2] Ordinarily, however, the word means _______________ to that which is evil, and hence Satan is called “___________” (Matt. 4:3).

Our Lord was in this way tempted in the ________________; that temptation was not _________________, but by a real, active, and ________ being. It was not self-sought. It was _____________ to as an act of ____________ on His part. “Christ was led, driven; by the __________ into the wilderness; certain violence is implied in the words” (Luke 4:1–11). The scene of the temptation of our Lord is generally supposed to have been the mountain of Quarantania, “a high and precipitous wall of rock, 1,200 or 1,500 feet above the plain west of Jordan, near Jericho.”

Temptation is common ________ (I Corin. 10:13). Here are other passages that verify that all will, must experience the challenge of temptation: (Dan. ___:___; Zech. 13:9; Ps. 66:10; _______ 22:31, 40; Heb. 2:16-17; James 1:12; 1 Pet. __:__; 4:12). We read of the temptation of Joseph (_________), of David (I Sam. 26: 8-10; 2 Sam. 24), of Hezekiah (2 Chron. 32:31), of Daniel (Dan. 6), and others. So long as we are in this world we are exposed to temptations and need ever to be on our watch against them.

The Bible presents a ______________ division of temptation. We read of “the lust of ____________,” or the desire to enjoy; “the lust of _________,” or the desire to obtain; “the __________ life,” or the desire to accomplish. (1 John 2:16) Each refers to an area of __________, God – ______ _______, which can become sin when it goes beyond the limits established in _____________. It is not a sin to be tempted, because Christ was, but ____________ becomes “the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

Satan used all three of these avenues to the human heart when he tempted Eve. (Gen. 3:1–6) Eating the forbidden fruit ___________ to the lust of the flesh. The words “your eyes shall be opened,” ___________ to the lust of the eyes. The promise, “ye shall be as gods,” ____________ to the pride of life. Eve capitulated in all three areas, v.6.

The devil used the same three approaches in tempting Christ, Luke 4:1–13. He still tempts people today to sin through ___________, __________, or ____________. Christ has given us the means of ______________. Like Him, we are to be _______ ______ the

Spirit, Eph. 5:18; _________ the Spirit, Rom. __:____; and ______________ by the Spirit, Rom. 15:13; Luke 4:1, 14. The Lord triumphed by using the ________________, quoting the particular verse which suited the occasion. So can us! (Eph. 6:17; James __:__)

Generally, an enticement to _________, the term ‘temptation’ is used in the Bible to convey two somewhat different ideas. The first is that of ‘________’ or ‘proving by testing,’ to determine the depth and _____________ of one’s commitment to God: God commands Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice (Gen. 22:1-19); also, the testing of Job in (Job 1-2). In the New Testament, some of the writers thought of _______________ as a ‘testing’ in this manner (1 Pet. 1:3-9). The intent of this testing is ultimately to ________________ the person’s faith and devotion to God.

God placed man in the garden and gave man the ________________ to obey Him and __________ the human race into _____________ blessing (he could have been confirmed in righteousness by eating from the tree of life) Gen. 2:9. It was a test concerning Adam’s ___________ and _______________ to God.

The solicitation to sin came to Eve through the ____________. The fact that the serpent could tempt Eve suggests evil was ___________ (although man had not yet sinned). Although it was the serpent ___________, it was Satan who engineered the temptation. It was possible because he was “________” (“clever,” Matt. 10:16). The serpent ____________ the glory of God and sought to ___________ man’s fellowship with God and man’s _______ ______ God’s creation.

Satan, through the serpent, raised __________ about God’s word (Gen. 3:1); he lied by saying that man would not die (Gen. 3:4), expressing it in strongest terms, “You surely shall not die!” Eve _____________ to the temptation, sinning in the manner common to the human race: through the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). Adam also participated in the sin; although Eve was _____________ (1 Tim. 2:14), Adam realized what he was doing, hence, the ________ ____________. For this reason, Adam is constituted the _______ __________ (Rom. 5:12–21).

The second nuance of temptation is more in line with modern popular understandings of the term, namely, an ______________ toward sin leading to a _______________ act of evil against God or one’s neighbor. The biblical writers are careful, however, to make it clear that God ______ ____ ‘tempt’ humans to do evil (James 1:12-15) and in fact makes available the resources necessary to resist temptation (_ _____. __:___). The familiar petition in the Lord’s Prayer dealing with temptation probably should be understood as ‘Do not allow us to go into temptation’ (Matt. 6:13a), as the original Aramaic likely would have read. It is quite possible; moreover, that the reference is to ‘testing’ rather than to ‘temptation’ as this is popularly understood.

A quite different aspect of ‘temptation’ or ‘testing’ in the biblical writings is that of human beings ____________ to put God to a test, usually for the purpose of testing

God’s ________ or _____________ (Judges 6; Matt. ___:____) or, even more, to determine whether they can ___________________ God (Ps. ___:__-__; Matt. 4:5-7; Luke 4:9-12). Such activities stem from a ________ of _______ in God and His _____________. This understanding seems to be involved in the most famous of all temptation accounts, the temptation of Jesus by Satan (Matt. 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).

All of the synoptic Gospels (__________, _______, and _______) have accounts of Jesus’ temptation; although only Matthew and Luke give any details (John’s Gospel has no such account). In each Gospel, the temptation takes place _______________ after Jesus’ baptism, which is interpreted as His _________________ for the messianic ministry, a ministry to be characterized by ___________ _______ (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).

The temptation __________ for Jesus to prove His divine Sonship to Himself; such Sonship is never questioned in the New Testament. Rather, the temptation or ‘testing’ is implicitly presented as Jesus’ ___________ _______ whether to obey God’s call to be a servant-messiah or to interpret messiah ship in the traditional terms of ______________, strength, and _____________. (Rom. 8:14) Such a struggle can be detected ________________ the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry, where it is made clear that the ______________ never really understood Jesus’ _________________ to a ____________ ministry. (Matt. 20:26-28; Mark 10:43-45)

In the biblical writings, therefore, temptation or testing has these two nuances: the strong ________________ of humankind ____________ evil when it is known that God wills good; and the testing situations that may demonstrate one’s _______________ to God and God’s ways and even strengthen one’s _________. In each, if people ____________ temptation, pass the test, their faith has been _____________ and their character __________________.


Jan 12th, 2022

Pee Dee Union Baptist Church

Bible Study Material

Pastor Samuel Richardson III

Understanding Discipleship

Mark 8:31–10:52

The key to these sections of Mark is the repeated note that Jesus “__________________” and “was teaching” His disciples. Jesus did teach as He _____________ from village to village, healing and casting out demons. But it was ___________________ that He was teaching. Often that teaching was in parables. Mark does not report this teaching in detail. But what he does tell us suggests that Jesus’ teaching was both about Himself and about life in His kingdom. There is a significant shift. The ones Jesus _____________ were the disciples. While He began to teach them about His coming death and resurrection, the focus of His teaching is not how-to live-in Israel’s expected kingdom, but on how to live as His disciples ________. The great value for us in these chapters of Mark is to be found in the fact that, as _________________, we too are called to be Christ’s disciples. How good to learn more of how to live for Him.


Disciple: The Greek word (mathētēs, math-ay-tes) means “pupil” or “learner.” In its most intense sense ‘discipleship’ (mathētĕuō, math-ayt-yoo´-o) means to become a pupil; to be discipled, i.e., to enroll as a scholar be instructed, taught; suggests a total commitment to stay close to and to obey the person chosen as one’s teacher.


In each of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) one question Jesus asked His disciples marks a turning point. That question is, “Who do people say I am?” (Mark 8:27: also Matt. 16:13; Luke 9:18)


The disciples reported what the people were saying, people who ______________ Jesus’ miracles, listened to His teaching, been restored by His healing power, and eaten of the bread and fishes He had multiplied. Everywhere __________________ convinced that Jesus was among the greatest of the prophets and might even be one of the ancients restored to life! And then the synoptic Gospel writers each tell us that Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered for them all. “You are the Christ.”


What is so significant about this incident is that three Gospels tell us that from this point there was a shift in Jesus’ ministry. ________________ did Jesus begin to teach His disciples about His coming death. In fact, from this point on Jesus focused His ministry more and more on ______________ _____ Twelve. Why? Because these men acknowledged Jesus for who He is: the Christ, the Son of God. The compliments of the crowds who linked Jesus with the greatest of Old Testament saints _______________, for they failed to acknowledge Him for who He is. Those compliments in fact constituted a ________________ of Jesus, a damning with faint praise.


There is no way that people who will not believe in Jesus can really profit from His instruction. Without the ____________________ relationship with God, which is established by faith, what a person does is completely __________________. It is only as we believe and _________ that Jesus can fill our lives with newness. It is only faith and obedience that can __________________. And so, Jesus now turned to instruct the little core of men who did believe, as you and I believe, how to live as disciples and so to please our God.


Life Through Death: Mark 8:31–9:13


Jesus’ coming death (Mark 8:31–33). As soon as Peter expressed the disciples’ ___________________ that Jesus truly is the Christ, Jesus began to “teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the Law, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again.” This blunt, clear teaching _________ the disciples. They didn’t want Jesus to die. Peter even took Jesus aside and began to “rebuke” Him! Christ spoke sharply. “Out of My sight, Satan,” Jesus said. And He added, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” This last phrase is especially important. What seems ___________ and ___________________ to human beings is often totally out of ______________ with God’s ways. We must learn to trust the wisdom of God, even when it seems to go against all that seems wise or best to us.


Choosing “death” (Mark 8:34–38). Jesus immediately applied what He had said to discipleship. ______ had determined Jesus’ own death on the cross. Through that death will come new life for Jesus (He will “after three days rise again”) and also new life for those who believe in Jesus. But God had also _______________ that the way for disciples to experience that new life was through a ______________ like Jesus’ own! He told the Twelve that if they were to “come after Me,” they must also deny self, take up their cross, and __________________.


The disciple’s cross is ________________ of God’s will for the individual, even as Jesus’ cross was God’s will for Him. Self-denial is a rejection of ___________________ and desires that may conflict with God’s will. And “_____________” Jesus is staying close to Him, living in intimate daily relationship, by adopting His own commitment to please God. What hinges on this kind of discipleship? Jesus said that the person who rejected ____________________ and held on to his (old) life will lose it, while the person who loses his (old) life will save it. While this may seem _________________, the point is simple and vital. A person who rejects discipleship will ______________ what he or she might have become if his or her life had been turned over to Jesus. Only if we commit ourselves fully to Him, and make the disciples’ daily choice of obedience, can we discover the new life relationship which Jesus makes possible for us!


Glory follows (Mark 9:1–13). Again, the sequence of events is important. Jesus had just told the disciples of His coming death and resurrection, and pointed out that the disciples too could be ___________________ if they would only give up their old lives for Him. Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God coming with power” (v. 1). While many have puzzled over the meaning of this saying, in each Gospel it is followed by a report of Jesus’ visit six days later to the Mount of Transfiguration. There, with Peter and James and John watching (note just “some who are standing here”), Jesus “was transfigured before them; His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them” (v. 2–3).


The glory that laid ahead for Jesus; a glory to be visible to all when “the kingdom of God come[s] with power,” was shown to the three disciples. The Bible tells us that Elijah and Moses appeared and talked with Jesus, while a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, whom I love. Listen to Him.” The disciples were given a glimpse of the ___________ to come after the Cross. Death truly was the pathway to glory. The incident was intended not only to reassure the disciples. It is intended to ______________ you and me as well.


The daily cross of the disciple is _______________. Often, we will be called on to make choices that seem to us to involve great cost. What we need to remember is that beyond each cross God calls on us to bear, and beyond the little death that ________________ may seem to involve, lays the splendor of transformation. Just as Jesus’ cross was the pathway to glory, so obedience is the __________________ to transformation for you and for me. The disciples did not yet understand the meaning of what they had seen. They had not even grasped the fact that Jesus would be crucified, and they discussed what “rising from the dead” might mean. But rather than asking Jesus, they moved to safer ground, and raised a theological question: “Why do the teachers of the Law say that Elijah must come first?”


Theological questions and discussion surely are not wrong. But what is most important is in simple faith to take heed to the words that were heard on that mountain. “This is My Son, whom I love. __________________.” If we simply listen to Jesus, and do what He says, our lives will be transformed.


Pathways to Power: Mark 9:14–50


Jesus then went on to instruct His disciples in the kind of life they would be expected to live. Mark reported just a few of Jesus’ teachings, giving us brief and pithy accounts of His sayings. Yet each is distinctively helpful as we try to live our own Christian lives in the twentieth-century world.


Prayer (Mark 9:14–32). When Jesus and the three came down from the Mount of Transfiguration, they found milling, shouting crowds. The disciples and ______________ of the Law were arguing loudly, while people in the crowd _______________ out their comments. But when they saw Jesus, all ran to greet Him. Quickly the story came out. The disciples had been asked to cast an evil spirit from a child but were unable to. When the child was brought to Jesus, the spirit saw Him and “immediately threw the boy into a convulsion.”

  • The father begged, “If You can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Jesus

fastened immediately on the first phrase. “‘If You can’?”

Hadn’t Jesus been teaching and healing literally for years in Galilee? Could there be any ____________? The answer was, of course there was doubt! People had witnessed what Jesus did but would not __________________ themselves fully to Him. The man’s response to Jesus’ statement that “everything is possible for him who believes” was certainly true of the majority in Israel. “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”


Perhaps the first lesson for us in this story is that God does not demand ____________ faith in people. We do believe. But we still need help for our unbelief. Jesus accepts even imperfect faith and generously works His miracles in our lives. As we continue to grow in our __________________________ with Him, He does indeed “help our unbelief,” gradually replacing it with a more perfect trust in Him. But there is another lesson as well. The disciples who had been unable to help were troubled by their _________________. Afterward they asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Jesus answered, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” For the challenges of our lives as Jesus’ disciples ________________, not on our own strength, but completely on God’s. And we express that dependence most perfectly in prayer.


Servanthood (Mark 9:33–37). On the road to Capernaum Jesus’ disciples had been arguing about which would be greatest. Christ called the Twelve together and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Greatness is not to be found in ___________________, but in ___________________. Spiritual significance is not won by concern for oneself, but by concern for others. It is only as we give that we receive God’s praise. When Jesus told the disciples to welcome the little children in His name, He illustrated the nature of servanthood. In the Roman world, the “little child” was placed under the authority of slaves. They might be loved but, were of little account until they reached their maturity. But to Jesus, the least important in society were valuable indeed. In our servanthood, we value the least of men, not just those whom the world considers important.


Non-judgmentalism (Mark 9:38–41). When the disciples saw a person, they did not know driving out demons in Jesus’ name, they told him to stop! After all, weren’t they Jesus’ disciples? ________________ did anyone else have to use His name? Christ rebuked them, pointing out that no one who does good in Jesus’ name one moment can speak against Jesus the next. Even a person who does the ___________________ in Jesus’ name will be rewarded. How often through church history Christ’s people have forgotten these words to disciples. We are not to ________________ others who act in Jesus’ name just because they are not part of our group, or our church. Those who act in the name of Jesus are with us, even if they are not of us.


Harmony (Mark 9:42–50). Jesus warned that disciples must do nothing to cause “one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin.” In a series of strong statements, Jesus emphasized how terrible ___________. The imagery of cutting off the hand that causes sin, etc., is not meant literally but instead emphasizes the necessity of a decisive rejection of sin.

Disciples are to be “_______,” a preservative. If the disciple does not live in harmony with Jesus and with others, but sins or causes others to sin, the disciple will be ______________ as salt, and unable to fulfill his or her function.


Sin, in ourselves or others, is serious. It shatters the harmony that is _____________ between us and God, and within the Christian community. How, then, does Jesus instruct His followers to live as disciples? They, and we, are to ________________ of prayer and of __________________. We are to live with our fellow believers in a non-judgmental way, a way that promotes harmony by personally rejecting temptations to sin, being careful not to cause brothers and sisters to sin either.


Threats to Discipleship: Mark 10:1–52


Jesus had shown His followers several keys to living as disciples. Now in a series of incidents that Mark linked together, Christ warned against pathways that have attracted the religious of all the ages. Jesus’ disciples, today as then, must be careful not to fall into these spiritual traps.


Legalism (Mark 10:1–16). Again, Jesus was met and questioned by some Pharisees. As always, they raised a legal question to “test” Jesus. There is one Greek word that suggests a “test” which is administered from a desire to prove ____________________ of the article tested. That word is not used here. The Pharisees did not wish to approve Jesus; they wished to discredit Him.


Each of the Gospel writers’ reports words of Jesus on marriage. He must have spoken of it often. So, when the Pharisees raised the question again to “test” Christ, we can assume that they already knew His position. Their question: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” This was intended as a trap. If Jesus said no, He would seem to speak against the Law of Moses. If He said yes, He would apparently contradict His own often expressed commitment to a permanent relationship.


Jesus answered by __________________________________ in which they claimed to trust. “What did Moses command you?” And they spoke of the “certificate of divorce” that the Mosaic Law permitted. Jesus’ response showed a totally different perspective on the Law than was held by the Pharisees. The Pharisees held that the Law was “the” _______________________. They believed God had given that perfect standard to mark out the way of salvation. And they also believed that they, by their __________________ to keep the Law, would win His approval.


Jesus had a different perspective. He explained, “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law.” Look back to Creation, Jesus taught, and you will see ______________________. Marriage is to be a lifelong commitment. The reference to hard hearts is a reference to sin. It was only because sin warped and distorted this most intimate of relationships that Moses permitted divorce. God was willing to lower _______________________, to provide imperfect human beings with a way to escape a destructive marriage. Divorce law, then, proved that Law itself was not the ideal standard the Pharisees thought it to be! In fact, Law involved a lowering of God’s standards, permitting men who fell far short of His true ideal to continue in ________________ with Him.


What Law does is to show how far short we fall of the ___________________ and reveal our need for salvation (Rom. 3:19–20). The Pharisees’ assumption that one could be saved by works of the Law, or even win God’s approval by legalistic dedication was completely wrong! Later the disciples asked about the incident. His answer again focused on the heart and suggested that the law on divorce was being used simply to change an older mate for a younger one. Anyone who divorces and remarries commits adultery. It is not conformity to the letter of the law, but intent, that God judges.


How careful we must be not to let our living relationships with Jesus be translated into ___________________________ that ignore the motives of our hearts and are insensitive to the true desires for our God. And how very careful we must be not to legalistically “test” our brothers as the Pharisees constantly tried to test Jesus; not to approve but to _____________________ Him.


Humanism (Mark 10:17–34). The “rich young man” who came to Jesus addressed Him as “good Teacher” and asked what he must “do” to inherit _____________________. These provide the key to understanding the next danger to the disciple: humanism. Jesus immediately challenged the young man’s _____________________. Why did he call Jesus “good” and add a merely human title? Didn’t he realize that only God is truly “good”? This is, of course, the key error of humanism. It seeks goodness in human motives and actions, without realizing that only God is good.


To help the young man discover his error for himself, Jesus asked about the commands listed on the second tablet of the Law. When Moses brought God’s Ten Commands down from Mount Sinai, they were written on two stone tablets. The first tablet contained commands that related to loving God. The second tablet contained commands related to loving other human beings. Now Jesus quoted only from the second tablet as He, spoke of the commands not to murder, commit adultery, steal, give false testimony, or defraud, and to honor mother and father. This, the young man said, he had done since he was a boy. This young man was not lying. He had been a truly good person. “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” But then Jesus spoke of a _____________________. And He told the young man to sell everything, give it to the poor, and then follow Jesus. The young man’s face fell, and he went away sad “because he had great wealth.” What happened here? This young man who represented the best humanism has to offer – a truly “good” (by human standards) person – had related correctly to his fellowmen. But the very first commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:3).


Jesus’ instructions to sell all was a __________ demonstration that this lovely young man, so sensitive in his dealings with others, actually did have another god before God: his money. When the Son of God commanded him to sell his possessions, he made his choice – _______________. How hard it was for this rich young man to give God His ________________________. Humanistic good – an honest consideration of other people – is not really costly. But putting God first may demand our everything!

The disciples again _________________________. When Jesus remarked on how hard it is for the rich to enter His kingdom, the disciples were stunned. Surely wealth was a sign of God’s approval! If the wealthy found it difficult, who then could be saved? Jesus answered, “With man this is impossible.” No matter how kind and __________________ the humanist may be, mere human goodness can never win entrance to God’s kingdom. But “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). In Jesus Himself God has made a way for His lost ones to return.


Still the disciples misunderstood. Fascinated _________________, Peter wondered aloud. “We have left everything to follow You!” Jesus nodded and made Peter, and you and me a promise. In _____________________ everything we will without fail receive “a hundred times as much in this present age.” In Christ we become the _____________ of all things. But many who seem “first” in this life will be last in God’s kingdom and those whom men account “last” will be first.


Authoritarianism (Mark 10:35–45). The third danger to discipleship is the desire for the wrong kind of authority within the ___________________________. James and John were eager for positions of power in Jesus’ coming kingdom. Jesus warned them that one who sought position in His kingdom must be ready to drink from Christ’s cup and to be baptized with His baptism. In this He, spoke of complete _________________ to God’s will, and the suffering that this might entail. He warned them, however, to abandon the notion of “authority” as it was understood in the ____________________. Where the rulers “lord it over” others and “exercise authority over them.” It is not to be this way in Jesus’ kingdom. The person who is great is the one who gives himself to serve others, even as Jesus came to serve and to give His life (v.43–44). There is to be no hierarchy in the church! The greatest is the lowest: the one who dedicates himself not to be served by those to whom he gives orders, but to give service that they might become all that God wants them to be.


The blind sees (Mark 10:46–52). Mark closes with a report of a miracle. But what a special miracle. A blind man was given his sight, and was told, “Your faith has healed you.” It is the same with us. Jesus gives us the spiritual sight to see the emptiness in legalism, the futility of mere humanism, and the error of hierarchialism. What is it that truly can heal the disciple and lead him along the pathway of power? Jesus answers us in His words to the blind who now can see. “Go, your faith has healed you.” And as with Bartimaeus, “immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”


 
Dec 7th 2021 
Pee Dee Union Baptist Church

Bible Study

Pastor Samuel Richardson III, Teacher

Advent, the War!

Genesis 3:15

Don’t be alarmed but Christmas is about more than the birth of Jesus, it’s also about warfare. Christmas is more than the fulfillment of the promised Messiah. It is also an escalation in the war between the forces of good and evil. However, no one thinks of Christmas as being a military maneuver in a holy war between the two greatest forces in the universe for the souls of men, yet it is. (Rev.12:7-13)

When we contemplate Christmas most minds turn quickly to Mary, Joseph, the Christ child in the manger, shepherds watching their flock, the wise men, and anything else that conjures up blessed thoughts about the event. (Luke 2)

But Christmas is also a strategic military move by the Lord of Host, in His holy war against Satan. The Advent of the promised Messiah was a divine decision made long before the creation of this world. The divine decision served as a deterrent to the diabolical and evil efforts of the archenemy of God, according to (Rev. 13:8). Power was given to him but, it was limited by God.

Mankind was drawn into this conflict when the adversary of the Lord deceived the parents of the human race (Gen.3:6); thus, allowing sin into the world, condemnation on all humanity, and furthermore the expansion of the battleground in the greatest contest known to man.

With the succumbing of mankind to the devices of Satan, man was now separated from God, completely cut off from his Maker. As a result, a Redeemer was needed to restore the crown of creation back to his rightful place as sons and daughters of the Most-High God.

The restoration of mankind called for creative military planning by God. Therefore, He decided that One should come in human flesh. He would be the “seed of woman” and He would be both human as well as divine, Son of Man and Son of God. The first formal announcement of His coming is found in Genesis 3:15. “And I will put enmity [hostility] between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Satan was now well warned of the child’s impending arrival; an arrival in the fullness of time, which insured his doom and eternal defeat.

The Law of Double Reference

Here we have the first occurrence of the law of double reference (Isa. 14:12-14; Ez.28:11-17; Matt. 16:22-23; Mark 5:7; Luke 4:33-35, 41). In these and many other passages a vivble creature is addressed but certain statements also refer to an invisible person WHO IS USING THE VISIBLE creature as a tool. Thus, two persons are involved in the same passage. The law of interpretation to follow in such passages, is to associate only such statements with each individual as could refer to him. The statement of v.14 could apply only to the serpent and not to Satan. The first part of v.15 could apply to both the seed of the serpent and Satan. The last part of

v.15 could only refer to Satan and Christ.

Remember in Matthew 16:22-23 when Peter declared that he would never permit anyone to crucify his Lord on the cross, Christ rebuked him saying, “Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Both Satan and Peter were addressed in the same statement, and both were involved in the rebuke. Peter was for the moment, being unknowingly used as a tool of Satan in an effort to keep Christ from going to the cross.

After hearing the dreaded news, Satan did not sit around wring his hands. He knew the “seed of woman” must be prevented entry into the human sphere. Therefore, He caused the first murder, the slaying of Abel by Cain (Genesis 4). Satan poison the entire pre-flood world save Noah and his family (Genesis 6). We learn from the book of Exodus, that the devil encouraged the Pharaoh of Egypt to enslave God’s people, set them free (Ex.12:31), and then tried to wipe them out at the Red Sea (Ex.14). In Exodus 32; because Moses delayed in his return from receiving the Laws of God for the people, the devil seduced God’s people to forsake Him and turn to idol worship.

In 1 Kings 18:4-19; the devil influenced Jezebel to massacre the prophets of God. In the book called the Apocrypha, in the chapter of 2 Esdras 13:40-50, we find that he also marshalled the wicked Assyrian army to carry off ten tribes of Israel into captivity. Later in 2 Kings 25, Satan swayed King Nebuchadnezzar to wage war against the remaining two Israelite tribes. He defeated them and took many into exile in Babylon, bringing the house of David to the brink of annihilation. (2 Sam.7:10-16 the promise of God to David that his house/kingdom would last forever.)

Satan and his demons tried all they could to destroy the lineage in which the “seed of the woman” was to come. Yet, they failed.

As promised a blessed Jewish maiden gave birth to the Christ child and as instructed, she named Him Jesus for He was destined to save man from his sins, (Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-7; Matt. 3:21). With the birth of Jesus Christ, the warfare waged on. Satan inspired Herod the Great to try and eliminate Mary’s baby by having all male infants ages two and under killed, (Matt. 3:16).

The devil manipulated the religious leaders, the Pharisees, Scribes, and the Herodians to conspire to kill Jesus, (Mark 3:6; Luke 22:1). Satan even rallied a group of Jesus’ home folks to rise against Him, (Luke 4: 28-29).

Today the war wages on during the sights and sounds of the last Christmas of this millennium. The forces of good and evil continues to collide. As in our lives, we see the struggle every day as well try to stay within the will of God, by being obedient to His Word. (John 15:7-8If ye abide in Me, and My words in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so, shall ye be My disciples.”)

Nonetheless, the birth of Christ, the life He lived, and the vicarious death He died all speak of the ultimate victory Christians have in Him. As we celebrate His birth this holiday season, let us not forget that Christmas is a glorious episode in the continuing saga between good and evil, light

and darkness.



Pee Dee Union Baptist Church

Bible Study Lesson

Pastor Samuel Richardson III

Can Righteousness Answer?

(2 Corinthians 5:9-13)

Righteousness – acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin. The state of being in the right standing; or being vindicated by one of authority.

“Knowing, therefore, the terror [fear] of the Lord” (2Cor.5:11). This kind of ____________ is often lacking in ___________. The famous Bible scholar, B. F. Westcott, once wrote, “Every year makes me tremble at the daring with which people speak of spiritual things.” Phillips Brooks used to warn about “clerical jesters” whose jesting about the Bible robbed that inspired Book of some of its glory and power. Too often there is a sad absence of _______________ in the public meetings of the church, so that it is no surprise that the younger generation is not taking the ________ of _____ seriously. Paul explained this motive by sharing his own testimony in three powerful statements.

We labor (v.9). This means “we are _____________”. There is an ambition that is ________, and _________, but there is also a ______ ambition that honors the Lord. Paul’s great ambition was to be well-pleasing to Jesus Christ. The Judaizers ministered to please _____ and enlisted them in their cause; but Paul ministered to please Jesus Christ ____ (Gal.1:10). A man-pleasing ministry is a ______, compromising ministry; and God will not ______ __.

The word translated “_________” (well-pleasing) is used in several other places in the New Testament, and each of these references helps us better understand what it is that pleases the ______. It is well-pleasing to Him when we __________ our bodies to Him as living sacrifices (Rom.12:1), and when we live so as to ______ others and avoid causing them to stumble (Rom.___:18). God is well-pleased when His ___________ separate themselves from the evil around them (Eph.5: ___), as well as when they bring their _________ to Him (Phil. 4:18). He is pleased with children who _________ to their parents (Col.3:20), as well as with saints who _______ Jesus Christ to work out His perfect will in their lives (_____.13:___-21).

There is nothing wrong with godly ambition. “Yea, so have I strived [been ambitious] to preach the Gospel,” was Paul’s testimony in ________ 15:20; it was this godly ambition

1

that ________ him to take the message where it had never been heard. Paul commanded the Thessalonian believers to “study [be ambitious] to be quiet” (1Thess.4:11). If, led by the ________, believers would put as much drive into Christian _______ and service as they do athletics or business, the _________ would make a greater ________ on the lost world. “I want to be as zealous for God as I was for the devil!” a new Christian told me, and his life was greatly ______ of God.


We must all appear (v.10). Not every _________ is ambitious for the Lord, but _______ believer is going to appear before the Lord; and ______ is the time to prepare. The Judgment Seat of Christ is that _________ event when God's people will stand before the Savior as their ______ are judged and __________ (Rom.14:7-10). Paul was ambitious for the Lord because he wanted to ______ Him with confidence and not ________ (1John 2:28).

The term “judgment seat” comes from the Greek word bema, which was the platform in Greek towns where orations were made, or decisions handed down by rulers (Matt.27:19; Acts12:21; 18:12). It was also the place where the ________ were given out to the winners in the annual Olympic Games. This judgment seat” must not be confused with the Great White Throne from which Christ will _______ the _______ (Rev.20:11-15). Because of the ___________ work of Christ on the _______, believers will ___ face their _____ (John 5:24; Rom.8:1); but we ____ have to give an account of our ______ and ________ for the Lord.

The Judgment Seat of Christ will be a place of revelation; for the word appear means “be _________.” As we live and ______ here on earth, it is relatively easy for us to hide ______ and _________; but the true __________ of our works will be exposed before the ________ eyes of the Savior. He will reveal whether our works have been good or bad (worthless). The character of our service will be revealed (1Cor.3:13) as well as the ___________ that impelled us (1Cor.__:__).

It will also be a place of reckoning as we give an account of our ________ (Rom.14:10-12). If we have been __________, it will be a place of ________ and recognition (1Cor.3:__-__; 4:1-6). For those of us who have been faithful, it will be a time of ________ as we glorify the Lord by giving our rewards ______ to Him in worship and in _______. Is the desire for reward a proper motive for service? The fact that God does ________ rewards is proof that the motive is not a sinful one, even though it may not be the _________ motive. Just as parents are happy when their children achieve recognition, so our Lord is pleased when His people are _______ of recognition and reward. The important thing is not the ______ itself, but the joy of __________ Christ and ___________ Him.

We persuade men (v.11-13). If God _______ His own people, then what will happen to the _____? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1Pet.4:18)” The word terror does not mean fright, dread, or horror. After all, we are going to see our Savior - and He loves us. But Paul did not minimize the ____________ of the occasion. We shall stand before Christ, and there is no respect of persons” (Col.3:23-25). Christ has _______________ us to spread the Gospel to all nations, and we must be ____________. Someone asked the Duke of Wellington what he thought of foreign missions, and his reply was, What are your marching orders?

How can the Christian _________ for the Judgment Seat of Christ? To begin with, he must __________ a clear conscience. No doubt some of the ________ at Corinth were saying, “Just wait until Paul stands before the Lord!” But Paul was ____ _______, because he ______ that his conscience was clear (2Cor.1:12). The ______ about each one of us shall be __________ and Jesus Christ will commend us for those ______ that have pleased Him.

“Persuade” – Paul rejects the use of ________ or manipulation in favor of persuasion. His goal is to _____________ a free, spontaneous _______________ to the Lord by the resisting Corinthians. Many _______ can be used to force others to conform to our wishes; but only seeking to ___________ rather than ______ will we help them choose to follow Jesus.

Though Paul knew that his ___________ and eternal destiny were obtained by ______ in Christ (Eph.2:8-9), the thought of one day standing ______ his Savior (v.10) awed him. It was the contemplation of that _________ that moved Paul to fear the Lord and ________ him on in His service (Matt.__:28). The purpose of his __________ was to persuade men to “be reconciled to God” (v.___).

The personal defense which follows (vs.11-12) indicates that Paul met ___________ in carrying out that _____________. Understandably, a Christian’s message is intimately bound up with his life and ministry (1Thess.1:5); the two are hardly separable. Since this is so, Paul had to justify and defend ___ __________ in order to win a hearing for his message. He followed the tactic used earlier in the letter, affirming before God the _________ of his motives (2Cor.1:12) and calling on the Corinthians to confirm this by their own ____________ with him (1:14; 4:2).

The apostle, unlike his opponents, put __ ______ in external credentials or associations (3:1-2; 5:16a). It was not the externality of the _____ but the internality of the _________ that authenticated his ministry (3:3; Rom.2:28-29). Nor was he concerned simply about his own reputation among the Corinthians (1Cor. __:___; ____.__:10; 1Thess.2:6). What did concern him was the reception of his message. He needed to be regarded as a __________ of Christ so that his message would be regarded as the __________ of God (1Cor.4:1). If they took pride (exulted) in him, the messenger, then they could answer his and their opponents, who looked on the __________ appearance (what is seen) rather than what one is like ________ (in the heart; 1Sam.16:7).

Since we know the _____ of the Lord, we try to persuade men as to our ___________ and sincerity as ministers of Christ. But whether we succeed in persuading men or not, we are ____-________ to God. And we hope that this will be the case in the consciences of you Corinthians as well!3

Second, we must take care not to ________ on the praise of men (v.12). This verse relates to 2 Corinthians 3:1; where Paul referred to the “letters of _________________” that the Judaizers prized so highly. If we live only for the _______ of men, we will not win the praise of ____ at the Judgment Seat of Christ. To live for man’s praise is to exalt _______ over character, and it is _____________ that will count when we see Christ. Actually, the Corinthians should have commended Paul! Instead, they were promoting” the Judaizers who gloried in ____________ (2Cor.11:18) but were _____________ in heart.

Finally, we must _______ the criticisms of men (v.13). Paul’s enemies said that he was ________. Paul said that he was “mad” when he was persecuting the church (Acts __:11), but his enemies said he was “mad” since he had become a _________ himself (Acts 26:24). But people said that our Lord was mad, so Paul was in good company (Mark3:21). “If I am mad,” Paul was saying, “it is for your good and the glory of God - so that makes it ______________!”

4

When Dwight L. Moody was ministering at his large Sunday school and church in Chicago, people often called him “Crazy Moody.” In the ____ of the _________ world, Moody was crazy” to have ______ up a successful business career to become a Sunday school worker and _____________; but time has ________ his decision to be a wise one. Today, we don’t know the names of the people who laughed at him, but we do know - and honor - the name of D. L. Moody.

It behooves every Christian to _________ his own life regularly to see if he is ______ for the Judgment Seat of Christ. Wanting to give a good _________ before Christ is a _______ motive for Christian service.3

1Richards, Lawrence 0.: The Bible Readers Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996, S. 778

2Walvoord, John F.; Zuck, Roy B.; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:566

3MacDonald, William; Farstad, Arthur: Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995, S. 2 Co 5:111Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996, c1989, S. 2 Co 5:9



Developing Your True Potential “Cultivating and Feeding”

Genesis 1:26-27(Answer Sheet)

 

Potential Doesn’t Guarantee Performance
  1. attention

  2. effort

  3. produce

  4. reproduce itself

  5. performance

  6. quantity

  7. quality

  8. pregnancy

  9. Performance

  10. cared

  11. Developed

  12. ability

  13. success

  14. key

  15. spending

  16. time

  17. effort

A Garden to Care For

  1. shrubs

  2. pregnant

  3. cultivation

  4. existence

  5. released

  6. present

  7. produce

  8. working

  9. tilling

  10. cultivating

Winning the Prize Requires Running the Race

28. worked and fed

29. fruit

30. fruitfulness of man

31. Harvests

32. Labor

33. God’s potential

34. Wisdom

35. Mission

36. Maximize

37. what God

38. Ignorance

Knowledge & Understanding Promote Growth

39. to learn

40. selection and preparation

41. potter’s wheel

42. Practice

43. the goal

44. Knowledge and effort

45. Wisdom

46. Connected

47. His Spirit

48. Treasure

49. Search

50. Proverbs 23:12

51. Proverbs 24:3-6

52. Precede

53. Misguided

54. Planned

55. Granted

56. Fulfill

The Consequences of Neglecting Knowledge

57. neglect

58. Proverbs 13:14-16

59. Hosea 4:6

60. unavailability

61. perish

62. rejected

63. opportunities

The Penalties of Ignorance

64. Ignorance

65. one thing

66. answers

67. need

68. want

69. ways, will, and desires

70. fruitfulness

71. children’s

72. experiencing

73. generational and transferable

74. private

Twisted Values

75. 2 Corin. 4:7

76. His Power

77. standards

78. ability

79. information

80. physical

81. poverty

82. inability

83. purpose

84. sight and redirect

85. compare



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Pee Dee Union Baptist Church

Bible Study Lesson

Dr. Samuel Richardson III, Pastor/Teacher

“Developing Your True Potential – Cultivating and Feeding”

(Material taken from the book “Maximizing Your Potentialby, Dr. Myles Munroe)

Genesis 1:26-27

The successful fulfillment of your potential is similar to the task of growing prizewinning flowers. Both require careful ___________ and diligent ______ to produce winning results.

Potential Doesn’t Guarantee Performance

God made everything with the ability to ________ fruit or to __________ ________. Yet, the potential to produce does not guarantee_______________, nor does the _______ of fruit guarantee its_________. You may have a good idea that produces mediocrity-laden results. Or you may have big dreams that amount to very little. This is true because _____________ is no guarantee of fruitfulness, and _______________ is not ensured by plans and dreams. Pregnancy and performance match when the potential to produce is properly _______ for and ____________.


You may have the potential to be a world-class architect, but your _______ does not guarantee that you will reach this level of _________ . You may never progress beyond drawing doll house plans for your daughter or designing a model train layout for your son. An important ____ to producing what you are capable of is __________ the necessary ______ and ______ to promote the development of your talent. (Heb. 11:6) You must cultivate and feed your potential.


A Garden to Care For

When God made man, ________ had not yet appeared on the earth and plants had not yet sprung from the ground. (Gen.3:17-19) Only after man’s creation did God plant a garden and give it a river to water it. Why? Until then “there was no man to work the ground” (Gen. __:__). The earth was __________ , but nothing was coming out because there was no one to care for the soil’s babies.

Thus, we see that God created all life to depend on ____________ to maximize its __________ because potential cannot be _________ without work. In essence, God said, “I can’t allow these tress and plants to grow yet because they need cultivation when they start growing and there is no one to care for them.” (Gen.1:11-12) The fruit and seed of many plants and trees were _________ in the ground, but the soil did not __________ them until Adam cultivated the garden.

The New International Version of the Bibles says that God gave Adam the responsibility of _________ the garden. The Revised Standard Version and the King James Version describe man’s task as that of _______ the garden, and the Good News Bible speaks of ____________. All point to man’s assignment to help the garden produce to its fullest capacity. Thus, man was created to have a cultivating ministry by making the earth grow richer as he gives to it, feeds it, and adds to it.

Winning the Prize Requires Running the Race

Potential is like soil; it must be ______ and _____ to produce ________. King Solomon referred to this process of releasing the ____________ of _____ when he said, “The purpose of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out” (Prov.20:5) Notice, the ________ _____ of man’s potential requires effort. Like the fisherman who brings forth the treasures of the sea by ______ _____ and the farmer who _______ the fruit of the ground by the sweat of his brow, so man must ______ to tap even a portion of God’s __________ within himself. The apostle Paul understood this need to put forth the effort to release his fruitfulness. (I Corinthians 9:24-27)

Understanding and ________ are the keys to the success of man’s _________. His race to ____________ everything God has given him begins with knowing what _____ requires of him and how He expects him to reach the finish line. The primary principle in cultivating one’s life for maximum living is to destroy ____________ by the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. (Prov.4:5-7)

Knowledge and Understanding Promote Growth

Suppose I wanted to create a beautiful vase to place in my living room, but I knew nothing about making pottery. My first step would need to be a visit to a master potter, or at least to the local library, __ _______all I could about working clay into beautiful work. I would have to learn about the __________ and _____________ of the clay, the throwing and shaping of the vase on the ________ _____, the length of time and the conditions for seasoning the raw pot, the proper temperature and duration for firing the pot in the kiln, etc. (2Tim.2:15) Much work, including many hours of ________ on much lesser pots than the vase I hoped to create, would precede my reaching ___ ______ of making a vase to place in my living room.

This procedure is not unlike the process we must undertake to maximize our potential. __________ and ______ must co-exist, but knowledge is the foundation for success. God’s ________ and knowledge become available to us when we are __________ to Him through the presence of ____ _______. An understanding of His ways and the discovery of His purposed are part of the _________ He has given us. (Prov. 2:6-10)

The _______ for knowledge requires effort. You must seek it like a _________ that is precious to you. You cannot touch God’s knowledge; however, without diligence and exertion.

  • ________ 23:12

  • Proverbs 2:1-5

  • Proverbs ___ :3-6

Knowledge must always ________ action, or much time and effort will be wasted through ___________ efforts and dead-end directions. God, who ___________ your life and ________ you the potential to _______ His plans, works for and with you when you seek to know Him, and to understand, and follow His ways.

The Consequences of Neglecting Knowledge

Sadly, we often forfeit our potential because we ________ the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that come from God alone. Solomon spoke of the consequences of this neglect, as did the prophet Hosea:

  • Proverbs 10:14

  • Proverbs 13:__ -__

  • ______ 4:6

A lack of knowledge is not the same as the ________________ of knowledge. Hosea says that God’s people ______ because they have _________ knowledge. Knowledge may surround us, but unless we apply it to our situation or use it to inform our decisions, it is useless to us. We cannot really excuse ourselves before the Lord saying, “I didn’t know,” because ______________ to gain knowledge abound in our world. We live in an age of an information explosion with libraries, tape ministries, teaching videos, television, and radio bombarding us on every side with opportunities to stretch our horizons and increase our knowledge. What we can confess to God is, “I rejected the opportunity to learn.”

The saying, “What you don’t know can’t kill you,” is simply not true. Too often we suffer loss because we did not take the opportunity to learn the facts about a particular subject. We perish because of what we don’t know. No Matter how great your dream is, if you don’t have the information relative to your plan, forget it!

The Penalties of Ignorance


The devil ________ destroy God’s people; it’s not the government; not the economy; nor is it drugs. It’s ____________ that destroys the people of God. This ___ _____is behind every destructive influence in our lives. God rejects those who reject His knowledge. In other words, He says, “We can’t do business. You haven’t used the tools I gave you, so I can’t help you. You can’t even talk intelligently with Me.” Ignorance affects how God ________ our prayers because we ask for things we don’t ______ or shouldn’t _____. To ask rightly we must understand how we operate, how the devil operates, how the world operates, and how God operates. Asking God to do something for us before we understand these aspects of our situation is wasting our time. He must reject everything we request because our prayers and His ____, ____, and _______ for us do not line up.

Ignorance messes up the next generation. It destroys not only your ____________ but your ___________ as well. This, you, and your children reap what you sow, and your lack of information harms them. Our world is ______________ a multitude of human disasters that give evidence to this fact. Abortion, AIDS, environmental issues, drugs, all reveal the consequences of the rejection of knowledge by this generation and those that preceded us. In essence, ignorance is ______________ and ______________. The decision to pursue knowledge, improve understanding, and gain wisdom is a personal decision but not a ___________ issue. Every book you read affects your grandchildren, so read and cultivate your self for posterity.

Twisted Values

Our ignorance of God’s will and His ways has twisted our world. We devalue what God values and elevate what is insignificant to Him. He sees the tremendous ability we have, and we look at the earthly houses that contain that treasure (2 ______. 4:7). He created us to show forth ___ _______, but we are more interested in success by the world’s ___________. He affirms our ______ to tap into His wisdom, but we make decisions based on the _____________ we receive from our _________ senses and our education.

Our _________ of knowledge is revealed by our __________ to fulfill God’s potential on our own. We live aimlessly without purpose, flitting from one thing to another and never accomplishing anything. Such life is a waste of time. Without a sense of ___________, we are like stillborn babies.

Your potential will be wasted if you do not allow God to cleanse your _______ and _________ your values. Then you can escape this purposeless existence. This occurs as you become aware of the world’s standards and _________ them carefully with God’s.