Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.13.12.
FRIDAY — Pursue Christ-like Virtue
* The Response Questions for Loving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.
Christ followers are committed to being conformed to the image of Christ and developing Godly characteristics in their thoughts, actions, words, and relationships. They are under the control of the Holy Spirit and subject themselves to the Spirit‘s promptings, being quick to flee from temptation or anything that is dishonoring to God. As Christ followers seek to be Christ-like in all their behavior, they will respond in a positive way when confronted by others regarding areas of their lives that do not demonstrate Godly character. They will seek help and support from their Life- Group members or other trusted Christians to be accountable in areas of concern.
READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
1. The Battleground
Living in our present culture is a challenge. Temptations to fall back into our old way of life are everywhere, and we are constantly bombarded with enticements that are contrary to Godly living. The Bible describes a battle between two natures raging within us: our old nature before coming to Christ, referred to as the flesh, and our new nature now that we are in Christ, referred to as the Spirit. In the spaces provided below the verses, list the deeds, or “fruits”, of the flesh and Spirit according to Galatians 5:16-26.
Fruits of the Flesh: (Underline the ones that are your biggest struggles)
Fruits of the Spirit: (Circle the ones that you already practice)
Galatians 5:16-26 (New Living Translation)
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
2. Pursuing Christ-Like Character
In truth, you are pure and holy in God’s eyes through Christ (Isaiah 1:18). However, God wants you to live up and live out these standards in your everyday life here on earth. What should you practice and avoid?
Ephesians 4:25-32 (New Living Translation)
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
3. Christ desires his followers to love. Which characteristic is hard to practice?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (New Living Translation)
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you continue to make “love” a verb by taking action and pursuing a mission-minded life through Membership or disciplining someone to do the same.
• Financial Peace University: Exciting News—Financial Peace University (“FPU”) is having a sale—you now only need to pay $80! That represents a $30 savings. The 13-week classes begin on Monday, January 23rd at the Whitehouse and West Toledo campus and Wednesday beginning January 25th at the Perrysburg and South Toledo Campus at 7pm. Childcare is available for a nominal fee. Register online at cedarcreek.tv under the Get Connected tab or at any Welcome Center. Registration cut-off is Friday, January 13th at 12pm.
• Provide and Protect: Once you get your budget organized, then what? What happens if your health fails, you pass away or you are otherwise unable to provide for your family? The Perrysburg Campus will host a seminar entitled “Provide and Protect,” Sunday, Jan 22 from 10:45am-12:15pm to give you the tools necessary to set your family up for success. A financial advisor and attorney will be present to answer your questions. Your only cost is the Provide and Protect book that you can pick up at The Source bookstore before the seminar begins. Register now at CedarCreek.tv under the “Get Connected” tab.
Personal Response Loving Jesus: God’s Grace
RESPOND: Take the time to answer these questions in response to what you’ve learned about God’s grace by receiving the gift of eternal life.
1. How does someone become a Christian in the true sense of the word? Describe how that happened for you.
2. Have you been baptized as a believer? Describe the total experience. When and where did your baptism take place?
3. Who is ultimately responsible for your spiritual growth? _________________
4. What are you currently doing to grow in your relationship with Christ? Practically speaking, what else could you do to further your intimacy with God?
5. Practically speaking, what else could you do to further your intimacy with God? Prayer, worship, and Bible study are vital elements in deepening one’s walk with Christ. Describe how you are nurturing your spiritual growth through those spiritual disciplines.
Personal Response Loving Jesus: Biblical Worldview, Developing intimacy and Godly Character
1. Do you regard the Bible as God‘s final authority in all areas of the Christian life, and do you desire to be wholly obedient to it? Please explain any reservations you have.
2. Knowing that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere at one time, how should this affect the way you live?
3. Rate how comfortable are you in explaining the major doctrines of the bible to someone who does not know God. 1 (little) to 5 (excellent). __ Bible ___ God ____ Jesus Christ ____ The Holy Spirit ___ The Church __ Humanity (the condition of man, sin) ____ Salvation and Redemption
4. In which doctrinal issues do you feel you need additional training?
5. In your pursuit of becoming more Christ-like, what areas are most difficult for you and most frequently need more attention? (See 1 Corinthians 13). Write out a personal plan to help you improve in the area that concerns you most.
6. Will you seek to model Godly character in all aspects of your life? 7. Are there any ongoing patterns of sin in your life that you are not willing to turn from and/or are not yielding to Christ: i.e. sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, addictions (such as to drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, food, video games etc.) lying, stealing, gossiping, coarse language, prejudice and so on?
What We Believe
The following pages contain our Statement of Faith which summarizes our beliefs as a church. Do not try to hurry through these pages, but read them slowly and thoughtfully. Ask yourself throughout, “What difference does this truth make in my life? If I didn’t know or believe this, would it matter?”
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Scripture at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. 2 Timothy 3:16
We believe that there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each of Whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity, and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning, God created the world out of nothing and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom, and goodness. By His providence, He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes. Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:34-35
Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity. We believe in his deity and in His miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own. He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. John 1:1-5
The Holy Spirit
As believers submit to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, they are enabled to live a life of holiness and obedience. The Holy Spirit was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior and regenerates them. At the point of salvation, he permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, comfort, strength and wisdom. He uniquely endows each believer with spiritual gifts for the building up of the church. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scriptures. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. John 16:5-15.
The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Him. Originally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way, and so was alienated from God and suffered the corruption of his nature, rendering him unable to please God. The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are in need of the saving grace of God. The Salvation of mankind is, then, wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. Salvation is available to all, but it must be received to become a child of God (John 1:12). When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation. John 3:16, Romans 10:9, Philippians 1:6
Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. For all mankind, there will be a resurrection of the body into the spiritual world and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual. Unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation. God’s judgment will reveal His justice in consigning them to perpetuate in eternal retribution for their own rejection of God. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God and will be rewarded for works done in this life. Romans 6:23
The result of being united with Jesus Christ is that all believers become positional members of his body, the Church. There is one true universal Church, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. The Scriptures command believers to devote themselves to the observance of Baptism and Communion as the sacramental ordinances established by Jesus Christ. We believe that Baptism by immersion, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is commanded by God; that it is subsequent to conversion, that it is not a saving ordinance, but an obedient outward expression of an inward work of the Spirit of God (Matthew 3:13-17).
We believe that Communion is a symbol of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, representing the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, and a looking forward to the second coming of Christ to receive His own (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). The Scriptures also command believers to devote themselves to fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world. Every member of Christ’s body should share their Christian witness with others. Acts 2:42
Faith and Practice
Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.
We believe the Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension.
Living It Out: January 2012
6And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7 (New Living Translation)
Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.
Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses, are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.
Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message
Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the New Testament in a year
Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others
Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month
All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe
to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.
We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv
Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.
CedarCreek’s Missional Membership Manual
This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by: