Discipleship: You Can Do It

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All apostles are disciples, but all disciples are not apostles. In fact it is possible for you to be a disciple of Christ. And you can learn to multiply the number of disciples in the kingdom church of Christ. I will explain what we mean by discipleship as we progress through today’s message.

All Apostles are Disciples

                Before He ascended in a cloud to Heaven, “the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18  And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:16-20).

We know that these eleven disciples were specifically the eleven remaining apostles after Judas had betrayed Jesus, because we read this in Acts 1:2, 3: “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”[1] So we can conclude at this point that all apostles are disciples. But we need to dig deeper and ask, “Are all disciples apostles?”

Discipleship takes Bible study and Gospel teaching.

The Eleven Join 120 Disciples in Jerusalem

Having returned from the mountain to Jerusalem, the eleven join with other disciples of Christ. These disciples are not apostles. They do not have the special task of revealing the mystery of the Gospel by divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit in their ministerial leadership. Follow as I read about the replacement of Judas as the twelfth apostle is selected for the first revelation of the Gospel on Pentecost Day. I will begin in Acts chapter one verse fifteen.

Acts 1:15-26

15And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren and said (and there was a multitude of persons gathered together, about a hundred and twenty), 16Brethren, it was needful that the scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. 17For he was numbered among us and received his portion in this ministry. 18(Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch that in their language that field was called Akeldama, that is, The field of blood.) 20For it is written in the book of Psalms,

Let his habitation be made desolate,

And let no man dwell therein:

and,

His office let another take.

21Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection. 23And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen, 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place. 26And they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. [2]

The Apostolic Disciples Compared With the 120 Disciples

The twelve apostolic disciples have a special office apart from the other 120 disciples. The 120 are Christ followers. And we may say they are all disciples. But only the 12 are apostles at this point in the history of the New Testament. Both will preach the Gospel. Both will make disciples. The difference is only the apostles will reveal the system of faith, the Gospel power of God to save souls from Heaven as the Spirit gives them utterance. The church of Christ will be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 3:20).

In comparison, all other disciples are students of the received God. For example, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Ti 2:15 KJV). And to become trained in God’s grace the common disciple must be educated in the Bible. Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”[3]

Discipleship: Learning from the Master Himself

Definition of a Keyword

2218.        ζυγός zugos; (to yoke); a yoke: —pair of scales (1), yoke (5).[4]

Compare 2 Passages:

Jesus says — “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:29 ASV)

A religious expert says — “One of the experts in the law answered him, ‘Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.’ 46 Jesus replied, ‘And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.’” (Luke 11:45-46) [5]

You cannot get any plainer than comparing the two outcomes. The religious elite. The scholars. The scribes, pharisees, lawyers, anyone with the power of say-so-and so. The so-called experts in the law load the average person of faith down with burdens they can hardly bear, without so much as an at-a-boy, you can do this. Have you ever met an elder, minister, preacher, a pastor, or kookie religious guide like this?

So, Jesus comes along and says my pair of scales are fair. I will help you carry your own load. I will teach you how to carry one another’ burdens (Galatians 6:2). All you must do is learn of me. That, my friend is discipleship.

What Discipleship Takes

  1. Absolute Surrender of the Mind, Philippians 2:5
  2. Obedience to the will of God, Philippians 2:13
  3. Constant maturation of knowledge and discernment of Scripture Hebrews 5:12-13
  4. Willingness to admit our faults, we turn to Jesus as our advocate in Heaven (1 John 2:1)
  5. Always abounding in faith, 2 Corinthians 8:7
  6. One capstone verse is (Col. 2:6-7) “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”[6]

Christian Disciples are Obligated to Reproduce

The only imperative in Matthew 28:19 is to “go and make disciples.”

Reproducing more disciples is the very definition of discipleship we are working with. The question must be raised, “Is the Church of Christ amenable to Matthew 28:19?”

  1. The immediate context is the command was given directly to the apostolic disciples before the ascension.
  2. The gospel has already been preached to the entire world as it was then known, Colossians 1:6.

To answer this we must first include Mattew 28:20.

 “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

  1. The apostles were to teach the new disciples whom they had baptized to observe everything that Jesus had commanded them.
  2. Therefore, the Great Mission of Matthew 28:19 is to be included in that observance perpetually until Judgement.
  3. Hence, the conclusion with a promise of our Lord, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Example of the Disciples in Acts

The kingdom church was firmly established in Jerusalem in Acts 2. Converts have risen into the thousands. A young scholar named Saul gained legal authorization to persecute Christ’s church. The result of this maltreatment scattered members everywhere. This did not stop conversions to Christ. It further enabled it. We read in Acts 8:4,

“They therefore that were scattered abroad, went about preaching the word.” (ASV)

This is direct fulfillment of Matthew 28:19 seen in action. The apostles revealed God’s Gospel. They taught and baptized disciples. Then they educated the new disciples to mature them into observing everything the Lord had commanded. The result? A massive discipleship movement that will become a major world religion. The movement that dominated Western civilization for two millennials. The movement that is now a major religion in 62% of countries south of the equator.

From Apostles to Disciples of Christ

The church is in a unique position. Only the church has the mystery of the Gospel to share with the lost of our world. Only we members of the Lord’s Church have the knowledge of God to make disciples. Carefully reflect on this reading from Ephesians 3:8-11. The apostle Paul writes to the Ephesian Christians,

8Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things; 10to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: (ASV)

He is talking about you. Grace was given to the apostles, to preach to the lost the unsearchable riches of Christ. That is, you could not find Jesus on your own. Somebody. Some Christian who knew the Bible told you about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection in such a manner that your heart was pricked (Hebrews 4:12). Someone discipled you for Jesus.. And now you understand the way of salvation. You know how to worship God. You understand the grace of life. You perceive the sanctification of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.

Discipleship: The Purpose of Your Life

Most importantly, you know the purpose of God in your life. It is an eternal purpose. The most important purpose of your life. It is to be a disciple of Christ. And that requires making more disciples by teaching them and baptizing them and teaching them to fully observer all things Jesus has commanded. The solitary meaning in your life is to glorify God and practice discipleship.

Personal Preparation

We know that we have a great mission. That is our calling. Let us talk about how to get started. The first word in Jesus’ instruction is “Go.” It is not a command to go across the planet like a missionary in a far away land. You could do that. Or you could walk across your yard and talk to your neighbor. I like to go to a coffee shop or fast-food restaurant because people seem more open to me there. You might feel more at ease talking to a coworker at lunch. Your hairdresser or somebody waiting at the hairdresser’s shop. You fill in the blank on where you go. The instruction to go is more like “as you go.” It is a leisure command. “As you go through your day, week, life…make disciples.” Our primary objective is to make the effort and leave the converting to God. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through the Word of God to convict the souls we teach, convert them to obey the Gospel, and sanctify their souls. In other words, prepare your self for discipleship by being a strong disciple yourself..

Importance of Baptism to Making Disciples (Discipleship)

It is impossible to fulfill Matthew 28:19 without baptizing. A separate article and podcast will go into more depth into the nature and necessity of baptism for salvation. Nevertheless something must be said here before closing.

Mark’s rendering of the great commission is, And he said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16 ASV).

The formula according to Mark’s account is belief + baptized = salvation.

But no belief = no salvation, regardless of baptism or not.

According to Acts 22:16, baptism washes away sins. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.” (ASV) If your sins are not forgiven by God’s grace, you are not yet a disciple of Christ. Discipleship includes baptizing those who believe. When the Ethiopian eunuch was taught by Philip in Acts 8, he wanted immediate baptism as soon as water was available. We cannot practice discipleship by neglecting baptism Scripturally. To learn more contact a church of Christ in your local area.

Donny Weimar

November 6, 2021

[1] King James Version (WORDsearch Edition). (n.d.). (Ac 1:2–3). WORDsearch.

[2] American Standard Version. (1995). (Ac 1:15–26). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] King James Version (WORDsearch Edition). (n.d.). (Tt 2:11–13). WORDsearch.

[4] Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries: updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.

[5] The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Lk 11:45–46). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Col 2:6–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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Pray Heaven’s Will Done On Earth

Prayer Lesson 3

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:10 (KJV)

God’s rule in heaven is with absolute authority, which is the definition of what scholars call sovereignty. Nothing opposed to good can coexist with God in heaven. Satan must have been originally created a good being (Genesis 1:31), fell by transgressing whatever law defined right from wrong. Thus, he became the adversary of all that is good. His disobedience was a rejection of God’s sovereign will. Albeit a failure of a rejection from the get-go. God’s decisions are final. The sovereign Lord’s desire is that His will be carried out with absolute authority on earth as it is in Heaven.

The truth that it is not, implies free agency in this world of soul-making. Upon exit from this life nothing but His dominance takes places with total absence of evil’s temptation to do wrong.

As light and darkness have nothing in common, so God’s light shines in the regions and shadows of death to expose the deeds of the lawless ones (Matthew 4:16). Truth be, people run from the light because they do not want their unrighteous habits known.

The last Lord’s Day is going to be one tell-all day. I don’t intend to send you away gloomy. God’s light is also on the deeds of the good. King Jesus says…

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

Matthew 25:34-36 (KJV)

Here’s the point. God’s authority is speaking, revealing. The mystery once concealed is now known. I’m going to share with you what it’s all about. It’s not a secret any longer. Look with me to the last chapter of Romans. The sovereign Holy Spirit says through Paul,

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”

Romans 16:25-27 (KJV)

The Gospel, that is the preaching of Jesus Christ, had been a secret since the world began is now open for you to see. Adam didn’t understand the Seed promise. Abraham and Sarah didn’t understand the gospel. Samuel and all the prophets – a mystery to them too. It has been continuously revealed to new people like yourself for all this time as if a penny fresh off the mint.

The sovereign will of God is that I (say your name) obey the faith revealed by the wise and living God to whom be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Do you believe what you’ve said? Are ready to learn what you must do to be saved? We can help with that.

All people on the planet are liable to God’s Gospel. This holds valid whether a person is a Christian or nonbeliever. That means we must give an answer for our lives based upon the faith system established in the New Testament.

“[God] Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.”

Romans 2:6-11 (KJV)

What we’re saying is we all live by a standard. The standard of living for all people, is the New Testament. I’m not typically one to quote speakers like Billy Graham, and he didn’t even know the original source of this when I heard his recording, but supposedly more than 1,000 commands are in the New Testament. If we reference 1 Corinthians 13:13, the root of this plethora of commands is faith, hope and love. The greatest of these three is love, says Paul.

Jesus is wrapping up His teaching ministry before the final long trip up to Jerusalem. He asks His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matthew 16:13) Jesus has a wonderful reputation. Miracle after miracle. Sign after sign. Lesson after lesson. Sermon after sermon. There’s nothing wrong with a preacher being concerned about his reputation, if his motives are pure. “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”

“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

Matthew 16:14 (KJV)

That’s a rather nice group of men to be honored with. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we need to create celebrities in the brotherhood. But if you asked a lot of young preachers who they’d like to sound like, they might like to hear you tell them, the late great so-and-so.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 16:15-17 (KJV)

What you and I confess and profess matters a great deal. The Christ is the one person whom can save. The Son of the Living God has all sovereign authority vested in Him as the King of souls – Heavenly authority on earth!

The Lord also gives us the Gospel to obey beyond confession. When Peter unlocked the kingdom church to the Jews in Acts 2, listen to this conversation at the conclusion of Peter’s sermon.

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 2:37-38 (KJV)

Inside of this quote are two commands, a purpose of those two commands and a gift. Can you solve these? Heaven’s will done on Earth is that you and I be citizens in kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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Return to Main Prayer Lessons Page Here.

The God To Whom You Pray

“Our Father who art in heaven….”

(Matthew 6:9)

Praying to The Living God.

The God to whom we direct our prayers is not a home-made god. People have home-made gods. Their gods are perfect in their eyes because they never condemn but always praise their prideful actions. No such thing as ethics and morality is defined by home-made gods except that which the creative person says is right or wrong. The individual dictates to his god what defines it. The living God of the Bible is not popular because He is the opposite of the home-made images.

Who The Living God Is

The living God to whom we pray is the God of the global flood, the Creator who authorized the death plague on the first-born Egyptians. He is also the God who wrote the ten commandments with His finger, But Moses had to rewrite them, after the law-giving prophet discovered the people worshiping a home-made golden calf.

Created In His Image

The God to whom we are learning to pray created you in His own image. Male and female. He is the God who sent His special Son to suffer a human life, to die an undeserved human death at the murderous hands of his own peculiar people. Still, God. The God to whom we pray is the God of all comfort and mercy – and He is serious about granting peace that surpasses our limited understanding.

Father God’s Name

Father God’s Name is to be hallowed. Hallowed means to be consecrated or set apart for worship or for religious purpose. Perhaps, holy comes closer to explaining this word. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united as the One Eternal God, whom alone is worthy of our prayers and praise. No created thing or animal is worthy of our adoration and praise. No, I say again, NO mortal is worthy of being called Reverend. The Bible reserves that title for God – God alone.

“He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.”

Psalm 111:9 (KJV)

God, and none other, is Reverend. He alone is Awesomely feared and respected with a godly awe.

Directing Prayer to the Father

Prayer is to be directed to the Father through the Son. God sent His Son, whom He named Jesus. Jesus in Aramaic means Jehovah saves. This majestic King of souls is the greatest high-priest, superior in every fashion man could ever come with. No clergy laity system is in the Bible. No priesthood except the royal priesthood of all fellow believers, according to 1 Peter 2:9. Nobody is worthy of a religious title. We are all brothers and sisters equal at the foot of the cross and baptized into an equal share of grace (Galatians 3:27-28). This is all to say, we may go to God’s throne of mercy and grace because of what Jesus has done on our behalf. Prayer is to be directed to the living God through the resurrected, living Son.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV)

Three important points you need to walk away with from this lesson.

1. The Living God is listening to you: Push aside all that worldliness of the home-made god and train your spirit to look up to focus on the real personal God who can actually change your life. The whole reason prayer hasn’t worked for people might be they have been praying to the wrong god. If all your trust is in a god sewn out of your own imagination, it has no real ability to affect change in your life. The self-help people say the power to change is within you. Wrong! The real dynamo is with the mercy, comfort and grace of the All-Reverend God who has sovereign power of providence at His disposal.

2. Our Living God understands you: Since He created you in His image don’t you think He has the patent? There’s that old cliche “I know I’m somebody because God doesn’t make junk.” God loves you the way you are. And if any changing is to be in the making, it will be Him molding you into the image of Christ’s righteousness. Righteous means right-living.

3. The Living God cares about you: He knows your pain. Your guilt is not hidden from him. But neither is your acts of faith and love. He knows your hopes and aspirations. God knows you need bread to feed your family and gas for your car. Rather than worrying when our next paycheck will come, we place trust in the caring Father who is our personal God.

This series presents the Lord’s model prayer He teaches to His disciples as a formal method of praying. But God is a personal God. You don’t have to go to a confessional booth to speak to Him. Sitting in the assembly on Sunday is not the exclusive place you may pray to the Divine. You can pray anywhere at anytime.This series presents the Lord’s model prayer He teaches to His disciples as a formal method of praying. But God is a personal God. You don’t have to go to a confessional booth to speak to Him. Sitting in the assembly on Sunday is not the exclusive place you may pray to the Divine. You can pray anywhere at anytime.

Learning to Pray Main Page

Continue to Lesson Two: Pray for The Coming Kingdom

Glance Back In Time With The Following Archives

Defeating The Agony of Disappointment

by Donny Weimar

Projects rise in my life with great anticipation. From selling real estate to opening an online watch store. None of them have panned out the way I imagine them succeeding. I wrestle with disappointment. It is not greed in my heart that motivates me to search for opportunities to prosper. Accomplishing something for my mortal ways always fails. I cannot push God. I seek only to pay my way in life. Living off of disability for my part of the family income does not satisfy the feeling I have for earning the fruit of my labors. I must confess that it is God who provides seed to the sower and I am quite blessed. Counting my blessings shows me the Lord is taking very good care of me. Praying for good stewardship of God’s graces proves it is He who leadeth me. The agony of disappointment does not compare with the rewards of appreciating the blessings God bestows. Pick up your head and live life with gratitude. Do not let the negatives ruin your spiritual life. Things will work out for you. Pray. Trust in Sovereign God to lead you in the life He has prepared for you. Stay true to your calling in Christ. That’s the way we overcome ourselves and defeat disappointment.

P.S. If you need a certified biblical counselor, may I meet with you or your loved ones?. I want to devote my ministry 100% to the cause of the Gospel. Having suffered much in my life, I can imagine the pains of suffering in others. As a student of biblical counseling, God has blessed me with presidential level certification with the American Association of Christian Counselors. My boasting in what I believe is God’s plan for me. No secular employed has ever worked in my favor. I believe that I am called to preach, teach and exhort with love.

Only the Bible can teach us to love and comfort others with the comfort we have received from God. I imagine you my reader are disappointed in some things in your life. Perhaps, you have lost employment due to COVID. Maybe, you are feeling anxiety or depression. Some folks are in their homes unable to go into public because illness or the danger of being exposed to a virus. Do not worry. You have God. You also have a brother here who will listen. My Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/donny.weimar. You are welcome to Message me from there.

Here’s to you I and me joining arms to defeat disappointment together.

Is Sincerity Enough? How to Make God Happy.

by Donny Weimar

To please God and neighbor, sincerity is a must. “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5.” Only a pure heart can biblically be sincere in faith. Timothy’s sincerity was learned from his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). These were wise women who did a great service for the Lord. Biblical sincerity is pure and peaceable; it is gentile, rational and full of mercy producing good fruits (James 3:17). While this is sound doctrine, is it also possible to be sincere and yet be wrong?

Saul consented to Stephen’s murder “in all good conscience” (Acts 7:54 – 8:1; Acts 22:30-23:1). Scripture says the murderous Jews who threw stones at Stephen laid the preacher’s clothes down at the feet of the young man Saul. “And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles” (Acts 8:1). Then in Acts 23:1, the same man who had become an apostle out of due season made a defense. “And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” Paul/Saul had persecuted Christians in all good and sincere conscience! He was sincere but extremely wrong. Later he would write to Timothy that he considered himself to be the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

Another example is the baptism of Apollos’ converts. Apollos taught accurately the truth of God. However, he only knew the baptism of John. In Acts 18:24-28, two Christians by the names Aquila and Priscilla explain the truth to him more accurately. The very next chapter Paul is introduced to some followers of Apollos’ doctrine. When Paul asked them whether they had received the Holy Spirit when they were baptized, they replied “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2). When Paul explained John’s, baptism was one of repentance and that the people should believe on Jesus, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:5). You see, Apollos was sincere but only knew the truth partially. Partial understanding of the Gospel is not enough.

Sincerity is vital to our Christian walk. According to 1 Peter 1:22 sincere brotherly love is what motivates us to obey the truth. “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall you free” (Jesus, John 8:32). We can make God happy by drawing near to God and asking Him to draw near to us. As our understanding of the Bible increases our sincere faith will grow to. It is liberating to the soul when we express the love of Jesus to those around us. Truth is ascertainable and obeyable. Sometimes we are like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 who needed some guidance in understanding the Sacred Writings. It’s okay to say “I don’t know” too. In fact, admitting our shortcomings in biblical knowledge gives us just cause to study those things out. Sincerity from the time we begin our first Bible study until we grow mature in Christ is a life-time process. Think of it this way, achievement is not a goal – it’s the constant pursuit of the goal. High achievers in Christianity never stop learning and growing in the faith once for all delivered.

“Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The English Standard Version©.), copyright © by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Navigating Depression

by Donny Weimar

It’s not just the blues when you don’t want to get out of your recliner, much less brush your teeth. When I’m supremely depressed I find myself moving slower than a sloth, at least it feels like it anyway. Using soap is a chore because I’m less likely to bathe. Hey, I’m just being honest. Okay? Proverbs speaks of the sluggard as being one of the foolish ones. So, I guess there are times when I’m not the wisest person. However, I have found somethings that help me press through the hurricane of despair. Here’s some things I’ve learned.

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25 NKJV)

Discussing anxiety here a little is relevant here because Scripture says it causes us to be depressed. I tell you that is a fact. I find that by relieving anxiety my depression is lessened. Even the psychiatrist will tell you that anxiety and depression go in hand in glove. Ezekiel was a anxiety ridden prophet (Ezekiel 12). His soul was vexed over what would happen consequent to his proclaiming God’s word to the people. For sure they hated the messenger; Jezebel wanted all the Lord’s prophets killed. Proverbs 12:26 tells us to choose our friends wisely. The company we keep may determine whether we receive a kind word. That kind word can lift a depression and make the heart more glad (Proverbs 12:25 above). Another article will address anxiety more in depth. Let’s say for now that when we turn to God, His perfect love casts out fear because anxious fear torments the soul (1 John 4:18).

There is a very strong promise made by Jesus to the burden soul. He said, “

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

There’s an old hymn that says,“Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary. Jesus is very near.” Jesus is the only one who completely understands us. God knows suffering and pain. This world is all about soul-making. God is sharpening us and refining us into the mold of His glory. We are simply to blessed to stay depressed. The same Jesus who anchors our hope and secures our faith will see us through our darkest hour. Getting from point A to point Z takes at least 26 steps. I get through a lot of depressing by trust and confiding in Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Our faith is not yet complete. You can trust in m Lord too. For more suggestions, read the chapter on the subject in my book, Christian With Bipolar Disorder.

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Christian with Bipolar Disorder

by Donny Weimar

I thought my diagnosis rendered me useless. I had preached for two decades before a psychiatrist diagnosed me with an affective disorder. I went through several different diagnoses before this final one stuck. If you or a loved one has Bipolar Disorder I they will identify with much of the condition in my book. I refer back to it from time to myself. It’s in its second printing. Although the page format is a bit unusual, it reflects my eccentricity. It’s been many years since my first psychiatry visit. I have been on different cocktails of medicines. I am presently very stable, though bouts of depression come from nowhere and hypomania causes moments of impulsivity. I have plans to follow up with another book on Christians with Schizophrenia. I pray God blesses you with this read.

Get help with Bipolar Illness with this book.

https://amzn.to/2NUpRK3

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Just Exactly What Is Required to Be Saved?

Donny Weimar

Basically, there are ten things that must take place for us to enter into Heaven’s Paradise. What follows are brief explanations of each. Think of a chain between God’s throne of mercy and your soul. If even one the ten links is missing or broken, then salvation is not in place and we are not on the correct path to the blessed Home above.

1. Grace.

Ephesians 2:8 (ASV) “for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” The top link in the chain of salvation is grace, which is the unmerited favor of God. Nobody deserves to go to Paradise. All have sinned and fallen short of glorifying God (Romans 3:23).

2. Blood.

 Romans 5:9 (ESV) “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Were it not for the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf as He died on the cross, grace would be an impossibility. Sin earns us death (Romans 6:23) but thanks to the Son of God, He took our sins and died on our behalf. Although Jesus was tempted in every point that you and I are He never committed a single transgression against Father God. The Lord is considered the Lamb who takes away sin because of His personal innocence.

3. Gospel.

Romans 1:16 (ESV) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” The Gospel is defined in the New Testament as Good News. The great news for modern man is the availability of forgiveness for wrongs we do against God. At the core of the gospel message is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

4. Faith.

Acts 16:31 (ESV) “And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Faith is a noun and belief is a verb. Therefore, faith is belief in action. When we trust God it becomes more natural to think and behave as Christians are called to be.

5. Repentance

 Acts 3:19 (NKJV) “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Repentance is understood to be a change of heart or mind that results in a change in lifestyle or behavior. The thief must stop stealing and work for his money. The fornicator must cease the immorality, and so forth.

6. Confession

Romans 10:10 (NKJV) “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Remember belief is more than lip service. It is faith in action. A part of that action is a life spent confession Jesus Christ, that is communicating the Gospel to others by our life habits, our service that is worthy of Christ and holding firm to the conviction that we will proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again.

7. Baptism

Acts 2:38 (ESV) “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This passage contains two commands, a purpose and a promise.We’ve touched on repentance already. Baptism from the Greek literally means to dip or immerse. This is only required once in a person’s life if she or he has done it with the right motive. The purpose of baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. This includes past and present sins and promises future forgiveness to all who continue to comply with the other links in this chain of salvation being described from Scripture, in this article.

8. Works 

 James 2:24 (ESV) “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” In James’s epistle we read even demons believe but tremble. It is insufficient to have a mere belief (lip service) in God but having no works. Faith without action to serve Christ is a dead faith. It might be simple to remember the definition of justified as just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned.

9. Hope

 Romans 8:24-25 (NKJV) “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Hope holds us steady on course. Since Jesus is the captain of our salvation, we can be confident that so long as we maintain our Christianity with an outlook for Heaven, we will not waver or falter. Hope is simply an eager expectation that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us.

10. Endurance

Matthew 10:22 (NKJV) “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” There are plenty of people that will reject us because they have rejected Christ. Endurance is not giving up despite such persecution. No hardship should separate us from God if we are truly committed to Christ.

Is your chain completely linked together?

Saving the Devout Man

by Donny Weimar

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Cornelius was a righteous man. He believed in God and prayed regularly. His family trusted in God because of Cornelius’ devotion to Jehovah. With all his sincerity Cornelius still had to be told what he must do to become saved. Some people take Acts 10 to teach the sinner’s prayer. We don’t read of that in Acts, however. In fact, there is no place in the entire Bible where a not yet saved person is told to pray a prayer that will save him or her. Saved people are told to pray, as Simon the former sorcerer did in Acts 8. Yet, Simon had already obeyed the Gospel by being baptized (Acts 8:12). After being brought to Christ, he wanted to purchase the ability to perform miracles as the apostles did. Peter rebuked him and Simon requested prayer. An angel told Cornelius to send men to Joppa to bring an answer to his prayers. The angel said, “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and call one Simon whose sir name is Peter…he shall tell thee what thou must do” (Acts 10:4b-5, 6b KJV). Peter goes to Cornelius and while he is teaching his household, the Spirit falls upon them and evidence is given the apostle that the Gentiles are welcome into the church of Christ. At the end of the chapter he says, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” (Acts 10:47-48a). Cornelius was not saved until he did what the apostle gave instructions to do. As sincere as he was in his prayer life, and as devout as he was; it was the Lord’s command that he be immersed (Greek definition of baptism).

So you want to go to Heaven. What does it take?

There are three rudimentary requirements at the foundation of our part in the bigger scheme of things. We find them in Micah 6:8 as follows. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 (KJV). At the core of every bit of God’s instruction for you and me are those three.

The good requirement of the LORD is first to do justly. That means we are to treat fairly both our interpretation of the commands, examples and necessary inferences of the Bible; it also regards how we treat one another based upon that elementary understanding. We learn our faith from correctly handling our studies of the sacred Book, just as Paul told Timothy in his second correspondence with the young preacher. If we slip in our doctrinal integrity our faith falters. Being balanced and faith with God’s Word is very important. We also based a just lifestyle upon the Scriptures, which are furnish us completely unto every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). Fairness with our faith walk under-girds about relationship with God. Understanding how to properly love and treat our fellow person is dependent upon our awareness of God’s lessons on how to love Him, our neighbor as well as our enemies.

Loving mercy sometimes takes courage. It is not always easy to show mercy much less loving to do it. When we show strong kindness to other people we express the comfort God shows to us (2 Corinthians 1:3). In fact it’s as though God frequently expresses His love, comfort and mercy through us as we received it through the love of others in our time of need. The throne of grace resides in the church and we are the church of Christ. Being like the good Samaritan is sometimes easy when it is offered to those we know. For some of us it is even a little easier to show mercy to strangers. Other times, difficulty comes when its an adversary. We choose to love mercy because without it we probably won’t see God when our moment comes.

God requires that you and I walk humbly with Him. Christians who are humble are not weak as Satan wants the world to assume. A humble person does not toot his own horn as the saying goes. Walking humbly with the Lord means serving our Father God openly but without sounding gongs with no love. A person can’t strive for perfect obedience and be self righteous in the process. Don’t forget the pharisees who had the law but no grace. Their snobbery was not approved by Jesus. Taking on airs is no more Christ like than not doing what grace compels to in the first place.

Doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God are basic to all the teaches of God’s grace. At the heart of all Christian obedience is lovingly being fair, kind and walking without pride with God. Think about it. It’s true. Where is your heart today?