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I.  What to Know
A.  God and Spiritual Powers
1.  God's Being
I.  Basics
a) God's Form God is one God is spirit God cannot be seen by people God is everywhere b) God's Glory Glory is a prominent and key attribute of God God's glory manifests his presence In association with his glory, God is surrounded by brilliant light God's glory is evidenced by the universe that he has made c) God's Personhood God has a mind – knowing and understanding things God has a will God has feelings and character God communicates God interacts with people, responding to their needs d) God's Eternity God has always been alive, the first of all things God will live forever God transcends time God is self-existing God does not change
II.  God's Pre-Eminence
a) God's Greatness God is great and awesome God is greater than all others There is no one like God God is beyond our comprehension b) God's Power God's power is incomparable and unlimited God can do all things – nothing is too hard God performs awesome deeds c) God's Knowledge and Wisdom God knows everything God sees all people, seeing and knowing all that they do God knows people's minds God knows the future God has incredible wisdom d) God's Name God declared his name to be the "Lord"
2.  God's Character
I.  Holy Characteristics
a) Holiness God is holy There is nothing bad in God . . . . . . God cannot tolerate evil God shows himself to be holy by what he does There is no one holy like God b) Righteousness God is righteous and just All God does is right and just God is truthful God does not show favoritism c) Faithfulness God is faithful God never forsakes nor fails God does not lie nor change his mind – he keeps his promises d) Anger God expresses anger, which has awesome consequences God is slow to anger and often holds it back God does not stay angry God's anger arises in response to sin and disobedience
II.  Loving Characteristics
a) Love God is love – as shown in him giving his only Son, to save us God's love is great God's love is constant God's love lasts forever b) Mercy God is merciful God is also compassionate Due to his mercy and compassion, God is long-suffering Due to his mercy and compassion, God is forgiving c) Goodness God is good God exercises kindness God is generous d) Jealousy God is a jealous God God's jealousy arises in response to his people's sin God is also jealous for his people's well-being
3.  Jesus Christ
I.  General
a) Jesus Christ's Eternity Jesus Christ existed in the beginning . . . . . . Jesus Christ was before all things Jesus Christ will be alive forever Jesus Christ is self-existing – he is "the life" Jesus Christ remains the same b) Jesus Christ's Pre-Eminence Jesus Christ is greater than all things Jesus Christ has divine glory Jesus Christ has mighty, sovereign power Jesus Christ has superlative knowledge and wisdom Jesus Christ is everywhere c) Jesus Christ's Character Jesus Christ is holy and righteous Jesus Christ is faithful Jesus Christ is loving d) Jesus Christ's Name Jesus Christ's "name" signifies Jesus Christ himself
II.  Jesus Christ and God
a) Jesus Christ Is the Son of God (I): General Jesus Christ is the Son of God . . . . . . Jesus Christ is God's only Son Jesus Christ is the image of God Jesus Christ has the form and fullness of God b) Jesus Christ Is the Son of God (II): Testimony God testified to Jesus Christ being his Son Others also testified to Jesus Christ being the Son of God Jesus Christ's deeds are evidence that he is the Son of God Other events of Jesus Christ's incarnation are further evidence c) Jesus Christ Is Identified with God Jesus Christ and the Father are one To know or see Jesus Christ is to know or see the Father Jesus Christ is called "God" Note: There is one God, the Father – and one Lord, Jesus Christ d) Jesus Christ Is Treated like God Is Jesus Christ is worshiped People pray to Jesus Christ People obey and serve Jesus Christ e) Jesus Christ Is Under God's Authority God is both Jesus Christ's God and his Father Jesus Christ is described as being subordinate to God Jesus Christ is God's servant
4.  The Holy Spirit
I.  General
a) The Holy Spirit of God The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God . . . . . . God refers to the Holy Spirit as his Spirit The Holy Spirit is correlated with God's presence God and the Holy Spirit know each other's mind b) The Holy Spirit's Being As well as being a spirit, the Holy Spirit is everywhere The Holy Spirit is eternal The Holy Spirit has great power The Holy Spirit has great knowledge The Holy Spirit has great wisdom c) The Holy Spirit's Personhood The Holy Spirit is distinguished from God and Jesus Christ The Holy Spirit has his own mind The Holy Spirit has personal characteristics The Holy Spirit communicates . . . . . . and the Holy Spirit interacts in other ways
II.  God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
a) Mutual Association God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are closely associated The Holy Spirit is identified with God The Holy Spirit is also identified with Jesus Christ The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit work together b) Mutual Divine Attributes Omnipresence – God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are everywhere Omnipotence – they each have infinite, sovereign power Omniscience – they each have complete knowledge c) Mutual Divine Roles God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are each ascribed a primary role in creation They each give spiritual or eternal life They each make God's people holy
5.  Angels, Satan and Demons
I.  Angels
a) Attributes of Angels Angels have a human-like form, but are very awesome Angels are very powerful Angels can communicate and interact with others b) Angels and God Angels surround God, and even stand in his presence Angels worship God and Jesus Christ Angels serve God and Jesus Christ c) Angels and God's People Angels help and care for God's people Angels give people messages, including instructions . . . . . . Angels also give messages about future events
II.  Satan and Demons
a) Satan's Evilness Satan is evil and is opposed to God's kingdom Satan is deceitful b) Satan's Power Satan has great power and authority in the world Satan works in and through unbelievers Satan is not as powerful as God Satan is not as powerful as Jesus Christ Satan stands condemned c) Satan's Work against God's People Satan tempts God's people Satan can afflict God's people Satan's influence is limited by God and Jesus Christ d) Demons Demons are evil and powerful spiritual beings Demons are aligned with Satan Demons can possess people . . . . . . and demons can cause such people much harm Demons both fear and have to submit to God and Jesus Christ Demons face eternal punishment
B.  God and the World: Basics
6.  God's Creation
I.  General
a) God Made All Things God made the heavens and earth – and everything in them All that God made is very good b) God Maintains Creation Every creature's life is dependent on God God provides food for all creatures God regulates all aspects of the weather God maintains nature c) How God Made and Maintains Creation God made all things with his wisdom God made all things with his power God made all things by his word God made and sustains all things through Jesus Christ The Holy Spirit also has a role in creation d) Implications of God Being Creator Because he made everything, all things belong to God Because he made everything, God is sovereign over all things Creation shows God's power and wisdom to be incomparable
II.  God's Creation of People
a) Life and Death God creates people . . . . . . God gives people life and breath People's lives are very brief Each person is destined to die b) The Human Spirit God has made people with a spirit The spirit is at the core of one's being People are dead without their spirit People's spirits exist after death c) The Uniqueness of People God has made people in his own image God has given people an able mind – with which they can think and reason intelligently People have the moral capacity to know good from evil People are to care for and act responsibly towards creation d) Epilogue: God's Self-Revelation to People God reveals himself to people God reveals himself by what he does Creation perpetually evidences and reveals God to all people
7.  God's Sovereignty
I.  God's Supreme Authority
a) The Lord Is God – the Only God The Lord is God The Lord is God of all people The Lord is the one and only God His deeds show that he is the only God b) God Reigns Supreme God rules over all God rules over all authorities God rules over the earth in righteousness God will reign forever God will impose his absolute rule on all c) God Defeats His Enemies No one can effectively oppose God God destroys his enemies d) God Fulfills His Plans God carries out his plans God does not change his plans No one can thwart God's plans God works everything for his plans
II.  God's Control over the World
a) God Has Control over Evil God exerts control over evil God even uses evil to fulfill his purposes b) God Has Control over Nature God directs nature God can perform miracles of nature c) God Has Control over the Nations God is in control of the nations God has been in control of the nations throughout history God establishes all ruling authorities d) God Has Control over Each Person God has control over people's hearts and minds God has control over people's actions . . . . . . Despite people's plans, their steps are directed by God God controls all that happens to people
8.  God's Word
I.  General
a) What God's Word Comprises God's word primarily is Scripture God's word includes his laws God's word includes his covenants God's word includes his prophecies God's word also includes the gospel, proclaimed by his people Jesus Christ is "the Word of God" Note: God has given his word by the Holy Spirit b) Characteristics of God's Word God's word is holy, righteous and good God's word is true . . . . . . and what God's word foretells comes true God's word is living and active God's word is powerful God's word is everlasting c) Functions of God's Word God's word brings spiritual and eternal life God's word gives light God's word gives hope God's word gives joy
II.  Key Old Testament Covenants
a) God's Covenant with Abraham God made a covenant with Abraham, promising him: countless descendants; the land of Canaan; . . . . . . and that all peoples would be blessed through Abraham Abraham believed God, and was accredited with righteousness b) God's Covenant with Israel and the Law God made a covenant with Israel, based on his law If the Israelites obeyed God, then they would be his people and he would be their God Laws for the people's relationship with God Laws for relationships with other people By obeying all the law, the Israelites would have righteousness c) God's Dealings and Covenant with David David was chosen by God, as ruler over Israel David reigned over Israel, as a powerful and righteous king – undergirded by God God's covenant with David, promising that David's royal dynasty would last forever
9.  The Problem of Sin
I.  General
a) What Sin Is Sin is breaking God's law All wrongdoing is sin Not doing what we should do is sin b) Sin Is against God Sin is action against God Sin is rebellion against God Thus, sin is hated by God c) Sin Is Universal All people have sinned . . . . . . No one is righteous before God People in fact have a sinful nature d) Sin Has Intrinsic Ill Effects Sin brings spiritual defilement Sin results in separation from God Sin brings spiritual death Sin also brings enslavement to sin e) Sin Brings God's Anger and Death Sin makes one subject to God's anger Sin results in physical death Sin brings the prospect of eternal "death"
II.  The Law's Provision for Israel's Sin
a) Offerings for Atonement for Sinners An animal was offered to make atonement for one who sinned Animals brought as offerings were to be without defect The sinner laid hands on the offering, signifying it as a substitute b) The Blood of the Offerings The blood of the offerings for sin featured in making atonement For the life of a creature is in its blood c) The Role of the Priests God designated Aaron and his descendants as priests The priests made the offerings for people when they sinned, to make atonement for them The high priest made atonement yearly for Israel as a whole
10.  God's Judgment
I.  Basics
a) God Is the Judge of the World God is judge – of the whole earth God makes judgments in the world God makes himself known by his judgment b) Reasons for God's Judgment God's judgment is to punish sin and unfaithfulness God's judgment is to discipline God's people God's judgment is to punish the wicked God's judgment is also to reward God's people c) God's Judgment Is Just God judges righteously and justly God judges people with knowledge of all their deeds God takes into account thoughts and motives God judges and repays people according to what they do God gives fair warning, allowing for judgment to be avoided
II.  The Manifestation of God's Judgment
a) Means of God's Judicial Retribution Angels Nature Nations b) Characteristics of God's Judicial Retribution Awesome power Inescapable Terrifying Horrific consequences c) The Wicked and God's Pending Judgment Questioning of God's apparent lack of judgment on the wicked The situation of the wicked is precarious In due time God does take action against the wicked The wicked reap what they sow, brought down by their own evil The future of the wicked contrasts with that of the righteous d) God's Judgment of Israel – and His Mercy Israel failed to keep God's laws and broke his covenant Eventually God decided to destroy unfaithful Israel But God promised to spare a remnant of Israel
C.  God and the World: Jesus Christ
11.  God's Promised Messiah
I.  The Messiah's Identity
a) The Promise of a Messiah in OT Scripture The OT Scriptures speak of a coming anointed one of God The anointed one would have God's Spirit on him The Scriptures speak of the coming of a great ruler of Israel The ruler would bring salvation to the nations The ruler would be a descendant of King David, in accordance with God's promise to David b) Prophecy of the Messiah's Death for Sins The OT Scriptures say the Messiah would suffer and die, for people's sins – but then be raised and exalted c) Jesus Is the Promised Messiah Jesus Christ is the one chosen by God Jesus Christ is the one anointed by God, with the Holy Spirit . . . . . . Jesus is the Messiah The OT Scriptures testify to Jesus being the Messiah, the Christ For the OT Scriptures speak of the sufferings and resurrection of the Christ as fulfilled in Jesus . . . . . . and they speak of the messianic salvation that would come through Jesus Christ d) Further Testimony to Jesus Being the Messiah Jesus' deeds showed that he is the Messiah, the Christ People acknowledged him as the Christ Note: The Christ is understood to be the Son of God
II.  The Messiah's Purpose and Person
a) Jesus Christ's Mission from God God sent Jesus Christ into the world God sent Jesus Christ to take away sins God sent Jesus Christ to save the world Jesus came to bring truth Jesus came to enable us to know God b) Jesus Christ's Humanity Jesus Christ became a human being Jesus was born – after being conceived through the Holy Spirit Jesus was a descendant of David Jesus' humanity was vital to his mission to save people c) Jesus Christ's Personality Jesus was loving Jesus was compassionate Jesus was gentle and humble Jesus was righteous d) Epilogue: God Works through Jesus Christ God works in all eras through Jesus Christ, impacting all things everywhere God fulfills his promises through Jesus Christ
12.  Jesus Christ's Mission
I.  God's Enablement of Jesus Christ
a) Jesus Christ's Power from God God granted Jesus sovereign authority God bestowed the Holy Spirit on Jesus, for his mission The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus in what he said and did Jesus did many miraculous deeds with God's power b) Jesus Christ's Knowledge from God God taught Jesus Jesus knew everything Jesus was also filled with wisdom Nobody could match Jesus' wisdom c) Jesus Christ's Direction from God God worked through Jesus . . . . . . Jesus only did what God did Jesus carried out God's will, doing the work God had given him
II.  Ministry, Death and Resurrection
a) Jesus Christ's Miracles Jesus performed miraculous deeds that greatly amazed people Jesus delivered people from disease and disorders Jesus even raised the dead Jesus exercised control over nature, in helping people b) Jesus Christ's Teaching Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom of God Jesus' teaching was from God Jesus' teaching was amazing – leading people to believe in him c) Jesus Christ's Rejection and Death Jesus faced intense opposition, with efforts to kill him The unjust condemnation of Jesus – who was innocent The horrific suffering and death of Jesus It was God's will that Jesus die – for everyone d) Jesus Christ's Resurrection and Ascension God raised Jesus from the dead Jesus' body was not found in his tomb Jesus appeared to people after his resurrection Jesus was taken up to God in heaven Because he suffered death, God gave Jesus Christ great glory
13.  Salvation through Jesus Christ
I.  Salvation from Sin
a) Jesus Christ's Sacrifice for Us Jesus gave himself to God, as a sacrifice for our sins So, Jesus Christ died for us b) Atonement for Sin Jesus Christ's sacrifice means that our sins can be forgiven . . . . . . and that we can therefore be righteous before God Consequently, through Jesus Christ's death we can be reconciled to God . . . . . . and so through Jesus Christ we can have peace with God Thus, Jesus Christ was the atoning sacrifice for sins, saving people from God's wrath c) Redemption from Sin Jesus gave himself as a ransom for us, to free us from sin Jesus Christ's death sets us free from sin's control God's people have been bought by Jesus Christ's death As such, they are free from sin and are now slaves to God d) Jesus Christ's Resurrection and Salvation Jesus Christ's resurrection has a key part in us being saved Jesus Christ's resurrection was essential for our resurrection
II.  Salvation for the World
a) The Savior of the World God provides salvation through Jesus Christ . . . . . . Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world We can only be saved through Jesus Christ b) Life through Jesus Christ Jesus Christ brings spiritual life Through Jesus Christ we can have eternal life rather than death c) Salvation for the Gentiles through Jesus Christ Jesus Christ died for all people God has made the way of faith in Jesus open also to Gentiles Jesus Christ has made Jews and Gentiles one Those who believe are the true, spiritual children of Abraham d) Epilogue: Jesus Christ's Mission and Israel Jesus Christ came foremost to Israel The Jews largely rejected Jesus Christ So, God largely rejected the Jews and accepted the Gentiles God has left a faithful remnant of Israel
14.  The New Order
I.  Jesus Christ and the Law's Diminished Role
a) Righteousness by Faith and Grace The Mosaic Law cannot bring perfection We are not made righteous by obeying the law – but by faith in Jesus Christ We are justified and made righteous by God's grace, through Jesus Christ – not by law We are saved by God's grace rather than by works b) Release from the Law through Jesus Christ Jesus Christ fully realized what the law had worked towards Through Christ believers have been released from the law With Jesus Christ's once and for all sacrifice, there is no longer any need to sacrifice for sin Instead of being under the law, believers are under grace c) The Relevance of the Law The main purpose of the law is to make people aware of sin The law's spiritual and moral commands are still to be obeyed
II.  Key Elements of the New Order
a) God's New Covenant The first covenant (with its priesthood and law) was inadequate and superseded by the new covenant – through Christ Under the new covenant, God's people: have God's laws in them; know him; and are forgiven b) Jesus Christ as High Priest Jesus Christ is the high priest of God's people – representing them before God in the superior heavenly sanctuary Jesus Christ sacrificed for sin once and for all Jesus Christ intercedes for God's people c) The Kingdom of God The kingdom of God came in Jesus Christ's mission The kingdom of God is spiritual in its nature The kingdom of God is dynamic d) Jesus Christ as Lord of All God has made Jesus Christ Lord of all God has given Jesus Christ power over all things In the end, all Jesus Christ's enemies will be made his footstool – totally conquered
15.  'The Last Things'
I.  Jesus Christ's Return and the Judgment
a) The Timing of Jesus Christ's Return Jesus Christ will return at an unexpected time, while people are living as usual Jesus Christ's return will be preceded by distressful events Awesome cosmic events will occur just prior to Christ's return b) Jesus Christ's Return Jesus Christ will return with his angels Jesus Christ will come in great glory On Jesus Christ's return his followers will be gathered to him On Jesus Christ's return evil powers will be crushed c) The Final Judgment (I): Its Scope and Outcomes God will judge every person, for all they have done The dead will rise to be judged, and either rewarded with eternal life or be condemned d) The Final Judgment (II): The Process God will judge all people through Jesus Christ On his return, Jesus Christ will judge and reward all people according to what they have done Those who have believed in Jesus Christ will have eternal life Those who have rejected Jesus Christ will be condemned What people have known will be taken into account e) The Millennium The prophecy of a thousand year reign of Jesus Christ
II.  The Afterlife
a) The New Creation The present heavens and earth will pass away God will create new heavens and a new earth God's people will live in the new Jerusalem b) Eternal Life As God raised Christ from the dead, God will raise his people On Christ's return, their bodies will be made imperishable, glorious and spiritual – like Christ God's people will be given eternal life c) The Heavenly State of God's People God's people will enter the kingdom of God God's people will be made perfect God's people will have glory There will be no more sorrow and no more death d) Being with God God's people will be with God and Jesus Christ forever God's people will see God God's people will praise God God's people will serve God e) The Punishment for the Ungodly The ungodly will be separated from God and Jesus Christ The ungodly will be thrown into fire
D.  God and His Own People
16.  The Standing of God's People
I.  Basics
a) Prologue: God Draws People to Himself God chooses people (to be his people) God moves people to believe and turn to Jesus Christ b) God's People Belong to God God's people belong to him They are God's people . . . . . . and God is their God God's people likewise belong to Jesus Christ c) God's People Are His Family Each believer belongs to the family of God God is their Father They are God's children As God's children, they are also heirs of God d) God's People Are His Church God's people form his church The church is God's temple, in which God dwells by his Spirit Jesus Christ is the ruler of God's church
II.  Being 'in' Jesus Christ
a) God's People Are 'in' Jesus Christ God's people are "in" Jesus Christ Jesus Christ identifies himself with God's people God's people live with Jesus Christ b) The Significance of Being 'in' Jesus Christ "In" Jesus Christ God's people are redeemed and forgiven "In" Jesus Christ God's people have righteousness "In" Jesus Christ believers are identified with him in his death, resurrection and life c) God's People Are One Body 'in' Jesus Christ All believers – including Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free – are one body "in" Jesus Christ The church is the body of Christ Jesus Christ is the head of the body d) Epilogue: God's People Relate to God through Jesus Christ Jesus Christ's death and priesthood have opened the way into God's presence for God's people God's people have access to God through Jesus Christ – by the Holy Spirit
17.  Keys to God's Interaction
I.  Basics
a) God Is Always with His People God and Jesus Christ are always with their people God is with his people wherever they go . . . . . . God also goes before his people God is with his people in trouble – and sees them through it b) God Knows His People God and Jesus Christ know their people God and Jesus know all their people's needs and troubles c) God Loves and Is Faithful to His People God loves his people greatly God's love is with his people always God is faithful to his people God faithfully keeps his promises to his people d) God Shows Grace to His People God shows much grace towards his people By grace God's people are given spiritual blessings By grace God's people are strengthened
II.  God's Holy Spirit in His People
a) God Gives the Holy Spirit to His People God gives his people his Holy Spirit, to live in them Having the Holy Spirit shows a person is one of God's people . . . . . . Having the Holy Spirit indicates that God lives in a person The Holy Spirit is God's seal, guaranteeing what is to come b) God Works in His People through the Holy Spirit God saves his people through the Holy Spirit God teaches his people through the Holy Spirit God works through his people by the Holy Spirit c) The Holy Spirit Renews God's People The Holy Spirit brings spiritual life The Holy Spirit makes God's people holy The Holy Spirit produces spiritual "fruit" in God's people d) The Holy Spirit Helps God's People The Holy Spirit helps each believer The Holy Spirit leads God's people The Holy Spirit empowers God's people to do God's work . . . . . . The Holy Spirit has a key role in what God's people say
18.  God's Transformation of His People
I.  General
a) God Makes His People Spiritually Alive God's people are given spiritual life In union with Jesus Christ, their sinful selves have "died" and they are now spiritually alive God's people are spiritually reborn of God God's people are a new creation b) God Makes His People Holy God makes his people holy God's people are primarily made holy through Jesus' sacrifice God's people are in fact being transformed to be like Jesus c) God Teaches His People God teaches his people how to live God enables his people to know the truth d) God Disciplines His People God disciplines his people as his children, who he loves God's discipline is done in righteousness and faithfulness God's discipline and testing can be intense, but God brings his people through
II.  Spiritual Attributes
a) Love, Faith and Hope God and Jesus Christ give their people love and faith . . . . . . God teaches his people to love God gives his people hope by what he has done through Christ God's promises give his people hope b) Peace God gives his people peace . . . . . . Jesus Christ gives his people peace It is a great peace c) Joy God and Jesus Christ give joy to their people It is an enduring joy The joy is present even in trouble d) Wisdom and Knowledge God gives his people wisdom and knowledge God's people are given spiritual sight
19.  God's Care of His People
I.  God's Saving of His People
a) God's Capacity to Save His People God is able to save his people – no matter what the odds God has mighty power to save his people God does not need to use any other means but himself b) God Saves His People – from All Things God is the Savior of his people God saves his people out of all troubles God sets his people free from things that imprison God's saving of his people makes known that he is the only God c) God Helps His People against Enemies God consistently helps his people God helps his people by delivering them from enemies For God fights for his people, giving victory over enemies God enables his people to overcome all that is in the world God's people are enabled to overcome Satan
II.  God's Preservation of His People
a) God Meets His People's Needs God cares for his people God meets his people's physical needs even in harsh situations God satisfies his people's spiritual hunger and thirst God provides for all their needs – they will not lack anything b) God Strengthens His People God strengthens his people when they are weak God strengthens his people in the face of adversity God strengthens them spiritually, until Christ's return c) God Protects His People God protects his people God is a refuge for his people God guards his people God protects his people from all evil – including Satan God will protect his people until the end
20.  God's Plans for His People
I.  General
a) God Has Plans for His People God has plans and purposes for his people These plans include work for God's people to do God's plans are not dependent upon his people's backgrounds b) God Fulfills His Plans for His People In spite of his people's troubles, God will fulfill his plans and purposes for them God may even initiate seemingly bad things to fulfill his purposes for his people c) God Works through His People God moves his people to do his work God equips his people for the work God helps and empowers them to do his work even if they feel inadequate God's power for his people is great d) God Guides His People God guides his people always God guides his people in difficult circumstances God guides his people in doing his work
II.  God's Plans for Israel
a) Return to the Land God will return home the remnant of exiled Israel The people of Israel will possess the land forever b) Physical Renewal and Peace Israel will be physically restored Joy will accompany God's renewal of Israel The Messiah will rule Israel forever in righteousness and peace Israel will have lasting peace c) Spiritual Renewal God will cleanse Israel of sin The people of Israel will be given God's Spirit d) A Renewed Relationship with God God will be Israel's God and they will be his people God will dwell in Jerusalem, living among his people forever The nations will come to Jerusalem to worship God e) Glorification God will glorify Israel Israel's renewal will display God's glory
II.  What to Do
E.  Relating to God
21.  Being Right with God
I.  Getting Right with God
a) God's Invitation God invites all people to come to him and be saved God wants us to earnestly seek him We must believe in God and what he says We need to be open to believing and responding b) Repentance We must repent Confess your sins . . . . . . Turn from sin and do what is right Turn to God in repentance Repentance is required for the forgiveness of sins c) Belief in Jesus Christ Believe in Jesus Christ Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God Belief in Jesus Christ brings forgiveness of sins Belief in Jesus Christ makes one righteous before God Belief in Jesus Christ brings eternal life d) Reasons for Assurance Having the Holy Spirit Obedience to God Love for other Christians Further reasons
II.  Staying Right with God
a) The Need to Obey God We need to obey God as well as believe Obedience is critical for holiness and eternal life b) The Need for Good Deeds True faith involves good deeds Good deeds accompany salvation But our deeds do not earn salvation, for it is by grace c) Living Free of the Law and Sin – by the Spirit We have been freed from the law to live by the Holy Spirit Instead of living by the sinful nature, live by the Holy Spirit Inner righteousness is needed, not just compliance with rules d) Epilogue: Living 'in' Jesus Christ Live "in" Jesus Christ by faith Live "in" Jesus Christ by holding to his teachings
22.  Having Faith in God
I.  Faith and Hope
a) What Faith Is Faith involves believing in God We must also trust in God b) What to Have Faith For Have faith that God will fulfill what he promises Have faith that God will care for you Have faith that God will do what you ask c) The Importance of Faith By faith we stand firm Faith produces obedience to God Faith produces work in service to God Faith is vital to prayer, for God to grant requests If we have faith nothing will be impossible d) Hope in God Set your hope on God's care Set your hope on Jesus Christ's return and what will follow Hope is vital for faith
II.  What Not to Do
a) Do Not Lack Faith Do not be lacking in faith Do not doubt b) Do Not Be Afraid (I): Instructions Do not be afraid – trust in God Do not be afraid – be strong and courageous c) Do Not Be Afraid (II): Reasons God is far more powerful than our enemies God is always with his people God helps his people d) Do Not Worry Do not worry – trust God with your concerns Do not worry about the cares of this life, for God will provide e) Do Not Trust in Other Things Do not trust in other people, but rather trust in God Do not trust in yourself Do not trust in riches
23.  Loving, Fearing and Obeying God
I.  Loving and Fearing God
a) Love God Love God and Jesus Christ Love for God and Jesus Christ is shown by obeying them Love for God is linked with loving other Christians b) The Importance of Loving God Loving God is of the utmost importance God and Jesus Christ love those who love them c) Fear God Fear God to the extent that you tremble before him Do not fear anything but God God's people should not live in fear of his punishment d) Why God Should Be Feared God's surpassing greatness and sovereignty God's anger and judgment God's holiness e) The Importance of Fearing God Fearing God is closely associated with obeying him . . . . . . Fearing God compels one to avoid sin Fear of God leads to life Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom
II.  Obeying God
a) Obey God Obey God always – forever We should obey God because of what he has done for us We should obey God because he is our God . . . . . . It is no good expressing commitment without obeying b) How to Obey God Persistently read God's commands Do what you learn of God's law and word Ask God to help you follow his commands Submit yourself to God Obey God wholeheartedly Note: God's and Jesus Christ's commands are not too difficult c) Follow Jesus Christ Follow Jesus Christ Be a disciple of Jesus Christ Follow Jesus Christ's example Make Jesus Christ your Lord
24.  Connecting with God
I.  Being Close to God
a) Seek God Seek God wholeheartedly If you seek God wholeheartedly, you will find him Seeking God should be accompanied by obedience to him Seeking God brings great blessings b) Focus on God Keep thinking about God Keep thinking about what God has done c) Meet with God and Live before Him Come before God, meeting with him Live before God . . . . . . "Walk" with God d) Know God Know God and Jesus Christ Knowing God is linked to obeying his commands Knowing God is linked with loving and caring for others Knowing God is vital for understanding
II.  Praying to God
a) The Power of Prayer Prayer is very powerful If we ask God for things, he will give them (or do them) b) Praying before God Pray before God, in his presence Pray to God as a caring father Pray in the Holy Spirit Be reverent when praying c) Making Requests Ask for things in Jesus Christ's "name" Ask earnestly and persistently Do not doubt but believe that what you ask will be granted Give thanks when asking d) God's Response to Requests God answers those who obey and please him God grants anything we ask that is in accordance with his will
25.  Exalting God
I.  Instructions
a) Glorify and Honor God Give glory to God Honor God Glorify and honor God by praise and thanksgiving Glorify and honor God by how you live b) Do Not Dishonor God Do not dishonor God by your actions Do not blaspheme God Do not treat God with contempt c) Praise and Thank God Praise God constantly Give thanks to God always d) How to Give Praise and Thanks (I): General In righteousness Wholeheartedly Through prayer Through singing e) How to Give Praise and Thanks (II): Rejoicing Rejoice when giving praise and thanks to God Rejoice in God always
II.  Reasons to Exalt God
a) Aspects of God's Being God's glory God's greatness God's power God's wisdom and knowledge b) Aspects of God's Character God's holiness God's love and faithfulness God's mercy c) What God Does in the World God's creative work God's provision of water and food God's reign God's word d) What God Does for His People God's salvation through Christ and the associated blessings . . . . . . in which one should rejoice God's deliverance from difficulties . . . . . . in which one should rejoice
F.  Church Life
26.  Being One Body
I.  General
a) The Church as One Body Church members form one body – the body of Christ Being one body, church members meet together Church members function together as one church body b) Be in Unison Be united as one Be at peace with each other Submit to one another Avoid foolish arguments and quarreling c) Be in Fellowship Have fellowship together – and with the Father and Jesus Christ Participate together in church activities Share together in the sufferings that come because of Christ Share in each other's joy and troubles d) Love Each Other Love each other as Christ loved us, even laying down his life Loving other Christians is indicative of being of Christ and God Love is expressed with actions
II.  Caring for the Body
a) Pray for Each Other (I): General Pray constantly for each other Pray for those facing persecution Pray for those spreading the gospel b) Pray for Each Other (II): What to Ask Ask that other believers will live as God wants Pray for their spiritual growth and perfection Ask God to help and take care of them c) Encourage Each Other Encourage each other Encourage and strengthen each other by what you say Encourage others to remain true to the Lord Encourage and strengthen each other by what you do d) Help Each Other Be concerned for and compassionate towards each other Consequently, help each other Share what you have with those in need
27.  Worshiping God
I.  General
a) Worship God Worship God alone Worship God for his glory and sovereignty Worship God for his great deeds Worship God for his creation of everything Worship God because of his care of his people b) Worshiping before God Worship God in spirit Worship God in reverence and awe Worship God with praise c) Worshiping Together Join with fellow believers in worshiping God Offer praise and thanksgiving together Pray together
II.  Offerings
a) Reasons to Give to God Offerings are an important part of worshiping God Offerings acknowledge God's provision for us Offerings express thanksgiving to God for his deliverance Offerings support the service of God b) What to Give to God Give the "firstfruits" to God Give the best to God . . . . . . Do not give what is inferior to God Give all that you can Offer spiritual sacrifices c) How to Give to God Give willingly Give generously Give regularly d) Righteousness and Making Offerings We must live righteously to acceptably worship God Our offerings are not acceptable if our lives do not please God We should in fact offer ourselves to God, in service to him
28.  Serving God
I.  Preliminary Instructions and Insights
a) Be Prepared to Serve God Be prepared and ready to do God's work Being prepared for God's work requires godly living b) Be Devoted to God's Work Serve only God Devote yourself to God's work Dedicate your life to living for God and Jesus Christ c) Reasons to Serve God God is our God, who has done great things for us Your work for God will be productive You will be rewarded for your work Whoever does not produce "fruit" will be cut off from Christ d) Being Guided by God To be guided by God, live a godly life Ask God to guide you (as in troubled times)
II.  Doing God's Work
a) Do God's Work – the Best You Can Do the work assigned to you Work hard at God's work Do quality work which bears "fruit" – "fruit" that will last b) Do the Work through God Apart from God and Jesus Christ, we can accomplish nothing Pray to God for help in the work – and ask others to pray Do God's work with his help Serve God through the Holy Spirit c) The Manner in Which to Serve God Serve God in holiness and righteousness Serve God wholeheartedly Be strong and courageous d) Working with Other Believers Serve each other Do God's work together Encourage each other in doing God's work e) Spiritual Gifts God gives each of his people a spiritual gift, through the Spirit Use your spiritual gift to build up the church
29.  Significant Practices
I.  Symbolic Rites
a) Baptism God's people are baptized in the "name" of Jesus Christ Baptism into Jesus Christ signifies being united with him – with the corresponding implications Baptism signifies belief Baptism signifies the washing away of sins b) The Lord's Supper Observe the Lord's Supper – in remembrance of Jesus Christ and his death Participating in the Lord's Supper also symbolizes participating in the blood and body of Jesus Christ c) Circumcision: Its Needlessness Circumcision does not bring salvation Circumcision is of no consequence for believers It is our hearts that should be circumcised
II.  Other Significant Practices
a) Confession of Jesus Christ Confess Jesus Christ, before others Things to confess about Jesus Christ b) Keeping the Sabbath Holy Observe the Sabbath as holy by resting on it Observing the Sabbath enables people to be refreshed It is permissible to do good and necessary things on the Sabbath Verses that might suggest we do not need to keep the Sabbath c) Fasting Fasting can be done regularly, with worship and prayer Fasting can be done on particular occasions, in petitioning God d) The Laying on of Hands In conveying the gift of the Holy Spirit In conveying blessing In commissioning for ministry
30.  Church Leadership
I.  General
a) Required Characteristics Godliness Wisdom Strength and courage Deep love for church members b) Managing the Church As a leader, provide good leadership Be gentle and sparing in the use of authority Be an example for others to follow c) Caring for Church Members Be a shepherd taking care of God's flock Pray for church members Strengthen members in the faith Work hard at helping church members Confront church members over sin d) Church Members' Duties to Leaders Love your leaders Obey your leaders Give your leaders material support
II.  Teaching in the Church
a) What to Teach: God's Word Teach and preach God's word Teach God's commands and ways Teach the truths of the faith Read God's word in church worship b) How to Teach Explain God's word and truths The manner in which to teach c) False Teachers (I): Their Teaching False teachers speak lies and delusions of their own, while claiming God's authority They say what their listeners like to hear – appealing and pleasant things False teachers typically deny Jesus Christ d) False Teachers (II): Guarding against Them Watch out for false teachers and their teaching – so as not to be deceived Test teachers by comparing their teaching with the Scriptures False teachers can be recognized by their "fruit"
G.  Relating to People
31.  Love
I.  Loving Qualities
a) Love: Insights What love is The supremacy of love b) Love: Commands Live a life of love . . . . . . Do all things in love Love others as you love yourself . . . . . . "Love your neighbor as yourself" sums up God's law Love your enemies and do good to them c) Mercy Show mercy Be merciful and God will show you mercy Forgive others and God will forgive you Do not judge others, or God will judge you accordingly Be generous and share with others d) Gentleness Be humble, gentle and patient Be meek Seek peace, including peace with others
II.  Antitheses of Love
a) Selfish Attitudes Do not pursue selfish ends Do not be greedy Do not covet Seek the interests of others before your own . . . . . . Do so even at great cost to yourself, as Jesus Christ did b) Ill Feelings Control and avoid anger Do not hate Get rid of any bitterness or malice Do not be jealous c) Adverse Speech Do not quarrel Do not slander Do not gossip Do not grumble against others d) Adverse Force Do not use violence Do not murder Do not rape Do not oppress
32.  Justice
I.  Justice in Action
a) Do What Is Just and Right Act justly In acting justly, do what is right Maintain justice Do not show favoritism b) Justice and the Needy (I): Instructions Do not mistreat the needy Defend the cause of the needy Provide the needy with food and clothing Even sell your possessions so as to give to the poor Treat foreigners the same as your native-born c) Justice and the Needy (II): Insights Defending and providing for the needy are part of true religion Providing for the needy brings oneself blessing God will punish those who ignore the needy
II.  Being True
a) Faithfulness Be faithful Be trustworthy Stand by others b) Truthfulness Speak the truth Be honest Be sincere Have integrity c) Deceitfulness Do not deceive Do not lie Do not give false testimony Do not use flattery Do not plot evil schemes d) Dishonest Gain Do not steal Do not defraud Do not take excessive interest or extort money Do not accept bribes
33.  Wisdom
I.  Being Wise
a) The Precedence of Godly Wisdom Godly wisdom is superior to anything else Worldly wisdom is flawed and inferior to the wisdom of God Worldly wisdom is ultimately futile, even detrimental b) Wisdom through God Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom Ask God for wisdom . . . . . . For it is God who gives wisdom Obeying God's commands brings wisdom Wisdom involves doing what is right – and avoiding evil c) Wisdom through Others Pay attention to instruction Heed discipline and correction d) Wise Speech Be quick to listen and slow to speak Use few words Speak graciously Remember that our words are determined by our "heart" e) Wise Personal Practices Be self-controlled Do not act in haste Work hard Enjoy life and be happy
II.  Antitheses of Wisdom and Knowledge
a) Foolishness Fools spurn and lack wisdom Foolishness involves disobedience to God Foolishness encompasses doing wrong b) Foolish Practices Being quick-tempered is foolish Drunkenness and gluttony are unwise, causing one trouble Indulging in pleasure is foolish and pointless Further notably foolish practices c) Spiritual Ignorance (I): Causes and Results Spiritual ignorance is caused basically by sin Spiritual ignorance is caused partly by the ungodly being closed-minded d) Spiritual Ignorance (II): Knowledge Lacked The ungodly do not know God or Jesus Christ The ungodly do not comprehend God's word The ungodly are ignorant of and deceived about their sin The ungodly are largely oblivious of God's pending punishment – which they will bear
34.  Common Relationships
I.  Family Relationships
a) Prologue: Issues Regarding Getting Married Unmarried people can be fully devoted to the Lord Do not marry outside of God's people A person should have only one spouse Remarriage and adultery b) Spouses A husband and wife should be as one Husbands should love their wives Wives should submit to their husbands Do not commit adultery Avoid divorce c) Parents' Duties to Children Parents should love their children Parents should care for their children Parents should discipline their children Parents should teach their children about God and his deeds, inspiring them to trust and obey God d) Children's Duties to Parents Children are to honor their parents Children are to obey their parents Children should heed their parents' teaching Children are to help their parents
II.  Civil Relationships
a) Citizens' Duties to Authorities Citizens should submit to and obey the governing authorities For authorities are established by God and punish wrongdoers But citizens should defy commands that conflict with God's will b) Authorities' Duties to Citizens Authorities should act and rule according to God's ways Authorities should rule as servants of God and their people Authorities should rule wisely Authorities should rule justly Authorities should defend the needy c) Servants and Masters Servants should be obedient, submissive and respectful Servants should be trustworthy and faithful Masters must treat servants justly Masters must not withhold servants' wages
35.  Spreading the Gospel
I.  Instructions
a) Tell People the Gospel Tell people the gospel message about Jesus Christ Tell all people, everywhere Do not be ashamed of the gospel b) What Things to Explain Explain who Jesus Christ is Tell people about Jesus' death and resurrection . . . . . . and tell people about the results Tell people about the kingdom of God Tell people about what God is like and what he has done . . . . . . and tell what God has done for you Tell people how they should respond c) How to Spread the Message Present the gospel accurately and plainly Spread the gospel by the Holy Spirit Spread the gospel boldly – with God's help Work hard at spreading the gospel message d) Supplementary Actions Pray for your proclamation of the gospel . . . . . . and pray for others who proclaim the gospel Pray for the salvation of unbelievers Act in the interests of others for the sake of the gospel Act in a way that is consistent with the gospel
II.  Insights
a) Insights on the Gospel Message The gospel is not made up by men – it is true The gospel reveals God's secret plan concerning Jesus Christ The gospel is good news b) The Need to Spread the Gospel We are responsible for telling others the gospel Through believers spreading the gospel others come to believe There are many people ready to respond to the gospel – but they need someone to tell them The gospel brings salvation, saving those who respond to it c) God and the Gospel's Effectiveness The gospel is the power of God to save – though it may seem foolish to the world The gospel is not dependent on us and our presentation of it – but on the Holy Spirit and God's power The Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus Christ to people, fostering belief God and Jesus at times confirm the gospel message by miracles
H.  Persevering
36.  Standing Firm
I.  General
a) Be Faithful to God Be faithful to God and Jesus Christ Serve God faithfully Do not be unfaithful to God by not obeying him b) Remember God and His Word Ensure you remember God Remember what God has done Remember God's word and commands Persistently meditate on God's word and commands c) Hold to the Faith Continue to live by Christian teaching Grow in your knowledge of God Stand firm until the end . . . . . . Persist so that you will receive the reward d) Be Ready for Jesus Christ's Return As you do not know when Jesus Christ will come, keep watch and be ready Do not be deceived by false claims, for Christ's return will be only after certain events – and obvious to all
II.  Spiritual Warfare
a) The Existence of Spiritual Warfare Believers have spiritual enemies, notably Satan Believers have human enemies Believers face internal spiritual conflict But God and Jesus enable Christians to overcome b) Engaging in Spiritual Warfare Resist Satan Use spiritual weapons and armor Spiritual weapons and armor include: faith; . . . . . . God's word; . . . . . . and prayer c) Counteraction of Demons Distinguishing between the Holy Spirit and demons Demons are driven out of people in Jesus Christ's "name" The Holy Spirit and prayer also figure in driving out demons d) Ungodly Spiritualistic Practices Avoid witchcraft and other occult practices Do not consult anyone who performs occult practices Do not have other "gods" or idols
37.  Rejecting Sin
I.  Encountering Sin
a) Consequences of Sin for God's People Sin deprives God's people of his blessings God may punish sin, which can mean physical suffering and emotional anguish Sin defiles God's people – making them spiritually unclean God turns away from those who persist in sin b) Addressing Sin (I): Return from Sin to God Stop sinning Return to God with all your heart In returning from sin to God, do what God wants c) Addressing Sin (II): Deal with Sin before God Confess your sin to God Be sorrowful over your sin Humble yourself before God over your sin Ask God for forgiveness and restoration d) God's Response to Repentance God forgives our sins God restores our relationship with him
II.  Avoiding Sin and Being Holy
a) Avoiding Sin Take care in avoiding sin Ask God for help to avoid sin . . . . . . For God and Jesus Christ are willing and able to help us withstand temptation Use God's word to avoid sin Avoid sinful desires Get rid of sinful influences Hate evil and sin b) Alternatives to Sin Instead of living by the sinful nature, live by the Holy Spirit Instead of living as a slave to sin, live as a slave to righteousness and God c) Be Holy Be holy as God is holy Be set apart for God Do not conform to this world Do not live as other people do Avoid bad company
38.  Major Pitfalls
I.  Pride
a) Pride in Thought Do not be proud Do not think you are better than others Do not be wise in your own eyes Do not be self-righteous b) Pride in Action Do not exalt yourself . . . . . . Honor others, rather than yourself Do not boast about yourself c) Outcomes of Pride Pride is very detrimental to a relationship with God Pride is associated with self-deception and flawed understanding Pride leads to one's downfall d) Antithesis of Pride: Humility Be humble – particularly before God Be humble towards others
II.  Riches and Sex
a) Riches and Godliness Riches are a barrier to a relationship with God Riches even draw one away from God So, do not love money and be content with what you have b) Further Warnings about Riches Riches are not secure Life does not last and the dead cannot take their riches with them Hoarding riches will bring ill consequences in the afterlife c) Sexual Sin Avoid sexual sin Sexual sin has ill consequences Sexual sin ultimately results in God's judgment d) Prohibited Forms of Sex Lust Sex apart from marriage Prostitution Homosexual acts e) Epilogue: Be Wary Be alert and sober Examine and evaluate yourself Keep a clear conscience
39.  Hard Times
I.  General
a) Prologue: God's People Still Have Hard Times Trouble is characteristic of human life Examples of God's people undergoing hard times An example of hard times even being attributed to God b) Mourn Loss Mourn and weep over loss – particularly deaths Mourn before God c) Keep in Mind God and His Word In hard times, remember God Keep meditating on God's word and obeying it Take comfort in God's word d) Trust in God Trust in God Take refuge in God, for God saves and protects those who do e) Hope in God and Wait for Him Put your hope in God . . . . . . Look resolutely and expectantly to God Wait for God, with confidence that he will act Wait quietly and patiently
II.  Praying in Hard Times
a) Tell God about Your Problems When facing trouble, pray to God Tell God of your plight and how you feel Pour out your heart to God b) Ask God for Help Cry out to God for help Ask God for strength Ask God to guide you Ask God for deliverance Persist in prayer to God c) Praise and Rejoice in God Praise and thank God amidst trouble Rejoice in God amidst trouble d) Epilogue: God Does Respond to Suffering God is near us in hard times God comforts his people in hard times Testimony to God answering prayers in suffering and trouble
40.  Persecution
I.  The Persecution of God's People
a) The Reality of Persecution Following God and Jesus Christ results in persecution . . . . . . It brings all kinds of hardships and suffering Spreading the gospel can result in suffering God's people are hated b) The Antichrist and the Final Persecution The antichrist will have great authority and be worshiped Persecution of God's people will increase in the end times – especially due to the antichrist "Three and a half years" is given for the rule of the antichrist and intense persecution c) God's Care of Persecuted Believers God strengthens his people amidst trials God rescues his people from trials God will ultimately save believers from the persecution of the end times
II.  What to Do in Persecution
a) Be Faithful to God and Endure Remain faithful to God and Jesus Christ Endure persecution Consider and follow Jesus Christ's example in suffering . . . . . . and share in Jesus Christ's sufferings b) Have Faith in God and Pray Have faith and hope in God Do not be afraid Do not worry about what to say – you will be given what to say Pray to God, asking for help Bless and pray for those who persecute you c) Rejoice Rejoice because trials develop Christian character and virtues Rejoice because of rewards for enduring persecution d) Blessings for Faithfulness in Persecution Blessings amidst suffering God's kingdom Eternal life Future glory

Pray for persecuted Christians