CHAPTER 4: The Life and Conduct of the Believers
- 1. What should be the believer’s conduct in their daily walk and life?
As the redeemed of the Lord, they should serve God in holiness and righteousness, which is acceptable to him, and let their good works shine before men.
Luke 1:74-75, Matthew 5:16, Ephesians 5:13
2. Did the Lord give us a command?
Yes. He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you.”
John 13:34, 1 John 3:14-18
3. Should we also love our enemies?
Yes. Christ said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”
I. Non-Resistance and Suffering
4. What ought we to do when we are injured by anyone?
We are not to repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling.
1 Peter 3:9, Romans 12:19
5. Should a true Christian suffer patiently?
Yes. For it is written, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his footsteps.”
1 Peter 2:21, Matthew 10:22
6. How does the Lord Jesus comfort his followers in sufferings?
He says, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for you reward is great in heaven.”
II. Government and the Oath
7. How should we conduct ourselves toward the authorities?
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
8. What does our Saviour say concerning the swearing of oaths?
He says, “Do not take an oath at all, . . . let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
9. Is this said of all oaths?
Yes. For James says, “But above all . . . do not swear either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath.”
10. What did Christ say of idle words?
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”
IV. Church Discipline
19. When a brother or a sister has been overtaken by sin, how are they to be dealt with?
They are to be admonished and restored in a spirit of gentleness.
Galatians 6:1, Matthew 18:15-17
20. But if the offender will not hear?
Then take one or two others along with you and admonish him a second time.
21. But if he neglects to hear them or lives in gross sin, what should be done with such a person?
He must be excommunicated from the church and we are to have nothing to do with him, so that he may be ashamed.
Matthew 18:17, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14, 1 Corinthians 5:11
22. But if he repents of his sin?
Then it is sufficient, that he was punished by the many; so now, you ought rather to forgive him and comfort him.
2 Corinthians 2:6-7
23. By what means do we obtain all things from God?
By prayer. Ask and it will be given to you.
24. Should we use many words in prayer?
No. We must not heap up empty phrases as the heathen do, for our Father knows what we need before we ask him.
25. How are we to call upon God, our Father?
In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, that the Father may by glorified in the Son.
John 14:13, Philippians 2:10, Romans 10:13
26. After what manner did Jesus teach us to pray?
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (For yours is the kingdom and the power and
the glory, forever. Amen.)”
Matthew 6: 9-13
27. Does God at all times hear our prayers? *
This is the confidence that we have in him; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (Still he sometimes delays to granting our petitions, in order to test our faith).
1 John 5:14, (Matthew 15:22-28)
28. Are we also to call upon the Lord Jesus?
Yes. They all may honour the Son, just as they honour the Father and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 5:23, 1 Corinthians 1:2
29. How should we call upon the name of the Lord Jesus?
As the mediator between God and man, who gave himself a ransom for all.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
30. What should we bear in mind in prayer?
Thanksgiving. “In everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Philippians 4:6, Ephesians 5:20
VI. Knowing and Doing
31. Is it necessary, that we should know to do good?
Yes, knowledge without love puffs up.
1 Corinthians 8:1
32. In what spirit should we receive all knowledge?
We should be humble and unassuming. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
33. What benefit do we derive from knowledge? *
It my teach us how one ought to behave in the household of God.
1 Timothy 3:15
34. Is mere knowledge then not enough?
No. We must also be doers of the Word.
35. What is the duty of Christians in all they do, in word and deed?
“So whatever you wish that others do to you, do also to them.”
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Matthew 7:12, Colossians 3:17
36. What should we say when we have done all things?
“We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.”
Lesson 10 Notes
The Sower and the Seed
3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
[Jesus introduces four conditions of the heart which He illustrates using different types of ground.]
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
Our hearts have been in, at least, one of these conditions; the hardened path where you rejected God’s Word, the rocky place where you liked the sound of Christianity but didn’t really take it to heart, the thorny place where you allowed the worries of this world consume you, or the good soil where you received the Word of God which is growing within you.
These four soil types can be a progression. At one point, our hearts were all like the hardened path but then we heard the Word of God – that’s the seed in this parable. Depending on the condition of our heart when we first heard the Word, it either didn’t take root or it did.
This is one way to evaluate yourself and where you are on your journey.
What Happens Now?
Your faith will be tested
- Once faith in Christ is proclaimed, you will be tested to see if your faith is genuine.
- In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7)
- Satan wants to shut you up and keep you down and God will let him try but, God will always provide a way out of your temptation so that you never have to bend to it again. Your way out is to remember that you have been purchased by the blood of Christ and that satan has no power over you.
- You will be tested in the areas where your flesh is weak and you will fail however, God’s grace
- is sufficient to cover you.
- The real test is in how you will respond; will you turn to Jesus and be reminded of His love for you and that what He says is true or, will you believe the lie and let the failure of going your own way propel you down a dark path of regret and despair?
- Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
You will come under spiritual attack
- 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
- Satan’s plan is to destroy you but God promises to be there with you through your darkest moments, reminding you that you belong to God. God’s plan is to make you completely dependent upon Him for all things so that you know His love, and experience the peace you already have in Him.
God’s work in your life changes course from leading you to hearing the Word and accepting the Word to walking with you in the Word and growing you as His child.
You are not left defenseless.
You have everything required for godly living
- Ephesians 6:10-18
- Be strong in Him and in the strength of his might – not your own. You do not have what it takes apart from God. Put on the whole armor of God – not the pieces you want to, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Stand firm! Fasten on the belt of truth – which holds all the pieces together put on the breastplate of righteousness put on as shoes, the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. Put on the helmet of salvation In your hands, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray!
You cannot figure God out in a lifetime much less than in a day. Take a lesson from Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha was running around being an active believer. Martha got frustrated and Jesus told her that Mary had chosen the important part – sitting at His feet and learning from Him.
- Bible reading
- If you don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions.
- The Gospel of John
- 1 John, 2 John, 3 John
- Romans 7:15 – 8:1
- Experiencing victory in Christ requires being obedient to the Holy Spirit.
So, what does victory look like?
1 John 5:1-5
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?