New Life 2024 Homework

Week 9

Questions to ask yourself

  • Is this class what you expected?
  • What did you expect?
  • What did you think about the meet and greets? That is what church is really about, not just sitting through lectures and learning about God, but building relationships and experiencing God with others.
  • What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to accept?
  • In what truth have you experienced the most freedom?
  • Are there still things that need to be clarified from the topics we have gone through?
  • Is there something you hoped we would cover but haven’t?
  • What do you anticipate will happen now that classes are done? What’s next?
  • The things we discussed last week can only be true of those who have died spiritually with Christ. At your water baptism, you are declaring the person you used to be as dead. When you forget, you will live like you used to and when you do, come back; when you fall into sin and your shame tells you to hide from everyone, declare that in Christ you are righteous and come back.

The Sower and the Seed

Mark 4:3-8

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.

[Jesus introduces four conditions of the heart which He illustrates using different types of ground.]

And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.

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. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.

Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.

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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 defenceless.

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 armour 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!

Slow down!

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?

Romans 5:17

those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Water baptism is not a point in time after which you don’t sin anymore and a point from which you leave only your past behind. Water baptism is a declaration of faith in the One who forgave and will continue to forgive because every sin you have and ever will commit happened long after He already shed His blood for them.

Baptism is a declaration of being a saint who will sometimes continue to sin but will always be a child of God striving to live in that truth.

I have invited you to come and participate and to be a part of this family. I am setting you free to willing make that choice – like the rich young ruler and the prodigal son, you are free to walk away. Just know, you are always welcome here.