Archive for the ‘Bible Study’ Category

Joseph as a Type of Christ

Posted on July 31st, 2013 with Comments Off

Welcome to another addition of Grace Fellowship Bible Study Hour. Tonight our topic comes from Genesis and the story of Joseph. We discuss how and why Joseph was a type of Christ.

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If you enjoy our Bible studies, please join us on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm with a pot luck supper at 7:00pm.

Judah and Tamar

Posted on July 24th, 2013 with Comments Off

Welcome to another addition of Grace Fellowship Bible Study Hour. Tonight our topic comes from Genesis 38 and discusses the meaning of the placement and specifics of the story of Judah and Tamar.

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If you enjoy our Bible studies, please join us on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm with a pot luck supper at 7:00pm.

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

Posted on December 3rd, 2009 with Comments Off

What must I do to be saved? Every person must learn the answer to this question. To ignore the question is to spend eternity in hell. A proper response to the question is to spend eternity in heaven. Thank the great God of heaven and earth that He told us precisely what to do.

Scriptures teach that salvation is dispensed by grace through faith (Ephesians 2: 8). One does not merit salvation. It is God’s gift to those who accept His provision through faith.

Paul and Silas were jailed in Phillipi. Although their future looked bleak, they sang hymns at the midnight hour. Then Almighty God, an ever-vigilant God, came to their rescue. He sent a mighty earthquake that opened the doors of the prison and released them from their bonds. The jailer responsible for the prisoners was distraught because he thought that Paul and Silas had escaped and that the Roman Government would require his life in return. Paul stopped the jailer from committing suicide by assuring him that he and the other prisoners had not escaped. The frightened jailer then asked the question of all questions, “What must I do to be saved?” Read it in Acts 16:29-31. The answer given to the question was “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Sinner, the first thing that you must do is to realize that you are lost!

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) KJV
“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 3:26) KJV

Secondly, you must realize that God loves you…

…and demonstrated that fact. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” (Romans 5:6-7) KJV

Thirdly, having become aware of your sinner status…

…you must repent of your sins, accept the precious gift of God, (eternal life through His son), and then accept Him as your Lord and Savior.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10: 9-10) KJV

Faith is not only the initial reaction to a careful study of the Word of God, but is also a summary statement of the Christian walk. A Christian must have the faith to obey. The very first act of obedience after having accepted Jesus as Savior is to identify with Him in baptism (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; Romans 6:4). This public act tells the world of the inward change, wrought in your heart by the Holy Spirit.

Who Do You Trust?

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 with Comments Off

The small boy and his brother eyed the beautiful silver-leaf maple tree with great interest. The smooth silver trunk provided an ideal target for two fledgling knife throwers. Although this particular tree happened to be their Dad’s very favorite, and one in which he took enormous pride, the temptation to throw the knife was irresistible. Neither of the young men seemed concerned that the knife left large ugly cuts in the trunk of the tree. However, their Dad quickly noticed the scars. Justice was swift and severe. The Father was so upset that he ripped off his belt and grabbed the younger brother and began to flail away. For some reason, he stopped to ask the older boy if he had been involved in the crime also. The big brother was so fearful of getting the whipping that he lied to his dad and said “no”. What seemed to be a moment of respite for big brother turned out to be a shameful memory that continues to haunt him.

I must confess that I am that big brother. Moreover, I have reflected on that incident in my life many, many, times over the years. Even today, that particular memory bludgeons me unmercifully with stripes of great guilt and remorse. Just as I could not remove the scars, my brother and I put into that beautiful tree; even so, I remain unable to escape the consequences of that lie of so long ago.

Dad was relentless in his quest to teach his sons that a man is only as good as his word. He would have no truck with liars. As I grew older, I learned a bitter lesson. My own Father told lies occasionally. He did not do so with great regularity or purposefully. However, he lied just the same. My Mother, my brother and my sisters had moral lapse also- and lied. Indeed, every person that I knew through the intervening years experienced moments of great weakness, which resulted in the sin of lying. Upon whom was I to rely to speak the truth without fail? I learned that every man is a liar but God is truth.

The truth uttered by Jeremiah is just as true today.

He said: “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10:23.) Truly, man needs the help of Almighty God to walk in the truth. What is truth? Pilate asked that great question. Whether it is in meeting the problems of everyday life or in preparing for a home after death we need the truth. God gives this truth in his written word. There is no other way to ascertain it.

Is God’s word reliable? I am compelled to affirm the truthfulness of the Word of God. Paul said to Timothy: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (IITimothy 3:16, 17). What is inspiration? Literally, inspiration means that the Scriptures are “God-breathed”. Every word of every sentence is flooded with the presence of God.

The Apostle Peter wrote: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1: 20-21). Moreover, it seems highly unlikely that God the Father would collaborate with man to reveal Himself to the world and subsequently allow the human partner to tell a lie about Him. J. W. McGarvey gives an illustration to show how the inspired writers were under the complete control of the Spirit of God while at the same time maintaining their own diction and characteristics. He says, “It would be nearer the truth to compare the whole work of the Spirit to that of driving a well trained horse. You draw the lines to the right or the left as you see that the horse needs guidance; you check him when he would go too fast, and urge him forward when he would go too slow; but he usually keeps the road and maintains the desired gait and speed of his own accord; st ill your hand is ever on the lines, and its pressure on the bit is constantly felt, so that you are controlling the horse’s movements when he is going most completely at his own will, Indeed, the horse is all the time going very much of his own will, and yet he is never without the control of the driver.”

Because we believe in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures we stand in agreement with the statement “We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction: that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.” ARTICLE I- NEW HAMPSHIE CONFESSIONS (1833)

Who Is Righteous?

Posted on October 3rd, 2009 with 0 Comments

For the first 30 years of my life, I lived in fear of going to Hell. Back then, Preachers mercilessly and relentlessly preached that message. “Hell-fire and brimstone” sermons were the order of the day. I heard them say that only a few fortunate people would make it to heaven. I was somewhat encouraged to hear that those few people would be from our denomination. The scary part was that only a few from our small church would make it, and the rest would burn in hell forever. Even scarier was the fact that we could not know whom those unfortunate folk would be.

As an eleven-year-old lad, I understood that to have a chance to make it through the pearly gates, I needed to follow the rules and regulations of my particular church. The grocery-list of rules to follow (as I interpreted the message) included water baptism, perfect attendance at all public church services, and be careful never to deviate from the prescribed format of public worship. In addition, each Christian was encouraged to do as many good works as possible. There was nothing wrong with the challenge to do good works. However, the belief that salvation was obtained through good works was indeed wrong. Moreover, I added to their grocery list of instructions. I went through a particular ritual each night as I lay in bed. I would say repeatedly “I love Jesus” and “I hate the devil” a prescribed number of times, (I have forgotten the exact number of times that I required of myself). Only then could I have a faint hope of going to Heaven. However, I did not have that “sure and steadfast hope” in my heart.

Lest I be misunderstood, allow me to say that good works are important. The world should see our good works and glorify the Father. Our new life from Jesus issues forth in good works. If our lives remain unchanged, and we habitually continue our evil works, our conversion to Christ Jesus is suspect. Good works that Christians do are evaluated at The Judgment Seat of Christ. In our personal audience with Jesus, he looks closely at what we did on earth, and proceeds to judge our works according to their quality. Moreover, the quality of the works we do determines the kind of rewards that He will give to us. It is not a judgment that determines whether we reside eternally in heaven or hell. That was determined when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

What an inspiring concept to internalize. During the early years of my ministry, I preached the scary, graceless, message of works. That is what I knew. I felt that I had not preached a good sermon until I had scathingly rebuked the people and left them as hopeless as I was. However, (thank God!), I was soon to learn about the grace of God. Soon, I would be under the tutelage of loving Christian men. They would speak of love, grace, and a right standing with God devoid of any good works that man could do.

These Christian men studied the Epistle to the Romans with me from Phillips New Testament. The simple wording of the version was so very powerful. I was overwhelmed to learn that my salvation was fully secured because of what Jesus did and not by anything that I could ever do. I learned that I had no good works to bring to God, to bargain for my salvation. I learned that the symbol of baptism, (though necessary for every believer), could not save my soul. Church attendance could not save me, nor could good works. Not only could I not save myself by good works, neither could I maintain my salvation by good works. I learned that I may comfortably rest in the promise of God of righteousness apart from law. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? There is no other way to heaven (according to the Bible) but through Him. You must understand that He died for you and that His sacrifice satisfied both the justice and the mercy of God. On the cross, He took upon Himself your sins. He suffered t he awful wrath of His Father that you might live eternally with Him and the redeemed of all ages.

Think on the words of this old song.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand…

Come visit us at 124 N. Carlisle Street “Grace Fellowship”. You will be welcomed by a small group of loving Christians.

Bible Prophecy

Posted on September 3rd, 2009 with 0 Comments

Too many Christians have little or no interest in prophecy. Some believe that the prophecies are impractical or troublesome. Others believe that they detract from the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our belief at Grace Fellowship that the Christian experience is best understood from the perspective of prophecy. Revelation 19:10 says, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Taught properly, the prophecies are powerful validations of the claims of Jesus Christ. One third of the Bible is prophecy. Since prophecy is a major part of the Scriptures, it serves as an indisputable powerful argument for the integrity and authority of the inspired Word of God. One can ill-afford to ignore such a large portion of the Bible.

The Old Testament, written over 2000 years ago, contains over 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah. All of the prophecies pertaining to His First Coming were fulfilled literally; a fact, which cannot be ignored! Why then should we not expect the remaining prophecies concerning his Second Coming to be fulfilled literally as well?

Scriptures which predict (actually more than mere prediction) the Rapture of the Church, the Great Tribulation, The Judgment Seat of Christ, The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with the army of heaven (The Church and the Holy Angels) to earth, to rule and reign on the Throne of His father David for a thousand years–will be literally fulfilled! The Church needs to understand and teach that a glorious future is in store for the child of God.

The next great event for the Church will be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. However, there are two parts to His Second Coming. First, the Lord Jesus will come for His Church (1 Thess. 4:13-18). This is known as the “Rapture” or the “catching away” of his bride. At this time, He does not set foot upon the earth. That wonderful event occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation when He and His bride return to the earth (Zech. 14:4). This time He will return for judgement (Rev. 19: 11).

Are you ready to meet Jesus?

The message of the Bible is that He really loves and cares for you. He died so that you might live with Him eternally. However, your intentions toward Him must be made clear in this life. Have you invited Him into your heart to live through you? Have you asked Him to be your Lord?

Perhaps you are not sure that He is whom He says that He is. Consider that scholars tell us that there are over 1000 prophecies in the Bible. More than one-half were fulfilled precisely and literally. Out of these 1000 prophecies, more than 300 of them refer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

If one considers that Jesus Christ precisely fulfilled the 109 prophecies of the OT that dealt with His First Coming, against the probability that he would do so– is truly an amazing fact.

To illustrate this: If we take 100 trillion silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas, they would be two feet deep. Now we mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole very thoroughly — all over the state. Now blindfold a man and let him travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick only one silver dollar. What chance would he have of picking the right one? The same chance that the prophets would have of writing just eight of these prophecies and having them all come true for any one man. Jesus fulfilled all 109 prophecies regarding His First Coming! There are more prophecies concerning His Second Coming yet to be fulfilled than there are prophecies regarding His First Coming. Knowing He precisely fulfilled every prophecy concerning His First Coming, gives us every assurance that He will precisely fulfill all prophecies concerning His Second Coming. He is the Lord and He is coming soon!

At Grace Fellowship we watch and wait for His soon return. We would truly love you to come and join us.