Category Archives: Personal Spiritual Growth

My article today on Desiring God ‘Scripture Memory Made Simple’

Today I had an article on Desiring God. The title is ‘Scripture Memory Made Simple’.

Here’s the link: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/scripture-memory-made-simple

 

Or you can read the article below:

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we do have a lot of downtime in each day that we could be using to feed our souls. Often, we spend our spare minutes during the day doing other things like watching TV, playing on our phones, or surfing the internet. Maybe some of us are not seeing the spiritual growth we want because we don’t see the free minutes here and there throughout our day as a gift from God, but rather as a time for entertainment or productivity.

If you think about it, the accumulation of spare moments in our days quickly adds up. Getting dressed, eating breakfast, waiting at the bus stop, walking to class, waiting for the start of a meeting — usually our minds are unemployed during these moments, or occupied by social media. But for those who are looking to “make the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16), there is a means of grace perfectly suited to these short pockets of time: Bible memorization.

Ten Minutes for Treasured Truth

Ten years ago, when I worked as a teacher in China, I decided to take advantage of my free time throughout the day by memorizing Bible verses. I’d write a verse or a passage on an index card and pull it out throughout the day whenever I wasn’t doing anything else. In just a few years’ time, I had memorized over a thousand verses from God’s word — whole passages and even chapters from the Bible were locked in memory and doing their work in my heart.

To this day, I would count those stacks of Bible verse index cards among my most valuable possessions. I take them with me and still use them every day.

I’ve found that whether one spends lots of time in Scripture memory, or just a little time, it is always an incredibly valuable thing to do. It’s easy to consider our short breaks in the day to be “our own time” to relax or surf the internet or watch TV. While these are by no means bad things, we should weigh the value of these activities against the great gift of time to learn God’s word. I can assure you, whether you can invest ten or fifteen minutes each day into Scripture memory, or longer (or shorter) than that, any effort we make is time well spent.

For while rest and recreation have some value, memorizing Scripture has value in many ways. For example, here are four practical benefits of Bible memory:

1. We meditate on God’s word.

When we have the Scriptures hidden in our hearts, if we are regularly reviewing and learning them, we make the truth of Scripture available to our minds all throughout the day. We can be sitting anywhere, or doing anything, and suddenly turn our minds to think about Scripture that I’ve memorized — we can meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2).

2. We fight sin and resist the enemy.

The Scripture tells us that we should hide the word in our heart that we might not sin against God (Psalms 119:11). Paul says we must take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). This sword of the Spirit is what we use to fight the battle against Satan and against sin. Bible memory means we’re always armed.

3. We get a deeper understanding of the Bible.

This is a huge benefit of Scripture memory. By memorizing many verses covering the whole Bible, we gain a much better understanding of the Bible — not only in small segments, but also as a whole. I’ve found that I can recall key things about all books of the Bible from the top of my head. The more of God’s word we take in, the more we can see its architecture and design when we go to read it.

4. We are equipped for everyday life.

It’s often incredibly handy to be able to have Scripture “within reach” without pulling out our phones or opening our Bibles. We could be doing many things, like encouraging someone in our church, praying alone or in a group, preparing for a sermon, sharing the gospel with an unbeliever, writing someone an email or a paper or a book. Even with the modern ease of looking up info on the internet or on our smartphones, it can never be more convenient than knowing by heart the exact verse that you want to use whenever you want to use it.

Not Effortless, But Priceless

I encourage the readers to put in the time necessary to memorize Scripture. None of that time spent will be spent in vain. It may sound intimidating — just like learning anything, it doesn’t happen naturally. But it does happen simply. And the time you spend will be of great benefit to you and your life.

If you’re not memorizing Scripture right now, or even if you’ve never memorized a verse in your life, I’d encourage you to try with a simple goal of one memory verse every week or every two weeks. Do your best, not simply to memorize as much as you can, but to retain what you’ve already learned. In almost five years, I haven’t learned any new verses, but I still have hours’ worth of material to memorize every day, simply by reviewing. In this way, Scripture memory can be a lifelong means of God’s grace that will benefit you your whole life.

Time of Personal Spiritual Growth

Originally in my October 22nd, 2007 Journal [while ministering in eastern China]

In the afternoon I talked with one of the [visiting on short-term mission trip] Americans, Billy. He’s only about 35. He said that before he went into the ministry he had a 3-month period where he & his friend had no job & would just read the Scriptures together each day. He said that 3 months of preparation was huge for the next 10+ years of his ministry. This was further confirmation that I should be seizing all spare time this semester/year to be in the Word in some way. I shouldn’t be looking to be busy. This is a season of learning & preparation for future ministry.

[my prayer updates for that day]

Students to pray for this week: Emily, Sanya, Abigail, Jordan

*** I haven’t seen clear answers to last week’s prayers & I don’t know why I should expect anything, because my prayer life has been struggling. My mind gets so distracted after such a short time. I fall asleep. Lord, show me how to pray. I could split these things up & pray for them throughout the day rather than all at once.

Today I had another article on Desiring God titled ‘Free at Last’

Today I had another article on Desiring God titled ‘Free at Last’.

Here’s the link:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/free-at-last

 

 

Or you can view the article below:

Free at Last: My Surprising Liberation from Porn

Like far too many young people today, my adolescent eyes found pornography too early and too often. Soon the allure of cheap and easy pleasure constantly haunted me.

My struggle intensified in middle and high school when my mom’s health faltered. I turned to the empty promises of pornography to try to fill me up and help me cope.

Even after I became a true follower of Christ in college, I continued to struggle with sexual sin. My porn and masturbation patterns fueled impure relationships with girls. I tried to make headway fighting these sins, but I seemed stuck.

I felt trapped. I felt helpless.

Slave to Sexual Sin

Romans 6:6–7 declares that believers have been set free from sin and are no longer slaves to its power. But even as a believer, I felt enslaved to the master of sexual sin. Even if I could fight those sins off temporarily, it seemed like only a matter of time before I would give in again. My inevitable failure was constantly looming over me.

Fighting began to seem futile because any so-called victory was short-lived and soon would be overcome by my own sinfulness.

I shared my struggle with close friends who also were struggling, and we tried to hold each other accountable. But this just didn’t help me overcome my sins. Nothing seemed to work.

I needed a miracle.

A Breakthrough I Didn’t Expect

Then, ten years ago now, God worked a miracle in my life. He purged me of those sins in one day and has changed my life significantly since then.

I was back in my hometown for the summer after my first full year living in China. Although I was growing in my faith and serving as a missionary, I still struggled with the same sexual sins. And I still felt a heavy weight on my soul from those sins.

I had a good high-school friend who had become a believer at the end of college through an older fraternity brother named Jay. That high school friend came over to my house and brought Jay. A few nights later, Jay invited me to a nearby guys’ prayer night.

I attended the prayer meeting with Jay and a few other guys. We were praying in the hallway together, and I was confessing vague struggles. Jay stood up and interrupted me mid-prayer. He asked me to share more specifically about my sins. He said I should pray them aloud to God and to the other guys. Then Jay quoted James 5:16: “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

And that’s what I did.

In that moment — with a knot in my throat, feeling exposed — I knelt on the ground and confessed aloud in great detail my past and present sexual sins both to God and the other guys there. And they prayed for God to completely cleanse me of those sins.

I had made similar confessions before without having any transformation. But for whatever reason, God chose to do his miracle for me on that day. At that very moment, God took away my struggle with those sexual sins. For a while, I was haunted that I eventually would stumble back into sexual sin, but it didn’t happen. God gave me victory and has kept me from pornography and masturbation for over ten years.

One Prayer Broke Through

As John Piper has said, “I cannot tell you why a prayer that has been prayed for ten years is answered on the one-thousandth request when God has met it for the first 999 with silence.”

God met my thousandth prayer (so to speak) and unleashed a power that broke a deeply ingrained pattern of sin in my life. As a result, I was no longer weighed down by a constant feeling of slavery to sexual sin. God freed me, and I was able to focus more of my energy on pursuing and loving him. It was a huge turning point in my life. God also used that event to prepare me for marriage three years later. I was free, and so was my wife — I did not carry the baggage of those sexual sins into my marriage.

As I think about that day ten years later, I am incredibly thankful to God for his mercy. I wonder why it was that day in particular that God cleansed me, and I wonder why he chose to cleanse me at all. Since then, I’ve prayed for brothers for the same cleansing, but it hasn’t happened to the same extent that it happened with me.

God’s sovereign timing, of course, is key, and James 5:16 give us another factor to ponder. The verse not only speaks about praying for one another so that we can be healed, but the second part says, “The prayer of a righteousperson has great power as it is working.” I am not saying that Jay was perfect, but the person praying is a factor to consider. I can say that when Jay prayed for my cleansing, he legitimately believed that God would answer his prayers. He wasn’t just saying the words for show. He genuinely believed that God was listening to his prayers and would answer them. Such faithful intercession for others is a great example for all of us.

What About Today?

Whatever the explanation is, God freed me from a heavy burden on that day. When I think about obvious experiences in my life that clearly prove to me God’s existence and the power of his Spirit, I think about my liberation. I fought for so long to try to cleanse myself. And my efforts were mostly futile. For years, my prayers seemed to be met with silence. But in one moment — after countless pleas — God chose to do the miracle.

My experience often reminds me of how I should honestly and humbly confess my sins before God and others. I also should believe that God may want to cleanse me in a moment of certain sins with which I struggle even now. And I must not be afraid to boldly and faithfully pray that he would heal others around me.

Perhaps today is the day to pray that one-thousandth prayer for yourself or someone you love.

My 1st Article on Desiring God

You can view my first Desiring God article published today: ‘How the Lord Restored Me from Intense Anxiety’

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-the-lord-restored-me-from-intense-anxiety

 

Read below:

When I arrived at Southern Seminary’s campus in August 2013, I’d already been living in China for eight years and was leading a small missions organization there that I’d helped start a couple years earlier. I’d taken some classes online at Southern, but to get the MDiv I knew I had to squeeze in as many classes as I could during our year living on-campus. So I studied day and night, 7 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week, stopping only to go to church and to class. I continued this pattern okay for about three months, then suddenly hit a serious wall, which was in the form of intense anxiety which lasted from late November to early February.

During that period, I hated being around people, dreaded going to church or class, or really doing anything at all. I’d feel great anxiety and fear in those situations. It was an incredibly dark and lonely time for me. Previously I’d imagined that our year living on the Southern campus would be a year of great encouragement and growth. I didn’t imagine at all that I’d be living in such a dark and lonely time while at seminary.

As I think about that period, I thank the Lord for pulling me out of that dark psychological state that I was in. At that time, I wondered if that was just going to be how I would be for the rest of my life, struggling with great anxiety. I had fears that we actually weren’t going to be able to return to China after all, because of this debilitating anxiety. But the Lord is faithful, and he restored my spirit. It wasn’t immediate, but over time the Lord really did pull me out.

Less Is More

There were a few things that really helped me during that time. I started to do a twenty-minute workout each morning, just two sets each of push-ups and sit-ups. Though very simple, doing this daily went a long ways for refreshing me. I’ve found that doing some kind of regular physical exercise is so important for persevering in ministry. When I’m regularly exercising, I just feel better physically and have more energy. I wonder how I could ever get away from exercising. But once I get away from it for a period, it’s so hard to get back to it.

On top of starting to exercise daily, the Lord convicted me — through the kind and blunt intervention of my wife — to take appropriate rests. I stopped studying on weekends and weeknights. I only studied from seven to five, Monday through Friday. I started to have family days each Saturday where my family and I would start going out to explore different places or parks in beautiful Louisville. We took a family trip together for spring break. When I was studying all the time and not taking any breaks, my schoolwork was all-consuming to me. It was all I thought about and it was a huge burden for me. But once I started taking breaks each day and each week, my schoolwork suddenly was no longer all-consuming like it had been before.

Making this simple adjustment helped the schoolwork to no longer be such a burden for me. Oddly enough, once I started taking appropriate breaks, I was able to take as many classes and still get the same grades as before, though I was studying much less. Taking breaks helped me study efficiently.

Since I enjoy making charts — I studied Engineering in college — I kept an Excel chart in which I would keep track each day if I had peace, hope, and joy in the Lord that day. If I did for the most part, I’d write “Yes” in my chart. If I did not, I’d write “No.” This practice helped me in having a very simple goal for each day, to strive from the beginning of the day to the end to fight for peace, hope, and joy in him for that day.

Cling to Jesus and Community

Another key part of the Lord pulling me out of the pits was that I had close accountability with a few guys at our church and I didn’t just have to keep my struggles stuffed inside. I had two brothers that I would meet with at 6:00 each Thursday morning and we’d have accountability time together. Being able to pour out my heart to them each week and have them pray for me was incredibly powerful.

In such a situation of dark depression or fierce anxiety, it is critical to daily be clinging to the Lord for his salvation. He is greater than our circumstances. When in psychological anguish, it can be natural to just think about our own problems. But we must pray for mercy from him to be able to keep our eyes focused on him, rather than ourselves. When we concentrate only on ourselves, we wallow in self-pity. Rather, we must keep our eyes on him and his glory.

Put to Death the Desires of the Flesh

As we were studying through Colossians 3:1-8 yesterday as a group, I was thinking particularly about Paul’s words ‘to put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature’ (Col. 3:5). In Romans 8:13, Paul says similarly we are to ‘put to death the misdeeds of the body.”

I was reminded of John Owen’s classic book Mortification of Sin which mostly focuses on this idea, which is to put to death the desires of the flesh. John Owen wrote that we are to kill the sinful nature before it kills us. Owen emphasized that we are to be daily fighting against sin and not taking it lightly.

Last year after I read Owen’s book, I started to every couple weeks to have a morning of extended prayer when I would write down particular sins I’d struggled with recently and specifically how I’d struggled with those sins. It’s easy to overlook our sins & think we’re better than we are, so I’d pray that the Lord would reveal to me the depths of my sins & to reveal sins that I hadn’t even thought about. Doing this regularly is a great way to be conscious about our sins & to not ignore them.

Jonathan Edwards had it on his list of life resolutions to each night spend some time thinking about the specific sins he’d committed during the day & having time to ask for forgiveness from the Lord for them.

Fasting

This morning as I was having a day of prayer & fasting, I came across a quote by Jonathan Edwards that was about David Brainerd:

“Among all the many days [Brainerd] spent in fasting & prayer, and that he gives account of in his diary, there is scarce an instance of one, but what was either attended or soon followed with apparent success and a remarkable blessing in special incomes and consolations of God’s Spirit. And very often before the day was ended.”

Since January, I’ve been having a monthly 24-hour day of prayer & fasting. I also have had a specific theme or focus for each of those days, something to pray & fast specifically for. I’ve kept track of what those topics have been each month. Like Brainerd’s quote above, it’s been amazing to see how the Lord has answered each of those prayers significantly over the following 2-3 months after I pray & fast specifically for that, whether it be for my wife & daughter, for my extended family, for ministry, or for peace, hope & joy in the Lord each day. It’s incredibly encouraging to see how the Lord answers these petitions to Him.

Hidden Idols

Recently I’ve been reading a book called Gospel Treason [by Brad Bigney] that digs deep into the heart about various hidden idols that we have that we cling to and that cause us to fall into sin.

Some can be obvious, like slave to alcohol or drugs, or being a slave to obvious outward sins. Often these idols that we have are more subtle though, like having an idol of ‘always having to get everyone’s approval’, or ‘getting respect at work’, or ‘getting a certain kind of attention from someone’, or ‘having a certain size of house or model of car’, or ‘having a certain kind of reputation within the church’.

Yesterday early morning I was convicted as I read Gospel Treason & my idol of OKC Thunder was exposed. I tried to find hope through looking at their score with the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals & was terribly disappointed when I saw the Thunder were creamed. When I read the score, my first thought was that the day was going to be ruined now because of the disappointing outcome. Thankfully, though, reading Gospel Treason the Lord revealed this idol to me. So I repented & the rest of the day the Lord gave me peace. It’s easy to put our hope in things like sports teams or political candidates, but the only thing we should put our hope in is Christ.

What is the Gospel?

I. Understanding God—Part 1: A Few Specific Attributes

A. There is no one like the one true God—Deut. 4:35; Ps. 86:8, 10; Isa. 40:18, 25–26; 44:6–7a; 46:5, 9.

B. He is triune (three distinct persons, of one substance, different in function)—Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; Luke 3:21–22; John 1:1, 14; 5:18; 10:30; Acts 5:3–4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Col. 2:9; 1 Thess. 1:2–5; 1 Peter 1:2.

C. He is the creator, and he is personal —Gen. 1:26; Ps. 95:6–7; 100:3; Isa. 44:24; John 16:14; 17:1, 4, 22–26; Acts 17:24–25; Col. 1:16–17 (“through him and for him.”)

D. He is almighty and sovereign—Deut. 32:39; Ps. 24:1–2; 47:7–8; 103:19; 135:5–6; Isa. 46:9–11; Rom. 1:20; 8:28–29.

E. He is eternal—Isa. 57:15; Col. 1:16–20; Jude 24–25.

F. He is righteous and holy—1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 5:4; Isa. 6:3; Hab. 1:13; 1 Peter 1:14–16; 1 John 1:5; Rev. 4:8.

G. He is just—Deut. 32:4; Ps. 9:7–8; 89:14; Acts 17:31; Gal. 3:10; 1 Peter 3:18.

II. Understanding Man as Originally Created before the Fall

A. Created in God’s image to worship God, delight in him, reflect his glory, live for his advantage, and proclaim his majesty—Deut. 10:12–13; Ps. 16:11; 73:25–26; Isa. 43:6–7; Col. 1:16–18.

B. Created to be loved, cared for, blessed by, taught by, satisfied by, and comforted by God, and to walk with him—Gen. 1:27–30; 2:15–17; 3:8; Ex. 6:7; Deut. 4:20; Ps. 100:3: 107:8–9; Isa. 30:18; 43:4; Ezek. 14:11; John 4:24; 14:22–23; Titus 2:14.

III. Understanding Sin—Breaking or Not Keeping God’s Law

A. Sin began with Satan in heaven—Gen. 3:1–15; Isa. 14:12; Luke 10:18; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.

B. Sin on earth began with Adam and has been passed to all mankind—Gen. 2:17–18; 3:1–7; Rom. 3:23; 5:12, 18.

C. We are responsible individually for choosing to sin—Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 53:6; Ezek. 18:2, 20; Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:10; Eph. 2:1–3.

D. Sin separates—Gen. 3:8–24; Isa. 53:6a; 59:2; Titus 3:3.

E. God’s wrath is upon all the unsaved—Ps. 5:4; Prov. 15:8–9; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18.

F. Death, judgment, and hell are the results of our sin—Ex. 34:6–7; Ps. 7:11; Matt. 10:28; 13:38–42, 49–50; 25:31–46; Acts 17:30; Rom. 6:23; Gal. 3:10; 1 Thess. 1:10; Heb. 9:27; 10:26–27; Rev. 20:11–15.

G. Mankind has been totally depraved since the fall of Adam—Jer. 17:9–10; Rom. 3:10–18; Eph. 2:1–3; 4:17–19; Titus 3:3.

IV. Understanding Our Hopelessness apart from God’s Grace

A. Not by nature can we be righteous—Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 53:6; 64:6; John 1:13; Rom. 3:10–18.

B. Not by works—Eph. 2:8–9; Phil. 3:1–10; Titus 3:4–7; James 2:10.

C. Not by heritage or lineage—John 1:13; Phil. 3:4–7.

D. Not by our own will—John 1:12–13; 6:44, 65; Phil. 3:9.

E. Our debt is insurmountable—Ps. 130:3; Matt. 18:21–35; Luke 7:40–50.

F. No hope—Rom. 2:2–3; Gal. 3:10, 22–24; Eph. 2:12; Phil. 3:1–10; Col. 3:5–6; 1 Thess. 4:13.

V. Understanding God—Part 2: More Specific Attributes[1]

A. He is merciful and compassionate—Ex. 33:19; Ps. 36:5; 145:8–9; Isa. 63:9; Lam. 3:31–33; John 1:14; 2 Cor. 1:3; 1 John 4:8.

B. He is all-wise—Isa. 55:8; Rom. 11:33–34.

C. He is gracious in two ways:

1. His common goodness—Matt. 5:43–48; Rom. 2:4.

2. His salvific (saving) grace for the elect—John 6:37, 44, 65; Rom. 9:15–16; Eph. 1:3–6; 2:4–7; 1 Thess. 1:4.

D. He is angry with the wicked, yet loving at the same time—Ps. 5:4; Prov. 15:8–9; John 3:16; 1 John 3:16; 4:8–10; Mark 10:17–22.

VI. Understanding the Incarnation

A. The God-man—John 1:1, 14; Mark 10:45; Phil. 2:5–11.

B. Jesus’ life: 100 percent righteous—2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15.

C. Jesus’ death: paid in full for our sin; removed God’s wrath; imputed Christ’s righteousness for believers—Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13–14; 1 Peter 3:18.

D. God the Father was satisfied with Christ’s death—Isa. 53:10–11.

E. Jesus’ resurrection: power over death and hope to come—1 Cor. 15:3–4; 1 Peter 1:3–5.

F. God offers reconciliation by grace through faith in Christ—Acts 17:30–31; Rom. 6:23; 10:13; 2 Cor. 5:18–19; Eph. 2:13.

G. God declares believers to be justified through Christ—Rom. 3:24–26.

H. God offers forgiveness of sins and heaven to believers only through Jesus—John 14:1–6; Acts 4:12; Col. 2:13.

I. God seeks worshipers and a people for himself through Jesus—Isa. 45:22; John 4:23; Eph. 1:4.

VII. Understanding Saving Faith (“believing”)—John 1:12; 3:16

A. The knowledge (content) of the gospel, with Jesus as the object of faith—John 17:3; Heb. 6:4; 10:26; James 2:19.

B. The agreement (intellectual assent) with the gospel facts—Matt. 13:20; John 6:44, 65; Acts 26; Heb. 6:4; James 2:19.

C. A personal transfer of reliance from oneself to Jesus alone for justification—Isa. 55:6–7; Matt. 13:23; Luke 14:25–33; John 14:21; Acts 3:19; 11:18; 2 Cor. 5:15; Phil. 3:9; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Tim. 2:25–26). This involves godly sorrow and repentance for all sin, an about-face and an all-out pursuit to love, submit to, fully trust in, and follow after the Lord Jesus Christ in obedience to his revealed will, by the Spirit’s enablement (grace, Acts 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25). This saving faith will always result in good works (Eph. 2:10; James 2:26). Faith and repentance are the only evidences that a man has a new heart: turning from sin to Christ reveals a new heart; failure to turn from sin and to Christ reveals an old heart.

VIII. Coming to Christ

A. Not in the wrong way—Matt. 7:21; 19:16–22.

1. Doing God a favor that is deserving of his grace—“I’m so special.”

2. Only for fire insurance (to avoid hell at death)—“I don’t want to suffer forever.”

3. Adding a good and helpful thing to my life—“Why not, it can’t hurt?”

4. So I can go to heaven with my family—“I want to see and be with them.”

5. Wanting to become a better person—“I’m already good and this can make me better.”

6. So Jesus can give me what I want, but I’m still living for my advantage.

7. Wanting to be saved “in my sin” and not “from my sin.”

B. But in the right way

1. With the right attitude

a. Humbled with a broken and contrite heart over my sin before a holy God—Matt. 5:3–5; Luke 15:18–19; 18:13–14.

b. Overwhelmed by God’s undeserved goodness—Rom. 11:33–36.

2. With the right intentions—Jesus Christ as Lord.

a. With a true desire and determination to turn from my sin and from living for myself—2 Cor. 5:15; 7:9–11; 1 Thess. 1:9.

b. With a true desire and determination to depend on Christ’s righteousness and to live for him—2 Cor. 5:15; 1 Thess. 1:9.

c. To whose advantage (“for” whom) am I living? 2 Cor. 5:15.

i. World—Rom. 12:1–2; 2 Cor. 10:5; 1 John 2:15–17.

ii. Sex—1 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:3–8; 1 Tim. 5:1–2.

iii. Work—Col. 3:23–25; 2 Thess. 3:6–9.

iv. Future—Matt. 6:33; James 4:15.

v. Church—1 Cor. 12:12, 25; Eph. 4:11–13; Heb. 10:24–25.

vi. Bible—John 14:21; 1 John 5:2–3.

vii. Appearance—1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Peter 3:3–4.

viii. Others—Rom. 12:9–13; 2 Cor. 5:18–20; Gal. 5:13.

IX. Understanding Our Reconciliation with God—2 Cor. 5

A. He has given us a new heart—Ezek. 11:19–20; 36:25–27; 2 Cor. 5:17.

B. God reconciled us (his elect) to himself —2 Cor. 5:17–18; Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18.

C. He is our God, and we are his people—Rom. 9:23–26; 1 Peter 2:24–25; Rev. 21:3.

D. He is our shepherd, high priest, comforter, and guide—Ps. 23; John 10:27–28; 2 Cor. 1:3–4; Heb. 4:14–16.

E. We are to be his ambassadors to others—Matt. 28:19–20; 2 Cor. 5:18, 20.

F. He will take us home (by death or by his return) to live with him, whom we eagerly await, and worship him forever—John 14:1–3; Col. 3:1–4; 1 Thess. 1:9–10; Rev. 22:1–3.

X. Warning to Those Who Reject the Gospel

A. Because of unbelief—John 3:36; 5:24; 1 John 2:19.

B. Because of abandoning the only hope—John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Heb. 6:4–8; 10:26–31.

C. Their way is treacherous—Prov. 13:15; Heb. 3:12–19.

D. They will never experience what a life of worshiping God is like—Matt. 19:16–22; John 10:10.

E. They will be separated from God and his grace forever—Rev. 20:12–15; 21:8.

You may download the PowerPoint presentation of this appendix on www.oneeightycounseling.com

Taken from Dr. Stuart Scott

Mortification of Sin

All day today I was in prayer & fasting. Initially I’d planned to pray over things we need to do to return to China, but the Lord instead put it heavy on my heart the last week or so the idea of ‘Mortification of Sin’, meaning that ‘we must be vigilant in killing our sin, or our sin will kill us.’ This is what the Lord put on my heart to fast and pray over today. It seems like recently the Lord has shown me my various sins more clearly than I can ever remember before. I must pray that the Lord would continue to make my sins crystal clear to me, and that His mercy may be on me to prayerfully and methodically fight against those sins. In periods of my life when I haven’t clearly been able to see my sins, it’s not because I haven’t been sinning, but rather that my eyes have been blinded [by the Enemy or because of my hardened heart] from seeing my many sins.

***NOTE*** the terminology ‘mortification of sin’ comes from the 17th century Puritan pastor John Owen & his book titled Mortification of Sin, which I’d never read before but had heard of and knew the basic idea of it, that ‘we must be vigilant in killing our sin, or our sin will kill us’ [based on Romans 8:13] *** END NOTE ***