Mentoring the New Believer - Lesson 7

Listening to God

In this lesson, you will learn the importance of listening to God and the role the Holy Spirit plays in guiding believers. You will discover various ways to listen to God, such as through Scripture, prayer, circumstances, and godly counsel. Additionally, you will be made aware of common obstacles that hinder your ability to listen to God, including busyness, distractions, unresolved sin, and lack of expectation. Finally, practical steps to improve your listening skills will be discussed, such as setting aside time for God, cultivating an attitude of obedience, developing a lifestyle of prayer, and seeking godly counsel.

Bill Mounce
Mentoring the New Believer
Lesson 7
Watching Now
Listening to God

I. Introduction to Listening to God

A. The Importance of Listening

B. The Role of the Holy Spirit

II. Ways to Listen to God

A. Through Scripture

B. Through Prayer

C. Through Circumstances

D. Through Godly Counsel

III. Obstacles to Listening to God

A. Busyness and Distractions

B. Unresolved Sin

C. Lack of Expectation

IV. Practical Steps to Improve Listening to God

A. Set Aside Time for God

B. Cultivate an Attitude of Obedience

C. Develop a Lifestyle of Prayer

D. Seek Godly Counsel

  • In this lesson, you'll discover the origin of the New Believers Class, created out of frustration with the lack of resources for new Christians, and learn how the class is structured around the "life as a journey" metaphor, emphasizing the importance of following Jesus on this journey.
  • By studying this lesson, you gain insights into the process of Christian conversion, its influencing factors, and the importance of mentorship for new believers' spiritual growth.
  • By studying this lesson, you grasp the concept of salvation in Christian mentoring, explore its elements (justification, sanctification, and glorification), and learn practical applications for guiding new believers.
  • This lesson teaches you about the key elements of salvation and the Holy Spirit's role, equipping you to effectively mentor new believers in their faith journey.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the importance of baptism, its various forms, and its relationship to salvation and faith in the Christian life.
  • In this lesson, you'll learn the significance of confession in spiritual growth, how to practice personal and corporate confession, and its impact on the mentor-mentee relationship.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the vital role of listening to God, the Holy Spirit's guidance, and various ways to listen, while overcoming common obstacles and implementing practical steps to improve your listening skills.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the importance of prayer and worship in a new believer's life and discover how to mentor them effectively in these spiritual disciplines.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the incarnation and deity of Jesus, supported by biblical evidence, and learn to embrace His dual nature as Savior and Lord in your personal faith journey.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about the Holy Spirit's role, work, gifts, and how to cultivate a Spirit-filled life for spiritual growth and maturity.
As a new believer begins their walk with God, a mentor can help them understand what a relationship with God is like and what they can expect along the path. By listening to the comments of the new believer as they interact with the New Believer's curriculum, a mentor can help correct some misconceptions and guide the new believer to get started in the right direction. The New Believer's class is entitled, Life is a Journey. You can find this class in the Foundations section. Click on Class Resources heading on the class page to see the links for the resources. This class will help prepare you for the types of questions the new believer may ask, and give you answers and resources to continue the dialogue with them. This is the first time Bill has taught this class, and he plans to update it. We are missing the last several lectures.

Dr. Bill Mounce
Mentoring the New Believer
Listening to God
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] The following lecture is provided by biblical training. The speaker is Dr. Bill Mounts. More information is available at WW w dot biblical training dot org. Okay well so much for going faster through the material. Well that's okay. This is what we're going to do. We're going to do this real briefly what the rest of the talk does. It just encourages people to confess or sin. It's not that hard to do. You're not telling God anything, doesn't already know. There is a defining moment to confess your sin. And the talk goes to Psalm 51 and kind of shows how David confesses. Encourage them to do the same and then receive his forgiveness. Know that you are fully forgiven. Yes, sir. You mentioned the devil and the whole thing. The whole thing. We have lead. Our church has been talking to my wife and she just became a believer. So we think and she has this idea that somehow Satan it's a weird idea or came from the Saints controlling her and making her think things and do certain things well. And so you mentioned Satan with did you distinguish since he's omnipresent in these things that were like demons, how would you. I don't know a whole lot about spiritual warfare other than what I've experienced. And so I'm not I know that there's a difference between possession and oppression. I don't think that a believer can be possessed, but a believer certainly can be oppressed. But that's always the distinction that I've heard. I don't know. I'm sure Gary talks about it in the class, but I don't know what it is. Satan can't make her do anything if she's a believer. So have you gotten a lot of pushback for somewhat endorsing Neal Anderson? Well, I don't know if he I don't know if he endorses Neil Anderson.

[00:01:53] I mean, other than to acknowledge there is such a thing as spiritual warfare, we've not ever had any emails or anything like that. But spiritual warfare is is a and we all know it's a very real thing. But I don't know specifically about that. Gary is so good at what he does, and it's so biblical that it would be. I know there's controversies in that whole arena. Well, we've not received any hate mail for it at all. A couple of topics that I wanted to open up for discussion on. And the next time I teach this class, this whole discussion of Gary spiritual warfare, and this is going to be my first point. So I got I got out of order. One of the things I wanted to ask you about was the whole issue of defining sin. The talk defines sin as missing the mark. The only other way that I know to help a new believer understand what sin is, is to define it relationally. There's rules to any relationship, right? Since Christianity is just a relationship between us and God. The same kind of thing that holds true in my relationship with my kids. And it's true. My relationship with my wife, at one level is going to hold true with my relationship with God. And just as certain kinds of behavior can damage my marriage or damage my relationship with my kids. So also, when I do certain things that will damage my relationship with God. More and more, I like using relationships in terms of defining and trying to move from human examples that we all understand to examples with God. But, you know, in my relationship with Robyn, one of the rules is faithfulness. I violate that. The relationships damage.

[00:03:46] Being courteous, being respectful, being been building her up. We all know these rules, that there are rules to relationships, human relationships. So in makes sense that to define sin as a violating of the relationship between us and God. Do you have any other ways in which you have found that it's helpful to define sin again to someone who doesn't have any background in church, won't know what the word means? I always try to distinguish like set of commission instead of audition, and then just talking through that process, meaning some sense of things you do and others sins or things you don't do that we should do and yet we don't do and God calls us to. And that goes, you know, affects the relationship. I cross a lot my notes, but I put it back in since you sort of put it in, you know, not only from an accidental sense, because if it's an accident, I'm not sure it's a sin, but intentional sins and doing things that end up hurting people that were accidental would be another kind of distinction that might help many other ways that you have found to define what sin is. Victor. Just simply in a more illustrative, I would say that it's like the cancer and it's eating you up and it grows. If you don't deal with it, you need to get rid of it as soon as you see otherwise. But something something that damages your ground, when then go go back to something that you grew up on. Yeah, that's what I was thinking. But where a person down from. Mhm. You know, to get rid of it. But they had it just growing and it just grows and grows like, like you said in cancer.

[00:05:33] Yeah. And so I mean this demonstration I saw the lack of confession means that that sin is going to slowly and surely take over their entire life and destroy it. There's very few things sadder, I think, than a Christian who's hanging on this, who just refuses to admit it. Everyone knows it. Everybody can see it. I don't have a temper, you know, candy stuff and it's going. Just let it go, for goodness sakes. A lot of think that person really realizes it gets them. They might not realize they probably realize it up here. But see, this is this is the process that as it gets worse and it gets harder and harder to see because we justify ourselves. Right. I mean, that's that's how we keep sinning. We just know that we deserve whatever we need it or that person hurt me. Or it does get harder and harder and harder to deal with these sins. Do they ever get to the point that a person doesn't see it? I don't know what I'm about to say in the way of saying that they may think too badly. That's scary, though. I mean, Roman six has stated to the church is that talking to non-Christians is talking to people who are part of the communities that you said you die. Yeah. The cancer is helpful in terms of understanding. I think the effects of same, but I'm not sure how many of these to understand. Yeah. In our culture it seems like, you know, 20 years ago you could convince somebody that things are pretty easily now. Nothing's sin like that. So that's why there is a discussion in the lecture on relativism, you know, ted.com. We've seen that. It's a great website. It's an organization that's been around for 20 years to help people share ideas and their video.

[00:07:31] I mean, they're all up there. Ideas worth sharing is the tagline for the site. And I was watching one last night where it was tied with some psychological behavior and the guy, the speaker was in the Netherlands. He said, you know, I want to get about talking about values, but really, I can't really talk about values because, you know, what is important to me or right to me is not necessarily important or right to you. And it goes on as this two or three minute discussion on complete total relativity. So I turned it off and went to another one. Yeah, that's the world that we live in. That's why it's so important to say who determines the center of the eye and in Christianity is God and the center is his character. And he made us and redeemed us. He holds us, and therefore he has a right to determine where the center of the bull's eye as a soul comes along. He says, Well, that's maybe good for you, but it's not good for me. It's like, that's really. No, You've denied yourself taking up the cross and follow Christ. You have to follow what he says. So that's why that whole discussion of the center of the bull's eye is so important, because we do live in an unbelievably relativistic society. In the hotel where I stay, I notice under the desk they would say, We want to serve you or something and tell us which book of faith you would like. And then it lists like eight different Omigod, the God, I can't say God. They have that one Koran, They got a Quran. They have a new American standard. I didn't see a King James. Not that is different from the new American.

[00:08:59] And Mary Ellen. No, it's the Murano. Yeah. The Book of Mormon, I'm sure, was one of them. Yeah, but it's. Yeah, that's just the world we live in, this world our kids grow up in. So when we tell them, Hey, that's right or that's wrong, you know, they go, What planet did you come off? There's no such thing. What's so powerful tool is that when a lot of people are doing that thing, it makes it seem right. In particular, if they're in the church, nobody does anything wrong in the church. The church is perfect. They don't have to be around the church. But if you step on and leave people in leadership or no one in leadership would ever do something wrong anyway. Yeah, no, it's hard. I mean, that's the interesting thing about, you know, the one hand you say confessions, the easiest thing in the world and the other thing is the hardest thing in the world. Because it's so easy. It's easy, and it's hard because when I finally say my anger is wrong, that means that I understand there's something that is deficient in my character that has to be worked on. I was thinking back on your question, Jesse. I think there probably is a point at which a person in the church has sinned for so long that they simply can't see it any longer. So of course, then what you have to do when someone is living in constant, obvious sin, you have to wonder if they're really a believer. If you're right now, it's not my job to determine that. But what I used to preach was that when someone is living in sin, I'm not going to pass judgment. That's God's job. He says, Don't do it.

[00:10:39] But I am not going to treat them as a as a Christian. I'm going to assume that they're a nonbeliever and I'm going to preach salvation messages to them. And I just didn't get to do that. So, I mean, I'm thinking of people in my past that are so consumed with their sin. I don't know at this point whether they know it or not, because we all we all get blind spots, right? We've got to be careful of casting stones because there I'm sure there's things in all of our lives where some point in time God's going to sign China's Holy Spirit on it and we're going to go, Oh, good grief, I did that. Oh, I am envious. I didn't know. So, I mean, there's blind spots too. So for me, my ministry is about. Narcotics Anonymous. And we have a 12 step program, which is the God given program, where in step five, we have to be honest to ourselves, confess to ourselves, to God. And nothing we really, in my point, says to balance out the truth. If you don't have honesty, you fail the program, period. Nobody can continue to live a lie. You know, I'm thinking of someone I know that is not an alcoholic, but I may want to talk to you afterwards, and I don't because I don't know how to get through to him. And he clearly has an alcohol problem. And when you ask him about it, he says, no. I said, Well, with every major decision that you've made, that's bad. There was alcohol involved on an alcohol problem. They'll never get past step five. It could be, Well, you're not going to get one. Okay. Well, that's right, you did. But he could be he could have a problem once a year in alcohol.

[00:12:24] Reasonable? Yeah, once a year. Okay. I had a definition I used with children all year, you know, because I was a culinary school teacher the first year. It said in any way that we heard that our sales are obvious. And then I would say our actions, our attitudes, I would try to use alliteration, especially with dealing with children. Mm hmm. And we only talk about hurt. And you know what? What are some of the ways that we we have felt hurt our sales? Well, the way that we heard our parents in the kind of would be in the same way as we have hurt down. Oh, okay. Any way we have hurt got ourselves and others seeing is any ways that we have hurt ourselves or other. Okay. Okay. And then I use I would try to use a word by our action of that. That's what I was looking for. Actions are attitudes. I can't think of the other any behaviors I know that speak to their actions and are either. My actions are attitudes and actions, and it's one that I would try to use. A couple of things. I don't. I can't. Okay. So here's the cool thing about teaching. I'm going to put that in my book and I'll get all the credit for it. Oh, he's so wise. No, I won't. I don't. I always give credit. Okay. Yeah, that's very good. How we avert because I think instinctively because we get hurt. We know when we've hurt other people. We know that there were something was wrong in that. A kid doesn't have to understand something about that. Honesty is part of the character in God. All the they have to know is that when someone's been dishonest to them, it hurt them.

[00:14:04] Yeah, I like to think you would also say locking yourself is some of the spirit. Mm hmm. So if you're saying that your whole world before you just turn away. Wait a minute. Just know somewhere. All right? Okay. So different ways to define sin, an important thing to be able to do. I do have one discussion. I need to do this. The only is how I'm going to do it. But I just want to disagree with Wayne on something. And again, the only reason I'm doing this is this topic won't come up with new believers. But if your mentors are using him, this is going to raise a few eyebrows and it has to do with the doctrine of inherited sin. Is page 494. I'm just going to mention this. I'm going to leave it up to your systematics prophet to spend more time on it. There's a couple of different doctrines. Once total depravity. Total depravity is not the doctrine that you are as bad as it as everything can be, right? The doctrine of total depravity is that every aspect of your life has been affected by sin. So your conscience, your speech, your and I mean every the total doesn't mean there's nothing redeeming in you at all. It just means every aspect of who you are has been affected by that. That is a biblical doctrine. The other one, the one that's related is generally called the doctrine of original sin. And Wayne wants to use a different word. He talks about original guilt. He talks about inherited corruption, original pollution. He jumps around with names. The doctrine of the original sin is that Adam and Eve were not created with the propensity towards sin, that when they looked at moral choices, there was nothing dragging them down, influencing them to do the bad.

[00:16:03] But when they chose to sin, they affected what it was to be a human being. And so that human beings now all have a propensity to sin. That's the doctrine of original sin, right? This is not a level playing field for us because of what Adam and Eve did. We inherited this tendency towards sin, which in every one of our cases takes hold and we sin. So far, so good. No problems. Wayne doesn't actually use the word, but my understanding is that he is a federalist and the doctrine is called I learned it is federalism. He has different things. Or in the doctrine of federalism that Wayne is going to be talking about. He's going to say, not only were you born with a tendency to sin, but you were born guilty of sin. And I don't think he's right now because it looks into the finances of anyone. He relies heavily on Davis stating on sending my mother conceived me, and I just think it's poetic literature. David was going out of his way to truly confess that it was that he had done wrong. It's just I just don't agree with this federalist hold that we were all present in Adam and Eve, and therefore their sin is our sin. And so it's not just inherited. We were there. We built it is built on a view of humanity that sees this as a whole and not as a bunch of individuals. And so we were present in Adam and Eve. We sinned when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree, and therefore we were guilty in 8000, eight B.C. or wherever it was. And so when you're born, you are actually born not with a tendency to say, but you were born with sin.

[00:18:07] And I just I don't think he's right. But he goes and there's quite a bit of discussion on that in here. So it just I wanted you to be aware that that that is going to be one of the things you know, the Romans five passes for by one man's disobedience. Many were made sinners. That's Adam. So by one man's obedience, many will be made righteous, which is Adam, the Adam in Christ comparison. And that's what the discussions about the just want you to be aware that it's it's in there and it goes on for about four pages. So if you're meant to start using this, you need to be aware of that. The other thing that was really helpful in here, by the way, is the whole doctrine of the unpardonable sin on page 506. He's got a really good discussion of the and pardonable sin a slump in my experience. But I've been told that there are. It's pretty common for a new believer to have heard somewhere that there is a sin that is not forgiven and they and they're afraid that they've committed it. Have you ever come across this? All right. He goes through and I'd always thought that their part of the sin was dying, not having received Jesus. And Wayne convinced me that's not the right definition because the Pharisees had already committed the unpardonable sin. Right. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So it's a sin that is committed in life, not in death. He says the importance of sin is when the person has a clear knowledge of who Christ is, that they've made a willful and an intentional, purposeful, informed rejection of that, and they are willing to slander, solely attribute the work of the spirit to say, you know, with the Pharisees, they knew Jesus.

[00:20:04] They had seen as miracles. They had heard this message. They willfully rejected Jesus and said that his power was because it was from Beelzebub and not from God. And it was within that context that Jesus says, you know, there's all sin would be forgiven except the sin against the spirit. That's the unpardonable sin. Apparently what happens is that some people have put themselves beyond the reach of God's ordinary means of bringing people to repentance. So evidently there is a point in time where people and this is why the Hebrews six passage is so important to, you know, people that have had have had a community experience of the church who who have heard the things of God, who have seen the work of the Spirit, and then say they actively, willfully, intentionally, purposely reject the message. And even go so far as to say this is satanic, it's not God. Evidently what happens is God says, Fine, I'm done with you. No more Holy Spirit. It's an unpardonable sin. And so there's no more drawing of that person to God. Now, the two qualifications, of course, and I don't remember when making the first one, so we have no idea who has it, who has not done this. And we all have read stories of great, quote, sinners that have turned to God. And so while the person may have committed no pardonable sin and the spirit is done working in their life, we have no idea who that is. And so it's not our place to simply say. I'm done preaching to you. You're never going to hear it. You don't know that. Let's turn this over to our next reminder. Now, the Romans one passage is not about believers. It's about unbelievers. And these are people that that knew these things about God.

[00:21:59] Mean, it's a great passage to point out. ROMANS One about people who knew things about God that rejected him. And so God turns them over to and then there's a whole list of sins he turns them over to. But it's this it's the same kind of thing where it's Paul saying, I think what gave them over to the sin means is that the spirit says, I'm done working with you. But of course, we don't know who that is or when that would happen. They are when it happened. So that's the second thing. And the more important thing in evangelism is that if someone's afraid, they've committed, the implantable said they have it right. The very fact that they think they might have done it shows a level of spiritual sensitivity that no one that the spirit had left could possibly do. So the very fact that they're worried about it is a great sign. It means you have you haven't done it. Victor. So do you think the Pharisees will never think have this thoughts those that apparently I mean, these are not things they fully understand, but apparently, at least the Pharisees that were standing there saying Jesus was demonic. Had gone over the line. All the Pharisees, you know, the giddiness or whatnot, hadn't gone over the line. There's no way for us to know who's committed the cardinal sin. But what we can say to a new believers, that is, you think you've done it, you definitely haven't. What about the Catholic belief in suicide is. Yeah, there's he goes under discussion of venial a mortal sins. It's a good discussion. Basically, there is no sin that can separate us from the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Except for continued unbelief to death.

[00:23:47] Right. And apparently the implantable sip. So suicide is not a mortal sin. The Bible doesn't make that kind of distinction. Yeah, but if I kill myself, I can't ask for forgiveness. Are you going to go to heaven, Jesse, with any unforgiven sense? Or do you ask for forgiveness so fast when you said that there's no way that you're going to die without a confession? We're all going to die was uncontested. But that unconfirmed sin affects the relationship. It doesn't affect your salvation. You're standing before God. I came across this when I first started teaching. This is to 20 years ago, and I had had no experience with the Wesleyan traditions except I go to a Free Methodist church and I met a guy named Jeff Gilmer. We became good friends as my happened knows me, and he came in and I still don't know what the point was, but he I mean, he was I've never seen anyone as scared in my life. And he was terrified. He just started confessing sins to me. I'm going, Oh, I don't even know you what is going on here. But he was just I mean, he was out of control in fear. Well, he had been raised in the old Nazarene tradition, and he had connection with the old Nazarene. Old Nazarene. And I practiced with quite a few Nazarene. So they were all taught that if they sinned. The loss or salvation. And if you send and didn't confess and then died, you went to hell. Hmm. This is what was propelling Jeff. I said, Jeff, have you ever heard of a justification, as you know? What is it? And, you know, I went through justification. I mean, all the things we talk about in the talk one in this book.

[00:25:41] And he had never heard it. He had never heard about the work of the spirit in his life, of preserving of of keeping him safe, of being the down payment of the inheritance. Never heard about reconciliation and adoption. Nothing. How did you grow up a church and not know these things? But he annoyed all the all he was told was that if he sinned and died and confessed, he went to hell. It is a part of the historical traditions in some of the Wesleyan denominations. So all that to say to your question, I'm sure I will never confess, since when I die, there'll be things that either I haven't got around to confessing or I'm not aware of, or something that doesn't affect my eternal destiny. Those things just affect my relationship. I mean, my answer anyway, suicide's not a good thing, but it's not the unforgivable sin. But you won't argue the point. You'll find it's all. It's just fine. Yeah. It's your last mistake you're going to make. Can you go back to what he was asking? And I'm sorry. I was leaving. Come on. I said to go like someone's got to pick up on. This is the last mistake you're going to make. What is that? Yeah, well, he just started laughing. Well, I should. I should tell you I'm not. I'm not being too flippin on this. There was a suicide in my extended family, and we were with the children of the person who killed himself. And my grandma not thinking was talking in the car after church about suicide was a mortal sin. And anyone committed suicide. You know it's going to go to hell. Man's son was sitting right there and we took grandma up. You know, Grandma was up front talking away.

[00:27:33] And finally we got home. She realized what she had said, and she felt just absolutely horrible. We took the son aside and talked to him, and he understood that Grandma was wrong. Suicide is a horrible thing, its ultimate rejection and all that kind of stuff. It's a heart that, as you all probably know, we're living in confessed and can never be like sin committing suicide on this scarlet one. You know, the thing is, I mean, you know, you still do it every day. Every day. Every day. Well, speak for yourself, that's all. I'm a professor through seminary. You know, I think I said that it's is this progression business, isn't it, that, you know, can we get reconciled and justified? We enter into a relationship with God through Christ, through faith. So the relationships establish, but the quality of that relationship is based on certain things. Forgiveness of you do not forgive those who sinned against. You knew they were your father, never forgave your sins. And that doesn't mean you're going to lose his salvation. It means that that relationship is being damaged. And so as people continue to live in sin, it's like any relationship as you continue to be unfaithful to your spouse or continue to treat your spouse with anger or whatever, be the case at some point out here. You start kind of wondering, was I ever justified? If sin is so much a part of my life? Do I have any assurance that I'm really a child of God? I think that's where this process goes. That's why I said earlier, when there's people in your church that are that are living in sin and refuse to do anything about it, you're not the judge. But you also can't stand up there and give them the assurance that they're going to go to heaven no matter how they live their lives.

[00:29:23] In my view, now that we've mentioned I'm sorry, the mention might end up being in an outhouse. And I. I don't believe in a reward, so. But I'm not going to go there. So you see that person continually and see if he's most likely not know. Well, I mean, that's the message in first John, isn't it? Yeah, that one who was born a God doesn't continually put in degrees of sin here because like, people can live in sin of procrastination all their life. And that's not a central idea in my mind. And that can. Ruining their relationship like mine and you with that. And then what? Do you say that wrong? They never been one again because they've in the 20 years I know the person is still holding everything off. The answer is we know this. We're not the judge. That's not a judgment we make. But that's hard for a pastor, I think, because, you know, you're supposed to test spirits. You know, I would. So somebody wants to be a deacon or elder, your church. And in one area of the life to living in sin, you have to make a judgment. That's part of the demands of leadership. It's you were saying that indicates that. Well, you know something, Romans six. Should we continue that faith is thinking about? You know, absolutely not. We are not comfortable with ongoing sin in our lives. First, John three says the one who is born to God doesn't continue in sin. At some level. There needs to be a recognition that if someone is in fact living in sin. It is not becoming more like Christ is not confessing and dealing with issues, but instead is just getting worse and worse or never changing at all.

[00:31:05] I think theologically, the decision that you make is that they can have no assurance of their salvation. Who you think is someone who is is is lived in anger for 40 years. I don't know whether they're believe or not. It's not my call. But I do know that I could preach a sermon of assurance with them in the audience and make it very clear without talking directly to them, that there's no way in the world that they can know for sure that they're going to heaven, because if sin has so consumed their lives. Then they've lost one of the most important tests of your research, Right. The three full tests of assurance of faith. And first, John is in the character of God. It is in the growth and sanctification and it is in the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. Right. And what's hard is that each one of those you can be deceived. There will be people to judgment scene who said, I didn't do all these things. And Jesus said, depart from the you workers of iniquity and listen to that little discussion on the record the other day and how I said it last time. I'll just be biblical for no one depart from me so you can think you became a Christian, but you could deceive yourself. The character of God cannot be relevant. His, you know, this child. And, you know, Mormons talk about what's their what's their phrase? The the burning of the heart, the burning of those warnings that warming, the warming, warming in the movies. And look, they are this deep inner conviction that they are. Right. That's the thing about assurance. Each one of them individually, there are copycats there. You can be wrong, but it is in all three of those together that there's assurance.

[00:32:50] So that's why I'm saying me. Paul, I continue to pummel my body. The seven preach the Gospel. I'd be denied the reward. And I think the reward is salvation. So even Paul understood that he had to push through the end. And so if you don't push through to the end and if you let sin consume you, then I think what we do as preachers is that we say there's you can't have an assurance. And on our standpoint, we can't assume they actually are believers, but it's not our call. But listen, you had a very important you know, maybe it's not as that doesn't sound that biblical, but you have to have different kinds of greatness in one person can be really almost like in this kind of a blade for not one, but that is a sequel tendency or you can see. Right, Right. So and he's currently living in sin, being obviously for meeting where he's always can be. Being distracted on a computer is sin or being No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You distract a computer. That's perfectly good. I don't know. I'm joking. That is solitaire on a computer on your job. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that's. Is being deceitful. Yeah. So, pace 501, anything else can be so. So some things are just, again, not as bad as others. Page. Page 501. My son's. I don't have a good book now. Okay. Well, are there Degrees of Sin? Yeah, I think I read it. Yeah. And he talks about legal guilt, relational conflicts, and he does a really good job of saying, you know, at the legal stage, any sin will send you to help any sin, no matter how big or small it is, will violate your relationship with God and you will go to hell.

[00:34:46] But once you become a Christian, once you truly become a Christian, the sin doesn't affect you. Leave us standing. And so sin. From that point on, there are things that have greater ramifications for your relationship with God and sins that have less ramifications in your relationship with God. So that's how He distinguishes it. So he would say, yes, there are different degrees of sin for the Christian in terms of the damage they can do. My wife would much rather I lie to her than I cheat on. Yeah, both are wrong, but one has greater consequences in the relationship. A plus. Also the in terms of our positions, leaders really dealing with things we can see manifest. Yeah. Because that person would be at home on the computer playing cards or looking at porno. Yeah, but I fear one of these, you know, so we don't we don't know that that can be for 20 years. And, you know, the really cool thing is that that we don't have to convictions the work of the spirit now. No I don't mean I mean in terms of assessing whether that person. Okay. Yeah. When you talk about leadership. Yeah. Yes. You got to first of all, you know, that looks crystal clean And then but you got a person over here that's been doing stuff that you don't know about and you pick that person over that first. Timothy five. That's not what this stuff is manifest, but this is first Timothy five, right? Be very, very slow to appoint elders because the sins of some go before and words. The sense of some are obvious, the sins of others lag behind. It takes a while to notify them. And also the reverse is also true. He goes on to say that the good deeds of some are not immediately apparent.

[00:36:23] I mean, you can pass over someone in looking for leadership in your church and you may not even see all the good they're doing while the other some, the good of others, is visible. So go slowly. And the other position. That's I talked quite a bit about the pace at which you should get to know people and stimulate the wrong people in leadership. But that was it for the stumble chapter thing. It's so important is to is to help the new believer not be discouraged. These things are going to happen, but the fact that there's conflict can often be a good thing because it gives you a chance to kind of see where you are. Look at the patterns that you've established through your life and then deal with those patterns. Confession is a defining moment in their life, and if they dig in their heels and don't want to confess to God that something is wrong, they're going to be absolutely miserable their entire life. All right. Lesson four is a first half of a two part Lesson four is listening to God, which is mostly the Bible, and number five is speaking to God, which is prayer. These are topics that there's I mean, when I'm with pages of pages of notes, of questions that could come up, but I try to restrict my thoughts. Let me just summarize the sermon. You guys can look at the workbook. I use some 19 to sort some 19 is for six verses of general revelation. The rest is specific revelation if you know those terms. But the whole point for new believers that they have to learn to listen to God and there's two basic ways you listen to God. I'm looking at my sermon notes right now.

[00:38:04] There's general revelation. That's information, my God, that all people can see at all times. This is developing the habit, developing a discipline of looking at nature or looking for me. Nature is the big thing, but there's different things to different people. Well, learning to see God in the things that are created. All right. So we'll go down to our docket night. The skies are beautiful. It is like the Milky Way goes right up and down the Ponderay River. You can see literally the Milky Way reflected in the river. What do you say to your son at that point? What do you what you train them, right? And you train them to talk about the beauty of God and the majesty of God and the grandeur of God. And you see God in Orion's belt. You see God in the stars. You see God is so. And then you you can move to saying God is is loving, is He is powerful. So as if you can kind of begin to imagine the power that it took to create all this. He's just as loving as he is, powerful and for a new believer, some sadness, Priests a lot. But I think it's just a healthy discipline. I, I love spring when you can see more shades of green than you could possibly describe when the trees are starting to come out. I mean, every tree is going to different shade of green. And what's going on? Well, it's it's a tribute to the diversity of God, to the variety, to the creativity of our God. I mean, people need to learn to see God, not in the trees, because that's pantheism, but it's or even animism the heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work workers his hands day after day, the poor for speech.

[00:39:48] Night after night they display knowledge. There's a lot of stuff that new believers can gain by learning to look at creation differently. But most of the lesson is what's on specific revelation. Specific revelation is what you can learn about God through the Bible, right? I've often wondered what even especially a nonbeliever thinks when they walk in our churches. Do you ever put yourself in their shoes? Can you walk in and there's someone at the door greeting them? Okay, that's nice. I guess it's a little invasive. You know, I kind of want to sneak in the back and see what this place is about. And then they sit down. NELSON Everybody stands up and then they start singing songs. And what's that all about? And then maybe someone like someone gets up front, he opens his book and he starts reading all about what they're reading. In Boston. There is a the church was heavy laden with tradition, and they had they had a Bible. I mean, it had to be that thick. It had to be six inches thick. And the gal who read it had a very raspy voice She would take up to go hear the word of the Lord, you know who I am as a nun. I mean, if I were in a believer, an idea, I was a believer, and I would fly out the door. At times it scared me. And then they start reading it in the New Testament. New. Well, what's new? Is there an old What's new about the new? I mean, you got to understand, there was a poll taken this this was 15 years ago where they said at the end of some football stadiums is a big sign that says John three. It says John three and a colon and 16.

[00:41:25] What does that mean to both of us? It was the number one guess it was John Madden's weight. Oh, well, really, this was the survey. They didn't know why there was a cold. But they thought John Madden weighed £316. The second most common guess was that it was directions to the toilet. Now, the same survey said in the Bible there is a person that's swallowed by a whale. Who is it? And 76. My memory may be faulty, but it was it was a huge majority of the people answered. John Lewis is the Pinocchio. Look, you everyone knows Pinocchio's in the Bible and Pinocchio in the Bible. People never underestimate how little people know in your church. Right. Was that in the church? No, This was this was just in culture. So used to be, you know, a hundred years ago, we could preach totally differently because people learned to read by reading the Bible, Right? They all had framers. The framers were Bible passages. You learn to read by reading the Bible. I mean, there was there was so much a part of the culture that people knew things. We live in a culture that doesn't know the Bible at all. You know that that the majority of kids and youth groups believes that the Bible teaches reincarnation. Where do you get that from? They get it from as far as I can tell. Harold Well, they'll say we're in the Bible to say that. Well, Harris said that John the Baptist had been risen from the dead. That's reincarnation. And that was the only explanation I was given. The degree of ignorance about the Bible of this culture is mind boggling. We ignore that at our own peril. That's what's so hard about this chapter.

[00:43:19] You can't assume that this person knows anything. I think it's in the workbook. I had to just to say, okay, when you say John 316 there, the Bible is broken into different books. The books are generally named after the person who wrote them, like John and Matthew. And chapters of books are broken into Chapters and chapters are broken into verses. So the way they refer to a verse, something in the Bible is the name of the book. Chapter Colon for a period and the verse. And then sometimes you get an answer back. What's the Bible? Culture doesn't know what this thing is anymore. And so that's what makes this chapter so difficult. So it was a real question of what to cover in this sermon because of the level of ignorance in society. What I decided to do is to talk about the doctrines of inspiration, authority, canon history, and the Bible being trustworthy. I go through it briefly, but here was my concern. Where did this come from and why should it make any difference to me? I think that's the question that a new believer needs to be exposed to. Can they responded to a message of Jesus? But they don't know the relationship. Many don't know the relationship between the Bible and Jesus. And they start to read it and they're going to be reading some really bizarre stuff. Right? I mean, there is weird stuff in the Bible, right? I'm not getting much emotion here. Yes, there are some. Really? Really. Like, I have this guy that died and went into a tomb and came back to life. That's weird. And then back here, they're killing everyone. Men, women and children. Animals. There's a lot of stuff in here. And I think what they need to know is at a very rudimentary level, where this came from and why it's so important.

[00:45:20] The problem in covering this lesson is that there are so many questions that could come out of this. It's just been my experience that this is a real problem and a chapter. Because of that, the main thing is the doctrine of inspiration is the doctrine of source, right? We believe that this came from the very mouth of God. And I used to continue through 1617. So it comes from God number two, because we believe this comes from God. It carries his authority. This is how I said it. Assuming that the New believer would, for some reason think agreeing with me, I say, doesn't make any difference whether God appears here and says it is good to praise the Lord or whether I read Psalm 92 one. It is good to praise the Lord. They both have the same authority in my life. So talk about where it comes from is authority. And then again, a bit in the in city. And again, I try I try to keep it from being a lecture. But we're all aware that there are people out there that are constantly telling people that the church got it wrong, that these aren't the right books. Right. Whether it's been manipulated. That's point four. Well, I still remember when I was in seminary walking downtown Pasadena and there was a bookstore with a big sign about the lost books of the Bible and how the church had been so evil at removing these books from the Bible. And they were just as important as as the other ones. And about every ten years, some other person not be nice, comes along, says the same thing with us about every ten years. And it's always the same thing. There's always the New Testament Apocrypha.

[00:47:11] It's always the gospel of Thomas. It's the same thing over and over and over and over. It's kind of like they sell a lot of books and there's kind of a lull period, and then they go, Oh, Da Vinci Code, you know, because it's always read before. It's always sold a lot of stuff before. Let's do it again. So that idea that the church blew it when it came to deciding what books are in here is all around. And then the other thing is what you were getting. And then I guess this is more Da Vinci Code that it's been the church changed it. For example, liberalism will say Jesus taught the fatherhood of God in the brotherhood of man, but it wouldn't say man. Now, these are the brotherhood of all there. A brotherhood. What would they say? That's the gender neutral word for brotherhood. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, the way it was stated when I was in seminary was the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of all people. And then that evil Paul came along and Paul changed everything. And he. And he made it doctrinal and not relational. No, the good one is King James. The teachings of King James eating. Yeah. No, I'm not going to I don't want to go down there. But the Catholic Church would certainly say that. Right. Because, I mean, part of the point of the King James translation was to develop a non Latin Bible that could separate the Church of England from the Church of Rome. So that actually back then probably that was being said, still missing. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, so those are the four things that I talk on. I can't one, two, three, four, five. There's seven chapters in Wayne Wayne's book that cover this lesson.

[00:49:03] That's how much data there is. The word from chapters two through eight. Let me show you a resource. And this is the most important thing I think I can show you. It happens to be one of my classes, but if you go to discipleship and you go down to growing deeper, there is my New Testament survey class. This is the one that I taught here last year over three weeks, and the first three talks in this class are on Biblio ology. How the Bible is written, can we trust it and how do we get it out of people through the centuries? This is 3 hours of stuff on these topics and obviously I can't cover it. I'm going to say a few things, but if you start getting a lot of questions, where did the Bible come from? Why do I trust it? Should I trust it? How do I believe the church got it right? How do I believe they didn't change it? However, I believe the church got the right books. The answers are all in those talks. I want you to be aware of that research. But let me just cover a few of these things and give you just some real fundamental answers. Number one, can you trust your Bible? Yes. Why? I believe that. Oh, that's nice. Oh, really? Right. The Mormons say their book is God's word. Them say their words God word. That's right. Go to the hotel, the moron, and you'll find that little paper with all these other claims on. That's not to say that's not a valid argument. But for someone raised in a pluralistic society and anti-authoritarian society, there has to be something else that we can give them. And of course, if they've got the spirit in them, they're going to figure it out, or at least they're going to be open to it.

[00:50:59] They're going to respect Jakes as their pastor. And he says, I just I believe it. And I believe that my whole life that's going to really mean something to someone who's been saved in his church. But let me just give you a couple of things. Can I trust my Bible? One of the things is out there that we're all aware of is people said, well, the Bible's full of mistakes. Right. The pastor's up there and he's reading the Bible and he's expounding the Bible and applying the Bible. But why should I trust it that that's the answer? People are going to be told that there's contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible. And I think we have to make it very clear that there aren't. And the easiest way to do that is to very gently say, can you show me one? What I used to have this thing where you get involved in this discussion, You know, really, I did this in college. Really? Oh, no. Oh, my faith is shattered. What? Show me a show. Show me one. Oh, I just. They're all over the place. Well, really, it was. They're all over the place. And it will be hard for you to find one, Will it? Well, actually, I don't know where in New York, but I'm not. You know, the mistakes. The point being, you will hear this, but people don't know there are problems. Ryan, if you've been in this business long enough, you know, there are some places the synoptic said it's kind of hard to get them together. But in terms of helping someone start to learn to trust the Bible, and if you say they've been told that there's mistakes in it, say where are they? Did the person who told you their mistakes ever show you their mistakes? Well, no.

[00:52:50] Well, I'm here to tell you that there aren't mistakes in the Bible, and that person probably is just saying that. And so it is again, it's just dealing with the ethos of the age that we live in. Ask him where these court mistakes are. You can point out things like a lot of passages that appear to contradict each other are simply misinterpreted, and that if you if you sit down and you really work and see what the Bible says, you're going to find that it agrees with itself. It doesn't ever disagree with itself. A great example is to show this may be too much for a non-Christian. Abraham. I believe God is credit him as righteousness. Paul uses to prove the justifications by faith James uses to prove the justifications by works. The simple harmonization is that they mean something different by justification, and that's too much for a new believer. But I think you can honestly say, look, there are yeah, there are places that at first you kind of go, What if you're not for me, you're against me. If you're not against me, you're for me. Well, which one is it? Jesus. And if say if you just look at these texts and you really work to understand them, you're going to find that they don't really contradict each other. So I just think we have to be aware of that. So you can't trust your Bible. But the real question is why does J.S. believe it? If you're working with a new believer and you're saying we even trust the Bible, it doesn't have mistakes. Ultimately, they're going to want to know why you trust it. And this is one of those things that happened in my teaching career that I probably have taught this topic in college 100 times.

[00:54:44] It is just that we taught for introduction to Bible study classes a semester. So I taught the same stuff eight times a year, which is exhausting. And this is this is a yeah, it's not quite they don't have a low teaching load. They used to have think we used to teach a lot. So I taught it and taught it and year after year went by and I don't know, it was until like the sixth or seventh year I was there that a student came to me, said, You've been talking about trusting your Bible. Why do you trust your Bible? And I didn't have an answer. That's a good question. Why do I believe and I think in working through that answer for yourself, that's what the new believers are going to need. They're going to want to know why you trust it so much. This is the answer that I came up with. But I tell people, Bill, why do you trust the Bible? Number one, it says it's from God. Your answer Bible says it's from God. And a person could say something like, Well, do you believe everything you're told? Well, no, actually, I don't. But if the Bible didn't say it was from God, and the Bible didn't say I could trust it, I would it. So my starting point is that it says it's from God. It says that is trustworthy. All Scripture is breathed out by God, is profitable for teacher, improve correction and training and righteousness. Right. So continues it through 16 and 17. So if the Bible never claimed to be an authority, I probably wouldn't treat it as an authority. But my starting position is it says it's authority, it says it's from God. By the way, this is just real personal on my part.

[00:56:23] So you may have different reasons why you believe this is nowhere in your notes. By the way, if you're looking for the second reason I believe the Bible is from God is that I think it makes sense. That's always an interesting argument because when you say this something is rational, when you say something, it makes sense. People don't think in terms of faith. That's science, right? Science is rational. Science explains reality. And so we give way to science. But I think believing the Bible is from God is internally consistent and is the main way in which I listen to God. I think that makes more sense than anything else is rational. For example, how does the world explain evil? It's all a matter of social, economic and educational things, right? I mean, the only reason we have evil is that we have people that aren't trained. You're not educated or they're poor. This is the humanist answer for evil in the world. It's all external. Does that make sense to anybody? Does that explain why China made 3 million machetes so the Rwandans could slaughter each other? Really, that's an issue of education. See, that's no explanation of evil. But when I read in the Bible that there actually is a demonic power who hates God, who wants to usurp his authority, who wants as many followers as possible. And that he was involved in the destruction of our first mother and father and continues to work in the lives of all people to turn them to his kingdom and not the gods. I can understand 3 million machetes, rage. Read the Bishop of Rwanda. Their book. Really need to read it. It's a terrifying book. And I got to meet him. I was at a conference and he was speaking on forgiveness and said, Well, if anybody understands forgiveness, this guy's got to understand forgiveness more than I do anyway.

[00:58:25] We got an hour, we turned in names and then prayed and we got Robert. I got picked. So we got an hour with him. And I said, How? How do you forgive? And he said, You can't. It's a God thing. You'll never be able to forgive on your own. All that you can do is that God give you the ability to forgive. Great advice, by the way, because long as you try to muster up enough strength to forgive those people that are virgin, you'll never you'll never get there, but rather you just turn it over to the Lord and say, Give me a forgiving heart. Please help me to want to forgive. Help me to forgive. See, when I look at things like Eve, look at things like good. When I look at things like beauty, the world has no answer for those things. It doesn't explain them. The Bible does. So one of the reasons I believe the Bible is that it just makes sense to me. If this book said, well, you know, I had a vision of a white salamander, Oh, no, they were golden glasses. Oh, no, they were some. And it goes to seven different ways of explaining. I'm not going to believe it. Right. It doesn't make sense to me. This makes sense to me. The third reason that I think the Bible is trustworthy, that is from God is this inner confirmation of the Holy Spirit, which I think is, as you and I live longer in the faith, becomes more and more important to us. I think I can come to the position that even if there were many, many, many, many mistakes in this book, I still believe it because to not believe it would just be stupid.

[00:59:58] I mean, just the inner witness of the spirit for 51 years has been such that I just trust it. It doesn't mean I don't struggle with it. Vengeance is mine. Every repeat, says the Lord. No, you don't do a good enough job. God is a horrible avenger, if you notice that He's a terrible Avenger. He's way too patient, right? He takes way too long to deal with problems, and he's never harsh enough with them. He never punished his people enough. Just, of course, for me. And I deserve his patience. So obviously, the Bible is wrong. It's saying we've got to turn vengeance over to God. I'm much better meaning it out. Right. I hope that's not the Holy Spirit raising your hand. We we we look at this verse and on one level we go, No, God, you do a lousy job with vengeance. Sometimes you wait till their death. But down deep, the Holy Spirit going. Now, Bill, I know you're hurting, but. Let me take care of this when we take care of that person. You can trust me. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. Okay. Yes, You can trust me. That is the Holy Spirit works. Is this the inner witness of the Spirit? Just slowly but surely confirming that the words of this book are true? So I think if you share that with the new believers, they're going to go, okay, I believe you. And I look forward to the day when I believe it more. And I believe it more and I believe it more. I think there's other arguments that people must hear things like the word prophecy and stuff like that. But these are the things that have meant the most to me in my life.

[01:01:39] The Bible says it's from God and it's trustworthy. It makes sense. And ultimately it's the inner witness of the spirit that nailed that coffin shut a long time ago. Wayne's got a great discussion of this on page 79. Let me just read you a little bit, because I think this is really an important issue. If you're teaching college at all very long, you realize there's only two or three questions that most kids have, right? I used to go to youth groups and have question answer time afterwards, and kids only care about two things, right, as far as I can tell, like what's God's will for my life and can I sleep with my girlfriend? I don't know. I just developed answers for those two questions, and I pretty much can handle the youth group because that's why I wasn't asked to a lot of youth before. But I did have a lot of kids come into my office when I was teaching the business and it would go something like this. Oh, Dr. Martin, I just met Sallie Mae. She's, I don't know, one Sallie Mae. Okay, so I can't. You selling me? That's a mortgage company. Susan? Susan, I just. I just love Suzy so much. And I said, Well, tell me about it. And then they go on why they love Suzy so much. And and the whole time saying, Why are you telling me this? What is it that you are needing that is pushing you to profess your love for Sally? And they always want time after time. At the same point they would get done talking about their love for Sallie. And I would ask them, Is Sally a believer? Or they said, Can I marry her? Oh, I say, Yes, Yes she is, Professor, that.

[01:03:09] But, you know, I think Maria is the answer is always the same, you know. Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe that God loves you and that his way is best? His will is clear on this one, right? That you cannot be an equal to it. You just can't see what they were saying, as I'm not sure I trust it. I'm not sure I trust it. So what they need to hear from you and for me is that we trust it, especially in those areas that are difficult, like vengeance or other areas we still trust. And what will happen, I think, with the new players, they will pick it up. 79 Ultimately, the truthfulness of the Bible will commend itself as being far more persuasive than other religious books. It'll be more persuasive because in the actual experience of life, all of these other candidates for ultimate authority, Book of Mormon, the Koran, are seen to be inconsistent or to have shortcomings that disqualify them or the Bible will be seen to be fully in accord with all that we know about the world around us, about ourselves, and about God. That as time goes by, we get a greater and greater assurance and deeper conviction that the Bible is the only ultimate authority. New believers need to know that I'm. Okay, so I'll put them in your words that they will be a great position. People in it for the class. That'd be a great paper for you to write up. Why do you trust the Bible? Nursery school Answers. I was watching 60 Minutes the other day and a corpsman figure was a marine. He and his brother were serving their mother and. In the same battalion, which is against the rules.

[01:05:04] They were interviewing the brothers and they said, Are you honest to your mom when you write back about what things are going on? And one of the brothers said, Oh, no, we church it up. We read that expression, I've never heard it before, but I what a fabulous expression. We church. In other words, we're not honest. We gloss it over. We try to hide the truth. We massage it. We church it up. Anyway, if you write a position paper, don't church it up. That's all right. Think of someone who has doesn't have your history, doesn't have your background, doesn't have your relationships, perhaps doesn't have parents that are believers, perhaps wasn't raised in the church. How would you encourage them to trust the Bible? By the great position paper. I think one of the other questions that comes up a lot, just because it's part of the culture, is why do you believe that we got the right books in here? Because you understand Catholics have a different group, right? They have a whole 13 other books. We call them the Old Testament, apocryphal. Luther's the one who got rid of basically for Protestants. So the Catholic Old Testament has additional 13. It's 13, isn't it? It's 13 that were in the 400. All right. Okay. All right. And then there's another set of books called the New Testament Apocrypha, which is like gospel. Thomas is the most famous example. And so there are people out there. They're going to be thinking, okay, my pastor or my friend or my mentor believes this, but I've heard that these aren't the right books. And there were books that were left out. And what do we do about that? Why did the church pick up the books they did, and why did they leave out the ones? And I'm here.

[01:06:58] I'm focusing here more on New Testament, but the Old Testament is a slightly different issue. There's three tests, apparently, that the early church used for deciding whether a book would in the canon or not. If you keep these three in your head, they're really easy to share. Number one is who wrote the apostolic authorship. And so Matthew comes along. They don't Matthew is an apostle, so they accept his writing. Mark was not an apostle, but according to tradition, he's writing the memoirs of Peter. So the second gospel is really Peter, and Peter was an apostle, so they accepted it. So if an apostle wrote it, it was accepted right away into the canon. It's interesting, the Gospel of John is an interesting case because the first really big heresy of the church monasticism used John a lot and there was some real desire to dump John because the false teachers were using it so much. Well, because everyone knew that the Apostle John had written it, they couldn't dump it. And one of the criteria for accepting into a canon was authorship, apostolic authorship. So, of course, you know, Luke, an acts, not an apostle. We don't know who wrote Hebrews. There are some books that had issues because of authorship issue, but this got a lot of them. James One the last part, James, is because in number two, the second thing they looked at was this is my word, but the harmony of doctrine and tone. In other words, they said, Does this book agree with the other books that we've already accepted as authoritative? Does it sound the same as the mean by tone? Does it does it sound the same? What I always did when I haven't had this discussion a whole lot, but when some people come off and say gospel, Thomas should have been in the Bible.

[01:08:58] We say, Have you ever read it? And usually they haven't. If you just read it, you'll see that it doesn't belong. It just sounds so different. Gospel Thomas has written about 180 A.D. It was not written by Thomas. It's got you got 100 years between it and the events over 100 years. It doesn't agree. There's a book in the Old Testament Apocrypha called Ben Syriac, but it's in the Catholic Bible to sell in the Protestant. And you look at it and a reason like Proverbs, it's a little different. But I read like Proverbs and you go, Well, it's not a big deal and it's not a big deal. We should put this in our Bible until you get to the chauvinists favorite verse and Ben Sirak, you know what it is? Evil had its origin in Woman. Benson is a misogynist venture. It keeps women. It's everywhere in this book. And so he blames the origin of evil on Eve. Paul First, Timothy two and Genesis three says it's Adam. So you have a firm contradiction. This is not an exegetical issue. They just believe different things. And so when they look at these books, they look doesn't agree in doctrine, doesn't agree in tone. And you can even read books like The Shepherd of Hermes and the Dedicated were probably at the end of the first century. They sound different. They know that they're not on authority, that they're quoting the authority. They're just different. But that's one of the tests they had. The other test they used was usage to tell you this usage, and it was usage in the church as a whole. And this is very, very important when the councils got together. I mean, this is one of the early decisions the church had to make.

[01:10:55] What books are authoritative? One of the things they did was they said, Well, what has your church accepted? Which in which books do your people hear? The voice of God? The charge would be made that a couple of stodgy old academics up in a corner somewhere made a bunch of decisions and forced it on the church. In actuality, it was the church that made the decision because the church as a whole either used these books or didn't use these books. So, for example, some of the church, as we know, treated Shepherd affirms as part of the Bible. Other churches didn't. And in the discussion they decided to drop it because too many churches didn't use it. Too many people thought it wasn't from God. Shepherd Hermits is actually a decent book. I mean, not aware of any heresy in it. The dedicates the catechism. It's kind of an introduction to theology, but it's a really good book. But enough people said, No, this is not we like it, but it's not from God. In the same way that Matthew, Mark and Luke and John are from God. And so it wasn't accepted. You can see why books like Second and Third John had trouble getting into the canon because they were written to an individual church somewhere and they would not have been known around the ancient world as having been written by John. You know, Hebrews struggled here. Luke And accent a little, but not a whole lot. I'm not aware of much canonical issues with them. The doctrine and tone, for example, gave second Peter problems. The Greek is second. Peter's really different from the Greek. The first Peter and I'm about half of it is almost identical to Jude and it's just weird.

[01:12:46] And so there was some question about whether it was really for Peter it should be believed continuous usage in the church heard stuff like second through John. So there was some debate. The vast majority of the Book of the New Testament was accepted very, very quickly. We generally date the New Testament canon of 398 A.D. In other words, it took almost 400 years before we finally got an absolute list equal to our 27 books. But in actuality, almost all the books in the New Testament were accepted as authoritative almost instantly because of these things. That's the normal date that's given. That's the earliest list of the 27 books in Testament that we have. The list that come out of 150 are little different, but it was only a few of the books that were causing problems. Was that another group of 50 or 60 bishops at Trinity? Yeah, it was another group of bishops or whatever they're called, but then they were just reporting what the church had accepted anyway. Does that help if someone says, Well, why do we have the books of the Bible? It's based on who wrote them, Do they agree with the rest of the Bible into the church as a whole? Agree to that tends. It take care of most issues on this festival. The Old Testament canon is different. I don't know much about it. Basically, the church let the Jews determine their own canon. That was what happened, and I think it was Germany. I think that dates 98 A.D. one of the only way out of the back of my mind that wasn't set in stone. When I see we're fact when I see is the beginning of the 300 years. But in terms of we're trying to ask about the Old Testament.

[01:14:33] What happened in the Old Testament is Christianity comes along, says the fulfillment of the Old Testament, Messianic hope. The Jews had not yet established their canon. They had established, you know, the Tanakh, a tour of the first five books they had established, the Never seen the Prophets, the major and minor prophets. There is some indication that in terms of the writings, you know, the phrase Tanakh, you know the music of the Celts, you being which of the writing Psalms, Joel That kind of stuff. There is some indication that the Jews had not decided yet which books really were in that part of the canon. Christianity comes along and that pushes their buttons of all of a sudden you've got people claiming to be fulfilled. Jews, They have to decide for sure what defines a Jew. So the Jews officially closed their canon in 98 Ad Council of Germany. They picked up the books. The Protestants have the Old Testament. Apocryphal books are all a little different. They were written later. They were written in Greek, not in Hebrew, and they were never fully accepted by the church. Even in the early church fathers, they knew that Ben Sirak and Daniel in the drag and in some of these other books, that there was something different about them. But they were interspersed all the way through the Bible. If you look at like the Latin Vulgate, you'll find these 13 or whatever it is, books scattered throughout in their chronologically correct place. But again, the church always knew there was something different about them. It wasn't until around Luther that it really got to be a problem because there were some teachings that were based on apocryphal books that Luther didn't like. Like Purgatory came out of, I think its second Maccabees Indulgences came out of one of the books.

[01:16:28] And what Luther did was he took these 13 books that weren't written in Hebrew, they were written in Greek, and he put them between the New and the Old Testament. Very clever move. He couldn't be accused of taking the books out of the Bible, but he segmented them out and said that there's something different about this. And within about a hundred years, Protestant Bibles had dropped them entirely. So I mean, that quick shot, that's that's not as we can let basically the church let Jews determine their karma and the Jews determine the ones that are in the Protestant canon. No. Okay. And when those are hopefully those are some answers that you'll be able to give to people on trust in the Bible and why we got it. There's some really good books out there that are pretty interesting. Clint Arnold just came out with one. GONZALES And Glenn Arnold is a professor at Talbot down in Southern California. It's not a big book, and he's got lots of pictures. So he illustrates all kinds of cool stuff. And what I think it's called how we got our Bible or something like that. So there's good resources out there, too, to help, you know, this stuff. So the fourth talk is on listening to God, and it's helping the new believer become aware of the Bible and why it's so important to listen to it, to read it, and to obey. Okay. All right. Well, let's take a break. And I want to come back and talk about a non-controversial topic like prayer. Thank you for listening to this lecture brought to you by biblical training, dawg. Feel free to make copies of this lecture to give to others, but please do not charge for these copies or alter the content in any way without permission.

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