SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & Another simple 5-step way to explain it.…

  1. Acknowledge your need. You cannot reach God by your own efforts or your own good living. Read Romans 3:23.
    • 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
  2. Be willing to turn from bad actions (i.e. sin). Repentance involves unconditional surrender of your life to the control of Jesus Christ. Read Romans 6:12 – 14.
    • 12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
  3. Know that God loves you. God is seeking you. He demonstrated his love on the cross. Read John 3:16.
    • 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
  4. Believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty of your sin. Christ is the only way to God. His death on the cross accomplish what you cannot do for yourself. Read John 14:6 and Acts 4:12.
    • Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
    • 12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
  5. Invite Jesus Christ is enter and control your life. Through prayer, receive Him as Savior and Lord. Read John 1:12 and Revelation 3:20.
    • 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
    • 20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

Prayer:

Dear God, I confess I am a sinner. I now turn from my sinful ways believing that Jesus Christ died to bear the judgment of my rebellion. I ask Him to forgive me, save me and control me as I promised to follow Him.

The Free Bible Literature Society. Hawthorne, New Jersey, n.d.  The above scriptures are from the New Living Translation (NLT).

four spiritual laws Romans road steps to peace with God

SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & 3 ways to walk a spiritual bridge to new life w/ someone

by Bob Whitesel, Church Central, April 30, 2017.

Two things are happening to a person in spiritual and physical crisis:

1. At this point they realize that only God, the one who created them, can effectively and enduringly meet their needs.

2. They also feel that their relationship with God is estranged because they have ignored him for so long.

The uncommon church will foster an environment where helping others navigate this bridge is the norm. Therefore, the uncommon church walks this bridge with others, not retracing their own steps again but walking alongside helping, answering questions, and encouraging others as they cross a bridge between natural and supernatural living. A verse that reminds us of the magnitude of the newness and that we represent God in it, can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:17–19: “What we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives” (MSG).

The importance of walking the bridge with them 

And so, as Christ’s representatives we need to tell others how God gave his Son to provide a bridge back to himself. I have found that in many growing churches almost all congregants know how to explain the story of Jesus’ bridge.

Thus, the last key toward helping others navigate the bridge back to a restored friendship with God is to have a congregation that can explain God’s biblical bridge. Sometimes called “the plan of salvation,” these are simple memory devices that the majority of all attendees in the uncommon church must know if we are to fulfill Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 5:19 that, God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives” (MSG). Here are three of the most common explanations of that bridge:

The Four Spiritual Laws 13

1. God loves you and created you to know him personally (John 3:16; 17:3).

2. Humans are sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know him personally or experience His love (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for human sin. Through him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3–6; John 14:6).

4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience his love (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8–9; Revelation 3:20).

The Romans Road 14

To aid in memorization, this explanation employs the metaphor of a Roman thoroughfare:

• Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.” (Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.)

• Romans 6:23: “The wages that sin pays are death, but God’s gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (The price or consequence of sin is death.)

• Romans 5:8: “But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our death.)

• Romans10:9: “Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation.” (We openly declare that we receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.)

• Romans5:1: “Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us back into a relationship of peace with God.)

Steps to Peace with God15

This explanation uses phrases tool: from John 3:16 as a memory

• For God so loved the world: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

  • That he gave his only Son:“While we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  • That whoever believes in him: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).
  • Should not perish:“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).
  • But have everlasting life: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

So pick an explanation that works for you. But hold one another accountable to be able to explain at least one route, for 1 Peter 3:15–18 urges:

Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. (MSG)

13 The “Four Spiritual Laws” was originally conceived by Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright (http://campuscrusade.com/fourlawseng.htm), but the original version seemed to build on people’s more selfcentered desire for attaining God’s plan for their lives. While this is certainly valid, an alternative version is quoted here (compare http://www.4laws.com/laws/englishkgp) because it better emphasizes the missio Dei
(God’s desire to be reunited with his wayward offspring).

14 Additional verses in Romans that provide further insights for each one of these steps (along with ideas for sermons, Bible studies, and teaching tools) to help congregants remember the “Romans Road” can be found at http://www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html, http://theromanroad.org, and http://christianity.about.com/od/conversion/qt/romansroad.htm.

15 “Steps to Peace with God” was developed by the Billy Graham organization. It supports this presentation with an extensive web presence at http://peacewithgod.jesus.net.

Excerpted from Cure For The Common Church: God’s Plan to Restore Church Health, by Bob Whitesel (Wesleyan Publishing House 2012). For further online notes: See Chapter 8 Complete Notes. 

four spiritual laws Romans road steps to peace with God

Speaking hashtags: #Kingwood2018


SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & 4 Ways to Explain Salvation

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 2012.

Thus, the last key toward helping others navigate the bridge back to a restored friendship with God, is to have a congregation that can explain God’s biblical bridge. Sometimes called “the plan of salvation” these are simple memory devices that the majority of all attendees in the uncommon church must know if we are to fulfill Paul’s admonition in 2 Cor. 5:19 that, “God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives.” (MSG). Here are three of the most common explanations of that bridge:

The Four Spiritual Laws xiii

  1. God loves you and created you to know Him personally (John 3:16, John 17:3).
  2. Humans are sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23)
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for human sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love (Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, John 14:6).
  4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience His love (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8-9, Revelation 3:20).

The Romans Road xiv (to aid in memorization it employs the metaphor of a Roman thoroughfare):

  1. Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.” (Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.)
  2. Romans 6:23, “The wages that sin pays are death, but God’s gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (The price or consequence of sin is death.)
  3. Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our death.)
  4. Romans 10:9, “Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation.” (We openly declare that we receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.)
  5. Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us back into a relationship of peace with God.)

Steps to Peace with God xv (using phrases xvi from John 3:16 as a memory tool):

  1. For God so loved the world: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3
  2. That He gave His only Son: “While we were sinners, ChristBdied for us.” Romans 5:8
  3. That whoever believes in Him: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
  4. Should not perish: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” John 10:28
  5. But have everlasting life: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31

So pick an explanation that works for you. But, hold one another accountable to be able to explain at least one route, for 1 Peter 3:15-18 urges:

Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. L That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. (MSG)

(Excerpted from Cure for the Common Church, Chapter 8 by Bob Whitesel.)

Speaking Hashtags:  #SalvationCenterTX #Kingwood2018

CONVERSION & Ways to Share the Plan of Salvation

by Bob Whitesel, Cure for the Common Church, 4/15/12.

(Download this chapter for various ways to share the Good News, including The 4 Spiritual Laws, Steps to Peace with God, etc.: BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CURE Chpt 2 HOW OUT.

This chapter we will look at “how” an uncommon church fosters newness. In the previous chapter we looked at “why” this newness is important, discovering that:

  • God:
    • loves his offspring,
    • wants to restore his relationship with them
    • and desires to meet their physical and spiritual needs.
  • One of humanity’s most widespread needs is for a physical and spiritual change (this has been described as conversion, being born again, being saved spiritual/physical transformation and.or emergence of new people).
  • God has made it clear that only through Jesus Christ can such a complete transformation take place.
  • Turning from our wrong actions (repentance), knowing that with Jesus Christ’s power we can change (faith) and then going in a new direction with God’s help (spiritual/physical transformation) is God’s desire for every person.
  • God designed the church to explain this Good News.
  • God designed the church to welcome this transformation.
  • Spiritual and physical transformation is the pivot point for the uncommon church (balancing the other three cures).

Therefore, let us look at “how” an uncommon church fosters spiritual and physical transformation.

 

Sittin’ on the Doorstep with Jerry

 

“I know how to survive in the streets,” Jerry told me. “It’s here among Christians that I was not at home.” Jerry had been the manager of a local grocery until the store was purchased by a large chain and Jerry’s job eliminated. Financial problems and a divorce soon sent Jerry from the church he had attended since a youth. “I grew up in that church,” Jerry recalled. “But my ex-wife and kids go there, and I wanted to give them some space.” And so began Jerry’s church shopping that now was at an end.

As we sat on a doorstep on a gritty urban street Jerry opened up about the spiritual journey that brought him there. “When I left that church I grew up in,” Jerry continued, “I started attending Main Street Church a few blocks north. It was an old, established church and I figured they would have ministries that could help me deal with my marital problems and get me a job too. It sure didn’t happen.” Jerry continued to tell of a church that seemed more concerned about his bad habits than his soul. “I always felt guilty around them. And, they were pretty good about reminding me of my faults. I guess they had a reason for treating me that way. I was still doing some pretty bad things and that really riled them up. I’m not even sure I was a Christian back then. I guess I needed to change, really change like I’d never changed before. I was just trying to find people that would give me the time and the help to make it happen.”

Jerry’s next stop was Trinity Church. “At Trinity, they helped me find housing, got me a job interview and even gave me a suit to wear to it. I’d say they helped up to a point.” “Up to what point?” I asked. “The point to where I needed to change more than just on the outside. I had a part-time job, an acceptable place to live, but I really needed a whole new start. I needed to understand my relationship with God. I needed to ask Him to forgive me. Ask him what he wanted me to do with my life. Ask him to help me overcome the addictions that I couldn’t overcome myself.” “Did you ask Him?” I interjected. “I asked them, the church leaders, but they said that was really between me and God. I remember the pastor saying, ‘Jerry, you’ve got to decide for yourself what you believe about God. What I believe may not be what you need to believe.’ I was more confused than ever,” summarized Jerry.

“So, I kept visiting churches, because I needed to find people that were reconnecting to God and who could show me the way.” Jerry visited church after church, until at last he found a Christian community that seemed balanced in its focus on helping him physically and spiritually.

“They told me they understood where I was coming from. They didn’t rush me, but made me feel like I could be a part of their fellowship as long as I continued to grow in my understanding. It really came together when they told me about a road to Jesus. A ‘Roman Road’ they called it. I became a new Jerry not long after. And, people say they can see it, too. But, it didn’t stop there, those people stuck with me. I had some setbacks, but a group of them kept helping me get my life back on course. I guess they traveled the road with me.”

With that, Jerry disappeared up the steps into the front door of a fellowship that had become his new spiritual family. This community of Christians had helped him get back on his feet financially and spiritually. I looked up at the sign above the door and realized that the Salvation Army continues to provide a good example for the uncommon church, for the Salvation Army does good work the common church misses or overlooks. As Jerry disappeared up the stairs, I whispered a prayer “Lord, please make more churches like the Salvation Army, ready to stick with people like Jerry so they can become healthy physically and spiritually.”

(Excerpted from ©Bob Whitesel, Cure for the Common Church)

Download the rest of the chapter here … BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CURE Chpt 2 HOW OUT

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