Week 10 Doctrine.) God's People/Church Day 1 - Christ the Head Scripture - Colossians 1:15-20, Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 5:23, & Psalm 118:22 Devotional - Anytime a baby is born, they belong to a family. It seems obvious to say that every baby has a Father. The Bible says that our “first father”, or our “federal head” was the first man created, Adam. Everyone born after Adam was born from/in his sinful nature. Therefore, all people are born into Adam's sinful family. When Jesus conquered sin by dying on the cross, He bought back His covenant people. Jesus was the second Adam. God's elect are transferred into a new family and now have a new family head. Jesus is the federal head of all the people He died to save. If you are a Christian, you are no longer part of Adam's family but belong to God's covenant family. What a blessing! Questions - 1. Who was our first father? 2. Who is the Federal Head of every Christian? 3. Which family/Federal head do you belong to? Day 2 - Visible Church Scripture - Acts 2:42, Matthew 13:24-30 & 1 John 2:19
Devotional -The name “Visible Church” does not refer to your local church building. It is speaking of the people that attend the worship service and proclaim Jesus as their Savior. You may have known someone that called themselves a Christian, and later walked away from their faith. The Bible is clear on this issue. People cannot lose their salvation. Once they are part of God's elect, nothing can remove them from their position in his family. Some people that are not elect, or found in Christ, may pretend to be a Christian for a while. Remember Jesus’ disciple Judas? He walked with Jesus and followed Him for years. We know that Judas was not really part of God's family although he once claimed that he was. Judas betrayed Jesus and left the faith. His heart was never truly changed by the Holy Spirit and He did not love Jesus. The phrase “visible church” is referring to everyone that attends church, claims to be a disciple and part of God's family. They may one day prove to be a Judas, but only God knows those that are truly in His family. Questions - 1. What is the visible church? 2. Can we know who the “Judas’” will be? 3. Does God know for certain who is part of His true family? Day 3 - Invisible Church Scripture - Matthew 7:16-27, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Acts 15:8, & John 14:15-17 Devotional - Now that we understand what the visible church is, we will learn about the invisible church. The invisible church can be understood as the believers that have had their hearts changed. Because of the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit these Christian's will be forever a part of God's family. Because it is the work of the Spirit to change a sinful heart into a heart that loves and obeys God, we cannot know for certain who is part of God's invisible church. We cannot see which hearts the Holy Spirit has changed because we cannot see hearts. Who can see hearts? God can! However, we are told in scripture that a good tree bears good fruit. A heart changed and regenerated by the Spirit will act differently than the person whose heart is not changed. How can you know if you are part of God's invisible church? Do you love God and obey His commands? Has your heart been changed and made new? If your answer is yes, then you are part of God's invisible church. All of the hearts that the Holy Spirit has renewed/regenerated belong to God forever and are part of the invisible church. Questions - 1. What is the invisible church? 2. Can you know for certain if you are part of God invisible church? 3. What kind of fruit does a good tree bear? Day 4 - Apostate Scripture - Hebrews 3:12, 6:4-6, John 15:5-6, 1 Timothy 4:1, & Matthew 25:31-46 Devotional - Apostasy is a name for someone that acted like they were part of God's family. They may have been baptized or have eaten from the Lord's table, but now they deny that Jesus is their Lord. Some people claim to be Christians yet still love sin. The disciple Judas is a good example of an apostate. These people are branches that did not abide in the True Vine, which is Jesus. They do not bear fruit because they do not receive any nutrients from the True Vine. Apart from the Vine, the branches cannot produce any good fruit. Therefore, they will one day be cut off and thrown into the fire. God knows which sheep are His and which goats are just pretending to be sheep. Questions - 1. Who is the True Vine? 2. What is an apostate person? 3. What happens to an apostate if they don't repent? Day 5 - The Sacraments in worship Scripture - Matthew 26:26-29, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, Romans 6:1-4 Devotional - Jesus gave two sacraments for members of the church to participate in. Sacrament means that these actions are sacred or holy. The sacraments are special ways God has chosen to show His church that His promises are true and cannot fail! They are Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Both sacraments are signs and seals of the new covenant in Christ. Baptism is a sign and seal of the Holy Spirit's work of cleansing and regenerating our hearts. The Lord's Supper is a sign and seal of Jesus' death on the cross for sins. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are joyful things which God has given to His covenant family; they strengthen and encourage us in our faith. When God's word is rightly preached during baptism and the Lord's Supper, the Holy Spirit promises to strengthen our faith. Questions - 1. What is a sacrament? 2. What is baptism a sign of? 3. What is the Lord's Supper a sign of?