27.  Audio Messages on Doctrine.

You will find an abundance of Bible meat on this website for Bible Doctrine,
especially in audio format for listening or to order audio CDs in message
format.  {After all one of the primary
goals of SunGrist_Bible is to Rescue
Sound Doctrine from the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4, where the majority of
church members and church leaders will "no longer endure sound doctrine."}  
You might start with message on Bible doctrine on the Listen Page.  Then you
might go to
the CD page you peruse what you can listen to there or order in the
way of CD messages.  And surely you would like to also read on doctrine as
you will find that many of these messages on doctrine come from the book
SOME SOUNDS OF SOUND DOCTRINE.  Also from the book FRIENDS OF
JESUS IN THIS AGE OF BIBLE AND COMPUTER, is
recorded some
messages for a CD in order to introduce you to the book.  You might also be
interested in the
Page on Doctrine.

28.        A Public Profession of  Faith in Christ.

We want this profession of faith in Christ to be natural and almost spontaneous;
although we are aware that some are afraid of any public recognition.  In the top
fears among humans would be included the fear of a prolonged illness at death
an the fear of speaking in public.  Surely we in churches and outside churches
can make this profession of faith easier for individuals that are more reluctant
for public demonstrations than most others.  I like as interim pastor the habit of
calling for all to believe in Jesus to stand to their feet, an obvious public
demonstration of Faith; and since all immediately think of  Romans 10:8-13—

“’The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith
which we preach):  that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and
believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation.”

The first part of that is a quote from the OT in Deuteronomy 30:14.  Moses was
talking to the whole large congregation of Israel in the wilderness, the nation if
you please; and their public response in unison was to say “this we will do”.  
That made it easier to do, much my custom in a small class group to call for
standing up.  And then the confession with the mouth part in order to cover all
literal basis, can come later when the confessor of faith tells another person
about that event, talks to God about it in prayer, or has any other occasion
where a public acknowledgment of faith in made.  And after all, we know from
the teachings of the Bible that it is only what we say deep in our heart, with or
without words, to the Holy Spirit that in the final analysis determines our
salvation.  The only unforgivable sin is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, that
is at He continues to do His job in the human heart to convict the world of sin, of
righteousness, and of judgment, if we deny to the Spirit faith in Christ, or if we
confess to the Spirit faith in Christ then that really seals the salvation.  I am only
saying that over a period of years, and often as the individual considers any sort
of commitment to faith in Christ like standing up in a group, there are many
opportunities verbally to confirm before one person or many persons that faith in
Christ.  Even the response to a wife or a friend or other relative, “Sure I made a
public profession, and sure I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation” is
sufficient.

A good argument from the Bible could be made that a belief in the heart does
not even necessitate a public profession of faith since there were in Jesus’ time
such secret disciples as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and you will
recall that God’s Prophet Elijah in Israel thought he alone had faith so that God
had to remind him that God had reserved 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to
Baal.  Silent waters often run deep.  Now having said that, and in order to cover
all bases including the necessity of water baptism in obedience to the
command of Christ and some mouth confession, look for ways to verbalize in a
few words, even “yes” your commitment to faith in Christ, and look for some way
to be baptized even if you asked some ordained minister relative or friend that
the two or more of you go out to the river or lake for baptism.  This way you will
not be or get in over your head or have doubts and regrets, that is if the water is
at the pier or beach side where it is not too deep.

Be patient the opportunity will come at work, socially, or in the home where you
inevitably make a stand verbally on the right side.  Just make sure what you say
does not leave the impression in the minds of the listeners that you have made
a choice in favor of non-faith in Christ.  By the way you don't have to be a church
member to do anyone of this, public profession and baptism although it is often
easier in a local church baptistery and at the hands of a friendly and respected
ordained minister.  With belief in the heart and some sort of confession, you
automatically become a member of the only church where salvation is really
determined, in the church of the firstborn, written in heaven.  That is solidly
stated in Hebrews 12:22,23, and happens at the same time with faith and
confession {commitment really} that you become a member of Christ's eternal
kingdom.

And lastly I would say if some kinds of doubts bother you, go out back and
confess to your wife or a friend that you do have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
then look for an opportunity for baptism.  No need to have any nagging doubts
about something so easy to take care of.  Peace of mind is worth a lot.  Just
use the same mode and initiatives you have to use when you pick or go to a
doctor, or hopefully not a lawyer.

29.        What Are the Foundational Studies (Teachings) of the Bible.

It is when you desire to specialize in practical and spirit led Bible Studies that
you learn to appreciate the abundance of books mentioned a couple of times in
the Bible:  (1) the Apostle John said if all the books in the world were written on
what Jesus did, the interpretation, and applications, and even devotional that
the world itself could not contain the books that should be written; and Solomon
spoke of learning in general which can get wearisome to the flesh because
wisdom is without end.  However, it is not bad in foundational Bible studies as
we can number the discrete groups of approach for a good, solid foundation in
the Bible, starting with and structured around the Top 12 Topics of the Bible that
will soon be the subject right here on this website for the online Bible Studies.  
(You are invited.  To sign up simply follow the instructions on the
SunGrist_Bible
Seminary page.)

Therefore the Magic Outline or Top 12 Topics will be at the top of the list for
foundational teachings or studies of the Bible:  (1) the Top 12 Topics of the
Bible; (2) Reading through the Bible once each year; (3) Reading of a Survey
book on the Bible such as H. I.  Hestor’s HEART OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
and HEART OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, or Sampey’s HEART OF THE OLD
TESTAMENT (a much smaller book to read), or Adam’s BIBLICAL
BACKGROUNDS, or even Werner Keller’s THE BIBLE AS HISTORY; (4) Major
Doctrines of the Bible such as you will find on the page for
SOME SOUNDS OF
SOUND FAITH; (5) the teachings of Jesus in a short form in the Gospel of Mark
or a condensed version of Mark with comments as you will find in the CUP OF
WATER, available for free download on this website supplemented with a good
apostolic review of the life and teachings of Jesus from the world’s leading and
reliable interpreter, the Apostle Paul, and in the book of Ephesians (also
consider
Paul’s Statement of Faith and Practice from Ephesians which you will
find on this website); and (6) good full book commentaries on the individual 66
books of the Bible like Carroll’s AN INTERPRETATION OF THE ENGLISH
BIBLE, or from THE NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE.

One Bible teacher has wisely said, “Read your Bible, it will throw a lot of light on
the commentaries”, and if you participate in these SunGrist_Bible online and
free Bible studies, I hope you will read in your Bibles after you view the first set
of powerpoint slides the portion of the Bible from which the Topic and quotes
are taken.  For example the first Topic comes from Genesis and the first part of
Exodus.  Please view the slides first and then read your Bible, making sure that
you mark it.  If you do not have a good, handy and light weight Bible for study
that you can feel free to mark up, then I would advise
a Nelson Slimline that you
can order on this website.  The outstanding characteristic of the Slimline other
than the ease of reading and study and handling is that all the quotations from
the Old Testament in the NT are set apart with the appropriate references at the
bottom.  This points out something that you will find in the God-ordained
structure of the Top 12 Topics of the Bible.  God through the Spirit gave the
proper interpretation of the Prophets to the Apostles, and vice versa.
Anyway the challenge is there which you may not be able to do of viewing the
slides on each topic 6 times, although it is possible, I’m sure for you that are
already signed up on the honor roll.  And you will find frequent references in the
slides as they pass from one quote to another with the NT interpretation to the
other five areas of foundational studies.  It is your option to go through them 6
times, but the more you put into it the more you will get out of it.
Actually 3 times through each set of slides will be sufficient, and that will be far
more functional.  The first time through should be to keep on the major flow, and
then go back on the last two scans to pick up the optional routes.

30.        What Is Righteous Judgment?

It is important for Christians who have the courage to exercise “the testing of the
spirits” of  I John with “righteous judgment” to know what is the difference
between the forbidden “Judge not” and the admonished propensity for
righteous judgment in the Bible.  Satan like with his temptations of Christ in the
wilderness, will use incomplete truths of the Bible like “judge not” to keep you
from going all the way to the testing of the spirits with righteous judgment.  Let
us say right up front before we look at this subject in more detail from the Bible:  
(1) bad judgment is to use ones own opinions and the current and popular
opinions of society as promoted by the world and Satan, the prince of the world;
and (2) good judgment is to use the Bible as the criterion for the judgmental
opinions that we exercise on people and churches.  You know when we read in
the Bible “that with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged”, that is exactly
what we want when we use the Bible and the teachings of the Bible as the
standard for our opinions (judgments).  We want to be judged by what is written
in the Bible, and we judge according to the opinions of the Bible.

Worse than taking another Christian before a court of the world for judgment is
the failure to exercise righteous judgment.  Don’t you see that as the point of
Paul when He admonishes against taking other Christians to court?

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the
unrighteous, and not before the saints?  Do you not know that the saints will
judge the world?  And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to
judge the smallest matters?  Do you not know that we shall judge angels?  How
much more, things that pertain to this life? …I say this to your shame.  Is it so,
that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge
between his brethren.”  (I Corinthians 6:1-5)

Now apply this good and necessary requirement to judge to (1) “judge not least
you be judged” and (2) fruit inspection which leads to the conclusion that in most
churches today if Christ sat down in the worship service or went into the Sunday
school classes they would not know it.  Satan reacts, and the world reacts, and
immature Christians who have taken the easy way out react, “You can not
judge.”

What do you think the message of the 7 churches of Asia Minor is for if not to
compare to our local churches, and then to make a righteous judgment that our
church is either lukewarm, having a reputation and name but is dead—of no
value anymore to God and Christ with a threat of removal; or that our church like
most of the seven is a practitioner of unsound doctrine.  You see if you don’t
know, practice, and endure in your daily life sound doctrine, then you and your
church have become disciples of unsound doctrine no matter what the official
covenants of statements of faith and practice may say.

Why do you think that the Apostle John in I John states to “test the spirits”
instead of test the doctrine or test the fruits.  Well for one reason, Paul has
already dealt adequately in his 14 letters of the Word of God with the testing of
doctrines, what is sound doctrine and what is unsound doctrine; also Jesus has
dealt with the testing of the fruits in favor of fruit that remains—of course, with an
addition from Jude in favor of “the faith once for all delivered to the saints”.  
However, when you test the attitude of the human spirit, you have made the final
litmus test.  Does that individual and that church manifest a mean and fighting
spirit like we find dominate in the SBC today of the fundamentalists, and as they
have always manifested in history even before the taking over of the SBC, or do
you really see Christ, love, and humility?

The famous abused and misused scripture of “judge not lest you be judged” has
been given a more in-Bible context interpretation in the translation of a version
which goes, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteousness
judgment.”  That is consistent with the context of Romans and of the rest of the
Bible.  According to appearance, that is what seems to be reality like for
example if it is the First Baptist Church then that are good Christian, while
according to righteousness judgment which looks beyond the appearance,
even considers the history of 40-50 years, recognizes the obvious gap between
church membership and Christ.  Also recognizes that when it comes to security
and comfort as we get deeper into the Falling Away, you had better look
forward more and more to the unshakeable kingdom of Hebrew 12 which
contains among other things the new heaven, the new earth, and the church of
the firstborn written in heaven.  I would suggest a more practical test which will
really reflect the soundness of the spirit and the doctrine, ask any one of the
church members to list 10 major doctrines of the Bible; and I will tell you right
now instead of any of the great major truths of the Bible about God, Christ, and
the Bible itself what you will get is the list on the Sunday School slips.  All good
things to do, but hardly major doctrines of the Bible!
Answers Page 8