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T H E S A L VA T I O N A R M Y TUCSON AMPHI CORPS Soldier Preparation Class

The Salvation Army THE SALVATION ARMY TUCSON AMPHI CORPS SOLDIER PREPARATION CLASS

218 East Prince Road Tucson, Arizona 85705

The Salvation Army Tucson Amphi Corps

520-888-1299

218 East Prince Road Tucson, Arizona 85705 (520) 888-1299


SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 10

This course is finished. We have attempted to explain something of the privilege and responsibility of soldiership. No course can fully prepare a person for the challenge of serving in God’s Army. But…. you do now have sufficient information and insight to help you make a prayerful and careful decision regarding God’s will for you… Father… I thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to die for me, and I thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen me.

The Salvation Army, as an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. Page 1

I believe that you want me to serve you… perhaps as a soldier in The Salvation Army. Please give me the understanding of your will for me. If this includes membership in The Salvation Army, give me courage to step out in faith and to accept the privileges and responsibilities of soldiership. Thank you for raising up The Salvation Army and for bringing me to this moment of commitment. In the name of Jesus I pray…. Amen!

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Before enrollment the Senior Census Board must give consideration and make recommendation to the Corps Officer. Each person must sign the Articles of War No person may become a soldier of The Salvation Army without signing the “Articles of War”.

Table Of Contents Doctrines……………………………………...Page 03

Lesson 1……………………………………....Page 04

Lesson 2……………………………………....Page 07

Each person to be sworn in have prayerfully read, studied and endorsed these Articles:

Lesson 3……………………………………....Page 12 “They witness that: • They have received personal salvation • They believe God raised up The Salvation Army • They believe in the truth of the Army’s teaching • They realize the necessity for repentance, faith and conversion, and these they experience • They believe in the truths of the Bible • They believe Christians may live holy lives through the grace of God • They believe in the immortality of the soul” “They promise that: They will abstain from the use of all intoxicating liquor, from the use of tobacco in any form, and from the nonmedical use of all addictive drugs. • They will not take part in anything evil or unclean • They will act and speak honestly • They will support God’s work in every way possible • They will obey their officers • They will show themselves, at all times to be true soldiers of Jesus Christ and The Salvation Army.” •

The are sworn in as Salvation Army soldiers in a public service

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Lesson 4……………………….……………...Page 16

Lesson 5………………………………………Page 21

Lesson 6………………………………………Page 28

Lesson 7……………………………….……...Page 37

Lesson 8……………………………………....Page 45

Lesson 9…………………………….………...Page 53

Lesson 10……………………………………..Page 61

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The Doctrines of

The Salvation Army 'We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God; and that they only constitute the divine rule of Christian faith and practice' (Article 1). ' We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect -- the Creator, Preserver and Governor of all things -- and who is the only proper object of religious worship ' (Article 2). ' We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead -- the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost -- undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory ' (Article 3). ' We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the divine and human natures are united; so that He is truly and properly God, and truly and properly man ' (Article 4). ' We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency but, by their disobedience, they lost their purity and happiness; and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God ' (Article 5). 'We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has, by His suffering and death, made an atonement for the whole world, so that whosoever will may be saved' (Article 6). ' We believe that repentance toward God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit are necessary to salvation ' (Article 7). ' We believe that we are justified by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself ' (Article 8). 'We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ' (Article 9). 'We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be "wholly sanctified", and that their "whole spirit and soul and body" may "be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5: 23) ' (Article 10).

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 10

Disarmament—unilateral or multilateral?________________ Racial prejudice and discrimination____________________ Poverty__________________________________________ Famine__________________________________________ Inequality of opportunities___________________________ Immigration – legal or illegal_________________________ Lets pause right now… and ask God for wisdom to understand the difficult moral problems of our age. Thank Him for the guidance of the Bible and of the Holy Spirit. Ask for His enabling grace to help us change the world by our presence and participation! Becoming a Salvation Army Senior Soldier In order to be considered for swearing in as a Salvation Army soldier a person must complete a Soldier Preparation course. The names of prospective Senior soldiers are presented by the Corps Officer to the Senior Census Board… Corps Officers Corps Secretary Corps Treasurer Sergeant-Major Recruiting Sergeant Young People’s Sergeant-Major Corps Cadet Counselor Bandmaster Songster Leader Home League Secretary Page 64


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The Bible doesn’t give us ready-made answers on all the problems facing people in the 21st century….There is no direct Bible teaching about nuclear weapons… or embryo experimentation… We need to work out our position from biblical principles! 3. Be involved We need to be involved.. influencing the way the world thinks and acts…. Christians have and must seek to effect change in many ways… • Prayer • Taking political office • By voting • Lobbying elected representatives • Joining influence groups • Peaceful protest • Armed struggle

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 1 Talk it thru: Why have you decided to join this course? It’s time to share your reasons with the others! Why is it important to join a church? Why not just be a Christian on your own? Here are three passages from the Bible which make it clear that fellowship and service with other Christians are essential. Jesus has reconciled us to God and to each other: Read Ephesians 2: 11-21 Disciples of Jesus have a responsibility to God and to each other. Read Ephesians 4: 7-13 Disciples of Jesus need to live in the real world: Read Ephesians 1: 1, or Romans 1: 7, or I Corinthians 1: 2 But that one Church has to be expressed in many local fellowships. Every Christian is called to the privilege – and the hard work – of belonging to a particular Christian fellowship.

Here are some of the issues of our day… think through what you consider appropriate Christian social action Abortion _________________________________________ Embryo experimentation____________________________ Euthanasia_______________________________________

Once we have accepted the need for every Christian to be part of a Christian fellowship, there is another question to be answered: Why join The Salvation Army? Here are four reasons to consider:

Pollution_________________________________________ Illegal industrial waste______________________________ Careless exploitation of earth’s resources_______________ Is war ever justified?_______________________________ Nuclear weapons__________________________________ The arms race____________________________________ International arms trade____________________________ Page 63

You believe that God raised up The Salvation Army: • The founders of the Army were human and imperfect. So are its present officers and soldiers! • But… the Army is God’s idea, raised up by Him to serve His purposes. You believe in the truth of what the Army teaches: • These classes will help you to examine the doctrines of The Salvation Army and to test their truth. • Let’s read the DOCTRINES!

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 1 You believe in the Army’s ministry and mission: It is helpful to view the Army’s task as a three-fold one: 1) To offer salvation to sinners; We proclaim Jesus as Savior of the world, and that all who trust Him will be saved. 2) To uphold the privilege of sanctification for all believers: We believe that all Christians can be – must be – holy people through the grace of God. 3) To serve all men and women in the name of Jesus Christ: Preaching the gospel and practical caring must go hand in hand. William Booth said that there is no point in telling a hungry man about the love of God unless you first demonstrate God’s love by feeding him. You believe that God wants you to be a soldier in the Army. God leads people into the Army in many different ways: • • • • • • •

Some people grow up in an Army family Some people are attracted through a particular Army activity Some people see the Army in the street where you live Some people see the Army on television Some people are invited to an Army meeting Some people are Christians before they come to the Army Some people find Jesus Christ through the Army

However God has led you to this point, you must be sure that becoming a soldier is His will for you! A time for prayer: Ask God… To help you with this course: To show you His will for your life. Thank God… For the other members of this group: For the entire Christian Church: For The Salvation Army For the Tucson Amphi Corps.

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For example: Early Salvationists were not content just to minister to young girls who had been used for immoral purposes; they helped change the law so that the legal age of consent in Britain was raised to 16. William Booth opened his own match factory to prove that matches could be made safely and profitably without causing physical harm to the workers. Charles Pean not only cared for prisoners on the notorious French penal institution of Devil’s Island; his work was instrumental in leading to the closure of this harsh system of punishment. There is a need…even greater in our day… for social action… but social action is more difficult than ever before… in this technological age issues are more and more complex. There are many differences of opinion even among Christian people… But we must not retreat! us to be the “salt and light!”

The world … our world needs

Be aware of issues: We live in a world of difficult issues. We need to be informed people. We cannot begin to give an answer if we don’t know the questions. If we fail, then the world will make up its mind on matters that are literally life and death issues without hearing what Christians believe… Be aware of the issues! Be obedient to the Word of God… Everything we believe is based on the teaching of the Bible. We need to bring the Bible’s teaching to bear on the big issues of the day. Page 62


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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 1 On your own: Briefly write down why you believe God wants you to be a soldier in The Salvation Army:

Read Matthew 5: 13-16. "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

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In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” • • • •

How do salt and light do their work? In what ways are they different? What effect do they have? What does this passage say to us about our influence and impact on the world?

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We have an effect on society in two ways… • •

Presence--- the kind of people we are…. Participation--- our involvement in society…

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Presence Salvation Army soldiers are encouraged to wear a uniform. What is the main purpose of wearing uniform, and what does it say to non-Christian people? What is--- or should be--- the difference in our attitude to money, possessions, success in life? How do people in your neighborhood, school, place of work, etc. know that you are a Christian? What difference does your presence make? Page 61

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 2 1st Doctrine In the Gospel of Mark 11:28, a very important question is put to Jesus ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ It is a question which we need to answer: What is your authority for the things you believe? What is your authority for the way you behave?

Christians answer in three ways: Tradition • When we speak of the ‘tradition’ of the Christian Church we mean the teaching which is handed down from one generation to another – the accumulated wisdom of the centuries. • We have great respect for these traditional teachings – our doctrines represent the ‘tradition’ of The Salvation Army. But there are dangers in making tradition the chief source of authority. • Tradition can bend away from the truth! (Mark 7: 8-13)

Personal Experience •

Personal experience is important! ‘You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.’ The place of public personal testimony in Army meetings is an indication of the importance we place on personal experience. But again, there are dangers in making this the supreme source of our authority. Personal experience can result from: • A genuine experience of God • Our imagination • Mental illness • The influence of Satan

The Bible • Both tradition and personal experience need to be tested by a yardstick that is reliable and unchanging. Page 7

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has such an important place in our chapels and our meetings. We call men and women to discover the transforming power of God in their lives. A Salvation Army meeting should be an exciting event! And we are not just spectators! Ask yourself? • •

Do I come to the meetings believing that God is really going to work among us? Do I really want God to work among us?

This course is almost finished. It has attempted to explain something of the privilege and responsibility of soldiership. No course can fully prepare a person for the challenge of serving in God’s Army. But…. you do now have sufficient information and insight to help you make a prayerful and careful decision regarding God’s will for you… Father… I thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to die for me, and I thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen me. I believe that you want me to serve you… perhaps as a soldier in The Salvation Army. Please give me the understanding of your will for me. If this includes membership in The Salvation Army, give me courage to step out in faith and to accept the privileges and responsibilities of soldiership. Thank you for raising up The Salvation Army and for bringing me to this moment of commitment. In the name of Jesus I pray…. Amen!

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sanctuary and placed back in society. Could we be so bold as to say that the meal was brought closer to its origins in the Early Church?” (Phillip Needham in ‘Community In Mission’) Praying together The Salvation Army, at its best, is a praying movement. • Particularly in the early days, half-nights and even allnights of prayer were common. • We have talked together in this class about the need for personal prayer. We also need to consider the need for corporate, shared prayer. • Effective public prayer does not depend on eloquent language. It need only be • Sincere • Relevant • To the point

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 2 1st Doctrine That yardstick is the Bible, the written word of God! Write down the first doctrine of the Salvation Army: _____________________________________________________

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Check it out! We are making enormous claims for the Bible!

Ask yourself… • Am I willing to pray publicly when asked? • Am I willing to spend time in prayer with fellow Christians?

The Bible itself will help us to realize why we value it so highly.

Witnessing to God’s power The first Christians believed that when they worshipped God and witnessed to the presence and power of the risen Jesus things happened! • People were converted • Lives were transformed • The sick were healed • Evil was overthrown The early Salvationists shared these convictions. That is why a Salvation Army meeting is more than just a time to contemplate the greatness of God, more than just a time to hear the Word preached. The conviction that things happen leads to a call for men and women to respond! That is why the mercy seat… the holiness table… the mourners bench… the penitent form..

Inspiration • The word ‘inspiration’ is derived from the Latin word meaning ‘ to breath’.

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Three words – inspiration, revelation, verification – will help demonstrate the importance of the Bible.

We believe that the bible is ‘God-breathed.’ 2 Timothy 3:16

This does not mean that the writers of the books of the Bible were simply scribes, writing at God’s dictation. God works through the personalities and abilities of dedicated people. Luke 1: 1-4

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Revelation • The Bible is the written record of God’s self-revelation. We could never know God unless He had chosen to reveal Himself to us. • God does reveal something of Himself through the wonders of creation and through the voice of conscience. Romans 1: 18-20 • But He reveals Himself supremely through His Son Jesus. The Bible is the written record of this perfect revelation. • To put it as simply as possible: • The Old Testament looks forward to the coming of Jesus • The New Testament witnesses to the power of his live, death and resurrection. Hebrews 1: 1-3

action which served to demonstrate the spiritual superiority of one person over another. Every Christian has direct access to the grace of God through faith and prayer

Verification The Bible is verified – shown to be true – in a number of ways: 1) In its own pages • Written over many centuries by many different writers, the Bible possesses a remarkable degree of consistency and reliability. • It is the self-revelation of a God who is unchanging and absolute truth. • Jesus is the perfect revelation of God, and He is the window through which all the Bible should be viewed.

It is important to emphasize that we do not seek to quarrel with other Christians on this matter… We respect the sincere convictions of others. We do witness to the truth that Jesus is everywhere and always present with His people and that the enjoyment of His presence does not depend on the observance of any ceremony or ritual.

2) By its place in history • No other book has ever possessed the power of this Book to withstand attacks throughout the centuries. No other book could give material for hundreds of sermons Sunday after Sunday and still remain fresh and alive! 3) By its power to change men’s and women’s lives. •Men and women who accept the message of the Bible discover that their lives are changed John 20: 30, 31

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They asserted that Jesus did not set out to institute a new ceremony which was to be binding on all Christians everywhere for all time. Rather, they believed that every moment of every day should be lived in the recollection of all that Jesus has done for us and in recognition of His risen presence. Every meal, every conversation, every action of life should be an opportunity to share the life and love of Jesus with others.

Look at these two expressions of the convictions of Salvationists…. “There must be no baptismal service that can delude anyone into a vain hope of getting into Heaven without being ‘born again’. There must be no Lord’s supper ‘administered’ by anybody in such a way as to show anything like a priestly superiority of one over another – every saved person being a ‘priest unto God…’ There must never be a sacramental service at the end of a meeting so as to prevent the possibility of inviting sinners to the mercy seat.” (A statement drafted by George Scott Railton and issued in 1881 by William Booth) “Perhaps it is not quite accurate to say that the Army ‘discontinued’ the Lord’s supper. Let us say, rather, that the sacrament was transported from the high altar… out of the Page 58


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them He had used that simple action to explain to them that as food and drink sustained their physical life, so His body broken and His blood shed in death would bring them spiritual life. And after His resurrection He had revealed Himself in the home of Cleopas in that same simple action (Luke 24:30). The breaking of bread was, quite simply, the most natural way for the early Christians to celebrate and reinforce their exciting new fellowship with each other in Christ. Well… things didn’t stay that simple for very long! All too soon, what should have been an expression of fellowship became a source of division. Greed and even drunkenness began to spoil the common meal. (1 Corinthians 11: 17-33) The communion service became separated from its roots in the common meal. The Church began to believe that the ritual had power in itself to convey the grace of God, even to teach that the bread and the wine actually became the body and blood of Christ. This kind of thing encouraged the idea of a special priesthood who alone had the right to administer the grace of God through the giving of the cup and the bread to the ordinary believer.

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 2 1st Doctrine On your own! How would you answer someone who insisted that the Bible is full of errors, or that the Bible contradicts itself? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

It was against this kind of thinking that Salvation Army founders reacted. They had three major convictions on this matter: They were completely convinced that men and women are saved only through faith in Christ. There is no ceremony or ritual which can make a man or woman right with God. Such symbolic acts serve only to illustrate what is already real in the human heart. They believed in what the Bible calls ‘the priesthood of all believers’, and they would not be bound to any doctrine or Page 57

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Take it in: The Bible never sets out to prove the existence of God. The God of the Bible is not a theological abstraction to be debated. Rather, He is the one from whom we cannot escape.

Shared fellowship - Fellowship is a rich and special concept from the Bible. It means a deep and intimate sharing with Christ and with each other. It goes far deeper than just friendship.

The Bible confronts us with His awesome presence. It describes His character and His dealings with humanity. We will attempt to draw a picture of God from this description.

Fellowship means working together, growing together, rejoicing together, suffering together, worshipping together, witnessing together, serving together… all because we share in the new life that Jesus has made possible.

Two things need to be noted: 1. Our picture will always be less than the reality. God is too wonderful for us to understand Him perfectly. 2. The picture will be very useful in helping us to recognize God. But knowing Him personally is what really matters. Don’t stop at the picture!

Check it out:

God is Father! Here are the main points in the Bible’s description of God who loves us with a love that is greater than any human father’s care for his children: He is personal Isaiah 1: 18 He is Spirit John 4: 21-24 He is eternal Psalm 90: 2 He is unchanging Psalm 136 He alone is God Isaiah 45: 5, 6 He is everywhere present (Omnipresent) Jeremiah 23: 23, 24 He is all-knowing (Omniscient) Psalm 147: 5 He is all-powerful (Omnipotent) Matthew 19: 26 He is holy and righteous Isaiah 6: 1-7 He is loving and concerned for His people Exodus 3: 7,8 He is Creator, Preserver and Governor of the universe Psalm 104: 5-14 He calls His people to worship and obey Him Exodus 20: 3 Page 11

Fellowship unites us with people with whom, on a merely human level, we have little in common. Fellowship is costly. It cost Jesus His life to create this fellowship. It will cost us a great deal of love, patience and forgiveness to maintain it. But, because we have fellowship in and with the Spirit of Jesus – we share His life and power – genuine Christian fellowship with each other is a glorious privilege and possibility. So… ask yourself…. • Is my Corps a true Christian fellowship? • Am I willing to pay the price of fellowship? Breaking bread When the early believers broke bread together they were really expressing their fellowship in a manner that was both down-to-earth and highly significant. In a simple common meal they celebrated their life together. And, at the same time, they recalled the life and death of Jesus Christ and recognized His risen presence among them. What could be more natural? Jesus had often broken bread with His disciples (John 6:11). During His last meal with Page 56


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The Salvation Army does not observe the rite of baptism. The reason for this is not that our founders wanted to be at odds with the majority of the Church, nor was it that they did not take the Bible seriously. It was simply that they felt that there were many people who believed that baptism in itself could change a man and make him a Christian. They wanted to witness to the fact that such a change is not dependent on any rite or ceremony, but comes about only through faith in Christ. The one true Christian baptism does not depend on the physical element of water. It is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus does for all who accept Him as Savior and Lord (Matthew 3:11). And this alone makes us Christians (1 Corinthians 12:12,13). The public swearing-in of a Salvation Army soldier is not a new sacrament. It does not convey the grace of God on us. But it does fulfill the three-part purpose of baptism as celebrated by the Early Church. As we stand under the flag, we acknowledge that we are made new people through the blood – i.e. the death of Jesus Christ. We make an open witness that we are committed as soldiers in the Army of Christ. And in the swearing-in ceremony we are welcomed into the membership of the corps and of The Salvation Army.

Teaching the truth All Christian worship and fellowship will have the Word of God at the center. Every Salvation Army meeting will contain reading from the Bible. Genuine teaching has two aspects – it must explain the Word of God, and it must apply the Word of God to our everyday lives…

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 3 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Doctrines Write it down: The second doctrine of The Salvation Army is a brief word-picture of the God of the Bible. Write it down and try to remember it. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

God is Jesus! If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus is God perfectly revealed in a human life. Jesus is the human face of God! The Bible describes Jesus as an ordinary man. . . He is human as we are: Matthew 8:24; Mark 2:16; Mark 11:12; John 19:28; John 19:30 (tired, hungry, thirsty etc) He is truly human in His mind as well as in His body: Matthew 8:10; Luke 2:52 (surprised, growing etc) He faced temptation and needed to pray: Mark 1:35; Hebrews 4:15 But He is also described as the divine Son of God He himself makes remarkable claims: Mark 2:5; John 11:25; John 14:6, 10

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 3 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Doctrines And remarkable claims are made on his behalf: John 20:28; Colossians 1: 15-20; 2 Corinthians 5:19 As Christians, we cannot talk about Jesus without talking about God; We cannot talk about God without talking about Jesus. God reveals Himself to us supremely in Jesus;

So… Jesus is vital to our picture of God. Doctrine 4 describes the unique person of Jesus. Write it down and add it to your picture of God. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 9

Avoiding those mistakes, we do need to follow the spiritual principles on which the life of the Early Church was built – those principles we have already identified from the Scripture we read… Acts 2:40-47…. •Preaching the gospel •Welcoming new converts •Teaching the truth •Sharing fellowship •Breaking bread •Praying together •Witnessing to God’s power Preaching the gospel… every Salvation Army unit exists for the purpose of bringing men and women to Christ. If we cease to attract people to Christ, we cease to have any real reason for our existence.

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How effective is our Corps at reaching out to nonChristians?

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Welcoming new converts… The early church expected people to be converted… and they welcomed these new converts in a ceremony called baptism.

God is the Holy Spirit Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come in His place. John 14:26 His promise was fulfilled at Pentecost Acts 2:1-4 The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians Acts 2:39; Romans 8:9 The Holy Spirit is personal, not just an ‘influence’ Ephesians 4: 30, Romans 8:27 The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus Romans 8:9,10

Baptism in the early church had three purposes. It was a powerful dramatic symbol of what had happened in the life of the believer: he plunged under the water and then reappeared… he was expressing the truth that in becoming a Christian he had died to his old sinful life and risen to a new life in Christ… It was a public, open witness of the convert’s allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It was a “rite of initiation” – an expression of the Church’s welcome to this new member of the family of Jesus Christ.

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 3 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Doctrines

Let’s review this “personality quiz” we looked at last week…. And let’s share some of our own thinking about our own God given gifts… and how we see these gifts being used and exercised in the Tucson Temple Corps… and in sharing the gospel message with others.

He is God among us and within us! The Doctrine of the Trinity – three persons in one God – is not a smart bit of theology, dreamed up to confuse ordinary people! It is the Christian picture of God, drawn from the description given us in the Bible.

Salvation Army soldiers are not called by God to retreat into a private religious world. We do not drop out of society in order to serve the needs of the Army. • • • •

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This Army exists to serve the world. This Army exists to fight evil in all its forms. This Army exists to make the world a different place. This Army exists to claim the world for God.

We are called to change the world!

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WORSHIP & FELLOWSHIP Acts 2: 40-47

Think of it this way: •

There are two mistakes we can make when we look at the Early Church.

God revealed Himself to the Jewish people – One God, creator and Father.

First we can imagine that everything in the New Testament church was perfect and that there were no problems. That was certainly not the case. (Acts 5:1-6, Acts 6:1, 1 Corinthians 11: 17-22)

But when Jesus came, people who knew that there is one God, could only say in the face of the love and holiness of His life, “God, the creator, the one God and Father of all, is perfectly present in this man, Jesus.”

And when the early Christians experienced the Holy Spirit in their lives they had to acknowledge, “The one true God who has revealed Himself through Jesus His Son has come into our lives in all His fullness through the Holy Spirit.”

If God is eternal and unchanging, then He did not suddenly become the Son and then the Holy Spirit. Father, Son and Holy Spirit have existed from all eternity – the Trinity.

Second we can attempt to copy their pattern in every detail. People who do that forget the difference in culture that separates us and the freedom of the Holy Spirit to use different methods and different structures.

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We cannot fully understand God. But we can – and must – know Him as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

ask that your Holy Spirit will be my guide and helper. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer… In Jesus’ name…. Amen!

Write it down:

The third of our doctrines completes the picture of God.

Then don’t forget.. you need to go on encouraging and befriending your new Christian friends… Introduce them to the fellowship of the Corps; help them with prayer and Bible study… Be alongside to help when they need you..

Write out the third doctrine.

You too can be an evangelist!

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Ask God to give us courage and strength to stand and uphold Christian standards in a confused world.

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Ask God to give strength as you seek to serve Him… Ask God to help you as you discover your gifts… as you determine how to best use your time… and as you consider the matter of dedication of your money and resources… Ask God to allow you to witness…. Ask Him to lead you to a person who needs to hear the gospel message… ask for courage to speak… to listen… and to witness…

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Time for Prayer: Pray together the simple but profound prayer from 2 Corinthians 13:14: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Amen! Page 15

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 4 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th Doctrines

Repent Repentance is far more than feeling sorry. It is a change of heart and mind leading to a new direction of life. We must turn away from all that is wrong. (Isaiah 55:7) We must turn towards God and begin to follow Jesus wherever He leads. (Mark 8:34)

Check It out: Take a copy of the local newspaper.. search for articles which show the good side of people… acts of heroism, kindness or generosity.

Believe Faith is not just believing things about Jesus. Faith means trusting in Jesus. We must trust His character. He is the unique Son of God. (John 10:30) We must trust His work. His death on the cross deals with all our sins. (1 Timothy 1:15) We must trust His promises. He is alive and keeps all His promises. (John 11:25, 14:23) When we turn away from our sins and trust in Jesus, something happens to us! The Holy Spirit enters our lives and makes us new people (John 3:5, 2 Corinthians 5:17) We don’t always feel different. That isn’t the important thing. The important thing is we are different! Encourage the person with whom you are sharing. When we have explained the way of salvation, we need to encourage the person to make a commitment. Of course we must also be careful not to try to force a decision or to brow-beat the person.

Look for articles which show the other side, the darker side of humanity – articles which describe such things as crime, warfare, greed. We’ve got a problem! There’s something strange about the human race! People are capable of doing a great deal of good and….. apparently, terrible evil. What’s the explanation? Is evil just the growing pains of the human race? Or is evil something that can be cured by proper education or better living conditions? Not according to the Bible… The first few chapters of Genesis explain the truth about all of us. •

But we have all gone wrong, we are all sinners •

Through our disobedience and pride we have become alienated from God and from each other Read Genesis 3

The rest of the Bible makes it clear that what happened in the Garden of Eden is not just the story of Adam and Eve. It’s the truth about all of us. Read Romans 7: 15-25

But… if they are ready to commit their life to Christ, then it may be helpful for them to pray something like this: Father I acknowledge that I have sinned and gone my own way. I am willing to turn away from all that I know to be wrong… and to follow Jesus. Thank you for Jesus dying on the cross to forgive my sin. I commit my life to you completely and

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We are made in the image of God, to enjoy fellowship with Him and to care for His world. Read Genesis 1: 26-30

We seem powerless to help ourselves… SO… what can be done?

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God has an answer! Only God can deal with our sin. But since He is pure and good and holy He cannot simply say that sin doesn’t matter – clearly it does matter. God has done something about our sin. Through Jesus He has made an atonement – literally ‘at-one-ment’. He has made us ‘at-one’ with Himself. He has reconciled sinful people to Himself. The Bible insists that the death of Jesus is the answer to our sin. We can never fully explain how the death of Jesus works, but the Bible does give us some helpful pictures. The key to understanding all of these pictures is the fact that Jesus is God-in-man. Through Jesus, God does for us what we could never do for ourselves. With that in mind the Bible invites us to think of the death of Jesus in these ways: 1. A demonstration of God’s love: Read Romans 5: 8 Through the death of Jesus God is saying, “Although you are sinners, I still love you enough to die for you.” 2. A ransom: Read John 8: 34; Mark 10: 45 We are slaves to sin; we cannot free ourselves. Jesus pays the price of our freedom by His death on the cross. 3. A sacrifice: Read 1 John 2: 2 In Old Testament times sacrifice, the death of an animal, was a symbolic way of offering your life back to God to atone for sins. But the symbol never matched the reality.

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 8

But… we can’t reach everybody… We can reach the people in our own sphere of influence… “I don’t know many people.” Family……… work……. school……… neighbors…… Corps people (including youth)…. leisure time…..

HOW? Prepare the way First you should pray, asking God for the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Remember, we don’t make people Christians… God does! We are just channels of His power…. Then cultivate the friendship of the person God has laid on your heart. When someone knows and trust you, they will be much more ready to hear what you have to say. Finally… be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit… to the right opportunity… to the needs of the person…. Share your faith At the proper time… when you sense that the person is “ready”… Explain the way of salvation • Don’t preach at people, and don’t be so eager to talk that you forget to listen! • Be prepared to explain to people how they can become Christians • One simple way is to use Doctrine 7… with Bible verses to support…

Men went on sinning! Read Hebrews 10: 1-4 Page 17

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 8

Why? This question does not require much time… Remember our study of the doctrines? • God created us. • But we have all sinned and rebelled against Him • Jesus died to forgive our sins and bring us back to God. • We must accept by faith what Jesus has done for us…. We need to share the gospel because: • It is the only way for men and women to be reconciled to God. • It is the only way to real life. • It is the only answer to the world’s deepest need.

When?

4. A substitute: Read Isaiah 53: 4-6 Through Jesus, God Himself carries the pain and the punishment of our sins. 5. A victory over evil: Read Colossians 2: 15 The history of mankind is one long, sorry tale of our defeat by evil. But Jesus, on the cross, faced evil at its worst and went on loving and forgiving. He completely defeated the powers of evil. This then is what we have to do….

This may be a bit more difficult •

Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. He does not offer an animal. He gives Himself fully to God, even to the point of death on the cross.

We share the gospel through our participation in Corps activities. We share the gospel by testifying, by taking part in meetings, by playing in the band, by singing in the songsters, by wearing uniform…. By leading youth groups…by????

God has done all that is needed to deal with our sins. He offers His forgiveness to every man and woman. The opportunity to have the slate wiped clean, the chance of a brand new beginning in life. All we need to do is accept His offer… But How?

The truth is a Christian is called to share the gospel at all times. At work, at school, when we relax with friends, at home with our families… wherever and whenever—that’s the place and time to share the gospel And YOU are the person to do it!

By doing two things: 1. Repent: Read Mark 1: 14, 15 Repentance isn’t just feeling sorry. It is a complete “about face”. We turn away from our sins and turn towards God.

Who? Who should you be reaching with the gospel? In a word…. Everybody!

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2. Believe: Read Acts 16: 31 Real faith is not just believing various statements about Jesus. Real faith means a personal trust – believing in Jesus, believing that He can and does forgive your sins. Page 18


SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 4 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th Doctrines

And that’s not all…. God doesn’t just do something for us through Jesus’ death. When we are Christians He works in us. We become different people

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 8

Give a tenth of your money back to the Lord! This means that rather than giving to God what is left over of our money… after we have taken care of our other financial commitments… and spent what we want to spend… we actually put Him first in our budget!

Big changes take place… When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.. 1. We are born again: Read John 3: 6, 2 Corinthians 5: 17 This is what Doctrine 7 calls ‘regeneration’. The Holy Spirit lives in the lives of Christian people to make them brand new creatures. 2. We are put right with God: Read Romans 3: 23, 24 We are ‘ justified by faith’. That means that although we are guilty sinners, God acquits us and looks on us as being righteous because of our faith in Jesus.

3. We are adopted into God’s family: Read Romans 8: 14-17 When we are born anew through the Holy Spirit we become members of a new family. We are the sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, and fellow-heirs to all God’s riches. 4. We are given an inward assurance of our new life: Read Romans 8: 15 William Booth used to say that there were ‘think-so’ Christians, and there were ‘hope-so’ Christians, but Salvationists must be ‘know-so’ Christians. When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us an inward assurance that we are forgiven and made members of God'’ family. This is ‘the witness in himself’ of which Doctrine 8 speaks.

It means that the more you earn, the more you give…. Earn less… give less! It means that Jesus really is Lord in one of the most important areas of life… And it means that we can and will discover the joy and fulfillment of giving to God! Perhaps you need to write down your budget… and see how much you spend on clothing, entertainment, travel, food, rent, etc…. and how much you give to the Lord’s work each month…. In order to be an effective soldier, we must be willing to be obedient servants and stewards. God needs your talents, your time, your money. Or… better said… God needs you to give back to Him, His talents, His time, His money!

EVANGELISM Four big questions regarding evangelism: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Why… do we need to share the gospel? When… should we share the gospel? Who are the people we should reach with the gospel? How do we share the gospel?

Thank God… For all that He has done for us through Jesus…. Page 19

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DECIDE YOUR TIME All of our gifts come from God… and, if we are truly committed to Jesus Christ as Lord, all our time belongs to Him.

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 4 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th Doctrines

And… Be sure that you know what salvation means, not just in theory, but in experience. Read Doctrines 5, 6,7,and 8 carefully…

We don’t just serve God when we are in the Church… or only on Sunday… or just when we are involved in Army activities. Our work, study, leisure, family time…. All our time belongs to Him…. And proper use of all of our time is serving God….

Then in the light of this week’s study, write them out in your own words. Try to keep the language simple so that someone who is not a Christian can understand what is meant. ___________________________________________________________

We need… we must have … we must find..

___________________________________________________________

a proper balance in the use of our time… ___________________________________________________________

Perhaps you will want to spend a little time thinking about how you use your time…. Maybe even a chart where you list those things you do… and categorize them…

___________________________________________________________

Is there proper balance of work and leisure? Are you giving too little time to the Church? Are you giving too much time?

___________________________________________________________

DEDICATE YOUR MONEY

___________________________________________________________

Before we get excited… remember it is dedicate… not donate… your money!

___________________________________________________________

Money and stuff are the same as our time… it all belongs to God!

___________________________________________________________

We need to be systematic in how we use our money.

___________________________________________________________

The method rooted in the Bible … it’s simple! Page 47

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 8

Let’s share some of our own language Doctrines… 5, 6, 7, 8

Nobody possesses all the gifts, but… nobody is without some gift!

You cannot stand still in the Christian life! You can’t become a Christian and stop at that.

We are all needed in Christian service!

You either progress or you slip backwards!

Ask God… when you pray, ask God to help you to discover and develop your gifts.

So… be warned. We need to consider three things: 1. The possibility of backsliding: 2. The privilege of holiness: 3. The hope of Heaven

So… how can we discover our gifts?

Ask yourself… In what ways do you honestly think you are gifted? Don’t be either falsely modest or unduly proud… What kind of things do you do well? What kind of things give you most satisfaction? What kind of things do you believe God wants you to do?

These three aspects of Christian belief are taught in the Bible and highlighted in Doctrines 9, 10 and 11. CHECK IT OUT

The possibility of backsliding Salvation is a gift from God – a gift He will never withdraw. BUT it is also a gift He will not force upon us.

• • • • •

Are you a leader? Are you a preacher? Are you a musician? Are you good at serving? Are you an able administrator?

Ask others…. Sometimes other Christians can see things in us we don’t know are there! They can encourage us to develop in ways we didn’t know were possible. Or they can help us be more realistic when we have a mistaken assessment of our gifts.

He asks for our willing co-operation in the Christian life. 1. The Bible warns of the reality of backsliding: Read: 1 Corinthians 10: 1-13

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Spend some time listening to God speak as you seek to discover your gifts!

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 5 9th, 10th, & 11th Doctrines

SERVICE & EVANGELISM

The story of the people of Israel is a warning from history. • Don’t be self-confident. • But trust God’s power when you are tempted.

Now, it’s time to talk about our practical commitment to Jesus Christ— SERVICE • Down to earth discipleship! • Salvation Army soldiership! There is work to be done… There are people who need to hear about Jesus… There is a war to be won… God ‘s Army needs YOU! It is time to consider service and evangelism. In Christian service, we must find a balanced approach… here are three rules for effective Christian Service. 1. Discover your gifts 2. Decide your time 3. Dedicate your money

2. The Bible warns that it is possible to stop trusting Jesus: Read: Hebrews 3:12, 19 Again there is a lesson from the history of Israel. • Keep on believing! 3. The Bible warns that it is possible to stop obeying Jesus: Read 2 Peter 2: 21,22 To know Jesus as Savior and then to reject His commands causes people to become cynical and hardhearted. If a man persists in that condition he will eventually throw away his relationship with Jesus Christ. Where do we go from here?

DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS Romans 12:3-8

Beware the danger of going backwards! This is not the only list of spiritual gifts in the New Testament. (See: Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 1 Peter 4:10,11) The message is clear.

We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ. (Doctrine 9)

The Holy Spirit gives us all gifts and abilities. These are given to us to use in service.

The privilege of holiness Here are six pointers to holiness-- six guidelines for

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good life. And… they are all from the Bible! 1. Discover what God wants • Read: 1 Peter 1:15 It is God’s will that we should be holy. Holy is the word the Bible uses to describe God’s own character. Jesus shows us what God is like. So God wants us to be like Jesus! 2. Know who you are • Read Philippians 1:1 These letters in the New Testament are addressed to ‘the saints’. All Christians! You are a saint! We are separated for God’s use and filled with His Spirit. 3. Take what you’re given Read Ephesians 4: 22-24

• • • • • • •

We are all potential saints. God has given us the power for holy living. We need to make a start in the holy life. We need to put off the old life with its sinful habits. And we need to put on the new way of life. We need to take our saintliness seriously!

4. Be what you are • Read Philippians 3: 12-14 • •

When we claim God’s power for holy living, that is just a start. Like a successful athlete we must keep going. Page 23

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her sexual orientation. The Christian must show love, patience, acceptance and understanding. Every means of help – spiritual, medical, social, psychiatric – should be offered. Where homosexual practice is admitted forgiveness must always be offered. Homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin. The Bible says much more about pride and selfishness than it does about homosexuality. The promise of liberation in Christ must be offered. Men and women can be delivered from homosexual practices even if their sexual orientation remains unchanged. (See 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11).

Thank God for the gift of sexuality • Ask Him for courage to uphold Christian standards in a confused world. • Ask Him for grace to express your sexuality in accordance with His will. ON YOUR OWN Speak to a Christian married couple and ask them to give you three important rules which they have discovered for a happy and fulfilling marriage. _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Page 44


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which scriptural standards of morality and sexual purity are established.”

Homosexuality Homosexuality is one of the most difficult subjects facing us today. In dealing with this matter a great deal of current discussion fails to take account of the fact that there are two questions to be answered. What is the Christian attitude toward homosexual practices? Homosexual practices are condemned in both the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) and in the New Testament (Romans 1: 27, 1 Timothy 1: 10 and 1 Corinthians 6: 9,10). The three New Testament passages taken in context, help us to understand why homosexual practices are condemned: • •

They are ‘unnatural’ – i.e., not according to God’s plan for sexual relationships between male and female. The are linked with evils which disrupt the harmony and well-being of society. Widespread homosexuality will weigh against marriage and family life which are the foundations of any healthy society. Those who indulge in such practices cannot be part of the Kingdom of God – i.e., they do not submit to His will and rule for mankind.

What is the Christian attitude toward homosexuals? There is no place in the Christian’s life for the kind of hatred and prejudice against homosexuals so prevalent among some people. No one is to be condemned because of his or

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 5 9th, 10th, & 11th Doctrines • • •

We must co-operate with the Holy Spirit. We must find strength in prayer and Bible study. We must aim to be more and more like Jesus

5. Share what you have • Read: Ephesians 4: 7, 11-13 We don’t live the life of holiness on our own. As part of a Christian family we help each other to be holy. God gives us all different gifts. As we share those gifts we build each other up! 6. Look where you’re going Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24

Christians look forward to the coming of Jesus. He will complete the work of holiness in us. Then we will really be like Him and reflect His image. Which is exactly what our doctrine tell us: We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Doctrine 10)

The hope of Heaven There is a great deal we do not understand about ‘last things’ -- the coming of Christ, the judgment of the world, Heaven and Hell. Page 24


SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 5 9th, 10th, & 11th Doctrines

But the Bible tells us enough – Enough to encourage us to get on with the holy life, and enough to make us confident that God will have complete victory through Jesus Christ.

Our final doctrine presents us with three great Bible truths: •

God has made us for eternity Read Genesis 1: 27

Man shares with the rest of the animal creation physical life. But man is different – we are made in the image of God. God has made us for eternity. •

God will raise us to a brand new kind of life. Read Romans 8: 10, 11

The new life God has given us has made us spiritually alive. As we grow in holiness that new life affects our total personality. And, although physically our bodies are growing old and will one day die, God will raise us up with brand new bodies. Heaven will not be a place of spooky spirits! Heaven will be a place of real people made completely new by the power of Jesus Christ!

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rectly contrary to the Biblical teaching that all human beings are creatures of great worth and dignity, made in the image of God. Clearly all forms of pornography are opposed to God’s will. Here is the official Salvation Army Position Statement on PORNOGRAPHY “The Salvation Army believes that sexuality is a gift of a loving Creator. It deplores pornography as a distortion of God's design for human happiness and well being. It decries pornography as an increasingly harmful scourge on society, endangering and degrading the physical, moral and spiritual welfare of all persons, especially women and children. The Salvation Army opposes pornography which is clearly linked with prostitution, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual dysfunction and other forms of sexual exploitation that promote perverted sex and violence as accompaniments to, or substitutes for, the kind of human intimacy which is reserved for marriage. Pornography demeans those victimized by its influence as well as those involved in its propagation. No longer an issue of private morality only, pornography has become a major economic force with vast societal and ethical implications. The Salvation Army believes that all people have the right to protection from such enterprises that erode society and exploit persons, and that those who neglect the public interest in this regard should be held legally accountable. The Salvation Army firmly supports the proper education of people on matters of wholesome sexual relationships based on the teachings of the New Testament. Above all, The Salvation Army is committed to the conversion of men and women to a new life in Jesus Christ in Page 42


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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 5 9th, 10th, & 11th Doctrines •

limits’. The second order is a concession to realism and it falls to the Church to work this out for itself, just as Moses had to work out in his day, what the proper limits must be when God’s original intention is perceived to have been frustrated by man. Despite such frustration, the Church has to continue to witness to the eternal validity of the first order rule by retaining for ‘for life’ vows in the marriage ceremony. Some Christian bodies… have interpreted the gospel statements on divorce in a way that prohibits the remarriage in church of any divorced person. On the other hand the Free Churches and The Salvation Army are prepared – in certain closely examined circumstances – to marry a divorced person.

Jesus Christ is the Man who will judge the world. All people will be judged by their reaction to Him. Those who have accepted Him as Savior will reign with Him in Heaven. Those who have rejected Him will discover the reality of eternity outside of God’s love. God in His love will respect the choices his children have made. Our final Doctrine is a statement of these eternal truths:

Each case is considered on its merits. No automatic bar to remarriage is felt to exist merely because of there having been a divorce.” The principle in this matter is really the same as in all matters of Christian behavior. We must strive to uphold the highest standards, while seeking always to show compassion and forgiveness to those who have failed to live up to those standards.

We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked. (Doctrine 11) So…

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where do we go from here?

Remember all that we have learned so far: •

Pornography By its very nature pornography sees other people – particularly women and children – as mere objects to be used for the purpose of sexual pleasure. This is di-

God will judge the world Read Acts 17:31

• •

The Bible is the written record of God’s revelation of Himself. He created us, He loves us. We are all sinners – we have rebelled against God and gone our own way. Page 26


SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 5 9th, 10th, & 11th Doctrines • •

But God has sent Jesus to die for us in order to forgive us. Not only that, but when we accept Jesus, God places His Holy Spirit within us to give us power to live holy lives. And ultimately He wants us to live with Him in Heaven for all eternity.

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• • •

without the responsibility. It can never be truly fulfilling outside the commitment of marriage. It can very easily become an exercise in using a person rather than a supreme expression of love. It is a failure to use our bodies for the glory of God.

------------------------------------------------------------------------In light of all this love God has shown to us, what kind of lives should Christian people live?

DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE In an age of marriage breakdown, we must continue to uphold the sanctity and permanence of marriage. If, as Ephesians 5: 21-23 teaches, marriage should be a reflection of the love of Jesus for us, then that love should not be broken

___________________________________________________________

We can never look on divorce as an acceptable “norm”.

God has done all this for us!

___________________________________________________________

From “Strong Doctrine, Strong Mercy” listen to the words of Shaw Clifton, commenting on Mark 10: 2-12 and Matthew 19: 3-9

___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

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“We can extract from these two passages in general terms some idea of what Jesus thought. It would appear that he distinguished between two orders in the world and human affairs. The first order is that indicated by the words ‘ from the beginning’ (Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:8). This is the order of God’s eternal purpose for man in which the rule is: ‘no divorce’. Even Moses cannot alter this. The second order is that signified by the phrase ‘for your hardness of heart’ (Mark 10:5 and Matthew 19:8). This is the order of things as they now stand in an imperfect world and for which the rule is: ‘divorce within Page 40


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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 6

_________________________________________________

Share some of your own thoughts on what kind of lives Christian people should live.

_________________________________________________

Check it out ! Read Romans 12: 1,2

____________________________________________

___________________________________________.

Discuss what you believe these passages are saying to us. It would seem that, contrary to popular opinion, God is not against sex – it’s His idea! Far from seeking to spoil our enjoyment, the teaching of the Bible is that we should follow the Maker’s instructions for really satisfying results! In the light of Biblical teaching on sexual matters it is possible to reach a clear Christian position with regard to the issues which confront us today. Pre-marital and extra-marital sexual relationships • Sex is one of God’s great gifts to us. • It is the means by which we share in God’s creation of new people.

The first 11 chapters of Romans are like the first five classes in this course! Paul has been answering faith questions – he has been explaining all that God in His love has done for sinners. Now, like us, he turns to fighting talk. In the light of all God has done fur us, what kind of lives should we live? How should we fight the battle against evil? The answer is direct and to the point: • •

We must give ourselves fully to God -“living sacrifices”. We must allow God to change our thinking and our attitudes – “be transformed by the renewing of your minds…”

The question is this: How can we be sure that we go on giving ourselves fully to God, allowing Him to go on making us into effective Christian soldiers?

Sexual intercourse before marriage or with a third party outside of marriage is wrong because: • It is an attempt to have the privilege of marriage Page 39

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Discuss the following paragraph:

Marriage

The needed change within us is God’s work, not ours. The demand is for an inside job, and only God can work from the inside. We cannot attain or earn this righteousness of the Kingdom of God; it is a grace that is given. God has given us the disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving His grace. These disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that He can transform us… The inner righteousness we seek is not something that is poured on our heads. God has ordained the disciplines of the spiritual life as the means by which we are placed where He can bless us. (Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline)

Read Ephesians 5: 21-33

Salvationists are called to be disciplined people. We are disciplined in order to be free;

_________________________________________________

• • • • •

_________________________________________________

Free from self- centeredness Free from bad habits Free from guilt Free to serve God Free to serve others.

Discipline is not slavery to rules and regulations. It is the means by which we claim the freedom to be free to be the people God means us to be. Let’s consider the disciplines of a Salvation Army soldier.

What do we learn from this passage about the importance of marriage and about the attitude of the partners to each other? _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________

Sexual standards Read 1 Corinthians 6: 13b-20 What do these verses say to us about the meaning of sexual intercourse? And why is it so important what we do with our bodies? _________________________________________________

Private disciplines _________________________________________________ Page 29

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 6

Share with the class your own experience of disciplined prayer and Bible reading this past week.

The most important disciplines are those which are not seen by other people, which involve just ourselves and God.

We live in an age which is preoccupied with sex. Some sections of the popular press and entertainment industry seem to deal with little else! Despite this – or perhaps because of it – there is widespread confusion about standards of behavior in sexual matters. As Christians we need to know not only what is right but equally why we uphold certain standards.

Prayer: • •

Restraining prayer, we cease to fight: Prayer makes the soldier’s armor bright… Song 646, verse 3

We need to find a place for prayer – not just a physical place where we can be alone, but a place in our time each day when we can speak to God and listen for His voice.

Let’s begin with some key passages from the Bible. We need to find a pattern for prayer. Do you know the ‘ACTS” of prayer?

Human Sexuality Read Genesis 1: 26-28 What does this passage tell us about men, women and human sexuality? _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Page 37

Begin with Adoration – a time to worship and praise God for what He is in Himself and for all He has done for us: Then go on to Confession – say sorry to God for any sin of which you are aware and claim His forgiveness; Next there is Thanksgiving – express your gratitude to God for all the good things you have, especially for Jesus. But be warned – once you start listing your blessings you could spend a long time in thanksgiving. Finally there is Supplication – make your needs known to God. This isn’t just an opportunity to Page 30


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ask for all you’d like. Ask God to show you His will and for strength to follow. And don’t forget the needs of others. Bible Study: The Bible is God’s written word to us. It is both our rule for living and a unique means of grace by which we gain strength to follow that rule. The Bible must have a central place in the life of every Christian. The Salvation Army soldier who neglects to read the Bible is like an athlete who eats only junk food. He will always be struggling! In fact, reading the Bible is just like a good physical diet. It should be: Regular: There is no point in eating well once a week and going hungry the rest of the time. Daily Bible reading is the key to a healthy spiritual life. Planned: We need to eat a balanced diet, not just the things we like most. Don’t just ‘dip into’ the Bible, or choose the bits you know. A good Bible reading aid (Words Of Life or Daily Walk) is like a good recipe book. It will help ensure you take in all you need.

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C. Honesty With regard to basic honesty, how would you deal with the suggestion that it isn’t as bad to steal from the government or a large company as it is to steal from an individual? • • •

Salvationists believe that ‘debt is a great evil’. Why is debt a bad thing? How can we decide between legitimate financial dealing – i.e. using a credit card, buying goods ‘on time”, taking a bank loan – and wrongful debt?

Gambling is highly undesirable for the following reasons Of the following, which do you find most convincing? • Christians believe that God cares for us and that our lives are in His hands, but gambling is based on a belief in luck and blind chance • Gambling is really an attempt to gain money without doing any work • Gambling is addictive for many people • Gambling is very often closely associated with organized crime • Money won by gambling is really money taken from weak people. Thank God that He gives us the power to be free. Ask God for the strength to live a disciplined life in order that we might enjoy that freedom.

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A. Abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, drugs How important are the following reasons with regard to our non-drinking principles? • Alcohol affects our judgment • Alcohol may lead to addiction • If I drink it may influence others to do so • The alcohol industry aims its advertising at the young with suggestions that it is sexy/glamorous to drink • Alcohol is often a factor in violent crime • Alcohol damages health. Tobacco was described in the following way in the first edition of Salvation Army Soldier’s regulations: • Injurious to health • Unclean • A waste of money • A disagreeable infliction upon others • An unnatural habit of self-indulgence Are these statements still true? How would you answer someone who argued that drugs are a means of liberation, expanding your consciousness, or just relaxing? B. Careful use of leisure-time • • •

Why is proper leisure-time important? How does a Christian decide which pastimes are acceptable and which are not? Should a Christian spend all his or her leisure-time with other Christians? Page 35

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 6

Nourishing: We don’t eat just for the sake of eating. We eat for health. In the same way, Bible reading is not an end in itself. We need to be asking God as we read: • What does this passage mean? • What do you want me to learn from it?

Meditation: We live in a world in which noise and bustle have become poor substitutes for spiritual depths. You cannot fight for God if you do not take time to be quiet, time to meditate, time to think things through, time to hear God’s voice. Here are three important ways in which you can meditate: Take just one verse of the Bible that has particularly challenged you in your reading and think about it for a few minutes. Say it over to yourself several times and let it speak to you. Make time to examine yourself spiritually, a kind of spiritual progress report. This questionnaire was written by William Booth… It is very useful for this kind of meditation. •

Am I habitually guilty of any known sin? Do I practice or allow myself in any thought, word or deed which I know to be wrong?

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SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 6

• •

• • •

Am I so the master of my bodily appetites as to have no condemnation? Do I allow myself in any indulgence that is injurious to my holiness, growth in knowledge, obedience or usefulness? Are my thoughts and feelings such as I should not be ashamed to hear published before God? Does the influence of the world cause me to do or say things that are unlike Christ? Do my tempers cause me to act, or feel, or say things that I see afterward are contrary to that love which I ought to bear always to those about me? Am I doing all in my power for the salvation of sinners? Do I feel concern about their danger, and pray and work for their salvation as if they were my children? Am I fulfilling the vows I have made to God in my acts of consecration, or at the Penitent-form? Is my example in harmony with my profession? Am I conscious of any pride or haughtiness in my manner or bearing? Do I conform to the fashions and customs of the world, or do I show that I despise them? Am I in danger of being carried away with worldly desire to be rich or admired?

Although some of the language of the time is different, there is a great deal to be learned from this questionnaire. Page 33

SOLDIER PREPARATION Session 6

If there is a situation which is worrying you, lay it out before God. If it involves a difficult decision you have to make, it is useful to write out on a piece of paper the options which face you. Think the matter through with the help of God. Fasting Don’t be shocked! Fasting isn’t just for people who are super-pious! Our Self-Denial (World Services) period is meant to be a time of fasting. Fasting does three things: • It helps to focus our attention on God: • It demonstrates who is master – me or my appetite! • It releases resources to help others. And fasting means more than just going without food. • Try fasting from too much television • Try fasting from careless conversation • Try fasting from excessive spending… • Try fasting from ????? The results might just surprise you! Public disciplines Salvationists are well-known for their disciplined Christian lives. Discuss the following three areas in which we express our freedom through disciplined living:

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Soldier Class Book  

Soldier Class

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