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Midway Baptist Chiurch . San Diego, CA . 619.424.7870 . www.highvoltagesandiego.com


1 | Authentic Faith


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2 | Spiritual Discipline ...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

Physical Training

Physical training is an interesting thing. Genesis 1:26-27 explains how we were all created in the image of God. He designed our face, hair, skin, as well as our spiritual awareness. He also designed the functions of our body. As a result, we have this amazing machine that we inhabit that does amazing things. Since God designed our bodies and the way they function, when we study it we can gain a VERY SMALL glimpse of the creativity and awesomeness of who He is and how He has designed our bodies to be a testimony of Him. What am I saying? Our physical bodies are not separate from God’s purposes. There is a DIRECT ILLUSTRATION between our physical health and growth and our spiritual health and growth. Let’s look at it for a minute! Pattern of muscle growth | HYPERTROPHY Neural Response Neural increase in stimulating muscle contraction.

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(Primary source: UCSD department of muscle physiology; The Journal of Physiology; Brooks, Excercise Physiology, MH)

Genetic Response As the muscles receives increased demand the genes are “upgraded”. These genes determine the “contractile protein gene response”

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Protein Synthesis Finally the message filters down to change the way your muscle proteins react to the increased demands. When demand is sustained long enough, additional contractile proteins are produced and added to your existing MYOFIBRILS (these are the fibers that make up your muscles). These fibers can only get soo big before they split. THIS IS HYPERTROPHY - the growth of your muscle cells - NOT THE INCREASE OF THE # OF YOUR MUSCLE CELLS. It can take as long as 2 months of this process occur ing before actual HYPERTROPHY begins.

Pattern of muscle loss | ATROPHY Muscular ATROPHY is the exact opposite of HYPERTROPHY. Do you remember what initiated HYPERTROPHY? The brains increased signals requiring muscle use! Atrophy, then, would be the ABSENCE OF these signals that require muscular use. What happens to your muscles when they ATROPHY? They shrink and get weak. The lack of use sends them into a type of “dormancy” and the contactile proteins that made them big, breakdown. This is called “Protein Degradation”.

WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES ALL OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ROMANS AND SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE!?!

Well, I’m glad you asked! Because God created the world and everything in it, spiritual principles can be illustrated by the physical world around us.

Romans

Here’s how this church in Rome was started and some 411 on what was going on at this time... So when we get to Romans 5:1, we can understand that since Paul had not been to this church yet, he was laying a docrinal basis for the church and for unity among believers. He addressed a LOT of issues and spelled out the basics of what a healthy, functioning church should believe.


2 | Spiritual Discipline ...the just shall live by faith.

Spiritual Training

- Romans 1:16-17

In Physical Training, it takes discipline to endure enough excercise to increase the demand on your muscles to the point those contractile proteins increase and true hypertrophy takes place. Just like in Physical Training, Spiritual training takes discipline.

Def | Spiritual Discipline is the process of seeking God’s plan and purpose through every situation.

Romans 5:1-5 | How does my life merge with my faith?

In Romans 5:1-5, Paul addresses the PROCESS and PATTERN of growing stronger spiritually. If you are going to live your life by faith, you have to have SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE.

Challenge/Situation -> Patience -> Experience -> Hope -> No Shame!

Step #1: Realize that every situation you will ever face has a specific GOD INTENDED OUTCOME!

Many times we let circumstances, situations and trials DESTROY us! We roll over and go into a depressed clump of snot and emotion in some cases. In other cases we react out of rage or anger and drive wedges between us and our freinds, or us and our family. Sometimes we just shut the world out and go into solitary confinement for a while. The key to overcoming this is realizing that God has a purpose in EVERY SINGLE SITUATION... PERIOD! Romans 8:28-30 Philippians 1:8 James 1:2-4 Genesis 50:20

Step #2: Realize that you can ATROPHY SPIRITUALLY. Hebrews 5:11-13

Here is a group of people who should have been at the point of spiritual strenghth and instead they needed to be taught the same stuff again! We have to watch out and realize that our spiritual growth does not take place on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. If you are going to grow in your faith, you have to take responsibilty for it!

Step #3: Understand that to discover God’s Purpose and avoid atrophy is an intentional (On Purpose) act. Hebrews 5:14; Romans 5:3-5

The Truth is that as you EXCERCISE your spiritual senses by using them intentionally, you are transforming your mind. As this transformation begins to happen, it will become more and more natural to think spiritually and to make faster judgments based on Biblical principles. This is the Coffee Filter Spiritual Discipline is intentionally filtering our perspective of EVERYTHING through the filter of the Bible. This is Romans 12:1-2 in action - TRANSFORM YOUR MIND! TRANSFORM YOUR THINKING!

1. That means at every turn in life we ask ourselves, “what does God think about this?” 2. Whenever we are challenged, we ask, “what does the Bible say about this?” 3. And then ask, “how does God want me to respond?”

Just like with a physical workout, you have to PRACTICE! You will never GROW spiritually if you do not practice!!! If you don’t put in the work-out you will never experience its benefit! You will never look like me if you don’t PUMP SOME IRON!!!


3 | Moral Boundaries

...the just shall live by faith.

Review

- Romans 1:16-17

1 | Authentic Faith - Romans 1:16-17

A) Establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ - Romans 10:9-13 B) Allow your relationship with Christ to guide you - Romans 12:1-2 Illustration: Coffee Maker When water is poured through a coffee filter it transforms it into something good and desirable. Just like that, our lives should be transformed through the Word of God. When we read and study it and do what it says, its the same as “filtering” our lives through God’s filter! This is authentic faith! It’s living life according to his Word!

2 | Spiritual Discipline - Romans 5:1-5

A) Realize every situation you will ever face has a GOD INTENDED OUTCOME. B) Realize that you CAN atrophy spiritually C) Understand that to discover GOD’s PURPOSE and to AVOID ATROPHY is an INTENTIONAL ACT! Illustration: Weight Lifting A weight lifter does not become a muscle-bound freak by thinking about weight lifting, or by staring at weights. He does it by pushing him/herself to work hard and press through the workouts to experience the benefit of large muscles. The more he/she works out, the easier it becomes. If they stop working out, their muscles will actually shrink! It’s the same in our spiritual life. When we consciously work to make Godly decisions, Godly decisions will become more natural. When we live life by making decisions based on our own lusts and desires, we will atrophy spiritually.

3 | How does my life merge with my faith? By having MORAL BOUNDARIES. Def | Moral 1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary. 2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson. 3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life. 4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation. 5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support. 6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty. Def | Boundary 1. a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line : the eastern boundary of the wilderness | the boundary between the U.S. and Canada | [as adj. ] a boundary wall. 2. (often boundaries) figurative a limit of a subject or sphere of activity : a community without class or political boundaries.

Illustration: Ping Pong Table

When you play ping pong, anything off the table is out-of-bounds. If it hits the table it is good. If you are constantly hitting the ball off the table, you will never win! If you can keep the ball on the table, you will dominate! Having Moral Boundaries is like a ping pong table. Just like in ping pong, in life AND IN FAITH there are places you have to draw lines if you are going to live victoriously.


3 | Moral Boundaries

...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

3 | How does my life merge with my faith? By having MORAL BOUNDARIES. So what are we talking about when we say “Moral Boundaries”? Romans 6-8 Moral Boundaries ARE: Moral Boundaries are NOT: 1) Voluntary Limits on the BEHAVIORS we choose. Romans 6:1-2 This requires excercising that SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE we talked about! We tend to walk up to the edge and try to see how close we can get and still be on the table.

1) A LEGALISTIC standard to acheive righteousness. Romans 7:7-14 Watch out!!! Matthew 15:1-20 Conforming to a strict set of rules and regulations does not make you righteous! DANGER IN BOTH DIRECTIONS: - Some people associate certain looks, dress hair, etc with BEING righteous... NOT! - Others, in rebellion usually, go to the other extreme and say, “I will throw out all rules and regulations be cause I am not a legalist!” -its the same thing.

1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23

2) Evidence of our Salvation Romans 6:3-14 The way you live your life will give a clear testimony to your heart condition because Proverbs 4:23 says that your heart drives your life. Matthew 5:37, 6:24; 1 John 2:15; 1 Samuel 16:7

3) Tools to help us grow in our faith! Romans 6:15-22 By setting boundaries in our lives we can head Atrophy off at the start so it does not drag us backwards in our spiritual walk. They also allow us to live in ways God desires for us so we can accomplish His purposes. Leviticus 11:44-45; Philippians 3:13-14; Romans 8:29

Remember 1 Samuel 16:7! 2) Restrictions designed to keep us from having fun. Romans 7:14-25 Why do we think this way? The consequenc es to sin is death. Temporary experience does not compensate for it’s outcome. Hebrews 11:24-27; 1 Corinthians 10:32-33

3) A way to withhold good things from us. Romans 8:1-4 Many times these are justification for our choices and behaviors. We fail to realize that those in authority over us generally want the BEST for us. This is true of God also, He wants the best for us and he has demonstrated that by sending His on Son. John 3:16; Jeremiah 29:11-14a

3 | MORAL BOUNDARIES: The Bottom Line

The bottom line is Moral boundaries are an issue of the heart. They reveal (show) our heart attitude to others and protect us from pain and suffering as well as provide health and protection. They stem out of a love relationship with Jesus!

Heart of Love for Jesus Christ

Moral Boundaries


4 | Meaningful Relationships ...the just shall live by faith.

Review

- Romans 1:16-17

1 | Authentic Faith - Romans 1:16-17

A) Establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ - Romans 10:9-13 B) Allow your relationship with Christ to guide you - Romans 12:1-2 Illustration: Coffee Maker When water is poured through a coffee filter it transforms it into something good and desirable. Just like that, our lives should be transformed through the Word of God. When we read and study it and do what it says, its the same as “filtering” our lives through God’s filter! This is authentic faith! It’s living life according to his Word!

2 | Spiritual Discipline - Romans 5:1-5

A) Realize every situation you will ever face has a GOD INTENDED OUTCOME. B) Realize that you CAN atrophy spiritually C) Understand that to discover GOD’s PURPOSE and to AVOID ATROPHY is an INTENTIONAL ACT! Illustration: Weight Lifting A weight lifter does not become a muscle-bound freak by thinking about weight lifting, or by staring at weights. He does it by pushing him/herself to work hard and press through the workouts to experience the benefit of large muscles. The more he/she works out, the easier it becomes. If they stop working out, their muscles will actually shrink! It’s the same in our spiritual life. When we consciously work to make Godly decisions, Godly decisions will become more natural. When we live life by making decisions based on our own lusts and desires, we will atrophy spiritually.

3 | Moral Boundaries - Romans 6-8

Moral Boundaries ARE: A) Voluntary limits on the behaviors, thoughts and attitudes we choose. Romans 6:1-2 B) Evidence of our Authentic Faith in Christ. Romans 6:3-14 C) Tools to help us grow in our relationship with Christ. Romans 6:15-22 Moral Boundaries are NOT: A) A list of legalistic standards designed to achieve righteousness. Romans 7:7-14 B) Restrictions designed to keep us from having fun. Romans 7:14-25 C) A way for God to withhold good things from us. Romans 8:1-4

Illustration: Ping Pong A ping pong table is unique because it is elevated off the ground. Any shot hit on the table is IN BOUNDS. If a shot goes off the table, however, it is OUT OF BOUNDS. A champion ping pong player is someone who is really good at keeping the ball ON THE TABLE. Just like in ping pong, if we are going to live the life that God has for us, we have to establish boundaries that we do not cross. Living within those boundaries keeps us safe, protected and provides an environment where God can shape us and use us. Living within those boundaries can only come from a heart of LOVE for God and His Word. Living according to those boundaies apart from a desire to follow God is legalism. Rejection of those boundaries is liberalism. Both lead to the same place... destruction! The voluntary boundaries we choose can only be found in God’s Word and are clearly drawn though Paul... Sin and the Appearance of Sin! Romans 6-8; 12:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Proverbs 4:23; 25:28

4 | How does my life merge with my faith?

By establishing MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS.

Romans 12:9-21 (21) - In this passage Paul explains how believers are supposed to interact with others.


4 | Meaningful Relationships ...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

The world revolves around relationships.

Think about it. Everything is based on interaction between people. Wars involve people, peace involves people, government involves people, the economy is all about people, acceptance involves people, learning involves people, everything involves people interacting with other people. Q: If you look at your life, what kinds of relationships do you have? Relationships are VERY important and God has a LOT to say about them. He may even say some things that surprise you. He may say some things that make you mad at first, but WILL make sense to you if you are honest with yourself.

1 | What do your relationships say about you? A) Your relationships will show you if you are LEADER or a FOLLOWER. God calls us to be LEADERS. Romans 12:21 - Do not be OVERCOME by EVIL, but OVERCOME EVIL with GOOD. B) Your relationships will reveal to others what you are like. Amos 3:3 - The only way for two people to be FRIENDS is if they AGREE. “Birds of a feather flock together”, “You are known by the company you keep”, etc. This may not be fair, but remember from last week? Proverbs 4:23

Relationships are like the game of golf. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Unlike many sports, golf is an individual sport. There are not many sports that way (maybe tennis). One unique characteristic about golf (verifiable by nearly every golfer), is that if you are a mediocre golfer, you tend to play more like those who you are playing with. For example, when playing with golfers who are really good, a mediocre golfer will slow down, take more time, look at shots more carefully and typically play a little better than his/her average game. If that same golfer plays with others who are not as good, his/her game will typically suffer because there is not as much expectation to perform at a higher level. Shots aren’t as important, short putts don’t matter as much and the overall thought process through the game is not as serious. Life is the same way. When you surround yourself with people who aren’t as concerned with their spiritual walk, YOU WON’T BE AS CONCERNED EITHER. If you surround yourself with people who are concerned about living according to their authentic faith, who exercise spiritual discipline, and who set-up moral boundaries in their lives, you will live out your faith to a higher degree.

2) What does God say about your Friendships? A) Choose CHRISTIAN friends who ENCOURAGE you to grow in your relationship with Christ Proverbs 13:20; 27:17 - Choosing friends who have the same goals and Biblical world view will help you to grow in your relationship with Christ. Allowing those relationships to influence you will make you a stronger believer. As you choose to follow God he will provide people who will be your “best-friends” who will build you up and encourage you in the Lord. What does this mean for you? Hebrews 10:25 - It means you need to get connected to the body! It means you need to be at HV, LifeGroups, events, etc.! Connect yourself to good, Godly friends! You will find them at church. BUT BE CAREFUL... You will find great, Godly friends at HV, but not all HV’ers are great, Godly friends.


4 | Meaningful Relationships ...the just shall live by faith.

2) What does God say about your Friendships? (cont’d)

- Romans 1:16-17

B) RUN from those who say they are CHRISTIANS but don’t live like it! 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 2Thessalonians 3:6-9 - What does it say about you if the company you keep is filled with false-believers or lukewarm ones at best? According to these passages, we are NOT supposed to have a very intimate relationship with these people? Why? Because you are who you hang-out with! In fact, Paul says STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!! C) Don’t allow anyone who is not a believer to be your CLOSE FRIEND. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 1 Corinthians 15:33 - We are not supposed to be BEST FRIENDS with people who are

not believers. WHY? Because we are not supposed to to have fellowship with darkness. If you are best friends, according to Amos 3:3 that supposes some kind of agreement with them and when it comes to THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD - AUTHENTIC FAITH - THERE IS NO AGREEMENT. Your friend will never truly understand you because of who you are - a believer in Christ. This leaves the only common ground between you being worldly, fleshly desires, thoughts, goals, and objectives.

This raises a LOT of questions! “What? Am I supposed to call my friends up and say I can’t be your friend anymore?”, “That doesn’t sound like God, I thought we were supposed to be friends with others so we can win them to Christ.”, “That’s not fair! I‘ve been friends with Jim-Bob since birth!” Remember Romans 12:21? It’s all about your perspective! See 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 again! It’s not about NOT reaching your friends. It’s about limiting the influence they have on you and viewing those relationships through the purpose of Romans 12:9-21. Do NOT let your non-believing friends influence you! You are to influence them with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Conclusion | In today’s culture, choosing friends is an even bigger deal than ever before. Last week I asked the question, “Where are your moral boundaries?”, and “How far are you willing to go in the conversations you have with your friends?/What are you willing to talk about with your friends?” This week I am asking you to analyze those relationships in light of those boundaries. Where does that relationship fall according to God’s “Friend Chart”? In today’s culture of friendships there are many things that are accepted as “the norm/status quo” that are NOT okay in God’s eyes. Once again (referring to our Moral Boundary discussion) not because God desires to withhold good things from you or prevent you from having fun, but to protect you from pain and hurt down the road... sometimes even YEARS down the road. Examples are: Friends with benefits... there is no such thing as “no strings attached”. Sexting... What seems like harmless, racy, emotional excitement will hurt your reputation, your testimony and your future - not to mention you could be prosecuted for it!

So... Bottom line, analyze your friendships. What category do they fit in?

Is your best friend a believer? Are they living like it? Are they influencing you for good or evil? EVEN MORE, are YOU influencing THEM? ...for good or evil?

Your close friendships should be focused on other believers who desire what you desire. Avoid those who say they are a Christian, but reject Moral Boundaries. Influence your friends who aren’t believer’s with the message of the Gospel by making WISE CHOICES!


HVCV | Review

...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

HVCV | How does my life merge with my faith?

In this study, we have been discussing the challenge of living out your faith in a daily way. How do you LIVE according to your faith? At home? At the mall? With your friends? In your Personal Life? In every minute of every day? These 7 Core Values will help you life out your faith in a daily way. They will help you become the person God desires you to be no matter the circumstances or situations you find yourself in. They are not a cure all and they are not all-inclusive, but these 7 principles will get you well on your way to living a victorious Christian life!

1 | Authentic Faith - Romans 1:16-17

A) Establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ - Romans 10:9-13 B) Allow your relationship with Christ to guide you - Romans 12:1-2; Psalms 119:9-11 Illustration: Coffee Maker When water is poured through a coffee filter it transforms it into something good and desirable. Just like that, our lives should be transformed through the Word of God. When we read and study it and do what it says, its the same as “filtering” our lives through God’s filter! This is authentic faith! It’s living life according to his Word!

2 | Spiritual Discipline - Romans 5:1-5

A) Realize every situation you will ever face has a GOD INTENDED OUTCOME. B) Realize that you CAN atrophy spiritually C) Understand that to discover GOD’s PURPOSE and to AVOID ATROPHY is an INTENTIONAL ACT! Illustration: Weight Lifting A weight lifter does not become a muscle-bound freak by thinking about weight lifting, or by staring at weights. He does it by pushing him/herself to work hard and press through the workouts to experience the benefit of large muscles. The more he/she works out, the easier it becomes. If they stop working out, their muscles will actually shrink! It’s the same in our spiritual life. When we consciously work to make Godly decisions, Godly decisions will become more natural. When we live life by making decisions based on our own lusts and desires, we will atrophy spiritually.

3 | Moral Boundaries - Romans 6-8

Moral Boundaries ARE: A) Voluntary limits on the behaviors, thoughts and attitudes we choose. Romans 6:1-2 B) Evidence of our Authentic Faith in Christ. Romans 6:3-14 C) Tools to help us grow in our relationship with Christ. Romans 6:15-22 Moral Boundaries are NOT: A) A list of legalistic standards designed to achieve righteousness. Romans 7:7-14 B) Restrictions designed to keep us from having fun. Romans 7:14-25 C) A way for God to withhold good things from us. Romans 8:1-4

Illustration: Ping Pong A ping pong table is unique because it is elevated off the ground. Any shot hit on the table is IN BOUNDS. If a shot goes off the table, however, it is OUT OF BOUNDS. A champion ping pong player is someone who is really good at keeping the ball ON THE TABLE. Just like in ping pong, if we are going to live the life that God has for us, we have to establish boundaries that we do not cross. Living within those boundaries keeps us safe, protected and provides an environment where God can shape us and use us. Living within those boundaries can only come from a heart of LOVE for God and His Word. Living according to those boundaies apart from a desire to follow God is legalism. Rejection of those boundaries is liberalism. Both lead to the same place... destruction! The voluntary boundaries we choose can only be found in God’s Word and are clearly drawn though Paul... Sin and the Appearance of Sin! Romans 6-8; 12:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Proverbs 4:23; 25:28


5 | Wise Choices Review

...the just shall live by faith.

4 | Meaningful Relationships - Romans 12:9-21 (21)

- Romans 1:16-17

What do your relationships say about you? A) Your relationships will show you if you are a leader or a follower. Romans 12:21 God calls us to be BOTH - in the right contexts. 2 Timothy 2:1-2 We are to follow Godly examples and BE a Godly example to follow - just like Timothy! C) Your relationships will reveal to others what you are like. Amos 3:3; Proverbs 4:23 “Birds of a feather flock together”, “You are known by the company you keep” What does God say about your relationships? A) Choose Christian friends who encourage your relationship with Christ. Proverbs 13:20; 27:17 You will find these friends at High Voltage! Hebrews 10:25 B) Run from those who say they are Christians but don’t live like it. 1 Cor. 5:9-11; 2 Thess. 3:6-9 Revelation 3:15-16 - Lukewarm friends will drag you down and destroy your testimony. C) Don’t allow anyone who is not a Christian be your close friend. 2 Cor. 6:14-17; 1 Cor. 15:33; Amos 3:3 If you are a Christian, desiring to live for Christ, your non-Christian friends do not have the same goals and objectives as you and they cannot understand that. Therefore, your “common ground” is not about your relationship with Christ. You need close friends who have the same desires as you. Illustration: The Great Game of Golf If you are a mediocre golfer, you tend to play more like those who you are playing with. For example, when playing with golfers who are really good, a mediocre golfer will slow down, take more time, look at shots more carefully and typically play a little better than his/her average game. If that same golfer plays with others who are not as good, his/her game will typically suffer because there is not as much expectation to perform at a higher level. Shots aren’t as important, short putts don’t matter as much and the overall thought process through the game is not as serious. Life is the same way. When you surround yourself with people who aren’t as concerned with their spiritual walk, YOU WON’T BE AS CONCERNED EITHER. If you surround yourself with people who are concerned about living according to their authentic faith, who exercise spiritual discipline, and who set-up moral boundaries in their lives, you will live out your faith to a higher degree.

5 | How does my life merge with my faith? By making WISE CHOICES. Romans 13:11-14 - Paul gives a big warning to the Roman believers to LIVE out their faith through the choices they were making. Life is made up of choices. Everything we do involves making decisions and choosing one direction or another. Many times the decisions we make eliminate all other options and relegate us to one. A lot of choices you can only make once... ever! Some choices seem meaningless and pointless... like “what will I have for breakfast?” Many times we treat BIG decisions like we are choosing our breakfast. Occasionally we treat small decisions like we are choosing our spouse. The fact is, every choice we make has an outcome. Every choice we make determines the direction of our life.

Navigating life’s choices is a lot like ordering off a menu at a nice restaurant. Just like dinner on a menu, you have choices to make in life. Some of those choices are better than others and some cost more than others. Some items are worth what you pay for it, others are not. Some sound good, but when they show up at your table, they are nothing like what you expected and you want to send it back and re-order. Some menu items don’t cost much, but you will be feeling the after effects for days! Then there are those menu items that are like undiscovered treasures; items you have never ordered before that just might be the best dinner in the history of the human race just waiting to be discovered! The answer to the MENU DILEMMA? If only we had a personal MENU helper who knew everything on every menu, what it tasted like and if it was worth the price or not. But this person ALSO knew us so well that they knew what entices us, but also whether or not it is what we expect it to be. Then we would be set!


5 | Wise Choices

...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

1 | The TRUTH about our choices - Romans 13:11-12 A) Every choice you make is URGENT and IMPORTANT. There is no such thing as a UNIMPORTANT decision. In this verse, Paul is using the analogy of going through life asleep vs. going through life awake. What is the difference? If you are “sleep-walking” through life, how do you think you would view your decisions? 1 Thess. 5:1-9 - Those who are “of the day” are sober, watchful, and aware of what is going on around them. The darkness of night hides sin and evil. 1 Peter 5:8 - There is an enemy who wants you to be lazy in the choices you make so he can take you down.

The failure to choose is, in fact, choosing! B) Contrary to the cultural opinion, there is such a thing as GOOD choices and BAD choices. The analogy of sleep carries through to the later half of verse 12. If you are “sleep-walking” through life, the decisions you will make will be decisions according to your immediate desires and feelings INSTANT GRATIFICATION, what feels &/or sounds good RIGHT NOW! We can see this in the current housing market. Real-life everyday people who were “sleep-walking” through life took out loans based on the RIGHT NOW instead of the 5-10 year picture only to lose it all later. What are your decisions based on? Are they based on instant gratification? 1 Thess. 5:1-9; Romans 13:13-14 - Those who are “awake” make decisions based on a certain set of criteria...

2) How you can make Wise Choices EVERYDAY - Romans 13:13-14 A) Make INTENTIONAL choices with your final destination in mind - a DESIRED OUTCOME. Paul instructs the Roman Christians to WALK honestly, as in the day. What does that mean? This does not mean that you when you walk to 7/11 you go straight there and not anywhere else. Paul is referring to “walking” through life! He is saying live your life in a way that is becoming of a ChristFollower. Proverbs 29:18 - This verse has a lot of applications, and one of them applies to our decision making. If we do not have an idea of where we want to end up, we will never be able to figure out how to get there!

Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? Are the choices you’re making today going to get you where you want to be someday? Most teens I ask that question to say “no”. You may say, “Tim, whoa! I don’t know where I want to be next week!” Then wake up! What should be the desired outcome of the choices we make? B) Make Choices that produce BLAMELESSNESS - literally “without blame”. Paul instructs the Roman Christians to walk HONESTLY, AS IN THE DAY. What are the 2 most important words in the Bible? LIKE & AS Paul says we are to live our life: i) Honestly - Truthful, not hypocritical or two-faced ii) AS in the day - in the open, visible, having nothing to hide, Philippians 2:12-16 - The desired outcome of making wise choices is that we are WITHOUT REBUKE (without sharp disapproval or criticism), and that we SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CROOKED AND PERVERSE NATION!!!

Romans 13:13b CAVEAT: Paul lists some specific stuff that had likely come to his attention through someone who had firsthand knowledge.

Chances are this stuff was what Paul was referring to in verses 11-12 when he said, (TRutherford Paraphrase Version) “Hey! You’re living life as if you are asleep and you’re doing some things that are not good! Wake up and smell the coffee and make decisions based on your faith for cryin’ out loud!”


5 | Wise Choices

...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

2) How you can make Wise Choices EVERYDAY - Romans 13:13-14 (cont’d) Caveat Continued... The list of poor choices made by the Roman Christians... (List compiled from NIV, NLT, ESV, NASB) 1) ORGIES - a wild party, esp. one involving excessive drinking and unrestrained sexual activity 2) DRUNKENNESS - Drunk or intoxicated; a particular frequency in being drunk or intoxicated 3) SEXUAL PROMISCUITY/IMMORALITY - demonstrating or implying an undiscriminating approach to sexuality 4) SENSUALITY the pursuit of sexual pleasure 5 FIGHTING conflict, either physical or non-physical 6 JEALOUSY desiring to have or be what belongs to someone else

Why would Paul point this stuff out so blatantly? He knew this was destructive behavior! This is not a comprehensive list of destructive behavior, but it is some of the big stuff! Do we still struggle with this stuff today? Surely not! (that was sarcasm). C) Make Choices based on the WORD - the very mind of CHRIST. (we’re bringing WWJD back!) In verse 14 we are to “put on the Lord Jesus”... WHAT!?! If you were to “put on the Lord Jesus” how would you make decisions differently? Would you be more concerned about the choices you made? Would it be easier to make decisions? We have that ability you know! Check out 1 Corinthians 2:9-16! We hold the very mind of Christ right here in our hands! If you want to know how God thinks, it’s right here! If you want to know how He faced temptation it’s right in front of you! Look at Matthew 4:1-11... Jesus responded to physical temptation by answering with the BIBLE! Romans 13:14 says not to make provision for the flesh... Jesus showed us how to do that! He did that by using Psalm 119:9-11!

Conclusion | When we make decisions based on the Word of God, which produce Blamelessness and have a desired outcome in mind, we will accomplish many things in our lives! A few of those things are: 1) 1 Corinthians 10:31 - We will fulfill our PURPOSE! 2) Matthew 28:18-20 - We will accomplish our MISSION! 3) Philippians 1:6 - We will be conformed closer to the IMAGE OF CHRIST! Wise choices aren’t free. They come with a cost. You may have to sacrifice a little instant gratification now, but will earn a greater reward later. But don’t be fooled! Foolish choices come with a cost also! The difference is you will pay later for the rewards of a foolish choice and the payment is usually more than the thrill. Wise Choices = pay now and earn great reward later. Foolish choices = earn limited enjoyment now and pay dearly later.

The question then is, “Are you getting what you are paying for?”


6 | Personal Ministry ...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

In our quest to discover what it means to LIVE your FAITH everyday, we have covered a lot of ground. This week we are going to talk about a CORE VALUE that is one of the cornerstones of God’s commands to His people. This week we will examine Personal Ministry and how this critical CORE VALUE can help us LIVE BY FAITH!

Romans 1:16-17

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. FOR THEREIN IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD REVEALED FROM FAITH TO FAITH: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

“The righteousness of God is revealed” What does this mean exactly?

God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS is SHOWN (MADE KNOWN). What is God’s righteousness? ROMANS 10:6-13 God’s Righteousness is SALVATION!!! “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be SAVED.”

“...from faith to faith” And what does this mean?

That faith is PASSED from ONE to ANOTHER . Did you know your faith was meant to be CONTAGIOUS?

Your life as a Christian is a lot like a Basketball... A basketball has a job. That job is to be used in the game of Basketball. Players dribble up and down the court bouncing the ball, passing the ball, and shooting the ball. The ball is designed to go through the hoop and score points. In fact, a basketball’s job is so much a part of what it is, that when you see a basketball there is no question what it does. It’s role is so much a part of what it is that they go hand in hand. But what if a basketball didn’t have any air in it? Is it still a basketball? Can it do what it is supposed to do? Is an airless basketball doing its job? As a Christian you are the same way. You were designed to fulfill a task, just like a basketball. That task is to LIVE by FAITH so others will HEAR and BELIEVE on JESUS CHRIST! If you are just doing part of the things God desires for you, but you are not involved in ministry, you are not fulfilling your MISSION!


6 | Personal Ministry ...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

So what is PERSONAL MINISTRY? It’s simple... Personal Ministry is living a lifestyle surrendered to God’s MISSION. God’s Mission for us = Reproducing Sons of God! Genesis 1:27-28; 9:1 A Physical Co-Mission Matthew 28:18-20 A Spiritual Co-Mission 2 Timothy 2:2 A Personal Co-Mission

Personal Ministry 101 - Romans 10:14-17 C) Personal Ministry involves life-changing decisions. v. 14 If the your un-saved friends are going to experience eternal life, they have to believe in Jesus Christ! Why? Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23a, Revelation 20:11-15, John 14:6 How? John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 5:19, Romans 6:23b, Romans 10:9-10, 13 B) Personal Ministry involves spiritual conversations. v.14, 17 How can they believe in Jesus Christ if no one has told them? > Nothing spiritual is ever accomplished without having a spiritual conversation. > It is good, and a command (see 1 Timothy 4:12 among many others), to live a life that is an example of faith, but no one will ever HEAR apart from spoken Truth. > Don’t assume your friends know the Truth based on your “lifestyle”. John 8:32 A) Personal Ministry is the responsibility of every believer. v.15 This includes YOU, a teenager. A teenager who may even feel unprepared and unequipped. Check out what Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12. > In order for the Gospel to be heard, someone has to be there to speak it! > You are sent to your relationships with the message of the Gospel. > Don’t assume some else will tell your friends. You may be the only one who can!

Conclusion | Friends come in two varieties. The first are your CLOSE friends, those who we established 2 lessons ago who should be like-minded believers. The second group contains your other friends, those who may not be believers who, if they do not hear and believe face an eternal destiny that God does not want for them. This second group of friends is your personal ministry field. These are your friends who you need to share the Truth of the Gospel with. They may never hear of you do not speak up.

Personal Ministry is living a lifestyle surrendered to God’s MISSION.

It’s FULL TIME MINISTRY... period.


7 | Authority


HVCV | Review

...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

HVCV | How does my life merge with my faith?

In this study, we have been discussing the challenge of living out your faith in a daily way. How do you LIVE according to your faith? At home? At the mall? With your friends? In your Personal Life? In every minute of every day? These 7 Core Values will help you live out your faith in a daily way. They will help you become the person God desires you to be no matter the circumstances or situations you find yourself in. These 7 principles will get you well on your way to living a victorious Christian life!

1 | Authentic Faith - Romans 1:16-17

A) Establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ - Romans 10:9-13 B) Allow your relationship with Christ to guide you - Romans 12:1-2; Psalms 119:9-11 Illustration: Coffee Maker When water is poured through a coffee filter it transforms it into something good and desirable. Just like that, our lives should be transformed through the Word of God. When we read and study it and do what it says, its the same as “filtering” our lives through God’s filter! This is authentic faith! It’s living life according to his Word!

2 | Spiritual Discipline - Romans 5:1-5

A) Realize every situation you will ever face has a GOD INTENDED OUTCOME. B) Realize that you CAN atrophy spiritually C) Understand that to discover GOD’s PURPOSE and to AVOID ATROPHY is an INTENTIONAL ACT! Illustration: Weight Lifting A weight lifter does not become a muscle-bound freak by thinking about weight lifting, or by staring at weights. He does it by pushing him/herself to work hard and press through the workouts to experience the benefit of large muscles. The more he/she works out, the easier it becomes. If they stop working out, their muscles will actually shrink! It’s the same in our spiritual life. When we consciously work to make Godly decisions, Godly decisions will become more natural. When we live life by making decisions based on our own lusts and desires, we will atrophy spiritually.

3 | Moral Boundaries - Romans 6-8

Moral Boundaries ARE: A) Voluntary limits on the behaviors, thoughts and attitudes we choose. Romans 6:1-2 B) Evidence of our Authentic Faith in Christ. Romans 6:3-14 C) Tools to help us grow in our relationship with Christ. Romans 6:15-22 Moral Boundaries are NOT: A) A list of legalistic standards designed to achieve righteousness. Romans 7:7-14 B) Restrictions designed to keep us from having fun. Romans 7:14-25 C) A way for God to withhold good things from us. Romans 8:1-4

Illustration: Ping Pong A ping pong table is unique because it is elevated off the ground. Any shot hit on the table is IN BOUNDS. If a shot goes off the table, however, it is OUT OF BOUNDS. A champion ping pong player is someone who is really good at keeping the ball ON THE TABLE. Just like in ping pong, if we are going to live the life that God has for us, we have to establish boundaries that we do not cross. Living within those boundaries keeps us safe, protected and provides an environment where God can shape us and use us. Living within those boundaries can only come from a heart of LOVE for God and His Word. Living according to those boundaies apart from a desire to follow God is legalism. Rejection of those boundaries is liberalism. Both lead to the same place... destruction! The voluntary boundaries we choose can only be found in God’s Word and are clearly drawn though Paul... Sin and the Appearance of Sin! Romans 6-8; 12:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Proverbs 4:23; 25:28


HVCV | Review

...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

4 | Meaningful Relationships - Romans 12:9-21 (21) A) What your relationships say about you...

i) Your relationships will show you if you are LEADER or a FOLLOWER. God calls us to be LEADERS. Romans 12:21 ii) Your relationships will reveal to others what you are like. Amos 3:3

B) What God says about your relationships... i) Choose CHRISTIAN friends who ENCOURAGE you to grow in your relationship with Christ. Proverbs 13:20; 27:17

ii) RUN from those who say they are CHRISTIANS but don’t live like it! 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 2Thessalonians 3:6-9 iii) Don’t allow anyone who is not a believer to be your CLOSE FRIEND. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 1 Corinthians 15:33

Illustration: Golf Outing

Unlike many sports, golf is an individual sport. There are not many sports that way (maybe tennis). One unique characteristic about golf (verifiable by nearly every golfer), is that if you are a mediocre golfer, you tend to play more like those who you are playing with. For example, when playing with golfers who are really good, a mediocre golfer will slow down, take more time, look at shots more carefully and typically play a little better than his/her average game. If that same golfer plays with others who are not as good, his/her game will typically suffer because there is not as much expectation to perform at a higher level. Shots aren’t as important, short putts don’t matter as much and the overall thought process through the game is not as serious. Life is the same way. When you surround yourself with people who aren’t as concerned with their spiritual walk, YOU WON’T BE AS CONCERNED EITHER. If you surround yourself with people who are concerned about living according to their authentic faith, who exercise spiritual discipline, and who set-up moral boundaries in their lives, you will live out your faith to a higher degree.

5 | Wise Choices - Romans 5:1-5 The Truth about our Choices:

A) Every choice you make is URGENT and IMPORTANT. There is no such thing as a UNIMPORTANT decision. 1 Thess. 5:1-9; 1 Peter 5:8 B) Contrary to the cultural opinion, there is such a thing as GOOD choices and BAD choices. What are your decisions based on? Are they based on instant gratification? 1 Thess. 5:1-9; Romans 13:13-14

How you can make Wise Choices EVERYDAY - Romans 13:13-14 A) Make INTENTIONAL choices with your final destination in mind - a DESIRED OUTCOME. Proverbs 29:18

B) Make Choices that produce BLAMELESSNESS - literally “without blame”. Philippians 2:12-16 C) Make Choices based on the WORD - the very mind of CHRIST. Matthew 4:1-11 Illustration: Menu

Navigating life’s choices is a lot like ordering off a menu at a nice restaurant.

Just like dinner on a menu, you have choices to make in life. Some of those choices are better than others and some cost more than others. Some items are worth what you pay for it, others are not. Some sound good, but when they show up at your table, they are nothing like what you expected and you want to send it back and re-order. Some menu items don’t cost much, but you will be feeling the after effects for days! Then there are those menu items that are like undiscovered treasures; items you have never ordered before that just might be the best dinner in the history of the human race just waiting to be discovered! The answer to the MENU DILEMMA? If only we had a personal MENU helper who knew everything on every menu, what it tasted like and if it was worth the price or not. But this person ALSO knew us so well that they knew what entices us, but also whether or not it is what we expect it to be. Then we would be set!


HVCV | Review

...the just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17

6 | Personal Ministry - Romans 1:16-17 “...from FAITH to FAITH”

What is PERSONAL MINISTRY? Personal Ministry is living a lifestyle surrendered to God’s MISSION. God’s Mission for us = Reproducing Sons of God! Genesis 1:27-28; 9:1 A Physical Co-Mission Matthew 28:18-20 A Spiritual Co-Mission 2 Timothy 2:2 A Personal Co-Mission Personal Ministry 101 - Romans 10:14-17 A) Personal Ministry involves life-changing decisions. v. 14 B) Personal Ministry involves spiritual conversations. v.14, 17 C) Personal Ministry is the responsibility of every believer. v.15 ESPECIALLY YOU!!! Illustration: Basketball Your life as a CHRISTIAN is a lot like a BASKETBALL! A basketball has a job. That job is to be used in the game of Basketball. Players dribble up and down the court bouncing the ball, passing the ball, and shooting the ball. The ball is designed to go through the hoop and score points. In fact, a basketball’s job is so much a part of what it is, that when you see a basketball there is no question what it does. It’s role is so much a part of what it is that they go hand in hand. But what if a basketball didn’t have any air in it? Is it still a basketball? Can it do what it is supposed to do? Is an airless basketball doing its job? As a Christian you are the same way. You were designed to fulfill a task, just like a basketball. That task is to LIVE by FAITH so others will HEAR and BELIEVE on JESUS CHRIST! If you are just doing part of the things God desires for you, but you are not involved in ministry, you are not fulfilling your MISSION!

7 | God Given Authority - Romans 13:1-5 In life there are certain things which are guaranteed. One is your alarm clock going off in the morning (as long as you set it, that is). If you get up when it tells you, you generally have a decent morning where you have time to get dressed, eat, brush your teeth and make it on time. If you do NOT listen to your alarm clock (you snoozers!) your whole is off from the very beginning! The rest of the day just isn’t on schedule! Like your alarm clock, your authority governs you. If you understand it and its purposes in your life, you will benefit and appreciate it. If you are always trying to undermine it, or avoid it, your whole life will be spent a little off track. The Facts of Life:

A) Everyone has AUTHORITY over them. Romans 13:1a B) Authority comes from GOD! Romans 13:1b C) Failure to follow your AUTHORITY is rejection of God’s hand in your life. Romans 13:2a D) Your AUTHORITY has good INTENTIONS. Romans 13:3-4a E) Your AUTHORITY is designed by God to keep on the RIGHT PATH. Romans 13:3-4a Hebrews 13:3-11; Matthew 7:13-14 F) Follow your AUTHORITY because you follow God! Romans 13:5

HVCV | How does my life merge with my faith?

A commitment to God through having AUTHENTIC FAITH will transform you from the inside out! Living your faith takes SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE much like a body builder. Because of your relationship with Christ, you will put into effect MORAL BOUNDARIES that will help you to live a life God can use in any way he chooses. Focus on having MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS that encourage your faith and hold you accountable to your God honoring priorities. Make WISE CHOICES so you can live a life of blamelessness and be a city on hill. Through your surrender to Christ, all other relationships become your PERSONAL MINISTRY to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Along your journey, you are provided with GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY to protect and provide for you. When your faith and life merge, you WILL experience the VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE no matter your situations or circumstances!


HV Core Values