Three Dimensions of Salvation

Scripture Passage: Phil 3:1-21

The Bible talks about salvation as having three dimensions: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Justification is the removal of the penalty of sin. Sanctification is the removal of the power of sin. Glorification is the removal of the presence of sin.

Often we talk about salvation as if it only is about justification. No one wants to experience the penalty of their sin. But God wants to do more than paying the penalty of your sin. He wants to remove it from your life so that you can experience true fulfillment.

In Philippians 3, Paul shows us these three Dimensions of Salvation:

Justification (Phil. 3:1-11)
Justification means God removes the penalty of sin. An easy way to remember this is that when you are justified, God sees you “Just as If” you’d never sinned. It is a legal term meaning that you have been given the legal standing of “not guilty.” In other words, we’re all failures from a spiritual standpoint; but Jesus’ work on the cross made available our access to his perfection.

Paul talks about this being the reason for our rejoicing. He warns against “the dogs” who would devour people by making them doubt this justification and living in fear that God might take back his love and forgiveness. He says that this justification wasn’t earned, but freely given. In fact, all the work he could have brought to God as “payment” was considered garbage compared to what Jesus had given as payment.

Sanctification (Phil. 3:12-14)
Sanctification means God removes the power of sin. Even though we’ve been completely forgiven, we still struggle with old ways and fleshly desires. In fact, 1 John tells us that anyone who says he is without sin is actually a liar and the truth is not in him. So while we are completely saved when we place our faith in Jesus, we’re still being transformed into the image of our Savior. So every day of our life in Christ, God is continuing to save us from the heartache of our sin.

Glorification (Phil. 3:15-21)
Glorifiation means God removes the presence of sin. Glorification is the completion, the consummation, the perfection, the full realization of salvation. Philippians 3:21 sums this concept up by saying, “He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.” In a sense, glorification is the completion of sanctification!

We have been saved form judgment when we trusted Jesus (justification). We are being saved from sin as we allow the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out (sanctification). And one day, we’ll be completely saved from the sin as we enter into God’s presence (glorification).

Discussion Questions:
• What are the three dimensions of Salvation?
• How do we sometimes present an incomplete view of salvation to people?
• How do you encourage a person to pursue sanctification?

The Power of Mentoring

 

Scripture Passage: Philippians 2:19-29

The Apostle Paul offers insight into how to live the Christian life with other people and into the value of mentors and mentoring. Mentoring is a relationship in which a mentor helps a protégé reach his or her God-given potential. Although the word “mentor” never appears in the Bible, the concept of mentoring is found throughout the pages of Scripture.

Each of us should seek to cultivate three relationships with others.

1. Everybody Needs an Epaphroditus — An Ally

What’s the role of an ally? This person is often someone near your age, with similar life conditions to your own, who helps you address ideas, problems, questions, and practical issues of life. An ally holds you accountable and challenges sin in your life. He speaks hard truths to you.

2. Everybody Needs a Paul — A Mentor

Dr. Howard Hendricks proposed “ten marks” of a mentor:
1. Seems to have what you personally need.
2. Cultivates relationships.
3. Is willing to take a chance on you.
4. Is respected by other Christians.
5. Has a network of resources.
6. Is consulted by others.
7. Both talks and listens.
8. Is consistent in his lifestyle.
9. Is able to diagnose your needs.
10. Is concerned with your interests.

3. Everybody Needs a Timothy — A Disciple or Mentee
A disciple or mentee is someone less advanced than you in some area of your spiritual life whom you take under your wing and mentor. It may not be someone younger in age!

Think and talk about mentoring…

Parents: How can you mentor your kids and also help them to connect with others who can mentor them?

Personally:
• Who in your life is an ally? Identify them and name them.
• Who in your life is a mentor? Identify them and thank them this week. 
• If you do not have a mentor, who could you ask?
• Who are you mentoring?

Unity

Scripture Passage: Philippians 1:27

Paul reminds us that we are citizens of heaven and, as such, should lived our lives worthy of the gospel. Unity — common values, common goals, common struggles — is essential to living out our citizenship in a world that watches every move we make.

It is important to understand that unity is not union, uniformity, or unanimity. Unity refers to oneness of heart, a similarity of purpose, and an agreement on truth. Paul explained how unity happens.

First, we must have common a common relationship. As Christ-followers we have the same Heavenly Father and are members of the same family.

Take a moment to thank God for those with whom you are connected at Kingsland.

Second, a part of cultivating unity is a common spirit. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us as members of God’s family.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to work cooperatively with others.

Third, to cultivate unity we must have a common mission. We must move in the same direction. We must work side by side in order to advance God’s purposes in the world today.

Take time this week to get acquainted with our new EmpoweredHomes.org website. Encourage others you know to visit the site to glean ideas on how to have a home that glorifies God. Determine to work cooperatively with other members of our family to reach 10,000 homes with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Shift Your Citizenship

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Scripture Passage:
Philippians 1:1-6

In his letter to the church at Philippi, the Apostle Paul reminded his readers that their citizenship was in heaven. Citizenship in heaven focuses on our responsibility to extend the influence of God’s kingdom where we live. Paul wanted for the Philippian Christians to see themselves primarily as citizens of heaven and to see everything through that lens. To be citizens of heavens requires that we do the following:

Shift Your Attention — Philippians 1:1 and Colossians 1:17-18
As citizens of heaven we must shift our attention off of ourselves and onto Jesus.

• What is one way in which you can shift your attention to Jesus?

Shift Your Approach — Philippians 1:2
Living out our citizenship means shifting our approach away from trying to control toward experiencing and showing peace and grace.

• To whom can you demonstrate grace this week?

Shift Your Allegiance — Philippians 1:2
As citizens of heaven we must analyze our priorities and allegiances and pledge our allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord.

• Is loyalty to Jesus your highest allegiance?

Shift Your Aim — Philippians 1:6
As citizens of heaven we must realize that God is at work in our lives to conform us into the image of His Son — and that He will not abandon that good work.

• In what areas of your life is God currently working to make you more like Jesus?

Hidden Elements of a Leader

Scripture Passage: Nehemiah 2:11-20

Every potential leader must understand the essential hidden elements of leaders — from which a leader’s success will rise and fall.

The Leader’s Character
Nehemiah put in time, sacrificed sleep and comfort, and worked even when no one else was around. That is the very definition of character.

John Wooden, the great basketball coach, said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

The Leader’s Preparation
Nehemiah prepared. He raised the needed resources, including giving from his own pocket. He surrounded himself with a team of trusted leaders and routinely rallied the people in order to inspire them.

Nehemiah also organized the work into manageable chunks for the people. He strategically took proximity into account, calling people to repair the sections of the wall closest to their homes.

Great leaders have a plan and work a plan.

The Leader’s Humility
In his book on humility, C.J. Mahaney writes, “Pride takes innumerable forms but has only one end: self-glorification. That’s the motive and ultimate purpose of pride — to rob God of legitimate glory and to pursue self-glorification, contending for supremacy with Him. The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive.”

We are in danger when we look down on other people, when we take advantage of the weak, when we think the rules don’t apply to us, and when we disregard God in any area of our life.

Discussion Questions
• In your own words, what is the difference between Character and Reputation?
• As a leader, what areas in your life need more preparation?
• What areas in your life are you struggling to come up with a plan?
• When something good happens, do I feel entitled or do I feel grateful?
• When someone questions me, do I get defensive or do I listen?
• Does it bother me when someone else gets credit for something I was involved in?

Pray for Revival

Scripture Passage: Nehemiah 8

Revival — We often think of revival as a programmed event or a stirring of emotions. An event or our emotions is not what creates revival. Revival starts when hearts that were cold or hardened to God are made new and come alive.

Elements of revival include…

Unified Prayer | The people of God must come together and pray as one. When praying together our prayer must be grounded in the Word of God. Prayer is revival.

Confession | Confession is agreeing with God about our sin. Does what grieves His heart grieve  our heart? Does what God views as sin the same as what we view as sin? Confession really is a celebration of the mercy of God. When we do confess we are confessing to a God who deeply loves us.

Surrender | We must learn how to surrender to the Lord.

Discussion:

• When you think of the word revival, what comes to your mind?
• How often do you pray with other people?
• What do you typically pray for and what drives your prayer time?
• When was the last time you confessed sin to someone? What keeps you from confessing your sin?
• Does knowing that God deeply loves you change your perspective on confessing your sin?
• What would it look like for you to spend time as a family, asking God to bring about revival in your life?

Overcoming Opposition

Scripture Passage: Nehemiah 2:17-19

3 Tips for a winning strategy to overcome opposition

Tip #1: Expect Opposition
Satan’s work is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10b). Remember that opposition can come from within and without.

• What opposition are you currently facing?

Tip #2: Engage in Prayer
Nothing of eternal value happens without prayer. We are engaged in a spiritual battle so remember to use the right weapons — prayer, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, and obedience to God’s Word.

• What are you specifically praying for in regard to overcoming opposition?

Tip #3: Endure in Your Role
Don’t give up; don’t give in (Nehemiah 4:21-22). Expect God to show up (Colossians 1:29; Nehemiah 4:14). Remember that we fight from victory, but we still have to fight.

• What steps are you taking in order to overcome opposition and complete your task?

Nehemiah and the people persevered and completed the good work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 6:15-16).

Don’t Hold Back

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 14:31 — “The one who oppresses the poor person insults his Maker, but one who is kind to the needy honors Him.”

Our View of People Matters
Oppression is prolonged cruel or unjust treatment born out of pride or a sense of being better than someone else. It’s a mindset and behavior that stems from viewing others as having less worth and value.

Our view of people should reflect that all people are created in God’s image and worthy of dignity and respect. We need to remember that there is not one person we will encounter today or tomorrow who is not made in the image of God. Everyone we encounter has worth and value.

How does our view of others affect the way treat them? What keeps you from showing radical kindness to others?

Kindness Matters
You can’t have kindness without a correct view of people. Kindness is grounded in the character of God and is important to Him. The kindness of God is about being gracious to those who don’t deserve it, can’t earn it, or can’t repay us.

When we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. We didn’t earn it. We didn’t deserve it. How different and awful it could have been had Jesus chosen to display His kindness to us based on our earned merit.

In what ways can you go beyond in your kindness? To whom can you show kindness today? Determine that you will not hold back in showing kindness.

Hope for the Abused

Scripture Passage: 2 Samuel 13:1-14

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced some sort of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. Sexual abuse is the most under-reported crime in the United States according to the FBI.

Consider the following four destructive spiritual effects of sexual abuse.

The Abuse of Trust — Read 2 Samuel 13:1-12
The passage in 2 Samuel is about abuse within the family. Satan is shrewd and will feed our distrust of God by orchestrating betrayal and abuse from those who ought to be trustworthy. Satan can use this to lead you to believe the lie that you cannot trust God or anybody.


An Abuse of Power — Read 2 Samuel 13:14
Amnon overpowered Tamar in spite of her appeals to stop. Satan attempts to destroy hope by making us feel powerless. Satan can use this to lead you to believe the lie that there is no help or hope for a victim like you.

An Abuse of Guilt — Read 2 Samuel 13:13
Guilt is the legal term for those who are to blame. Shame is what a victim feels. Shame often drives victims into isolation and silence. Satan can use this to lead you to believe that you are not worthy of God’s attention or the blessing of others.

An Abuse of Love — Read 2 Samuel 13:14-20
After abusing Tamar, Amnon hated her with intense hatred, even though he was the perpetrator. Satan can use what others have done to you to make you believe that you are unlovable and should resist love.

Consider the following steps if you have suffered abuse.

• Tell Someone You Trust

• Work Through the Loss with a Gospel-centered counselor. Understand that recovery from trauma takes time.

• Loved ones must communicate safety and care. For those who love victims, please listen to them, believe them, offer compassion, get them help, and encourage them.

• If you are guilty of abuse, then you must repent, report yourself, seek forgiveness, and work toward restoration and hope.

Please visit Kingsland’s Resources for those who have suffered Sexual Abuse.

Wisdom for Communication

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 18:21

The Bible has a great deal to say about words. The words that we speak impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Our words have the power to bless people and also the power to hurt people.

The Hebrew word that’s translated “Gossip” in Proverbs is the work “rakhil” and it means one who slanders. Read the following Scriptures that teach us about Gossip:

• A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence
(Proverbs 11:13).

• A contrary person spreads conflict, and a gossip separates close friends (Proverbs 16:28).

• Whoever conceals an offense promotes love, but whoever gossips about it separates friends (Proverbs 17:19).

• A gossip’s words are like choice food that goes down to one’s innermost being (Proverbs 18:8).

Four Questions to Help us Avoid Gossiping:

1. Is he/she here? Is the person that you are talking about physically present?

2. Is it true? The information that we hear about a person may or may not be true.

3. Is it helpful? Are my words helpful for building someone up or do my words tear them down.

4. What does it reveal about my heart? The words we speak reflect what is within our heart. What do the words I speak reveal about my own heart?

Prayer
Ask God to help you speak words that bless others and build others up according to their needs.
Ask God to show you how you may be using your words to hurt others through gossip. Ask God to forgive you and to help you break free from the sin of gossip.
Ask God to help you speak word that bless others!