Editor’s Note: When someone comes to faith in Christ, it is vital to establish them in their new-found faith. Cru has a series of follow-up materials for this purpose, entitled “Life Concepts.” They cover the following topics: 1. Assurance of Salvation; 2. Forgiveness 3. Filling of the Spirit; 4. Walking in the Spirit; 5. Spiritual Growth.
While Andy Swanson was leading movements in East Asia, he was burdened to teach believers the privilege and responsibility of walking in “the good works prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10) So Andy developed this study as Follow-Up #6.
CITY ON A HILL
“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. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Q1. What does Jesus say that we are?
Q2. What does light do?
Q3. What does it mean to let your light shine before men?
Q4. What is the goal/result of good works?
CREATED IN JESUS TO DO GOOD WORKS
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Q5. How are we saved?
Q6. What cannot save us?
Q7. Why were we created?
Q8. When did God prepare these good works for you?
WORD OF GOD
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Q9. What is scripture useful for?
Q10. What is the goal/result of this teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness?
Q11. How are we equipped for good works? (What equips us?)
“‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
Q12. What types of needs are mentioned? Q13. When we help people in need, who are we serving?
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Q14. When people announce their good deeds, who gets the glory?
Q15. When we give, whose honor should we seek?
GOOD NEWS AND GOOD DEEDS
The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Q16. What was Jesus’ mission?
Q17. What Good News was he to speak?
Q18. What Good Deeds was he to do?
Q19. What does this mean for followers of Christ?
STEPS OF OBEDIENCE
Think of three people around where you live with a physical need you can meet this week. Pray for them and ask God to be glorified as you meet those needs.
What is one practical way you can show God’s love to your roommates this week? Pray for them and ask God to be glorified as you serve them this week.
What is one thing you can do to serve someone this week? Show them God’s love right now and tell them that God loves them as you serve them.
Thank God for preparing good deeds for you to do so that he will be glorified through your service to others. Also thank God for meeting your needs, and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit so that you would be a light to the world.
GO AND DO LIKEWISE
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The Bible is full of stories and verses that talk about service, the poor and needy, and how God cares for them. Here are few for self study:
Titus is one of the more neglected books of the New Testament, but it is rich with truth. There are two key observations you should help your disciple discover. They will unlock the treasures of this book.
The reason for the Critical Concept series is that there are important topics not covered in our Transferable Concepts that are, for any number of reasons, of critical concern to us today.
With this fresh glimpse of Jesus, Sweet and Viola challenge their fellow believers to reject the “bestseller Christianity” that wraps up self-centeredness in spirituality, and to start living as “walking, breathing Jesus Manifestos.”
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