OUR HOPE FOR YOU
Pathway 201, our hope is to help you learn and put into practice what we believe are four essential habits of ever follower of Jesus. It is through these habits that we develop a deep relationship with Christ.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
UNDERSTANDING BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY
“And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Acts 11:26 (NASB)
Before followers of Jesus were called “Christians”, they were known as disciples.
As disciples, we develop a deep relationship with Christ through:
Bible study and prayer
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching … and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
Fellowship with other believers
Living a Spirit-led life
Giving of ourselves
Habit One: Bible Study & Prayer
“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (LB)
A vibrant relationship with God is sustained through Bible study and prayer.
HOW DO I GET MORE FROM MY BIBLE?
- I must accept its authority. We believe that the Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, it is inspired, infallible and inerrant.
- Receive God’s Word with an open heart. “The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:64
- Respond to God’s word with obedience. “Do not merely
listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
- I must absorb its truths.
- Hearing God’s Word. “Faith comes by hearing the word of God.” Romans 10:17
- Reading God’s Word. “Happy is the one who reads this book ... and obeys what is written in it!” Revelation 1:3 (GN)
- Studying God’s Word. “They accepted the message eagerly and studied the Scriptures every day.” Acts 17:11 (Ph)
- Memorizing God’s Word. “Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down, and also keep them deep within your heart.” Proverbs 7:2-3 (LB)
- Meditating on God’s Word. “(Those) who are always meditating on
His Laws ... are like trees along a river bank bearing fruit ... they never
wither and whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3 (LB)
- I must apply its principles. “Once you know these things you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:17
- Gather one truth from your reading to reflect on
- Record what you
learn in a journal or share it with someone.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Talking with God
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17(NLT)
Jesus exemplified a personal relationship with God through prayer that gave Him great strength. Every person who has ever been effective in service for God has developed this habit. The only way to be a healthy Christian is to spend time with God daily through prayer.
1. In my daily
prayer time, I am:
Growing in my relationship with God. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:25-26
2. Use the model Jesus gave us.
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’” Luke 11:1
This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
- 1. Connect with God relationally “Our Father in heaven
- 2. Run to His name “Hallowed be your name”
- 3. Pray His agenda first. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
- 4. Depend on Him for everything . “Give us today
our daily bread”
- 5. Keep your heart right with God and people. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”
- 6. Take your stand against the enemy. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
- 7. Have faith in God’s ability. “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
Habit Two: Fellowship with Other Believers
Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another.” Hebrews 10:25 (GN)
God never intended for us to go through life alone. Throughout the Bible, we see the importance of being in community. In fact, authentic life-change happens in the context of relationships.
At Stockbridge Assembly, we believe our church must grow LARGER and SMALLER at the same time.
“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47
“(They met) day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house.” Acts 5:42
“You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.” Acts 20:20
How can our church grow larger yet maintain close relationships?
Every partner needs to be a part of a Small Group .
WHY ARE SMALL GROUPS IMPORTANT?
Small Groups provide opportunities for:
- 1. Bible Study . I need people to strengthen and balance the Word of God in my life.
- 2. Fellowship . I need people who really know me.
- 3. Prayer . I need people to pray for me personally.
- 4. Support . I need people who will protect me.
- 5. Outreach . I need people with whom I can share my story.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." John 13:34-35 (NLT)
HOW DO I GET CONNECTED WITH A SMALL GROUP?
1. Find a group
- Look at small
group menu (refer to small group menu handout)
- Attend Small
Group Leader training and start your own group.
2. Commit for a season
- New groups
start three semesters each year: spring, summer, and fall. Most groups are open
to new partners throughout the semester.
3. Experience a life change
- You'll never fully experience all that Stockbridge Assembly has to offer until you connect in a small group! Small groups were vital to the first century church's growth, and they are just as vital now.
- 1. The Holy Spirit is a person .
- 2. The Third Person in the Trinity .
- “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”” Acts 1:4-8 (NASB)
- 1. The Holy
Spirit enables us to know God’s:
- Comfort . “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” John 14:16 (KJV)
- Conviction “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. John 16:5-8 (NASB)
- Character . “For the Lord is the Spirit, and
wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who
have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the
Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into
his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18(NLT)
- “But the fruit
of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
- Power . “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
- Character . “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18(NLT)
- 3. The Holy
Spirit equips us with:
- Spiritual Gifts “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit… Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
- Spiritual Direction . "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below… And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:17-21
- 1. God’s dream for my life.
- 2. Vision to see the next steps.
- 3. Biblical truths to affect an eternal result.
Habit Three: Living a Spirit-Led Life
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
Having close relationships with other people is only part of God’s plan for our lives. He desires to be our most intimate friend.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Ruwach – a wind, breath, a violent exhalation, blast of breath.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2
Pneuma – a current of air, blast of breath, a strong breeze.
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63 (NIV 1984)
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE IN OUR LIVES
HOW DO I LIVE A SPIRIT-LED LIFE?
- Remove all barriers .
- Request the gift of the Holy Spirit . “Now suppose one of your fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:11-13 (NASB)
Him by faith . “Each one should use whatever gift he
has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its
various forms.” Peter 4:10
- Relate to Him daily . “The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” 2 Corinthians 13:14 (Message)
- Release your spiritual gifts with confidence. “Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church." 1 Corinthians 14:12
Habit Four: giving of ourselves
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The Gospel is the ultimate demonstration of God’s generous nature towards mankind. The Bible consistently teaches that God blesses us so that we may bless others.
AREAS OF GIVING
- Give of our time .
- Give of our treasure . “If your gift is… giving, give generously.” Romans 12:8 (NLT) “Yes, you should tithe, but do not neglect the more important things” Matthew 23:23 (NLT)
BENEFITS OF GIVING
- Giving is the remedy to materialism . “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to be generous and willing to share. In this way they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1Timothy 6:17-19
- Giving strengthens our faith . “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding… Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of your income, and he will fill your barns to overflowing.” Prov. 3:5, 9-10 “Give and it will be given to you... For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
is an investment in eternity . “Give happily to those in need, and
always be ready to share whatever God has given you. By doing this, you will be
storing up real treasure for yourselves in heaven - it is the only safe investment for eternity!” 1Timothy 6:18-19 (LB)
BIBLICAL GENEROSITY IS:
1. Willing . “For if the willingness is there, your gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one doesn’t have.” 2 Corinthians 8:12
2. Cheerful . “...for God loves a cheerful giver!” 2 Corinthians 9:7b
3. Sacrificial .
2 Corinthians 8:3-4
4. Expectant . “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and whoever sows generously also will reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
“They gave themselves first to the Lord.”
ESSENTIAL HABITS OF A HEALTHY BELIEVER
Personally and Corporately
“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11
- 1. Bible Study and Prayer: One Year Bible & 21 Days of Prayer
- 2. Fellowship with Others: Find Your Group .
- 3. Living a Spirit-led Life: Discover Your Purpose .
ADDITIONAL HOLY HABITS:
Corporate worship -