Pathway 201

 

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

 They devoted themselves to…fellowship.”   Acts 2:42

 

Living a Spirit-led life

 “Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the Apostles.”   Acts 2:43

 

Giving of ourselves

 “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need”   Acts 2:45

 


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

           

Tips  

  • 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.”

            James 1:22

 

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:


  • Giving                    devotion to God. “(Hezekiah) was successful, because everything he did ... he did in a spirit of complete devotion to his God.”  2 Chronicles 31:21 (GN)

  • Getting                   direction from God. “Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk. Lead me.”  Psalm 25:4-5 (LB)

  • 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.” 

    Matthew 6:9-13

       

    • 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.


      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)

       

      • 1.     The Holy Spirit is a   person                        .

       “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”  John 14:16 (NASB)

       

      • 2.     The Third Person in the       Trinity                         .

       “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  John 14:26 (NASB)

       

       

      THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE IN OUR LIVES

       

      • “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)
    •  2.     The Holy Spirit empowers us to live with Christ like:
      •               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
    • 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.

    HOW DO I LIVE A SPIRIT-LED LIFE?

     

    • Remove all     barriers          .  “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the for­giveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”  Acts 2:38
    • 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) 
    • Receive 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                            .  “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”  Ephesians 5:15-16 (NASB)

     

    • 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

    1.  Giving draws us        closer                         to God. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:21
    2. 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
    3.  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
    4. Giving 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

     “Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion.”  2 Corinthians 9:7a

     

    2.                 Cheerful                     “...for God loves a cheerful giver!”  2 Corinthians 9:7b


    3.                 Sacrificial                   .  “They gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service.”

    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.”  2 Corinthians 8:5


     

    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

     “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.”

    Acts 13:36

     

     

    • 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:

     

    Serving -

    Corporate worship -

    Fasting -

    Generosity -

    Confession -

    Invitation -

    Celebration -