New Sunday Morning Discovery Group

Discovery Group

New Sunday Morning Discovery Group

What is a Discovery Group?

Discovery Group

We’re starting a new Discovery Group on Sundays. In a Discovery Group members have opportunity to grow in their knowledge and love for God, contact and love for fellow saints and are encouraged and equipped to become multiplying disciple-makers.

Groups are typically 3 to 6 persons. The group starting this Sunday is open to ladies who are members or moving towards membership and are not currently in another midweek Bible study.

Who’ll be Leading this Discovery Group?

The elders have asked Erica and Maggie to facilitate this Discovery Group.

The When and Where for this Discovery Group?

The group will meet from 8:30-9:20am on Sundays in the Fellowship Hall.

What format will the Discovery Group take?

Each week time will be set aside for the follow kinds of questions:

Fellowship

We want to foster an environment of transparency, complementarity, accountability and mutual submission.

Over the last week what are you thankful for?

Over the last week what has stressed you out? What have you struggled with? How can we help?

What did we talk about last week? How have you been challenged or changed by the lesson?

Bible Study

It is the Word which transforms us and equips us to do what Jesus wants us to do.

What does the Word of God say to us?

What does this passage teach us about God?

What does this passage teach us about man?

What does this passage teach us about Jesus?

How will you apply this passage in your life?

Missional Response

We desire to be equipped for the Great Commission and multiply disciples.

How can you, and with whom will you, share what you have learnt?

How can we help others with their needs during the next week?

How can we pray for each other this week?

When and where do we meet again?

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Dead Church

God’s Not Dead but Your Church might be Sermon Outline – Christian Standard Bible

Revelation 3:1-6 – Christian Standard Bible

Revelation 3:1-6 contains a dire warning to a dead church to urgently repent and an encouragement to the remaining saints to persevere to the end:

1.) 1Write [1:19, Therefore write what you have seen (1), what is (2-3), and what will take place after this (4-22).]
2.) to the angel [τῷ ἀγγέλῳ, literally: the messenger, interpretatively: the leader]
3.) of the church [ἐκκλησίας, the assembly (1:4, 11)] in Sardis [strong military, wealthy capital]:
 Thus says the one [1:4, 8, 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 23] who has
  1.) the seven spirits of God [τὰ πνεύματα τοῦ θεοῦ… τοὺς ἑπτὰ, better: seven-fold, Is 11:2]
  2.) and the seven stars [churches/lamp-stands (1:4, 12), angels/stars (1:16) and spirits]:

1.1.) The Fake Works of a Dead Church (Revelation 3:1b)

It is possible to look good on the outside and be a rotten corpse on the inside.

I know [Mt 9:4, 12:25, Mk 2:6-8, 14:13-15, Lk 6:8, Jn 1:47-48, 4:18, 11:11-15, Ac 1:24]
your [Singular] works [Mt 7:21-23, Re 20:11-15];
  a.) You [Singular] have a reputation [a name] for being alive [Jn 11:17-27, ζῆς/βίος],
  b.) but you [Singular] are dead [Temple to Cybele/Artemis, power to restore the dead to life].

1.2.) A Dead Church’s Remedy (Revelation 3:2-3)

Those in darkness are commanded by God to repent.

1.) 2 Be alert [PPM; stand, give account; Vigilant or values shift, attention wanders],
2.) and strengthen [AAM; other MSS guard] what remains, which is about to die [or personal],
for I have not found your [Singular] works complete before my God.
3.) 3 Remember [PAM], then, what you [Singular] have received [PAI] and heard [AAI];
4.) keep it [PAM],
5.) and repent [AAM].

1.3.) A Dead Church’s Reward (Revelation 3:3b)

Jesus is coming, judgment is sure, and it will be swift.

a.) If
a.) you [Singular] are not alert [mountainous, hard to capture, twice defeated by complacency],
b.)
  I will come [MSS: upon you]
   like a thief,
   and you [Singular] have no idea at what hour
  I will come upon you [Singular].

2.) The Future Hope of Living Saints (Revelation 3:4-5)

b.) 4 But you have a few people [note the transition to plural, literally: few names] in Sardis
1.) who have not defiled their [plural] cloths [or soiled],
2.) and they will walk with me in white, because they are worthy.
c.) 5In the same way [note the transition back to singular],
the one who conquers [singular 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:12, 21, 21:7]
  1.) will be dressed in white clothes,
  2.) and I will never erase his [singular] name from the book of life
  3.) but will acknowledge his [singular] name before my Father and before his angels.

6 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

Key to the Sermon Outline

Grammar is highlighted in Orange.
Lists are numbered 1.), 2.), 3.).
Comparisons are lettered a.), b.), c.).
Key concepts requiring explanation are highlighted in Green.
Textual notes are bracketed and highlighted in Yellow.
Repeated words, phrases or concepts are highlighted in Red.
Commands to be obeyed and applications are highlighted in Pink.
Words that are struckthrough have a better translation in the comments.
The main idea of the passage or a section is highlighted in Blue.
The numbering system is related to application:  unbeliever , seekers ,  back sliders ,  new believers ,  believers and  old saints .
A cross  marks the best place in the text to directly proclaim the Gospel.

The Christian Standard Bible

Revelation 3:1-6, Sardis, dead church

The Christian Standard Bible is a trustworthy translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. Faithful to original manuscripts.

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Evangelism

How 5 Evangelism Programs Have Impacted Our Personal Evangelism

Ever feel like you have said something from the pulpit 100 times before and nobody’s listening? That there is a disconnect between teaching and doing? I have been there; and yet, in the area of evangelism, it seems that the local church I serve is both listening and doing. Why? Why are we getting this right? The answer is below, it runs as a thread through our Evangelism Programs, is a common denominator in the Practical Learnings we’ve drawn out from our experience and then is explicitly stated in the last paragraph.

How 5 Evangelism Programs Have Impacted Our Personal Evangelism

Street Preaching

Street Preaching, Evangelism

Monthly Craig, the elder who oversees evangelism at Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni 1, takes out a group of 4 to 14 members 2 to preach on the street corners or in the market square of our city, Benoni 3. While Craig, or another designated man, preaches the others hand out tracts and speak one on one with those passing by. The rest of the church is encouraged to pray for the outreach activity at this time 4.

We’ve been doing this for years, yet, to my knowledge, we haven’t heard of salvation testimonies directly through this ministry. So why continue? We see this directly modelled in Scripture (Acts 3:11-26; 8:6-8; 13:44-52; 17:22-34) and it is an excellent training ground for potential preachers (2 Timothy 3:16–4:4) and those who want to see Gospel proclamation modelled (1 Timothy 4:11-16) 5.

Clinic Outreach

Clinic Outreach, Evangelism

Three times a week Gideon and Menzi, full-time staff, go to a public clinic in the morning and preach a Psalm to 40 to 120 people. Once a month our ladies led by Erica 6 take hot dogs and serve those who are waiting to see doctors or nurses. They share their faith and hand out tracts to them.

Again I’m not aware of anyone coming to faith or coming to church regularly out of this outreach. So why continue? Just because folk aren’t coming to Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni doesn’t mean they’re not encouraged to attend elsewhere (Acts 2:42-48) 7. The main advantage of this outreach is that patients at our clinic are from our suburb. I have no doubt that our church’s visibility in our suburb is directly related to how much exposure we get from outreaches like this (Acts 5:28).

Door to Door

Door to Door, Evangelism

Monthly Chris, Caleb and Craig take a group of 8 to 18 members into our suburb’s streets on a door to door campaign. They share their faith, hand out tracts and invite people to come to church. Before they leave there is a short time of training (the leaders have exposure to EE3, Way of the Master and other teaching materials). The rest of the church is encouraged to pray for the outreach activity at this time.

After this activity we do a short debrief 8. I can’t think of a time when there hasn’t been exciting feedback. We’ve had at least one family who came to faith through this ministry and a couple of people in regular attendance who heard about the ministry through this outreach activity.

School Outreach

School Outreach, Evangelism

Weekly Gideon or Menzi preach at a public high school’s and private school’s assembly and Mark, full-time staff, preaches at a public primary school. Together this covers up to 1,200 children from our community.

These outreach activities have been fruitful. A number of children who attend Sunday School, Teen Class and Youth were introduced to the ministry through these outreaches. Our staff intern, Menzi, and a number of church members were also introduced through these outreaches. Yet the fruit took time to ripen. The first few years felt like a lot of work without much reward 9.

Soccer and Chess Clinics

Soccer Outreach, Evangelism

On Fridays Gideon, Menzi and Alan run a soccer clinic and Mark runs a chess clinic 10. About 60 kids attend the soccer and 15 the chess. Children are invited to Youth that Friday evening or Sunday School.

These have been very fruitful. The staff meet with the same children every week and relationships grow. The children in these clinics are exponentially more likely to accept an invite to a Friday or Sunday meeting 11.

Reach your Own

Almost every Sunday from the pulpit members are reminded of the simplicity of the Gospel message, that Christ died for sinners, rose in victory and that all men everywhere are called upon to repent for the forgiveness of sins 12. And almost every Sunday from the pulpit members are exhorted to share the Gospel message with friends, family and colleagues. And they do!

And here’s the point: The more our evangelism programs have matured 13 the more our members have evangelised in their own personal spaces. And this is where the majority of growth in our church has come from, members inviting friends, family and colleagues to church. I believe that our evangelistic programs have equipped our members to be evangelical in life (Ephesians 4:11-12).

14 Practical Evangelism Program Learnings

I love to see like minded churches excelling at evangelism. I love to see us being intentional in this area. So here are some practical learnings we have made related to the programs above.

1.) Leadership Focus

As we studied Acts 2:42-49 our elders identified 4 pillars (with some help from John Stott’s The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor): Teaching, Worship, Fellowship and Evangelism. Evangelism gets weekly attention at leadership level. We’ve been blessed to have an elder, Craig, focusing on this area for a number of years. The learning is this: When the church’s leadership leads in evangelism the flock are sure to follow.

2.) Direct Member Involvement/Discipleship

It’s not the job of the pastor to be the evangelist. By that I don’t mean that the pastor should not evangelise. I mean that the pastor isn’t the paid professional who, by virtue of his excellence, makes anyone else’s evangelism activities redundant. Rather it’s the pastors role (together with the other elders) to equip the saints to this work (Ephesians 4:11-12). And so: If you’re going to run programs run them at times and in places that your people can join them and advertise them a lot (via pewslips, notices and social media).

3.) Capture the City

Jerusalem was filled with the apostles teaching (Acts 5:28). Right from the start Christians captured cities. Think about who letters were written to: churches at Rome, Ephesus, Philippi… Consider how intentional Paul was to go to capital cities, university cities, cities on trade routes. Sure, have a vision for your street and your suburb; but Have a vision for your city too. It’s one of the reasons why we’re Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni and not Crystal Park Baptist Church.

4.) Indirect/Corporate Member Involvement

We understand that not everyone is going to go out door to door; not everyone is going to go out street preaching. But Everyone CAN be involved. On Sundays we ask the whole church to join together with the teams in prayer at the time of the event. Pray for the goers. Pray for the hearers. I think that some folk who’ve prayed faithfully in the past have been encouraged by the Lord to join the ministry of late.

5.) Conversion isn’t the ONLY Measure of Ministry Fruitfulness

Don’t get me wrong, we want to see conversions. And I believe there is a sense that we should expect to see conversions because the Gospel is power of God for salvation to all who would believe (Romans 1:16-17). But it seems that the fruit of new births isn’t the only benefit an effective Evangelism Program will yield. Much spiritual growth is gained as we faithfully do what God commands us to do (Ro 12:1-2).

6.) Diversity of Member “Ownership”

Here’s an interesting principal. God gives His Church the people to match the work He desires us to do. No pianists? Then there’ll be no piano during worship. No children’s workers? Then there’ll be no Awana club. The inverse is true too. When Craig, a gifted, qualified man, came to me and asked if we should start a street preaching program I asked him how I could help him do it. When Erica, a parachurch worker, came and asked if the ladies should start a program to the local clinic I asked her if I could butter rolls and fold tracts to get her started. What I’m saying is Encourage, empower, enthuse your people to run and own ministries (1 Corinthians 12).

7.) Sometimes its about the Church not a church

We street preach in the inner city of Johannesburg. We street preach in the neighbouring suburbs of Actonville and neighbouring city of Daveyton. When we do we don’t organise transport to get converts or interested parties to Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni on Sundays we partner. In Johannesburg we’ve partnered with a Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church, in Actonville we intend on partnering with an Evangelical Bible Church and in Daveyton with our church plant Grace Baptist Church (this post isn’t about missions… but I’m sure we’ll be writing up something on that soon). God is building His Church and an Evangelism Program is one way to partner in this great work.

8.) People need help connecting the dots

Discipleship. In Matthew 28 we’re told to make disciples (main verb). We’re to do this by going, baptising and teaching (participles). Our people need to know how their small acts of service in the local church connect them to this great work. So the person who butters rolls and brings them to church on a Thursday so that the ladies who go to the clinic are able to distribute them and share of the love of Christ is connected to that work and then to Great Commission through it. Help your people see the real spiritual point of what they’re doing so that they can worship God in the midst of it.

9.) Compound interest is the Eighth Wonder of the World

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe” (Albert Einstein). Interest earned upon interest earned. Consistency and time. It’s one of the reasons why statistically there is a direct correlation between longterm pastoral tenure and church growth (and I suspect church health too… see this blog post by Thom Rainer). My experience has been that Great harvest comes in season.

10.) Staff need opportunities to reach out to the lost

My dad’s a pastor. Before that he was an industrial chemist. Before I went into the pastorate I remember him telling me that one of the things I’d miss was access to the lost, opportunities to reach out, which I had in abundance in corporate. Churches need to give their full-time staff space to do what everyone else in the church can do with relative ease. It won’t happen unless it’s planned.

11.) Relationships Matter

As a church we have a lot of intentional Evangelistic Programs running. And yet our area of greatest growth comes from when a granny invites a grandchild to church or an employer invites an employee to church or a friend invites a friend to church. Our people need to be constantly reminded that the Great Commission isn’t something someone else does it’s what they need to do. No one will be able to explain the Gospel better than a mother to a child, a son to a father, a friend to a friend.

12.) People Forget the Simplest Things

The Gospel is simple. Christ died, Christ rose, repent for the forgiveness of sins. Christ died for our sin, Christ rose in victory, believe, trust the finished work of Jesus Christ and you will be forgiven, reconciled. It is my experience that people need to hear it, read it and say it over and over. It’s not that they don’t believe it but rather that they need to be able to bring it to mind and confidently declare it in the moments of life that matter.

13.) Be careful of Comparing our Chapter 20 to your Chapter 1

More about failure in the next point but note this: Our God given success didn’t come prebuilt. I mean we’ve been developing our programs and discipling our people over the last 7 years. We’re at a place of relative maturity as a church in this area but we also know we’ve got chapters unwritten ahead of us. So do you!

14.) Make room for Failure

We ran an Awana program with 120 kids; but had to close it because there weren’t enough leaders. We had an open door into our local police station; but had to close it because of other priorities at the time. Much of our success is how well we’ve dealt with our failures.

There’s plenty more I could say and many more learnings we’ve made which I just don’t have time to write down but these are written to encourage you to get something started or persevere in something already started. Here’s the answer, explicitly stated, to why we’re getting evangelism right, why our people are evangelising, why our teaching is resulting in doing: We’re both teaching and showing (1 Timothy 4:16). That’s discipleship. That’s really the big picture. And now that’s we’re getting it right in this area we’re working on getting it right in other areas too.

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Psalm 1 Christian Standard Version

Psalm 1 Sermon Outline – Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 1 – Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 1 presents two men and two paths, the happy man walks up a righteous path and the wicked man walks down an evil path:

1.) The Path of the Blessed (Psalm 1:1-3)

The man blessed by God is characterised by separation from the world and nearness to God’s Word.

a.) 1 How happy [blessed, envied, admired] is the man [makes one wonder, “What is his secret?”]

i.) Is Separate from the World (Psalm 1:1)

The wicked spiral toward depravity while the blessed man remains separate from evil.

a.) who does not [what follows is regression by degrees; from walking to standing to sitting]:
  1.)
   1.) follow [lit: walk in]
   2.) the advice
   3.) of the wicked
  2.)
   1.) or take [lit: stand in]
   2.) the path
   3.) of sinners
  3.)
   1.) or join [lit: sit in]
   2.) a group
   3.) of mockers!

ii.) Is Focused on God’s Word (Psalm 1:2)

The blessed man’s affections and ongoing devotion is rooted in God’s Word.

b.) 2 Instead,
  1.) his delight is in the Lord’s instruction [Lit: Yahweh’s], 2.) and he meditates [lit: mutters; memorisation] on it day and night [continually].

iii.) Is Abundantly Rewarded (Psalm 1:3)

The blessed man’s faith stands the test of time, producing divine fruit and favour.

3 He is like a tree planted [lit: transplanted] beside streams of water [lit: irrigation canals]
  1.) that bears its fruit in season
  2.) and whose leaf does not wither.
 Whatever he does prospers.

2.) The Way of the Wicked (Psalm 1:4-6)

In contrast to the blessed man the wicked man is worthless, condemned and ruined.

b.) 4 The wicked are not like this; instead,

i.) Results in a Worthless Life (Psalm 1:4)

The wicked’s life amounts to nothing.

 they are like chaff [husks and stalks] that the wind blows away [analogy of the trashing floor].

ii.) Results in Condemnation at the Judgment (Psalm 1:5)

The wicked will be condemned to hell at the judgment.

5 Therefore
  1.) the wicked will not survive [lit: stand] the judgment [see Rv 20:11-15],
  2.) and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous.

iii.) Results in Absolute Ruin (Psalm 1:6)

The wicked ends in complete ruin.

6 For
  a.) the Lord [Lit: Yahweh] watches over the way of the righteous ,
  b.) but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

Application of the Sermon Outline

An Unbeliever

Engage the Mind: The sin of this world provides a type of sick pleasure. Yet hell will be an eternal reality and reward for the wicked
Stir the Heart: Judgment Day is coming and with it comes swift doom. Realise that there is nothing which will protect you from the awesome power and wrath of God on that Day.
Call on the Will: Repent! Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and live.

A Seeker

Engage the Mind: The English word ‘LORD’ here is Yahweh. It is the covenant name for God. There is a new covenant bought with the blood of Jesus and all those who draw near to God must come through Him.
Stir the Heart: Are you close to God the Father? Do you have the Spirit within you? Have you put your faith and trust in the Son?
Call on the Will: Repent! Believe upon the Name of the lord and you will be saved.

A Back Slider

Engage the Mind: Over and over in the Proverbs the son is warned by the father to be careful of the company he keeps, what he puts before his eyes.
Stir the Heart: Sin promises much but demands even more. Have you fallen into bad company? Has the love of the world dimmed your love for Christ?
Call on the Will: Repent! Fast! Else discipline from God must come!

New Believers

Engage the Mind: Often with new converts the joy of salvation burns brightly within them. That joy needn’t cease. God’s Word is the wellspring of perpetual enjoyment in Him.
Stir the Heart: Practically devote yourself to reading Scripture, memorising Scripture, listening to sermons, reading good books daily.
Call on the Will: This part of the Christian walk requires intentionality, consistency and commitment.

Believers

Engage the Mind: The Biblical word ‘meditate’ is from the root for the word mutter. The concept is to continually mutter or speak Scripture to yourself.
Stir the Heart: Times of difficulty come to all men. In those moments the Scriptures that you’ve meditated on deeply will be used by God to comfort you.
Call on the Will: Start the memorisation and meditation of Scripture today.

Old saints

Engage the Mind: There are only two eternal ends for man.
Stir the Heart: While you’re awaiting the glory to come concern yourself with warning others of the certain judgment to come.
Call on the Will: Pray that the LORD would give you opportunities to share the Gospel… and the share the Gospel!

Key to the Sermon Outline

Grammar is highlighted in Orange. Lists are numbered 1.), 2.), 3.). Comparisons are lettered a.), b.), c.).
Key concepts requiring explanation are highlighted in Green.
Textual notes are bracketed and highlighted in Yellow.
Repeated words, phrases or concepts are highlighted in Red.
Commands to be obeyed are highlighted in Pink.
The main idea of the passage or a section is highlighted in Blue.
The numbering system is related to application:  unbeliever , seekers ,  back sliders ,  new believers ,  believers and  old saints .
A cross  marks the best place in the text to directly proclaim the Gospel.

The Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 1

The Christian Standard Bible is a trustworthy translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. Faithful to original manuscripts.

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Questions and Answers at Mahon Evangelical Church

Mahon Evangelical Church

It was a great privilege to join the Spuitview Mahon Evangelical Church today and present Biblical Leadership and Biblical Discipleship to them from 1 Timothy 3-4 and Colossians 4. They had tons of questions during a questions and answers time. I’ve not written the answers given down in full neither have I written down all the questions asked, but these were reflective of the questions specifically on leadership.

Am I Called by God into Ministry at Mahon Evangelical Church?

3 things: 1.) According to 1 Timothy 3:1 a man who desires to be an overseer desires a noble task. The first desire in the sentence is a reaching out and the second desire is a different Greek word carrying an idea of compulsion. And so, the first sign of a call on a man’s life is an internal flame of desire that cannot be quenched and a looking for opportunities to serve to God’s glory. 2.) A Holy Spirit gifting to preach and teach. Are you burning to study and proclaim God’s Word? Good. But is your teaching bearing any fruit? Is the Spirit of God affirming your call? 3.) External recognition. Is the church of God, Mahon Evangelical Church where you serve affirming and recognizing your giftedness?

How do you identify elders practically?

In the context of Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni leadership development is part of the regular order of business that the elders work through. We are always thinking about who potential lady leaders, Bible study leaders, Sunday School teachers, deacons and elders might be. Specifically regarding elders: When we find a potential elder we will begin to give him opportunities to teach or preach. If we can see something of a giftedness in him we will invite him to start attending and auditing our leadership meetings. We will find out if there are any theological holes that need to be plugged and we will guide him how that might be done. So as not to be hasty on the laying on of hands we have taken about 2 years to recognize an elder. During that time, we’ve increasingly introduced him to the church, allowed him to give corporate communion messages, lead corporate prayer, lead worship, teach in Bible studies, preach from the pulpit. By the time the elders nominate the man to the church for elder recognition they know who he is and have the measure of the man.

Who Assesses the ongoing Qualifications of Elders?

Our elder meetings follow a common agenda. We spend some time assessing the earlier week’s services (the teaching, worship, fellowship and evangelism). The next item on the agenda is a non minuted item. Each man spends a few minutes giving an account of his life, his family, his devotions, his battle with sin, his ministry. It is a frank discussion and an opportunity for us to highlight problems and ask for pray. It is also an opportunity for accountability. So, to answer the question, the elders are ongoingly assessing each other. Let me add that if an elder fell into sin the process of dealing with the problem would follow the same steps as Matthew 18 and 1 Timothy 5:19.

What about the man who has a “Past Life”? Can he never be an elder?

Give the Apostle Paul some consideration. He was the worst of sinners. He persecuted, even to the point of death, the church. What a wretch! But when God… But when God! God changed Paul’s life story from one of hatred to one of self-sacrificing love. Every Christian has a But when God moment. Which means every Christian has a “Past Life” to one degree or another. In the qualifications of eldership, we are told that we’re not to recognized new converts. We are also not to recognize men who have a marred testimony with the outside world. So, after the But when God event happens give men time to build a testimony before the watching world that they may be considered men who are blameless, above reproach.

What does it mean that Deacons must Hold onto the Mystery of the Faith?

The word mystery is not a who did it crime thriller where there’s confusion and nobody knows what is going on. The word mystery as its used in the New Testament means something which was previously hidden that has now been made clear. Take the church for example. God’s people in the Old Testament were the Jews. Now, He is joining men from every tribe and tongue to the church. That is a mystery, once hidden, now revealed. There are many other mysteries revealed in the New Testament. Like the elder the deacon is to have good grasp of God’s Word. Unlike the deacon the elder must be able to teach it.

What happens if an Elder gets Divorced?

God hates divorce. He does not dislike it, He absolutely hates it. If an elder is choosing to be divorced from his wife he is willfully choosing to rebel against God’s revealed Word. The church has no choice but to discipline him. I do think that if it is his wife who is choosing to leave him and he is innocent then that needs to recognized. While his testimony or reputation may not have been bought into disrepute in that case it would be wise for him to stand down anyway, if only for a season, to have time to get his life, household, spirit and emotions together.

What is the Procedure to Recognize Elders if there aren’t any?

In many churches, if the number of elders slips below a plurality, a steering committee will be put in place (I think you have something like that at Mahon Evangelical Church?). The committee is made of deacons and church members. That committee’s responsibility, along with taking care of the day to day functioning of the church, needs to be to appoint the only Biblical Leadership God’s Word mandates, a plurality of elders. The steering committee must see themselves as an interim, short term, ad hoc working group. they must strain to do the Lord’s will that elders may be appointed in their church. Oh, and if you do not have elders waiting in the wings, pray! Jesus said He will build His church. Leadership is so important to the good health of His people. Surely He will raise up elders to His own praise as we come before Him.

How can I identify Good Books?

Find a good pastor or Bible study leader at Mahon Evangelical Church who’s exposing himself to good books and ask him to assist you to find good material appropriate to where you are. There are very good reviews available on the following websites:

The Gospel Coalition

9 Marks

Tim Challies

You can generally trust these publishers:

Banner of Truth

Crossway

Please find the notes relating to 1 Timothy 3 and 4 and Colossians 4 that were used in the presentation to Mahon Evangelical Church below:

Download (PDF, 38KB)

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Psalm 8

Psalm 8 Sermon Outline – Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 8 – Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 8 presents the Magnificence of the LORD and His Mercy towards man:

For the choir director [Musicians in OT and NT]: on the Gittith [A musical instrument]. A psalm of David.

1.) The Magnificence of God (Psalm 8:1)

The otherness/uniqueness of God is stamped upon the immensity of His creation.

1 Lord [lit: Yahweh], our Lord [Lit: ‘adown, master],
1.) how magnificent [unique vs transcendent] is your name throughout the earth!
2.) You have covered the heavens with your majesty [omnipotence and omnipresence].

2.) The Witnesses of God (Psalm 8:2)

God uses the simple to confound the wise, the weak to bring down the strong.

2 From the mouths of infants and nursing babies[Mt 21:16],
you have established a stronghold [LXX: praise]
  1.) on account of your adversaries
  2.) in order to silence the enemy and the avenger.

3.) The Mercifulness of God (Psalm 8:3-8)

The bigness of creation right-sizes the smallest of man. And yet man is unique in all of creation.

a.) 3 When I observe
1.) your heavens, the work of your fingers [anthropomorphism],
2.) the moon and the stars, which you set in place,
b.)
1.) 4 what is a human being that you remember him,
2.) a son of man that you look after him? [He 2:5-9]
  1.)
   1.) 5 You made [emphasis on created] him little less than God [or gods, or angels. See also Ph 2:5-11]
   2.) and crowned him with glory and honor. [Ge 1:28]
  2.)
   1.) 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; [Ge 1:26-27]
   2.) you put everything under his feet:
    1.) 7 all the sheep and oxen, [Ge 1]
    2.) as well as the animals in the wild,
    3.) 8 the birds of the sky,
    4.) and the fish of the sea that pass through the currents of the seas.

1.) The Magnificence of God (Psalm 8:8)

The otherness/uniqueness of God is stamped upon humanity in a special way.

9 Lord, our Lord,
how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!

Application of the Sermon Outline

An Unbeliever

Engage the Mind: The futility of a finite man rebelling against an infinite God (Ep 4:17-19)
Stir the Heart: On judgment day the weak who called upon the name of the LORD will be in a better position than you.
Call on the Will: Repent!

A Seeker

Engage the Mind: Jesus, the Son of God, took on human flesh so that we may be saved through faith in His finished work on the cross.
Stir the Heart: There is no way to be reconciled to God the Father but through Christ the Son?
Call on the Will: Repent!

A Back Slider

Engage the Mind: It is equally wrong to over value ourselves as to under value our worth in Christ before God.
Stir the Heart: Unbelief of God’s goodness in our lives can cause a despair which left unchecked can descend into depression.
Call on the Will: Snap out of it!

New Believers

Engage the Mind: The Edenic Covenant is basic to understand God’s relationship to man and man’s relationship to creation.
Stir the Heart: Can you see the ravages of sin in the world? In your life?
Call on the Will: In the NT we’re called upon to be ministers of reconciliation.

Believers

Engage the Mind: How are you going about declaring the glorious works of the LORD in your generation?
Stir the Heart: Believers are worshippers. Worship needs to invade every part of our lives.
Call on the Will: In family, amongst friends and certainly corporately on Sundays resolve to be a worshipper of almighty God.

Old saints

Engage the Mind: Our senses need to be flooded from time to time with the wonder of God’s creation.
Stir the Heart: Remember the wonder of serving the creator God!
Call on the Will: Tell of His Praise!

Key to the Sermon Outline

Grammar is highlighted in Orange. Lists are numbered 1.), 2.), 3.). Comparisons are lettered a.), b.), c.).
Key concepts requiring explanation are highlighted in Green.
Textual notes are bracketed and highlighted in Yellow.
Repeated words, phrases or concepts are highlighted in Red.
Commands to be obeyed are highlighted in Pink.
The main idea of the passage or a section is highlighted in Blue.
The numbering system is related to application:  unbeliever , seekers ,  back sliders ,  new believers ,  believers and  old saints .
A cross  marks the best place in the text to directly proclaim the Gospel.

The Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 8

The Christian Standard Bible is a trustworthy translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. Faithful to original manuscripts.

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Conrad Mbewe

The 5 Solas of the Reformation – Conrad Mbewe

The 5 Solas of the Reformation – Conrad Mbewe

Conrad Mbewe

On Wednesday the 7th of June Conrad Mbewe will be speaking on the 5 Solas of the Reformation at Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni (1 Clydesdale Road, Crystal Park, Benoni) from 7:00-8:30pm.

The Protestant Reformation was a theological revolt which began in Europe against abuses of the Roman Catholic Church. Giants of the Faith such as Martin Luther in Germany, Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland, and John Calvin in France protested various unbiblical practices. They also promoted a return to sound biblical doctrine. The precipitating event of the Protestant Reformation is generally considered to be Luther’s posting of his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church on October 31, 1517.

We’ve asked Conrad Mbewe to speak on the 5 Solas of the Reformation because 2017 marks the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation. This is a great opportunity to expose your people to solid teaching on the subject. And so, would you please encourage your people and/or Bible Studies to join us on the evening? Or would you please join us by advertising the event to anyone you know in the Benoni area? Our intent is to have a midweek combined service and would love your participation.

A Short Biography – Conrad Mbewe

Conrad Mbewe is the current pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. Widely regarded as “the African Spurgeon”, Conrad is also the Principal of the Reformed Baptist Preachers College in Zambia. Together with KBC he continues to oversee the establishment of over 20 new Reformed churches in Zambia and Botswana. Alongside his preaching and teaching ministry, Conrad is the editor of Reformation Zambia magazine, as well as a columnist for several Zambian newspapers. His most recent book is Foundations for the Flock: Truths About the Church for All the Saints (2011, Granted Ministries). He also contributed a chapter to Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry (2004, Founders Press). He has been married for over 20 years to Felistas. They have three children, two sons and a daughter, and raise a number of other nephews and nieces in their household.

Evening Services – Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni

Over the next 5 weeks (starting May 28th) we’ll be studying the 5 Solas of the Reformation at Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni in our evening services (5:00pm).

Sola Scriptura (Sunday, 28th May): The Bible alone as the source of authority for Christians (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Sola Fide (Sunday, 4th June): Salvation as a free gift (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:9).

All 5 Solas (Wednesday, 7th June): Conrad Mbewe.

Sola Gratia (Sunday, 11th June): Grace as the reason for our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Solus Christus (Sunday, 18th June): The role of Jesus in salvation (Hebrews 4:15).

Soli Deo Gloria (Sunday, 25th June): The glory of God as the goal of life (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Here is a link to the Facebook Event

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Turmoil

Psalm 3 Sermon Outline – Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 3 – Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 3 presents Three Responses when Turmoil Strikes:

A psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom.

1.) Our Cry (Psalm 3:1-2)

In times of turmoil cry out to the LORD.

a.)
1.) 1 LORD [lit: Yahweh], how [lit: many] my foes increase!
2.) There are many who attack me.
3.) 2 Many say about me,
  “There is no help [lit: salvation] for him in God.” Selah

2.) Our Comfort (Psalm 3:3-4)

In times of turmoil believe upon the LORD.

b.)
3 But
1.) you, LORD, are a shield around me,
2.)
  1.) my glory,
  2.) and the one who lifts up my head.
3.)
  1.) 4 I cry aloud to the LORD,
  2.) and he answers me from his holy mountain. Selah

3.) Our Consolation (Psalm 3:5-6)

In times of turmoil trust in the LORD.

a.)
1.) 5 I lie down and sleep;
2.) I wake again because the LORD sustains me.
3.) 6 I am not afraid of thousands of people
  who have taken their stand against me on every side.
b.)
1.) 7 Rise up, LORD!
2.) Save me, my God!
  1.) You strike all my enemies on the cheek;
  2.) You break the teeth of the wicked.
    1.) 8 Salvation belongs to the LORD;
    2.) may your blessing be on your people. Selah

Application of the Sermon Outline

An Unbeliever

Engage the Mind: The Lord does not hear the sinners prayers (Jn 9:31) but the righteous (Ps 34:17).
Stir the Heart: Does the Lord hear your prayers?
Call on the Will: Repent!

A Seeker

Engage the Mind: Believers are joined to a holy people (1 Pe 2:9).
Stir the Heart: Are you a member of the Body of Christ? His people?
Call on the Will: Repent!

A Back Slider

Engage the Mind: In trouble (Jb 1:21; 13:15)? Not responding well?
Stir the Heart: Times of trouble happen so we can glorify God.
Call on the Will: Resolve!

New Believers

Engage the Mind: Counsellors play a big part in this narration (2 Sa 15:12-13, 31-37).
Stir the Heart: Who are you gathering around you? Who speaks into your time of trouble?
Call on the Will: Fellowship is more than drinking tea on a Sunday. Relationships matter.

Believers

Engage the Mind: This world is a mess (Ge 3:15) but God comforts His own (Is 26:3).
Stir the Heart: In the middle of a trail? Remember who God is and what He has done for you in the midst of it.
Call on the Will: Believe in Jesus. He cares for you (1 Pe 5:7).

Old saints

Engage the Mind: We have experienced moments like this before.
Stir the Heart: Share these truth with younger believers for their benefit and God’s glory.
Call on the Will: Consider who you might disciple this week or month.

Key to the Sermon Outline

Grammar is highlighted in Orange. Lists are numbered 1.), 2.), 3.). Comparisons are lettered a.), b.), c.).
Key concepts requiring explanation are highlighted in Green.
Textual notes are bracketed and highlighted in Yellow.
Repeated words, phrases or concepts are highlighted in Red.
Commands to be obeyed are highlighted in Pink.
The main idea of the passage or a section is highlighted in Blue.
The numbering system is related to application:  unbeliever , seekers ,  back sliders ,  new believers ,  believers and  old saints .
A cross  marks the best place in the text to directly proclaim the Gospel.

The Christian Standard Bible

Psalm 3

The Christian Standard Bible is a trustworthy translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. Faithful to original manuscripts.

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Internship Program

2017 Internship Program

Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni and Middelburg Baptist Church together with Moletsane Baptist Church invite likeminded churches to partner with us for our 2017 Internship Program.

Internship Program – Dates

The program runs from the 25th-31st July 2017.

Internship Program – Agenda

The aim of the program is simply to unveil regular, day-to-day ministerial life. Through this process we hope to provide an ecclesiological and pastoral grid for doing the work of ministry. Time spent engaging with pastors, being discipled by them, in the midst of their ministerial lives will equip future pastors to the great task they’ve been called to. Each intern stays for a week with a family of one of the participating churches enabling them access to the pastoral staff of that local church.

Tuesday, 25th July:

On Tuesday the 25th of July all the interns and pastoral staff from the participating churches convene for a day of orientation. A host of subjects will be covered by pastoral staff including: How can I Practically Minister (Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, Communion)?, How do Elders, Deacons and Members relate? How to Oversee and Develop Finance Committees, Worship Teams and Sunday School Ministries? How to deal with Church Grief, Church Criticism, Church Growth and Church Splits? How do the Baptist Union, Baptist Northern Association, Sola 5 and the local church relate?

Wednesday, 26th – Saturday, 29th:

Interns will shadow the pastors of the local churches, staying with them or members in the church, observing their family life, mid-week Bible studies, elder meetings, staff meetings, sermon preparation ect.

Sunday, 30th July:

The interns will be as involved in the weekly service as possible (and where possible preach the Sunday evening or morning message).

Monday, 31st July:

On Monday the 31st there will be a round table debriefing with the pastors and the interns on the experiences of the week and an evaluation of the interns sermons.

Internship Program – Eligibility

We welcome applications from churches who are likeminded with the participating churches and have suitably qualified candidates.

Internship Program – Application

Contact the Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni office on office@crystalparkbaptistchurch.co.za or 011 969 0967.

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Orphan Care

The Orphan Crisis in South Africa

Orphan Crisis – What Crisis?

Orphan Crisis

Did you know: 50,000 children entered the foster system in South Africa last year. How scary is this: Only 1,165 adoptions took place over the same period. It is an orphan crisis.

Yesterday Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni was visited by the Kirby family from Onthatile Children’s Ministry.

Joel Kirby told us here are 18.5m children in South Africa, 19% of which are in Gauteng. There are 3m orphans in South Africa with 500,000 children in foster care.

How can we pray for Onthatile?

  • Onthatile needs Godly couples to adopt.
  • Babies to come to Onthatile.
  • Building of facilities at Onthatile.
  • Partners in the ministry.

What other ways can you get involved?

  • Menzi and the Mercy Ministry are always needing food and clothing. Some of it is donated to a local orphanage we have a relationship with.
  • Chris and Happy (our missionaries at Grace Baptist Church Daveyton) are in the process of adoption and are hoping for a placement any time now. They would be in need of a pram, a car seat and a Gazillion nappies.
  • There will be a seminar at Central Baptist Church Pretoria on Saturday the 20th of May. Bethesda Outreach will be hosting an Orphan Care Seminar for local churches and for those asking “what’s the next step” in quality orphan care! See flyer below.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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